Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Golden Boys

As promised, my preferences for the Gold Cup squad...

In goal: Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson

Yeah, Guzan will be about to become eligible for Atlanta, but it would be nice (and probably good for his initial club form) if he could start against Panama. The other two can fight over the remaining group starts, and Tim Howard can come in for the knockouts.

The back line stable: Matt Besler, Greg Garza, Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, Justin Morrow, Jonathan Spector, Graham Zusi

I'm still a bit miffed that Ike Opara is not available, but oh well. And  though I'm still not sure why we need to run Zusi as a right back, there's no better time to do it than this tournament's group phase.  We can go with a short staff for the group stage, and then bring Omar Gonzalez into the squad (replacing one of the green strikers) for the championship run. As with all the lines, I'd make sure everyone gets at least one start in the group games.

In central park: Alejandro Bedoya, Joe Corona, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Kellyn Acosta, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe

I'd feel better if either Benny Feilhaber or Sacha Kljestan were around as a seasoned natural #10 option, but... oh well, part deux. The team will just need to play-make by committee until the knockouts (which is when we can bring Michael Bradley and let Joe Corona hustle off to Tijuana's preseason camp).

The attack squadron
: Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Paul Arriola, Jordan Morris, Kenny Saief, C.J. Sapong

This was the toughest group to narrow down. In the end, I opted to leave Dwyer in KC for the time being. Agudelo gets the nod over him because a) he got the international experience edge, and more importantly b) he can also pull wing duty. When the knockouts arrive, I'd summon Clint Dempsey in for another one of these forwards.

And here's the line-up I'd likely use for the Panama opener:

- Greg Seltzer


Patrick said...

Why bring Sean Johnson when you can cap-tie Jesse Gonzales, who has more upside than any of the three you list.

JJO said...

If Jesse officially files the one-time switch he is tied to USA regardless of ever being called up afaik

Greg Seltzer said...

Perhaps I missed the announcement, but I think the Gonzalez switch still needs to be processed by FIFA.

Adrian said...

Bedoya at the #10 spot would be very blah. From your selection I'd much rather see


Greg Seltzer said...

Panama is the only danger game in the group stage, and I'd prefer to put that position in veteran hands. Rowe can get his feet wet after the Panama game is won.

DaMa said...

Maybe I am reading too far into random quotes, but the sense I got from the statements from Gonzalez's camp made it seem like the final switch papers don't get filed until he knows he needs them. I am not sure if there is a chicken or egg thing there or if the timing even makes sense there, but it really does seem like it may be a "first person to actually say they will start him in an official match" kinda thing.

And agreed with Adrian, I don't get starting Bedoya at the 10. He's not a 10. The times I have seen him misplayed there have just reinforced that belief. I get that he is a veteran and we want to win, but we are USA. We shouldn't be hiding from Panama. I get adjusting for Mexico or Belgium... but Panama?

That being said, I am hopeful that Bruce gets that.

Jon said...

Greg's team is garbage. MLS is just horrendous at development if that's the crap Greg wants to put out there.

And Morris shouldn't be within a thousand miles of the NT. Dude's wack.