Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Picking a Portugal roster

A day behind original schedule and racing against the USMNT roster reveal, I've decided to swap order on the next two bits. Pick the selection now, and get to the dead ball duties later.

It's a group of 26, which is kinda large for a one-off friendly - but I dun care. They're all important games when we need to learn things. I especially want to see how certain players react. I don't expect to have everyone on my Clipboard actually chosen, of course.

And though I remain an advocate of 4-2-3-1 as our default set, the idea of running a 3-5-2 is fine provided the team gets a little time to work on it.

GK: Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid, Ethan Horvath

Guzan is one of the guys I'll monitoring to see if they grab this situation by the horns. We'll see how much he wants it. Now would be a super time for Hamid to bloom at this level. I went with the currently-benched Horvath over Gonzalez, because I want to put a cross a point to the  Club Brugge backstop: mistakes go in the past. There are others with reasons for deserving a call. I'm thinking we can even take five keepers in January.

D: Danilo Acosta, John Anthony Brooks, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Justen Glad, Eric Lichaj, Matt Miazga, Ike Opara, Brandon Vincent, DeAndre Yedlin

There's nine guys here because Brooks got healthy in time to come along. Yeslin is the other glaringly obvious choice. I'll be keeping a close eye on CCV, Lichaj, Miazga and Vincent. The kids listed can  at least soak up a camp at this level.

M: Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Paul Arriola, Mix Diskerud, Lynden Gooch, Jonathan González, Weston McKennie, Darlington Nagbe, Kelyn Rowe, Daniel Williams

There's 10 in this stable, about half made up of midfielders who'll arrive with a fair amount USMNT seasoning and half boasting few if any caps. Yeah, I know Diskerud seems an oddball choice. It's just that I've come over to the concept of giving Pulisic a breather and Mix has produced (both in Sweden this season and when used as a #10 in a US shirt). Rowe, or even Adams, could also play behind the striker(s), I reckon.

Like all of you, I can't wait to see what Gonzalez can do and Williams should be there. McKennie and Gooch could be fun to watch, while a few of the moderately-capped crowd can take this game as a chance to move past sub-par outings in Hex play.

F: Juan Agudelo, Dom Dwyer, Christian Ramirez, Bobby Wood

Wood is in a slump, but he's another one I want under the spotlight of being the experienced forward in camp. I'm also curious to see how Ramirez might present himself. Agudelo (who was not hot at season's end) and Dwyer (hot at season's end) bring attractive element to the table.

FYI: I would not be annoyed if Josh Sargent did get a call, at least so he knows how a senior camp goes. But I don't expect it.

UPDATE: Here are two potential looks. I chopped the code off when posting. Believe it or not, I'm leaning toward the 3-5-2.

- Greg Seltzer

1 comment:

UnitedDemon said...

Seems legit. The lineups, I mean.

It's actually kind of a relief to just looking forward to new talent in friendlies for a long time. Next cycle might be sick as $#&*