3 DEFINITE starters in Germany

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by fischerw, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. fischerw

    fischerw Member+

    Sep 15, 2004
    Joplin, MO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Barring injury of course. I think at this point, I can only come up with 3 players who I'm certain will be among the starters in Germany. All the others, I think, their positions are too contested right now. It's just too soon to tell. After the Hex we'll probably have a better idea.

    Anyway, the three players that I'm SURE will be starting in Germany are:

    Donovan, Beasly and Bocanegra.


    I'm interested to know who everyone else thinks our absolute "locks" (barring injury) for the starting lineup are.
     
  2. Stiles

    Stiles New Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    I think Pope will still be one of our top two marking backs.
     
  3. Ringo

    Ringo Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Rough and Ready
    Club:
    Yeovil Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I think you're wrong about that.
    His game is starting to slip even now, and I'm not sure that'll get better in two years.
    i love the guy, but he's far from a lock for a game next week let alone two years from now.


    and for the record, nobody is a lock. you'd think our 'captain for life' was a lock in 1998, but you know what happened there. two years is plenty of time -- even for donovan -- to play themselves out of a starting role. or to have someone beat them out, for that matter.
     
  4. Marchetti

    Marchetti Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    Chicago->STL->Denver
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I think that's a fair assumption to make. All three players are exceptional athletes in the game of soccer, and will definitely be a brightspot in the future of US Soccer.
     
  5. Peretz48

    Peretz48 Member+

    Nov 9, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Barring injury, I agree about LD, DMB & Boca being starters. I just can't foresee a scenario where they wouldn't start. There are others who I think will start, but they are not locks. GAM, if he continues to develop. Reyna (see Pope). Most positions have several players duking it out. And I agree that Pope's game is slipping a bit. At his age, another 1 1/2 years till Germany could make a big difference.
     
  6. Delsocfan

    Delsocfan New Member

    Oct 23, 2004
    Wilmington, DE
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think there is much chance of anyone except Keller being the starting keeper.
    Friedel seems to have ended his international career and Arena doesn't seem to have much confidence in anyone else. If Howard or Cannon couldn't get the start Wednesday against Jamaica, there not going to get a WC start.
     
  7. Heathens '87

    Heathens '87 Member

    United States
    Mar 4, 2004
    Michigan
    Club:
    RSC Anderlecht
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with Donovan, Beasley, and Bocanegra, but would add McBride.

    Brian is getting a bit up there in years, but he's, by far, the best target forward we've got, plays smart, gritty football, which Bruce loves, and most important, there's nobody pushing him for the job. He starts, but may be the first subsititution.

    Mastroeni is also close to being a lock, as he can play Arena's system very well. I'm not sure what's up with Friedel, but I wouldn't hand the job to Keller just yet.........
     
  8. Jeff Wyatt

    Jeff Wyatt New Member

    Apr 20, 2004
    McBride will be the first offensive sub off the bench in 2006. Though he keeps himself in excellent shape, I just can see him being able to go the full 90 in an international contest, and if you can't do that, you should start, especially in the WC.

    Potential locks barring injury and continued development and not regression are Boca Donovan Beasley and GAM. And though he's not right now, I feel that Mastro will play his way into the DM role, which somehow the bruce has not awarded to him.
     
  9. Buzz Killington

    Buzz Killington Member+

    Oct 6, 2002
    Lee's Summit
    Club:
    Kansas City Wizards
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not even touching your comment on McBride, Mastroeni is not a lock, he wasn't even the best D-mid in MLS this year, that probably went to Zavagnin. Right now those two and Armas are pretty even, and I'd give the nod right now to Zavagnin due to form. Hell even Reyna or JOB could play a holding midfield role, there is no way I can see Mastreoni as a definite starter for the next WC.
     
  10. fischerw

    fischerw Member+

    Sep 15, 2004
    Joplin, MO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok, I feel dumb. And I thought I'd mastered all the acronyms/nicknames. Who is "GAM"?
     
  11. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    Melbourne
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eddie Johnson, a.k.a. "Grown-Ass Man".
     
  12. JoeSoccerFan

    JoeSoccerFan Member+

    Aug 11, 2000
    Dang - I missed that one too! What's worse is I had a GAM placard at Columbus less than a week ago :eek:


    Injuries not being considered - JOB, IF HEALTHY, is a lock for 2006

    Boca, DMB and Donovan are the only locks IMO.
     
  13. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    McBride isn't even a definite starter NOW, so how can he be a definite starter over a year and a half from now. Early in the semifinal round, wasn't Bruce starting Ching and Casey? that should tell you something. As for Mastroeni, I like his game, especially when it matters. However, he has been far from a lock now, so again, how can you pencil him in as a DEFINITE starter?
     
  14. Walter3000

    Walter3000 Member+

    Apr 8, 2004
    gainesville, Florida
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    hes not a lock by any means for 2006, but hes certainly a starter rightnow.
     
  15. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    part-time starter right now. again, Casey and Ching started some of the early games in the semifinal round. part-time starter when healthy does not equal DEFINITE starter.
     
  16. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004
    I don't see how anyone can say that Boca is a sure starter for 2006 when we are sooooooo deep in the back. I can imagine several line-ups that might not include Boca:

    Spector-Gibbs-Gooch-Cherundolo


    Gibbs-Pope-Gooch


    Gibbs-Gooch-Spector


    O'Brien-Pope-Gibbs-Cherundolo


    O'Brien-Gibbs-Pope-Spector


    O'Brien-Spector-Gooch-Cherundolo


    Convey-Gooch-Pope-Spector


    I could go on and on if I added the likes of Albright, Russell, Berhalter, Vanney, Hejduk, etc.
     
  17. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I actually agree with you, and I'm a pretty big fan of Boca. Unlike seemingly most people on these boards, I don't think he is miles above our other defenders.
     
  18. dabes2

    dabes2 Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Chicago
    I think Beasley, Donovan and Boca are the only definate starters for a qualifier right now and maybe Pope too. As for 2006, it's hard for me to imagine these 3 getting displaced.

    McBride is probably a lock for our first road qualifier give his experience, but that's as far as it goes. At best he's part of a 4-5 forward rotation in 2006 (basically his role today for a home qualifier). Possibly someone else becomes a lock at striker which could marginalize him further by 2006.
     
  19. DaniCrew

    DaniCrew Member

    Nov 15, 2000
    Tallmadge, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How does one consider the U.S. "deep" in the back with the list you've provided...

    Gibbs: entirely overrated... weak physically and tactically... complete dependence on left foot (no right foot to speak off) make him technically limited as well...

    Gooch: young... physically and athletically imposing... technically limited...

    Cherundolo: not convinced... physically limited... stronger technically than others... but just does not inspire confidence...

    Pope: have people watched him play lately???... he has struggled for the past year or so... was completely overmatched against freagin' Grenada... if he's on the roster in 2006, it should be in a Carlos Llamosa role...

    Hejduk: stiff

    Vanney: stiff

    Convey: skilled... but even Arena hasn't let him play back there in a meaningful game... and i wouldn't expect to see him back there in any important game in the next round unless we're fortunate enough to qualify early...

    If Boca is not a starter in 2006, it will be because 3 or 4 players would have passed him by in 2 years time... nobody from the current pool has the requisite ability to do so... if Boca isn't back there in 2006 it will be because of injury and we'll be in deep trouble...

    By the way... i personally think Arena believes O'Brien will be the starting left back in 2006 and i think Spector will also play a big role in 2006... i think he has that much ability... it would not surprise me if Spector ends up playing a key role in 2006... i believe the starting 4 in 2006 will be (get ready for this): Boca, Mastroeni, O'Brien, and Spector... i think they will shake out as the best back 4 we have to offer...
     
  20. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    Melbourne
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Carlos Bocanegra just keeps getting better and better, based on the Fulham games I've watched on TV over here (and there's yet another one against Blackburn next weekend as well, Fox Sports 1 announced this morning).

    Granted that our players as a skilled unit are getting better and better-- but if anyone relegates Bocanegra to the bench, they'd have to be moving at Mach 3 speed to get that to happen.

    O'Brien's fitness will have to improve big-time before anyone, Bruce Arena included, can pencil him anywhere into the lineup that easily. Very classy and talented when healthy-- and with the major caveat coming with those last two words, when healthy. Just ask Ajax.

    I would think, however, that a good case can be made for your two outside backs. Spector is coming more and more into focus, and Bocanegra could conceivably be one of those that should be listed as a definite starter come June of '06. As for Spector, his talent and ability is undeniable, but let's give him a few more caps before we can qualify him in the same category.
     
  21. Walter3000

    Walter3000 Member+

    Apr 8, 2004
    gainesville, Florida
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    so we're playing a must win match tonight, and every single player we have is healthy...youre telling me that mcbride isnt chosen to start in every instance by BA?
     
  22. kebzach

    kebzach Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Greenfield, WI
    The only 3 that are LOCKS at this point are DMB, Boca, and LD

    McBride, Keller, and other are definately over 80% odds on being starters, but I do not consider them to be locks like I do the first 3.
     
  23. warmblooded

    warmblooded BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 17, 2004
    Clowntown, USA
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eddie "GAM" Johnson will start in Germany. The kid just has the ability to put himself into scoring positions in a way that no other American forward has before... He is also learning how to hold the ball / hold off a defender with his back to goal on the international level. (I was most impressed with his ability to do this against Jamaica... laying the ball off to Donovan, Pablo, Ralston, and even back to Sanneh, Gibbs and Gooch.)

    My only concern re: the backline is... if Bruce decides to use a four man backline in Germany, one of the two CBs needs to be very aware and very vocal about organizing that line. This is something that I'm not sure that Boca and Gooch are very good at. ...This is something that (in the past few years) Berhalter has done very well. Pope has mostly been used as a man marker. Gibbs seems to have the ability to both man-mark (against RVN vs. Holland) and organize. Sanneh definitely seemed to be in charge of organizing the backline against Jamaica. Mastro seems more comfortable as a man marking CB, but even more comfortable as a holding mid.

    Basically, I'm just wondering (out loud, in text) who will be that calming "rock" at CB.

    That said, here's an example of the type of line-up that I hope to see in Germany (Just for kicks)...

    ------------------------------------Howard--------------------------------------

    -------------Gooch-----------------Boca------------------Gibbs----------------

    ----------------------------------Mastro/???------------------------------------

    ------------------------Reyna/???-------------------???------------------------

    ------------Donovan---------------------------------------Beasley--------------

    ----------------------Johnson---------------Buddle/Casey/BMB-----------------
     
  24. strider026

    strider026 New Member

    Aug 7, 2002
    Huh
    Nobody has the ability? What about Marshall?

    Wish I could see more of him. He was impressive in his limited time. He was not fazed by the situation at all. Have never seen an American defender move with that skill and confidence on the ball. Hell some of our midfielders cant do that.
     
  25. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    you can ask the question in as many different forms as you want. the FACT is that in this most recent round of qualifying, McBride was not the DEFINITE starter, which is shown by the FACT that in at least a couple of the early games in the round, while healthy, was not chosen to start. These were qualifying games. So if he isn't the definite starter when healthy in early qualifiers to the WC, it is silly for any of us to believe that he is going to be a definite starter in the WC over 19 months from now. No matter how many times are how many forms you ask the question are going to change the fact that McBride was not a definite starter when healthy throughout qualifying.
     

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