Though many (including myself) have been critical of Casey's performance on the national team, it's pretty clear that the Bruce was grooming him for a place on the 06 team even if only as a back up to McBride. Conor’s ACL tear pretty much rules him out of the WC team and opens up a forward spot on the roster. So who replaces him? Here is my breakdown: The Vet: McBride Proven goal scorer at the highest levels. Good finisher, great in the air, good in possession. He is a lock for the team but his increasing age and decreasing speed make his spot as a starter uncertain. A lot depends on how he does at Fulham this season. Square Pegs: Donovan, Beasley, Dempsey These players are locks for 06 (virtual lock in Dempsey’s case) but don’t really play as a “striker”. It’s not their natural position for any of them, but Bruce has shown a willingness to experiment with all of them as support strikers. I think most of us feel Beasley is not suited to such a role, but Dovovan and Dempsey are certainly possibilities worth discussing. MLS Vets/National Team fringes: Wolf, Noonan, Twellman, Mathis, Ching These are guys who have shown consistency in MLS and have been called up pretty consistently to the nat’s but whose performance has been “uneven” or who have obvious draw backs (Ching’s finishing, Noonan’s speed, Wolf’s final ball, Mathis’s current barren patch and general umm…Mathisness) Ching seems the most likely, but the guy I would like to see here get a run is Twellman. He’s a poacher, but more importantly he’s a finisher. He doesn’t bring any outstanding individual traits to the table, but I think he could be the guy to capitalize on the chances created buy our players who do have those traits. MLS Starlets: Buddle, Jaqua, Eskandarian, Gaven, Adu. These are guys who have lots of talent, and have shown tantalizing glimpses of it in MLS but haven’t yet been given a real run with the national team. Jaqua seems to be the flavor of the month and Buddle has a lot backers, but also a lot of baggage. Gaven and Adu have oddles of talent but also fall into the “Sqaure Peg” category. Overseas unknowns: Cooper, Jemal Johnson Not having seen either I can’t comment on them. But when has that ever stopped a big soccer discussion? Formation change: 4-2-3-1? Personally I think a formation like this Dolo-----Gibbs----Gooch----JOB Pablo-----Reyna Donovan----Dempsey----DMB EJ Gets all of our best players on the field and gives us defensive depth, sufficient attacking power up front, and width through Dolo, and JOB. What do people think we should do? What do you think Bruce will do? And are there any realistic options I’ve left out? And yes, it’s slow sunday afternoon and I’m bored.