Starting XI for friendlies...

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by rolfefan1717, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. rolfefan1717

    rolfefan1717 New Member

    Nov 2, 2005
    Dayton Ohio
    I realize that by starting this thread i am bound to stir more controversy than it is probably worth. But for entertainment's sake i'm going to create MY starting XI i would like to see take the field in the first friendly. ( I'm aware that i will be lambasted for including rolfe due to my home-town bias but i think his play against scotland warrrants his inclusion.)

    If you wish to view the roster to see whose available the linke is here:

    I actually took the time to write this down on paper so it wouldn't just be a sloppy, unbalanced 11.

    Formation: 4-4-2
    Starting 11: Eddie Johnson, Chris Rolfe, Pablo Mastreoni, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Kyle Martino, Chris Albright, Heath Pearce, Jimmy Conrad, Eddie Pope, Matt Reis.

    Forwards: Rolfe, Johnson. (I think they could make a great pairing for the future if they learn to play off one another.)
    Midfield: Martino on the left, and Donovan on the right but also drifting into the hole to support the strikers. Dempsey and Mastreoni in the holding roles in the center.
    Defense: Albright on the right playing more as a wing-back to allow Landon more freedom to roam inside, with Heath Pearce on the left. Pope and Conrad holding down the centre back slots.
    Goalie: Not sure to be honest so i pluged in Reis.

    Subs I'd like to see: Wolff for Rolfe in the 70th minute.
    Hejduk for Albright in the 55th minute.
    Carroll for Mastreoni in the 65th minute.
  2. eastex

    eastex New Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    Nacogdoches, TX
    Don't worry rolfefan1717. Nobody will accuse you of a hometown bias for including Rolfe in your starting lineup.
  3. dmike

    dmike Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bruce may go with some regulars over new guys for sure

    -------Hartman/Reis (Makes no Difference)-----
    --HeyDUDE---Pope------ Albright---Pearce---

    subs we gotta see for D are Dunivant
    for Mid will have to be Clint,Adu and Carroll
    Forwards only Rolfe but im sure either Twellman and especially Wolff will jump into starting spots if EJ is not ready yet

    This has to be Popes and Ralston last horrah

    If anyone else impresses in camp then hopefully they emerge in the friendlies.
  4. FC Tallavana

    FC Tallavana Member+

    Jul 1, 2004

    subs (if there are 5): Carroll for Mastroeni; Quaranta for Ralston; Rolfe for Wolff; Twellman for Johnson; Noonan for Donovan (move Adu to a-mid)
  5. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Vs. Canada (using more of the marginal guys in this one since I think Norway will be a tougher test):


    Subs: Donovan for Klein (move Dempsey to RM), Carroll for Olsen, and Guzan for Reis at HT; Adu for Quaranta and Jaqua for Twellman around 65-70'

    vs. Norway:


    Subs: Conrad for Hejduk (move Albright to RB) at HT; Dempsey for Ralston and Rolfe for Ching around 70'; Klein for Quaranta around 80'

    For the SK and Japan games, see who does well vs. Norway and Canada then plan from there
  6. USAin2006

    USAin2006 Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If Benny Feilhaber can get named for the squad against Scotland, I'm pretty sure that Freddy will be named for one of the friendlies. Not sure if he will see the field, though. That remains to be seen.
  7. judodono

    judodono Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    Bay Area, Ca.
    (based on predictions above)-

    why would CHING get the start over Josh Wolff?
  8. mikeivan

    mikeivan Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    IMHO, Freddu will see the field in at least one friendly and put an end to this Ghana speculation. Of course, I am one of those who prefer him over Ralston for Germany, so what do I know? ;)
  9. afgrijselijkheid

    Dec 29, 2002
    AFC Ajax
    must have: pearce, johnson, dempsey, albright, mastro/olsen, pope, klein

    must not have: adu
  10. fillmorejive

    fillmorejive New Member

    Jan 14, 2004
    I doubt we will see Albright as a CB in a 4-back line unless all the other CBs are injured.
  11. Bigrose30

    Bigrose30 Member+

    Sep 11, 2004
    Jersey City, NJ
    At least for the 1st game, Bruce will start his most experienced lineup...


    Expect the subs to be guys who will be in direct competition for roster spots: a Left back,a Right Wing, a holding mid, a utility midfielder, and a striker

    Pearce for Hejduk (Left back)
    Quaranta/Klein for Ralston (Right wing)
    Noonan/Dempsey/Martino for Olsen ("utility" midfielder)
    Twellman/Ching/Jaqua for Johnson (Striker)
    Rolfe/Noonan/Quaranta for Wolff (Striker)
    Carroll for Mastroeni (Holding Mid)

    If Adu impresses in practice, look for him to be a token sub in the 89th minute of the first game.
  12. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    Thanks, I was just going to ask when Aldark has ever played CD? I thought maybe I ripvanwinkled or something. Has he ever played there with Bruce?

    Hey, it's the Tony Sanneh path - maybe he'll switch inside for a few months then surprise everyone by pulling a BigCat in Germany. Yeah, that's the ticket. Hey, I've got a lovely slightly used car for sale. Mildew smell? Naaa. And just ignore the Aint's sticker on the window...
  13. Galaxian

    Galaxian Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    Newport Beach, CA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I like that lineup a lot , and its too bad Mapp is out , I would love to see him playing on the left. If LD wants a break , I want to see more of Tino on the right also.
    I love Rolfe up front , and im glad hes getting a good look, but please Bruce , dont play Ching...
  14. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I like Rolfefan 717's lineup, though with four or five games, there is a lot of time for experimentation. One thing I would like to try is:

    Goalie (who cares); Albright, Pope, Conrad, Pearce; Quarenta, Mastro, LD, Dempsey/Noonan; Johnson, Wolff.

    I am still looking for a viable right midfield wing position so that the USMNT has that option, and Quarenta has the best potential. It also gives LD work in a central role, in case Reyna is not available. Noonan/Dempsey and Quarenta can switch sides so we can see if Noonan is an option on the right.

    It doesn't mean I don't want to see Adu, Carroll, Dempsey in the middle, Hejduk, Klein, Martino and Twellman get real shots.
  15. Scoobs

    Scoobs New Member

    Aug 18, 2005
  16. NBlue

    NBlue Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Orlando, Florida
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You have got to be kidding me.

    Canada 5 : 1 USA
  17. DutchFootballRulez

    Jul 15, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd expect
  18. swedust

    swedust Member+

    Aug 30, 2004
    Wow: off to the races.

    Scoobs it seems like recently I've taken exception to a few of your posts and I don't know why it's happened these last couple weeks but this looks more like one of the practice squads than a pre-WC friendly squad, even if it is only domestics.

    I'd be happy to be wrong but put me in the camp that at least for starting line-ups Bruce is going to field more experienced players; what the XI who end up on the field at the end of these friendlies I think is much more wide open. But to start:

    ------------ Hartmann --------------
    Albright - Conrad - Pope - Hejduk
    -------------- Maestro -------------
    ------ Olsen ---------- Martino ----
    ---------------- LD ------------------
    ------- Johnson ---- Ching ---------

    Oddities of oddities: there's no LM in this camp! In fact, this is really more of a box w/LD in a free role, even though it looks like a diamond here. Ching gets the nod based on his rapport w/LD.
  19. Shibb

    Shibb Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    AFAIK Freddy seeing the field for a friendly would NOT cap tie him at this age. I'd still like to see what he can do IF he earns it. Has this camp started yet? I'd love some field reports from the camp on who is impressing and earning minutes and who is washing out. I seem to recall someone was able to give inside comments during training for the Gold Cup.
  20. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

    Jun 12, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Keeper: Doesn't really matter... Pick Hartman.

    Backs: Pope and Conrad in the center seems like a virtual lock. Since Pearce is the only Euro in camp, since left back remains an open position, and as long as he trains well, I'd expect him to start over Hejduk (who is a known quantity), especially in the opening game against Canada. If you don't test Pearce now, then when? Albright is competing for a reserve right back spot, so he starts against Canada, too.

    Midfield: Donovan and Mastro seem like locks, given the need for some veteran Nat's in the starting midfield. I could see Mastro coming out sometime in the 2nd half, since there is no need to risk injury, Arena needs to test other defensive mids, and you want Mastro ready for the other two friendlies.

    The other two mid spots will be more interesting. No classic left mid in camp, so does Arena play a "box" and add Carrol or Olsen into the lineup? Who is the other attacking mid in a box -- Martino, Dempsey, Quaranta, or maybe Wolff? Or does he just shoe-horn any old mid into the left side and stick with either Ralston or Quaranta on the right? If finding a right mid is important, then Quaranta should start, given his youth and need for experience. I'll bet we see the box with Olsen (Arena likes his grit) starting next to Mastro as one of 2 defensive mids (Carrol in the 2nd half), and Dempsey attacking along with Donovan (Quaranta or Martino in the 2nd half).

    Striker: If he is healthy, Johnson is a sure bet; the guy need to play. If he isn't ready, then Wolff starts. I think Arena is looking for a backup target guy, so I'll bet he starts Ching. I understand that, but I'd rather take a look at Twellman, in spite of his smaller size, next to Johnson up top. I think Twellman is a better sniper, I'd like to see how he plays with some key starters like Johnson and Donovan, and I'd like to see if he finally got that scoring monkey off his back in the fall. I'd also like to see Rolfe in the 2nd half.

    Personally, I'd also like to see Adu in the 2nd half, but I think that wouldn't be Arena's style in the Canada match with the young 1st timer. He could play either as an attacking mid or a striker (which would be a more logical role as a late-game sub in a WC match). If he works hard in camp, Adu will get 10-15 minutes at the end of either of the next two games.

    So, against Canada in game #1:




  21. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This looks like a pretty solid guess. Could be totally wrong, but well thought out. If Arena goes with that formation, I would just say that I think he would play Carroll in front of Olsen.
  22. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    about all I ask for is that Freddy get the chance to get extended minutes playing with Donovan and Johnson
  23. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Post of the day, appoo!
  24. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

    Jun 12, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That could be fun for a fan.

    Someday I'd like to see all of the following players on the field together: Donovan, Beasley, Adu, Johnson, Convey, O'Brien. I'd like to see what that combo of skill and speed could do.
  25. Monarch Bay Beachbum

    Apr 5, 2004
    The OC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    That is why I am going to the first two friendlies.

    I think that is what we need to determine if he will be a viable option in Germany.

    I am expecting to see all of the field players appear over the course of those two games. It will be fascinating to see who steps up and punches their ticket to the WC.

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