Roster and Speculations for USMNT March Friendlies

The US Men are set to face two formidable South American squads at the end of this month as they continue their preparation for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. As was suspected, Bradley has called up a primarily European-based “A” team, although a handful of MLS players are representing state-side Gringos as well.

Without delay, here is the 24-man roster by position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton), David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg)
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres), Timothy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United), Zak Whitbread (Norwich City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Mikkel Diskeruud (Stabaek), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt)


If you thought FFG would let you get away without some strategic pondering, this must be your first visit to the site. In our March 15 podcast we suggested that the Argentina and Paraguay matches each provided contrasting opportunities for Bradley to test distinctive approaches based on the strengths and styles of opponents. Briefly, here are some thoughts on each match.

March 26 vs. Argentina

Argentina post-Maradona has been playing an attacking- and possession-minded 4-2-1-3. New manager Sergio Batista has strengthened the midfield by employing two holders and released his fullbacks to support the attack (something forbidden by Maradona). Bradley is likely to concede possession and employ a counter-attacking strategy (dang, are you SURE Charlie Davies isn’t ready?). In other words, it might not be the best match to continue his recent forays into the 4-2-3-1. Rather, FFG proposes a formation employing 3 holding midfielders (Jones, Edu and Bradley?). Perhaps a highly conservative 4-5-1?

March 29 vs. Paraguay

Although a respectable foe, Paraguay is not as intimidating offensively as Argentina. In contrast to the Argentina match, this will be an opportunity for Bradley to proactively control the pace of the game through possession and positive (attacking) football. We believe this might be the perfect game to employ his “A” team vision of the 4-2-3-1.

As always, keep a close eye on FFG for detailed match previews and reports and analysis following each game. In the meantime, what do you think of the roster and our speculations? Any surprising inclusions/omissions?

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Blake Owen says:

    I’m disappointed Jose Torres isn’t in the squad. He might not play in as tough a league as Holden, Jones, Bradley, or Edu, but Torres is the closest thing we have to a Xavi or an Iniesta.

    And it’s disappointing that now that Bob is actually using a 3-man midfield, perhaps the best pure passer isn’t going to play.

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