Who should the US call up for the Mexico game?

Javier Aguirre has made the first move before the USA\Mexico clash on Aug. 12, showing his hand early. He has called in a very strong, offensive-minded Mexican squad with players riding a wave of confidence following their Gold Cup thrashing of the US.

Here’s there squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Guillermo Ochoa (América), José de Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul).

DEFENDERS: Efraín Juárez (Pumas), José Antonio Castro (Tigres), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart, Alemania), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven, Holanda), Oscar Rojas (América), Rafael Márquez (Barcelona, España), Jonny Magallón (Chivas), Aarón Galindo (Chivas).

MIDFIELDERS: Israel Castro (Pumas), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Andrés Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña, España), Alberto Medina (Chivas).

FORWARDS: Miguel Sabah (Morelia), Giovani Dos Santos (Ipswich, Inglaterra), Carlos Vela (Arsenal, Inglaterra), Guillermo Franco (sin equipo), Nery Castillo (Shakhtar Donetsk).

Seeing such a strong collection of talent for Mexico, who do you think the US should call in?

Click below to read my thoughts…

Here is what my squad would be:

(note: This is a squad for only 1 game, so a 23-man roster isn’t necessary)

GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves)

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)

MIDFIELDERS: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca)

FORWARDS: Freddy Adu (Benfica), Jozy Altidore (Villareal), Charlie Davies (Sochaux)

My reasoning?

First of all, I’m not on the Brad Guzan bandwagon. What I’ve seen of him makes me think he is incredibly overrated as a keeper. Maybe he’ll develop and reach some of his potential, bu right now he just isn’t that good. Hahnemann needs to be our second keeper just in case Howard gets injured in the game.

Eric Lichaj may surprise some of you, but he’s arguably our best young defending prospect and will be a top candidate in the next world cup cycle. He won’t be considered for time in this game, but I think it’d be good experience for him to go to Azteca. Some of you may opt for someone like Marshall or Goodson, but I with 4 center backs in the starting lineup, I don’t see the need for a truly experienced backup center-half.

There will be some clamoring for Stuart Holden, but I still don’t think he belongs in this squad. He’s a good player, but he really, really struggled against  Mexico and still has a bad penchant for turning the ball over.

I will take heat for wanting Adu in my side over Holden, but it’s more because I want some continuity from the Confederations Cup success. This is the exact squad (give or take a few fringe players) that finished 2nd at the Confederations Cup, and I’d like to keep that success going, rather than bring in some of the failed members of the Gold Cup.

Why no Brian Ching? I don’t want him anywhere near this quick Mexico squad. They rendered Ching useless in the Gold Cup final, and frankly – Altidore and Davies are far better options. What about a sub, you say? Well, I say we sub for Altidore or Davies and bring in a midfielder, moving Dempsey up top. That’s a better option than using Ching.

Borussia Mönchengladbach
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11 Responses

  1. You’ll get more heat for Adu over Ching, than Holden. (just not here) Cause you know, when Adu messes up he’s squandering his talent, but when Ching does it, it’s okay because he’s a big guy who tries really hard.

    If we need a real third forward, I’d go with Cooper. Bradley seemed enamored with using him as this “super sub”. Well here’s an opportunity to. He legitimately should not be ahead of Davies or Altidore, but would be a nice guy off the bench, rather than Ching. Unless the US team needs someone to call them over and inspire them to give up 2 more goals to Mexico.

    Sorry about the Ching rant. I just read some other comments on another blog and the Ching love is just maddening.

    • Cooper should be the third forward because if you want one he needs to be a goal scorer and no one else on the US squad fits that description.

      Adu should not be anywhere near this hemisphere. He should be working on getting his job down with Benfica. Besides, playing Mexico I want a speedy sub, so how about Eddie Johnson (unless he needs to solidify a job with Fulham). He is fast and experienced.

      Hopefuly the only sub we will need will be Benny.

  2. Adu over Holden or Ching? You’re having a laugh, right?

    Otherwise, decent-enough picks.

  3. Eh, even if it was remotely possible that Adu could be called in over Ching for this game, I’d still rather have Ching. That way, if we get the lead (knock on wood), we can put him in and have him hold the ball up and kill the game off. That’s the only reason i would want Ching out there for a big game, though.

    • It’d be great if he actually provided that for us, but whenever we put him in when we are winning our game becomes “kickball” which is not what we need. We need possession through the midfield. We need to make the other team chase not lob the ball up top so the defense can win it and put it right back down our throats. Its too easy. I feel like it’s sad that I’ve figured this out and Bradley hasn’t.

      • A lot of people say this about of a lot of Bradley’s decisions. He is really shockingly incompetent at his job.

        But with Ching, you get physicality, and against Mexico, you can never be too physical. I agree about possession in the middle being key to killing the game off, but Bradley doesn’t think that way, so we just play long ball when we’re ahead. And if we’re going to play that stye, I would rather have Ching over almost anyone not named McBride.

    • Err…one my biggest gripes with our long-ball tactics (other than it’s fundamentally garbage soccer) is that we don’t have any forwards who do actually receive the long ball and hold it. That’s why our reliance on it – to me, at least – makes no sense.

      I can’t think of anyone who is actually good at receiving the ball with their back to goal and just killing the clock with it. Jozy couldn’t do it. That’s why I kind of like the ball going through offensive mids like LD and Adu and even Davies (not a mid) because they actually possess with some on-the-ball skill and can hold it. (Yet another reason why a possession game through the midfield works, but I digress as we all know that isn’t changing anytime soon.)

      If we play long-ball, bunker defense soccer at Azteca, even this A team will get embarrassed. We insist on playing styles of soccer that we cannot maintain…and teams take advantage of that.

  4. If you want to see Brian Ching in the side vs. Mexico, you need slap to the eye socket.

    Brain Ching brings nothing, zero, zilch. He is easily dispossessed, weak in the air, slow, has no touch, ect ect ect.

    He would not sniff the bench anywhere in Europe. Anywhere.

    He and Connor Casey need to vanish from the National side forever.

    • We’ve established that. But the fact is that Bradley loves Ching. He also loves the longball style (for reasons unbeknownst to all of us). So, if we’re going to play long ball all game, can you suggest anyone better than Ching to fulfill the role of target striker?

      Didn’t think so. We need to accept that Bradley doesn’t read all these blogs and forums, and has no idea how to coach a team successfully on this stage. And if we are forced to play Bradley style, which we are, I don’t know of anyone better than Brian Ching. Again, it is a flawed and undesirable style of play, but we have to make lemonade out of these lemons, so to speak.

      • I think the hope is that Bradley doesn’t use Ching so he is forced to go away from the long ball mentality. In the Conf. Cup knock out stages their lack of a true target striker allowed them to play a different style. Even in the Gold cup, you could see a change in style during the first Honduras game when Davies and Feilhaber came on.

        It’s probably a pipe dream, but we can still hope Ching’s lousy play actually being punished by being pulled from the starting 11.

  5. I agree with the line-up. Ching and Cooper are just too slow up front. I would rather move Donovan or Dempsey forward along side Davies and Josey. We have to go thru midfield and this is the best we have. What I am a little worried about is our players leaving their feet and getting cards, early. I watched AC Milan and Barca recently and counted on one hand how many times player went to the ground. Second is the giveaways by US Defenders by kicking the ball into stands or just clearing it without a target, If you look closely at Confed. Cup you will see we stayed on our feet and kept the ball on the pitch……..Does Bradley see this??? I doubt it! Change is Good!

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