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Thursday, October 22, 2009
It was a bittersweet end to the hexagonal for most US fans after a victory over Honduras sent Bob Bradley's men to South Africa.

Following the monumental - and somewhat fortuitious win in Central America - the US lost 20% of their starting field players when Charlie Davies was hurt in a car accident and Oguchi Onyewu did a knee two days later against Costa Rica.

This edition sees a few players moving up to fill or temporary hold those voids, while only a few other overall changes have taken place.

Davies, for obvious reasons drops entirely out of the running, while Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers make moves towards the plane.

On the other end of the spectrum, Clarence Goodson and Kasey Keller get escorted out by security, while Jonathan Bornstein comes closer to locking up his spot.

If you agree, disagree or somewhere in between, use our comment feature at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts with us and your fellow YA readers.

PACK YOUR BAGS, BOYS
Jozy Altidore - F, Sunderland (England)
Move to Hull has been iffy at best. Needs to play more consistently or could be rusty by the summer.. (CW) Needs to fine tune his finishing, but he is now our best forward. (IH)
Carlos Bocanegra - D, Rangers (Scotland) on loan from Racing Santander (Spain)
Our last healthy A-team center back. (DS) 11 years ago, the USA dropped its captain from the World Cup roster...I don't think it's going to happen again. (BS)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Will be looking to improve 100-fold over his last World Cup, and that should be easy! (MA) Seems to be maturing. (GM)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
Awful gaffe against Honduras reminded me of Tim Bumblehands of ManU. (CW) Just don't let it all fall apart before the summer. (MA)
Michael Bradley - M, Roma (Italy)
Has all the talent in the world, but has been going through the motions for both club and country since the beginning of the season. (CW) Occasionally out of control, but brings a needed toughness to the midfield. (IH)
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
Could possibly move to forward with Davies out and the emergence of Holden. (IH) Tendency to disappear is troubling, but still a threat to score from anywhere. (AB)

NEARLY A LOCK
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Assuming no setbacks for his recovery, Gooch is still a lock. (DS) Injury and lack of playing time at the club level could put his starting spot in jeopardy. (IH)
Brad Guzan - GK, Aston Villa (England)
Will enjoy riding the pine in the World Cup. (RF) As solid of a number 2 as you could ask for. (GM)
Benny Feilhaber - M, New England Revolution (USA)
Enjoying the best season of his career. (DS) Seems to shine coming off of the bench. (GM)
Steve Cherundolo - D, Hannover 96 (Germany)
A Bundesliga starter will always make the USA national team if healthy and fit. (BS) Seems to be giving Spector a battle. Bradley really likes him and his experience. (GM)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Jay DeMerit - D, Watford (England)
Hopefully "The Pirate" recovers soon. (RF) As Jay said, your eyes aren't something to mess around with. Hopefully the patient route results in recovery by this summer. (CW)
Stuart Holden - M, Bolton Wanderers (England)
If Dempsey moves to forward to replace Davies, Holden could be the USMNT's starting right-mid. (BS) Burst on to the scene and has played well for his age. (RF)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
Too versatile not to go. (JTR) It's hard to overlook a Premiership player for anyone in a lesser league. (MA)

IN A BATTLE
Jonathan Bornstein - D/M, Atlante (Mexico)
Hate to say it, but the goal against Costa Rica most likely solidified him as our left back. (IH) Who am I kidding? Bob's gotta take his binky to Jo-Berg. (AB)
Jose Francisco Torres - M, Tigres UANL (Mexico)
A calming influence in the middle that we desperately need. (RF) An outstanding match versus the Ticos. Paco needs to be on the field. (AB)
Jermaine Jones - M, Schalke 04 (Germany)
Can he recover in time?. (JTR) Pfft. He'll show why he'll become a lock soon enough. (RF)
Ricardo Clark - M, Stabęk (Norway)
Needs a successful winter move to Europe to secure his place. (DS) Was atrocious against Honduras. I'm not a fan of Rico, but even I know he's got more to offer than that. (CW)

WORK TO DO
Maurice Edu - M, Stoke City (England)
One of the US' walking-wounded but should be back soon. (MA) Once he recovers I can't imagine him not on the plane. (AV)
Conor Casey - F, Colorado Rapids (USA)
Davies injury might make him a starter. (GM) Two in Honduras and MLS lethalness gets him on the plane. (AV)
Troy Perkins - GK, DC United (USA)
Not as strong this year at Valerenga but a late season push in Norway could push Perkins to the third keeper spot. (AB) I'm not going to worry much over the third keeper. (BS)
Kenny Cooper - F, Portland Timbers (USA)
Hopefully he replaces Ching. (AV) Has been proving that he has the goods with play in Munich. (MA)
Edgar Castillo - D/M, Tijuana (Mexico)
Impossible to know how he's going to fit in with the team just yet. (BS) Upcoming friendlies will hopefully show if he's worth the hype (DS)
- F, () on loan from ()
Ok fine... Here's your ticket. (AB)
MOVING UP

Eddie Johnson - Might be in the mix now that Davies is out (GM)

Robbie Rogers - Has game-changing ability, and could be a decent option off the bench (IH)

Frankie Hejduk - The man should be in South Africa, so Starbucks in that hemisphere get prepared... (RF)

MOVING DOWN

Charlie Davies - Get well Charlie!

Kasey Keller - I figured he'd have gotten called up by now. Obviously, Bob has gone another route. (CW)

Clarence Goodson - The upcoming match against Denmark could make or break his chances for this summer (CW)

OTHER BUBBLE BATTLERS

Freddy Adu, Danny Califf, Jimmy Conrad, Marcus Hahnemann, Chad Marshall, Michael Orozco, Michael Parkhurst, Heath Pearce, Luis Robles, Zak Whitbread

note: Yanks Abroad's Michael Adubato, Arch Bell, Rich Fidler, Isaac Heath, George Murphy, JT Richardson, Brian Sciaretta, David Smith, Andrew Vorce and Chad Winger compiled this feature.
Know Nothing
Sunday October 25, 2009 6:15 pm
Not too worried about the defense (except Bornstein defensively) and midfield, but we will definitely be in a world of hurt up front. If Altidore, Casey and Cooper are all healthy, they'll be in. With a good start to the 2010 season Chris Pontius could put himself in contention.
Ed C.
Friday October 23, 2009 5:24 am
with no gooch, why not cory gibbs? why has he fallen off the map? i know, he had some injuries but has been playing regularly in colorado.

anybody know how cory has been playing?
Paul
Friday October 23, 2009 12:39 am
Cherundolo and Bornstein are the best you can come up with? You forget that neither can defend very well and both are liabilities. When you play against good teams, their weaknesses are painfully exposed. Add a questionable central defense pairing and you can pretty much forget any chance of success in 2010.
Eddie
Thursday October 22, 2009 10:01 pm
I think Eddie Johnson should be called up again, he is not as good as Davies but might just be the answer if Dempsey doesn't play foward
Nick
Thursday October 22, 2009 9:45 pm
Marma? Beasley?! comon man...

Couple lineups I'd be interested in with the assumption that Davies and Gooch will not play (Gooch because he's out for 6 months and there is no way he will be able to get back in form cause Milan ain't playing him)

3-5-2

Howard
Spector Demerit Boca
Jones Torres
Holden Bradley Donovan
Dempsey Altidore

4-4-2

Howard
Spector Demerit Boca Castillo
Holden Jones Torres Donovan
Dempsey Altidore
Marmaduke
Thursday October 22, 2009 8:20 pm
Who can replace Davies pace? I'm going to get flamed for this, but what about Beasley? We found out he can't play defense, but it'd be a shame to pass on that speed and experience.

Without Davies' speed, the US has had very little success scoring from the run of play lately. We just don't have the players to break down a defense with passing and dribbling. With Johnny B, Clark, Donovan, and Davies all up the left, we have crazy counter speed. See the goals agains Brazil and Mexico.

BTW, I'd love to see what Edgar can do in that kind of line up, so I give you:

Howard
Dolo Boca DeMeritt Castillo
Bradley Clark
Dempsey Donovan
Altidore Beasley

With:
Guzan, Perkins,
Spector, Gooch, Bornstein,
Jones, Feilhaber, Torres, Holden, Edu
Casey, Cooper

Caveats:
If Gooch or Jay don't recover, I'd like to see Orozco get a look.
Rogers could bump Holden.
Casey may not unseat Ching.
Zach
Thursday October 22, 2009 4:22 pm
Here is what I would love to see Bradley play around with, though I doubt he wiii:

Howard
Boca, Spector, DeMerit/'dolo
Bradley, Torres
Donovan, Feilhaber/Dempsey, Holden
Cooper, Altidore

That line up would finally give us some possession with with Torres playing alongside Bradley to cover for his loose passing. It would also make us even more deadly on the counter, while still possessing enough of a normal pass it around game to be quite dangerous in the final third. Both Cooper and Jozy can put the back on the net far more often than any of the other strikers we currently have, and worked well together in the one or two games they have already played as a pairing.
John
Thursday October 22, 2009 2:51 pm
Best XI not on the plane:

Johnson, Davies, Rogers, Adu, Kljestan, Beasley, Pearce, Parkhurst, Marshall, Hejduk, Keller

How does that bunch compare to the 98 side?
Volfan2k2
Thursday October 22, 2009 2:37 pm
GK: Howard

D: Spector, Boca, Demerit/ Gooch, Castillo

M: Holden, Jones, Bradley, Donovan

F: Dempsey, Altidore

Others: Demerit/ Gooch, Bornstein, Torres, Casey, Guzan, Edu, Cooper, Adu, Clark, Cherundolo, Perkins, Rogers
USAGunnerWalsh
Thursday October 22, 2009 2:24 pm
@Sammy Nishi- I seriously hope you're kidding. Beckerman pales in comparison to Clark, Edu, Bradley, Feilhaber, Jones, and Torres. That made me laugh

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

Spector------Onyewu------Bocanegra------Bornstein

-------------------------Jones

Dempsey----Bradley--------Torres---------Donovan

------------------------Altidore
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