This is a game the U.S. must try to win. The difference between a draw and a loss is pretty minimal in terms of qualifying – so I would expect Bradley to do what he did against El Salvador and really go for the win.
A big question is what will Bradley do with his backline and central midfield. While Bradley gets a ton of flack from US fans, I think as a manager he has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to drop player when they aren’t cutting it. Remeber Mastroeni (he hasn’t been seen since his horrible game against Costa Rica), Kjlestian (despite being on fire was poor this summer and was not called in), Beasley (not played since first Brazil game in confed), Wynne (Costa Rica), and Adu (hasn’t been called in since Gold cup)… Each player played poorly and all have not been seen since. Bradley is clearly a loyal guy and I think he was hoping that Bornstein would grow into the left back spot given the opportunity, but after the El Salvador performance – it is clear he just can’t cut it. I expect Bradley to recognize this and go with Boca and Gooch in the middle, Spector out left, and Cherundolo on the right. Cherundolo is also a bit better getting forward than Spector and can provide width, so Dempsey would be able to get in the box more.
In the middle, I think Feilhaber will get replaced by Clark, but this is a coin toss, and I understand playing either. Ken thinks Feilhaber played a bit better than I did on Saturday and his ability to possess and switch the point of attack is definitely an asset. I just think playing two ball-winning holding players centrally will provide more cover to our 4 attaching players (donovan, dempsey, davies, altidore) and will allow both Donovan and Dempsey to roam a bit more.
As far as Trinidad, Kenwyne Jones is a really good player and the U.S. can’t allow Trinidad to poor in crosses the way they allowed El Salvador to. El Salavador posed little threat in the air, but that is not the case with Trinidad. This means the midfield is going to have to work a lot harder at winning back the ball after they lose possession, instead of just bunkering down as we did on Saturday (this could also be another reason to put in Clark for Feilhaber). Carlos Edwards out wide is a pacy winger that will give whoever is at left back problems and we need to be wary of Edwards led counterattacks, especially with him providing service to Jones.
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