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U.S. v. Mexico: Pre-Match Inspiration

Here is Feilhaber’s goal in the Gold Cup Finals that I referenced a few days ago in my musings on Wednesday’s v. game.


No doubt, one of the most significant goals in recent U.S. soccer history. I would wager a fortune though that Benny does not hit that shot as pure again even with twenty more tries. The whole play unfolds kind of like that David Tyree catch at the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday. If it’s not for the pressure and the inherent importance of the play, he probably drops it. But since its the Super Bowl, he comes up clutch. Benny did the same thing.

Of course, his shot, like Tyree’s catch, was a pretty low percentage play. 50 foot curling volleys (off ridiculously high ricochets) are not exactly a dime a dozen. In order to win tomorrow, hopefully the U.S. will not need such a clutch performance.

Bradley has recalled most of the U.S.’s best players for the game tomorrow, thus erasing the criticism of many experts (and non-experts like myself) who believed the U.S. would field a younger, B-version of the squad.

Here is how Bradley likely will line them up (according to SBI):






That is a pretty good lineup. Dempsey, Bradley and Donovan attacking with Edu and Clark providing some good assistance to the defense.

Here is how I would do it though:







I am not saying this is the only way I could do it, but I do believe it is a strong lineup. I also considered putting Donovan in the middle and Adu outside, or Donovan up top and Dempsey on the wing.

The biggest difference is my inclusion of Altidore and Adu in the starting lineup. Neither has ever played against Mexico, and they need to start getting experience in intense matches like tomorrow’s if they are going to be the team’s future playmakers. Also, although I like Moor and Edu, I think they would both better serve the team by coming off the bench tomorrow.

Of course, since Bradley favors the a 4 man defensive line and would likely never play three forwards, we will likely never get to see my roster.

In any event, the U.S. will need to play well to beat El Tri tomorrow night. The Mexicans are hungry to avenge their recent losses and will likely do so unless the U.S. plays physical, attacking soccer.