Bob “Skeletor” Bradley made quite a name for himself a summer back in the Confederations Cup willing the Stars and Stripes to a Cup finals 3-2 loss to Brazil. And the general has his own son to thank for strong play in the midfield too. Bradley managed to win his CONCACAF division this WCQ and the coach has his eyes on the prize this summer. The Yanks are coming.
The Plan of Attack:
The US plays a fairly straight forward classic version of the 4-4-2 with Landon Donovan finally comfortable settling into his midfield/winger position. Clint Dempsey makes up a formidable duo on the other wing and Jozy Altidore will be looked to make come big runs for the Yanks up top. Center back Onyewu and keeper Howard make up a respectable defense.
The Key Troops:
Donovan, Dempsey, and Altidore make up the Yank’s three headed monster on attack and all three played considerable minutes in the EPL this season. Michael Bradley anchors the midfield unit in the middle and will likely be joined by the likes of Ricardo Clark, Feilhaber, or Torres. On defense center back Oguchi Onyewu looks to make it back in time from that knee injury and he will play alongside Carlos Bocanegra. Timmy Howard is the side’s talented keeper.
The Yanks are not settling for any less than a semi-final berth this season. Many might ask why not go for it all, but against the top 8 it will be tough to win multiple matches. On the positive side Donovan is basically hitting his prime, the midfield is strong in general, and they have an above average keeper. The Yanks also have an extremely winnable bracket with two teams with only one trip to the World Cup in the last twenty years.
No Charlie Davies spells trouble for the squad considering his contribution in that Confederations Cup run and their lack of depth at the position. Also Gooch and Dempsey missed considerable amount of time this year and their form is in question a bit. The defense also needs some improvement and will likely be outmatched late in the World Cup. But the US should still advance to the second round all things considered.
Final War Movie Rank:
The obvious choice for an epic war movie title for us Yanks is Glory. But I, ironically, actually prefer the title Inglorious Basterds. If the Yanks want to advance deep into the World Cup then they will need to play by their own rules (minus the castrations) much like the Nazi killers of Tarantino’s movie did. As for a bad movie title let’s hope that is not All Quiet on the Western Front this summer. Because that would suck.