Follow us on Twitter: @soccer_subj

March 28, 2011

USA vs. Paraguay: Preview

USA vs. Paraguay Preview

The United States men's national team will be looking for a result tomorrow in Nashville when they host 2010 World Cup quarterfinalist Paraguay. There has been some satisfaction after the draw against Argentina this weekend, but on Tuesday the U.S. supporters will be looking for a win against a strong Paraguayan side.

The U.S. will likely start the game in a 4-4-2 formation, dropping the triangle of center-mids for two box-to-box midfielders and adding another forward for additional firepower. The South Americans should line up in a similar formation as the United States, opting for 2 frontmen since star-man Roque Santa Cruz isn't traveling with the team. They could use a 4-3-3 in order to put added pressure on the U.S. back line.

Coach Bradley should give recently-capped youngsters Timmy Chandler and Juan Agudelo their first starts tomorrow night. Chandler impressed at right-back after coming on for Jonathan Spector in the 2nd half on Saturday. He is more of an attack-minded rightback than anyone in the current U.S. set-up, and uses his speed and crossing ability well in order to supplement the attack. Agudelo has scored 2 goals and drew a penalty in his first three games for the Nats; surely that is good enough form for Bradley to give the 18 year old a start alongside Altidore.

Paraguay is a well organized side with strong center backs (da Silva) and an experienced goalkeeper in Villar. They will be dangerous offensively, and will threaten the U.S. if we are left exposed for a counterattack. Look for Christian Riveros to be a goal-scoring threat out of the midfield (12 goals in 59 caps). The Paraguayans are accustomed to a high level of competition; any team that qualifies for the World Cup from CONMEBOL (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, etc.) will offer a significant test.

Paraguay 21-man roster for March 2011 friendlies:

GKs: Justo Villar (Valladolid, Spain), Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño, Paraguay).

Defense: Víctor Hugo Marecos (Brescia, Italy), Marcos Cáceres (Racing, Argentina), Paulo da Silva (Zaragoza, Spain), Antolín Alcaraz (Wigan, EPL), Miguel Samudio (Libertad, Paraguay), Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo, Argentina) y Darío Verón (Pumas, Mexico)

Midfield: Edgar Barreto (Atalanta, Italy), Osmar Molinas (Olimpia, Paraguay), Marcos Riveros (Nacional, Paraguay), Cristian Riveros (Sunderland, EPL), Enrique Vera (Liga de Quito, Ecuador), Hernán Pérez, (Villareal, Spain), Néstor Ortigoza (San Lorenzo, Argentina), Marcelo Estigarribia (Newell's, Argentina)

Forwards: Osvaldo Martínez (Monterrey, Mexico), Oscar Cardozo (Benfica, Portugal), Edgar Benítez (Pachuca, Mexico), Lucas Barrios (Borussia Dortmund, Germany)

Notes: Paraguay has brought a strong team to play Mexico and the U.S. There are 13 2010 World Cup veterans on this roster. Below is the side that was worked over by Mexico 3-1 in California on Saturday.

U.S. 24-man roster for March 2011 friendlies:

GKs: Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England), David Yelldell (Duisburg, Germany)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne, France), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres, Mexico), Timothy Chandler (Nuremberg, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver), Oguchi Onyewu (Twente, Netherlands), Tim Ream (New York), Jonathan Spector (West Ham, England), Zak Whitbread (Norwich, England)

Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Aston Villa, England), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Mixx Diskerud (Stabaek, Norway), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus, Denmark), Stuart Holden (Bolton, England), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn, England), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium)

Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor, Turkey), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt, Germany)

Notes: Zak Whitbread, Steve Cherundolo, and Edson Buddle have reported back to their respective clubs. Bradley will choose 18 for the roster tomorrow.

(#1) Who should start:

Add another striker (Agudelo), who's played well. Subtract Jones from the lineup in lieu of Bradley and Edu, who played better Saturday. Trade Tim Ream for Onyewu, whose composure and ability to pass from the back will add to the line-up.

(#2) Another option:

Coach Bradley may keep a 4-4-2 while resting a few starters from Saturday's game. I can see him swapping Bornstein for Bocanegra, while trying Jones and Edu together. In my mind, the central midfield is a crapshoot, though I still see him staying with Edu and Bradley. It is also possible that he gives Onyewu another game starting with Demerit, or swaps Ream for Demerit.

(#3) Purely speculative (kicks and giggles):

Try Jones and Edu together. Subtract Bradley, just to see how it works. Add Chandler in advanced role on the right, replacing him at RB with Lichaj. Shift Dempsey over as a withdrawn striker, with Altidore leading the attack. You can change out of this formation at the half (like we did vs. Argentina--back to a 4-4-2), and add Dempsey or Agudelo as a second forward.

UPDATED: Tim Ream isn't supposed to start tomorrow night, and Onyewu didn't train today and is questionable for tomorrow (source: Ives Galarcep). If all of this is true, there are only a few possibilities for the U.S. back four: (1) Bornstein, Bocanegra, Demerit, Chandler and (2) Bocanegra, Spector, Demerit, Chandler. Bradley has used Edu as a center back in a pinch, so I wouldn't rule that out: (3) Bocanegra, Edu, Demerit, Chandler.

UPDATED: Feilhaber hasn't been training, either. He is doubtful to make the roster today.

No comments:

Post a Comment