Bob Bradley and several American youngsters will face their biggest test on the international scene. Canada has played very well at times in this Gold Cup. They have a solid core of 5 or 6 players and a serviceable supporting cast. Julian de Guzman, Dwayne DeRosario, Paul Stalteri and Atiba Hutchinson are all very experienced and skillful players who have spearheaded Canada's run to the semis. MLS fans have seen how dangerous Dwayne DeRosario can be. Whoever occupies the holding midfield role for the US will need to keep a close eye on DeRosario to make sure he doesn't get enough space to unload his lethal long range shot or turn and run at the center of the American defense. If Onyewu starts, and I think he will, he needs to be extremely careful not incessantly foul. DeRosario is extremely dangerous from set-pieces so American players like Onyewu, Bradley, and Mastroeni must be mindful of that. You also do not want to pick up an early yellow in a game like this as I expect an intense, physical second-half. First and foremost, the United States needs to finish. Goal-scoring chances may not be as easy to come by in this game as they have in a few of the others and it is imperative that they are not wasted. The longer this match goes 0-0, the better it is for the Canadians. The US needs to strike early, establish control of the tempo, and nullify the Candadian midfield, which has looked very good in this tournement.
Once again, this is a test for the United States. Canada has proven to be a dangerous team in this tounrnement and they have one Gold Cup title to thier name (2000). With the solid rest, I expect to see an experienced lineup for the Americans. With only Eddie Johnson not at 100%, Bob Bradley has a plethora of options. Here's what I think he will go with:
Hejduk Bocanegra Onyewu Bornstein
Dempsey Mastroeni Feilhaber Beasley
And a few notes on the lineup.....
Steven Goff of the Washinton Post reported that Keller will start in the nets
I think Bornstein will get the nod at left-back and, if he in fact does, keep a close eye on him. I think he's been a little shaky at times this tournement, but he will have to eb at his best tonight
The combination in the central midfield will be interesting. I like Benny Feilhaber in there because I feel he is a better playmaker than the others. He continues to show that he can grow into a quality #8 or "pivot" (if you're more familiar with Spanish soccer). I see a little John O'Brien in his game. As for the other central midfielder, I'd go with Pablo due to his experience and the fact that he has played pretty well the last two matches. However, I would not be at all surprised to see Bradley in there as well.
Although Twellman missed a handful of decent scoring opportunities agaisnt Panama, I would not be surprised to see him in the lineup again. In a pre-training press-conference yesterday, Bradley stated that he felt that Twellman was unlucky more than anything. If Twellman starts, I expect to see Dempsey up top with him and Landon Donovan on the right. However, we could also see Brian Ching up front. In that case, I would expect to see Donovan up front, who has combined well with Ching, and Dempsey on the right. Although Johnson picked up the knock against Trinidad, he may be ready to return to action tonight so he is a possibility as well.