Friday, November 30, 2007

Who Replaces Beasley?

DaMarcus Beasley’s injury for Rangers in this week’s Champions League action open the door for several left footed players in the US National Team setup while Beasley is nursing his injury over the next several months.

Eric Wynalda pointed out on CSRN’s “Around the League” this week that during the during the qualification process it is beneficial to have veteran players in the squad who can handle hostile atmospheres and understand the critical nature of getting a result. That would lead me to believe Eddie Lewis should be the first choice replacement for Beasley, but some other potential replacements are available.

¦ Eddie Lewis (Derby County)

A veteran of two World Cups, and a Confederations Cup in 1999 if the obvious replacement. Lewis won’t be around in World Cup 2010 but his pace is still there and his crossing ability is the best of any active National Team player pool member.

¦ Bobby Convey (Reading)

Always seemingly injured, Convey’s skill and confidence seem to have regressed in the past. Time is running out on Convey though he is still only 24.

¦ Brad Davis

He hasn’t been capped since scoring the winning PK in the Gold Cup final in 2005. Davis is a nice player on the MLS level but he isn’t international quality.

¦ Justin Mapp (Chicago)

Plagued by injuries and inconsistency, Mapp is a natural left footed players whose skill set is well suited for international play. Mapp however no longer seems like the best young option out wide on the left thanks to the names below him on this list.

¦ Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas)

Steve Morrow moved him wide to the right this year due to the signing of Juan Toja where he flourished. Still he’s a left footer who could do well on the left flank for the US National Team

¦ Stuart Holden

The Scottish born Holden signed with Sunderland a few years back before he was mugged in Newcastle. He returned home to Houston and has flourished on the left side this year with the Dynamo. At 22, he may not be ready yet to fill the shoes of Beasley and Lewis but now is the time to get him some work in friendlies.