Tag Archives: Carlos Bocanegra
Jurgen hasn’t announced his rosters, and neither has de la Torre. It’s expected that much of the Mexican roster will come from the Olympic squad which is currently making a run at the Gold Medal. Unfortunately Jurgen doesn’t have that luxury and will not be able to call in new names who have shown well in a high level international competition. Instead it seems he will have to call in as many regulars as possible for a match at Azteca stadium, one of the most notoriously difficult stadiums for any team to play in. It’s well noted that the USMNT has never won a game at Azteca and it seems odd that the FMF would give them any more opportunities to do so, and shake a bit of the lore off of it, in something as unimportant as an August friendly. Then again these decisions always seem to come down to many anyway.
Any expected roster for a match of this level will surely involve every piece of the central core of the team who is available. As it is a FIFA date, that should be everyone, but I wouldn’t count on recent transfers coming in. Jurgen has shown a preference to let players settle in with clubs. That would likely mean Michael Bradley will be staying in Italy and Terrence Boyd will be staying in Vienna, along with any of the other USMNT regulars who may be looking for transfers (Dempsey, Bocanegra and Edu.) So that throws a bit of a wrench into the plan of calling in all the regulars.
GK: Howard, Guzan, (I expect Guzan to actually get substantial minutes as he’s the back-up for the rest of WCQ and could use a little just-in-case time with the team) Hamid (Many are calling for NYRB Meara, but if he’s losing his starting spot for club I don’t see why you call him in for this. Johnson and Rimando both make more sense with more sustained succcess)
D: Goodson(surprising he’s the first name in but I had CBs on the mind and he’s the only one we can really count on at all) Cherundolo, Lichaj(shocked he wasn’t called for WCQ), Johnson, Bocanegra (Because he’s about the only player who hasn’t commited to leaving Rangers yet), Parkhurst, (cause I don’t want Onyewu in camp again, he showed poorly since he came back from injury) Chandler (Yes I think he’s one of the best player’s in the pool so I will give him a call until he says no firmly. Many suggest waiting till qualifying, and I’m sure Jurgen knows the situation and will handle it in an appropriate way)
M:Jones, Beckerman, Edu, (I see these three starting with Bradley left in Rome.) Kljestan(although if he couldn’t get a call for WCQ why would he get one now that he’s not starting. He is scoring in UCL), Torres, Dempsey (unless of course he gets his transfer), D.Williams, Corona,(almost entirely because the space left by Bradley is gaping. I’m not sure Corona gets a call for a full strength game. He didn’t get any minutes in WCQ, but that’s not exactly unexpected. I think he sticks around like Jurgen has shown he likes to do with newly integrated players.)
F:Gomez, Altidore(even though Alkmaar may not be willing to give him up), Donovan, Young MLS Player To Be Named Later (Probably one of the younger players in the pool, I expect this to go to an MLS standout,not an Eddie Johnson or Kenny Cooper. Wondo is the only older MLS player whos really earned a look and I’m reluctant to even give him that.), Wondolowski (I hate giving it to him, I already feel like he’s to old to be playing for the USMNT, but his pace in MLS is so high that you have to call him in and see if you can make it work. Gomez did and has almost cemented the starting spot, so give him a bit more time. I don’t want him to take time from a younger player, but there’s not a clear player he’s taking time from.)
and for those who don’t want to read my ramblings
GK: Howard, Guzan Hamid
D: Goodson, Cherundolo, Lichaj, Johnson, Bocanegra, Parkhurst, Chandler
M: Jones, Beckerman, Edu, Kljestan, Torres, Dempsey, D. Williams, Corona,
F: Gomez, Altidore, Donovan, Young MLS PTBNL, Wondolowski
While many have been hoping that Mo Edu and Carlos Bocanegra, not to mention Alejandro Bedoya, would stop playing in the SPL as soon as possible, it has taken quite a long time and a few interesting turns to have them released (Bedoya’s still stuck there though). Edu, Bocanegra and Dorin Goian have been given the “blessing” of the Rangers Newco owners to leave the fourth division Scottish club. Each of the players are at very different points in their career and will likely have very different options available to them.
Carlos Bocanegra is largely expected to come home to MLS this summer, most likely joining former USMNT CB Jay Demerit in Vancouver.(Edit: As Pat mentioned in the comments I somehow forgot that Vancouver lost their allocation spot in the Union’s Soumare deal. Therefore it would be New England at the top of the allocation order instead of Vancouver with first dibs on him. I’d say its more likely New England trades the spot, than takes him, but of course that’s assuming Bocanegra wants to come back to MLS already anyway.) The odds of this happening seem fairly high, but maybe I’ve just heard too much of it recently. Other teams have also expressed interest in Bocanegra’s services in the defensive third. Greek club Olympiakos, which has a decent shot at Champions League has expressed interest and it has been assumed that clubs in France and England would have a look at him too. Bocanegra confirmed his interest in retunring to MLS at some vague time in the future, about a week and a half ago while playing softball in Kansas City.
Maurice Edu also has an expected club, although these rumors are a bit more recent and a bit more haughty. The latest rumors have Edu moving to Valencia C.F. where he would likely have to replace David Albelda who is a local boy and has been the captain of Valencia for nearly a decade to earn a starting spot. While it’d be great to see Edu move to one of the top mid-table teams in La Liga, if he’s rotting on the bench he may as well be better of playing in Scottish lower divisions. This transfer makes sense both for Edu, to move to a club which will likely be playing Champions League soccer, and for Valencia, who are a bit cash-strapped themselves and will likely get Edu on a free transfer. It would also mean another step forward for U.S. players in general. With Michael Bradley joining A.S. Roma, Americans are being welcomed into the more prestigious clubs. Again if neither of them starts this year neither deal even merits a mention, but if they do these could be two of the most substantial transfer in USMNT history.
To bring things back into perspective Edu also has sparked interest from Turkey, Bursaspor and Trazbonspor have both expressed interest. Even if not Valencia, and not Champions League quality, the Turkish league is substantially ahead of the SPL. While Bocanegra could potentially bring fans out in MLS and Edu could have a great Champions League run with Valencia, pretty much wherever they end up is better than them playing another season in Scotland.
Carlos Bocanegra, presuming he gets a cap against Slovenia will join the USMNT century club. He’s sitting at 99 now and will be the 11th player to reach 100 caps for the team, which is (according to wikipedia) more than any other national team. The other USMNT players with a hundred caps or more are…
Presumably by tomorrow night Captain Carlos will have his name etched onto that list.
To celebrate, here’s Carlo’s Bocanegra summing up his perfect dinner party for anyone interested in throwing him one for reaching the honor.
So everybody’s putting out line-ups right about now and I really don’t know how to handle that. I’ve been looking for a way to sum up in a simple formation what I expect Jurgen to do. I can’t I can tell you the 11 players I expect to start though and I guess we can go from there.
1. Tim Howard-obviously we need a keeper and he’s the one that’ll start. Although I’d really like to see Hamid get some minutes, he shouldn’t get them against France
2/3. Steve Cherundolo/Timmy Chandler- A given at right back for this team until someone really steps up at left back. Until we see someone other than Chandler who can hold down the left spot this is it. Chandler will eventually take over Dolo’s spot on the right, but not until they fill the hole on the left.
4.Carlos Bocanegra- He’s the captain and we’re not going into the game without him. The interesting thing for me is that I think his spot is much more up for competition than the other CB spot.
5.Michael Orozco Fiscal- Jurgen is doing something very specific by giving this spot to Fiscal and later subbing him out for Ream. I was personally shocked when I saw that he put both Onyewu and Bocanegra on the field at the same time. Fiscal and Ream have been getting called in because they play a totally different role from Onyewu, Bocanegra and Goodson. Those three might be the better defenders, but Fiscal fills the role better. The only issue with that is, with Ream being out the only real backup I can think of here is the newcomer Alfredo Morales who reportedly can play CB and would seem to not be the hulking style of player that Bocanegra, Onyewu and Goodson are.
6.Kyle Beckerman- Everyone thinks Beckerman does nothing and doesn’t do it particularly well, but there’s a reason that Jurgen keeps putting him in this spot. The deep lying holding midfield who starts the attack from the back is an important part of what he is trying to do. Beckerman might not be Makelele but he fits the same role and gets a lot of the exact same complaints from critics. Beckerman may not be the best player but he’s the best at that position. Edu may be a better defender but his passing isn’t quite there. Bradley may be appealing to some, but he’s very much a box to box midfielder. the only other player I’d be particularly interested in seeing in this role would be Danny Williams. I haven’t seen much of him at Hoffenheim, but from what I have he looks to have the qualities required to play this position pretty well. Although I still think Beckerman has done well.
Landon Donovan-Honestly the hardest spot to judge what might happen. It’s Landon’s spot ultimately because he has no real competition. There’s a reason that Robbie Rogers and Danny Williams have both gotten time there since Jurgen joined the team. There’s not a ton of depth on the wings. I’d assume that we might see one of those two out there again although it’s equally possible that Shea or Run DMB get the start there. If I had to hazard a guess (which i guess I really set myself up to do) I’d go with DaMarcus Beasley, but it could really be anyone.
8.Michael Bradley- I don’t see either Bradley or Edu owning this spot if everyone’s healthy, but I think this is the spot they’re fighting for now as they’re both vaguely box-to-box players and that will fill this spot well enough. With a full roster this is probably Stuart Holden’s spot(assuming he comes back where he left off), but that won’t be for a while. If not him I’d give it to Jose Torres(assuming he comes back where he left off) but that won’t be for a while either.
9. Jozy Altidore- He’s looked better and better playing back to goal since he’s started playing alone consistently for the Nats. I’m not in love with him either, but I don’t see much of a better option. The only real thought I have on strikers is that Gomez should get a chance to prove he’s not the one. I definitely see Altidore on the field, but where is a question. I think we might be better suited to have Dempsey play back to goal and have Altidore a step deeper playing where he can face the net and pepper shots rather than worrying about the distribution.
10. Clint Dempsey-The only player on the team who really doesn’t have a potential sub. I may not have mentioned other’, but Howard could be subbed for Hamid, Altidore could be subbed for Buddle, everyone else could come off for a worse player but with no huge loss to the formation. Who would really be able to fill in for Dempsey? Fabian Johnson would probably be the only player who even qualifies as the same position. Any issue with Dempsey means that either Landon fills his spot or we start playing with a second striker. He is given this kind of free reign in the middle of the park for a reason. Landon Donovan is not the best player on this team any more and the transition to Klinsmann has only made that more apparent (although getting the best two on the field together sometime soon would be nice(and Torres and Holden too?)).
11.Brek Shea- The one and only, the man who single handedly drives this blog. Really 90% of my traffic comes from pictures of his goofy hairstyles. He’s the best wing we’ve had since DMB was young. A few months ago I thought that Timmy Chandler would be the best player for the USMNT in 2014, but the more I see of Brek Shea the more I reconsider. They both have great promise and should absolutely be a key factor in the teams success for a long time.
I see them lining up in somewhat of a 4-3-3 or a 4-1-3-2 depending on how Brek Shea is feeling and whether or not we have the ball.
*Altidore and Shea would be a lot closer than this might make it look but Dempsey would be floating in between the two levels to play basically wherever he wants.
If you were still waiting on having an American be considered the best player on one of the most respected teams in a top European League, wait no longer. Carlos Bocanegra was named player of the month for October by RangersMedia. He won by a pretty substantial margin picking up 55% of the vote with second being Steven Naismith with 17%
Most interesting though is this bit “to focus his defensive excellence alone is to ignore the ease at which Bocanegra distributes the ball from the back…. This was illustrated none better than a fortnight ago, when it was Bocanegra’s pinpoint 45 yard pass that allowed Jelavic to score in a 2-0 win against Hearts at Tynecastle.” I can’t say I’ve ever thought of Bocanegra as a great distributor, (and still don’t) but he is a bit better than we sometimes give him credit for.
Of course MLS is a better league than the SPL. I honestly had serious trouble deciding whether or not to call the SPL a “top European League,” but I figured its still the best in Scotland so it counts.
Either way good for Carlos.
Of course the entire attack went at Bornstein when he came in. Mexico knew he was the weak point and challenged him the whole game. Cherundolo has stopped everything in fornt of him all tournament. Yes losing Cherundolo was bad and definitely hurt the US chances despite the fact that they were up 2-0. Anyone who has seen this team for the last few years should’ve known the blowout was no longer called for as soon as Cherundolo went down. Of course other players didn’t play up to the standard they had set (Lichaj, Jones etc.) And yes Bob probably shouldn’t have brought Bornstein on. Bornstein probably shouldn’t have even been on the roster, and if Timmy Chandler had been willing to accept an invitation that, from what I have read, was sent out, we might not be having this conversation. Spector could’ve come in. Whitbread could’ve been on the roster. But they key here is that Bornstein is not a long term part of this team and his faults are not something we should get too concerned about. There is a fresh batch of youth on his tail and will be filling his spot before the next major tournament. Missing out on the Confederations Cup isn’t the best, but we grew a lot in this tournament. Ale Bedoya really showed up and earned a starting spot. Sacha Klejstan showed up and showed more consistent (although not all the way consistent) flashes of being a very useful player for this team.
At the moment our probable starting roster for the next period includes lots of players who weren’t in for the majority of the Mexico match. Not to say that injuries are an excuse, but they are a reason that makes this a loss thats not too hard to swallow. Jozy will come back, Cherundolo will come back, Stu Holden will come back. On top of that Timmy Chandler will be added into the mix and I fully expect him to start within a very short amount of time. (To be honest I think he may be on of the most talented player on the roster in not too long. I can’t say I expect him to surpass Donovan, Dempsey and Howard but I expect him to be that caliber of player quickly and debatably more ) Agudelo, Ream and Adu, who all showed flashes during this tournament will likely grow into better players. Jermaine Jones and Eric Lichaj have both looked better in every match then they did the one before (excluding the final where they both showed a slight step back against a much better team then they had been facing.) Mexico was the better team yesterday, but not by much and we’ve got a pretty significant band of reinforcements coming tomorrow.
Ultimately our starting roster looks a lot like this long term, with everyone available, and potential subs at those position in parenth.eses
Donovan Dempsey Holden (Adu, Bedoya Klejstan, Chandler)
Bradley Jones (Edu, Chandler)
Lichaj, Bocanegra, Goodson, Cherundolo (Chandler, Ream)
Three of those starters didn’t finish and an injury happened to come at our Achilles heel of outside back. We have no depth there at the moment and will need a bit more to sustain competitiveness in these kinds of tournaments. We can do it though. This wasn’t our best showing, but it gave us a lot to be exited for. Dempsey proved himself to be even better than I remembered. Altidore started looking back where he was before. Agudelo showed more consistent flashes when he was in. Bedoya established himself as acceptable. Jones established himself as good. And Freddy Adu showed up. Least interesting of all, we learned that Johnny Bornstein is bad.
Basically that line uttered by Kanye summed up both last weeks Union game and the US-Guadeloupe game. Both the Union and the Nats could have scored almost 5 goals if they put away the chances they should’ve. Each team scored only one and the Union managed only a tie. Of course for the US a win is a win and pushes them on the face Jamaica tomorrow, but for the Union they only got a tie out of what looked like an easy win in the first half. A very arguable foul on the goal by Espindola of Salt Lake is what brought the game back even, but the Union were the better team by far. Very disappointing considering the performance but as many have told me, if you offered me a 1-1 tie with Salt Lake before the game I would’ve taken it. I think everyone is really starting to believe this team will do more than back into the playoffs.
Whether Carlos Ruiz stays or not I think is really insignificant for this team. Ruiz has been the lead scorer for this team, but Mwanga is stepping into that role quite comfortably while Jack is stepping right up behind him and Seba (who has been playing great) will surely put a few in between now and the end of the season. Really it would only be putting Jack back into the first-choice sub role he played last year. He’s been a step deeper on the chart as Mwanga has been seen starting many more games from the bench. Ruiz stepped in front of everyone at the start of the season, but I can’t wholeheartedly say hes played all that much better than Mwanga. The drop-off if Ruiz does end up in Mexico is not as great as some might fear. All it means is Jack is back.
The US played terribly against Panama so it was nice to at least see them look like they had touched a ball before against Guadeloupe, obviously Ream and Agudelo didn’t start. It made sense to put in Lichaj and he showed us just why. Putting in Wondolowski is a different thing entirely. My vote for last weeks formation is what I expect to come out this week.
Altidore hasn’t been the best in this formation, he’s not the greatest as a lone striker, but I think its more valuable to get Bedoya in and take Wondolowski off. Bedoya probably comes out for Klejstan later in the game and Edu comes on for either Jones or Bradley hopefully. I have always thought that the best idea is to put the team in this kind of formation. Dempsey is great from outside but neither Dempsey or Donovan provides real width on either side. I know its been used before and didn’t work out too well for us. Optimally I would have Stu Holden in Dempseys spot and Dempsey in Altidores with Timmy Chandler(pending that he stays at his current level) on replacing Bedoya. I really think this is the formation we end up with for ’14 so I’m just hoping for an early adoption.
Tonight is Vancouver which is hopefully much easier than Colorado or Salt Lake and turns up a W. Then comes Jamaica tomorrow which I see being a very good game. The US needs to turn things around and start finishing. Putting Lichaj in takes away worries about Bocanegras speed on the wings which would’ve been a real problem against a very fast Jamaica team. Hopefully two W’s this weekend.
So as we all know the Gold Cup has officially started and the USA’s first game is tomorrow night against Canada. Bob Bradley has officially locked in his roster with Ale Bedoya replacing Benny Feilhaber. The next question of course is who in that lineup gets meaningful time on the field? Well here’s my answer based on my view of what Bob believes.
Deuce Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra and Timmy Howard all get the obvious starts. These have been the most important players for the US through the last cycle and will all likely be huge players when it comes to the next World Cup. As far as formation this doesn’t really decide anything but it will matter later so here is what I see Bob doing with these four and what I would like him to do with them (in parentheses.)
We know that our three defensive mids are three of the top eleven players on the team. We also know, and hope that Bob does too, that all three of them can’t be on the field at the same time. We all assume that Bob will go with Michael because he has the most experience with the team and has shown that he can play with them at a higher level than either of the other two. Personally I believe that Jones and Edu are both slightly better than Bradley but also slightly more defensive than Bradley. For me putting Bradley on the field is more about tactics than saying he is better than whoever sits. I hope to see Edu start alongside him but I have a suspicion Bob might go with Jones although I imagine they’ll split time pretty evenly.
The next question about these guys is where they go. I hated seeing the team in a 4-4-2. It simply doesn’t suit getting our best players on the field and doesn’t allow for the best team to take the field. My biggest problem with it is that, with the lineup we currently have, there is no player creating things from the middle of the field. The closest we would have is Bradley who has done so before for us, but we have players who are much more capable of this obviously the best option here is Stuart Holden but he’s out with an injury. After missing the World Cup and the Gold Cup I can’t wait to see Holden play to his potential in a big-time tournament. I, along with many others like Dempsey in the middle to fill his spot rather then going back to a 4-4-2. Although I still think Bob will go back to the 4-4-2 for the Gold Cup and count on Michael to create the attack.
Filling out the D
One would assume that neither Ream or Lichaj would start given the minutes they got against Spain but I’m not taking that into account as this is more of a “first team” for the Gold Cup rather than starters for Tuesday. I still doubt Bob starts either of them although I think they both could play their way onto the roster. I also fully expect Cherundolo to start at RB although the only reason I’d say he’s not a lock is because of his age and the fact that we really need some new faces along the back line. I expect him to start this Gold Cup but he’s not really the best option for four years from now so I’d rather start looking too soon than too late.
I fully expect Bradley to pick Onyewu for the start even though he hasn’t played well for club or country recently. I’d be much more interested in Onyewu taking a spot on the outside than seeing him in the center. I’d just rather see younger faces back there. The guys we had proved they couldn’t cut it in their primes. What makes us think they’ll be better four years later? That’s why I have Clarence Goodson. I think he’s better now and definitely better for the future.
I doubt Bradley puts Lichaj in despite the fact that he was one of the best players we put on the field in the first half against Spain. He earned it for me but I still think Bob is too invested in his guys to give up the spot. Spector gets it although I think Lichaj earns it sooner rather then later.
Filling out the O
Here are the questions I’m personally more interested in. I think Bob probably sticks with Jozy Altidore and Juan Agudelo up top. If he’s sticking with a 4-4-2 its the only real option he’s got, but if he were to try out the 4-2-3-1 formation they’ve used recently he might get a more interesting team. Obviously Juan or Jozy has to stay in as a striker. I probably have them split time pretty evenly, with Juan being a bit of a second but coming in to nearly every game. The kid is talented and really the game against Spain was the best all-around game I’ve seen from him in the Red, White and Blue. No he didn’t score and didn’t create any particularly enticing chances, but he was there with Pique and Ramos and whoever else was on him every minute he was in and kept with them. He held his own and looked very confident on the ball. Spain was better and the ball rarely got to him and he lost it too often (of course taking into account it was Spain makes this whole loss look a lot better.) I’ll say Jozy for now but I also acknowledge he may be on his last legs for now. Juan’s making a run and unless he starts lighting things up its Juans job to grab.
I’d probably put Bedoya on the wing out of the players that Bradley called up. Then again this is my blog so I can do whatever I want. If I were running the USMNT I would send Robbie Rogers home and bring in Timmy Chandler. Bedoya’s not a bad choice, considering the circumstances but I really can’t explain how much I want to see Timmy Chandler on the field.
Sidenote:Although I totally understand the idea of Chandler staying home for rest. This has been a very active season for him. It makes sense, but I still wanted to see him play. If he can play as well as he did in the Paraguay and Argentina friendlies he may be the most exciting addition to this team in a long while. I grew up playing a position like his so I have a bit of a bias (hooray transparency!), but I’ve always thought defenders who can attack are the most exciting players in the game. I’d love to have him playing at fullback, but the way he played in front of Lichaj against Paraguay makes me more interested to see what they can do together when he’s on that wing. Ultimately I’d like to see him play at left back with Dempsey in front of him and Stuart Holden in the middle, but with injuries that’s not possible just yet.
Although we all immediately heard about Stuart Holden’s injury, Carlos Bocanegra was injured in St. Ettiene’s game against FC Lorient. It appears that his injury is much less severe and that he will still train with the USMNT in Cary this week although his playing time may be limited. So far it is being called a minor calf injury, but I haven’t been able to find any information on how long he is expected to be out or the extent of the injury.
A few recent American transfers have been headline news over the last few days and weeks, but it may come as a surprise that nearly half of the entire 2010 USMNT World Cup roster will be playing for different teams than they were last season. Of course what this means for the USMNT isn’t much. A lot of players move during the transfer window, and while many of them were American they all moved for different reasons. Some moved up because they deserved it, some moved down because they deserved it. Some gained playing time, some moved to different leagues. A few came home, a few went to Europe. The situation for each player is different, but here is a list of the 11 USMNT players who moved teams since the end of the World Cup in no particular order.
1 Carlos Bocanegra from Rennais to St. Etienne
2 Michael Bradley from Borussia Monchengladbach to Aston Villa
3 Oguchi Onyewu from A.C. Milan to F.C. Twente
4 DaMarcus Beasley from Rangers to Hannover 96
5 Jonathon Bornstein from Chivas USA to Tigres
6 Edson Buddle from L.A. Galaxy to Ingolstadt
7 Jay Demerit from Watford to Vancouver Whitecaps
8 Jozy Altidore from Villareal to Bursaspor
9 Brad Guzan from Aston Villa to Hull City (this says one month but its been extended since
10 Robbie Findley from Real Salt Lake to Nottingham Forest
11 Clarence Goodson from IK Start to Brondby