Here’s my tentative World Cup starting line-up:
Goal: Tim Howard
I think we can all feel really good that, once again, the US brings stellar keeper play to the party. Howard is excellent, and given the sieve-like nature of the defense, he better be.
Defense: Steve Cherundolo on the right, Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra in the middle, and Clarence Goodson on the right.
Cherundolo is an overachiever who gets the most out of what he’s got. The question is whether or not he has enough. Still, given what I’ve seen out of the other candidates for right back, I don’t know who else you’re going to put there. I feel the same way about Goodson on the left and Onyewu in the middle. It’s not so much that they’ve locked down the position, they’re just the best that we have. I feel good about Bocanegra at least.
Midfield: Michael Bradley, Jose Torres, Landon Donovan, Stuart Holden
Bradley will motor through wherever you need to put him, but Torres and Donovan really need to be in the middle to be most effective. I’m not completely sold on Holden, but you’ve got to have somebody on the wing, and it’s unlikely to be Dempsey.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley
I’ve got to admit that I’m vacillating between Findley and Dempsey. I think I start Findley and bring in Dempsey. I dunno. Either way, I wish I had a healthy Davies instead.
Next up: Australia. I will likely revise this list one final time after that game.