Tonight’s exhibition game against the Czech Republic looked like a soccer match. It played like a soccer match. But it wasn’t.
In reality, the loss served more as an incubator for fringe starters and players on the bubble than a legitimately contested match. But it also underscored the impact of continued injuries plaguing the starting U.S. squad, namely the lackluster play of Oguchi Onyewu.
That said, here’s what I learned from the match:
- Clarence Goodson should start for team USA. He’s not perfect, particularly on the ground, but he’s scrappy, and plays like a young kid with a chip on his shoulder. At this point, I think he should start alongside Boca and Spector for sure, with the remaining spot still up for grabs.
- Onyewu isn’t match fit, nor do I expect him to be for at lest another couple of weeks. As if we didn’t need him already. I’m at a loss at who else should start, although DeMerrit seems to be the popular choice, even though he’s lacking in skill.
- Jonathon Bornstein should be cut from the team. He was and still is a huge liability on defense.
- Hercules Gomez deserves playing time as a forward. So does Ching. But I’m still not convinced either should start alongside Altidore, so my hope remains in this formation.
- Jose Torres is as worthy sub, but not a starter. Not sure if Edu should start now either, despite his cleanup goal, although I originally thought he should.
- Stuart Holden should start at midfield opposite of Donovan.