USA vs Mexico preview
|Here's the roster:|
G-Hahnemann, Keller, Reis
D-Albright, Berhalter, Bocanegra, Conrad, Hejduk, Marshall, Onyewu, Vanney
M-Armas, Beasley, Convey, Dempsey, Lewis, Mapp, Mastroeni, Quaranta, Ralston, Reyna
F-Cunningham, Donovan, Johnson, McBride, Twellman
26 guys. If we win this game, we could be seeing a completely different lineup for Guatemala next Wednesday. But for this game, Onyewu is a sure starter in defense. Hejduk should start at RB, although Bruce loves Albright. But he also loves experience. Berhalter or Bocanegra should start alongside Onyewu. Vanney could start at LB, but Bocanegra is a better choice. So I guess that means Berhalter again will pair with Onyewu. That's probably better, since they've played a few games together.
EDIT: Vanney was one of five players sent back to their MLS teams, along with Reis, Marshall, Dempsey, and Mapp. So unless Bruce goes with Hejduk on the left, I would say Boca's the guy. Surely he wouldn't go with Lewis against Mexico.
I expect to see the same formation as last month against Trinidad. O'Brien is out, so Armas will probably step in. I would say Mastroeni, but I don't know if he's completely fit to go 90 minutes in an international. Convey is suspended, so Lewis will get the spot if Beasley can't go 90. Ralston and Reyna fill out the midfield. If Bruce plays Donovan in the midfield, I guess Ralston would be the guy who gets left out.
Donovan and McBride again up top. Johnson hasn't impressed since returning from injury. Missed an easy chance against Chivas on Saturday. He may be a factor off the bench. The same goes for Twellman, who has played very well recently and seems to be ahead of Cunningham in Bruce's eyes. Jeff probably won't make the bench with those guys on it.
We should beat Mexico at home. A draw wouldn't be a huge surprise, but in that stadium, in this country, a draw would be a huge disappointment. Mexico is without Pardo and Blanco, and for all their chances, nearly lost the lead against us in Azteca. Let's do this thing, and book our ticket to Germany.
Prediction: USA 2-0 Mexico