Copa Dope - Bobby & Ben Homeward Bound

Now I'm not saying that Mexico deliberately played for the draw in their 0-0 snoozer with Chile, but they sure weren't trying terribly hard to win the game, were they? Now, you can say that they ran out the reserves and played a cautious game to guarantee first place in their group, but if the Soccer Gods are kind, they'll deliver a Paraguay-Argentina draw tomorrow night so that the Mexicans wind up facing Argentina for their (lack of) efforts.

As a consequence of Mexico's draw and Brazil's 1-0 victory over Ecuador, the US has nothing left to play for but pride against Colombia as the final escape hatch open to a top third-place side slams shut. So now Bradley has an interesting dilemma. Do you put out your best side and look to garner a little respect or are you cold and calculating and give everybody on the roster a shot so you can make a complete evaluation of the players at your disposal, thus increasing the risk of a loss and an ignominious last place finish in the Copa?

Not that anybody is asking, but I'd go for the win, but mix in a few new faces while doing so. The midfield that faced Paraguay was looking strong in possession and I'd send them out again with Mapp coming on in the second half to run at tired defenders and maybe Beckerman on for a forward if we're looking to preserve a lead. I'd put Davies and Johnson up front for maximum pace and look for that midfield to pass it about, probing for the incisive through ball, possibly bringing on Gomez in the second half to launch a few rockets at goal. Defensively, I think you've gotten all you're going to get from Bornstein this summer, so give Pearce a shot at left back. The other three were good against Paraguay, so send them out again assuming DeMerit is healthy. If he's not, give Boswell a chance. Finally, you pretty much have to blood Guzan. You know what you get from Keller and he's been less than stellar in the first two matches, so give the kid a shot and see what he can do.



  1. Well, I did put in there that he should get a shot if DeMerit can't go. Guess we found out that Bob was leaning towards the "give everybody a shot" side of the fence, and paid the price for it.