You know what? For a couple of days there I was actually feeling a bit guilty about choosing to watch a DC United league match Saturday night instead of a tournament elimination game for the national team (way to go, scheduling homunculi!). But then we started sending out best players home. Bye, bye Benny! Auf Wiedersehen, Dolo! And now we bid adieu to Charlie Davies after a long, hard summer's work...
So what now? Who goes with Ching up top against Panama? Evidence from Panama's match against Mexico (and, presumably, Guadaloupe--it does seem to be their specialty) suggests we blitz their defense on the quick counter. Ching? Quick? Okay, let's look elsewhere. Davies? Oh yeah...that France thing. So that leaves SuperCoop and couple of those middy/forward hybrid models in Quaranta and Arnaud.
Ach! My kingdom for a forward with pace!
So, Bob, what's the plan?
I'm pretty much onboard with Goodson + Marshall in the middle, Pearce on the left, and Perkins in goal, but what about the right? Mr. Evans...come on down! You're the next contestant on Convert-a-midfielder!
Midfield and attack? We'll probably get Holden and Rogers wide with Beckerman and Pause holding behind a front line of Arnaud and Ching.
How's about trying that 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 thingy out again, Bob? Same back line as before, but Beckerman and Pause destroying and dishing to Quaranta wide right, Rogers wide left, and Holden through the middle in support of his Dynamo teammate, Ching. (Alternatively, swap Holden and Quaranta.)
Whatever. How am I supposed to take this thing seriously when you're entering the knockout stages of a competition with five freakin' defenders and two "pure" forwards (though Cooper does tend to drift onto the wing, usually the left one, exactly where Rogers should be doing his thing...argh!)?
Of course, we do still have options just a phone call away. Not brilliant options on the whole, but Altidore wouldn't be a bad one...