First Talk of the Sweden Friendly + Who I’d Play (Ready the Wild Hair!)

While we’re all obsessing over players we barely know (OK, maybe only I am), the little matter of this Saturday’s international friendly between the U.S. Men’s team (viva los Yanquis!) has slipped under the radar.

Fortunately, a couple outlets are pulling it back on-screen today. Sure, there was always USSoccer.com, but that’s a given. An offering from January 14 nailed down a 26-man pool of eligible/present players. And, yeah, there’s the Yanquis’ team blog, but that’s, oh, 80% bum-fluff.

Given that, I was pleased to see the talking-point-friendly article by Nick Green in The Daily Breeze. I’m mainly referring there to mention of players I’d like to see – guys like Dasan Robinson, Marvell Wynne, and Ramiro Corrales – that gets me thinking. Add in the fact that Sweden will likely bring, um, something other than their best team – as revealed in USSoccerplayers.com’s Sweden primer – and this is what I’d trot out by way of a (highly experimental) roster – and let’s do a 4-4-2:

GK: Steve Cronin (what the hell? I’ve never seen him play…and they did invite him)

D (right-to-left): Wynne, Jimmy Conrad, Michael Parkhurst, Ramiro Corrales (is he even left-footed?)

M (right-to-left): Justin Mapp (yeah, I know, I know), Maurice Edu, Kyle Beckerman, Brad Davis (one of my bigger man-crushes, by the way)

F: Taylor Twellman, Josmer Altidore (give it a whirl).

And substitutions would be used liberally – e.g. Drew Moor in for Wynne (I like the idea of a defender with a good cross working the right with Mapp cutting inside); Chris Rolfe in as a scheming mid behind the forwards (kick back Beckerman, pull Edu); or see how Pat Noonan does wide right, etc.

Anyway, you get the idea: when playing Scandinavian B-teams, have fun with the roster and hope for a repeat of 2007’s opener against a similarly consituted Danish side. Surprise me, Bob.

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