Koman Coulibaly may have cost the U.S. a victory with his mysterious foul call on Maurice Edu’s goal last Friday, and he definitely forced a roster change with his phantom hand-ball call and subsequent yellow card on Robbie Findley. The booking—on a play whose replays clearly showed the ball hitting Findley in the face and the chest—got the speedy striker suspended for tomorrow’s game against Algeria.
Findley squandered his touches in the final third against Slovenia, but he did get into dangerous spots several times with his speed and well-timed runs. Those qualities would be very useful against an athletic team like Algeria, which needs a win against the U.S. to have any hope of advancing, and so will likely try to attack the Yanks. Having Findley’s wheels out there would put pressure on the Algerian backline. Since he’s not available, who will Bradley start in his place?
He could go with the lineup that finished the game against Slovenia—Clint Dempsey alongside Jozy Altidore in attack, with Benny Feilhaber wide in midfield—or he could bring in Edson Buddle at striker and keep Dempsey in midfield.
If Bradley has concerns (as we do) about Feilhaber’s athleticism and soft defense against an untethered Algerian side, he could slot Stuart Holden at right midfield, and go with Dempsey up top.
Here’s our bet for the starting XI:
Cherundolo Onyewu DeMerit Bocanegra
Dempsey Bradley Edu Donovan
[With Holden and Herculez Gomez ready as the first subs]
Who do you think should start in this win-and-you’re-in game? Let us know in the comments.