Jozy Talks to SA, U.S.-Poland Preview, and … Riveting Technical Issues

• WordPress is still having problems, most notably with its “add image” function (or maybe it’s us … come to think of it, chances are higher that it’s us), so it’s a photo-free Backpost today.

This, for example, is what we wanted to post alongside this morning’s “Grab Bag” post. (C’mon, you would’ve at least chuckled, before your better judgment kicked in.) But, no dice.

Hopefully, this issue will be resolved in the very near future.

• In any event, here is an interview U.S. striker Jozy Altidore did with Soccer America in advance of the upcoming international friendlies.

The 20-year-old former MLSer says he feels like he’s “starting from scratch”—but in a good way, as he’s back with the club that signed him from the Red Bulls (for a league-record $10 million), he’s getting time in Europa League games, and he’s waiting for an opportunity while backing up the current top two scorers in La Liga, Nilmar and the Dirty Jerz‘s Giuseppe Rossi.

• U.S. vs Poland, Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EST, Fox Soccer Channel

Altidore is almost certain to start in this one, but who should join him in the U.S.’s first meaningful friendly since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa?

(Interesting factoid: The U.S.’s 18-man roster is composed entirely of players based overseas—click here for full roster—the first time that’s ever happened.)

Here’s a breakdown of what we’d like to see vs what we’ll probably see:

Backline

What we’d like to see:

The veterans in this group—Cherundolo, Onyewu, and Bocanegra—are not likely to make it to Brazil 2014, so let’s blood some youngsters in this relatively low-stakes affair.

Lichaj—-ParkhurstGoodsonSpector

What we’ll probably see:

Bradley is conservative, and he’ll bring young players along slowly–the invite to camp is enough of a start for them, in his book.

CherundoloOnyewuBocanegraSpector

Did you know Lichaj’s name was prounounced ‘LEE-high’? Neither did we.

Midfield

What we’d like to see:

There’s quite a group in camp—enough to entertain the idea of tweaking the formation to get them all on, but if Bradley goes with four, let them be:

HoldenEduJonesBedoya

What we’ll probably see:

Holden—Bradley–Jones—Dempsey

Forwards:

What we’d like to see:

Truthfully, the players we’d like to see aren’t in camp, either due to injury (Charlie Davies, Marcus Tracy) or the MLS stretch run (Edson Buddle).

AltidoreJohnson

What we’ll probably see:

AltidoreJohnson

Unless Bradley goes with Dempsey up top and puts the in-form Feilhaber on the wing in midfield. There are only three forwards on the roster.

No matter who starts, it should be an interesting game, hopefully with a better outcome for the U.S. than their 2002 World Cup encounter with Poland:


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