Can Depleted U.S. Hold Its Own Against Italy?

The U.S. national team takes on Italy in Genoa today (2:30, ESPN2), and the absences of definite starters Landon Donovan (bronchitis), Oguchi Onyewu (knee), and Timothy Chandler (hamstring), along with probable starters Jose Torres (hamstring) and Jermaine Jones (calf) have sent the game’s degree of difficulty ticking upward in the past few days.

Given the fact that the four-time world champions are 15-0-5  (w-l-t) in their last 20 games at Genoa’s Luigi Ferraris Stadium, and haven’t lost at the venue since 1924, this was always going to be a tough game. Now, we’re just hoping the Yanks keep the scoreline respectable. A draw would feel like a win this afternoon.

Here’s a clip of the U.S. team in its final preparations:

What lineup would you like to see Jurgen Klinsmann trot out today? Think Sacha Kljestan will get a starting nod? Will Terrence Boyd see the field at some point? Let us know in the comments.

This is the lineup we’d like to see:

———————Howard——————

Cherundolo—Bocanegra—Cameron—F. Johnson

D. Williams——Edu——Bradley——Shea

———Dempsey———Altidore—————

For a more defensive posture, this could be tweaked to a 4-2-3-1 with Edu and Bradley sitting in front of the back four, Williams and Shea on the wings and Dempsey withdrawn behind Altidore. But the lone-striker scenario has never worked very well for the U.S., and we’d love to see Dempsey log significant minutes at striker, where he’s scored 16 goals for Fulham this season.

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