Some of you may think this is highly controversial…
But here it goes.
With the US national team a few hours from squaring off against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, should USMNT fans really care about extending their record-breaking unbeaten streak to 12 games?
Yes. Of course you should. That’s the whole point of the game, isn’t it? To win?
However when it comes to friendlies, I just don’t buy how important a win or a loss is. Yeah, it would be great to roll into Bosnia and win 3-0 and have even more people jump on the US national team bandwagon, but with the World Cup less than year away would that be good for the USA?
I say, let’s not play the old experienced heads against Bosnia, let’s try some of the new guys and see what they’re made of. Fans of Major League Soccer and US soccer are always hearing rave reviews about the European based American players. So throw them in at the deep end. Let’s see what they’re made of.
Jurgen Klinsmann has nothing to lose. He has a whole host of players back in MLS who’ve proved they’re more than capable of representing the USA to success. Look at the Gold Cup. He tried plenty of players desperate for a chance and they delivered.
Klinsmann should do the same against Bosnia this afternoon.
And if the youngsters don’t deliver, they can always be picked again and selected for other upcoming US camps. It won’t be the end of the world if the US lose to Bosnia, we will actually learn more from seeing who isn’t ready for Brazil 2014 than sticking with the tried and tested players that we know can do the job. Qualification is all but secured for the World Cup, so why not experiment?
Yes, team chemistry has to be developed. We know Jurgen is big on that — just one of the many reasons for leaving out Landon Donovan after his self-imposed sabbatical — but do guys like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard and Eddie Johnson really need to keep playing together whenever they can to build chemistry? With their experience and nous, I highly doubt it. It won’t effect the US long-term if these guys don’t play in Sarajevo, trust me.
You don’t have to agree with me, but here’s my USMNT starting lineup. I hope I see a few of these faces when the Star Spangled Banner is belted out in the Kosevo Stadium at 2:30pm ET on Wednesday.
If not, no big deal. But I think it would be an opportunity missed to see how good these youngsters really are.
US Starting Lineup vs. Bosnia (4-3-3): Cropper; Castillo, Brooks, Ream, F. Johnson; Corona, Diskerud, Williams; Johannsson, Boyd, Wood.