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U.S.-England: Who will Bradley choose?

Head coach Bob Bradley of the United States

Head coach Bob Bradley of the United States watches pregame action before a friendly match against the Czech Republic at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. (May 25, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

With one of the more tantalizing group-stage games only hours away, you have to wonder who's taking the field for the United States, which hopes to wrestle at least a point away from their counterparts across the Atlantic.

Will it be one of the 4-4-2s that we've seen before ... or will Bradley offer up a surprise for England coach Fabio Capello? The Italian coach, who's trying to become the first foreign coach to lead a team to the World Cup title, is also keeping his starting XI a secret until today.

Let's compare some potential starters line by line (from left), shall we?

In goal:

US - Howard: No brainer
ENG - Green: A tough choice over James. We'll see ...


US - Bocanegra - DeMerit - Onyewu - Cherundolo: Goodson could replace Gooch in the middle.
ENG - Cole - Terry - King - Johnson: Not much to debate here. Carragher doesn't make the cut this time.


US - Dempsey - Clark - Bradley - Donovan: Bradley seems to like Clark in the middle with his son, though we may see Edu. Torres would be a surprise, but not crazy. Dempsey and Donovan are both more comfortable on the flanks, but that's not automatic either. Plenty of moving parts in this area of the field.
ENG - J. Cole - Gerrard - Lampard - Lennon: Milner is battling a stomach bug, so it'll likely be Cole out there on the left. Gerrard and Lampard will have to learn to get along in the middle.


US - Altidore - Findley: Bradley already confirmed that Jozy will start. I'm still not convinced Findley is a World Cup caliber player, but Bradley likes his speed and ability to stretch the defense. I'd like to see Buddle in there, myself.
ENG - Rooney - Heskey: Not much surprise here. Crouch may get a surprise start, but it's Heskey's spot to lose.

England's squad is a little more concrete, whereas Bradley has numerous options at central midfield and on the front line. No matter which 22 players take the field in Rustenburg, it should be one heck of a show.


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