Do Not Panic US Soccer Fans
The injury to Clint Dempsey has many US soocer fans panicking about the state of the team. With the injures to Dempsey, Davies, and Onyewu, I would say a little panic is in order. However, I don't think there should be that much panic at all.
Dempsey's knee injury is not as bad as first feared and Fulham has said that he should be able to feature in the first team before the end of the season. I also think Bob Bradley should consider letting Dempsey play more forward as he has been on fire this season at Fulham.
I can't say much on Davies, but he has stated he plans to play this summer so we will have to wait and see. Obviously, Bradley wants him to be healthy, but if he gets to the point where he is regaining that speed, I envision him as a super sub off the bench.
Onyewu will be back sometime in March, but I think he should think about going somewhere on loan because he is not going to play that much at AC Milan. I think his size is the most important thing as he is vital on set pieces for the US, as well as the defense of set pieces.
As I stated earlier, US fans should not worry as much because the US does have some players that could fill in for these players.
First off, I think Bradley needs to move Bocanegra to the center and rotate DeMerit and Onyewu, as they are both coming off of injuries. If they are able to recover fully from their respective injuries, then Bradley should pair them up as they worked together pretty well over the summer. I would give Castillo a shot at left back, as well as bring Heath Pearce back and see where he is. I think Pearce could be big for the US squad if he can still play at a high level. Spector also can play left back as he plays it for his club, West Ham.
If Davies can't come back, the key player will be Robbie Findley. Findley is fast like Davies and I am interested to see how he responds in the next couple of friendlies. I mentioned earlier about letting Dempsey play more forward. Bradley should let him, but more in a supporting role like a second striker behind the first striker. I think this is important because the US has problems at the center midfield position. This would allow the center midfielders to play in a deeper role and beside each other so there aren't so many gaps.
Dempsey would vacate a spot on the right if that happened and there are plenty of people who could fill it like Stuart Holden, Benny Feilhaber, Frankie Hejduk (if he hasn't fallen out of favor with Bradley), and even Donovan, as Beasley is starting to play well again and could come in on the left sie. Donovan is playing on the right at Everton. Donovan could also play that role behind the striker and be effective, but we need Donovan's work ethic in the midfield.
Even though these players are in a race to regain full fitness by this summer, I don't think US fans should worry as much. The talent is there and adjustments can be made.
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