Call me crazy.
But those of you who watched the second half against Turkey this past weekend are probably saying, "Jose Francisco Torres? Oh yeah! I remember him! Yeah, he needs to start!"
I'm not a soccer expert (although I do love the new WC game on PS3 and have done not much else the last few days), but what is it going to take for Bob Bradley?
Let me explain my reasoning.
I like the chances for the US in this group as opposed to the last go-round. But it's no pushover.
As a B/R colleague recently suggested in a recent article about his last impressions of the Yanks, Slovenia is no pushover.
Algeria isn't either for that matter, having beaten African champs Egypt to get to the Cup.
But aside from that, Slovenia in particular is known for its defense, not its offensive firepower.
Slovenia gave up four goals in all of qualifying.
Now that would be impressive in CONCACAF.
Except they did this in Europe, in a group that featured quality squads in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and even Northern Ireland.
To top it off, they ousted an impressive side in Russia.
Let's not get too carried away, as I just found out they lost a friendly to New Zealand.
Nonetheless, they are a stalwart defensive side that should worry the US.
Not to mention the Brits, who are known for a very solid back line as well.
Why do I bring all this up?
Well, to get back to my point about Torres, the United States needs to add offensive creativity, not subtract it.
I imagine that Bradley will probably go with a "safe" option in Maurice Edu, or possibly Ricardo Clark, and hope to counterattack.
But when two of the teams in your group are probably doing the same thing, it's time to open up a little bit.
That's where Torres comes in.
His ability to not just hold the ball in the midfield, but also to creatively distribute it to his teammates, is a rarity in the American ranks, Landon Donovan aside.
That is something the Yanks will desperately need come nine days from now in South Africa when they open against England.
It's not just his ability to distribute either. He just simply doesn't make that many bad passes. In fact, they're some of the best passes I've seen from a midfielder, aside from Donovan.
I don't know if Torres would rack up three assists or get any goals, but he would definitely be a calming influence on the team. There is absolutely nothing better, having played soccer myself for many years, than having someone in the midfield who can hold the ball.
Not to mention the fact that he can apparently take free kicks as well, nearly scoring one in the Turkey exhibition.
I know it won't happen, but my hope and desire is that somehow, some way, Bob Bradley will see the truth of the matter and start Torres.
I'd love to get your thoughts on this as well. Do you agree? Disagree?
Thanks for reading.
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