Team USA’s Unique Starting Lineup

26Jun10

As we all watched (happily) as the United States got knocked out of the World Cup earlier today, I couldn’t help but think what they needed to add in order to improve 4 years from now. Well, they need strikers (not one goal in World Cup Play from a striker since 1992), they could definitely use a couple new center backs (both of em blew bad today), and a new coach would be helpful (nothing has to be more humiliating than making a sub in the 30th minute because you know you botched the starting XI).

So for fun we thought we’d put together our own Team USA Soccer team, featuring America’s best professional athletes on the planet.

Note: We will be playing a 4-4-2 formation

Goaltender: Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit Lions

Johnson would the perfect guy to start in goal for Team USA. At 6’5 he has more than enough length to interfere and disrupt crosses, while being almost impossible to chip when you factor in his insanely high vertical leap. Johnson also had 67 receptions last in  year in 14 games for the Detroit Lions, so we like his ability to catch and hold onto the ball as well. At only 24 years of age, Johnson could be the next big thing in USA soccer.

Center Back: Ron Artest, SF Los Angeles Lakers

Artest has defense written all over him

We like the idea of having a lockdown defender as one of our 2 center backs. Artest did a wonderful job during the postseason in locking down the opposing teams number 1 option, and that skillset will serve him well in the heart of our back 4. Artest is built like a rock with a body from of 6’7 and 245 pounds, so we like his ability to win tackles and stay with bigger strikers such as Didier Drogba. Artest also has a flare for making crucial offensive plays which could come in handy late in games.

Center Back: Erik Johnson, D St. Louis Blues

At 6’4 and over 230 pounds, Johnson not only has size but very good mobility. He’s very comfortable playing on the big stage for his national country, as he played on Team USA’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics that took home the Silver Medal. In the NHL Johnson is seen as an elite 2 way defenseman with huge upside, and playing together with Artest means we think he’ll be able to jump into the rush more frequently. At the tender age of 22, Johnson could become a future captain for this squad.

Note: Average size of our 2 center backs would be 6’5 and 238 pounds. Beast.

Left Back: Lebron James, SF Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat/anywhere but Cleveland

How could we put a team like this together and leave off Lebron? Of all the positions on the field, we feel Lebron would be best suited here at left back. A staple of the NBA All defensive team, Lebron has shown a commitment to defense, while maintaing his elite level status as one of the games best all around scorers. We would use Lebron has more of a wingback type defenseman and involve him heavily in our offense. Nobody on the planet can track back the way Lebron does and deny the opposition a score, so we have no hesitation about letting him loose on offense. At 6’9, he would be a huge factor on set pieces for us (both offensively and defensively).

Right Back: Darrelle Revis, CB New York Jets

The best one on one cover man in the NFL. He plays the right cornerback position for the Jets and we would have no problem matching him up on the same side as Cristiano Ronaldo or Paul Stalteri. Revis talks a big game too and we feel he could get under the skin of opposing players. We would not want him involved too much in our offense as we need him to be a stay at home presence, but Revis is known for game changing plays, and that is always a skill set good to be left unharnessed.

Lewis provides all the intangibles needed for Team USA

Defensive Center Midfielder: Ray Lewis, MLB Baltimore Ravens

A man who tackles for a living, we couldn’t find a better option for this spot than Ray Lewis. The definition of leadership and beastfulness, he would anchor our midfield and allow for our midfielders to get up in the play. He would NEVER lose a 50/50 tackle and once you go in once with him, nobody is dumb enough to challenge him again. Nobody understands the concept of defense better than him, and he has sideline to sideline range. Lewis would wear the captains armband for us and lead by example every night.

Offensive Center Midfielder: Kobe Bryant, SG Los Angeles Lakers

If Lebron gets to play, than so does Kobe. We need someone in this positoin who can make plays for himself and his teammates, and isn’t afraid to take a game over. Enter Kobe Bryant. A man who can seemingly do anything to help his team win, we like having him in the middle of the park. At 6’6, he has outstanding height while being able to move a swiftly as anyone on the park. Bryant also knows multiple languages such as Spanish and Italian, so he could help give us insight on what the opposing teams are doing.

Wide Right Midfield: Patrick Kane, F Chicago Blackhawks

Kane is the perfect combination of skill, flare, and trouble that makes him to hard to pass up. We like having his speed and skill on the outside and having him play in front of Revis allows for us not to notice some of his defensive deficiencies. Although he is both young and undersized, his resume of being a big time scorer and big game player will earn him respect among his peers. His unique celebrations will also be a bonus.

Gloria James will get to see both her men play

Wide Left Midfield: Delonte West, SG Cleveland Cavaliers

We cant possibly pass up the potential drama of Lebron and West playing on the same side of the field for 90 minutes. Aside from that, West would actually be a decent fit here: He’s a left footed player who has no problems continually deferring to Lebron when the game gets serious. Also, this way Mrs. Lebron James can watch both her men at the same time on the same side of the field. See, everyone wins.

Striker: Michael Johnson, Retired Olympic Sprinter

Ok, I know this guy is like 85 years old and hasn’t done anything of relevance in years. However, we are going to rewind the clcoks back 15 years and take that Michael Johnson. We love his speed up front and his ability to run 200 and 400M faster than anyone else on the planet means we can play long ball all night. Also, given that this is soccer, if we ever need to fake an injury, Johnson should have no problem doing that:

Striker: Zach Parise, F New Jersey Devils

Parise might’ve been a good addition to the actual Team USA soccer team. Great speed, offensive instincts, and one of the best goal scoring touches on the planet makes him an easy choice to lead our attack. Add in his 1 v. 1 ability and the States finally have that elusive game breaker. Parise also has a pension for scoring big goals (see Gold Medal Game) and always performs well for his country.

Head Coach: Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers

11 championships. Do I need to say anymore? The dude flat out wins and he knows how to coach and handle talent. This was probably the biggest no brainer other than Delonte West.

Lemme know what you think! Love to hear your thoughts

Much love,

The Jammer Blog

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One Response to “Team USA’s Unique Starting Lineup”

  1. 1 DetCapC19

    Awesome.

    Michael Johnson is a great choice.


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