USMNT vs. Portugal: Graham Zusi Should Start Over Alejandro Bedoya
If anyone watched the USMNT vs. Ghana game, which I’m sure almost everyone did, one could tell that Alejandro Bedoya played a decent game and did not contribute as much to the victory. It was not until Graham Zusi entered the match and gave the Americans a spark off of the bench by contributing to John Brooks‘ now-famous goal to beat Ghana. Zusi is the real deal and is a creative genius. Why Jurgen Klinsmann does not give Zusi the start is beyond me, but it worked out for the best in the previous game. Zusi is better and can make more of his chances as opposed to Bedoya.
The midfield will be crucial for the United States in hopes of beating Portugal. Possession and containment is the name of the game. Michael Bradley will need to control the ball and make clean and precise passes to cut down on turnovers and keep the ball in the offensive half. Containing Cristiano Ronaldo is a whole different story. The best player in the world will look to spread the United States out wide, leading to crosses into the box. Along with the midfield, the center backs controlling the middle are crucial as well. I am not going to sugar-coat this: the United States needs to be on their game and eliminate stupid fouls that could lead to a Ronaldo free kick.
Zusi provides an offensive midfield presence as Bedoya is more defensive-minded. However, the United States have two defensive midfielders in Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman, which eliminates the need for Bedoya. I believe Zusi will get the start over Bedoya, especially after having the game-winning assist against Ghana.
Collin Ruby is a Soccer Writer for RantSports.com, follow him on Twitter @Collin_Ruby.