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Parkhurst to China?

With the USA Olympic roster set to be unveiled Thursday afternoon, the latest buzz in U.S. soccer circles is that New England defender Michael Parkhurst will join national team veteran Brian McBride and possibly goalkeeper Brad Guzan as the overage players. (The other 15 slots will be filled by under-23 players.)

Two sources told the Insider today that Parkhurst is likely to be selected to bolster Peter Nowak's backline. The 24-year-old central back has made three appearances for the full national team -- two starts in last summer's Gold Cup and a second-half role in a friendly with Sweden early this year. He would miss several MLS games while with the Olympic squad, which is scheduled to depart for Asia late next week and play two friendlies in Hong Kong before the Summer Games.

As you know, several overage players are out of the running because the national team has a World Cup qualifier on Aug. 20 at Guatemala. Others have been ruled out because they are transitioning between clubs. Jonathan Spector, the under-23s' most experienced back, will miss the Olympics because of injury.

McBride had been widely expected to be named, but issues had to be resolved recently with MLS, and particularly the Chicago Fire, where he will likely end up in the coming days after leaving Fulham. Chicago was apprehensive about acquiring him and then losing him for Olympic duty. However, a deal has apparently been reached.

Guzan's situation is also tricky because of his imminent arrival at Aston Villa. If he is not available for USA duty, Nowak is expected to choose another defender. Among the candidates are Frankie Hejduk, Carlos Bocanegra and Heath Pearce.

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  July 14, 2008; 1:54 PM ET
Categories:  Olympics  
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