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Examining the USA Roster

Now that we know the USA roster for the Cuba and T&T qualifiers, let's take a look at each player.....

Tim Howard: no arguments
Brad Guzan: no arguments

Carlos Bocanegra: no arguments
Oguchi Onyewu: no arguments
Heath Pearce: no arguments
Steve Cherundolo: suspended for Cuba, eligible for T&T
Frankie Hejduk: experienced, veteran leader who has been through these games for many years
Danny Califf: central reinforcement
Michael Orozco: young, versatile back with potential
Marvell Wynne: young outside back who had a good Olympics

DaMarcus Beasley: no arguments
Michael Bradley: no arguments
Ricardo Clark: fills roster slot vacated by injured Mastroeni
Maurice Edu: emerging talent adds depth to deep midfield
Sacha Kljestan: young, skilled player
Eddie Lewis: see Hejduk

Landon Donovan: no arguments
Clint Dempsey: no arguments
Brian Ching: solid target man
Eddie Johnson: Okay, here we go.....

Pro: Eight goals in eight career qualifiers
Con: Six of those came in his first four qualifiers, all in 2004
Pro: 12 goals overall in 36 appearances
Con: 4 goals in 27 appearances in 2006-08
Pro: European based
Con: Didn't do much with Fulham, now on loan at Cardiff City
Pro: Experience helps on a team with little time to prepare for these games
Con: He's not going to start, so why not bring someone else for the experience and perhaps come on late?

Just a few thoughts. Fire away.....

By Steve Goff  |  August 28, 2008; 8:17 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: USA Roster Announced
Next: Morning Kickaround


No arguments ;)

As usual, I don't have many problems with his squad. I just wish that he would rotate in some younger guys, more often, to give them experience -- ESPECIALLY at forward. These two games are easy ones.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, EJ really is the only arguable point in my mind. It's time to get Altidore in the team and learning how to win at this level.

(Notice I didn't mention Cooper. I imagine I'll get blasted for that.)

I would like to see Adu at some point too, instead of Lewis.

Posted by: scott47a | August 28, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

""Heath Pearce: no arguments""

Really? I thought he was used like a dirty rag by the Guates.

Posted by: delantero | August 28, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

How does no one ever question Ching??!!

Posted by: Ricky | August 28, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Are the games on FSC cancelled because of weather?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

""These two games are easy ones.""

I understand what you are saying, but have to remind everyone that there are no easy qualifiers (ok, Barbados was an anomaly) . . .

We've had plenty of close calls . . particularly away . . .

Posted by: delantero | August 28, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

i'm sure michael bradley will get another full 90 minutes.

Posted by: stephen | August 28, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Delantero: So even if Pearce had a bad game against the Guates, and that's your opinion, you are going to drop him from the roster completely???

Posted by: Smackdown | August 28, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Both of Dolo's cards were silly (meaning they were a mental error on his part to get them). He needs to be a lot smarter or will ride the pine.

Posted by: FC | August 28, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The forgotten man here is Charlie Davies.

He injected athleticism and aggressiveness when he entered the Olympic match against Nigeria. He may be in the middle of his season in Scandinavia, but its time to start complaining when HE is not invited to USMNT camps.

Posted by: hoyanick | August 28, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Guatemala ran roughshod over Heath Pearce and Eddie Lewis. Seriously. Those two had no answer for Guatemala.

And I've moved beyond frustrated with the fixation on Eddie Johnson now. It's too comical to get upset about anymore.

Posted by: Bootsy | August 28, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

If you don't pick EJ, who are the contenders for the open spot?

Posted by: My Girlfriend Loves McTavish | August 28, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

At some point, the EJ experiment will end. I hope he snaps out of his long funk. When he's on, he can be very dangerous.

No real surprises in the rest of the roster, IMO

Posted by: Matt Mathai | August 28, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, the oft-commented-on obvious option at Forward is Kenny Cooper. Ives Galarcep posted cogently about that today. Who else? Altidore is the next obvious option, but getting comfortable with his club (and still hurt?). Twellman: not back to full strength and never really showed it with the National Team. I'm comfortable with Ching up there. Would like to see Dempsey be Dempsey. Would love to see a pure finisher, but not sure we have one until Altidore establishes himself.

But I don't know no more than nobody else, y'know.

Posted by: Marshall | August 28, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

forget this "getting comfortable with his club" cr@p. It's a WC qualifier and we should have the best available.

Posted by: mizage | August 28, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Davies isn't getting called any time soon. Even if he keeps scoring in Sweden and get looks from bigger teams.

He made the biggest sin you can ever make in USSF land. He said he thought he should have played more and could have made an impact if he did. Not whining. Just confident. Never question the USSF in any fashion. You must be a good boy. If you aren't, you don't play. Adu has trouble with this and Jose hasn't learned either. It's not about's about conforming, being a good boy and not rocking the boat.

Remember poor Hope Solo? Joke of a coach and she let it all hang out and she was beaten down and ostracized. For being human and what's worse...being right. You don't do that to the boys and girls club. Thank goodness Pia was hired because of the disaster. Another US coaching joke and she is out in the cold. Poor Charlie. Can't do that. Freddy and Jose are trying to learn. Conform dammit. Conform. Poor Clint Mathis couldn't do it...when he actually wasn't hurt and had loads of talent. BA tried hard not to play him.
Conform and knwo your place. Free thinking and flair are the enemy of the USSF.

Don't forget it. Tactically inept BA followed by RoboBob. Isn't it grand?

Posted by: TK | August 28, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Not necessarily, but I just wouldn't think that his play deserved a "no arguments" rating. His play needs to improve or we need to look elsewhere. Guatemala is not Mexico.

""Delantero: So even if Pearce had a bad game against the Guates, and that's your opinion, you are going to drop him from the roster completely??? ""

Posted by: delantero | August 28, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Pearce and Johnson are a waste of a roster spot. It should be Kenny Cooper and just about anybody else, but Pearce. How about Kjlestan at LB?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Why, oh why EJ? Sure, he scored some goals, but they are ancient history. Far more important is his near-absolute lack of effort in each and every recent game. Combine that with his monumental inability to effectively hold the ball, inability to head the ball, and the fact that he is commonly defeats attack development be being offside when it should not happen and it should be clear to the coaching staff that essentially any of the forwards not called up would be better choices than EJ. He simply never contributes anything productive. Maybe he'll score against Cuba, but if he does, it will be because the opportunity was presented on a platter and not because he did anything creative.

Posted by: Larry | August 28, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

""there are no easy qualifiers (ok, Barbados was an anomaly) . . .""

but our B or C team only won the away match 1-0.

Posted by: hmmm | August 28, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Kljestan at LB?

So you want to change a guy's position for a WC qualifier?


Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

At some point, the American soccer media needs to grow a backbone.

This is getting a bit ridiculous sending the same squad over and over for mediocre results. I don't buy this "a win is a win" in this region. We're the top dog in the region, so why don't we play like one?

At some point, Bradley needs to be taken to task for these call-ups and lineups.

We're getting weak results with guys like Donovan, Ching, Dempsey, etc., so why aren't we bringing in guys like Davies, Cooper, Jaqua, Altidore, etc.

As for the "settling in at the new club" argument - it's crap because Edu isn't getting any time at Rangers to adjust.

Also - what's with the obsession over Sacha Kljestan? He's been brutal in any game that wasn't for Chivas.

Lastly - I thought we had moved past the Hejduk, Mastroeni, Lewis era? If we are picking these guys now, obviously Bradley intends to use them at the Confederations Cup (which is likely going to be 3 losses for us) and then the World Cup. What does expect to gain from these guys?

Posted by: Ryan | August 28, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Since Eddie Johnson is just settling in with his new team (Cardiff), shouldn't BB show him the same consideration he's showing Freddie Adu and Jozy Altidore? Just askin'

Posted by: Carnack (the Questioning) | August 28, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm sure I'll get beaten up for it, but I can't put Dempsey in the category of "no arguments". He's been out of form for his club and country for almost a year. And for the person who asked why not Charlie Davies; he's in good form and scoring way Bradley would ever call him in. ;)

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 28, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts, in no particular order:

Donovan: Will probably play right midfield again

Dempsey: will probably play 2nd forward despite being a better fit at right midfield

Johnson: will not play unless Ching comes off or if we're down; hasn't played well since June '07; when I mention Ching's workrate in discussing Cooper, keep Johnson's lethargy in mind as well

Ching: Will start; has never been spectacular with the US, but works hard and defends from the front better than most, which is a prerequisite for Bradley

Altidore: Lingering injury concern, trying to impress new club; for those that think Villarreal is off, you're games doesn't mean no training, and it's in training that you get the chance to win minutes)

Adu: More than anything, he's hurt by Bradley's unwillingness to give anyone a free role between the midfield and forwards; Bradley has made it obvious that solidity and reliability are more important than creativity and flair, for better or worse

Cooper: Drifts wide and doesn't work as hard defensively as Ching; Bradley seems to want 4 different forwards, and thus Cooper loses out to Ching

Davies: Good spark in the Olympics, but that was only a few minutes in 1 game against a disorganized opponent; Played poorly for the senior team on his previous chance (and I can't help but mention his insipid diving habit)

Twellman: You're still in this conversation?

Jaqua: Jaqua reminds me a lot of Cooper, but without the muscle and with more of a petulant streak (despite height, he likes to play off someone else and dribble at people); if Cooper can't get in, Jaqua definitely can't get in

Barrett: Just kidding.

Findley: At this point, probably behind Davies in the speedy forward category; has only been average of late, to boot

Buddle: He's been left out of this conversation a bit, but could be the sleeper; plays more like Johnson than anyone in the "left out" group besides Altidore; while you can argue whether Buddle should be in the squad or not, I think it's fair to say he's in better form than Johnson has been

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 28, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

OT...Wow...maybe Clint Mathis should've gone to Cyprus instead:

AC Omonia became the second Cypriot team to claim a Greek scalp in as many days, earning a 2-2 draw against nine-man AEK Athens FC in the decisive leg of their UEFA Cup second qualifying round tie to triumph 3-2 on aggregate.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... I guess El Bob was impressed by Califf's own goal header vs Man City in UEFA game Wed. vs Danish side and just had to have some of that goal scoring ability not to mention Califf's impressive USMNT resume. C'mon Bob time to take a chance at least you give Wynne and Orozco some experience that hopefully pays off but honestly switch out Califf for either Cooper or Buddle and replace Orozco or Wynne with a real center mid back up like Demerrit. Tired already of Bob sticking to the same old shizzle. EJ and Dempsey need to show something as both have done nothing lately

Posted by: glove | August 28, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

If we can’t beat Cuba with anything less than our strongest squad we probably should even bother. Cuba is a baseball country and loses half their team to defections every time they travel.

Even if it were true that there is no such thing as an easy World Cup qualifier, we don’t have to win every game to qualify. We just need to finish in the top half of this round and in the top half of the next. If this is not the time to blood young talent in meaningful games then there never will be the opportunity.

If you look at countries that win tournaments, like Italy, you see that they don’t win every game. They build throughout the tournament and reach a peak at the end when the games are the toughest and most important.

If you look at countries that often fail miserably, like England, you see that they place great importance on winning even the most meaningless friendly. They don’t develop the squad and are woefully short handed at the end of tournaments.

Posted by: Tommie | August 28, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I've read that Califf's OG wasn't really his fault -- it came right at his face and glanced off of it.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Emerging talent? Depth? Edu stinks.. all the ball slip right past him

Posted by: CD | August 28, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

My skepticism meter gets pegged whenever people bring up the Olympics as a reason to include someone (not so much in this thread as others). First of all, the USA was eliminated in group play so the team wasn't that impressive. On top of that, it's a second or third-rate tournament to begin with! Lots of players look great in youth tournaments who amount to zero later on.

Regarding Cooper, I have no problem with his exclusion. IMO, he's another in a long line of MLS flavors-of-the-year who can't cut it at the international level. But I guess we will have to see him some more before people will accept that.

Posted by: Ash | August 28, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to Goff, and Bob Bradley, if I was coach I would be working harder to build for the future. I would not have invited the guys Bob did. I would have infused a lot more youth on the team and really mixed them in with the vets who are definitely going to be there like Donovan, Bocanegra, Gooch, Howard, and Dempsey. Here are the players who I would not have included:
Frankie Hejduk - No doubt he can still contribute and has excellent experience and leadership for must win situations. But with both Boca and Gooch available I'd bring in another young guy and give him experience and test him out. These are games that our B team should win no problem. It's somewhat unrealistic he's still going to contribute in 2010.
Eddie Lewis - no chance of playing in WC 2010, usually gets subbed at some point anyway. Beasley provides enough experience at left wing so groom someone new at this level.(Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers, Mapp and Convey are on the bubble)
Brian Ching - again, very little chance of contributing in WC 2010, I say bring in someone fast or be the target FW of the future. (Obviously Cooper deserves more tests, maybe Davies, Zimmerman, even Santino Q again - this is all assuming Freddy and Jozy can't make it)
Eddie Johnson - if you include him, start him. What he needs most is confidence. He's young enough that he could still bounce back and be a major threat. Hope is not lost yet. Personally I think he needs to go play in my coed league and score 40 goals in a season just to get his confidence back up.

But, given that Bob invited who he did, here is the lineup that I would start with to try and develop the young talent we invited (not what I think Bob will start with).

Wynne Boca Gooch(Orozco) Pearce
Dempsey Edu Beasley(Lewis)
Donovan Johnson

Posted by: Sean G | August 28, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHA, I love your remark about EJ. The Johnson project needs to be put on hold until he proves he can put some shots in the net in the fizzy pop league.

Posted by: Mr. Man | August 28, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Pearce is not up to the task. But who else do we have? We badly need a capable left back, and I'm not sure we have one.

Posted by: Troy | August 28, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

SOS different day. Nice to see Orozco rewarded for his idiocy but better players for the U23s left off. And since EJ and Edu are as new to their clubs as Freddy and Jozy, let's not hear the BB koolaide sippers use that excuse this time.

Gutless wonder, scared of Cuba...

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | August 28, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm probably beating a dead horse, but no Cooper (in place of EJ) and no Adu(I'd probably take in place of Rico or Dempsey) is ridiculous. And please don't give me the excuse of he needs to get settle in with his new club. Edu flew back and forth all around the world after his transfer to Rangers and still got picked for Guatemala and this roster.

Other than those 2 I like the roster. I assume Bradley is giving Altidore some time to recover from whatever nagging injury he had in the Olympics and not risk reinjuring him and upsetting Villareal who already has their fair share of injured players.

Posted by: Bravo | August 28, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Cooper, I have no problem with his exclusion. IMO, he's another in a long line of MLS flavors-of-the-year who can't cut it at the international level. But I guess we will have to see him some more before people will accept that.

Posted by: Ash | August 28, 2008 11:16 PM
But how does anybody know know whether Cooper can "cut it at the international level" if he doesn't even get to travel to a game. And it's not like he has abysmal track record so far. IIRC, he's had two caps and scored in one of those.

Eddie Johnson, on the other hand, can't even make the bench at Fulham these days. I don't think Johnson's as awful as some people do, but Cooper's been playing at least as well this season in MLS as Johnson did during his good periods in MLS. Based on current form, I'd call up Cooper and/or Buddle over Johnson. And that's if I weren't factoring in the difference in travel distance and its effects on people's play both for club and country.

Posted by: Jon E | August 29, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Agree with your player comments, especially regarding EJ.

But the same houls be said for Dempsey.

I'd much rather see Cooper, Twellman, Rolfe or Rogers.

Posted by: Curtis Spiteri | August 29, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that either Ching or Johnson should be starting for the USA. I'm not sure I would even bring them to sit on the bench. Donovan and Buddle have shown that they can get the job done and so has Kenny Cooper. For that matter, they are the top three scorers in MLS at the mo. And why do we keep playing Eddie Lewis? Especially if we're also bringing DMB. Sure, Lewis will do just fine against Cuba and T&T, but why bring a player that won't, or shouldn't, be around come time for the World Cup?

BTW, Cooper isn't a flavor of the year striker. He's big and agile, with excellent ball control. He can score or hold up the ball and lay it off. He did not make the first team at ManU, but he won't be long for MLS as a European team will come for him soon with an offer that the league won't refuse.

Posted by: Gary B. | August 29, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure of the "EJ won't start" statement.

He could very well start up top with Ching and have Donovan move back to right mid, as I don't think Dempsey is a lock starter for either/both of these games.

Posted by: Who knows | August 29, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Doh! I almost forgot... Did Orozco do anything but stink up the pitch for the majority of the time he was at the Olympic games? How does that warrant a call up? It's almost as if Bradley is rewarding him for his poor play.

Posted by: Gary B. | August 29, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

what?! go back and spot shadow marvell wynne - youth and inexperience I can live with... but not the lack of hustle and poor positioning I've seen in every game. sure, he flashes over once in a while to clear to touch or makes a solid tackle (these make the higlight reel) but this guy blows - he has no idea how to anticipate, and is flat-footed or just plain backpedaling whenever he's in the box. he looks like peter vagenas before he got 6 years of MLS under his belt.

Posted by: enzio | August 29, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Orozco??? Never heard of him. I banish from memory all players stupid enough to deserve red cards in the first four minutes of important tournament matches. What's the deal, does Bob feel sorry for this kid? Actually it's OK to feel sorry for him, and for nonproductive EJ, but that doesn't mean they get to be on the team.

Where's the accountability?

Posted by: Joe S. | August 29, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

maybe i can shine some light on the situation:

The reason Kenny Cooper is not being called up to the National Team is that he doesn't play in Europe.
The reason Kenny Cooper does not play in Europe is because he does not get called up to the National Team.

A regular catch-22

I believe, in the wonderful world of internet conspiracies, Cooper won't get called up because the powers that be in US soccer do not want a lot of international attention drawn to the guy to keep him around in MLS for longer. As soon as a European club picks him up, expect to see him on every roster Bob Bradley's successor puts out.

Posted by: late night musings | August 29, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

TK, I didn't realize that Davies had complained in the press about lack of playing time during the qualifiers. Not a good idea, even if he was right.

I'm surprised that there's not a bit of controversy about Orozco's selection, since he got the red card in the 3rd minute of the Nigeria Olympic match. People have talked about how this reflects poor decision-making, and they predicted that Orozco wouldn't get called again anytime soon. I think he's a solid player.

I'm inclined to give Bradley a pass on his selections, provided he gets results, such as our first ever World Cup qualifier win in Guatemala. I know he needs to plan for the future, but it also makes sense to gradually introduce new players.

I'm sure Cooper will get his chance if he keeps scoring in MLS, and he'll really have to make the most of it.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | August 29, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Bill in Md: "I'm inclined to give Bradley a pass on his selections, provided he gets results, such as our first ever World Cup qualifier win in Guatemala."

Good point. But these days we can get results with teams that are not necessarily our best. They may be good enough to win in CONCACAF, but my fear is we'll end up utterly medicocre in 2010. I'd like to see more competition for some of these spots.

Posted by: Joe S. | August 29, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

I've thought long and hard about this roster selection and i've come up with a few things:

Dolo: He's suspended for the first game, but obviously is wanted for the 2nd. (Maybe Wynne/Orozco can learn from him during this time)
Hejduk: Will probably play in place of Dolo in the 1st game.

EJ: I really dont understand this selection at all. I think Bradley could of used this on either Cooper/Altidore/Adu.

Dempsey: This is a tricky one, you want to show confidence in him, but hes not producing on either level at this point. He needs to regain his domestic form before he should be allowed to play here.

Altidore: This was probably Bradleys hardest choice. Villareal is really screwed with striker selection at this point and Bradley maybe earning some good will for future games by not calling him up. If Altidore gets hurt, they are really in trouble.

Adu: I think he just needs more time to settle at Monaco. The style is much different than the Portuguese Liga.

I love that Bradley is including younger guys, but we need some of our younger attacking players growing too.

Posted by: strago | August 29, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

If Ching gets hurt, we have nobody who can hold the ball up. Nobody.

EJ is only OK (when that) going directly at the goal using his speed. We already have that covered in Donovan, Beasley.

Doesn't matter what you think of Kenny Cooper's better outside shot and lesser aerial ability than Ching, he's proven he can hold the ball up and distribute, therefore being the obvious backup to Ching.

With Donovan as a second forward, we're already perilously close to a 4-5-1. Donovan, Beasley and Dempsey can only be effective with a guy who can hold the ball up.

Beating Cuba and T&T won't change the fact that Bob doesn't know what he's doing in picking his bench players. We're being set up again for a qualifying cakewalk and World Cup failure.

Posted by: Shmenge | August 29, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse


Did you actually think about what you wrote before you clicked submit?

Cooper's only had 60 minutes in a Nats uniform. Not nearly enough for anyone to make the determination that he's not good enough. And certainly not enough for you.

Cooper needs more minutes. Davies needs more minutes. Altidore... Adu....

I think Bob's determined to let Boca and Gooch be our leading scorers this year. If it weren't for the scrimmages against Barbados, they would be.

Posted by: DudleyDoRight | August 29, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

At least Bruce Arena used to hold press conferences when he announced his lineup and fielded questions about the selection of players.

This chickens*it Bradley doesn't have the guts to do that, or I'm sure there would be at least a couple of reporters who would question his "preferences."

Posted by: Mark | August 29, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

About some previous comments:
1)EJ is w/ Cardiff now
2)Orozco was played out of position. I didn't think he looked good, either, especially when compared with Wynne
3)Wynne was the MVP of the Olympic team. enzio, you must've been watching some other games.

Posted by: RK | August 29, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the comments questioning the call up of Orozco after his big mistake at the olympics. I also wonder why we are so obsessed with Onyewu, though sadly I'm at a loss to say who would be better in that role.

I also agree that we should be looking past Eddie Lewis. His claim to fame is his ability to cross with his left foot. If I was Bradley, early in qualifiers with a couple of less difficult games in front of me, I'd take a flyer on someone that meets that role and could develop into a star in the (old) Eddie Lewis mold between now and the world cup - Marc Burch anyone?

As for Frankie Hejduk, I have to say for years I was a critic. The old Frankie was a lot like the new Marvelle - all speed and no flair. But the guy has become crafty, and if he's lost a step, I'm not seeing it. He's the one member of the old guard I'd vote for keeping (unless anyone can talk mcbride into unretiring . . .)

Posted by: regualr fan | August 29, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting sick of the conservative picks by Bradley every time he announces a roster. I can already figure out who is going to be there before the roster is announced. It's ridiculous that he would reward Orozco's performance at the Olympics with a call up this quickly. It's also ridiculous that Bradley is willing to experiment with the defense which has been very strong. Why not try something new in attack which has been awful? Do we really need 8 defenders on the roster (potentially 10 if you include Edu and Lewis who have both played in defense)? Is Bradley going to play the innovative 6-4-0 formation?

It seems to me that Cooper is being punished because of Twellman's failure at the international level. Bradley gave Twellman quite a few games to prove himself and he never did. The issue is that we already know exactly what Ching brings to the table as well as Johnson.

The good news is that we won't have to wait long for Bradley to be fired. We're going to get smoked at the Confederations Cup in 2009 and if he survives that, will be gone after we get smoked at the World Cup in 2010.

Posted by: Jared | August 29, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

EJ should not be on the roster.

Posted by: joel | August 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It should be a rule - if you're not in the top tier of a country's league, you're not getting on the national team.

End of story.

Good-bye Eddie Johnson.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | August 29, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

RE: Lewis
Convey experience (did WC qualifying last time around and STARTED in 2 games). He has played consistently all preseason and start of season for Reading and has done well. He is the future rather than Lewis. He needs more time with MNT. Why isn't he in?

Posted by: Beckster | August 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'll say that, while I was surprised by it, I kinda like the selection of Orozco. I think it's a nice gesture by Bradley to reach out to a kid who screwed up and allow him to atone for it with his play rather than sit and wonder if the red card doomed his national team chances.

Other than that, I agree with everyone else. Eddie Johnson needs to stay in Wales and start scoring goals in the Championship before he gets back in a national team uniform, and selecting him makes no sense if you're using the excuse that Adu and Altidore need to settle into their new squads.

Posted by: River Otis | August 29, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

So what does someone have to do to get on the USMNT:
a. get a red card in the 4th minute of an Olympic game and cost your team a chance to advance to the next round
b. sign a huge MLS contract and then do nothing for years in MLS/USMNT/EPL
c. consistently score in MLS while the USMNT continues to get nothing from its forwards
d. a and b

Correct answer is "d"

Posted by: Roger Van Gool | August 29, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Frankie Gooch Boca Pearce
LD Bradley Dempsey Beas
Ching Johnson

I'm still not ready to dump Johnson from the nats pool. I'd prefer to have had Cooper for this camp. The form he's in, seems like an odd ommission. But with the roster that was named, the lineup I'd prefer to see is this one. Gets all our best attacking players on the pitch.

Posted by: Matte | August 29, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what's with all the negativity directed at Pearce? Didn't anyone see the Argentina friendly, where he was arguably the best US field player?

Posted by: jrnail23 | August 29, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Lewis needs to sit. He did nothing but bleed against Guat...

Posted by: bobf | August 29, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

What ever happened to Bornstein at LB? I thought he was pretty solid. Got forward in the attack and had the jets to get back. Kinda small. Just putting it out there.

Posted by: Matte | August 29, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson. Geez. What is with Bradley? Does Johnson tell good jokes in the locker room? Why isn't a young forward like Rolfe or Buddle getting a shot?

Good grief.

Posted by: Goober Johnny | August 29, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that Ricardo clark gets more heat than Dempsey for being on this list even though he has really outplayed him this year. I quess two goals against barbados is enough to please folks even though Barbados is a poor side and, even Eddie Johnson and Brian Ching scored in that game

Posted by: CH | August 29, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Delantero is dead on. There are almost no "easy games". Having said that, if we are going to use EJ and if he is going to try and get his confidence back then these may be too good games to see if he can do something. I wouldn't just jump to starting him in Azteca or if we go to San Pedro Sula or the Monster's Cave in San Jose.

Posted by: yankiboy | August 29, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Not going to read through all the comments to see if this has been covered already.

"Pro: 12 goals overall in 36 appearances"

I completely disagree.

An international level forward typically has a strike rate of a goal every other game. The absolute best ones clock in at a goal a game. I haven't looked up the statistics in a while, but I remember doing so back when I wondered when the US was going to reach that level.

Cooper has been at that level for a couple years now. EJ has been a waste of space for three years.

It's offensive that he's still getting money for taking up space on the national team.

Posted by: Eric | August 29, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@Virginia Blue Blood: you can't just make a blanket statement about having to be playing in the top league in a given country. Nobody in their right mind would argue that MLS is hands down a better league than the English league 1. You could argue that MLS teams might generally be competitive with league 1 sides, and maybe you'd be right. But to assume that Cooper or LD or Twellman or Buddle should get the nod over EJ just because he's not playing EPL is bogus.

Now if you add onto that the fact that EJ did not score or record first team minutes last year, then I'll buy your argument. But not the blanket rule. No way.

Posted by: Matte | August 29, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

You have no arguments about continuously calling up a striker who will be 32 in 2010 and hasn't ever set foot on a World Cup playing field?

Posted by: KB | August 29, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I would have included Convey and dropped Lewis. Convey is back in the Reading first 11 and Lewis looks more and more like a spent force. I would also change the teams formation to 4-2-3-1. In this formation Bradley can still have his 2 deep midfield defenders and get players like Dempsey, Dononvan, Beasley Adu and Kjlestian (sp) in their most comfortable position. Our strengths lie in attacking from behind the striker.

Posted by: rob | August 29, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

You have no arguments about continuously calling up a striker who will be 32 in 2010 and hasn't ever set foot on a World Cup playing field?

Posted by: KB | August 29, 2008 12:27 PM

I don't understand why some people expect every selection to be a potential roster candidate for a tournament that is 2 years away. At this stage we need to include some mature players in the roster. The only knock against this cohort of forwards is that the aren't any youngsters for Ching to mentor.


An international level forward typically has a strike rate of a goal every other game. The absolute best ones clock in at a goal a game.
Posted by: Eric | August 29, 2008 11:01 AM

As the math teachers say, "Show your work." Van Nistelrooy, who has a phenomenal strike rate, clocks in at 0.67 gpm for club and slightly over 0.5 for country.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Before we start bashing, I think we need to be clear on the goals for the US in these 2 games:
1) Continue to qualify for WC2010 (meaning 1 win and 1 tie OR 2 wins)
2) Develop players that will be ready to contribute in WC2010

For 1, this means we take our best XI plus our best 3 subs. Given that we have to take Guzan anyway, this mean BB should pick his favorite 14 players + Guzan.

As best I can tell, here are the guys that will play:

Ching - Donovan
Beas - Bradley - Edu - Dempsey
Pearce - Gooch - Boca - Hejduk

with Guzan, Clark, Lewis and Califf as his main subs.

For goal 2, given that he's bringing in 20 players, that means he should have brought in 5 players to develop.

I bet Sacha, Orozco and Wynne are the 3 guys he wants to develop.

But that leaves 2 players (EJ & Dolo) who should NOT have been included. Instead of those 2, I wished he would have brought in (pick 2 of) Cooper, Adu, Altidore, Davies. At some point, he needs to find out if Cooper can contribute at this level. Adu and Altidore have shown they can contribute. Davies deserves a look based on his 13 minutes at the Olympics where he actually gave us a chance to tie.

Goff, if you get a chance to interview BB, I hope you'll ask him the following questions:
- Why do you continue to bring in players that have very little chance, due to age of contributing to WC2010 (Lewis, Clark, Mastro)?
- Somewhat like Bruce Arena, there's a feeling out there that you have your favorites and you'll bring in these players regardless of whether they are producing for club or country. There are a couple of players that are producing for their clubs but haven't merited call-ups, why?


Posted by: Sushant Rao | August 29, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

>>The reason Kenny Cooper is not being called up to the National Team is that he doesn't play in Europe.
The reason Kenny Cooper does not play in Europe is because he does not get called up to the National Team.

Actually Cooper has a EU Passport, doesn't need Nat'l team caps to qualify for a work permit...he was Cardiff's first choice before they got a EJ on Loan.

Posted by: KC | August 29, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

A name Bob ought to really think about calling at Borussia Dortmund is Nevin Subotic, man saw him play vs FC Bayern and clip of his earlier goal prev week and the guy can flat out play center back and posses very good ball skills for a 6'3" defender. He cut down Luca Toni (sp?) on a breakaway, was just a vicious but clean tackle. I want me some of that nasty defending and mad ball skills....Call him Bob and the US future center back is in place for the next 10 years...

Posted by: Glove | August 29, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

You have a YouTube video in this blog of Brian Ching completely blowing a goal scoring opportunity. Funny thing is that he blows EVERY goal scoring opportunity. Why can't we have Altidore when he's probably going to be super glued to a bench somewhere in Spain?

p.s. Eddie Johnson is complete garbage.

Posted by: Eric | August 29, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

For me, the two guys who are wasted picks are Lewis and Califf. Lewis is so far past his prime, I wouldn't be surprised if he's retired by the time World Cup 2010 comes around. As for Califf, he wasn't all that good even when he was in his prime.

I'm glad to see Bradley is continuing to call up some of the developing youngsters -- Orozco, Wynne, Kljestan, Edu -- so they get some good experience in meaningful games.

Posted by: DeliBelly | August 30, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Why would Lewis retire by 2010 when he knows that Bradley will pick him for the World Cup?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

A name Bob ought to really think about calling at Borussia Dortmund is Nevin Subotic, man saw him play vs FC Bayern and clip of his earlier goal prev week and the guy can flat out play center back and posses very good ball skills for a 6'3" defender. He cut down Luca Toni (sp?) on a breakaway, was just a vicious but clean tackle. I want me some of that nasty defending and mad ball skills....Call him Bob and the US future center back is in place for the next 10 years...

Posted by: Glove | August 29, 2008 8:22 PM
Subotic scored a goal today in a 1-0 Dortmund win, and man would I love to see him play for the US, but with his exclusion for the Olympics and now the qualifiers, I wonder if he even wants to play for the Americans. Here's a story explaining the situation

Posted by: Mike R | August 30, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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