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USA Roster for Qualifiers

The 22-man USA player list for next Saturday's World Cup qualifying match at El Salvador and the April 1 meeting with Trinidad and Tobago in Nashville:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann, Tim Howard*.

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Danny Califf, Jay DeMerit, Frankie Hejduk, Oguchi Onyewu, Heath Pearce, Jonathan Spector.

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Pablo Mastroeni, Jose Francisco Torres.

Forwards: Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching, Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson.

*suspended for ES match


By Steve Goff  |  March 20, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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I am happy with it... we seem to be getting a stable group that plahys consistently together. I would like Marvell Winn to get more call-ups but his time is coming

Posted by: Shanoni | March 20, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

EJ had a couple of good games. I wonder if it would be better to leave him off the roster and allow him to reach some level of cinsistency in his play.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 20, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't really see the point of Marcus and Timmy flying to El Salvador if they're not going to play. Or, if Marcus is going to play, why take Guzan? You can find quality US GK's at any Starbucks.

Or does Timmy have to sit on the bench for his sit out to count?

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I echo Shanoni's sentiments. I would like to see the players selected for matches become more consistent so that the group likely to play together in 2010 develop some chemistry. the time to experiment was the last 2+ years. Now is the time to narrow the list and weed out those players not ready for 2010.

Though I could do without Marvel Winn for now.

Posted by: therealfootball | March 20, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Johnson has earned it yet. Otherwise, good.

I still think Freddy should play over Torres.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I HATE EJ, he has no business on the NT. one good game liek ever. The most over rated player I have ever seen.

Posted by: BarraLoco | March 20, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I have never criticized Bob, but he is one of those coaches who sticks to his favorites no matter what. Why would you have Califf, Mastreoni, or Eddie Johnson on this roster? I also find it disturbing that Clark and Davies were left off.

Califf has not been playing that much recently because of injury and besides he is an orange traffic cone. Mastreoni is a walking talking red or yellow card. Eddie Johnson is very overrated.

I would have included Davies, Clark, Wynne, and Parkurst. I would have even included Simek. Pearce is a weak link in this defense. Hopefully we will see more youth this summer on our back line(i.e. Wallace (FC Dallas), Alston (Revolution),and Wynne). Although our backline has been effective against 2nd rate CONCACAF teams, I think they would not be the same against better teams such as: Spain, England, or Brazil.

Posted by: no_recess | March 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

It's official -- the Cascadia Cup derby will be fully in MLS come 2011.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 20, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I love it! Think about it. He is bring some of these young players to try the hostile environmnet in the CONCACAF.

I'm not a big fan of EJ myself, but he could help against a team like El Salvador.

Timmy will be fine sitting this one out. I assume Guzan will get the start.

Posted by: hardcoco | March 20, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

jkr: this is for two matches, so timmy will likely not travel to el salvador, he'll be ne of the four players cut for that match.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 20, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks OK, except, like others, I'd drop EJ and Mastroeni.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 20, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse


No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

Not yet. Let him friggin' START at Cardiff at least a half dozen times first!

OK, I know the thinking - Bradley's remembering his run in CONCACAF qualifying and figuring maybe he's got a goal in him, or enough energy to run disorganized defenders ragged.

But really...

Posted by: Modibo | March 20, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Jozy and Freddy are able to cement a nice combo up top...

Posted by: Juan-John | March 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Or does Timmy have to sit on the bench for his sit out to count?

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 1:04 PM

I don't think so. Presumably Guzan starts with Hahnemann on the bench for ES. Then Howard starts with Guzan on the bench for T&T. I'm assuming Howard doesn't make the trip until after his weekend club match.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Whoops that's an international fixture week so Howard may well travel to ES as well.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 20, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

El Salvador match?

Oh, you mean the El Salvador match that you won't be able to watch live if you attend an MLS game that night.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 20, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Whoops that's an international fixture week so Howard may well travel to ES as well.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 20, 2009 1:47 PM

What? League take weekends off to focus on international fixtures?? Craziness! (Sorry, obsessed)

Would the US and Everton really want Howard to do all that traveling just to watch the match in ES? Maybe he does a bit of training here in the States then joins up in Trinidad.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Jay DeMerit over Michael Orozco? What's up with that? DeMerit has been playing little time in a championship team.

Posted by: silentbat | March 20, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts? Freddy Adu's a forward?

Bradley could play him with Donovan and have the smallest pair of strikers in the last 100 years.

Posted by: fischy | March 20, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Looks like he is not calling up too many MLS players because of the conflicting schedule. That allows him to re-integrate some guys into the squad who have not been playing for a while due to injuries - Spector, Demerit and Hahneman. Also allows him to get the young kids some exposure to qualifying matches - Adu, Altidore and Edu along with some continued exposure for Torres and Klejstan. The Johnson call is a mystery. I would rather see Davies get some more experience. Heck - if he is basing it on one or two games at Cardiff, why not call up Zimmerman in Austria or Tracy at AalBorg? They have had a few good games too.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | March 20, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd take DeMerit over Orozco 8 days a week.

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Disclaimer: I have always been and always will be a Hahnemann fan.

How does Guzan, who sits the bench all season (behind a very good goalkeeper, yes) start over Marcus. If Marcus is getting the call, then I assume he is fully fit. He is back in the Reading lineup after all.

Goalkeeper is supposedly our deepest position, yet we can't choose a guy who is currently his club's number one? Bush league.

Freddy, Damarcus, Jozy I get, arguably we may not have better talent, but goalkeeper? Come on.

Posted by: bluesfan1 | March 20, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Well it is a reasonable pool of players - except maybe the EJ issue. 2 or 3 ok games does not an international starter make....

Now who will play is the question. I sure would like to see Spector put in as either right or left back ahead of Hejduk or Pearce. I think Marcus is stronger in goal than Brad so it will be interesting to see who is selected.

Posted by: Beckster1 | March 20, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Call me crazy but I believe EJ is about to break out. He has so much potential we have to take the chance. Imagine EJ & Jozy ON FORM up top in South Africa! Would like to see someone else as under study to Dolo than surfer dude...

Posted by: BellusLudas | March 20, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Do no European clubs want Brian Ching? All the forwards (although I agree Freddy may not be a true forward) are related to European clubs in one way or another -- albeit too frequently riding the bench or 'not in the 18'. Anyway, he's a consistent starting forward for USMNT that no one questions and yet he remains in the MLS. If Landycakes is good enough to get playing time while on loan to Bayern Munich, seems to me that either Bob Bradley overrates Ching, or the European clubs are missing something. Who is right?

Posted by: WorldCup | March 20, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Call me crazy but I believe EJ is about to break out. He has so much potential we have to take the chance. Imagine EJ & Jozy ON FORM up top in South Africa! Would like to see someone else as under study to Dolo than surfer dude...

Posted by: BellusLudas | March 20, 2009 2:25 PM


The reason I don't share your optimism is that I don't see EJ having a good soccer brain. All the skills, but he seems to have to think before he acts, and that's too slow at then highest level.

Posted by: JkR- | March 20, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Guzan has not been sitting on the bench all season. Martin O'Neill has been using him for all of AV's FA Cup and UEFA Cup games. (I know, Aston Villa is already out of both competitions.)

Posted by: Rhio | March 20, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree. The thing is, he's always breaking out, then falling off. He hasn't improved, either.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 20, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The El Salvador game is a direct conflict with our home opener vs. Chicago on the 28th. I for one will be at RFK that night. We should be able to get the 3 points at the Cuscatlan but again, its a hostile environment and we need a result.

Posted by: sbg1 | March 20, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

What's up with Cherundolo? Is he injured?

Posted by: Brokenbil | March 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Johnson's pick is not a "mystery". He's in really good form right now with Cardiff.

Posted by: fischy | March 20, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Freddy needs to be contributing if we are going to compete in South Africa. Hopefully he has learned his lesson, he'll play defense, keep his mouth shut, and show that he deserves to be on the field. I really hope he breaks out soon, regardless of how much time he's getting in Europe.

Also glad Pablo is in there.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Kev29: They're playing in Nashville on the 1st not Trinidad.

Yes it does suck that I won't be going to the home opener, or watching online, or DK, but I for one will not be missing the US playing that night. It's my father in laws birthday weekend, so it will be impossible to catch DCU, they luckily have ESPN2 out in the *country*.
The good news is that Chicago will visit us again sooner than later.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse


Wallace? You mean the guy that sits behind one of MLS's worst left backs (David Wagner)? Who has 6 appearances over 2 seasons?


Ching is the best option for Bradley's preferred system. While many European teams play somewhat similar systems, every team is different. There's also the age question. What European team would buy a 30 year old American who needs a perfect fit system-wise to play at the national team level? Meanwhile, Altidore, Davies, and even Johnson are all young and have potential to get better.

This isn't FIFA or Football Manager, where you look at some numbers and pick a guy whose numbers are higher. Things aren't anywhere near that cut and dry.


Really good form? He's managed to get into a couple games, got an assist and MOTM in one, and then went back to not playing. At this point, looking at the trajectory of his career, it's a tiny blip.

To put it another way, how many good games would an MLS player have to play to get the same chance? I can guarantee it would be more than 1 start and a couple substitute appearances.

I made a joke after Johnson's much-hailed one-off MOTM appearance that Bradley would instantly call him back in. I am not happy that said joke turned out to be true. Johnson should have been dropped long before Bradley did, and he should have been dropped far enough down that it would take at least 2-3 months of consistent good form to get back in. Instead, 1 good game and a couple acceptable appearances as a sub was enough. Bradley seems to be doing everything to give people a reason to question him in spite of the team's results (and I'm far from the most likely to jump on a coach).


I like that Spector is back. I'd like to see him start on either side of the back four. Granted, that's as much down to a lack of confidence in Hejduk and Pearce, but what can you do? I'm leaning towards Hejduk starting and Spector over Pearce (who, somehow, didn't even have a rumor about moving during the transfer window; I maintain that sitting the bench in the 2.Liga is, at best, barely better than sitting in MLS and totally unacceptable).

In El Salvador, I have a feeling we'll see this:

------------------ Ching
----------------- Donovan
Beasley ---------------------------- Dempsey
------------ Mastroeni - Bradley
Spector - Bocanegra - Onyewu - Hejduk
------------------- Guzan

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 20, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Ching is just as worthless to me as EJ.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 20, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse


No I mean Wallace who starts for the U-20 World Cup team. However you have a good point about Wagner who is only a year older and the starter. I just think there is a huge problem at RB and LB. It would be nice to see someone other than Pearce or Bornstein.

Posted by: no_recess | March 20, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse


I don't like Ching either, but he does all the dirty work. He wins the ball despite all the physical challenges he faces and we need that. I do not see any other player capable of doing that on the roster. However I do not see the WC 2010 being as "dirty" as the CONCACF qualifiers. I think we will need someone with more skill then b/c the defenders will be less likely to use dirty tactics due to their higher level of talent than the average CONCACAF defender (see Marquez from Mexico).

Posted by: no_recess | March 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Mastroeni=red card, and then the debate of who should pair up with Bradley is pretty pointless.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Chings scored how many goals in WCQ in the last year? What's that? 4 you say? He works his butt off. He's far more trustworthy and consistent than half the jokers on the roster. He's tough as nails to boot.
Altidore is still not even close to getting the start in a game like this. Neither is EJ. Until those boys step their game up BIG TIME Ching is the man.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 20, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Mastreoni is a walking talking red or yellow card.

Posted by: no_recess | March 20, 2009 1:28 PM

I made this exact same point eight years ago. It's bothersome he still gets callups after being carded out of some pretty big games.

He's the new Greg Vanney. You have to be consistantly amazed at how people value his play from nine years ago, nevermind what he did last week, last month or last year.



Posted by: jayrockers | March 20, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Whither Kenny Cooper?


OK, now that the necessaries have been sorted, I'm (mildly surprised at the lack of Luis Robles' name on this roster. He was unlikely to play, but bringing him to these fixtures would have benefits.

Posted by: B_A_ | March 20, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse


It didn't use to bother me so much when he was more talented then most of the other CM or DMF we had, but know we have Clark, Bradley, Klejstan, Feilhaber, Szetela, etc...I do not understand why he is even considered especially at his age.

Posted by: no_recess | March 20, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Dad, Chest, any of you guys making the trip down?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 20, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I think it is a poor decision for Bradley to ignore Robbie Rogers in this one. Coach was doing a good job bringing him in and mentoring him for a position where we are thin. Bringing in EJ, Adu and Altidore despite their lack of PT is pure politics and not based on merit. Freddy and Jozy though talented are not game fit and will add nothing constructive. It sends the wrong message.

Posted by: TomR143 | March 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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