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USA's Roster for Mexico Trip

Here's the list for Wednesday's qualifier against Mexico at Azteca.....

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan.
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Bornstein, Chad Marshall.
Midfielders: Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Jose Francisco Torres.
Forwards: Landon Donovan, Brian Ching, Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Conor Casey.

Read the details here.

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  August 7, 2009; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Saturday Kickaround

Comments

BB must read this blog, how else to explain the brilliance of his selections

Posted by: Ruthie1 | August 7, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

i hope boca finds himself on the bench at kickoff

Posted by: rhbancroft | August 7, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Torres -> Kljestan
Casey -> Rogers

18/20. Well done, Goff.

Posted by: B_A_ | August 7, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson over Conor Casey, he looks good for Fulham as of late!

Posted by: arswift24 | August 7, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

No major surprises. I would substitute Ching for just about anyone else, but it's clear he (Ching) has naked pictures of Bradley somewhere.

Posted by: banjax451 | August 7, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Marshall -> Pearce.

17/20.

Posted by: B_A_ | August 7, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Thoughts?"

I die a little on the inside every time I see US Soccer use the acronym "MNT". Blech!

What? You asked!

Posted by: Kev29 | August 7, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

i think bob will pair ching up top with jozy to start until they need a burst of speed in the 60th with davies. 'cakes, bradley, and dempsey are locks in the midfield with a toss up between clark and benny in the middle. the back line will stay the same from the confed with boca, gooch, demerit, and anakin skywalker keeping things clean for timmay.

Posted by: MK27 | August 7, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Mine eyes have seen the glory!"

No Klejstan!

YES TORRES!!!

Posted by: DrewROC | August 7, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson over Conor Casey, he looks good for Fulham as of late!

Posted by: arswift24 | August 7, 2009 3:08 PM

All the more reason to let Johnson stay in London and keep up the good work. It's tough to break in to Hodgson teams, so he needs to stay in training there.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 7, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

3 players on that list played against the Cri in NY, and those 3 will not start, hopefully they will be over confident and we can get a victory.

Posted by: Norteno4life | August 7, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not really sure what Casey will provide for this squad. His work rate in the Confederations Cup was poor, and with Altidore and Ching we have 2 target forwards already. The only thing I can think of is that he plays in Colorado, so he might be more accustomed to the altitude. However, I don't think that's a good enough reason to call him in. I'd have preferred to see Rogers, if only because he offers something different from the rest of our squad. Casey is redundant.

Provided everyone comes through camp healthy, I suspect this will be our team on the 12th:

----------------- Davies - Altidore
Donovan --- Clark --- Bradley --- Dempsey
Bocanegra - DeMerit - Onyewu - Spector
------------------------ Howard

It's difficult to argue with the team that got our biggest result in recent memory. Aside from those who irrationally hate particular players (for example, the "Bradley only plays due to nepotism" brigade, who at this point are as credible to me as someone saying the sun rotates around the earth), I don't imagine there will be much disagreement.

I guess I could also see Bradley going to some kind of 451 at the start, dropping Davies for Feilhaber. It is, after all, Bradley; there's always room for a more defensive approach in his book. In that case, I wouldn't rule out Bradley also having Ching start over Altidore, which would leave the internet blind with rage.

Hopefully, though, he uses the team that did well in South Africa. I don't think Mexico will cope well with Altidore and Davies as a front pair, especially without Marquez.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 7, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Conor Casey????

Posted by: teo_68 | August 7, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

No Klejstan or Beasley...that's good. No Pearce or Beckerman...eh, maybe not so good.

@ rhbancroft - given that Boca & Bornstein are the only real leaft backs listed, I have to disagree with you and go with Carlos.

Posted by: soccerman | August 7, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

dont like the casey pick but i guess he's useful as a punching bag.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | August 7, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

3 players on that list played against the Cri in NY, and those 3 will not start, hopefully they will be over confident and we can get a victory.

Posted by: Norteno4life | August 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Ching started in NYC and I'd lay heavy odds that he starts in Mexico City - Bradley loves him. He'll be paired either with Jozy or Davies, with the other being a 60th minute(ish) sub. SOP for Bradley.

Posted by: banjax451 | August 7, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Casey is just there as, what, the 4th choice forward? He hopefully won't see the field.

Posted by: dclfc99 | August 7, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Kev29,

Touche!

Posted by: arswift24 | August 7, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

zzzz

I know who the core players are, and I don't care about the fringe players that probably won't even get a chance to put on the fluorescent penny to warm up.

Posted by: Reignking | August 7, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Solid.

I agree with Chest's proposed line up with one caveat. Bradly and Clark can not be allowed to lose their cool. And Mexico will do everything to make that happen. It's how they roll.

Posted by: DCU-ATL | August 7, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I assume Conor Casey is on the squad to carry bags of balls, I hope it is not to play, he has shown nothing in a US shirt.

Personally I would never call up Rico "red card waiting to happen" Clark, but I can begrudgingly understand why people do want him called up.

I assume Chad Marshall and Stuart Holden are there to see/experience what the environment is like for possible later games, I do not expect to see them, but would not be heartbroken to see Stewey late in the game when we have it wrapped up (or it's hopeless for us to catch up, depending on your optimism)

Other than that, no surprises. Thanks to the last game the USA played with crappy tactics, line-up and subs - this Mexico team is going to be high on confidence and coming out hard. If we can absorb that for the first 15 minutes, we should be okay.

I think the key is Landon, not surprisingly. If he comes out motivated and hungry and in a mood to run, we'll be okay - if he comes out tentative we're sunk.

Posted by: dcufan | August 7, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty much an easy call that the US lineup vs. Spain is the one Bradley will go with. It's pretty clear Bradley is averse to change, goes with what he's comfortable with, and goes with what he trusts. That group has earned it out of him. That will be his go to lineup for a while, unless somebody falls out of form (or Jones significantly outshines Clark when his time comes).

The roster as a whole is great, minus Connor Casey. I have no idea what goes through BB's mind with that selection. It's pretty much moot as he'll never see the field with the other options there, but still. He provides nothing but an out-of-place, lazy option that doesn't fit the US system. Baffling.

Posted by: psps23 | August 7, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Would rather have seen Cooper than Casey, Cooper has thrived in the super sub role, Casey is useless.

Other than Casey and maybe Marshall and Holden, is this the best possible squad the US has right now?

I guess Jermaine Jones when he is eligible.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 7, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I see that that Team USA will be relying on the MLS goalie pool for their third keeper

I'd prefer Kenny Cooper over Connor Casey, but since neither will / would play, it doesn't make much of a difference

Posted by: diego_r | August 7, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh and Edu not Adu, when he is healthy I see him taking ricardo's spot in the starting line up.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 7, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting to see if Dempsey plays in the midfield (where he was mostly useless in the confederations cup) or as a forward (where all he did was score goals in the confederations cup).

My contention would be that he should play up top, and that Bradley should have then selected another midfielder (aka Beckerman) rather than bringing in 2 or 3 target forwards

Posted by: diego_r | August 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so Bradley named Torres to the roster. The question still remains, will he play him?

On a slightly OT note, anybody know of a good bar in Chincoteague that might have the game on?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 7, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Two other big questions:

will Bocanegra start at left back with Onyewu and Demerit in the center?

who will start: Cherundolo or Spector?

Posted by: diego_r | August 7, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Somebody here actually thinks Kljestan deserves a spot over Torres? Kljestan doesn't even deserve to start for Chivas USA anymore. I know we all like to take shots at Bob for his picks, but honestly, this is about as strong a squad as you could pick, considering who is and isn't available at the moment.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 7, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"It'll be interesting to see if Dempsey plays in the midfield (where he was mostly useless in the confederations cup) or as a forward (where all he did was score goals in the confederations cup)."

Dempsey had a goal and an assist from the midfield at the CC. He shouldn't be playing up top, especially not at the expense of Altidore or Davies in the counterattacking style we'll likely be playing.

Posted by: psps23 | August 7, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Remember to put in your leave slip for Wednesday afternoon. This is one that you should want to see live if possible. Even though its a 4 PM EDT start, its worth it to get home early. Oh - better practice your espaƱol since most of you will be watching on Telemundo.

Posted by: sbg1 | August 7, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Selections aside, I am anxious to see how each team's manager address their team's mentality. Will Mexico be overconfident after their "big win"? Will the Americans be so intent on avenging their countrymen's embarrasment that they come out over-agressive and do something stupid (early red card, for example)? I think the manager who gets his team in the best mental state will go home with the victory.

Posted by: pecanturtle | August 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

stoked for the game!

Posted by: irebatt | August 7, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Something to think about; the Houston players all played last night and all play on Sunday as well. 3 games in less than a week. That may be tough for Rico Clark to earn a starting spot (and you can pretty much completely forget about the minimal chance for Ching starting as well, as he was already pulled last night for fatigue). With all those games, all that travel, the altitude, heat and humidity of the Azteca, you may very well see Feilhaber in that central mid spot next to Bradley.

Posted by: psps23 | August 7, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Ching is GREAT against T&T etc. I hope he doesn't start Wednesday, I would much prefer the Jozy and Charlie show. OR Landon as a withdrawn.

Posted by: arswift24 | August 7, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

highly doubt casey will make the 18. Im assuming they just want another forward in camp just to make the practices more competitive

Posted by: totalfootballer | August 7, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I can't beLIEVE I'm not pissed.

I can understand why Cooper wasn't in it, still think he's better than Ching.

But Holden and Torres are going,

And BEAS and KLEJSTAN and PEarce and Califf aren't!! (The last two played horribly against El Salvador, and I said then that they should never wear the uniform).

Could Bob be learning? That would be miraculous.

Just as long as Ching and Slow+dumb don't make the field.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 7, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I for one would be very surprised if Chingy, Rico, and Stuey played their league match on Sunday, but what do I know?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 7, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The US needs to do a better job developing quality forwards, that has always been the thinnest spot on the team.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 7, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Bradley will go with the same line-up as in South Africa except start Ching in place of Altidore b/c Jozy hasn't been playing since Confederations Cup. Why he doesns't pick Cooper is a mystery--he played well in the Gold Cup, in the little time he got, and adds another dimension up front with his height and footwork. Holden and Marshall will be superglued to the bench.

Posted by: hudson22 | August 7, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I bet Jozy starts up front; Ching comes in as a sub. He's got to go with the guys who were successful in South Africa, plus without Mr. Sportsmanship in the back for Mexico, Jozy and Davies are going to tear it up... at least that's my hope.

Question of the day will be whether the guys show the defensive determination they showed at the end of the tournament in SA. If not, it'll be a long day.

Posted by: hacksaw | August 7, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about Holden not seeing the field. To my mind, he seems like a pretty talented player in the style of Donovan and Dempsey.

Feilhaber should start with Bradley, I think, and then bring in Clark once we have a lead. (As someone mentioned, Clark has been playing a lot of games lately).

If they push Dempsey up top late in the game, I wouldn't be surprised to see Holden. He's clearly a future starter for the US, and he isn't that young. Could use minutes.

If Ching starts, though, I won't be happy. Especially if we're working a 4-5-1. That means we're just waiting for creative players to break us. We need to bury Mexico with goals, and disrupt their possession game.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 7, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

----------------- Davies - Altidore
Donovan --- Holden --- Bradley --- Dempsey
Cherundolo - Bocanegra - Onyewu - Spector
------------------------ Howard

I think with Holden and Donovan together on the field, Donovan can play a free style on the midfield and Holden move to the left side.

Also you need a vet. back 4 so start Cherundolo at LB and Bocanegra at CB with Onyewu

Posted by: Bigmon411 | August 7, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

All the more reason to let Johnson stay in London and keep up the good work. It's tough to break in to Hodgson teams, so he needs to stay in training there.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 7, 2009 3:18 PM
-------------------------------------------------

I agree. If EJ can resuscitate his career and turn into a real scorer, I think he'd be a big addition. You can't learn his kind of speed. Let him earn his spot with Fulham before we look at him again for the USA.

I've been impressed with Casey since the Confederations Cup. You can't learn or teach his size, either -- and he has some skill, too. All he lacks is fitness and effort on defense.

My guess for the line-up:

Howard
Boca --- DeMerit --- Onyewu --- Spector
Donovan --- Clark --- Bradley --- Torres
Dempsey --- Davies

Top 3 subs: Feilhaber, Altidore and Holden (I expect BB likes these guys off the bench more than, say, Clark or Torres, and Altidore's fitness level is probably not going to be up for 90 minutes @ Azteca).

Posted by: fischy | August 7, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Cooper has better size, speed and finishing ability than casey.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 7, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

A run this morning and a run this evening with some biking in between means I'm not making it to Boyds tonight. I'm planted on my couch watching the Legg Mason Classic and preparing for Real Madrid-TFC and the W-League final. It is times like this that I am not ashamed of not only owning sippy cups, but using them.

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I also like Cooper over Casey, but I wouldn't expect either to play.

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

must agree that the selection of Casey is a mystery. Everyone else is a solid pick. I'm ok with Ching because he is a vet and a calming presence, however, I think we all want to see Cooper ahead of both Casey and Ching. Bornstein...really? In a pinch against Mex I would take Pearce over Bornstein as a natural LB. Someones suggested Cherundolo as a LB... sorry but I don't see it happening. BB, needs to play to win, not go into a shell. Granted that this is the strongest defensive lineup we have possibly ever had... we also have a potent offense. Let EJ stay in England for now and be happy for his seemingly improvement in form....and, GO USA!

Posted by: Samuraise | August 7, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Real leads TFC 2-0 and the Freedom just scored on a free kick to the upper right corner to make it 1-0 in the 14th minute.

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

No Sacha, no Beasley, no Rogers - fantastic.

Don't expect Casey to dress unless Ching injured.

The two big questions for me are who he puts up top - I'd guess Ching and Davies and who plays right back - Spector or Dolo. This must be a first - Bradley pretty much picks the best guys and there is some depth on the starting 11 picks...all good.

Posted by: Beckster1 | August 7, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

No Sacha, no Beasley, no Rogers - fantastic.

Don't expect Casey to dress unless Ching injured.

The two big questions for me are who he puts up top - I'd guess Ching and Davies and who plays right back - Spector or Dolo. This must be a first - Bradley pretty much picks the best guys and there is some depth on the starting 11 picks...all good.

Posted by: Beckster1 | August 7, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Pali Blues just made it 1-1.

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

only surprise to see is Casey.
By the way, do the people who are commenting like say gridion ball, bb ball bk ball mention soccer games? JP constantly brings up nasty car or baseboool games.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | August 7, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Conor Casey is in the 5th spot. Ching and Altidore are ahead of him in terms of "target forwards." I don't think he'll see the field beneath his feet. So, it's not a big deal to me.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 7, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

If only TFC had taken out Barrett and Vitti earlier.

4-1

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm rarely this bored by a six goal game.
TFC losing 5-1.

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Pali Blues lead 2-1 late

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Pali Blues win 2-1.

Posted by: sitruc | August 7, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if Bob goes conservative and keeps Davies as a sub if we're down. I bet Mexico saw that Davies kick to the groin earlier in the summer and that they will target Davies as the player whose skin they would like to get under, because they (and I) think he might take the bait. Don't underestimate Azteca gamesmanship...

Posted by: nick19 | August 7, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Whoever he starts, I just hope Bradley doesn't wait too long to inject the subs. Especially at altitude, we'll need fresh legs sooner. That's been a problem for him in the past. We really don't want a melt down like in the Gold Cup final, even though this is a totally different team.

Posted by: SeanWG | August 7, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Casey is just cover in case Ching is unable to dress for the game I think. I doubt both make the gameday roster. I also see Torres as an odd man out for the gameday roster or perhaps Holden although recently Holden has shown better but Torres has the Mexico connection.

Posted by: jake77 | August 7, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

psps23:

I think the only 2 positions that are in any danger from that group are Clark and Spector. Clark might not have even been on the field in the Confederations Cup if it wasn't for Mo Edu's knee injury. Edu was doing something rare for American players: Fighting his way into the starting lineup at a notable club. Clark's a good player, but given the choice between them at their best, I'd take Edu.

Even if Clark does hold off Edu and the rest of our potential defensive midfielders, he'd then have Jermaine Jones to deal with. Jones, interestingly, is similar to Clark: Aggressive, fast, and at his best seems to be everywhere at once. I don't know if he has Clark's long range shooting power, but his touch and passing are both better. Frankly, if Jones plays like he did last year, I don't see how he can be kept out of the US lineup. Hopefully that's the case; I'd rather have someone winning that role rather than it being handed off by default.

In Spector's case, his consistent injury problems are my main worry. Cherundolo is arguably the smarter player and is the kind of strong character we need on the field, but Spector's size and crossing ability are qualities you can't ignore. It's Spector's job right now, but neither makes me upset.

Samuraise:

Most people do seem to prefer Cooper over Ching, but they're ignoring Bradley's system. The way Bradley wants to play, Ching is easily the better choice. I'd even argue that Casey, despite his unwillingness to pressure defenders, is better. Why? They both stay central and play with their backs to goal. Cooper likes to drift wide and seems happier facing goal, despite having the size and strength to shield defenders off.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 7, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

The latest thing in artificial turf. Good for the new Red Bulls stadium?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 8, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Am I repeating old news? Did everyone see this-

http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Mens-National-Team/2009/08/NBC-Universal-to-Offer-mun2-to-All-Distribution-Partners-for-Free-on-August-12.aspx

The game will be unlocked on the satellite services for subscribers to watch. MUN2 will be accessible for DirecTV (ch 410) and Dish (I guess) subscribers. USMNT "soccer bars" can have it unlocked as well.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | August 8, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

That is like soooo last week, jayrockers.

Posted by: sitruc | August 8, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Jay, just for fun, not to be mean:

http://tinyurl.com/kuoqp9

;)

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 8, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Bradley's system is not scoring goals, leaning on defenders, and hoping that either Donovan, Dempsey, his son, or a forward he doesn't even like (anyone but Ching) take it on their own.

To say you fit into his system up top is, quite clearly, an insult.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 8, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

dont like the casey pick but i guess he's useful as a punching bag.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | August 7, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse j


well stated.


no bornstein or casey for me. otherwise great lineup.

perkins over guzan too. just cause guzan rides the bench

Posted by: castroviejo | August 8, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Somebody didn't see Guzan in the Peace Cup.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 8, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see see but a single highlight of Guzan saving the key penalty, but a really badly taken one. Still, the reviews were good. I'm thrilled that we seem to have a very capable back-up.

While we're arguing about back-ups, right now, I have to agree with Chest that Casey is better than Cooper. He has size and some speed -- he is better on the ball and better in the air. Cooper has a better shot, but needs to work on the rest of his game. He's in a place now where that may come, but I'd rather see Casey as an option than Cooper right now. Of course, I'm sure that Bradley's choice has as much to do with letting Cooper get time with his new team, but I agree with it on both levels. Cooper's day will come.

Posted by: fischy | August 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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