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USA's 2010 Kickoff

The U.S. national team opens its 2010 calendar Saturday night at Home Depot Center with a friendly against Honduras (9 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Telefutura), and although the roster lacks prominent foreign-based players, Coach Bob Bradley will be able to learn more about his player pool as the World Cup approaches.

Of the 28 players in camp, 18 will be in uniform against the Catrachos. Each team will be permitted to use as many as six reserves. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and forward Marcus Tracy departed with injuries and defender Kevin Alston missed most of camp with a strained hamstring.

Click here for the full roster.

Who has the most to gain? I will go with:

*Troy Perkins (six caps), who is among four goalkeeping candidates for three World Cup slots, joining first-choice Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and Marcus Hahnemann.

*Chad Marshall (10), a 6-foot-4 presence who could provide depth to a central defensive unit weakened by Oguchi Onyewu's knee injury and Carlos Bocanegra's inactivity at Rennes.

*Kyle Beckerman (10), an MLS veteran competing for time at a central midfield position rich with options.

*Jeff Cunningham (12) and Robbie Findley (one), MLS attacking candidates who could help fill the void if Charlie Davies and Clint Dempsey are unavailable or not in top form.

I'm not suggesting these players are using a friendly against Honduras to make a case for a starting job against England on June 12. But they, and several others, have an opportunity to impress Bradley before things turn more serious this spring.

After this match, the Americans will use a secondary roster for the Feb. 24 friendly against El Salvador in Tampa and a full lineup March 3 against the Netherlands in Amsterdam -- the only international fixture date before the World Cup. There will be a U.S.-based training camp in May, followed by two home friendlies -- the opponents and venues have yet to be finalized -- and then it's off to South Africa.

As of yesterday, about 11,000 tickets (mostly to Honduran supporters in Southern California?) had been sold for tomorrow's match.

Who on the USA squad would you like to see perform particularly well?

By Steve Goff  |  January 22, 2010; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

Marshall and any speedy striker who can ripple the nets...

At GK, it would be nice to see Troy do well. But, IMHO, we have 1 starter and all kinds of backups at GK for the US. If Tim gets injured, you swim to England and beg Freidel to come back for just 1 more Cup run.

Just 1 opinion, without tears.

Posted by: JkR- | January 22, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

hoping one of those friendlies in May is gonna be at the red bull arena. it'll give me more reasons to go there in addition to when DC plays there. it looks like it's going to be an incredible stadium.

Posted by: joe_hill | January 22, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

All I really want is to see Pontius make the 18. I hope he did well at the camp and even though it's a friendly it'll still be great experience for him.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | January 22, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd say this match is most important for Cunningham. Granted a goal against Honduras isn't going to impress anybody; this is a chance to prove he is a consistent goal scorer. If he has a bad game and I think he'll be written off quickly.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | January 22, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that Rimando was traded back to DC. Deja vu all over again!

Posted by: dcpsycho | January 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I would include Robbie Rogers in the group with much to play for. He could punch his ticket with a really strong outing.

Posted by: fischy | January 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

or dribble the ball into the corner and have it taken away from him... Although reports elsewhere, suggest he's had a great camp, I know, I know...

Posted by: DadRyan | January 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/01/22/football.haiti.zidane.kaka/index.html

Soccer stars Zinedine Zidane and Kaka will take part in a charity match to help raise funds for the the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

The two former world footballers of the year will be among 40 internationals lining up for the United Nations Development Programme's annual game, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal on Monday.

Posted by: Reignking | January 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Heath Pearce...I can't believe he didn't get to go back to Europe after that debacle.

Posted by: Reignking | January 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'd agree with Reignking, but I don't see Heath Pearce going anywhere. Bornstein and Boca are our options, unless Castillo goes absolutely insane.

I'd say Gonzalez, because Marshall, Goodson, and Conrad have all been measured; Rogers, because his spot on the team and chances of playing are measured by the upcoming matches; and Findley, who has to prove he is better than Cunninham right now. Oh, and Perkins definitely has something to play for.

Beckerman had better not have a spot on the plane.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | January 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Who on the USA squad would you like to see perform particularly well?
============

Beckerman.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 22, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I want Beckerman on the plane if he's playing well and has earned a spot.

Posted by: JkR- | January 22, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Goodson and Beckerman.

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 22, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Beckerman isn't any better than Clark, Bradley, Feilhaber, Edu, Jones . . and lacks the int'l experience.

There's a long line at center/d mid and likely not any room for Kyle . . . unless he's versatile enough to play wide, up top or in the back.

Posted by: delantero | January 22, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Goodson and/or Marshall. I'd like to ensure we can free Bocanegra from the middle and get him to left back.

Any idea when we'll know the 18?

Posted by: soccerman | January 22, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I am not that sure how good Edu is. (Honestly, how many of us watch Rangers games regularly?) Beckerman seems to be a player willing to show for the ball off our back line and keep it moving.

I also have never been a huge fan of Clark, but I guess since he has moved to Europe he is elevated to god like status in the American soccer fan world.

I say Cunnighman or Findley has the best chance of making the World Cup Roster as outsiders (I am assuming Marshall is probably already on it as cover.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 22, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Conor Casey play himself out of consideration.

Posted by: joe_hill | January 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Conor Casey play himself out of consideration.

Posted by: joe_hill

Here, here! We know he's not the answer...why are we wasting our time? Clearly Bradley prefers to match power with pace up front. Altidore is power, Ching is a servicable backup. Where's the speed? Push Donovan back up front? It's clearly not Casey.

For all of your Beckerman lovers...why? To me, he runs a lot but doesn't seem to accomplish much. Bradley clearly has one CM spot sewn up, and I'm comfortable with Feilhaber/Clark at the other. Edu can play himself back onto the roster and Kljestan needs to get his form back and he could contend as well.

Agree with seeing Chad Marshall step up, since he may be our number 3 CB behind Demerit and Bocanegra. Would also love to see if Marvell Wynne can play LB, our chronic weakness. Hell, Bradley has tried practically everyone else in the player pool there...

Posted by: daandre3 | January 22, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Not saying Kyle isn't a good player, but this is Bradley we're talking about. He rides the horses until they start looking gimpy . . aka Beasley.


In all likelihood, the S.A. team is going to be the same team that was at the Confed Cup with the only openings being the last few spots that will always be up in the air d/t form, injury, needs of the team.

Of this group, really, it seems that only Davies' replacement and depth, primarily in the back, but really everywhere are up for consideration.

Posted by: delantero | January 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Interesting (?) tidbit: It seems that Everton has made a deal to add Slovakian goalie Jan Mucha this summer. I'm guessing he's meant to back-up Howard? Might mean that Howard will no longer play in Cup ties...

Posted by: fischy | January 22, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Conor Casey play himself out of consideration. Posted by: joe_hill

I second that . ., but as I said, this is Bob Bradley. Barring any great revelations from anyone else, Casey is going to make it. I would like Pontius/Findley to get some real time on Saturday.

Posted by: delantero | January 22, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice that Nick Raimundo is listed as being on DC United?

Posted by: NoMad3 | January 22, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Is the expectation that Donovan will be in the starting lineup for Everton tomorrow? Or? Watched the last two matches he played in, and would consider trying to tune in, but haven't heard the word.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 22, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

After seeing Beckerman attempt to single-handedly give away the El Salvador game in September, I hope to never see him in a Nats uniform for a meaningful game again.

Posted by: BooThisMan | January 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Troy Perkins returning to MLS makes him less likely to make the World Cup? Marcus Hahnemann wouldn't be missing any games and neither will play anyway.

Posted by: Dancy1 | January 22, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@Dad -- Donovan's started 2 games in a row. Everton had 4 points in those games. No reason to think that won't continue.

Posted by: fischy | January 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh -- I gotcha -- because it's a Cup match? I bet he plays, anyway.

Posted by: fischy | January 22, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The Cunningham vs. Findley duel is the key for me.

No way on Beckerman--he can't hold the ball under pressure and is a red card waiting to happen at the ultra-picky World Cup.

Besides, we're so deep at that position alraedy.

Posted by: Shmenge | January 22, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@dcpsycho @NoMad3

I noticed too.
The link to the roster says Nick Rimondo is Dc United. United.com doesn't list Rimondo on the roster.

Mr. Goff, is this a typo? What's up with that?


Posted by: 9Nine9 | January 22, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

thanks fischy, it's still a mystery to me when, and why yanks are getting playing time. I haven't looked at Everton's complete sched, and for all I know they've got a mid week league match they might have been saving him for... Can you tell I really don't watch the EPL? :)

Posted by: DadRyan | January 23, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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