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Charlie Davies, the U.S. squad and the World Cup

Despite making a remarkable recovery from serious injuries suffered in an auto accident in October, U.S. forward Charlie Davies will not play for Sochaux this season, the French club said. Sochaux has five Ligue 1 matches remaining.

But does an absence of competitive games in Europe completely rule him out of contention for a World Cup roster slot? You would think so. Davies is clearly not physically ready for the rigors of a club match, let alone a World Cup game.


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U.S. Coach Bob Bradley will not finalize his 23-man roster until just before the squad departs for Johannesburg on May 30. He must submit to FIFA a preliminary list of 30 players by May 11, and in a break from past preparations due primarily to the team's injury situation, more than 23 players will be invited to training camp, which begins May 16 at Princeton University. The World Cup roster is due June 1.

Should Davies be included on the preliminary list? It's difficult to make that judgment because we don't know his specific limitations and whether he has retained the explosiveness and finishing touch that made him so valuable to the national team. As we've discussed before, this is uncharted territory for Bradley and the U.S. Soccer Federation: While a player's recovery from a torn knee ligament follows a predicable path and timetable, there is no clear way of knowing whether someone who endured severe injuries in a car wreck will ever be the same.

The lack of club matches is a concern for not only Davies, but defender Oguchi Onyewu, who has resumed training with AC Milan but hasn't played since suffering a knee injury in October; midfielder Ricardo Clark, who has sat the bench, in part because of injury, since joining Eintracht Frankfurt; midfielder Stuart Holden, who is recovering from a broken leg; and forward Brian Ching, who damaged a hamstring a few weeks ago. The difference between those players and Davies is that, for the most part, we know how their bodies will respond.

While Davies has remained inactive, other forwards with minimal international experience have made their case for consideration: Edson Buddle, who has seven goals in four matches for Los Angeles, and Herculez Gomez, who has taken the Mexican league by storm this spring.

Who is on the preliminary 30? How about:

Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan.

Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Clarence Goodson, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Bornstein, Heath Pearce.

Midfielders (10): Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Jose Francisco Torres, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, DaMarcus Beasley, Robbie Rogers.

Midfielder-forwards (2): Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan.

Forwards (7): Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching, Herculez Gomez, Edson Buddle, Robbie Findley, Conor Casey, Charlie Davies.

Left out: Frank Simek, Chad Marshall, Jimmy Conrad, Edgar Castillo, Frankie Hejduk, Kyle Beckerman, Eddie Johnson, Jeff Cunningham, Freddy Adu, Kenny Cooper.

(A player not included on the 30 remains eligible up to 24 hours before the first group match, but realistically, selection would occur only under unusual circumstances, such as an injury to a goalkeeper.)

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By Steve Goff  |  April 22, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , France , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: AC Milan, Benny Feilhaber, Bob Bradley, Charlie Davies, FIFA World Cup, Landon Donovan, Ligue 1, Soccer, Sochaux, World Cup  
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Next: Davies remains in consideration for World Cup


Very clearly Davies and Gooch should be loaned to MLS after the European season ends.

Posted by: Egadman | April 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe no Frankie Hejduk when I see it.

Posted by: Hokienautic | April 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

No short corners has an update.

UPDATE: Alright, everybody take a deep breath. I have spoken to Sochaux. Monsieur Lacombe's statements were indicative of his personal outlook on the matter and not of an official medical decision of any kind.

To sum up, Davies has not been shut down for the season or halted in any way from continuing his World Cup chase.

Posted by: Reignking | April 22, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

i like Goff's list of 30. no one on the "left out" list is going to make anyone very sad, other than Freddy's 5 remaining supporters. it's too bad we won't get to see Jermaine Jones get a shot at the team.

with things like the WC that only happen every 4 years, it's all about peaking at the right time. i think the "peak" of this team may have been last year's Confederations Cup. given the injuries, the recent form in National Team games and the struggles of many of our players with their club teams, i'm slightly pessimistic about our chances. of course, i'm very ready to be wrong if Buddle or Gomez or anyone else can start scoring goals in bunches and our defense can avoid the meltdowns that have us playing from behind too often.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 22, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter whether or not he will play for Sochaux, he should still be called in for day to day evaluation at the camp. He's worked too hard and too long to be dismissed with a phone call, much less a statement by the president of his club.

If there is still a slim chance of making it back, we should not discourage him, as this is the main reason he has found the will to pull through for so many months. If we're still thinking about bringing Robbie Findley, we shouldn't dismiss a player with five times as much heart and ability.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 22, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Couple of quibbles Mr. Goff:

-Johnson over Findley
Findley just doesn't have the strength off the bench. Johnson offers marginally more, at least he's got a hell of a bunch more international experience.

-Adu over Rogers or Kljestan
Rogers doesn't impress me that much...neither does Sascha. Adu, like Johnson, offers more of a spark off the bench. A real wild-card, he can keep defenses on their toes, maybe draw a free kick in a danger spot.

Posted by: yvesmontand | April 22, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

About right. Drop Klestjan and Findley. I've seen all I need of them.

Insert Castillo and +/- Johnson if you really want 30, knowing that they are long shots.

Posted by: delantero | April 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

i like Goff's 30, so long as Casey, Kljestian, Pearce, and Rogers are included somewhere between spot #s 25-30. Ive accepted that Johnny B has made this team.

has Jermaine Jones officially been ruled out?

Posted by: VTUnited | April 22, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Adu over Rogers or Kljestan
Rogers doesn't impress me that much...neither does Sascha.

Posted by: yvesmontand | April 22, 2010 2:15 PM
It doesn't matter it they don't impress you, they do impress Bob Bradley, and he's the only one that counts. Bradley likes Rogers and Kljestan, but Adu? Not so much...

Posted by: schmuckatelli | April 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I think the answer is easy for Bradley...

Is the likelihood of Davies regaining an acceptable level of performance greater than the likelihood that alternative player #30 can help the team (let alone see the field). If Davies can approach last years form, you know he'll help the team...if the alternative player is on the field, we're screwed.

Posted by: teo_68 | April 22, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Goff's 30 is pretty much a given, unless one of the many injured is just too far away from really competing for a spot and playing in a match. The thing is there are so many injuries...

Davies, Gooch, Holden, Dempsey, Clark and Ching. How do you put together a side you can count on? Either you take best talents and hope they can play, or you take players who could be as overmatched as the 1990 team.

Posted by: fischy | April 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks about right Goff. teo_68 is right on the money.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 22, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Basically, I'm interested in seeing what Buddle and Gomez can do. I can't see Davies being ready for the rigors of the World Cup. Maybe as a super-sub, but even that seems to be asking a lot. With Gooch, I'm just gonna pray that not playing any games all year isn't going to be that big a deal. It's not as if he ever really looks sharp -- he gets by on physicality alone. I do fear, though, that we're going to bring a team that is basically in pre-season form.

Posted by: fischy | April 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

What?!? No DC United players on that list? But they're playing AC Milan in a few weeks, and that has to be worth something!

Posted by: DWE4 | April 22, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Mostly agree, maybe Chris Rolfe if he continues to play well in his new surroundings (in the 30, very long shot for the 23)?

Posted by: assocfoot | April 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe no Frankie Hejduk when I see it.

Posted by: Hokienautic | April 22, 2010 2:04 PM

Completely agree. I'm guessing that Hejduk is in the 30, "in place of" any of Kljestan, Rogers or Pearce (and rightfully so, in my opinion).

Posted by: tab5g1 | April 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

only one thing i would really change is Friedel instead of Findley. Bob needs to get on the phone with Brad Friedel and ask him nicely if he can put him on the list of 30 just in case Timmy goes down with an injury.

the US will be better off if it CAN bring in Friedel if Howard gets hurt than it will be going with Guzan or Hahnemann.

other than that my 30 would be the same.

Posted by: OleGunnar20 | April 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

America is my other favorite team, hopefully go far. Here in Spain I try to follow the daily life of American combined. I have to say about Bradley is a great player, the best of Use with the great Donovan. Dempsey played today the semifinals of the Europe League with Fulham. Edu scored the winning goal this weekend and his team are one step away from winning the league title in Scotland with Rangers. Davies hope to recover soon and see it in the World Cup. I'd like that one American player playing in the Spanish league. A greeting from Spain and I have written well ... One last thing, here are 21:07;)

Posted by: noonan_17 | April 22, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Well -- if Friedel was in camp, he'd probably deserve to start. That said, I do wish he'd change his mind. In fact, if someone develops a time machine, I hope someone goes back in time and convinces him to play in '06.

Findley's looked like ckrap this year -- no doubt about it. On the other hand -- You can't teach his speed -- maybe he gets lucky and scores because of it. The reality is we hope that only Altidore, Dempsey, Ching and maybe Gomez or Buddle ever even find themselves in the 18 as strikers.

Posted by: fischy | April 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The saddest part about Goff's the list of 30 is that Bornstein and Casey are on it. I would have rather had Adu and Omar Gonzalez or Castillo in their place. Unfortunately Freddy is not good enough for this particular World Cup and Bradley made a really poor attempt to get Castillo on this roster.

Posted by: no_recess | April 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Hola Noonan; ojala que Altidore pueda volver por la proxima epoca. Estoy de acuerdo que nuestros jugadores tienen que jugar en Espana. (lo siento por los errores de gramatica...portugues ha destruido mi espanol)

Posted by: troy6 | April 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd like that one American player playing in the Spanish league. A greeting from Spain and I have written well ... One last thing, here are 21:07;)

Posted by: noonan_17

Mucho gusto...un estadounidense juega en La Liga...Rossi para Villarreal! ;)

Posted by: Reignking | April 22, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

One of the things you have to keep in mind is the length of the World Cup. Charlie Davies may not be ready for the rigors of a match by June 1, but 3 weeks is a long time in rehab terms, especially for someone that seems to be as quick of a healer as Davies is.

Hypothetically, if you can realistically see Davies ready for a 'super-sub' role by game 3, would you take him? How about the first knockout round?

These are things that need to be considered.

Posted by: psps23 | April 22, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

troy6: tiene sentido...pero soy gringo

Posted by: Reignking | April 22, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse


honestly, if you told me right now that Hahnemann was starting over Howard, i wouldn't lose any sleep over it. yes, Friedel would be ideal, but Hahnemann has been in great form recently and deserves a lot of credit if Wolves manage to stay up. Howard seems a bit shakier this year for some reason.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 22, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

It's true! I forgot to Rossi. But I think the player is with the Italian national team (at least, intends to go with them) is a good striker and truth, should go to USA. Altidore spent a year but the coach (who is now at Real Madrid) did not give many opportunities to Yozy good and is very good too.

Posted by: noonan_17 | April 22, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope to whichever deity you prefer that our team does not include Ricardo Clark (it probably will) or Conor Casey.
I would like to see Beckerman in there from your "left out" list. Not to start, but in case we needed to get rough somewhere, or switch our formation due to other circumstances.

I would put Davies on there if he can legitimately train with the team.

Posted by: dcufan | April 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Rossi does play for Italy...

Posted by: Reignking | April 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

With his serious injuries and complete lack of competitive play I can not fathom how Bradley puts Davies on the list. Unfortunate, but truly bad timing. I'd dump Beasley--he hasn't been the same guy for some time (perhaps 4 years!) and add Beckerman. Beckerman is pretty unflappable and I think he could really rise to the World Cup stage. I also think Yves comments about Freddy Adu are well taken--he can be a real wild card with good skill and decent pace.

Posted by: lovinliberty | April 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse


I'm glad I didn't make the "left out" list but I didn't see my name on any of the other lists, either.

Is there something I don't understand?

Should I call Bob Bradley directly or wait for him to call me?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I'm worried. I see a lot of players that have had a good game or two . . . here and there . . . not always in international play . . ., but not a healthy 11 that have put together a consistent record.

I'd also take Hejduk in place of Casey. (A defender that will mess with the other side is always better than a field cone.)

Posted by: carnack | April 22, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Portsmouth's debts

Then there is £1,725 owed to Fruity Faces Limited of Esher, a firm that a quick web search informs us “designs and manufactures individual fruit cases that keep fruit fresh and cool and ready to eat whenever a child is ready. Key to their success has been the fun design of the packaging which appeals to children. This innovative product has already helped many parents to increase their child’s consumption of fruit.”

Posted by: Reignking | April 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of these for the preliminary 30, but would leave out two of Bradleys favorites: Bornstein and Kljestan and also Findley. In their places I would call in Simek, Castillo, and Cooper. I just hope Bradley doesn't try to call in Eddie Johnson again. Davies health is the real enigma.

Posted by: Verdeball | April 22, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Kyle Jam Band has no business playing against serious international competition.

Posted by: BooThisMan | April 22, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Rogers and Kljestan NEED/MUST be dropped, I would say for Castillo and Beckerman! Someone NEED/MUST convince/pressure stubborn/Close-Minded Bradley to drop those 2 unexperienced/underacheivers, they're not worth or have the clibar to be in a WORLD CUP TEAM!!!! Liking a player should be OUT OF THE QUESTION and will be DISASTEROUS for the US Team if they want to at least make the second round.

Posted by: chuck1956 | April 22, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

If Howard gets hurt Hahnemann will be the starter, and he will completely fill tims mitts. He has had a great year in the prem league. There is no need to bring Freidel out of national team retirement.

Frankie will definitly be in the 30 for training camp. Prob in place of DMB or Davies. I dont think Davies will be ready. I also dont think we will see gooch starting the first game in SA.

Posted by: jjfooty | April 22, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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