Friday, May 16, 2008

U.S. Men's National Team Names Player Pool for Next Round of Friendlies

U.S. National Team Coach Bob Bradley named a 33 man player pool for the next round of upcoming friendlies. With two of the three friendlies, against England and Spain, it is little suprise that Bradley named a largely European based group.
The friendly schedule kicks off with a trip to famed Wembley Stadium for a May 28 clash with England that will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic at 3 p.m. ET and tape delay on Galavision at 7 p.m. ET/PT. More than 1,300 tickets were sold in the U.S. Supporters Section for the USA’s second-ever trip to London. The U.S. will then face fourth-ranked Spain on June 4 at the Estadio El Sardinero in Santander. The match will be shown live exclusively on, and broadcast via tape delay on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET and Galavision at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The U.S. will head back across the Atlantic to face No. 1-ranked Argentina on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET in New Jersey. More than 46,000 tickets have been sold for the USA’s final match at Giants Stadium, which will be Presented by Visa®. The USA’s final match before the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision.
Some surprising picks were named along with some longtime faces.

One of my favorite "surprise" pick is former DC United goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who has not appeared internationally for the U.S. Indeed, Bradley has named five keepers to the player pool, which is probably more than you would expect, with Dominic Cervi (Out of Contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake) being named. Clearly Tim Howard is the #1, but it is good to see Perkins and Seitz being named as well. Seitz had a great U20 World Cup this year, although he is not the starter at Real Salt Lake. He could see some playing time. Guzan probably won't see time in Europe due to his duties with Chivas, but could see some time against Argentina. Similarly, Cervi's naming to the U.S. squad may help him find a full time job, but I haven't seen him play recently.

Some other players named that are a little surprising include Nate Jacqua, who played will for Houston, but is now out of contract after spending a season in Europe. Similarly, Michael Orozco is a bit of a surprise as well. Orozco, who plays in the Mexican league was thought to be considering joining the Mexican side, but I guess decided not to. I also like the selection of Kenny Cooper, from FC Dallas to the pool as well. I think Cooper can make a valuable addition up top, combining with the likes of Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley.

Speaking of Beasley, he probably won't see massive amounts of playing time, having just returned from injury, but it will be good to have his speed out on the flanks again.

I would like to have seen Bradley name some additonal players who don't have much experience, but with the "perfect storm" of international play this year, I can see why he didn't. In additiont the friendlies, there is a U23 tournament leading into the Olympic games this summer, World Cup qualifiers begin on June 15 for the U.S. and oh yeah, those international players will begin their preseason in July/August as well.

No comments: