Friday, October 03, 2008

Bradley Names Roster for Cuba World Cup Qualifier

A day late, but good to see some names long missing and a few added surprises other than Jose Francisco Torres. Here is the list:

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Tim Howard (Everton FC)
Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF)

Howard is still the number one, but if the U.S. beat Cuba, don't be surprised to see Guzan in the net against Trinidad. Former DC United keeper (United really should have held onto him) Troy Perkins getting a call up is good to see. He is not nearly as big as Guzan or Howard, but he is a fine keeper and I am glad that Bradley called him in. I don't expect playing time for him anytime soon, but you never know.

Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes)
Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland)
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96)
Jay DeMerit (Watford FC)
Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew)
Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege)
Michael Orozco (San Luis)
Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)

No real surprises here. Look for a back line of Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Onyewu and Pearce to start agaisnt Cuba. I think DeMerit and Califf have a good chance to see some action soon. The U.S. Energizer Bunny Frankie Hejduk is also good to see still. With Columbus already in the MLS play-offs, losing Hejduk to National Team duty isn't a concern for Sigi Schmid. Orozco has been seeing a fair amount of minutes for San Luis and an full national team appearence would probably boost his confidence following a dismal Olympic showing. Against Trinidad, look to see Califf, Onyewu/Bocanegra, DeMerit, and Orozco. Marvell Wynne is missing from this squad, but with Toronto FC sitting on the playoff bubble and the decimation of last FIFA dates, I am not surprised to see Wynne's name missing.

Freddy Adu (AS Monaco)
DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers)
Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers)
Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA)
Danny Szetela (Brescia Calcio)
José Francisco Torres (Pachuca)

Of course, the big suprise is Torres' inclusion into this squad, but even more suprising is the youth of this midfield. Here are the ages Adu (19), Beasley (the old man at 26), Bradley (21), Edu (22), Kljestan (23), Szetela (21), Torres (20) and comes to an average age of 21.7 years. A probable starting line in a bucket 4-4-2 would be Beasley, Edu, Bradley and Klejstan. In a 4-2-3-1 that Bradly has been sort of experimenting with, you would probably see Beasley, Bradley, Edu, Adu, Klejstan, with Torres coming as an impact sub. Beasley has the most caps of this group (80) and Bradley is a distant second with 24. The remaining five players have a combined 29 caps between them and Szetela and Torres have none at the senior national team level. Can this relatively inexperienced midfield line get it done?

Jozy Altidore (Villarreal C.F.)
Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)
Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF)
Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC)
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)

The best news in this group is that Charlie Davies, who was impressive in his few minutes of Olympic time and getting lots of minutes with his club, is on this list and Eddie Johnson is not. Good. I am glad that Jozy Altidore is getting a nod, but I wouldn't expect to see him on the field in anything less than a sub role, which goes for Davies as well. Look for Ching and Dempsey to get the nod. Donovan's LA Galaxy play on Sunday the 12th (the day after Cuba) and given their push to get into the MLS playoff's, I would not be surprised if Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena asked Bob Bradley to agree to limit Donovan's playing time or sit him on the bench if at all possible. Additionally, Dempsey has been in good form for the National Team of late by scoring goals. Given his lack of minutes a Fulham though, I think his first touch might be suspect. With Houston all but assured of a Playoff spot and the depth on the Dynamo squad, Ching is not as crucial. Ching's harassment of defensive lines and his ability to take punishment means he would get the nod over Altidore. However, come the Trinidad match, don't be surprised to see Altidore up top. Also don't be surprised to see Kenny Cooper join the team for the Trinidad match.

Against Cuba, look for one of these two line ups:






Most Likely subs:
Torres for Beasley
Altidore for Ching
Donovan for Dempsey






Most Likely subs
Torres for Beasley
Altidore for Ching
Dempsey for Kljestan

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