Friday, August 28, 2009

U.S. Squad for September World Cup Qualifiers

U.S. MNT Coach Bob Bradley has named a 24 man roster to be brought into camp for the next round of qualifers, against El Salvador in Salt Lake City on September 5 and away to Trinidad and Tobago on September 9. Here is the group:

GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

DEFENDERS- Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (IK Start).

MIDFIELDERS- Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moengengladbach), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew).

FORWARDS-Charlie Davies (Socheaux), Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake).

I am not surprised to see Marshall, Holden and Beckerman on this list. They all played well in the Gold Cup and earned a look in this camp. I could certainly see Marshall and Holden dressing and even see Holden starting against El Salvador. Beckerman is a bit more of a long shot to dress, but it is not out of the realm of possibility.

Robbie Findley has to be the biggest surprise for me. He has been tearing it up a little in recent weeks for Real Salt Lake (including a brace on Wednesday against Chivas USA), but hasn't gotten a look in camp before now. The second year man for Real Salt Lake might be something of a home pick, but his form certainly helps get him the nod.

Against El Salvador, I would expect to see:





The only probable changes would be Altidore for Davies, Holden for Feilhaber and/or Cherundolo for Spector. Gooch is out serving a yellow card suspension for the El Salvador match so I would expect Marshall to dress as a back up. Right now you could say that Altidore and Davies are somewhat interchangeable, both are on solid form for their clubs and getting good playing time. Altidore might not be 90 minutes fit yet so that is why I see Davies getting the starting nod.

The bench (based on the starting lineup above) would prbably be:


The benefit of Rodgers is that he can play up top if necessary. Holden can play wide and he can play centrally.

What Bob Bradley will need is a lot of energy and early goals. Michael Bradley and Feilhaber will have to shut down the central midfield and actually play the ball around well. Possession will be important, to force the Salvadorans to fight to get the ball back. Finally, Donovan and Dempsey cannot go missing in this game.

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