U.S. Coach Bob Bradley named a 22 man squad for the final pair of World Cup Qualifying matches, away to Honduras and home to Costa Rica. Here is the squad:
GOALKEEPERS- Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS- Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (1860 Munich), Charlie Davies (FC Sochaux), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
The only real surprises I see here are Conrad and Casey. Don't get me wrong, I think Jimmy Conrad is a quality defender and deserves to be on this squad and I certainly see him dressing for the games as the back up central defender. But given the slight injury to Chad Marshall, callling in Conrad makes a lot of sense. He has tons of experience and is generally unflappable in just about ever situation.
Casey, for me, has not been a particular bright spot in his international appearances. I think he is one of the best MLS strikers, but I just don't think he has what it takes for the international level.
Nice to see that Kenny Cooper's form for 1860 Munich has gotten him another look see at the national team level. He has a couple of goals for his new club and it getting good playing time there. I think he will contine to get looks and right now stands an outside chance of making the 2010 squad.
Similarly, I like seeing Robbie Rogers on the list, although I think he is a long shot for playing time in these qualifiers. But if he makes the bench, his combination of speed and left sided striking ability could make him a dangerous substitute.
But for the Honduras match, I don't see Bradley experiementing. So this is who I see starting in San Pedro Sula:
A U.S. win on October 10 will see the U.S. booking flights to South Africa next summer. A U.S. draw and either a Costa Rica draw or loss will accomplish the same thing.