Monday, September 3, 2007

US roster for Brazil

Finally, the US released its roster for the upcoming Brazil match. It's an interesting roster, to say the least. Even though this weekend falls on an international calendar, Bob Bradley chose to leave some MLS players with their clubs.

I must say, I'm disappointed that Jozy Altidore is not on the list. I was hoping Altidore would get the call for the first time against Brazil and that Bradley would use this game as preparation for the long haul and bring in youngsters that will help the US down the road. But Altidore was not called upon.

Bradley only called in five MLS players which goes against what I had thought would happen. I figured Bradley would call in an MLS-heavy squad because the game is here in the States and rely on the European contingent again for October matches in Catalonia and Switzerland, but that's not the case.

Here's the roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard (Everton), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake).

My take: Howard is a no-brainer. Seitz had an impressive Under-20 World Cup, so it stands to reason that he would be looked at for the future. This call-up is in preparation for future matches and to help him acclimate to the national team. I wouldn't expect him to play, and I still think the number two spot is Brad Guzan's to lose.

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham).

My take: Jose Burciaga fans, forget about it. This was possibly his best shot of getting called up to the U.S. and it didn't happen. It's over, and frankly though he's good in league I don't know that he's better than the two left backs on this roster in Spector and Pearce - and you guys know how I feel about Jonathan Bornstein. Again, I'd like to see more from Onyewu but this defensive group is solid. More than solid. Jimmy Conrad would have been a nice call-up as well.

MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen), Bobby Convey (Reading), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado).

My take: Another solid group. I like what Mastroeni offers in the middle of the field. I'd like to see him paired up with Benny Feilhaber. With Beasley on one flank and Dempsey on another, that seems pretty solid. Still, I don't think there's a vast drop-off from Mastroeni to Bradley and really from Beasley to Convey.

FORWARDS: Davy Arnaud (Kansas City), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich).

My take: Arnaud, EJ, Wolff... just like old times. Wait... Arnaud? Did I just type that correctly? Okay, that's surprising, more so than Seitz's call. Arnaud has been a solid MLS player for several years at Kansas City but he didn't seem the type to get a nod. He's 27 and hasn't been part of the US before. But Jimmy Conrad was in the same boat when he first started getting called up to the U.S. in 2005 and he's in my opinion the best US central defender right now. I didn't think much of Wolff when he was in his MLS prime, though he always seems to play well against Mexico. This is his chance to see how much playing in Europe has helped him and if it will help him try and secure a spot on the U.S.

Overall, it's a very solid group despite the lack of MLS players. Again, I'd have liked to have seen more youngsters on this team and maybe see what kinds of players Bradley has in mind for qualifying and the 2010 World Cup. But he seemed to have left MLS teams alone for the most part which doesn't allow for such call-ups.

What do you think? Anyone's absence surprise you? How strong do you think this roster is?


A.C. said...

I win! I win! I told Luis that Bradley wouldn't call in Jozy, even though Jozy should be there.

Luis was convinced Bradley would, though.

We were both pretty pessimistic about Burciaga, though. I think that's a shame. Bornstein is talented, sure, but I have no idea why another top MLS player at that position doesn't get a sniff.

I guess I don't actually win anything, though. No worries, I'm sure my correct call will be worth some tacos on Luis' dime next time we meet at the Del Taco near the HDC.

drew_brown said...

Why are people stuck on putting Dempsey as a wing player? He's just not good coming from that position. He's a free attacking midfielder or he's a 2nd forward.

He doesn't cover defensively when he plays the wings and his crosses and speed leave a lot to be desired. His best bet is beating opponents with crafty moves in tight spaces or in shear bravery putting his head in places most people wouldn't dare.

Anonymous said...

I wasnt suprised that Bob didnt call in Jozy. RBNY has a game that day, and I wouldnt be suprised if Bruce asked Bob not to call him. He also sat out the game Saturday against Chicago with an injury (I think it was reported that it was a reoccurance of his U-20 WC injury), and Bob supposedly looked into this weekends MLS games, so maybe he saw that and figured it'd be best to let him stay with RBNY.

And Luis, you'd have Guzan as your #2 over Hanneman? I'd peg it Timmy, Marcus, then Guzan and Seitz fighting over #3 for now.

I have no problem with Arnaud, since he probably wont see the field sunday, can help out in training, and Bob doesnt hurt KC since they're off next week.

Now, picking up two KC guys and one of them not being Jimmy Conrad, that was a bit of a suprise for me, I suppose.

Matt said...

Altidore didn't play against Chicago this weekend, and Arena may have asked Bradley to leave him out.

As for Dempsey, maybe we should ask Lawrie Sanchez how to play him, because he's been Fulham's best player so far this season.

Anonymous said...

Will the lineup even matter? This is more like the machine that replaces the pins at the bowling alley - just sets them up so they all get mowed down. This is Brazil we're playing after all.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why we did not call up Altidore and Adu. More deserving than anyone is Altidore. I really don't like Bob's way of thinking. The guy is scared to call up players that deserve to. It's like he is trying to please everyone. What matters more than anything is preparing our squad for the qualifiers and the WC in 2010. He brings in Old Mastreoni. Also the only guys that should be on this squad from KC is Eddie Jhonson nobody else. Yet he keeps calling his own son to the squad. I know Bradley is deserving but so is Altidore. Enough of the old players get some young guys in there and mix them in with Dempsey, BOcanegra, Gooch. Those are the veterans that should be there not these old guys that won compete in the WC.

L.B. said...

I seriously doubt Bradley's doing Arena a favor for this match. It's not like this is a squad full of MLS players with Altidore the glaring exception. He took two players who would have otherwise played this weekend; Mastroeni and Donovan.

If he would have called up Jonathan Bornstein, Sacha Kljestan, Brad Guzan, Ricardo Clark, Brian Mullan, Kyle Beckerman, Taylor Twellman, Matt Reis, Michael Parkhurst, Dax McCarty AND left Altidore off, I might have thought differently.

Gene said...

I think it is a definite mistake not to call Altidore for the game. Based on what I have seen from him, he seems like the best pure finisher the U.S. has in any age category. I honestly do not understand what the coach is thinking about.

I scrolled down to other comments and saw that Altidore might have been injured. If that's the case, may be Bradley was right. But if he is healthy, I think Bradley got this one wrong.

I also think it is questionable not to call Adu for this game. I know that he is fighting for a spot at Benfica. But it seems like at this point, he is not getting into the lineup much over there. So calling him would not have hurt his chances and might have even helped his cause at Benfica.

I also have a somewhat unconventional candidate for a forward spot - Clint Mathis. Sure, I get that he is older and is not likely to be a part of the team in 2010. But he does have some goal scoring ability and he has had a decent season so far. U.S. has really struggled scoring goals against better teams.
So, I might have picked Mathis ahead of Josh Wollf.

L.B. said...

With regards to Guzan being number 2, I guess I was thinking in terms of 2010. By then I think he'll be the number two goalkeeper so long as he doesn't forget how to play the position or anything. He's a good one. Plus he's got the edge in age as well.

Right now, though, I'd put Keller at number two. That's fading quickly, however, considering his Copa America performance but getting to the EPL was a good step for him.

artnsue said...

Eddie Johnson=Edson Buddle
'nuff said

Where's Josy!?

Anonymous said...

andrea, i think your assessments are right on. i like to think that bradley called jozy and told him that he's coming to camp,but in a better moment for jozy. bluefish de oaxaca

Elliott said...

Call up Ricardo Clark! Please.

Eric said...

Altidore wasn't available this past weekend, but I do support the way BB has handled him. He's got such a good situation in NY as Juan Pablo's understudy and a bunch of other classy vets. Oh yeah, and a coach who's developed a young player or two. Remember, he's still 17...

If I could make 1 change to the squad, I'd pull out Pablo for Rico Clark, he does everything PM does with fewer catastrophic fouls.

drew - your right, Dempsey is just much better when he can move in the center. RW seemed so convenient to put him at, since no one has claimed that position.

Todd said...

LB - Can you or can you get someone to ask Bob if the reason Jozy was not called in because of his injury? If he says yes then that makes no sense. Why call in Feilhaber then when he sat out Derby's game against Liverpool on Saturday because of an injury and his coach is quoted on the team's official site as hoping Benny doesn't play. And it looks like the Catalonia game is canceled so there is only going to be one October European friendly unless they schedule someone else. Also, when did international matches become fitness sessions for guys like Convey? He looked terrible against Sweden. Let the guy get healthy and fit in England. And finally, makes a whole lot of sense to me to fly Bornstein 90000 miles away for Sweden and then fly Pearce 90000 miles away for Brazil? What is wrong with that picture?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with the recommendations to have Dempsey as a free ranging forward. He scored one of Fulham's 3 goals against Tottenham, and was instrumental in the other two. Excellent touches and passing. Plus he played some significant defense. He just looks much more comfortable there than on the right flank.

Jozy's time is coming soon, and I think it's going to be really sweet. Count on him playing a role in WC qualifying. Would be interesting to see Zizzo get another look on the right side.

Anonymous said...

Folks, some common sense, please. You can't compare Jozy being injured and thus not called in to Feilhaber being injured but called in anyway. Jozy is a 17-year-old kid who has never - NEVER - been called into a camp, and you think he's going to be called in while injured to play vs. Brazil???

Feilhaber, on the other hand, has played what, 10 times for the USMNT this year. Though apparently slightly injured, of course he was going to be called in. Their situations are not the same in the least.

I agree with what many have said - Dempsey needs to be up top. He's played wonderfully there for Fulham. Donovan has played equally as well as a RM for the Galaxy, has the speed to get up and down the field, offensively and defensively, and still playmakes from that position. To me, it's a no-brainer.

Todd said...

All of that is true and fair except if Benny hasn't played a game for his club yet except reserves and was all set to play against Liverpool but picked up an injury, why is he being called into a friendly? Add to that his coach hoping that he is not asked to play against Brazil, then why risk that? Bob let Gooch stay at Newcastle last year to settle so we didn't see him against Mexico. Why can't he let Feilhaber heal at Derby and BTW let Convey get full fit at Reading. Which brings up another question, when did international matches become fitness sessions for guys like Convey who looked terrible against Sweden?

Siva said...

I don't understand why:

(1) Altidore and Adu are not in the squad, esp. considering the latter's solid U20 WC outing.

(2) People think Dempsey is a winger (thanks DB for calling it out).

(3) Landon Donovan, as much as I like to watch him play, *must* be on every USMNT squad. Bradley knows as much about Donovan as there is to know. If we make the argument that against a top team like Brazil, we want to put our best show, where are Conrad, Ching, and Clark? Is it just that he provides the only "excitement" factor in the US attack (read "our best option for counterattacks, the only way the team seems to handle strong opponents")?

(4) Bradley and Bueno both seem obviously fond of players that they have watched a lot (over other equally good or better players that *they* haven't seen much of). Examples: Guzan, Bornstein, Bradley...

(5) Szetela isn't on the list, considering Roma wanted him (on the bench?) and Racing Santander got him (a likely starter?).

(6) Davy Arnaud? Josh Wolff? heck, Pablo Mastroeni? why not add Frankie Hejduk and be done with it?