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?