I just filed my Press-Enterprise column and I focused on the Olympics this week. Although Mexico is playing within driving distance from our coverage area I chose instead to look at the US and their chances for Beijing. I even got to use a quote from Michael Orozco that was heard here first on Sideline Views a week ago.
As I put in my story, this squad is deep and if qualifying is a question of talent then the U.S. will breeze through this round. But we all know talent won't get the U.S. to the Olympics. It didn't last time, and four years ago the U.S. counted on players such as DaMarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan.
Benny Feilhaber's exclusion seems like a shock to everyone but it may be a good sign for the U.S. that a player of his ilk, someone who more than held his own in two international tournaments a year ago, cannot make this roster. My guess is that his form ha fallen off badly by not playing regular first-team minutes England. Perhaps his confidence is lacking and it shows on the field. If that is the case, it would certainly be a good sign for the U.S., in that you won't be able to live off of past accomplishments to earn roster spots for events such as this.