Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Passed over 11

The US will announce its roster for the England match soon, perhaps as early as Tuesday. While the task of paring down the original 33 players to a squad to face England was likely difficult, the task of selecting 33 players was likely even more challenging. Coach Bob Bradley had to consider - among many factors - injuries, drop in form, unexpected rise in form for the upcoming friendlies against England, Spain and Argentina all while keeping an eye on World Cup qualifying.

By all accounts, Bradley did well to call in 33 players to the team as the original group features a wealth of talent, experience and youth. But there are more players deserving of a callup or that were passed over. I've compiled a list of 11 players I think have played well enough this season that, along with past experience and future potential, possibly merited a callup.

Now, I'm not going to make the case that any of these players should have been called up instead of any of the 33. But what I do want to point out is that there is seemingly a surge of quality depth in MLS, both among young players and experienced former national teamers. The dropoff from player 33 to player 34, thus, is not as severe as it has been in the past.

With that, here's the list. It took some tweaking (too many center backs, only one forward) but I put the squad together nonetheless.

G: Matt Reis, New England
D: Michael Parkhurst, New England
D: Chad Marshall, Columbus
D: Bakary Soumare, Chicago
D: Jimmy Conrad, Kansas City
M: Chris Klein, Los Angeles
M: Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake
M: Steve Ralston, New England
M: Colin Clark, Colorado
M: Justin Mapp, Chicago
F: Chris Rolfe, Chicago

Will any of these players suit up for the US anytime soon? It's possible. Michael Parkhurst's exclusion was surprising given his strong play for New England. Jimmy Conrad has proven himself for the US while Chris Rolfe has good upside (the forward crop after him, though, was very slim).

Anyway, what do you think about this list? Agree or disagree? Anyone else not called up and not listed here that should have been looked at?


A.C. said...

Edson Buddle ;)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Parkhurst. He's got upside and he's quality. I think he could hold his own.

I don't agree with Klein. I think the international game is too fast for him.

Beckerman is OK. He's a hard worker. I'm not sure his game is dynamic enough for the big stage.

Conrad is deserving. You know what you'll get from him and he's got experience.

I've never liked Ralston on the national team. It's just a thing.

Mapp and Rolfe are intriguing. Perhaps one of them gets called up if Beasley isn't included.

Anonymous said...

How about Arturo Alvarez?

papa bear said...

Rolfe would be a great inclusion. he is best suited up top (which wer are painfully thin at) but he also plays well at AM and RM. He seems like the kind of utility guy the Nats could really use.

I am 90% sure Baky doesn't count as a US (footballing) citizen yet, if he does, he deserves a call up soon as he is the distinguishing himself as the best centerback in MLS and I'd rather we have him than Mali coming back for him and scooping him up. (hell, he was a French citizen as well so if he continues improving at the rate he's improving at...)

Oh and Subotic. What's the deal? If he doesn't want to play for us then so be it, but he is playing great for Mainz. Why is Bradley and USSF sitting on their hands here? It's not like the US is in position to lay back while players consider other nations to play for. (Jermaine Jones, Castillo etc.) They need to learn to be much more pro-active.

Anonymous said...

What about Stuart Holden?

Rudy said...

Looks like a good Copa America roster. heh.

Mike said...

I thought Soumare has plans to play for Mali?

I hope Rolfe, Parkhurst, Conrad, and Mapp get some games down the road. I think Rolfe and Parkhurst have the most upside.

The rest of the players I have not watched enough.

lotto said...

Whoever owns this blog, I would like to say that he has a great idea of choosing a topic.

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