Friday, October 3, 2008

Roster for Cuba

Here's how the US looks ahead of Cuba:

GK: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Troy Perkins
D: Carlos Bocanegra, Danny Califf, Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit, Frankie Hejduk, Oguchi Onyweu, Michael Orozco, Heath Pearce
M: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Danny Szetela, Jose Francisco Torres
F: Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching, Charlie Davies, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan

Interesting choices all around. The task for this game, of course, is to win. Should the US win, they'll be through to the Hexagonal and the last two games in this phase won't mean much.

This allowed Bob Bradley to call on some players who might play a bigger role next year and possibly in 2010 as well.

Now, if the US doesn't beat Cuba and doesn't get through (a draw may be enough but I'm not certain) then the game in Trinidad will take on greater significance. But if the US does not need to beat Trinidad, I'm fairly certain Bradley will release the established players back to their clubs.

That will give Bradley an opportunity to look at guys like Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore more against Trinidad than against Cuba. Although I think both should start against Cuba, I don't think they will and I think they'll need for the US to be qualified until they get more playing time. I see Brian Ching and Clint Dempsey up top against Cuba.

Anyway, Michael Orozco and Jose Francisco Torres are each interesting choices. Torres, of course, finally chose his home country over the US and this will be his first time in camp. Orozco has been in a couple of these but has only gotten his feet wet - no caps yet.

Troy Perkins is another interesting choice. I never thought Perkins was national team caliber while with DC United but Perkins has obviously solidified his standing in Bradley's eyes and will get a shot at some playing time next year. Perkins is a younger option than Marcus Hahnemann and/or Kasey Keller, both of whom I think should only be used in emergency situations if ever. Remember, the US will play in the Confederations Cup next year as well. Throw in 10 qualifying games throughout the year as well as the inevitable friendlies here and abroad and there will plenty of need for goalkeepers. I highly doubt that Tim Howard and Brad Guzan will be the only goalkeepers Bradley will need next year, and Perkins seems in line to at least get some sort of playing time.

Charlie Davies and Danny Szetela also have the chance to get more looks than before. Davies has three caps while Szetela has two and both players could push Bradley's hand in terms of playing time. Davies probably has a better shot of playing but I believe Szetela is the better prospect.

If the US doesn't beat Cuba, maybe these players should get playing time anyway. After all, the established players should get the nod against the Cubans and if they can't beat them, then there may be something wrong with them, in which case some fresh blood may be the best option. Regardless, look for the likes of Adu, Szetela, Orozco and Torres to suit up against Trinidad & Tobago.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a big Cooper fan but you would think the guy would get a call up in this one. I mean all the other young bucks are getting called up but still no what does that guy have to do.

Oh well at least he gave EJ a break, hopefully its a long one.

Anonymous said...

Cooper is going to end up playing for another country if he doesnt get a call soon.

what freakin gives!!

Anonymous said...

Cooper can't play for another country. He was capped for the US against Denmark a couple of years back. Scored a goal.

I think he should get a chance. He is excelling in the MLS and that is normally enough to get a forward a call. That said, I don't think he is going to be a quality international. He is not that fast and more importantly he is not that fast with the ball. But we will never know if he doesn't get a shot...