The Trinis name 22 to Qualifying squad…

The Trinidad & Tobago team that will face the United States next week has been named, and it includes 3 Premiership strikers in Bobby Zamora (Fulham), Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland), and Jason Scotland (Wigan). The trio of talented strikers are eligible and healthy together for the first time, giving them quite the front line. Also eligible for his first qualifying match is Bolton Wanderers defender Jlloyd Samuel, bolstering a defensive line that has been suspect through qualifying. Also, Trindad winger Carlos Edwards has just completed a move from Sunderland to Ipswich, which is coached by his former Sunderland manager Roy Keane.

As far as I understand, Dwight Yorke is also part of the squad for the match with Honduras (Saturday), but will officially retire from football following the game. Yorke recently finished his contract with Sydney FC (Australia) and has not been able to secure a contract since, leaving him out of football for the first time in his career.

The glaring omission from the roster is Denis Lawrence, who typically captains the squad.

T&T Roster
Goalkeepers: Clayton Ince, Marvin Phillip, Jan Michael Williams

Defenders: Keyeno Thomas, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Marvin Andrews, Jlloyd Samuel, Silvio Spann, Keston Williams

Midfielders: Lyndon Andrews, Hughton Hector, Densill Theobald, Carlos Edwards, Trent Noel, Chris Birchall, Keon Daniel, Hayden Tinto

Forwards
: Kerry Baptiste, Kenwyne Jones, Jason Scotland, Bobby Zamora, Cornell Glen

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Vincenzo Bernardo is a free agent…

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The young Italian-American has left his club, Napoli, after 3 seasons in their youth and reserve system.

Goal.com’s Max Zeger has spoken with Bernardo, confirming the situation.

“I am officially a free agent,” Bernardo said. “At this time my representatives are looking for the best club for me to get first team minutes.”

“I will leave Napoli within the next few days to travel to various clubs. The possibility of signing with a club outside of Italy is very high.”

“I am ready to settle into a new situation with a new club. Once that happens I can finally start playing [first team football],” Bernardo explained. “I am happy with this path I chose and I want to thank Napoli for a wonderful experience. I will miss the beautiful city and the passionate fan support they have here.”

There have been rumors of some smaller Italian sides (Serie B) and others interested in the young playmaker, but it’s still fairly unclear where Bernardo’s agent is looking. While there have been some rumors of MLS interest, I’d be fairly surprised if he decides to come to the states to play.

Freddy staying in Portugal…

http://blogdelrojo.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/freddy-adu.jpg

It looks like the Freddy Adu transfer saga of 2009 has come to its conclusion with reports surfacing in Portugal that Adu has been loaned out to fellow Portuguese First Division side Belenenses, who currently sit 7th in the league table.

This looks to be a good move for Freddy, who should be in immediate consideration for a 1st team spot on a team that is 1-1-1 in their first 3 games this season.

So who could Freddy’s first opponent be? None other than the club that owns him – SL Benfica.

But wait, before you get giddy about the propect of Adu scoring against his former club, remember that it’s highly likely he won’t be allowed to dress against them. Almost every league in the world (save a few) has a rule forbidding players to play against the team that loaned them out during league play, therefor Freddy is most likely ineligible to face Benfica in the league this season.

(Update: It appears that the Portuguese league does NOT in fact have a rule preventing loaned-out players from competing against the club that owns them, so Freddy will be available against Benfica. Since he wasn’t called into the US squad for the international break, he will have almost 2 full weeks of training to prepare for the game.)

Update #2: From Steve Goff at The Washington Post“The coach really wants him; he made it happen,” a source said. “He’s going to play him.”

USMNT, The Season Ahead – Pt. 2, The Defenders

We’re almost a full month into the European season now and have a pretty clear picture of how our USMNT players will be performing through the early part of the season.

With quite a few options across the backline, I elected to stick solely with players plying their trades outside of MLS and Scandinavia (both of which run similar seasons), eliminating the likes of Chad Marshall, Marvell Wynne, Jonathan Bornstein, Clarence Goodson, Hunter Freeman, and Frankie Hejduk. Also, I’m not expecting any experimentation at the back from Bradley in the near future, so I’m not addressing our young prospects like Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas), etc.

After the jump, I’ll preview the season ahead for our top pool of defenders.

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Rongen Announces U-20 World Cup Roster

Thomas Rongen announced his roster this morning for the U-20 World Cup, which is coming up in at the end of September.

Here is the roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn, Ga.), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis.), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (6): Gale Agbossoumonde (Miami FC; Syracuse, N.Y.), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas; Danville, Calif.), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Ike Opara (Wake Forest; Durham, N.C.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston, Mass.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz.), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabak; Oslo, Norway), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA; Anaheim, Calif.), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.)

FORWARDS (4): Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Fla.)

I’ll do a more in-depth preview of some of our stars when we get closer to the games, but for now here are the players to watch:

  • Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud – Midfielder
  • Kyle Davies – Defender
  • Tony Taylor – Forward
  • Brek Shea – Forward\Wing
  • Jared Jeffrey – Midfielder
  • Dilly Duka – Midfielder
  • Brian Perk – Goalkeeper

Some notable cuts from the roster:

  • Freddy Adu – still eligible, but he was never seriously considered
  • Jozy Altidore – see Adu, Freddy
  • Giuseppe Nazzani – Italian-based midfielder
  • Vincenzo Bernardo – Italian-based forward
  • Bryan Arguez – German-based midfielder

Here is this morning’s US Soccer podcast featuring Coach Rongen, who gives a bit of insight into the team.

US Roster for WCQ v. El Salvador, @Trinidad

Apologies for the misinformation – Robbie Findley, Robbie Rogers, and Clarence Goodson have been called up in addition to the 21 players I listed earlier.

After a painful reveal, the US roster is now available:

Keepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

Defenders: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Stade Rennes), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96),  Jay DeMerit (Watford), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Clarence Goodson (IK Start)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Charlie Davies (Sochaux), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)

Not a great deal of change, but some disturbing trends:

  • Brian Ching and Conor Casey? Why both? Why not Ching and Kenny Cooper, which at leasts adds variety?
  • Kyle Beckerman and Stuart Holden? I’m not sold that either of these players belong anywhere near a WCQ match, whether at home or not.
  • Jonathan Bornstein? Really? 5’6 and even skinnier than Cherundolo, but with nowhere near Cherundolo’s ability? Why do we even have Bornstein on the USMNT radar, let alone the squad? Sorry, but tiny defenders who can’t defend are not high on my list of wants\needs for this team.
  • Chad Marshall? I understand the need for a backup to our backup centerbacks for the first game (Onyewu is suspended), but why not either of our two more talented, proven commodities in Danny Califf and Clarence Goodson? [Goodson has been called in, apologies on my mistake]
  • I don’t necessarily understand calling in Robbie Findley and Robbie Rogers. Neither has much future with the Nats and neither adds much to the current setup.

Quite frankly, if we start the same lineup that lost against Mexico (minus Gooch, obviously), then we really need to start campaigning for a new coach.

The lineup should be:

Howard

DeMerit        Bocanegra

Cherundolo                                          Spector

Bradley  Feilhaber

Dempsey                                    Donovan

Altidore  Davies

Anything else is just unnecessary. Right now, this is our best lineup (sans Gooch).

US Roster announced….well, sort of….

Why does the USSF have to be so corny?

Today they are announcing the US roster for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers….in pieces. That’s right, USSoccer.com is announcing one player every hour on their site.

So far (at 12:15pm CT), we’ve been told that Carlos Bocanegra, Jozy Altidore, Benny Feilhaber, Tim Howard, and Jonathan Spector will be called in.

Keep checking my site or USSoccer.com for the continuous reveal…

——-

UPDATE

Chad Marshall

Brad Guzan

Clint Dempsey

Jose Francisco Torres

Brian Ching

Another 5 players will be revealed at 2pm (CT)

———–

UPDATE

Donovan

Davies

Bradley

Casey

Beckerman

————

Cherundolo

Onyewu

DeMerit

Bornstein

Clark

Holden

——–

It appears as though we are only calling in 21 players?