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:


DeMerit        Bocanegra

Cherundolo                                          Spector

Bradley  Feilhaber

Dempsey                                    Donovan

Altidore  Davies

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


14 Responses

  1. Yeah – I don’t understand why Ching and Casey are getting called up.

  2. Beckerman fouls way too much and is a bad passer of the ball.

    Ching is useless at the international level, although boy does he run alot and work hard!!!!!!!!

    Marshall is too slow and boots the ball every time he gets it.

    El Salvador at home and Bob Bradley will probably play a 4-5-1

  3. To hell with BB

  4. to hell with BB is right…
    CHING! WHY!?

  5. Ryan, any thoughts about BB moving Dempsey permanently or in spots (to start) to forward. This way Ching has less of a chance of seing the pitch and Jose Torres can start at LM. Also he was putrid vs. Mexico and we can get another guy with vision and ball skills on the field in the midfield.

    We would have to bench Davies which I don’t like but he is fantastic as a sub and might not be able to go a full 90 anyways with his work rate.

  6. I get BBs system.

    You get called up if you get playing time at your club.
    Unless your club is in a “minor” nation (Davies in Sveeden)
    Or unless you leave the MLS for an “inferior” league (Cooper) (Bundes.2 is mostly of higher quality than MLS, but oh well)
    You can be exempted from these prereq.s by showing well in the past (See: DeMarcus Beasley)
    Or if you play really, REALLY hard (Frankie Hedjuk)
    … Or if your a massive lumbering Hawaiian who is too slow to play defender in most leagues (Brian ‘Useless loaf of shit’ Ching)

    Its simple, really. And fool proof…

  7. This is just insulting to better players out there. Bornstein is an average defender in MLS- at best. Ching is useless for the Nats; even the CONCACAF teams have figured out his routine now. Casey is a waste of a spot. He played well for the MLS All-Stars against Everton, but that was the only time I’ve ever seen him play well at any level. Rogers runs in a straight line for four minutes, then decides his job is done and drifts out of the game. Findley? Eh, why not; he’s been good this season and it would be great to get his first senior cap in front of his home fans. I hope Bradley realizes that only ONE of the RSL guys should see any playing time; both of them on the field would just be such a lack of quality that I wouldn’t be surprised if El Salvador found a way to get a result. Same with Holden.

    I really just want to see Torres. As someone said over at SBI, he plays at altitude regularly, and is in midseason form. Unless Feilhaber is simply spectacular in camp, I’d rather have Torres get the start and have Benny come in later to provide a spark.


    I agree completely with your proposed line up, especially Feilbarber instead of Clark in central midfield, allowing MB to play to his defensive strength. Which begs the question: WHY has BB consistently started a central-midfield tandem of Clark and Bradley, both of whom are defensive specialists? Sure, MB can definitely get forward, but his greatest asset is his ball-winning tenacity, and ability to reclaim possession. In that ball-winning role, I think he has the potential to play at a world class level. But he will never be more than a mediocre play-making distributor.

    And Clark? BB’s commitment to him simply baffles me: MB is twice the defensive midfielder Clark is, and in Feilharber and Torres, we have two young, technically gifted playmakers with upside potential that could tandem will with MB.

    This position — the offensive central-midi playmaker — is arguably the biggest gap in the national side that nobody is talking about. And a soccer team without a solid playmaking center midi will never be more than mediocre. From contemporaries Gerrard, Cesc, and Pirlo, to greats like Zidane, Zico, and Platini . . . few teams excel without a dominant central midi.

    Until the U.S. cultivates some talent in this position, we’re always going to struggle against the better teams.

    • Theodore:

      Thank you, I agree completely.

      IMO, Bradley has destroyed our midfield. While we have gifted offensive players in Donovan and Dempsey (who really should be a forward), we have no one connecting the D with the O. In some games, MB/Clark look like the fifth and sixth members of our back line. This team is in desperate need of a Claudio Reyna-type central player who can maintain possession and release LD and Dempsey while providing some presence and control in the middle of the park.

      I also think you’re spot on about MB’s strengths. People tend to call him a box-to-box playmaker and I could not disagree more. His strength for the Nats is busting up plays and regaining possession, as you said. He does the valuable “dirty work” that every team needs. He does not have the technical ability nor pace, IMO, to play as far back as he does AND bring the ball forward to distribute. While I think he’s a solid player, I find people ask more of him that he is capable of.

      Generally, I think if you look at the WC 2002 side, that squad was successful in large part because of its midfield composition. Donovan played much the same role as he does today – releasing forward – but we also had two very capable outside mids who played BOTH sides of the ball in Stewart and O’Brien (who was amazing) and a general that dictated the flow completely in Reyna. And that’s the one thing that sticks out in my mind today – while we may have more a more individually talented team (which people constantly point to as if it means something), we lack the organization and the key pieces to produce a truly cohesive, effective unit.

      I believe the success of this squad hinges on whether it can find a player like Reyna to control the middle of the park.

      • EXACTLY! I completely agree on the critical need for a Reyna-like — true “10” — playmaker. In MB we have a young tenacious player who can both win and maintain possession, but he needs someone to release the ball to . . . and our increasingly talented trio of finishers (Davies, Altidore, & LD) need regular, dependable service.

        Which begs the question why BB is so wed to Ricardo Clark — forcing MB into a more offensive and mediocre stance — instead of pairing MB with Feilharber or Torres. Do you have an inside take on this?

        Might BB be preparing MB for the offensive central midi in light of Jermaine Jones arrival and potential lock-down on defensive center midi?!?

        Our lack of inside creative presence is also having the dangerous effect of drawing LD in from the left flank. For example: On the brilliant goals against Brazil and Mexico on which he paired up with Davies, both came from LD operating in the middle of the field — leaving the flank exposed.

  9. I expected Ching and Casey. Unless Cooper sets the Bundesliga2 on fire this year, I don’t see him making it. Bradley seems to be in the same mindset as way too many fans who hate on Cooper because he doesn’t play like a “target man” should. You know because he can be creative and players over 6’1 are not allowed to be. It’s almost like because we’ve only had that type of player for so long, we’ve convinced ourselves this is the only way to play the game. When I watch premiership games, I don’t see holding up top for the most part. You see crisp passing, off the ball runs and a lot of play on the ground and yes, possession but possession by moving the ball around. If they’re doing it, why can’t we?

    Beckerman and Rogers just… ugh. People hate on Adu but at least he has a creativity that many of our players lack. What does Rogers have except the ability to look nice against Grenada?

    I highly doubt the selection matters here considering the level of the talent they’re facing. If it does and the US doesn’t get at least 4 points from these games, we’ve got bigger issues than just the player selection.

  10. Why is it that Casey and Ching get call ups yet a guy like Sebastian Le Toux, who just set the Open Cup final on fire, can’t buy a call up?

    • Zach, even though he’s declared himself available for the US national team, he isn’t a US citizen and is thus ineligible to play for the USMNT.

      He could possibly get naturalized by 2013, but by then we likely wouldn’t need a 28 yr old Le Toux.

    • Plus, he didn’t really do the majority of the work. It was mostly Ljungberg and Montero. He had a great cross that Montero should have scored on and set up the game winning goal, but ultimately he wasn’t very special. I would NOT want him playing for the Nats, in any event.

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