|Photo: Rob Kinnan Photography|
It’s typical for people to have knee jerk reactions when looking over something like the U.S. Gold Cup roster. It’s also typical for many of those reactions to be overly dramatic and off base as we don’t have the inside track on Bob Bradley’s brain. Here is the announced roster for the U.S. National Team for the Gold Cup:
GOALKEEPERS-Tim Howard, Nick Rimando, Marcus Hahnemann
DEFENDERS- Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jonathan Bornstein, Clarence Goodson,
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Sacha Kljestan, Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu, Benny Feilhaber, Jermaine Jones
FORWARDS- Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Jozy Altidore
Knee jerk reaction here? Where is Tim Chandler and how is Teal Bunbury not along for the ride? No Bedoya on this roster either? Here’s the kicker though, see that name squeezed in on the midfield line? That’s Freddy Adu. Now take a breath, relax and we’ll get you through this.
Bob Bradley explained a few things about this roster that should put several of your questions at ease. Let’s take a look at Bedoya first. I’m a big proponent for Bedoya, he’s got an audacity to him that reminds me of Dempsey and that’s something we rarely get in the Red, White and Blue. It looks though that Bradley simply chose someone else. Robbie Rogers seems to have slipped into that spot over Bedoya and no one should be especially angry about it. Rogers shows a good work rate and has been playing well despite the Crew’s record. His track record on the flank is satisfactory as well. This decision looks more tactical than anything bad about Bedoya.
|Photo: Rob Kinnan Photography|
I’m concerned about the lack of Bunbury on the roster, but one wonders if that arm injury in preseason has anything to do with it. Not likely, when considering that he’s been playing recently…though Sporting KC haven’t impressed anyone lately. Not the worst omission, but still a curious one considering the lack of depth at the position.
Suspiciously Tim Chandler was left on because he played an extraordinary amount of minutes for Nuremberg…right. This one doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Impressions amongst the soccer community seem to be that Bradley wanted to pick him up, but that an agreement wasn’t reached with his club. It’s a shame, the U.S. could have used his quality.
On to the major talking point, teen phenom Freddy Adu makes his way back into a USA jersey. This looks to be a reward for all the hard work Adu has put in over the past year. His efforts at Rizespor are well charted, but if anyone remembers the interview he gave a few weeks back on ExtraTime Radio; the boy has matured. Count me amongst those happy to see he’s not been forgotten. Also count me amongst those hoping he does well on the field.
As a separate issue, I continue to be frustrated by Bobby Convey’s consistent exile from the national team picture. Convey is a dynamic attacking defender, a rare breed. One would think two grown men could put a moment of frustration and angst behind them for the betterment of both their careers.Lastly, a well deserved call up for Nick Rimando. His continued heroics in a Real Salt Lake jersey are rewarded with this roster spot. What’s all the more impressive is that Rimando has kept focus despite the emotional roller coaster of RSL’s past few months. One more thing for the already proud RSL fans to cheer for.