We’re rolling up our two polls today at the close of the halfway mark of round four of World Cup qualifying. The poll questions seem apropos.
What better intro than Lee Nguyen. Tucked into the “other” category for our first poll, “What absent USMNT player are you most interested in seeing on the pitch?” was a single write-in vote for Lee Nguyen–I think that’s the first time I heard his name since I saw him sub in for the US of A at Spartan Stadium in 2007.
Nguyen is a US U-23 rostered player who just missed the cut for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is currently playing in Vietnam after a cup of coffee at PSV Eindhoven (DaMarcus Beasley is an alum of the club). Nguyen is having a more than solid year with 12 and 16 through 24 games. More on Nguyen at Goal.com.
Nguyen plays like a mishmash of Shaun Wright Phillips, Jose Francisco Torres and Ji-Sung Park. Very staccato like moves, can keep attack in possession, and an indefatigable motor. Wow, I think someone just gave TSG our darkhorse Aaron Lennon-Jermaine Defoe-Theo Walcott X factor…though not in time for 2010. We’ll follow-up more on Nguyen at another point.
Poll 1: Which absent USMNT player are you most interested in seeing on the pitch?
Bundesliga enforcer Jermaine Jones dominated the responses to the tune of 70%. With Edgar Castillo not reputed to be as dominant a force and the US midfield challenges, TSG fans want to see Jones first and foremost on the pitch for the US. I couldn’t agree more.
How much longer are we going to ice that leg?
Trailing Jones was first Ranger recoveree Maurice Edu at 15% and then Castillo in 3rd at 12%.
Two more write-in votes for Freddy “I Just Found the Pitch” Edu. More on him in a sec.
Poll 2: Looking back on 2009, who is the most surprising omission from the US qualifiers roster?
In somewhat of a surprise perhaps, Frankie Hedjuk narrowly wins the plurality at 28%. Hedjuk, of course, is a USMNT fan favorite, a Free Beer Movement target spokesman, a surfer and quite possibly still one of the best options at RB. He certainly can muster the speed to get up and down the pitch.
The question is would another year on the odometer (Frankie Haircut turns 36 during World Cup 2010) takes its toll on Frankie. It’s possible given the way he plays. Of note, does the US miss Hedjuk’s heart and fire on the pitch lately? Perhaps.
Next up, Freddy Adu at 25%. Here’s hoping that Adu’s fresh start can see him perform on the field and deal himself back into the US picture. Sparkplug off the bench with the Iceman Holden starting? We can see it.
Kenny Cooper joined Adu at a quarter of the vote. The former FC Dallas hitman has played well for 1860 Munich, tallying 2 goals against 9 shots on goal in just 4 starts. Cooper might prove to put himself in the mix if he continues his solid play, but with Davies and JZA in front of him, Ching playing the defensive mix-it-up role and Dempsey continually floating up top, there is a good chance that Coops is an odd man out.
Rounding out the voting was DaMarcus Beasley (about as good a shot as featuring on the left as Bobby Convey at this point) and Sacha Kljestan.
I alluded to Kljestan in some commentary this morning and he was my vote in the poll. After his scuttled move overseas, he funked it up this year for Chivas. I think he brings a good intermediary passing game to the central midfield and obviously some striking ability (3 goals against Sweden are nothing to sneeze at). Does he have enough time to make a play for a spot and then show consistency and ability? Might Bradley give him some run in the coming months? A good guess at best.
Let’s hear your more of your opinion and feel free to email your poll suggestions. We’ll shortly introduce a new one.