Bradley’s 30: What Is This? Junior High

Marvell: Back on the scene, crispy and clean

Coach USA took the next step to shoring up the remaining roster spots in South Africa today by inviting an inordinately large contingency of 30 players, 25 from the MLS, to camp this year in Los Angeles.

The annual January camps kicks off January 4th and making their way to the bunk beds will be:

GOALKEEPERS: Kevin Hartman (Kansas City), Troy Perkins (Valerenga), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Zach Thornton (Chivas USA)

DEFENDERS: Kevin Alston (New England Revolution), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC), Brandon McDonald (San Jose Earthquakes)

MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Jeff Larentowicz (New England Revolution), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew),

FORWARDS: Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), , Marcus Tracy (Aalborg)

—–

Thoughts:

• Follow-up on our preview on the January camp:

» TSG contributor Connor, see comment section, nailed the goalies. TSG thought Thornton–at 36 years–deserving, but a little long in the tooth.

» Unfortunately, no Sean Franklin. TSG suggested an invite be sent the injured defenders way, but understandable that it was not

» No Darrius Barnes, as TSG suggested. Just a little bit too young.

• Coach USA goes with a whopping 12 midfielders, suggesting that his midfield is hardly set and that players like Robbie Rogers and Jose Francisco Torres are not locks yet for WC 2010.

• If you look at the defensive selections, here’s TSG reading Coach Sweatpants mind, “I need to get reps for middle guys here. Goodson, you know have Gonzalez pushing you….your sub spot to lose. Let’s see what this McDonald kid has there too.

Got to figure that outside picture out: Show me something Kevin, Heath, and Marvell–Heath, Marvell this is your final shot.”

» Wynne was in the rotation late last year and early this year. If the speedy outside full can show he’s overcome the nagging injuries and that he’s matured in his read of the game, then he’ll be making a strong play for that left wingback back-up role….back-up for now.

»Note: The official USSF release has Brandon McDonald as a forward. Unless Coach USA sees something we don’t, McDonald should get trotted out at center back and center back alone. I’m this close (if McDonald shows well) to calling him “Gooch Jr.”

¤ TSG has lobbed an email into USMNT spokesperson Neil Buethe to get confirmation on the release and McDonald’s position.

¤ USSF amended their release and now lists McDonald appropriately as a defender.

• Is this the close of the Big Aloha Brian Ching’s USMNT career or is he being given time to rest his knee? If you remember Ching did some heavy lifting this year with the USMNT Gold Cup tourney, qualifiers and a Houston playoff run.

• In Ching’s stead and in the absence of TSG-promoted Nate Jacqua is Chivas USA’s Justin Braun. We’ll have to learn more about Braun here at TSG as we’ve only seen him play a handful of time. 6’3” and 22-years-old is a good start.

• A three-man race for the Charlie Davies role at camp amongst Marcus Tracy (Welcome to the USMNT program, Marcus!), Robbie Findley and Jeff Cunningham. Should be a good one to watch.

• Goodnight Frankie Hedjuk. You will be missed.

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GoFiddler on 2009/12/22 at 12:24 PM

    You know what?

    You guys do a great job. Every other blog and soccer publication just pasted whatever they got and you guys at least read it and fixed McDonald–ps I’m a San Jose fan.

    I think McDonald will impress.
    Why no Rolfe?

    Reply

  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/22 at 12:26 PM

    @gofiddler

    Thanks for the compliment.

    Rolfe is getting ready for a move overseas. Bradley knows him pretty well from last camp and I’m guessing if he impresses overseas he’ll get run out in a friendly or two before the roster is decided.

    Reply

  3. ha nice shout out matt, but I just really had a hard time seeing BB turn down MLS Keeper of the Year when he’s right down the road and the MLS Cup MVP. Hartmann caught me off guard though, i figured he’s go with a young guy like Seitz or maybe even a Perk since Perk goes to school in LA right?

    I had Cameron in with my defensive guys but he’s there all the same. Twelve mids though makes you think that Bob is looking for someone to make an impression, granted Benny! has the only favorable chance of the bunch to make the 23 for 2010. Definitely surprised at no Logan Pause or John Thorrington (forever a BB fave), they played well centrally for the Fire and Pause impressed me in the GC.

    Justin Braun? I mean, yea the guys in town i guess, and 6’3, 22 yo is nice, but I dont recall hearing much about him during the MLS season, and the fact that anyone from SJE made the cut is impressive considering how abysmal their season was. Agreed about Wynne and Pearce, now is their chance to prove themselves and honestly as a Pearce fan, I hope he put’s Bornstein in his place. A sick forward combo? How about Tracy and Findley?? That sounds like it could be deadly.

    All in all though, can’t really complain about any of it. Glad to see the old guard finally gone (Hejduk, Ching, Mastroeni, etc.)

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/23 at 10:03 AM

      Connor, thanks for the reply. Mark and I will be in contact shortly by the way.

      Some comments:

      – I don’t think Logan Pause “has it” — he didn’t show well in the Gold Cup in my opinion and you already have a very in-form Kyle Beckerman fighting for one of those last roles

      – Need to see more of Justin Braun, reserving an evaluation here.

      – I think Bradley is locked down on Casey and Altidore up top–likely you’ll see Deuce there and then the remaining spot is up for grabs amongst Tracy, Findley and Cunningham. Unless Coach B takes 5 strikers which I don’t see happening — I only see one of those two–Tracy and Findley.

      Also, I think that will be the fight. Findley and Tracy both have better strength on the ball and with the US facing tough central defenders in at least its first two games…they’ve got a better shot of doing something.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Kevin on 2009/12/22 at 12:56 PM

    I’m a little surprised at no Jaqua, but Braun never really crossed my mind. He has a great nose for goal, and I don’t think he’s terribly slow either. Is it telling that Bradley chose to bring in Cameron as a middie or is that just part of USSF’s roster. If he’s being called up as a midfielder, send him back. As a defender I think most can agree he’s pretty solid. I don’t think Bradley is sold on Casey which is why he chose to call him up. On Ching not getting called up, he’s out of his prime., but for a player past his prime, he still has a knack for finding the goal when it counts. I think he’s PROBABLY done on the USMNT. I think Sweatpants should’ve called up torres too. If he’s not sold on him, he gets a chance to impress like Casey.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/23 at 10:04 AM

      @Kevin

      I think Bradley is sold on Casey–my read is you would have seen some more post-up guys in camp…you don’t even see Ching in there. Casey is going to RSA in my book right…if I’m Coach USA.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Free Beer Movement on 2009/12/22 at 1:07 PM

    I was reading this post and said to myself “wow no Frankie and the guys aren’t going to say anything. ” But there you are at the bottom of the post ol’ reliable getting the whole picture and anticpating everything. That’s why I voted for ya everyday!

    Think it’s time I posted a Frankie obituary on my site?

    Poor Free Beer Captain.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/22 at 2:15 PM

      Look at the bright side Dan.

      Frankie has more time to devote to a good cause. I would write a transition piece. Sort of a rebirth. Not an obituary.

      Reply

      • Posted by kaya on 2009/12/22 at 7:04 PM

        Overseas (oversees) beer procurement? He has a bright future in a support role =)
        When does ussoccer.com announce your best blog victory?

        Reply

        • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/23 at 10:05 AM

          Hi Kaya:

          We congratulated Soccer By Ives a few weeks ago who won.

          We’ll be back on the scene Marvell Wynne style in 2010.

          Reply

      • Sounds like a good idea. I see a sort of “phoenix from the ashes” story here. Looks like I have some new work to do over X-mas break now.

        Reply

  6. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/12/22 at 11:11 PM

    So is Freddy Adu dead or what? He’s only played in 3 games for bottom-of-the-table Belenesseseses and his future isn’t looking any brighter…

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/23 at 10:06 AM

      @Antonio

      I think Freddy Adu has plateaued at this point — he may be able to do something. But if he’s not getting run for a team that loaned him in this season that’s a bad sign.

      He wouldn’t be at this camp anyway. The funny thing about Adu is that…he’s got more time. He’ll be 24 I believe at WC 2014.

      Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/12/23 at 11:12 AM

        You know I totally forgot about how old he actualy is. But its still seems like potentially 3 world cups for him is one world cup less than what he should’ve capped. I think about a year to two years ago, USMNT fans saw Freddy taking the offensive pressure off of landon and moving up the middle of the pitch with relative ease. I just hope we won’t be having the same conversation four years from now.

        Reply

      • The saddest thing about Adu’s situation is that his team is awful. For him to be riding the pine for a club that most of us (insinuating that none of us are that good) could ride the pine for that doesn’t say much for his current form. When I checked out Belenenneenses they looked like they were in need of Fredy’s supposed talents, but he didn’t even dress that game, so there’s either something extremely fishy going on, or the kid is simply not cut out for situations where he’s not being coddled and told he’s the greatest thing ever.

        Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/27 at 8:37 PM

      If Freddy Adu didn’t have a twitter account, I might receive that as a very legitimate question.

      Reply

  7. Posted by michaelneis on 2009/12/22 at 11:50 PM

    i’ve been fully prepared to jump on the “robbie findley could be a viable option” bandwagon…i’m going to go ahead and predict a start up top in January against Honduras. Also, how much of a look do you think Omar Gonzalez is really getting? I know his name has been tossed around by commenters in the past, but I have a hard time believing this is much more than a camp depth thing.

    Reply

    • Posted by Berg on 2009/12/23 at 9:50 AM

      I’m with you on Findley but it’s more because of the weaknesses in the other options than a true assurance I feel in Robbie being heads above everyone else. If Cunningham ever got in against a team like England, he would retain the ball for about 0.6 seconds before he was careened off it. with a British shoulder. Casey’s case has been given the run over time and again so I won’t go too heavily into that. I applaud his brace in qualifying but the last image I have of him is a reachable ball to the corner being played while he helplessly tailed it before it rolled out. I’m interested in Tracy simply because while he offers less pace than Findley, I feel he can play that post up role if Bobbo requires it of him while offering more potential (which we fans love to a fault at times) than a Casey or Cunningham.

      Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/12/23 at 10:10 AM

      @michael

      On Omar Gonzalez…and I favor experience….I’ve been wildly impressed with him this year. What makes him compelling is his height — he’s an inch taller than Gooch…he can also, in a pinch, shift out wide.

      I think this is more a reward for Gonzalez’s season — last year’s MLS rookie of the year came to camp too– but Gonzalez adds a dimension to the defense. He’s get some run out and if he looks good you might see him competing with Goodson a back role.

      This WC 2010…likely not…but let’s wait and see.

      @berg:

      Agree on Tracy….as a disclaimer, I only remember him at Wake Forest where he easily held off defenders. I can’t wait to see both he and Findley on the field. As I stated before, I’m not a fan of a post-30 year old who has migrated from team to team and gets blown off the ball on a flutter of wind—so I discount Cunningham’s chances.

      Reply

  8. Posted by kd on 2009/12/23 at 10:19 PM

    Torres.
    Was the only one to show any class at Costa Rica, before coming off rudely at half.
    Not seen, apparently BB does not see him on the bench. Literally looked right through him for months of qualifying.
    Comes on.
    Wins the draw with Costa Rica at home with his take away at 90+ in our half, pushing the tempo, and assisting from the corner kick.
    Needs to play in Jan. March, and in SA.

    Reply

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