Bob Bradley Summons 2011 January Camp Class

Bob Bradley goes young and looks to unearth talent here early in the cycle. Cusp players like Heath Pearce, Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven are not called in.

But you knew already the US Ambassador to Brazil was going to be there...

More analysis forthcoming:

GOALIES:  Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson, Matt Pickens, Dominic Cervi


DEFENDERSOmar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Sean Franklin, AJ De La Garza, Ryan Miller, Ugo Imehlu, Anthony Wallace, Marvell Wynne, Zach Lloyd, (Ike Opara, invited, decline due to injury)


MIDFIELDERS: Brek Shea, Sam Cronin,  Alejandro Bedoya,  Jeff Larentowicz, Dax McCarty, Mikkel Diskerud, Eric Alexander


FORWARDS: Justin Braun, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Chris Wondolowski


• “I don’t like your cuffs. I don’t like your cuffs. I don’t like your cuffs.”

Distribution, distribution, distribution. Look for Bob Bradley to make moving the ball out of the back a priority for who he tries in central defense.

Brek Shea, might he get a look? The favored horses right now are Tim Ream and Omar Gonzalez….after that the camp is wide open.

• And that leads to “Hold that ball!”

With Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey arguably cresting their prime here and incising attackers like Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya and even Robbie Rogers being a big part of the attack on the wings, it is imperative the US can find somebody up top that they can heave-ho it to and who can ward off defenders.

Jozy Altidore has the body, but his mindset says, “Theirry Henry” more than “Asamoah Gyan.”

Teal Bunbury and Justin Braun battle it out to see which, or rather if at this point, either can be a successful target striker–so desperately needed by the States–on the international scene. We say Braun can play nationally, but Bunbury’s got that better shot.

• Who’s picking it up for JB and HP?

Jonathan Bornstein’s gone south of the border; Heath Pearce gets a Jan Camp break. With Bobby Convey not in camp (you pretty much know what you have there) who’s stepping up at leftback from the likes of Ryan Miller, AJ De La Garza and Anthony Wallace. Perhaps the most fascinating battle in camp!

• Surprised omissions?

Geoff Cameron…thought he’d be there for sure. Maybe Bob Bradley is comfortable knowing what he has (which is why you likely see Robbie Rogers and Heath Pearce left out).

Bobby Convey, the talent is obvious…it’s not about  that. Perhaps Bobby Convey goes JC (Jeff Cunningham) and shows up later in the cycle if he continues to perform.

• Miscellaneous

» Looks like Marvell Wynne is going to see a lot of CB action?

» Great group of forwards…finally…huh?!

More analysis shortly…

31 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dth on 2010/12/21 at 11:14 AM

    Guess Robbie Rogers played his way out of the camp with his atrocious South Africa performance. Can’t say I blame Bradley for that.


  2. Posted by Nelson on 2010/12/21 at 12:26 PM

    you typed de la Farza the first time you wrote AJ’s name. Kinda sounds like of the farce to a spanish speaker. lol


  3. Posted by Berg on 2010/12/21 at 12:34 PM

    In TSG’s opinion, is the back line where Brek belongs or is he better in the midfield? To be honest, my experience watching him was when he was about 2-3 years younger and I don’t feel I can accurately give an opinion about his current form/level of comfort in various positions. I can certainly see the appeal of having size+attacking prowess back there.

    Another note, haven’t been this excited to watch a group of young forwards in a long while.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/21 at 1:25 PM

      I need to see more of him for sure.

      I’d like see him tried at LB, but he just may not be quick enough there.

      I had the opportunity to watch him as a striker last year for the U-20 squad. Was completely uncomfortable by himself up top.

      On Dallas this year, he really benefited from teams collapsing on David Ferreira, often making verticals run on to through balls from the Colombian. I didn’t see him beat his man a ton. I think he would be really interesting in a the midfield of a 4-3-3. I’d like to see him at LB and make overlapping runs as well.

      So…jury is still out.


      • Posted by Berg on 2010/12/21 at 1:34 PM

        Thanks… I remember watching him as well on the US Youth teams at forward and coming away thinking someone had just fallen in love with him as an athlete because as you said, he looked uncomfortable up top. Interesting bit about him playing off Ferreira, though.


        • Posted by Dennis on 2010/12/22 at 6:46 AM

          All you need to know about Brek Shea:

          He is not national team caliber. No way he makes the 23 for 2014. I don’t think there is a player I dislike more in the pool. It’s a tie of futility between Shea and Bornstein.


        • Posted by dth on 2010/12/22 at 11:05 PM

          Oh come on now. He’s all of, what, 20? He’s had all of one national team cap? You’re willing to say this about a guy who was a good player for the third-best team in MLS?

          Chances are you’re right, but not for the reasons you think.


  4. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/21 at 1:39 PM

    excuse me matthew, but what is it about shea that would make him an interesting prospect in the midfield of a 4-3-3? his intelligence? maybe brek shea can channel his inner yaya toure. with no lichaj in the camp, wynne looks like a lock for the rb spot. got get em hungry beast.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/21 at 1:43 PM

      I like him in the Stu Holden role a little bit if it were on the left side. Stu has move positional defensive responsibility, rather than 1-on1 in the 4-3-3 we saw in October. He tucked in often on the left for linkage, but I often wanted him to get wide to make a cross or just a run down the line.

      So Shea works enough to play positionally well in defense, he’s an okay passer but wouldn’t be tasked with that and he could add a little offense. I liked the way Shea played against the Galaxy in the playoffs in midfield.

      That said, I’m not sure he’s got the international chops for the midfield. Let’s see where Bradley plays him.


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/21 at 2:05 PM

        isnt that just the point though? if you are going to play a 4-3-3 the three midfielders all need to be able to pass the ball and do it really well. its probably why italy can do it and man city does not have it yet. i wish we could all be on the 4-5-1 bandwagon, it fits us soccer so much better than the total football 4-3-3. i guess we will have to wait and see what coach bradley trots out next month. sam cronin, that is a money player. he and dax on the field together would be nice. one thing usa cant ever have enough of, is more smart players.


        • Posted by Russell on 2010/12/21 at 4:45 PM

          This may seem un-informed.. and granted I havent seen Shea play that much.. But I think of him as a Left Sided Dempsey. A guy that pushes in and forward and could often play a psuedo target man role.. is a good guy to have in the box to win loose balls and headers.. doesnt play d all that much. Less ball skillz than duece.. but more raw energy and strength.. Am I way off?


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/21 at 5:27 PM

            I think a little Russell. Shea doesn’t really create or hold-up the ball like a Dempsey does.

            A better comparison perhaps for Shea is Sacha Kljestan minus the passing. He’s very vertical, can make a move or two, but largely is a complementary more than primary attacker.

            I think if he could do a could job at LB he’d be vicious because of his speed and height…but that’s a big if.


        • Well I think the US can pull it off, but my only real question mark is what happens for Donovan or Dempsey for 2014. I think the best thing for the national team right now is if they announce if they are retiring from the international game after the gold cup or still going to fight for a spot. If I was BB I would start trying to reduce the reliance on them. For the sake of assuming the worst and possibly over preparing lets just say they retire from the international game. 4-3-3 with…

          plenty of potential for 2014. Obviously there’s also a large possibility that a lot or atleast some of these guys fall of the edge of the earth as far as the USMNT is concerned. I think it manages to combine vertical speed, IMO always something the US has valued, and more of a passing total footbal approach. Obviously not total football like Barcelona, but I mean I think it accomplishes a good balance.


  5. Posted by Kevin O' on 2010/12/21 at 1:58 PM

    I’m stoked about visiting the Home Depot Center for the first time for the January 22nd game. Any pointers from the L.A. regulars?


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/12/21 at 5:57 PM

      Get there early. Brings tons of food (that only you will eat) for tailgating so you won’t have to spend $10 on a 5 inch hotdog


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/21 at 6:01 PM

        Agreed Antonio …however one of the coolest things about HDC that I don’t see a lot of places is that they have great cultural food. Last year it was obviously Honduran food for the game.
        It’s a decent place to tailgate.

        If you’re staying somewhere…stay in Manhattan Beach…team stays there.


        • Posted by Brian on 2010/12/21 at 10:31 PM

          I’ll be at the game too. I’ve been to once Galaxy game there before too. But isn’t tailgating prohibited at the HDC?


      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/12/22 at 1:16 AM

        Also park across the street from the main entrance to avoid the traffic orgy that will ensue post-match. Not to mention that’s a few more bucks in your pocket


        • Posted by Kevin O' on 2010/12/22 at 9:32 AM

          Thanks guys, I appreciate it!


        • Posted by Paula on 2010/12/24 at 7:06 PM

          Er, across which street??? My first time @ HDC was just in September vs. the Red Bulls and am anxious to avoid a repeat of the post-match fustercluck when I go again in Jan. Thanks!


  6. Posted by dth on 2010/12/21 at 7:25 PM

    So, anyone down for a fun round of let’s-publish-our-preferred starting lineup? Of course:



  7. Posted by Nelson on 2010/12/21 at 8:08 PM




  8. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/21 at 11:31 PM

    sam cronin gets some love, that is very nice. can you imagine toronto did not need marvell wynne and sam cronin. thats too funny, because you know klinsmann must be pulling his hair out over the loss of these two players. i guess some people just dont recognize the talent.



  9. I continue to be absolutely baffled by the repeated inclusion of Marvell “Oh FFS” Wynne at these camps. He’s extremely gifted physically, but IMO has almost zero feel for the game. He almost always chooses the wrong option. He regularly gets beaten like a drum in MLS and has been a disaster for the nats in his (thankfully) brief appearances. What possible support can he provide building to 2014?

    Clearly Bradley and staff see something about him with their big soccer brains that I don’t see, so, for the sake of my national team, I am praying that Wynne has an epiphany and develops a brain to match his physical talents.


  10. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/23 at 6:51 AM

    matt, im sure you dont need to be reminded that marvell wynne won the mls championship this past season. he did this his first season at the club with a team that has never won before. so in terms of options, it seems like he made a good choice in moving to colorado. sean franklin might be better going forwrd than wynne, but no way is he a better outright defender. the usa does not have a better defender than marvell and that is so much what the usa needs out on the wing, is a shut down defender. who does not agree that we need better defenders on defense? i always here someone talking about how nice a cross a guy sends in, but never do people talk about what defense these guys play. with pearce, its he sends in a good ball. lets put convey back there, he gives nice service, oh cherundolo, he is great on the ball. i wanna know why it is not all about stopping the attack of the other team. matt, do you really think marvell wynne does not deserve to be on the roster over other players? im sure you have played tons of soccer and watched even more, so you know. and you might even have a bigger soccer brain than the ucla alum, or the princeton grad, for that matter


    • Let’s just say we disagree about his quality as a defender. I’ve watched Marvell Wynne for his entire MLS career with great hope. He was very raw when he came in, a real one-trick pony, and he’d try to beat everyone with sheer speed He relies far too much on speed and not enough on tactical awareness. He’s anything but a shut-down defender. In fact, his channel is the one opposing teams like to attack with a simple two-man attack. He gets drawn forward to challenge the ball and neglects to follow the runner. As a result he’s always struggling to catch up. He often does because of his talent, but that does not a good defender make.

      You’re right that in selecting players I far prefer defenders who can defend. If they can go forward and be effective, so much the better, but that’s not their primary responsibility. As I said, though, I don’t think Wynne is a particularly good defender. OK, he’s better than Riley, who I think is the worst defender in any league I’ve watched.

      Another thing. I expect players to grow, mature, and learn with experience. Look at Atiba Harris. I hate him as a player. He spent his first few years doing nothing but committing dangerous fouls. Recently, though, he has actually committed to learning the game, and has become a useful player. I haven’t seen that progression in Wynne. He is no better than he was when he joined the league. In fact, he’s worse, because he’s lost a step.

      I also don’t believe Colorado won the Cup because Wynne was playing defense for them.

      Finally, yeah, I’ve played, coached, refereed, and watched soccer for more years than I care to admit, but I’d never presume to think that I knew as much as professional coaches and trainers. That’s why Wynne must have something going for him that I just don’t see, because he keeps getting looks from the national team. I’d love to be proven wrong about him, because the US needs outside defenders desperately. I think Lichaj is on track to replace Cherundolo, but we could always use more competition.


      • Posted by dth on 2010/12/23 at 9:52 AM

        The funny thing is that RB is one of the deepest positions this cycle–I’m not sure why this Marvell debate. To wit:
        S. Williams
        various u-20 RBs.

        I’m very confident Wynne’s abilities won’t be needed at RB. Supposedly he’s been better at centerback, where there’s more of a gap, but still: he really needs to do some growing before we can even think about Wynne in the roster for the national team.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/23 at 9:56 AM

          Bob bradley’s current RB depth chart looks like this imo:
          Lichaj, who has now trumped Spector

          Wynne after his debacle last year again Honduras B team will be considered as a centerback.

          But I could be wrong.


  11. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/23 at 3:48 PM

    i really want you guys to think about what you are saying. sean franklin has suited up and played for the usa in exactly one game. to think he is higher on the depth chart, well, i guess we will know more in a couple of weeks. but coach bradley does not strike me as a guy who brings marvell to these events and then is going to go and place franklin higher on some list, let alone alston or williams.

    matt its funny that you say teams attack marvells side. when it was holland who moved roystan drenthra from left mid to the right after he failed to make any headways against the hungry beast at the olympics. i mean, are you guys really going to say that marvell was not one of our best players at the olympics? please tell me you are not saying that.

    you guys are all soccer players and you probably watch even more than you play. maybe you look at marvell with your keen eye and feel like you understand the game better, or you might even feel like you have better skills than a player. ive heard plenty of people in recent years say they had more skill than eddie johnson. isnt that pretty funny. even more recently people talk bout robbie findley as if he hs no skill and offers nothing, yet he has interest from england. billy davies is a pretty well respected manager. this is the guy that brought feilhaber to derby county. then of course he got sacked and the wigan rugby player took over and did not see the talent feilhaber offered.

    im excited to see this camp unfold and the game against chile will be interesting, but i think as fans, it does a diservice to discredit the accomplishments of players. i mean marvell wynne was an importaint part of the rapids success this year and saying he was not, is certainly an opinion someone can have. is it an opinion based on fact, im not so sure it is.


  12. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/23 at 6:48 PM

    3:20 of this video is a goal from marvell wynne and i challenge you guys to bring some video of sean franklin or any other rb prospect scoring a goal as nice as the one marvell scores here. you can use video even from high school or college, if you like.


  13. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/24 at 11:23 PM

    no takers on the rb video challenge. alright, ill put up another hungry beast goal. notice that this goal come courtesy of the weaker left foot. its at the thirty second mark of the video. merry christmas to all


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