On the US Gold Cup Roster…
Well, we nearly had the roster spot on. Um, not really.
Bob Bradley–needing a Gold Cup tournament win here in 2011 to assure passage to the Confederation’s Cup warm-up tournament in Brazil in 2013–went with veterans and just a sprinkling of youth.
Household names like Donovan, Dempsey, Bocanegra and Howard lead the list while youngsters who could crack the starting line-up in the group stage, Ream and Agudelo all head to training camp this week.
The US’s Gold Cup 2011 roster:
G: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Nick Rimando
DEF: Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Bornstein, Tim Ream, Eric Lichaj
TWEENER: Jonathan Spector
MID: Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Freddy Adu, Robbie Rogers, Benny Feilhaber
FWD: Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski
• Surprises in Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu and Chris Wondolowski on board. And only three strikers. Plus no Teal Bunbury.
• Bradley had quite a conundrum on the backline. Veterans are always favored. Experience, especially, at centerback trumps youth. However on thing I liked that Bob Bradley did against Paraguay was go to the 3-man backfield and really push his flankers players up the pitch. This is a wrinkle in the vain of David Luiz getting ahead for Chelsea and I like Bradley’s thinking there.
Still not sure why we’ve never seen Jonathan Spector in that role or tried more in central defense.
• On Adu: I like the call-up. I personally don’t rate Adu as a player, but the call-up by Bob Bradley is smart. See how much Adu has matured in a camp and tournament where he doesn’t really need to be relied on. See if you should develop him further. My guess is if Adu wows in this camp–and by that I mean he’s a team player, plays hard all the time, works on his fitness etc–he keeps going. If not, you won’t see him for awhile at the senior level.