The Day After: The 2011 US Gold Cup Roster

Bob Bradley was in a chipper mood on Monday’s conference call with reporters, addressing questioners by name and asking some how they’ve been.

Here we string together some thoughts on the US Gold Cup roster:

Chandler, incredibly not named on the day...

• On Timothy Chandler: Clear from Bob Bradley ‘s pre-roster announcement sentiments that he expected to have Chandler with the team.

And Timmy Chandler is very much a Bob Bradley type of player; you could actually feel Bob Bradley’s giddiness when he talked about him (“a very exciting player” phrase was used a few times).

Seems to be “concern” that Timmy Chandler isn’t cap-tied and now won’t be this summer. We’re going to try and get our German correspondent on the story.

I would think Chandler’s non-inclusion is more a matter of negotiation between FC Nurnberg and Bob Bradley and USSF rather than a change of sentiment or inquiry from the German federation. Germany is stacked at outside back with Phil Lahm, Jerome Boateng and even Sedar Tasci.

Additionally, most of Germany’s players come up through the system; it’s important to their team ethos.

That said, the curious thing is that this seems a perfect opportunity for FC Nurnberg not to dispute a call-up. It’s offseason. Steve Cherundolo is clearly the number one, relegating Chandler–for now–to a back-up role at least in Game 1 and Game 2.

And you would also think that Bob Bradley would want to see Chandler against a team like Spain where the flanker with the herky-jerky stride would appear a perfect foil for Iniesta ahead of Cherundolo on the right flank. (Okay, maybe I just feel that way. Bob Bradley should.)

Time will tell here.

• A dynamic collection of attacking players for Bob Bradley with diverse skill sets.

Freddy Adu might be used when Bob Bradley unbalances to the right, leaving open space for Adu to exploit on the left.

Freddy Adu, of course, being the biggest surprise inclusion, but also Wondoloski and Robbie Rogers.

Bradley favors offensive action up front that that is typically unbalanced to the right flank and opens up space for Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan. The graphic to the left shows how Adu might be tried out in Bradley’s unbalanced formation and how his movement differs from, say, Clint Dempsey in the weakside attacker role.

Adu, as shown, would be a speedy, creative option off the opponent’s backline after it shifts and gets pinned back on the right.

Some other occasions when Bob Bradley has used this deployment include: (1) the 1st half against Turkey during 2010′s Send Off Series with Dempsey and Donovan swapped in the formation and Altidore pulling right and (2) DaMarcus Beasley in the role in the Send Off Series game against the Czech Republic with Edson Buddle and Eddie Johnson pulling right.

After contemplation, excited for Wondo off-ball action....

As for Wondolowski, I have to say a little bit more excitement on his call-up just because he’s a guy, without great speed, that still moves extremely well off the ball.

The graphic on the right shows how the movement of Altidore and Wondolowski in tandem can open up space in the middle for Dempsey and Donovan.

What’s interesting is that when Wondo plays for San Jose, he greatly benefits from the width provided/created by Bobby Convey (and this year Ryan Johnson) on the left–either Wondo gathers in a cross or he’s got space to work with from the quick switchfield.

The States don’t have a great crosser of the ball from the left and usually look for width from a pulling Jozy Altidore or Clint Dempsey taking the space to the corner. It will be interesting to see how Bob Bradley involves Wondo without that natural lefty crosser-attacker on the left flank.

• I know Marcus Hahnemann has earned his place as the #2 for this tournament, but he’s hardly the ideal keeper for the CONCACAF tournament in that he’s not the most mobile of fellows.

Teams like El Salvador, Mexico and Guadeloupe have active and quick forwards. If the US wants to play a high line and give Howard a break, well they should expect some adventures if Hahnemann is tasked with coming out. Nick Rimando–proven with RSL in Champion’s League south of the border–has experience with CONCACAF attackers and is a good addition by Bradley to the squad as the 3rd keeper over a player like David Yeldell.

Oh and he’s not on form for Portland, but Troy Perkins was excellent in the Gold Cup two years ago because he was aggressive off his line.

Um, sort of...

• While it’s hard for TSG to be impartial with the exclusion of Alejandro Bedoya, a TSG fave, the inclusion of Robbie Rogers is an interesting one.

First, there is no question that Rogers has all the talent a good deal of talent in the world. At the age of 19, he was signed by Eredivisie squad Heerenveen. Rogers has a cannon when he gets an opening from outside the box, he’s got more than decent straight ahead speed with a little bit of shake-and-bake and the ability to cross the ball.

That said, Rogers can also murder an opportunity by holding on to the ball too long or making the wrong decision on moving it.

I think Bob Bradley’s got “Coach’s Goggles” with Robbie Rogers.

Every coach in every sport puts on goggles for one player or another. The most famous instance perhaps being in the NFL with Dan Reeves and Tommy Maddox.

Bruce Arena has Mike Magee back in MLS.

Coach’s Goggles is when a coach has an emotional tie to a player and fails to look beyond the obvious. Instead the coach believes that their influence can dynamically improve a player who has, it would appear, all the physical tools to succeed but where the evidence shows it probably won’t happen.

Last year, Bradley’s Goggles were firmly fixated on Robbie Findley. Hopefully Bradley’s Goggles don’t latch on to Anthony Wallace next.

Rogers? Well, he’s 24-years-old. It’s time to put it together. Period. That said, perhaps Rogers was Chandler’s 11th-hour fill-in?

And one more quick thing here. You brought in Freddy Adu. Why not bring in Teal Bunbury or Joseph Gyau if you’re taking a flyer. How often do the 21st and 22nd players get on the pitch?

• Very strong words from Bob Bradley in the press call saying “I will emphatically say that we believe Jozy has done a lot for us and we think he’s big part of the future of US Soccer.”

• Looking forward to seeing if Sacha Kljestan can put it together here. Kljestan looked the most team-oriented and focused that I’ve seen him awhile during the 2nd half against Paraguay a few weeks back. He’s got the tools to be excellent with ball carriage in the middle or tucked in on a flank.

This might be his Gold Cup. Might.

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60 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/05/23 at 11:10 PM

    Excellent writing Matty.
    A bit generous with Robbie Rogers. “All the talent in the world” doesn’t get you signed and released by Herenveen — he’s massively overrated, and his upside is not as up as some would like to believe. What you miss, I think, is that BB wants speed. That accounts for Findley and RR’s inclusion. But when you look at someone like Backe, you see that you can demand speed but have standards. Dane Richards has risen to meet them, and at this point I’d rate Dilly Duka higher.

    I think Mix Diskerud gets the short end of the stick here, even more than Ale Bedoya perhaps, who also deserves to be there.

    I also predict that this will be a nightmare Gold Cup for Onyewu.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/23 at 11:11 PM

      Going to change that “all the talent in the world” — good point.

      Reply

    • Posted by justin on 2011/05/24 at 7:56 AM

      I agree that this could be a bad cup for onyewu, however his deficiencies that were so easily exposed during the world cup won’t be so visible against such inferior opponents. Unfortunately we might not witness the same lack of athleticism until the last couple of games.

      I agree on Kljestan. I’ve watched some of the anderlecht games this past month and I think that he could have a breakout cup being able to distribute out to Demps and Donovan on the wings. If his passing is great instead of good, which is possible, he brings something that none of our other CMs can bring and that is great passing to feet in the final 3rd of the field.

      My next question is: Since we only have 3 true forwards on the roster is bob bradley more likely to play with 1 striker up top or 2?

      Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/05/24 at 9:58 AM

      I think it’s fair to say Rogers has tons of talent or all the talent in the world: he’s genuinely two-footed, he can dribble a fair bit, and he’s really fast. That’s a ton of natural talent, and as I’ve said before, if you put Clint Dempsey’s brain in Robbie Rogers’ body, you have a player who’s playing for a really good team in a top 5 league. Sadly this isn’t the case.

      Reply

  2. Posted by JasonPrice on 2011/05/23 at 11:11 PM

    p.s. MB at CB. (again—please, it makes sense)

    Reply

  3. Posted by dude on 2011/05/23 at 11:35 PM

    Taking Rogers makes me angry. Mix, Gyau, hell, Chris Pontius I’d take over him (right now extremely effective for United). Ridiculous. All around, lack of forward thinking.

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    • Posted by dude on 2011/05/23 at 11:41 PM

      Oh, and no Bedoya is stupid. He’s on fire. What is Rogers doing? Exactly.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/24 at 12:14 AM

        I suspect matthew is right about Rogers being Chandler’s last minute replacement. It might have been too late to secure the release of a better option (Bedoya, Mix, etc), so they just took who they could get at that point.

        Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2011/05/24 at 6:49 AM

          I don’t think they can be too late to get one of those guys in for the Gold Cup. They are FIFA dates and if called by the deadline set by CONCACAF their clubs have to release them. Bob just prefers a lesser talented player.

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          • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/24 at 9:03 AM

            I’d be surprised if there wasn’t paperwork that had to be filed. Given that Bradley had a matter of hours, Orebro or Stabaek could have just been all “Yeah, send over the forms and we’ll get right on it, heh, heh”. Whereas Bob would have been likely to get a more sympathetic ear from Warzycha, especially if he framed it as “I’m really in a bind here, help me now and I’ll scratch your back later”.

            But of course, this is all wild speculation on my part. It’s entirely possible that Bob did indeed prefer Rogers over Bedoya.

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      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/24 at 6:41 AM

        I think that’s a fair point

        I think Rogers and Bedoya are very equal. But Wondo’s form was hailed, less Bedoya’s.

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  4. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/24 at 12:11 AM

    Joe Gyau? Really? The guy hasn’t ever played a minute at the senior level for any team. I think he was dropped from the U-20 friendlies in France with an injury as well.

    I mean, it’s conceivable that Adu would be able contribute at some point, even if he’s on the fringe. Gyau would just be along for the ride.

    Reply

  5. aye yi yi…

    Bob Bradley is risking his job with these selections. He can come out looking like a fool without a job, or he could potentially come out looking like an Einstein of soccer. An Adu/Altidore combination worked absolute wonders at the U-20 level. But surely he isn’t banking on that. Chandlers exclusion is marginally acceptable, based on the fact that he just played his first full season in a physically demanding league, and he’s not exactly a cemented starter there either. Had he been more implanted at Nurnburg, I think he’s easily on the roster.

    Alejandro Bedoya’s exclusion is absolutely mind boggling. There’s nothing more to be said there.

    Wondo’s inclusion is mildly acceptable, but I rate Gomez, Buddle, and Bunbury ahead of Wondo. Hell even, dare I say Charlie Davies perhaps?

    Reply

    • Posted by BrosefTito on 2011/05/24 at 8:23 AM

      Gomez was on a 10 month goal drought at the club level until last month. No way is he ahead of Wondo. Buddle was ahead of Wondo last year but has fallen off in the German second division… only 3 goals and 0 assists in 14 games vs. Wondo has 5 goals and 2 assists in 10 games this year. No way is Bunbury ahead of Wondo. Teal is a nice prospect but he is not close to Wondo at this point. CD9 only has 3 goals from open play this season so he might be the worst of the bunch you named.

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    • Agreed on Bedoya’s exclusion – did not see that one coming.

      I’ve seen a lot of people stating that they rate Wondo behind Gomez and Buddle. To me, they seem to play similar roles for their club teams – and Wondo is most in-form of the three currently. Just curious – any specific reasons why you rate Gomez/Buddle higher than Wondo (leaving Bunbury out of the discussion due to the age difference)?

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  6. Posted by Colin on 2011/05/24 at 5:48 AM

    This robbie rogers hate/ale bedoya love has gone too far. Neither player is clearly a better pick if you ask me. Both players have been given shots before and neither has come out and earned a permanent roster spot.

    Just some food for thought:
    -Rogers is 2 weeks younger than Bedoya and has almost double the number of caps (ok…its only 13 to 7…but still).
    -Bedoya last got capped in January against Chile (getting the start and an “INC” grade from TSG because he didnt see the ball)
    -Rogers last got capped against South Africa in November (receiving a 4.5 grade while being labeled “one of the most skilled players on the ball out there”. His downside was trying to make spectacular plays rather than simple plays. Well, if you look on the calendar, that South Africa match was well into his offseason and he was far being in-form.
    -Both Bedoya and Rogers were on the 30 man world cup roster 12 months ago, and both ended up not making the cut to 23 man roster

    It looks to me like Rogers got picked over Bedoya to give him a chance to show how he has improved since his last cap…given that he will be a bit more “in-form” now than 6 months ago. In addition, it was mentioned that Wondolowski does well with service coming in from the left…correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that something that Rogers can do better than just about anyone else on this roster.

    Neither player would be getting the start in midfield. So the question becomes, who would be a more effective sub…and against tired legs, I would vote Rogers with his pace, ball skills, and long shooting. If his downside is holding the ball too long…bringing him in as a sub rather than a starter should give him just a little more time on the ball since he is against tired legs.

    Personally, I think a lot of us get caught up in the intrigue of players that we havent seen a lot of and feel like they have to be better than the players that are on the field instead of them…because sometimes, the players on the field look awful.

    Sure, Bedoya has been a regular starter for a club in Europe. But…he plays in the swedish league. Just to get an idea of that league, it surprisingly put 5 clubs in european competition to start this season (Orebro wasnt one of them). 1 club in the champions league, and 4 clubs in the europa league. However, all 5 of these clubs were knocked out in the qualifying stages. I feel that attendance figures are a good representation of the money in the league…which corresponds to the amount of talent in the league…the highest attendance for an Orebro match this season was 10,880. Based on this, I would argue that the MLS is a stronger league than the Swedish league. I’m aware this is a big stretch, but I dont have much else to go on since they dont broadcast Swedish league highlights on ESPN too often.

    As fans, we need to support whichever players are on the field.

    After saying all this…I will say that I am a crew fan and may be slightly biased haha.

    Reply

    • Posted by JohnC on 2011/05/24 at 6:26 AM

      great comments. Completely agree about toss up of skills between the two players and both continually not showing enough to lock down a spot (something say Stuart Holden did in his first year as spot starter or sub role). Also, excellent point on Sweden league, I was trying to convince friends of this yesterday. It is not a strong league. No way the star power of the MLS or the infusion of South and Central American talent.

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    • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/05/24 at 6:30 AM

      This comment is so true. I mean we are talking same percentage points of difference between players. Wondo vs Gomez, Rogers vs Bedoya, Gooch vs Injured? Demerit. Obviously Bradley was looking for sparks off the bench, good depth, and maybe a couple guys to run out and see how they handle playing with the A-Team.

      Also on a formation note, I am thinking that Bradley starts a 4-3-2-1 (4-5-1) against Spain.
      Altidore
      Dempsey, Donavon
      Edu, Jones, MB90
      Bornstien, Boca, Gooch, Dolo
      Howard
      Subs/Alts off the bench: Aguledo for altidore, Adu for Demps, Wondo for Donavon, Rogers for Edu, Benny For Jones, Kljestan for MB90, Ream for Boca, Spector for any MF or CB, Lichaj for Dolo, Goodson for Gooch.

      Not my favorite formation, But Bradley might play the three man midfield with three “Destroyers”. Although if Edu and MB90 are not chained to the defense, they could both be well suited to finding the goal with jones backing them up.

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    • Posted by dth on 2011/05/24 at 10:00 AM

      Brains-wise, Bedoya is far ahead of Rogers. So I’d much, much rather have Bedoya than Rogers, especially since Bedoya is in imperious form and Rogers is, uh, not.

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      • Posted by Colin on 2011/05/24 at 10:44 AM

        Agreed that Bedoya is far ahead of Rogers brain-wise. However, I would argue that as a sub (which is the role that we are talking about between Bedoya and Rogers)…I would rather have the physical aspects of Rogers to make an impact late in the game.

        Again…the true meaning of great form in the swedish first division is a point of discussion. I can’t say for sure either way, but I would think that the MLS is a stronger league overall than the swedish first division.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/05/24 at 11:53 AM

          I don’t know that this is the case. Average pay is higher in Scandinavia than MLS. Players frequently transfer for top 5 leagues. I suspect they’re about even–though admittedly I don’t watch Norway/Finland/Sweden. (Denmark, which is ranked 12th in UEFA league coefficient, is clearly better than MLS.)

          Reply

          • Average pay aside– all that really matters in this debate is Bradley and the coaching staff’s perception, particularly when you factor in the harsh reality that neither has played more than one impressive match in a US shirt. Bradley believes MLS to be the better league– if that weren’t so– his comments would have been different and Bedoya (in better form) would be going.

            Reply

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/05/24 at 4:08 PM

              Isn’t he contractually obligated to rate MLS higher in an attempt by US Soccer to stop the flow of players to third tier Euro leagues?

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/05/27 at 5:47 AM

              The one thing to remember about those rankings is that they are greatly affected by the success in European competitions. In the case of Belarus, Bate Borisov have been in the Champions League group stage in 08/09 and in the round of 32 in the Europa League this season. There have been a couple Bulgarian teams (CSKA Sofia, Levski and Litex) that have played in Europe as well. In Scotland, their high ranking is entirely due to Rangers and Celtic performing in Europe every year. The reast of the teams barely make a dent.

              I’m not saying that Sweden is a great league but just keep that stuff in mind. Bate Borisov’s one good season in Europe will influence their league’s ranking for a few years without really saying anything about overall quality and for all I know they are owned by an Abramovich style owner or something.

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/05/25 at 8:51 AM

            UEFA rankings of the current leagues (first division).

            Sweden, which does produce a lot of good players, is ten places below Scotland which is a pretty awful league outside of Rangers and Celtic. I have a hard time thinking Orebro would be a dominant team in MLS.

            The fact that Sweden sends a lot of player onto good leagues may be a product of the ease of permit regulations and the like rather than just talent.

            11 Greece

            12 Denmark

            13 Belgium

            14 Romania

            15 Scotland

            16 Switzerland

            17 Israel

            18 Czech Republic

            19 Austria

            20 Cyprus

            21 Bulgaria

            22 Croatia

            23 Belarus

            24 Poland

            25 Slovakia

            26 Norway

            27 Serbia

            28 Sweden

            29 Bosnia and Herzegovina

            30 Finland

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            • Posted by Colin on 2011/05/27 at 4:21 AM

              Wow…thats worse that I thought. 5 spots below…Belarus? 7 spots below Bulgaria? yea…thats not good.

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/05/25 at 2:48 PM

        Bedoya does not have the upside( speed, two good feet, great shot, good one on one skills, good size, etc.) that Rogers has.

        Rogers does not have the soccer brain and work ethic Bedoya has.

        If you put Bedoya’s brain and work ethic into Roger’s body you’d really have something.

        Reply

    • Posted by Colin on 2011/05/24 at 10:02 AM

      just wanna say that I’m not pointing the finger at TSG for loving Bedoya and hating Rogers. More of a response to general opinion.

      Reply

    • I’m a big Bedoya fan (somewhat of a Rogers fan, though I’ve been disappointed by his recent appearances with the USAMNT), but your point about why Rogers may have gotten the nod over Bedoya rings true. Bradley was clearly going for experience with this roster – and, as much as I think Bedoya is a better overall player, Rogers has more experience. Either player could provide a good spark off the bench; I just hope that Rogers brings the sort of confidence and hustle that I’ve seen Bedoya exhibit in his last few friendlies with the USA.

      Reply

  7. [...] course, The Shin Guardian tops them all with an in-depth tactical look at the [...]

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  8. Posted by Chad on 2011/05/24 at 6:11 AM

    Interesting that Wondo is in top 3 in MLS in goals, shots and shots on goal, plus had a fantastic season last year. When I guy gets that many shots and scores that many goals w/o being pacey, I see why BB is intrigued. Small nit to pick re Adu: he’s not fast. I think speed is his biggest drawback.

    I really like a few players on this team for their potentiality unexpected offensive contributibuttons: Boca and Goodson w the head; and Edu (see Slovenia).

    Reply

    • Posted by JohnC on 2011/05/24 at 6:29 AM

      Wondo impresses me every time I watch him. He reminds me of a very poor man’s chicharito because he has that nose for the goal, makes excellent runs and can finish from anywhere in the box with multiple types of goals such as headers, back heals, volleys, composed low to the corners and pace. With that said, he might never see the field, but I find him intriguing as well and to be honest Bunbury is not in form and Jozy will most likely start every game.

      Reply

  9. Bob Bradley does not pick the “Best 23″ players for his roster. That may be how some want him to be, but that’s not how he works. Once he gets past the best 14-19 players, he chooses players based on roles and tactics, not on the quality of the player.

    Last summer, everyone assumed that Findley and Ching were battling for a roster spot. They weren’t. They never were. Findley was always the speed option on the roster. Buddle and Johnson were fighting for a spot and Ching was fighting them both by trying to prove he was good enough at his role.

    There are several positions/roles where Bradley is always going to make sure he has cover. Bradley is not going to go into a tournament without a pure winger/wide player. Despite lack of form in 2009, Beasley went to the Confederations Cup. Beasley went to South Africa in 2010 and Rogers was part of the 30 man preliminary roster. With Beasley nearly absent in the 2010-2011 season, Rogers gets the nod because of lack of alternatives (see Bornstein). Justin Mapp was even on the Gold Cup roster in 2007.

    Bradley always has as many fullbacks as possible. In 2007, Cherundolo, Spector, Simek, Hejduk and Bornstein were all on the roster. There are still 3 pure outside backs on this year’s roster, not including Bocanegra and Spector.

    Other players like Adu, Kljestan and Feilhaber aren’t included 100% because of their form and/or quality, but because of their abilities and the role they will play. Adu is very unique in the US player pool. Kljestan’s main competition at holding mid was Torres who has been anonymous in the US setup since the World Cup. Feilhaber has been Bob’s go-to super-sub since the 2009 Confederations Cup.

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  10. Posted by John on 2011/05/24 at 7:02 AM

    Er, just as an FYI.

    Perkins HAS been on form for Portland. His first game was the LA debacle, but that was before a few changes/inclusion of Chara at CDM and Hall at RB. Also he has not given up a goal at home. He had a fantastic reaction hand save in the Columbus match and he has only given up 1 goal in the last 4 games (1 – 0 RSL, 1 – 0 Union, 1 – 1 Seattle, 1 – 0 Columbus)

    I still don’t think he deserves a call up because 5 games is not yet a determinate of his skills, but he has been playing very well.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/24 at 7:07 AM

      Hi John, or should I say Mr. Timber :>,

      Could not disagree more. Perkins has been lucky to have that record above. I’ve had the pleasure of watching all of the last few Timbers games (really enjoy watching them…John Spencer has set up the team excellently).

      But Perkins has misjudged a ball a game and either been saved by the woodwork, a defender or the ball going out of bounds. He’s also spilled balls in a few games that if a forward continued their run their would be a goal.

      He’s been shakey. I do think some of the spillage is due to weather. But I would say not on-form for the TImbers.

      Still he is probably the best goalie I’ve seen in MLS at least come out and make a play. He’s phenomenal at it.

      Reply

      • Posted by John on 2011/05/24 at 7:09 AM

        HAH!

        I totally disagree and I bite my thumb at thee!

        anyhoo, still don’t think he deserves a call up.

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        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/24 at 7:12 AM

          Agree to disagree. That Nagbe though, huh? Quite a player. :>

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          • Posted by John on 2011/05/24 at 7:15 AM

            Nagbe looking very good although he doesn’t have the fitness to finish out games quite yet. I think his surgery has caught up with him a bit.

            Also, Zizzo has looked fantastic coming off the bench. I think there is a 50/50 chance that Zizzo starts the next game to give Nagbe a chance to rest/prevent any further injury. Just to be safe.

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            • Posted by John on 2011/05/24 at 7:16 AM

              Also, there is a very good chance that Gleeson is going to be better than Perkins. He is really fantastic.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/05/25 at 7:55 AM

              How did Portland get their hands on Gleeson, anyway? He does look really good though I think Hamid will end up better.

            • Posted by John on 2011/05/25 at 8:23 AM

              He was with the U-23 group last year and basically “came through the system”.

  11. Posted by Izzy on 2011/05/24 at 9:07 AM

    This is just something that I’d like to put out there: I always feel like when I come this site, it has EXCELLENT tactical analysis(IMO). The issue that I have is that I feel like there is a certain slang to it, you know? It complicates it. I’m not talking about the references and certain coined terms( such as Coaches Goggles, which I happen to like). I just feel like it’s a bit tough to understand sometimes because it’s being put in very weird terms. Maybe this is just me, I’m not sure, but soccer tactics are complicated enough as it is without having to translate it.

    Just my thought :)

    Reply

  12. Robbie Rogers bats left (he says switch hitter).
    Ale Bedoya bats right.

    I think it’s really as simple as that. After all, left-footed width brought Beasley’s diamond emporium to South Africa, right?

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  13. Posted by Colin on 2011/05/24 at 9:59 AM

    ^this too

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  14. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/24 at 10:10 AM

    Nope, didn’t take it that way at all.

    And as a note, as I tried to communicate above, (and to the extent of Freddy Adu), Robbie Rogers is unique. He’s a big body with speed — similar to Bedoya I would say Rogers is faster and has a better outside shot.

    Bob Bradley has longed liked players merely because their physical abilities are able to play in the national game. I think with Rogers, Bradley thinks the following, “All the skills there, this guy could be dynamic on the left flank, if I only could straighten his head out.”

    To use a parallel if it works, he’s like Marvin Williams on the Atlanta Hawks or Vince Young on the Titans (for now), scouts and coaches all think that these guys would be or will be difference makers, but sometimes their heads don’t come around.

    Rogers needs to do two things better in my opinion. 1) Move the ball quicker and not overdribble and 2) commit more to defense.

    If he can do both, he certainly deserves to continue getting looks because he’s got a left foot and right now, you’re relying on basically an inverted Jonathan Spector or maybe a deep-sitting Jermaine Jones (and perhaps Bornstein too) to provide any service from the left.

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    • Posted by Colin on 2011/05/24 at 10:56 AM

      I’m with you on all of that. I can see Bradley flip flopping and giving each of these guys a chance until one of them, both of them, or someone else steps up and claims a winger spot as their own.

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  15. [...] an afterthought as he doesn’t feature for more than ten minutes in the competition. In the end, it has been suggested that Bradley has simply had a long-time love affair with the immense “on pap…. We at TYAC don’t think so. First, Bedoya hasn’t been any more productive than RR in an [...]

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  16. Relying almost solely on Altidore as the 1 hold-up lone striker on this roster could come back to bite us if Altidore gets injured or is playing poorly.

    Dempsey and Agudelo do not play that role that effectively. Bunbury, etc. will be missed.

    I get that BB can not have depth at all positions but leaving one of Rogers, Adu, Feilhaber, or Kljestan at home would have made sense. Personally I think Rogers didn’t deserve the call-up whether he is a “pure winger” or “bats left”.

    If however Bradley wanted to see if Rogers, Adu, etc. could still cut it and contribute he could have called 24 players into camp right? and sent 1 of those 4 mids home after the Spain match.

    Conversely, an intriguing way to look at this might be: What are the odds that Spector sees the field? If BB was really going to gamble with all these fringe midfield players then could Spector have been left out? This would have been even more interesting if Chandler/club had not turned down the call-up. Then BB would have presumably called up 3 FWs and 9 defense/tweeners.

    Spector is our utility man and can back up Dolo (especially if encouragingly Lichaj might be trialed at LB). But BB has been reluctant to use him at mid so if there is an odd man out could it have been him? (I personally feel without Chandler being called in that would have risked our backline depth too much but something had to give.)

    Reply

    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/24 at 3:14 PM

      If however Bradley wanted to see if Rogers, Adu, etc. could still cut it and contribute he could have called 24 players into camp right?

      He could have, but the 23-man roster for the Gold Cup was due yesterday, so it wouldn’t have helped anything. There would just be an extra dude in the camp who would already be precluded from playing in the Cup.

      Reply

  17. [...] The Roster: Who Does Bob Bradley Have Coach Goggles For, Wondo off the ball, &  more…. [...]

    Reply

  18. Posted by Bert Patenaude on 2011/05/25 at 2:04 AM

    Is Convey totally off of Bradley’s radar? He’s looked pretty sharp lately, and could even be transformed into the left back that the USMNT so sorely needs.

    Justin Mapp, anyone?

    And what about Diskerud? Strikes me as precisely the kind of creative, forward-looking playmaking central mid that we just do not have, with perhaps more upside than Feilhaber. Oh, yeah, Bradley doesn’t believe in such players, despite the fact that the best teams in the world rely on them.

    Anyway, I’m just glad Beckerman didn’t get called up because I have tickets to the Union – RSL match on 6/11, and I really enjoy watching him play.

    Reply

    • Posted by Colin on 2011/05/25 at 4:49 AM

      Diskerud will get in the Mix soon enough (see what I did there?). He’s still only 20 and has only 2 caps. That would have made him the 2nd youngest player after Agudelo and would have been the least caps of anyone on the squad. He just needs a bit more experience at this level before being brought in for important tournaments. He will certainly play a part in world cup qualifying.

      Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/05/25 at 9:00 AM

        Diskerud has always been slated for the Olympic mix. He’s an intriguing player but he plays in a pretty marginal league and has shown during his callups that he may have issues with the speedier, more physical side of international play.

        A Norwegian version of JFT perhaps. Lets hope he gets a transfer to a tougher league and doesn’t wind up like Gringo.

        Reply

        • Posted by Bert Patenaude on 2011/05/27 at 11:15 AM

          Thanks to Colin and Martin for the insight on Diskerud.

          In the meantime, I would love to see Feilhaber get the start against Spain. Coach Bradley’s penchant for playing two defense-first holding central mids gets pretty frustrating at times. Some spark going forward up the middle would be a joy to see, and Benny can do that better than Jr or Edu. Not holding my breath, though, but I think in the Gold Cup we could lighten up on the D a bit to get some quality balls in to our service-starved strikers.

          Reply

  19. Posted by Tech Money on 2011/05/27 at 6:33 AM

    —Altidore—Agudelo—

    -Dempsey ——- Donovan-

    ——–MB—Edu———

    -Boca-Ream-Goodson-Dolo

    Gooch hasnt looked composed on the ball or great in defense in a long time, his height is his only redeeming quality and we can rely on Goodson, Boca, Demps to win headers off set pieces

    Its gotta be Ream or Boca in the middle with Goodson

    Boca, Bornstein, or Lichaj to play LB

    Reply

    • Posted by Bert Patenaude on 2011/05/27 at 11:23 AM

      I think we’ll see Gooch starting next to Ream in the middle. Bocanegra at left back, which will be frightening against any speedy and talented right winger.

      What’s the answer at left back? Anyone? Gooch has been playing there in the Netherlands, but would Bradley dare?

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/05/27 at 11:30 AM

        Hasn’t Gooch just been the “left back” in a 3-5-2? (I think I heard that somewhere.)

        Anyway, even if it were a left back in a four-man backfield, I’d be terrified of putting someone who seems slow for the centerback position at fullback–it just shouldn’t be done. Playing fullback has similar athletic demands as playing cornerback in the other football, and playing slow guys is a good way to get burnt crispy. Does no one remember Jonathan Spector vs. Neymar or the ill-fated sequel, Jonathan Spector vs. Angel di Maria? Gooch is even slower than Spector, so trotting him out at left fullback for a team with good offense is suicidal. (And given his footskills, you can’t be dreaming of asking him for offense.)

        I expect Bornstein to start the majority of Gold Cup games, to not perform that badly, and to be whined about out of all proportion.

        Reply

  20. Posted by John on 2011/05/27 at 12:06 PM

    I have nowhere to put this.

    Stop the presses.

    Twitter about the implode.

    Joey

    Barton

    is on twitter

    http://twitter.com/#!/Joey7Barton

    Reply

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