Seems like just yesterday, TSG was kicking off USMNT coverage in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.
Today, Bob Bradley and USSF begin bidding farewell to the veterans that contributed to the USA’s first ever World Cup group stage win, introduce some stand-ins (primarily from MLS) and welcome in a select few of the new breed who may be counted on during the upcoming qualification campaign.
The roster is out and taking to the field at the Meadowlands on August 10th are:
G: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan
DEF: Jonathan Bornstein, Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Chad Marshall, Steve Cherundolo
MID: Landon Donovan, Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley
STR: Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Robbie Findley
• No real surprises. Mild surprises in Jermaine Jones–who must have proved his fitness at Schalke already this preseason–and Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber’s inclusion might suggest Aarhus can’t move him, but Benny’s got Brazilian blood as well which may have been an additional factor.
Oh, and Jones’s inclusion might be also to finally get him that long-awaited cap. Is Ricardo Clark ready to acknowledge he is no better than the third best American playing midfield in the Bundesliga…and he might be the fourth if Jared Jeffrey comes on?
• Bob Bradley goes with the Kljestan inclusion and this time Kljestan has certainly earned the nod.
• No introductions of fresh faces as the squad primarily comes from Bob Bradley’s 30-man preliminary World Cup 2010 roster.
• Bradley respecting the need for club players to establish themselves. Holden at Bolton needs to roar out of the gate. Clint Dempsey has to impress his 4th coach in his tenure at Craven Cottage. Altidore–seemingly settling his club situation today with Besiktas–has got some other things to worry about.
• TSG didn’t expect a Charlie Davies call-up–odd that this was rumored by ESPN–and Bradley didn’t call in the Sochaux striker.
• Will Bob Bradley have Edson Buddle wilt on the bench…again? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
• Does Brad Guzan finally get a start with a little meaning? Probably not since Tim’s there.
• Match-ups we’re looking forward to: US outside backers vs. Pato, Edson Buddle vs. Thiago Silva, Ramires production vs. Michael Bradley production. With Ramires rumored to be headed to Chelsea (a $22M transfer is apparently in the near offing), can Bradley dominate and make a (albeit muted as it is a friendly) statement in the middle?
• Seeing a lot of questions on the line-up. I could be wrong, but I think this one is rather easy to figure out. You’ve got a team with one day of practice with many of the players who participated together in the World Cup.
You’ve got a coach who loves preparation and is not going to do something extraordinary as he looks to be competitive against Brazil.
You’ll likely see Bradley start with an outfield of:
DEF: Dolo, Goodson, Boca, Bornstein
MID: Lando, Bradley, Edu, Feilhaber
STR: Buddle, Findley.
…and then you’ll likely see Coach Sweats mix in subs as the 2nd half wears on…probably in a similar manner to how he did against the Netherlands back in March.
My guess is he’ll likely drop Findley for either Gomez or a midfielder in Kljestan, or perhaps Bedoya in getting the 2nd half started.
The only real disclaimer is if Bornstein is not fit, how the backline reshuffles. However, my guess is that Bradley would have added Heath Pearce just in case if Bornstein was in doubt.