USMNT Aarhus: A Few Changes

Edgar Castillo

Show us what you got, Edgar.

MONDAY UPDATE: A Sunday night update to the US Soccer press release on the roster said that Jose Francisco Torres has been excused for personal reasons after being initially called into camp. According to Neil Buethe at US Soccer (US Men’s Spokesman and a very nice guy as well) this morning, there is no further information available through US Soccer at this time and no player will assume JFT’s spot.

Questions by TSG surrounding further inclusion of Torres and why Jeremiah White wasn’t selected, though Benny Feilhaber was, in his home stadium were met with a “No Comment – Coach’s Decision” as well.


USMNT Bratislava took off this morning for Aarhaus, Denmark….well most of the squad did.

Dropped from the roster called up for yesterday’s 1-0 loss to Slovakia were Chad Marshall, Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey. Folks may be surprised that Dempsey was sent packing back to England. Since there are a number of plausible reasons we are not inclined to climb into Bob-O’s head before we have our first cup of coffee this morning, but we’ll revisit the issue later this week. Also of note, Soccer Insider reports that Chad Marshall’s knee is still not right.

With the MLS playoffs behind them, USMNT regulars Ricardo Clark and Stu Holden were added to the group.

Now that the Mexican standings are set, TSG fave Jose Francisco Torres is on a plane over to Denmark to continue his Saprissa redemption tour. Torres is joined by left back (we say left middie) Edgar Castillo. Castillo is set to answer the hype in his first call-up to the US mother ship. Let’s see those chops–and passport–young lad.

In other Sunday news:

  • Congrats go to the Salt Lakers whose playoff run continued by extinguishing the Fire on kicks. RSL generally clamped down on the Fire offense and was able to maintain possession in the midfield–the key to the game for them.
  • Uruguay made World Cup qualifying a bit tougher on the Costa Rica besting the Ticos 1-0 on the throw rug at Saprissa. This WC bid will be settled on Wednesday in Montevideo.
  • Here, let me write this next one like ESPN would to get you to “click” the story: “Is another America defender headed to the Premiership! To Man City no less!”…..Sorry to do that on a Sunday, reports have former Thomas Rongen whipping boy Neven Subotic, who now plays for Serbia after coming through the US “U-” series, possible going to Man City in the January window. We’re fine with Spector, but the depth would have been nice.
  • The friendly series was not kind to Arsenal yesterday, Arsenal superstriker and Netherlands national teamer Robin Van Persie limped off in Italy 15 minutes in to the 0-0 draw and is now expected out for 3 months. That leaves Arsenal without size up front as Denmark nattie Nicklas Bendtner is slated for groin surgery and at least a month on the shelf dating back to his Halloween injury versus Tottenham.

27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/11/15 at 9:38 AM

    I’m actually pulling for Uruguay to win because if they do, that means there will only be three Concacaf team in the WC, and we’ll have a one-in-three chance of getting grouped with South Africa, who of course as the host is a number one seed(says a friend who knows more about soccer than Kobe knows about fundamentals)


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/11/15 at 9:40 AM

      Can’t wait to see Castillo also, maybe he’ll start the 2nd half in place of JB.

      I think Dempsey getting dropped was his punishment for his antics toward his teammates yesterday. Can’t believe that guy.

      What’s the deal with Dolo though?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/15 at 11:00 AM

      I would doubt that’s the case for the USMNT — although we had a relatively strong 2006 grouping–we also played horrendously — I don’t think that FIFA is going to do us any favors.

      Plus we played in the group stage with co-host Korea in 2002….I’m not sure if that is taken into account.

      That being said — I for Uruguay for your reason, for the Tico fan reason and to see Forlan in the Cup — that guy is just a wizard …. you don’t even see him coming. Plays strong one moment and then quick the next, then laces a seeing eye shot.

      Like a mixture of Ruud and Ronaldhino or something.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/15 at 10:14 AM

    I really hope dola is not a major injury.


  3. Posted by Berg on 2009/11/15 at 10:21 AM

    It is keeping with this season that the US found a way to patch together a functional back line and then Dolo takes a knock. Hopefully he’s not out to long and Dempsey will stop pouting like an Emo kid who can’t get My Chemical Romance tickets.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/15 at 11:01 AM

      US States says he’s not injured…but they may just be protecting him for the club side after he tweaked something on that final run Saturday.


  4. Posted by Dylan on 2009/11/15 at 11:08 AM

    I think Dempsey needs to be in camp still. Even if Bob is unhappy with him for his actions. Because he needs to learn some more of a leadership role. He can be a very important part of this team and without Landon with the team, there needs to be someone else.


  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/15 at 11:12 AM

    I’m not sure that we can guess that Demps dismissal is attitude or play related. Bob knows what he has with the guy and he’s got two potential wing guys (Holden and Torres) coming in.

    Middie Rico Clark is going through customs too. So I think this is more of a playing time thing.

    And remember, Denmark is missing it’s two top players now so this is not the “challenge” maybe that it could have been.

    I do like that Thorrington *did not get a recall…I know there are Fire fans on our publication here, but I’m not a fan.


    • Posted by Timmy on 2009/11/16 at 11:13 AM

      Did you see that both goals scored by the LA Galaxy were the result of Rico Clark fouls. Too often Rico’s defending gets sloppy. When he is on the pitch for the USMNT, I worry that he is going to do something stupid ending in a bad result.


  6. Posted by John on 2009/11/15 at 12:37 PM

    As much as people may want Bradley to teach Deuce a lesson for some perceived slight, Fulham has 5 games in the next 3 weeks, so it may be a manner of getting him some rest. Likewise, Dolo may have taken a knock, but there’s also a dead teammate to bury and mourn.

    Seriously, I don’t understand why people get offended when Dempsey plays with passion. 3 weeks ago, everyone was complaining that he didn’t play with enough passion or effort for the USMNT. As far as looking unhappy when he was taken off… so what? Happens every day when pitchers are pulled in baseball…competitors want to keep competing…


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/15 at 12:42 PM

      I think Deuce’s absence is only to get more players playing time. BB knows what he has with Deuce.

      Both Hull City and West Ham play early on Saturday as does Fulham…so I’m not sure it’s club schedule..but that would be fair logic as well.

      Deuce is certainly the most controversial player on the USMNT at this moment. If he was “just another player” I think everything would be fine, but fans also see him competing differently at Fulham and I think that may be to the detriment of observing him on the USMNT.

      Personally, I have an issue with not being “one united” so to speak on the pitch. Players already know when they make an error and you never show the other team that as a team you are frustrated with one another….teams prey on that. See Mexico, Goran-Ericksson.

      That’s my issue with issue with Deuce’s behavior — not his even-keel demeanor and not really his lack of tracking back (I’m not sure…as others aren’t…what BB’s pitch orders are.)


      • Why do we all expect Deuce to be a leader just because he’s one of the best players? I think Donovan has always labored under the same expectation and has only recently grown into it. I don’t think Dempsey will – he will always remain a talented but temperamental player rather than an on-field leader/captain type. He also shows streaks of petulance for Fulham on occasion. Why not take it as a sign the guy really wants to win and he’s always pushing himself and his team-mates to be better?

        I highly doubt he was dropped for his play – all our best attacking came through the guy and he’s more likely than any other American player to unlock a defense that sits back and invites pressure, daring us to break them down. Clearly Dempsey is going to start at the world cup so why not give him a rest and give someone else a shot in midfield.

        I’d like to see us continue to work on building chemistry down the spine where it’s most important and play well defensively and not concede soft goals. While I like a 5-4 barnburner as much as the next guy, we’re not going to beat the favorites in a shootout. If we defend well and don’t concede we’ll be in games at the World Cup no matter who is in our group. Along with the last handful of roster auditions, that is what we should be looking for out of these friendlies.


  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/15 at 12:45 PM

    Oh, good point on Dolo


  8. Posted by Andy on 2009/11/15 at 3:41 PM

    Here’s to hoping Jose gets a start. I know it was a short period of time against Costa Rica, but he looked incredible.

    Free Jose!


  9. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/11/15 at 7:49 PM

    So i watched highlights of the international matches that happened yesterday and i noticed that France & Spain have the same kits(made by addidas). What does everyone think about this? Don’t you think each nation should have their own unique kit theme and design, regradless if they’re made by the same brand? As I mentioned in a previous post, I also noticed that Uruguay, Italy, and Cameroon have the same theme/design(made by puma) and I know there are others.


    • Posted by Timmy on 2009/11/16 at 8:58 AM

      Agreed. I think it also comes down to a decision by the Home Federation. Germany and Russia (I think) also have Adidas and there’s are different from all others.

      I think the best game of the weekend was the Spain/Argentina match. That was an intense “friendly” and an overall great game to watch.


    • Posted by kaya on 2009/11/16 at 12:50 PM

      There’s always somewhat of a similarity among one brand’s jerseys, but Argentina is with Adidas for that matter, and I pretty much saw the same amount of similarity between their jerseys and Spain’s/France’s…. and that was the “font” they use for the number. I only saw SP/AR photos, though.
      Regardless, I didn’t see the same silly stripe-y things on the front of the Spain jerseys, and certainly not the weird-ass back brace imprint that’s on the back of the French jersey (that’s a big WTF “feature”.)
      I wonder if it’s not a last ditch retaliation effort on Adidas’ part because France is switching to Nike next year. Unsurprisingly, the best looking Adidas jerseys are Germany’s.


      • I agree that the major brands will always use similar templates for the teams they outfit. Adidas has been disappointing to say the least over the last decade or so with only two templates (it seems like only two) for all clubs and countries that use their uniforms. My biggest beef with adidas’s kit designers is the lack of little touches that they add to provide some semblance of originality for each nation. Germany and France currently being the exception, otherwise everyone else seems to have the same shirt just different colors.

        Nike also has too few templates but seems to try harder to ensure that their national teams don’t look exactly like each other, see their kit launch for the 2006 World Cup. It’ll be interesting to see what Nike comes up with for their member teams for the World cup, and for their first France kit.


  10. Hey guys,

    Saw you were nominated for best soccer blog on I really enjoy the site and hope you will give my site a look. Much appreciated and best of luck to you both.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/16 at 2:53 AM

      Will do Daniel.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2009/11/16 at 8:35 AM

      Thanks for the kind words, Daniel.

      Tell Mr. Crowley that TSG is going to have to think about the Feilhaber – Rex Grossman analogy, I’d probably say that Benny! (the ! is required now according to Matthew) is more like a great 6th-man a la Ben Gordon. He’s good enough to start, but plays better coming off the bench.


  11. Jose Torres was excused from US camp due to “personal reasons” guys.


  12. Posted by kaya on 2009/11/15 at 11:50 PM

    No! Gawd, I really wanted to see Paco play =(
    Better be some damn good personal reasons!
    Did anyone see the CR/Uru game? I haven’t found much of a write-up about the game and could only half-watch the first 30 minutes or so on mute.
    I don’t care what infinitessimal supposed mathematical advantage we have if Uruguay advanced over the Ticos, or about the way our guys are treated when they play there… I’m sick and tired of hearing about how CONCACAF sucks and I really wanted to see Uruguay’s asses handed to them, regardless of how unlikely that was. Sigh.
    So was the first yellow card deserved? The 2nd?
    Hadn’t it been several minutes after the CR defender was injured when Uruguay scored?
    My strongest impression from what little I watched of the game is that Uruguay was clearly the larger team, physically speaking, but not really clearly the better team. Of course, I had believed the first leg was being played at Montevideo, didn’t bother looking at the names on the scoreboard and was watching on mute and so didn’t hear the crowd… so maybe that affected my perception.


  13. Posted by Andy on 2009/11/16 at 7:01 AM



  14. Is anyone else really intrigued to see what a midfield without Demspey and Donovan can do? While everyone agrees that they are the two most talented players the USMNT has, putting the youngsters out there without the two of them might allow Rogers, Holden, Bradley, et. al. to play a completely different game because they don’t feel obligated to funnel the attack through Dempsey and ‘Cakes.

    I’d also like to get a look at Goodson in this game, I wasn’t able to watch the Gold Cup so all I’ve read is that he had a bad Final, as did the rest of the team. A Goodson-Spector pairing would be interesting to see, but I’m betting on Spector being moved out to the right with Cherundolo being sent back to Hannover.

    Random thought: Does Castillo get lambasted in the interwebs if he has a poor showing? The team really looked second rate on Saturday, and if that continues Wednesday will Castillo’s performance be judged more harshly than it should?


    • Posted by Berg on 2009/11/16 at 9:11 AM

      Not at all, Mr. Nick. As we all know, fans are never subject to emotional, knee-jerk reactions to a players form. This being true, I’m sure Castillo’s performance will be graded objectively and fairly.

      In all seriousness though, I hope Castillo gets a fair shake by both fans and Bob Bradley alike (No Torres-like doghouse if Castillo doesn’t get “it” right away). Castillo hasn’t played with the squad at all (a squad that is a bit disjointed right now as it is) and team cohesion is so important in soccer. On Wednesday I hope we see some good plays from Castillo individually and perhaps the promise of a successful integration into the team. Anything more is gravy.


  15. Posted by cantype on 2009/11/16 at 1:32 PM

    I know I need a late pass…

    I was only able to watch the match today as I couldn’t watch it live this weekend. But, I noticed when Dempsey came off (without going over to Dax to shake his hand and wish him well) that Bradley appeared to be marching over to him with the purpose of chewing him out. But then the camera panned away from the sideline and you couldn’t really see what happened. I imagine Bradley said something like… “This kid is about to go in for his first cap and it would have helped his confidence if you came over to wish him well, rather than acting like a whiny prima dona.” And various other language about how he is a veteran player and should act like such.

    Whether Deuce is an official “leader” or not, that he has to at least start being an adult when he represents the country. It is clear that he is a different player when he plays for Fulham than when he plays for the U.S. I can only attribute this to his relationship with the two managers. I think Dempsey buys into what Roy Hodgeson is doing at Fulham and doesn’t really have much respect for Bradley as a manager. Hodgeson would not put up with the kind of crap that Deuce pulled on Saturday and I think and hope that Demsey’s exclusion from the Denmark roster is a sign that Bradley won’t put up with it either. That is not necessarily because I think it is beneficial to have a fued between the manager and one of our better players, but because I think that is the type of managerial style that Dempsey seems to respond to.


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