A TSG commentor asked us today who’s going to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands on March 3rd. We always try to oblige the community with their requests.
With the USMNT roster selection occurring the end of this week, we might as well take a stab at the participants in “March Camp” and then do it all over again when the roster goes official. Mind you, this is TSG playing Bob Bradley….without the sweatpants….not necessarily who we want.
If you didn’t see our piece on the provisional roster already selected for Dutchland, just click here.
Likely GK: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann
The skinny: Pretty ho-hum here….the one asterisk is that Guzan is set to play in (interesting whether he starts or is a backup) in the Carling Cup final this coming Sunday so maybe he gets announced a little later. That’s the only “drama.”
Should anyone come down with a nick, then Troy “MLS” Perkins is your fill-in.
Getting pretty set, if not set already, at goalkeeper.
Possible DEF: Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Bornstein, Clarence Goodson, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce
On The Fence: Winner of Feb Camp RB (Cameron vs. Wynne?), Eric Lichaj, Frank Simek
The skinny: Looking a little thin on the “certain” status….Other fundamental problems with the above possibilities? Too many wannabee centerbacks and potentially three leftbacks (Boca, Johnny B, and Pearce) and no rightback back-up.
Like the ‘keep position above, with the exception of the likely battle between Marshall and Goodson, most of WC 2010 roster is now likely set.
Without ‘Dolo, we’d like to see Lichaj get his shot at that rightback reserve role. The wing fullback played at lower level Lincoln City over the past six months, but is now awaiting reassignment. Hey Coach USA, he’s available and just a skip away.
However if Bob Bradley is true to form, he’ll go with someone he’s gotten looks at before. That suggests Frank Simek. The Sheffield Wednesday defender, who was so promising to end 2007, has consistently battled injuries and not been recalled by Sr. Sweatpants in quite a while either.
Or with Bob’s history he might just leave Heath Pearce in there (who started against England on the left in the 2008 Wembley friendly) as the back-up or it may be the starter against El Salvador, likely Geoff Cameron or Marvell Wynne if they play well. Gulp!
Our odds: Just Pearce as back-up, 2 to 1.
Feb Camp Winner, 3 to 1. Simek, 4 to 1. Lichaj, 10 to 1.
Note: Remember Robbie Rogers can be that righty back-up in a big pinch as well.
Possible MID: Landon Donovan, Stu Holden, Mikey Bradley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Robbie Rogers, Jose Francisco Torres, Edgar….
On The Fence: ….Castillo, Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Dax McCarthy
The skinny: Fun to hypothesize, tough to predict and a boatload of fringers.
Again, Edgar Castillo is a midfielder on the national scene in our mind.
Does Freddy Adu get a shot? TSG says not likely* in the midfield role because he’s not a true winger and he’s certainly not a defender in the middle. Can you imagine Adu being asked to provide cover over Boca on Gerrard on June 12th? Ha!
Can you bring Maurice Edu, but not DaMarcus Beasley? We think so. Beasley has only played reserve ball for the last 6 weeks as is rounding back into shape.
Bedoya?! Look, we like him over here at TSG. He’s match fit (as far as we know) and he’s an attacker on the wing. (And check out some recent video of Bedoya knocking in goals in the snow….thanks to TSG contributor Greg for the link.)
Dax McCarthy. I really like Dax. He’s a great interview and seems positive at all times on the field. He’s on the fence for me for this camp as I don’t thing he’s seasoned enough (he’s mature enough) to play with the Dutch.
Stu Holden finally gets some reps. Do Kyle Beckerman and Sacha Kljestan get invited to their make-or-break game?
Our final nine (point five) is kind of heavy here…but looks about, sort-of right. I could see Castillo getting dropped from this group…and maybe another?
Possible STR: The Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Brian Ching, Robbie Findley, Jeff Cunningham, Eddie Johnson, (Freddy Adu)
On The Fence: Chris Rolfe
The skinny: Even more fun debating here. Especially because at max the US will use four strikers in this friendly and you’ve got as many as two who may go, but who won’t grace the pitch.
Eddie Johnson just barely makes it for me. First, I had him on the fence but with his physique and now that he’s playing consistently, he at least merits being in the daily camp scrimmages beforehand.
Chris Rolfe? He’s just getting situated up north in the Denmark league, but isn’t he worth at least one more look….if only for camp? Tough call here.
That asterisk above: I was thinking last night that I might like to see Freddy Adu, maybe for one last time, in an advanced striker or forward role. He’s not really the guy you want up there per se, but watching him swoop in against Aris suggests he might complement Landon Donovan (complementing Donovan is high on my priority list) and watching the interplay of Pienaar and Donovan, you can’t help but make that comparison. He doesn’t have the strength, but…I know, crazy and I’m going to regret writing this last paragraph–especially because I can’t stand flash-in-the-pan invitations.
This whole skinny section just lets you know how desperate the situation is across from Altidore and over Donovan….
Your thoughts? Wednesday’s performance will have some bearing as well.