Bob Bradley Calls 18 For RSA Friendly

Can’t help but think of the parallels between Bob Bradley and Tom Coughlin this morning as the roster is unveiled.

Bob Bradley and coaches

The braintrust....

After the 2007 season, the Giants head coach was bashed both by player (Tiki Barber) and the media as being too strict in his coaching and failing to change with the times (most specifically, a hard core displine-focused game and practice methodolgy and an inability to connect with his players).

Much like Coughlin, Bradley has gotten another shot this year after seemingly being passed over (before re-signed) for the national team role.

While I’m not sure Bradley has “changed” all the appreciably much in his first few months under his new contract (just like Coughlin only moved a little bit, I think with today’s roster there is an acknowledgement that fresh game planning and player selection is important to having success in his second term.

In the October friendlies, you got a look at a 4-3-3 with new players deployed in new roles.

With today’s annoucement you’re seeing a departure from Bradley’s reliance exclusively on veterans and his long standing notion of introducing younger players during a longer camp as oppose to one off friendly. Most specifically, you’re seeing Bradley change his thinking on the striker role.

Like a Bull out of hell....

Whereas 2006-2010 saw Bradley continue to focus on veterans in the role that would adhere to the system and only play a “youngster” (Charlie Davies, Robbie Findley) when their ability hits him over the head–yes I just used Findley and ability in the same sentence.

Today’s perhaps most exciting call-up is that of New York Red Bulls tyke Juan Agudelo who had only flashed ability during the MLS regular season before issuing some fine technical ability in the Red Bulls playoff series loss to San Jose.

But not only Agudelo, Bradley went for youth with KC forward Teal Bunbury who one time was considered all but lost to his Canadian heritage.

Kudos to Bradley for taking a shot on a youngsters up top.

The roster:

G: Brad Guzan, Dominic Cervi

DEF: Tim Ream, Clarence Goodson, Gale Agbossoumonde, Jonathan Bornstein, Nat Borchers, Eric Lichaj, Jonathan Spector

MID: Mix Diskerud, Ale Bedoya, Robbie Rogers, Logan Pause, Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll

STR: Robbie Findley, Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo

Other notes:

• Look all I’m saying is that Tim Ream played leftback in college and Bob Bradley has a history of playing defenders in positions other than the ones they play for their clubs.

• Can’t wait to see where Mix Diskerud fits in and plays. I’ve watched him a play a handful of game on the interior for his club team Stabæk and I think he’s got the ability to play both inside and out.

• Interestingly selection of Agbossumunde here, if only because Bob Bradley insistence on using more veteran types (Jimmy Conrad) at centerback. Where will the ‘Boss play?

• Your captain for the clash? Either Jonathan Bornstein or Jonathan Spector in our mind. Likely Bornstein who sported the armband last January during the Honduras friendly.

• You can count on Teal Bunbury getting in the game. In fact with just 18 named you can count on all players getting some run. One, the friendly doesn’t matter. Two, you don’t take a player all the way to South Africa and then not play them.

• Interesting that there is no Justin Braun on this list. Don’t understand that one.

40 responses to this post.

  1. The Teal Bunbury selection is an interesting one. From what I’ve read (haven’t seen him play) he’s got the tools but hasn’t consistently performed at a high level, yet. Wondering whether Sweats is just letting him know we’re interested in watching his development, or whether he intends to cap-tie him and keep him from playing for Canada…

    It’s good to see the USMNT taking some initiative with these dual nationals, but I hope it’s not the Jose Mourinho (Chelsea years) method of acquiring players simply to keep your competitors from having them.


  2. Posted by chad on 2010/11/11 at 11:21 AM

    The game vs S Africa just went from ‘Why are We Playing This Game’ to ‘Must See TV.’ I’m going to keep beating this theme like a drum, but I still think Coach Bradley is much more willing to try new things, new strikers, new formations etc. than he has been given credit for. I think we’ll get a very very experienced team for the Gold Cup (by the time it rolls around), which I think will be a missed opportunity. But for today, I’m just happy that we’ll get to see so many new faces. Honestly, I’m starting to think it’s possible that Coach will ditch the sweats too.


    • Posted by Freegle on 2010/11/11 at 11:39 AM

      We need to have your best/most experienced for the next Gold Cup because winning it gives us passage into Confed Cup. We can save the youth/inexperience movement for the 2013 Gold Cup. The 2011 Gold Cup is not a “try new things” tournament. It’s a “go win the effing thing” tournament. To do that, we need the experience. We don’t have the talent depth to give guys an opportunity in an important tournament like that.


      • /agree


      • Posted by Marc C on 2010/11/11 at 1:44 PM


        Couldn’t agree more. We should field our “best xi”, not the most popular or the most experienced. The BEST XI in the Gold Cup. The Confed Cup I think was a huge experience for the boys this past cycle. Let’s face it the Gold Cup normally comes down to US-Mexico, and any other opportunity we can get to play in a World Class Tournament only makes the US better in 2014.


  3. Posted by Freegle on 2010/11/11 at 11:34 AM

    There is a very good chance we are going to catch a beatdown in this match… but I’m excited anyway.

    I think Bob Bradley did a good job of making this a “no lose” match. Worst case scenario, we get some experience for some of our talented young players (not just game experience either… travel, training, system, and coaching familiarity are all valuable experiences to be gained from this match).

    It also give an opportunity to some of our fringe players to stake a claim to more solid positions or announce their potential inadequacy (in some cases, again).

    From the beginning, this match was a good showcasing opportunity, an exercise in good will, and a friendly in every sense of the world. Im glad we are treating it that way.

    Im looking forward to the new faces, regardless of the score.


  4. Posted by chris on 2010/11/11 at 11:49 AM

    I think it is very good that Bob Bradley is watching new players i know that it is due in part that it is not a match on a fifa calendar. Im not sure i want to see Findley or Bornstein in the mix. I would have liked to see some of the young talent playing in mexico specially Miguel Ponce who plays left Back at Chivas and does a great job against the most technical players in mexico.


    • Posted by Noah on 2010/11/11 at 1:52 PM

      If Ponce elected to play for the US, he’d have to leave Chivas, as they have a Mexican only policy. That’s what happened to Omar Salgado when he decided to represent the US. I’ve heard good things about Ponce, but I think we’re gonna lose him to Mexico.


    • Posted by dth on 2010/11/11 at 6:08 PM

      Mexico is still in the Clausura, too.


  5. Posted by Kick-ASS on 2010/11/11 at 11:55 AM

    OK, I am happy with Bob finally willingness to try some of the youth players. The only beef that I have is Fidley!! I just do not understand what is it going to take Bob to finally realize tha Findley is not international level material. Findley cannot control and run with the ball!! I feel that Gustavo Ruelas whom is playing for celtic would have been a better choice to get him some international level experience since he is only 18 years old. Bornstein is another case very similar to Findley. I hope Bob will throw in the towel with this players soon. Well I wish the USMNT the best and I am for once looking forward with excitment to a USMNT game. A win is not important!!!


    • Posted by Alex on 2010/11/11 at 1:33 PM

      Agreed. Bornstein had a bad MLS season, and a below average World Cup. The ship has sailed on both.


  6. Posted by 4now on 2010/11/11 at 11:59 AM

    very, very little muscle in that midfield, no?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/11/11 at 12:08 PM

      Actually, I think quite a bit of physicality and muscle when you consider that Bedoya, Rogers, Diskerud all go 6’0′ or bigger with Pause as the CDM.

      Linking and technical acumen…I think you have a case there.


      • Posted by 4now on 2010/11/11 at 1:42 PM

        Height, but muscle? Dunno. When I think of Bedoya and Rogers, I don’t think of presence or tackling. I mean Holden and Dax McCarty, though not tall, have presence. Excited to see Diskerud, as I’ve never seen him play…

        You reckon Geoff Cameron was in consideration?


  7. Posted by corky on 2010/11/11 at 12:10 PM

    Will Bunbury be cap-tied if he plays? It’s only a friendly.


    • 11/17 is a FIFA date, so I would assume so. I’m not sure on all of the ins and outs of the rule but I believe being capped in an A Friendly played on a FIFA date cap-ties a player.


      • Posted by corky on 2010/11/11 at 12:20 PM

        My understanding is that the game has to be an official FIFA sanctioned tournament — such as Gold Cup, WC Qualifier — in order to be cap-tied. Jones played a few friendlies for Germany on FIFA dates.


        • Posted by Frank on 2010/11/11 at 12:33 PM

          I believe this cap ties him in the sense that now if he wants to play for Canada later in his career he will have to apply for a federation switch rather than just being able to accept a call up


        • Posted by dth on 2010/11/11 at 2:55 PM

          Frank, the question is where Bunbury got his u17 and u20 caps from: if they were official FIFA caps, then Bunbury is American…forever.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/11/11 at 12:28 PM

        I erred above. I’m checking with US Soccer, but I believe it has to be a FIFA sanctioned event that counts for FIFA standings.

        Apologies. I’m looking into this.


  8. Posted by Russ on 2010/11/11 at 12:20 PM

    Win some (Jones/Bunbury/Najar?), lose some (Subotic/Judas Rossi). It all evens out.

    Not expecting Bunbury to feature in any prominent way but I’m ITCHING for a rivalry with Canada now that we won’t be seeing Mexico as much with the new WCQ format. Somebody has to pay the price for Sidney Crosby’s insolence and the CMNT is a perfect target in my eyes.


  9. Posted by scweeb on 2010/11/11 at 12:31 PM

    Eh i think he brought Findley cause its his only choice for a striker who has been in the camp. But i am curious about the other two he brought?
    And with some of the new faces i was hoping to get a small run down on them.


  10. Posted by Dylan on 2010/11/11 at 1:08 PM

    I find it midly interesting that this roster has a total of 5 international goals scored, and 4 come from the backline, the other one is from the midfield. Just a fun fact, I thought interesting.


  11. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/11/11 at 1:10 PM

    matthewsf – I have just finished wiping the egg from my face! Looks like you were correct WRT the youth and inexperience aspect to this squad… When will I learn to pipe down?!? Taxi…


  12. Posted by 4now on 2010/11/11 at 1:37 PM

    I would have liked to see Santino Q. to Rogers or even Gaven.


  13. Posted by Eric L on 2010/11/11 at 2:08 PM

    Do you think Freddy Adu was in consideration for this roster at all? I’m not the biggest Adu fan but I would have liked to see him in this match.


    • I doubt it. When was the last time he saw any action? I don’t think he’s played at all this season.


      • Posted by Eric L on 2010/11/11 at 2:23 PM

        I’m not positive but I don’t think Gale has been playing either? Correct me if I’m wrong. I am pretty sure Adu has been training though, so just seems like a decent chance for him to play.


        • Posted by dth on 2010/11/11 at 2:58 PM

          Gale’s gotten u20 caps. But you’re right, it’s not exactly a wealth of experience. I think this should confirm exactly how good Adu is and how good Bradley thinks he has a chance of being: not good enough. Bradley’s called up 17 year olds instead of Adu. This should be a wake-up call/slap-in-the-face for Adu; who knows whether it’ll get the job done (or even if that’s what’s needed to get the job done.)


        • Posted by bunkelUSA on 2010/11/11 at 3:41 PM

          You’re right, good call. Come to think of it I’m not even sure if Gale has a club….he wasn’t picked up after his loan to Braga, does anybody know what his status is? Perhaps the difference is that Bob wants to check out Gale’s potential (having never called him in before), whereas he’s worked with Adu enough to know what he’s gonna get…he’s not an untested prospect like Gale is. I’d guess that Freddy won’t get another look until he starts producing at the club level


        • Posted by Freegle on 2010/11/11 at 4:52 PM

          Gale is training with Estoril in Portugal I believe and waiting for the transfer window to open to move on. They also have another young american, Greg Garza i think.


  14. Posted by s44 on 2010/11/11 at 9:57 PM

    Though you may disagree with his choices, Bob’s long-range player pool approach has always been good: broad, experimental, and open-minded. When push comes to shove and he has days, hours, or even minutes to choose: that’s when things get iffy.

    But who knows. Maybe he’ll find a Steve Spagnuolo-level assistant to take us over the top for a miraculous WC victory. 😉


  15. Posted by Brian on 2010/11/11 at 10:08 PM

    Meh…I’m excited to see Ream, Bunbury, Lichaj (again), Gale, Mix and Agudelo. But Carroll? Pause? Borchers? Rogers?

    I’m fine with the GK’s. I predicted Rimando instead but it makes sense. Cervi is young & Rimando isn’t. And Robles & Yelldell are starters on their teams & could possibly slip in the pecking order if they went to SA.

    Defense is mostly ok too. Borchers call up isn’t a huge disgust to me (I mean he was MLS defender of the year) but he’s 29. I would of liked to have seen Marshall or Parkhurst (I guess he is in the middle of a season though) called up. I do wonder why Bob didn’t call Gooch up though…

    Midfield is a mess. Brian Carroll? Logan Pause? So many better options in the middle. How about Kyle Beckerman? Or Geoff Cameron? Hell Blair Gavin or Ben Zemanski would have been better options, cuz like Cameron, at least they’re young. What do Carroll and Pause offer to the USMNT going forward? NOTHING. And it’s not like either of them was one of the better CM’s in MLS this year. Beckerman was.

    Why no Feilhaber? It’s not like his team is gonna knock him down the pecking if he missed a few days.

    I’m fine with Rogers & Gaven though. Gaven is underrated to me. I consider him a poor man’s Clint Dempsey. As for Rogers, ehh yeah he didn’t have a great season, but what other lefty wingers are out there that aren’t in the playoffs or in the middle of a European season? Only one that comes to mind is Ryan Smith & I’m not sure if he even has a US passport yet.

    Strikers are ok too. I understand why Bob doesn’t call up Jozy or EJ. I’m sure everyone is gonna b*tch and moan about Findley. But again, who else ya got? Justin Braun and Jack McInerney? Sure, I guess. But I’m not gonna fret about that. They’ll have an opportunity come January.


    • Posted by Dinho on 2010/11/12 at 11:03 AM

      Brian, I agree with almost everything you’ve said.

      I’m fairly happy with the back line (considering the available options). I think Gooch needs to stay and train with AC Milan and make up for the training ground bust-up. Scary to think that Bornstein will wear the arm band. I would LOVE to see how Ream at left back pans out, maybe as a second half substitute for Borny? Keep Goodson and Spector in the middle and Lichaj at right back.

      The midfield is lacking in quality, but I can’t wait to see Diskerund play, heard a lot about this kid. I’m on the fence with Rogers. I think he has the tools, but not the soccer IQ. I’m not a Beckerman fan, but I’d much prefer to see him instead of Pause or Carroll. At least we have Carroll if we go to penalties…oh wait…:)

      I also don’t get the Findley inclusion. I’m not a Braun fan, but at least give him the chance to show something. Findley has had his chance (over and over again) and failed in my opinion. I think McInerney is a bit optimistic, but again, I like the idea. I am very excited to see Agudelo play at the NT level. I’m betting he’s one of those guys that steps up.


  16. Posted by Steve on 2010/11/14 at 10:01 PM

    After seeing Agudelo play for the Bulls a couple weeks back, I am really happy to see him called in. He’s still real young, but he definitely has the potential. He’ll be a quality player for the 2014 WC if we can keep him from skipping overseas to warm the bench of some Euro team.


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