Cupcakes? Check. Who’s Camping In January?

Camp cupcake invites are supposedly out…tomorrow. We know one guy already gearing up to cascade past the San Fernando Valley into LAX.

Who's cupcaking in January?

Also, we’ll be making the short hop on Virgin down from SFO to take in a practice at some point and talk to the guys. We’ll be at the Chile game as well.

Here’s a revised look–our best stab–at whose name makes tomorrow’s announcement tomorrow:

GOALIES: Kevin Hartman, Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid

The skinny: No change from our list below. Sean Johnson was solid over in Europe for Generation Adidas. We still think Bradley takes a look under the hood of Hamid.

Also in contention: Will Hesmer, Matt Pickens.


DEFENDERS: Kevin Alston, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce*, Marvell Wynne, Tim Ream, Sean Franklin, Michael Parkhurst

The skinny: Removed Ike Opara who didn’t have a stellar Generation Adidas campaign we’re told. Gale Agbossoumounde is supposed to head out on loan to Sweden I believe.

Don’t see a call-in for Nat Borchers–just can’t see him cracking the central defense. Jay DeMerit…could be call-in.

AJ De La Garza just misses out from our original list and Bobby Convey…flat out, no idea?

I remember watching Jeff Cunningham last year at January camp and with his age and demeanor he really looked like an interloper. I just don’t see Convey going to a Jan Camp…maybe if he continues his form a friendly camp next year.


Cameron will be there, Bornstein's gone fi$hing in Monterey, Mex...

TWEENERS: Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea

The skinny: Because we can, we introduce a new position here. The Tweener today….only temporary. The following two guys could play pretty much anywhere, but striker and goalie and your guess is as good as mine.

We learned that Geoff Cameron is on the radar of some teams overseas for his size and ability to play across the backline. Coach Bradley played him primarily at right mid last year in camp. Brek Shea just got lauded by Atletico Madrid…for his central defense play.


MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya, Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Gaven, Jeff Larentowicz, Dax McCarty, Robbie Rogers, Mikkel Diskerud, Collen Warner

The skinny: Dropped Tristan Bowen as he now deals with a transfer crosstown and I just don’t see. Free Benny Feilhaber plays the midfield quarterback again for Bradley. Remember, Feilhaber attended nearby Northwood High School in Irvine…only makes sense to get him in there.

And even money says the pairing in central midfield against Chile is Feilhaber and Larentowicz. Just smells right there.

Logan Pause may, just may slip in there as Coach Sweats needs a little steel in the middle.

Possible sleeper: Dilly Duka.


FORWARDS: Justin Braun, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Chris Wondolowski

The skinny: We drop Jack Mac from Philly…though he may slip in and toss in Chris Wondolowski in his place. I’d like to see Jack Mac get a spot though. Edson Buddle may get the call as well, but I kind of feel that with Bradley not playing him when he was in amazing form for the World Cup, he’s not going to select him in a little lower value January camp.

From December 6th, 2010:

No better time to start pontificating on who should be present at the customary January  camp….an invitation is the ultimate stocking stuffer. General managers, get your key club member one while these last. It will do wonders for their confidence.

Expect to see–as we did in 2007–a very different complexion of players than the year before with World Cup aspirations now a little less than four years out instead of right around the corner.

However, what will be important here is nailing some idea of the backline heading into the Gold Cup. Lot of competition there.

Bob Bradley will sprinkle in a lot more youth–we think–and bid adieu to a few perennial camp members. Will the Dale Murphy of US Soccer, Kyle Beckerman, make another camp? Hmm…

Some other quick things we’re looking for:

• That pesky leftback position

It’s time for Coach Sweats to get both creative and aggressive here. Jonathan Bornstein is not the longterm answer here and figures to be residing in Mexico this year as camp opens. Heath Pearce has clearly not distinguished himself from the back, having failed to unseat Bornstein after three years of challenging him and after having not been invited to South Africa despite little depth and a hernia surgery just weeks earlier for US captain and starting leftback Carlos Bocanegra.

Will Bradley opt to–finally–bring back in San Jose leftback Bobby Convey who will be 31 when Brazil 2014 rolls around….or will Convey’s me-first attitude again trump his obvious quality at the position.

How about a run out–seriously–for any number of left midfielder options, including and in no order: Robbie Rogers, Brek Shea (who recently played centerback for the Generation Adidas team in Europe in the beginning of December) or even Houston’s steady Brad Davis. While none of these players would be confused with Michel Bastos, it’s worth the look-see.

Bunbury wants to show that it wasn't only Agudelo who made an impression in South Africa

• Building striker continuity

Of course, Jozy Altidore is still in the fold, but last year’s starting strikers for the Camp Cupcake wind-down game at HDC. That would be the mercurial Jeff Cunningham and the mis-targeting Robbie Findley. The pair looked downright negligent in their offensive responsibilities in that Honduras game; I don’t blame any fan that saw that display and lives a block from the stadium and doesn’t buy a ticket to the Chile game this year.

This year will likely see South African second half bookends Teal Bunbury–the targetman–and Red Bull sensation Juan Agudelo–the speed–build reps together. Perhaps the most promising combo at Camp Cupcake in awhile.

Oh, and that pair went Generation Adidas Euro-hopping in December and apparently looked good doing it as well.

• Continuing the physical attribute build?

As we’ve pointed out on TSG, Bob Bradley seems to be building a team full of physical attributes save Dax McCarty there (no disrespect Mr. Ninja).

Will Bradley continue his trends of bringing in bid wide middies (Bedoya, Rogers, Shea, Diskerud) and speedy strikers (Agudelo, maybe a Collen Warner runout here).

We now give you 30 possible players that may make the camp: (a * denotes the player was a camp invitee last year)

Will P Diddy be given a chance to shine?

GOALIES: Kevin Hartman*, Nick Rimando*, Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid

The skinny: Gone from last year’s group is Zach Thornton and the up-and-down Troy Perkins. Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid learn the ropes from Hartman and Rimando.

Also in contention: Will Hesmer.


DEFENDERS: Kevin Alston*, Omar Gonzalez*, Clarence Goodson*, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce*, Marvell Wynne*, Tim Ream, Ike Opara, Sean Franklin (camp attendee in ’09), AJ De La Garza, (Bobby Convey?)

The skinny: Will–could–the Los Angeles Galaxy get three of their guys training in January? It’s possible and we say probable.

The Bobby Convey question; is it a question? Expect De La Garza if he makes it to be tried out on the left also.

Does Jay DeMerit join the camp as it’s Jimmy Conrad in 2011? Nat Borchers as this year’s Conrad?


MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya*, Geoff Cameron*, Benny Feilhaber*, Eddie Gaven*, Jeff Larentowicz* Dax McCarty*, Robbie Rogers*, Logan Pause, Mikkel Diskerud, Collen Warner, Tristan Bowen

The skinny: A pretty healthy group of camp vets. A little light at CDM, especially if Bradley favors a 4-2-3-1–that’s why we’ve got Pause as a veteran in camp taking over for Beckerman.

Might Jose Torres be a wild card here?


FORWARDS: Justin Braun*, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Jack McInerney

The skinny:  Bruan and Bunbury, targetmen. Agudelo and Mac, speed off players. Others to consider (thanks TSG community) Edson Buddle, Chris Wondolowski, and even Eugene Starikov.

53 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by chris on 2010/12/06 at 9:00 AM

    if you had to guess.
    i know its way off.
    but what is the squad for 2014?


  2. Posted by dth on 2010/12/06 at 9:32 AM

    Not sure I’d describe McInerney as a speed guy. He’s pretty much a pure poacher/finisher.


  3. Posted by chazcar2 on 2010/12/06 at 9:40 AM

    I have many formation suggestions, I order of preference:




    • Posted by chris on 2010/12/06 at 9:47 AM

      i agree that lichaj has to be a definate. he played so well in the last friendly with all the younger players.


  4. Posted by Alex on 2010/12/06 at 9:48 AM

    I really hope Bradley at least makes an attempt to bring Eugene Starikov into camp. I’d take him right now over Braun or McInerney. This roster is very youth-oriented. Bob Bradley, for better or worse, doesn’t always favor youth. I don’t see Bradley passing on both Wondolowski or Buddle after the year they’ve had.

    Really hope to see McCarty make the squad. Good midfielders play for good teams. No Donovan???


    • I mean, I won’t exactly scream if Starikov is brought in…but he has all of one professional goals to his 22-year-old name. McInerney has three goals (in 350 professional minutes) to his 18-year-old name.


      • Posted by Alex on 2010/12/06 at 10:28 AM

        They’re both young players, and works in progress. For me the difference is Starikov plays in the Russian Premier League, which is ranked by FIFA as the sixth best league in Europe for 2010. He’s also another dual-nationality player, and giving him a call-up now might influence him towards staying with us in the future if he ever materializes to be a world-class player.


        • Sure. It’s just that Starikov is pretty old for a young player and has but 9 professional appearances to his name. It’s intriguing, to be sure, but not more than that. If Bradley brings him in, cool. If he doesn’t, that’s cool too.


  5. Posted by 4now on 2010/12/06 at 9:56 AM

    Great work Matt. I still think Kevin Alston doesn’t have the soccer brain for international play, and I’d rather see Drew Moor over Marvell Wynne. I also wonder if Andy Najar gets the invite to train with the boys — if that is even legal by FIFA standards…


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/06 at 10:16 AM

      Could not agree more on Alston, but as good as Moor’s been I’m not sure that he’s the answer for 2011 Gold Cup or longer.


      • Posted by 4now on 2010/12/06 at 10:22 AM

        Certainly not the answer, but a good resource. Predictable, decent center back that can fit in on the right as well – a good guy to have around. You may say the same about Wynne, but I just still worry about his decision making and he’s not getting any faster.


  6. Betting no lichaj with EPL in season, no Guzan either although personally I’d like to see both.


  7. Posted by Kevin O' on 2010/12/06 at 10:56 AM

    I think Convey would be applicable here to give one more go. He surprised everyone in the playoffs with his continued inspired play. The question as you fielded is can he refrain from behaving like B.A. Barracus to everyone else in camp, especially the coaching staff. Camp Cupcake should be able to determine this pretty darn quick.


    • Posted by dude on 2010/12/06 at 2:18 PM

      I concur. Would love to see him in that role.


      • Posted by Seybold on 2010/12/06 at 8:22 PM

        Yes. He’s the only good attacking left back we have, and finally fully recovered from injury. Before the injury he had no problem playing in the Premier League. If his head is straight, he could be the best option.

        Agree with Kevin O, a camp will show where his head is at.


  8. Posted by euroman on 2010/12/06 at 1:49 PM

    NO GOODSON. At 28 and a full A-team player coupled with joining a new team (Brondby) on 1-10-11 there is just no reason for BB to call him in and he won’t. This camp is for the unproven players we may have a chance to be on the end of the roaster for GC.


  9. Posted by Wonderman on 2010/12/06 at 1:58 PM

    Hoping to see the great amazing WONDO! He deserve a cupcake call.


  10. Posted by Mferrante on 2010/12/06 at 1:59 PM

    Bunbury and Juan Ag are getting me excited…..The striker pool is starting to look good!!!

    -Buddle still has some time to impress


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/12/06 at 4:06 PM

      I was reading somewhere that we had convinced a young german youth that was the captain for the youth side to convert his allegiences to the US. I guess the only reason I mention this is because he is a forward I’m pretty sure. I can’t seem to remember his name though, so if someone wants to help me out…


        • Posted by Alex on 2010/12/06 at 5:51 PM

          He’s a CM for Bayern Munich youth. There’s another dual-citizen youth in the National and Munich youth systems who’s his teammate who’s a forward. Shawn Parker.


        • Posted by dth on 2010/12/06 at 6:01 PM

          Parker is with Mainz. And at the moment, there’s very little chance he switches: he’s current with the German u19 people, Germany is apparently low on youth strikers, and he’s considered the best of the bunch. Probably will have to wait for a Jermaine Jones-style switch.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/12/06 at 8:27 PM

          dth – the guy I’m talking about has already said he wants to switch. I’m not sure what his name is, but I think it might have been Parker. I recognize the club you mentioned. Either way he is supposedly one of their top prospects/”the best of the bunch” so I was just pointing that out as more depth to a position that is starting to look pretty deep. Now our only real concern for 2014 as of right now (that I can imagie) is the back line. I’ve said that 2014 will be our best yet, but I guess we’ll see… there’s still plenty of time for things to go wrong or vice versa.


        • Posted by Alex on 2010/12/07 at 2:21 PM

          Right, Mainz, my bad.
          But Hurzeler is the one who’s already chosen the US. He’s been called into the Jan. U20 camp. And he’s a box-to-box CM I think.


    • Posted by Dylan on 2010/12/06 at 8:09 PM

      Not sure I would be counting CD9 into the striker pool at present time. He seems to be quite a ways from playing at the international level again.


  11. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/06 at 6:07 PM

    i like marvell wynne. he only played on the championship side in the MLS and he did make his mark on the team. plus marvell was probably one of the top two or three players from the olympic team, a team which included holden and altidore and some pretty good players, like mo edu, and marvell was maybe the best of the bunch. how can you not like marvell, he is an absolute shut down defender, something the usa could sorely use. lichaj on the left, and the hungry beast on the right.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/06 at 6:12 PM

      I concur with Jason on Marvell. Both he and Kevin Alston rely on physical gifts more than tactical proficiency.

      If you look at Marvell specifically he was outright terrible at rb against honduras in january last year.

      He’s better in the center because he’s defined or tethered but I would even with his speed be very worried about him against a smart equally speedy striker like a Javier Hernandez.

      He’s got a decent shot in the middle in camp. Let’s see how he does.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/12/06 at 8:33 PM

        I think his physical abilities best suit him to RB, but the same can’t always be said about the mental abilities (or should I say compatibility) which is arguably more important, especially in defense. I have watched very little Marvell Wynne recently because I gave up on him as a right back, but I’m yet to see his regular performances as a center back. Does anyone else think Cameron could make a good outside back. He was a right sided midfielder who was converted to center back then, converted to center attacking midfield. It can’t possibly be a hard mental transition for him to right back since he’s played RM and CB.


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/06 at 8:51 PM

        im not just sure about any honduras game. he did play poorly against costa rica in the saprissa, but that aside, marvell has shown well when he has worn the usa jersey. all you have to do is look at the goal costa rica scored against marvell wynne, because they scored the exact same goal on stevie cherundolo. marvell is no center back for the national team, but he is more than ready to take the right back spot. marvell is basically bacary sagna with better defense, but not as good of a cross. thats not a bad right back for the us national team.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/06 at 9:51 PM

          Couldn’t disagree with you more.

          Wynne is hardly Bacary Sagna. He’s got a decent cross when he’s got a step, but that’s it. He does not have the offense or defensive game of Sagna. Not nearly.

          Further, I’m not sure when Wynne has done well the A team against A level competition. You mention Saprissa of course–he rode the pine at the Confederation’s Cup–against Honduras’s B team last year I happen to be right on the field level side of Wynne in the 1st quarter before he was subbed and he looked…awful.

          I gave him a 1.5 rating in my game review here:

          He’s not a top 3 candidate at rightback right now and if he is the States have problems.


          The rightback depth chart in my opinion right this moment looks like this: Cherundolo, Lichaj, Spector, Franklin.


        • I suspect Franklin > Spector.

          By the by, everyone talks about the holding/central midfield depth, but the other position with (secretly) pretty good depth is right back: ‘dolo, Lichaj, Franklin, Specs..and in the up-and-coming category Williams of Philadelphia and Alston. (With the u-20s giving us Valentin and Sarkodie). Overall quality is obviously not as good as central midfield, but there are a lot of potential options there.


        • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/07 at 12:01 AM

          no love for an MLS champion. i guess wtf winning last year with real salt lake put a damper on that. well you can bat these names round like kevin alston and williams from philly, but really big man steps up when it counts. honduras b team does not count so much, but the olympics do and im sad that people dont want to recognize. im looking forward to seeing how franklin and wynne compare in this camp.


        • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/07 at 7:50 AM

          id compare marvell wynne to tony sanneh. sanneh had a lot of the raw tools, but he did not have technical ability and anyone who watched dc united back in the 90s will attest to this. 2002 rolled around and sanneh was one of the brighter players for team usa. i expect we will see something similar from marvell wynne.


  12. Posted by Mferrante on 2010/12/06 at 6:38 PM

    I dont understand the hate for Jozy around here, I know he hasnt performed to his top abilitty but he is only 21, hes still got alotttttttttttt of time to develop. The general idea on Altidore is he cant get on the pitch at Villereal right?


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2010/12/06 at 7:45 PM

      Everyone realizes that Altidore has time to develop and will continue to develop. My issue with Altidore (and my guess is that it is the issue many others have) is that right now he is our best/only striker. Heading into the Gold Cup striker is my biggest ? (less concerned about left back although that is an issue too).

      He is not one of the best 50 strikers in the world. For a team whose followers want to see it be a top 10 team that is a problem. Not to mention that our best formation is a 4-2-3-1 (at least in my opinion) which puts more emphasis on that striker.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/07 at 7:24 AM

        Yes he’s 21, but IMO, the technical side to his game should be much much better than it actually is – this shouldn’t need that much ‘developing’. The tactical side will come with games and experience.


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2010/12/09 at 12:33 PM

          Concur with our friend from across the pond. And to the number of posters who claim he makes others better, then you have to count in the number of times he doesn’t run into spaces or just plays lazy. Frankly, he’s a striker who doesn’t score enough to justify that role. The opportunity to goal ratio is absolutely awful. He’s not terrible by any means but until he can start scoring regularly for club and country he has to stop being considered as the “in stone” striker for this squad.


    • Posted by Dylan on 2010/12/06 at 8:14 PM

      No hate for Jozy from me. I think that most people feel he is progressing. I actually thought he had a very good World Cup, he seems to be getting some time for Villareal, (not as much lately), but he has two very, very good strikers in front of him, and has basically put himself as a number 3 forward for the team, no small feat. He doing good and playing with Villa is doing nothing but helping learn the game. He will eat teams up this summer.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/12/06 at 8:43 PM

        I agree with this. He is consistently making the 18 in Villareal and he’s the third choice striker for the 3rd place team (I believe they’re still 3rd) in La Liga and he’s is behind two very good players at the age of 21. That is no small feat, unless you consider him to Messi or Rooney which is largely unfair to… 99% of players.

        Right now he is the best option up top for us IMO and many people see that negatively because he doesn’t score, but he makes everyone around him so much better. He is really starting to thrive a bit, and you can see his creativity kicking in. You can also see a lot of room for improvement as to others that may score more, but make everyone around them worse and have a much smaller upside. His time at Hull taught him how to hold the ball and get out of tight situations and it shows going to Villareal he can learn other aspects to the game that people nag him on like finishing, touch, passing etc. He’s a quick learner if you ask me because back before his loan to Hull he couldn’t hold up the ball at all. After one season on loan I for one can see the difference. Let’s see where Villareal takes him.


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2010/12/07 at 8:36 AM

          I would say he is the 4th choice (he has one sub appearance isn’t the F that comes in late game). Plus we are looking at 1 goal in an entire EPL season last year. 1 goal in the last 9 FIFA competitions.

          If I thought he was pushing Rossi or Nilmar for playing time that would be one thing but Villareal tried to sell him in the last transfer window and couldn’t find a buyer.

          I hope him the best and hope he continues to grow. I also realize that the fact that we don’t have someone in the 24-27 age group puts added pressure on him but right now he is not even close to the type of F we need if we want to be a top 10 team in the world.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/12/07 at 5:38 PM

          Berniebernier – I purposely tried to ignore Villareal trying to sell him, but the truth is that you never know why they wanted to sell him. Maybe they just needed the money… As for the argument on him not scoring goals, I touched on this in my last comment, he makes everyone around him significantly better IMO. If you don’t mark him he will probably score with decent service, but if you mark him tighter it leaves room for other people to go recieve the ball. He get the ball and dish it back out comfortably know and if you have the skills to recieve the ball at your feet people mark you closer and you might recieve extra attention. However, this leaves the door open for him to get it back to someone else. This is what he has developed in his short time at Hull. Not how to score goals, and to the extent that he has developed this blows my mind. I would find it interesting to look not only at how many goals he scores, but also how many others score with him on the field. A percentage or flat out number would be fine.


        • Posted by dth on 2010/12/07 at 6:53 PM

          Villarreal only tried to sell him because they’re in debt–the coach has often says he likes Jozy; in fact he just said Jozy’s staying at least through the end of the season. The problem is that Jozy is stuck behind two of the hottest strikers in the world. Or is it a benefit? Honestly, I think it’s good for Jozy to watch two very good strikers go about their business and learn by watching.


  13. Posted by Mferrante on 2010/12/06 at 9:51 PM

    Does anyone have a indepth opinion on Fabian Hürzeler? All ive been hearing is god things, but id like to know alittle bit more about this kid.


  14. […] WHY?? Welcome back Bobby Convey!! It has been a long time. I hope you have finally found some inner peace with the injuries that took away a step and a bright career, at least temporarily. But seriously, if Nat Borchers gets another look after a fine campaign stateside you should too, sir. Dax McCarty is the one who I’m most excited about as I think he’s pure class and plays with guts. I think Bob will find a way to have him on the pitch on the 22nd. As for the starting center, my money is on The Maestro Benny Feilhaber paired with Dax McCarty, but our friends at the Shin Guardian might be right in suggesting that Larentowicz and Feilhaber get the… […]


  15. Posted by ? on 2010/12/16 at 5:17 PM

    i thought the roster was supposed to come out today…? am i wrong or just not patient enough?:)


  16. Posted by SamT on 2010/12/17 at 6:54 PM

    24 hrs. Any update?


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