Thursday, April 27, 2006

Who should be the USA's third goaltender?

With decision day come on fast, everyone is speculating on the final 23-man roster for the World Cup. Today Kristian Dyer takes a look at the net minder and comes up with a bit of a twist on the three that Bruce Arena should take to Germany.

Obviously the starting keeper will be Kasey Keller. The work he has done both on the club and international levels makes him the best choice. But what about the other two spots?

Tim Howard is a great goaltender, but he has been unable to get many minutes with Manchester United. At 27-years of age, Howard is on the path to become America's starter over the next couple years but only if he can find a way to get more playing time at club level.

Marcus Hahnemann has shined with Reading FC, but as Dyer points out, "the former Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids net minder will turn 34 during the World Cup, yet has limited international experience - having earned just a handful of caps for the national team." A World Cup is not exactly the best place to get your first big taste of international play.

So what to do? Dyer suggests a little look back to the past to bring some needed experience to the team. And who is she looking at? Mr. 100th cap himself, Tony Meola.

Meola should in no way replace Howard on the depth chart but he is the ideal supplement to the roster. Marcus Hahnemann should be applauded for his achievements with Reading over the past several seasons, but Arena must choose someone with the experience of Meola to provide balance and provide much needed depth at the position. The choice is clear for Arena, but it remains to be seen if he will make the right move.

I have liked what I've seen out of Meola so far this MLS season. Yes, he has conceded many goals, but let's hope the US backline is better then New York's (if they are not, Keller is going to earn his pay check the hard way).

Bringing Howard makes sense as he looks to be the starter for the team in 2010. Decided between Hahnemann and Meola is a little harder, but I could see lots of reasons to go with Meola.

Then again, maybe the Bruce will go in a very different direction. Perhaps he will use that third spot to bring a 'fresh face.' Could a Kevin Hartman (LA), Matt Reis (NE) or someone really unpredictable like Jon Busch (Columbus) get a call up. For the record, I think these three are wild, wilder and really no real chance but I just wanted to put in a third name to suggest something completely crazy, but who knows, maybe Arena sees something none of us do.

The answers come Tuesday the 2nd on ESPN when Bruce announces the 23-man roster.

If you are looking for the actual US World Cup roster, look here.



Blogger Jarrett said...

Howard should be third to Hahnemann's second.

If we get to the third keeper, it's all hands to the pump by then anyway. Howard is competent and bringing him along prepares him for 2010 and beyond, where he'll have to shine.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Nick and Dan said...

No one should forget that Matt Reis is also a candidate for that 3rd spot. He's been great in goal for the Revs.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post!

12:34 PM  

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