Bradley names 22-man roster for England match
May 38 - 3p ET/12p PT
TV: ESPN Classic, Galavision (tape delayed till 7p ET)
US Men's National team coach Bob Bradley has narrowed his roster down to 22 players with just one week to go till they clash with England at Wembley Stadium. As expected, the list is made up mostly of European based players.
Here is the full list:
Goalkeepers (3): Dominic Cervi (Out of Contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC)
Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Midfielders (6): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Lewis (Derby County).
Forwards (5): Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nate Jaqua (out of contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (out of contract)
Guzan, Clark and Donovan are the only MLS based players to earn a call up.
The obvious name absent from this list is Jozy Altidore. As much as I would love to see Jozy on the pitch for England and Spain, with the Olympics and World Cup Qualifiers coming up, Bradley is probably wants to limit the time he is away from the Red Bulls. Also, if Jozy is suffering from fatigue as Juan Carlos Osorio suggested a few weeks ago, giving him a break now will make things easier later this summer and into next year (especially is he does end up moving to Europe).
That said, there is a strong argument to be made for Jozy playing in England and Spain instead of some of the World Cup Qualifiers as these two games plus Argentina are more likely to reflect what the US will face in 2010 then games this fall.
The name that sticks out the most from this list is Michael Orozco from Mexico's San Luis. He has quickly becoming a challenger for one of the center back positions, but with Onyewu coming off a solid season, Bocanegra is most likely to lose his spot.
I've noticed that some people are surprised by Nate Jaqua's call up but I don't see why. In his 10 games with Altach, he netted five goals and was one of the main reasons the team was not relegated. It is true that Austria is not be a big league but results like that deserve some recognition (not to mention what he did with Houston last year). Add to it the lack of offensive depth for the US men and Bradley's choice makes sense.
As far as surprises, there are not many, but Eddie Lewis is the biggest (and it is not that big). Although he has little chance of being in the mix come 2010, I'm guessing Bradley selected him to bring some experience to the team. Also, if he took Maurice Edu or Sacha Kljestan away from their teams while leaving Jozy with New York, it would have looked a little off.
All and all, this is a pretty A-list roster for the US.
Here is my guess at the starting lineup:
Of all of these, Beasley is the one I'm least sure about due to his recent return from injury. If Beasley doesn't get the start, my guess is Wolff will take it.