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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Commentary: Bradley's initial 30

Yes, no Charlie Davies. No matter how much or how hard he tried, his injuries were still not healed enough for him to be considered a viable option for this summer's World Cup. No Freddy Adu either; he hasn't shown enough consistency. Conor Casey's absence is intriguing given erratic Findley, but we must consider the element of speed that Davies once brought.

Goalkeepers: Howard the undoubted starter. Hannehman is the best runner-up. Guzan has seen only limited time on the pitch and serves as a good third option.

Defenders: Onyewu's inclusion provides hope that he may be healthy in time for the tournament. He has already been practicing fully with AC Milan. Chad Marshall is a question mark given his inconsistencies with the nats. Same goes for Pearce but his stock has risen some since moving to Dallas. Bocanegra is captain America and will start. Spector and Cherundolo will battle for right back but Spector could also play left back. That leaves Goodson, Jay DeMerrit and Bornstein. Expect the former two to battle it out with Marshall for the final spot. Bornstein is a natural, albeit streaky, left back, and a suitable option.

Midfield: Donovan and Dempsey are automatic starters. You can say the same for Michael Bradley, who saw a consistent season in Germany with his club. Maurice Edu probably leapfrogs Clark for the second defensive mid given his performances with Rangers. The remaining top options for the final 23 are Bedoya, Holden, Torres and Feilhaber. All are dominant players seeing time with their European squads. I'm not too keen on Rogers at the moment. Beasley is also a tough call given his lack of playing time the last few months. Kljestan's inclusion is interesting and he may be peaking just in time, given his performance with Chivas.

Up top is an undoubted starter: Altidore. Who to pair him with is the question. Ching? A veteran that can hold the ball but was ineffective versus Mexico at the Azteca. Findley? He has the speed but his touch is missing with the national team. Johnson? Good option given his results with Aris and consistent scoring. He also has speed, albeit not as impressive. Buddle and Gomez are big question marks. They are both incredibly hot with their clubs as top scorers in MLS (Buddle) and the Mexican Primer (Gomez). I expect Findley to be dropped. Ching may remain but if he doesn't it may be Buddle or Gomez that makes it in. Tough decision indeed.

We'll see better options in the next few days as Bradley releases some of the players to remain with just 26-28 at Princeton as the team starts pre-tournament training.

1 comment:

Alastair McCandless said...

Sad to hear the Davies news, he will be missed.