U.S. Men's National Team

U.S. roster for Poland friendly announced


                                                                Photo by ISI Photos

Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey were among the 18 players chosen for the U.S. national team’s upcoming friendly against Poland in Krakow on Wednesday (3:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley named a European-based roster with just three MLS-based players among the 18 (Donovan, Ricardo Clark and Brian Ching).

Among the more intriguing selections are Cory Gibbs, back after a long injury layoff, and Benny Feilhaber, who did not make the U.S. Under-23 national team roster for Olympic Qualifying just two weeks ago.

If you’re wondering where players such as Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, Maurice Edu and Stuart Holden are, all three are being given a break after going though Olympic Qualifying.

Here is the roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Cory Gibbs (Charlton Athletic), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS: Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)

FORWARDS: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich)

What do you think of the roster? Share your thoughts below.

  • aristotle

    No one will admit to this, and I will no doubt be called Mr. Negativity, Mr. Pessimism, etc., but right around the 2006 World Cup American soccer reversed direction from continually improving to going in the opposite direction as far as the quality of our players and national teams are concerned.

    I think this happened because of a combination of players not developing as expected and players who seemed to have already made it on the national level actually going backwards.

    I know everyone likes to be optimistic but I think we are quickly getting to the point where we have to realize that the national program is in a period of regression.

    Here is a list of players who were expected to be really good players at this point and or our hope for the future at one point or another, but have for one reason or another gone backwards. I’m sure I am also missing players who should be on this list.

    Eddie Gaven

    Danny Szetela

    Eddie Johnson

    Taylor Twellman

    Brian Ching

    Bobby Convey

    Josh Wolff

    Nate Jaqua

    Kyle Martino

    Clint Mathis

    Jovan Kirovski

    Edson Buddle

    Santino Quaranta

    I’m sure some will argue Ching and Johnson but they are clearly going backwards right now. You may also be able to add players like Justin Mapp to this list soon. You will notice more than half the list is made of strikers. That certainly helps explain our current situation of practically no talent at that position. If Altidore somehow doesn’t make it and ends up on this list, who does that leave?

    Right now we have the POTENTIAL of Altidore and Donovan (who I think should have been a midfielder) as our national strike force. People have been ripping everyone else to shreds without realizing that there really isn’t much left. Now, much like we did with Donovan, we are so desperate that we are trying to make Dempsey a striker.

    One final comment on strikers. Given the dearth of quality strikers it is mind boggling that Kenny Cooper is not being given more of a chance. What more does he have to do to compete with the likes of Taylor Twellman, Brian Ching, and Eddie Johnson? I know he was injured and that didn’t help, but still, he needs to be given a fair chance soon.


  • John

    I thought our National Team was getting ready for the 2010 World Cup, not the 2006 World Cup.


  • jpc

    I would like to see:






    – I would like to see players like Chris Rolfe, Alecko Eskandarian, Robbie Rogers, Kenny Cooper, Arturo Alvarez and especially Justin Mapp a run in this squad. We are obviously gonna have our best players for England, Argentina and spain, so why not give a shot to these players who have performed very well for their clubs (although some have had injuries last year)… And why do we play poland every other game?


  • usnavysrchief

    Don’t understand whey BB is not getting the team ready for Qualifying?? This team selection does not do that. UNLESS!! He knows Gibbs is ready to step in at LB, Pearce is ready to step in at LM (Where he is currently playing at Hansa Rostock). He knows what he’s got at RB/CB with Dulo/Spector/Gooch/Demerit/Boca but I do wish he had called up Nevin Subotic just to get his name associated with the USA before he bolts to another country which he is eligible to do. Lewis/Wolf/Ching shoud not be on the roster at all. Hopefully he plays Johnson and Demps up front with Lando/Bradley/Feilhaber/Pearce in the Middle. Even though I still don’t understand what Donovan brings to the table recently against strong competition?? He needs to carry his weak butt overseas to a real league to prove tat he can play with the big boys. In the future I see Adu taking his spot on the team. It is possible to play a 4-4-2 with this line up but BB is not that good a coach to use an attacking line up. He needs to go also!! He will probably play a 4-5-1 and keep his Son way behind the attacking force even though he is scoring lights out in a major Euro league.He’ll play Ching up front because his little boy Lando wants him too and forget about a partnership of Johnson and Demps up front Lando does not like Demps/Johnson because they like Rap. BB Does not want to upset Bruce Arena so he will not deviate from the plan!!!!!! That is why we still have to see Lewis/Wolf/Chang/Donovan etc… on the roster. PATHETIC SELECTIONS!!!


  • michael

    I have a strange feeling Michael Bradley is going to be playing attacking midfield like he does for Herenveen for this match.

    I understand not including Adu and Altidore because they are just finishing U23 duty and should get back to their clubs, so its cool. I like the Ching and Donovan pairing up top with Dempsey playing on the wing.


  • Fred MacMurray


    I think this is a case of unrealistic expectations

    Most of those player you listed are having strong careers (or have already had), and ARE among the best US players. They are just not having strong careers if you compare them to the world’s top players.

    When you think about it – unless I am missing something, we dont have a single player in a top ten team in any of the three top leagues in the world. The US is simply not a world power – we are a pretty good team, in what is becoming a pretty good soccer country – but clearly still second tier. A team that the world’s top teams need to take seriously or we could sneak away with a win.

    A team that can consistently win in CONCACAF and make the world cup and the olympics, but we can not really be considered a threat to do anything there (well who knows about the olympics, but thats a bit different).

    When you look at where our best players play, I think that right now the whole is better than the sum of the parts and our coaches deserve some credit for that. it’s amazing how many of these posts are screaming about how bad everything is.

    The 06 cup was clearly a downer, but i dont think you can say we have been in decline since then – unless you took the FIFA top ten ranking we had climbed to seriously. If we had never been ranked higher than 20 (which we clearly should not have been) we would have to say we climbed to a decent second tier team, and have been hanging there for a while.


  • Julio

    B. Ching and Wolff are a joke, enough of these two dead beats. These guys are MLS and 2nd Euro League players. They are not good enought to be on our US Squad. We gave them a chance and have not panned out. Time to let Jozy, Adu, Holden and the rest of our youth a chance, not start but at least be on the squad with Dempsey and Donovan and Company.


  • MiamiAl

    I disagree Julio. Ching is our starter if healthy when we go two up top. Oddly enough, I am not a Josh Wolf hater. I think he he has been great right up to having to score a goal. He looks like his usual pesky self, that is always running around at a high pace. Its when he makes a sweet move and tries to score when he miffs (usually missing close) and giving the other team a goal kick. But he can draw defenders. Hey, for this game, he is just another body.


  • CD

    To those that say the US product of player is not improving. Take a realistic look at the value that the players on this squad have on the international soccer market compared to teams in the past. US players in the current pool are valued in Europe for a reason. The transfer fees for the US players have steadily increased and so has the salaries that they receive. In the free market of European football the increase of US player value can not be disputed.


  • Johnny

    HO Hum. I understand the break for Jozy and Freddy, but there are some players on this list that haven’t played in a first team match in months. If Boca and Benny start in this game it will be reminiscent of Bruce Arena’s habit of playing favorites. Let’s hope that this game will be more exciting than the snorefest that wast olympic qualifying.


  • CD

    If this were a write your own caption segment of the BLOG:

    “Dad, Clint took my soccer ball and he won’t give it back.”


  • Ted

    So this pretty much means that Cory Gibbs get injured in training on Tuesday, right?

    Please Gibbsy, stay healthy, we like you.

    Also, where is Subotic? This scares me.

    Though it won’t happen, I would like to see Spector start over Boca. He is a better player getting quality minutes for a better team. The lineup I wish would happen, but won’t, assuming we don’t switch to a 3-man central midfield like we should, is:

    Dulo, Onyewu, Spector, Gibbs

    Donovan, Bradley, Feilhaber, Pearce

    Johnson, Dempsey

    Johnson gets the nod over Ching solely on being in season. And I know it’ hypocritical to start Gibbs and Pearce, so I guess I am.


  • Rob C

    Jozy and Freddy have had quite a bit of international responsibility over the past couple of months, so it’s probably good to let them get back with their clubs and back to a less hectic schedule.

    I like this roster how it is. It’s got a decent mix of youth and veterans, and most of these players play in Europe, so they won’t be intimidated by that atmosphere.

    Last note here. Some posters above have complained about Clint Dempsey. This, to me, is absolutely absurd. I think since the retirement of McBride, he is the best player on the National Team (not counting goalkeepers). The guy has a rare mix of athleticism, speed, soccer IQ and technical ability. He holds the ball really well and makes smart passes to keep possession. People who don’t see this must be watching different games than me.


  • Uncle Jason


    I think some of your readers may be retarded because every time I read your blog there are always a number of d-holes that ask you questions that you already answered in your opening caption. Why the F does this happen? They are intelligent enough to read your blog, but not intelligent enough to understand it?


  • TK

    Quote – LIMB PICK: Eskandarian. He deserves a shot. – Quote

    Didn’t know Alecko’s mom & pop posted here.

    A parents love is blind.

    Aristotle. You are trying way too hard buddy. Way too hard. Unrealisitc expectations indeed.

    We weren’t as bad as we looked in 98, we weren’t nearly as good overall as people thought in 2002, we again weren’t that bad in 2006, especially with 3 of our most skilled, solid players who should have been in their prime out with injury, or just being a total headcase – JOB, Gibbs, Kletus the Knucklehead.

    We are creatin depth. We are growing and learning. It’s easy to improve when your team is absolute crap. Not hard to get to a certain level, to climb to the next level is much harder, takes what most don’t like TIME, and a simple growing infratstructure, player pool, coaches, etc, etc, etc…

    The way you look at it, and interpret things do yourself a favcor and stop watching for several years. Then come back and you will feel better. We will be near the world you live in now. You don’t live in reality now.


  • rocky

    all i can say is these veteren players better play their hearts out from now on, if they hope to make it to south africa. The bottom line now is the youth in my opinion has already caught up to the senior side, and with the performance of the u23’s, every us fan has to be excited about the future, this has never happend for us, so its a good sign.

    First off freddy adu has now proven that he is the most valuble player i think for the us. he is now moved ahead of donavan, dempsey, and beasly on the depth chart and hes only 18! this guy is doing all the right things and he looks like hes gonna be a monster for a long time to come. altidore before the tourney supplimented his place as top forward, so no real suprises there but he looks like a monster too. i think edu and bradley will form a great partnership in the middle as ball winners, they are both two way players who are pushing to be the starters.

    Some vets are def regressing in europe, look at dempsey, hes so good, but they continue to play him in the wrong position, he needs to get the ball, im starting to think england is not his league i think a move to spain would be much better for him. Eddie lewis, boca, are garbage and they shouldnt even be picked.


  • TK

    Uncle Jason. Some clearly are.

    Get ready to read this question 12 million times.

    Is MLS ever going to have promo/relegation?

    I know you answered this before but will it?

    Serious. That’s what we get here.


  • Reid

    Jonny i couldnt agree more, while i have liked it when BB experiments, he seems to also play favorites more often then not. He tinkers in the middle and up top but not in back, when clearly early on gooch sucked (has shown well recently) and favortism with players not seeing QT with their clubs. If our U-20 and U-23’s sucked I could see his point, but there are signs of quality with those kids, might as well give them a chance, it couldnt hurt in friendlies… except on forums like this after the games


  • beckster

    Pleeze….Benny? You must be joking. He can’t make the u23 team? Hasn’t played in months….Edie Lewis is playing but isn’t going to be left wing in next world cup. The left wing position will be Beasley and Convey so have Convey play and get some time. He is been better in his reserve games as of late.


  • kpugs

    Beckster…ever heard of a FRIENDLY? It’s March of 2008, half the guys on the team probably won’t be playing in the world cup.

    Speaking of which, how Josh Wolff is still permitted to suit up for the national team is beyond me. Hell, how he EVER was permitted to is beyond me. I get it…he used to be fast. For like a day. And completely sucks in every way.

    TK well said, I’m sick of a lot of the stupid and ridiculous posts we get here these days. Including mine.


  • Fly the Coop

    Do you all remember that 10 years ago, we were seriously, seriously struggling for competition at pretty much every position except for goalkeeper??

    Today we have the luxury of arguing about each and every position on the field, formations that will maximize our attack AND/OR defense, and whining about players that are or are not included in our lineup – “Bradley and Clark in the middle…no, Bradley and Feilharber”, “Ching as a holding center attack with Dempsey trailing….no, EJohnson and Josh Wolff together”, “Boca isn’t getting enough playing time at Fulham so Spector should step in….no, Spector is a quality left back and should take Pearce’s place”.

    And with the young talent from the U-23s joining the argument during the coming year, the debate will get even more heated.

    Look…Mexico can’t beat us and Canada is envious of us. We should appreciate how far we’ve come in short, short time.


  • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

    What I’d like to see:


    Cherundolo——–Spector —-Onyewu—————Pearce



    ——————Johnson ———Ching——————————–

    Would like to see LD and Dempsey on the wings in support of Bradley’s forward runs. Think either of them could spring EJ, and Rico has enough to close down the back side.

    What I think we will see:




    ——————Johnson ———Dempsey——————————–

    I do not think BF will start. He is just not match fit to do so


  • brett

    Let me start by stating an obvious observation about Subotic… anyone else just think that this kid isnt completely sure what he wants to do yet?? everyone seems to be getting unhinged that he’s not on the roster, but noone seems to realize that perhaps bradley is trying, but Subotic is just not sure yet..

    i agree with questioning benny’s appearance, but i guess it depends on the set-up and when he appears on the pitch… coming in as a 2nd half sub may not be a bad idea, depending how the game go… MB and Clark deserve the start, but that only leaves 1 midfield sub… Donovan or dempsey are surely starting at Right Mid (while the other is starting forward)….

    i felt Wolff did great against brazil, by opening up the field… as i was at the game i saw first hand what he did… outside of that game i havent seen him play much in friendlies…

    as for any of our U23’s not being on the roster, LETS BE SERIOUS here people… they just got done playing 5 games in a span of 2 weeks… let them rest and go back to their clubs…

    AND FINALLY: i cant believe im doing this >.< but im actually going to defend EJ against the EJ bashers (funny as i am one of the biggest EJ basher)… EJ did perfectly fine this weekend, even the announcers mentioned it… 95% of the time EJ was having to check back for the ball receiving it in the air having to 1 touch it back to another player… it wasnt EJ who did poorly this weekend, it was Fulham as a whole…. just b/c the guy isnt tearing it up (especially since its his 3rd start in the epl??) scoring loads of goals doesnt mean he's doing poorly….

    i swear 90% of the US fans who post here are always expecting the worst… every time a roster is posted its "terrible picks" or "why isnt so-n-so not here, we are going to lose"…. outside of English fans, the US have got to be the biggest bunch of downers ive met…. hell even scotland and ireland have more confidence against HUGE opponents (not saying Poland is huge, but im refrenceing when they play the big boys in europe)…


  • brett





    ——————Johnson ———Dempsey——————————–

    i agree this is probably what we’ll see more of…. hopefully EJ will go back to his option of making runs, rather then checking back (what he’s doing with Fulham)… Dempsey seems to do well checking back getting the ball and turning (more then EJ)….

    hopefully Bradley can go into more of an offensive role… i have faith in clark at slowing Poland’s attack….


  • pdizzle

    if he plays bradley and rico together i am going to go crazy – you cant have two defensive midfielders in there and expect to control play at all. yes bradley has scored goals, but they are all either on set pieces or hustle goals. not to detract from his goals, but they arent incredible 25 yard strikes or a result of a great through ball or something – dont get it twisted, bradley is a defensive mid, and nothing else. also id like to see boca out of there, and demerit. you shouldnt reward players who cant get pt for their club time with national team time. send him a message that if he wants to be captain and even play in 2010, he needs to get time and get it soon.


  • Tim

    Honestly, I can’t see why anyone on this board has a criticism of this roster. It’s probaly as strong a team as the U.S. could field on any given day. The keepers and defenders are top notch, and the midfield and forwards certainly aren’t bad. I’d like to see a 4-4-2 as follows:





    Adu shouldn’t get a call up because he just went through Olympic qualifying. He needs the rest, and no sense injuring him for a friendly. As a slight aside, I don’t quite understand the “disbelief and grumbling” everytime Adu doesn’t get a call. He’s good guys, but it’s not like we’re leaving Ronaldinho on the bench, phhlease…give it a rest.

    On a different note, the U.S. will unveil the new away kit for this game. While I’m hoping for something really cool in red, I know that I’m going to get something pretty lame in blue…PLEASE NIKE!!! DON’T DISAPPOINT ME!


  • MiamiAl


    Does Bob Bradley play his son on the USMNT in the same position that he plays in Holland??? If not, why does he not use Michael in the same way he is used in Holland? A guy that has scored 20 goals in Europe deserves to have that attempted to be replicated on the USMNT which sometimes struggles to find goals.


  • Dominghosa

    I’m sure this eas answered already but, yes, Adu, Altidore and the rest of the U-23s besides Spector are being left off to give them a rest. Spector didn’t join the eventual Olympic team until the semifinal match.

    Also, I hate that US Soccer designs a new kit every other year. STICK WITH ONE already. There is nothing to identify US Soccer with. Jerseys usually do that. Brazil’s yellow kit. Argentina’s light blue jersey. Italy’s blue jersey.

    It’s too bad US Soccer wants to make money rather than gain an identity.


  • Seisco

    Great new jerseys…please spare us. Now England and Spain are going to laugh at us.


  • brett

    Tim- i didnt even think to put LD in the middle…. i guess thats b/c if we did that we wouldnt have a true midfielder unless we stuck Dempsey out there…. i dont think Feilhaber has the conditioning to play that position, not to mention he sucked royal there against the Swiss (and S.africa i belive he played there)…

    but if we can switch the lineup to accomidate LD in the center, i think that duo (bradley and LD) would work well..


  • Felix

    Cory Gibbs getting called in is interesting. I don’t think he’s played a actual game in a couple of years, isn’t that right? I’m not a big fan of Eddie Lewis getting call-ups still, but it’s not like we are deep at left mid right now with Beasley and Convey’s injuries.


  • brett

    Felix- perhaps giving someone a call up like Alverez or Nguyen would have sufficed??

    personally Nguyen would have been interesting to see, but i do say that with Beasley injured and Convey’s recent form, Lewis is probably our best option up left…


  • Tim

    As far as Lewis, I think some wonder why he calls because of his age. True, he’s probably not somebody we’d be looking to secure for 2010. However, with Beasley and Convey out, he provides a solid fill at that position. He probably won’t win any games for us, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, he probably won’t LOSE any for us. He basically is a “good fix” until the guys we’d expect to be at that position are ready to play.


  • aristotle


    You’re post didn’t really make much sense. How am I unrealistic? Are you saying I was too optimistic and that’s why I see things negatively now? I wasn’t the one who was outraged because we didn’t improve on our quarterfinal performance from the previous world cup.

    Let’s make this a lot simpler. Let me pose a question to you.

    If we get to the 2010 World Cup and are grouped with two of the top five teams in the world, and the third team in our group is approximately on the same level or just below us, would you expect us to advance out of the group? Whatever your answer is, please explain why.


  • aristotle


    Maybe you haven’t noticed the MASSIVE decline in the value of the dollar that has made our players so much cheaper to teams overseas. Look at the value of those players transferred in their currency. It’s really not that much.


  • aristotle

    Fred MacMurray:

    You’re right about unrealistic expectations. The expectations for the 2006 World Cup were absurd. This is my point. It was an outrage to nearly everyone that we didn’t make it into the second round. We’ll never know for sure, but I don’t think people would have been happy at all if we were eliminated in the second round. They wanted to build on the 2002 performance even though the circumstances were FAR less favorable. Yet, ever since that time expectations have slowly been lowered, even though people are claiming we are improving all of the time. I can honestly envision a 2010 World Cup where we don’t make it out of the first round again, and people saying we did a good job but our expectations were too high. We will almost certainly have easier competition, and we WILL have an easier venue. So even if we made it to the second round it would hardly be an improvement if it was under much easier circumstances.

    The bottom line is that I don’t think anyone can honestly say that we have a team now that is better than this one from 2002.













    That team wasn’t just lucky, they were good. There is no team we have had since then that could have “luckily” beaten Portugal and luckily outplayed Germany in the quarterfinals.


  • brett


    point taken, but 2010 is 2 1/2 yrs away… with 2 1/2 yrs more experience for Bradley, Adu and Altidor alone could sway votes depending on growth of surrounding players…

    id say we should wait til the 2010 WC roster appears and then compare


  • j

    mountain man… you’re a moron.


    lewis is in form and a valuable option for qualifying.


    gibbs is the key for whether or not we make the 3nd round.


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