U.S. Men's National Team

Bradley names USA roster for Cuba/T&T qualifiers

U.S. men’s national team coach Bob Bradley has named his 20-man roster for the upcoming games against Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago.

Here it is:

  • GOALKEEPERS : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 2/2 SO), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 4/3 SO)
  • DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 14/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 2/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96: 16/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 12/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 9/0), Michael Orozco (San Luis: 0/0), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 3/0), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC: 0/0)
  • MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 17/4), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen: 3/1), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo: 1/0), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 2/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 1/0), Eddie Lewis (Los Angeles Galaxy: 20/3)
  • FORWARDS: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 8/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 22/8), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 9/2), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City: 8/8)

              *numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

Michael Orozco and Marvell Wynne are the new faces, earning call-ups after their performances at the Olympics while Ricardo Clark replaces injured central midfielder Pablo Mastroeni. The other 17 players are the same group that made up the squad that beat Guatemala, 1-0, last week. You might be surprised to see Steve Cherundolo on the list but he is just suspended for the Cuba match, meaning he should be in the lineup vs. Trinidad & Tobago.

As for the absences most likely to cause a stir among fans, Kenny Cooper, Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore are not on the roster, which is probably causing some U.S. national team supporters to go crazy.

Here’s a closer look at the squad:

So why no Altidore, Adu and Cooper? Bob Bradley has decided to go with veteran options in attack while giving newcomers Orozco and Wynne look in the back-line, where Cherundolo’s red card suspension from the Cuba matc has opened the door for one of them to possibly get some playing time.

So why no Cooper? I offered this explanation as to why we haven’t seen the FC Dallas striker in a Q&A this morning:

It boils down to this. Bradley has had Cooper in camp, had him in camp in January of 2007. At that time Cooper was not impressive and didn’t play that well in the camp. Even before he could work his way back into serious consideration he suffered an injury last year. Fast forward to now, while Cooper has emerged as a great goal-scoring threat in MLS, you could argue that he was also scoring goals in MLS in 2006, which is right before he went into that 2007 camp and failed to impress. Now, I think Bradley would want to be able to bring Cooper into another camp and have a long look at him in training, playing against fellow national team players to see how much he has really progressed.

I think this still applies. I’m sure part of the angst from fans over Cooper is the fact that Eddie Johnson is getting call-ups even though he has struggled mightily with the national team. While this is true, Johnson does have a track record of playing well against lower-level CONCACAF teams (eight goals in eight World Cup qualifiers) so these games could theoretically be the type of games that help Johnson get going on the national team.

So why no Altidore and Adu? Perhaps Bradley wasn’t impressed with Adu at the Olympics, where he played well against the Dutch but struggled mightily against Japan. He did have that quality half against Spain and showed some glimpses late in the England game, but there must be something. Could it be a desire to led Adu settle at Monaco? The French club is off for two weeks so that doesn’t seem to be the reason.

As for Altidore, there may be more to his exclusion than meets the eye. The story coming out of the Olympics was that he was slowed by an ankle injury, but the injury doesn’t seem to be affecting his transition to Villarreal. (Not getting anywhere on the story I heard regarding the real reason behind Altidore’s lack of playing time at the Olympics, but let’s just say don’t be surprised if Altidore isn’t seen on the national team any time soon.)

What do you think of the roster? Happy to see Wynne included? Surprised to see Orozco included? Angry as heck that Cooper/Adu/Altidore were left off?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Dan Roudebush

    Sorry I’m a guy that doesn’t think Cooper is that hot. Leave the Chinger be. He’s probably only behind Cooper in goals scored due to early season injuries.

    I woud like to see more of Davies however.


  • papa bear

    Heinous. Not calling up Adu or Jozy or Cooper is simply absurd and there is no facile excuse that Bradley could offer up once again that will convince me that it was smart to leave them off.

    Plain and simple Cooper is on fire in the league and Altidore has more natual attacking talent than any front line player (and thats even if you want to include Donovan amongst that group)

    Eddie Johnson being included is inexcusable.

    I’m getting less and less thrilled about Bradley leading us into WC2010 as I ever thought I could be.


  • John

    I’m not a big fan of EJ at this stage. That said, only an idiot would have called in Altidore and Adu for this series–thank heavens BB didn’t.

    Here’s why:

    –Altidore and Adu would, in the big picture, get very little seasoning by playing in this camp and matches.

    –Altidore and Adu will get TREMENDOUS seasoning and raise the level of their games if they get enough practice and strut their stuff sufficiently so they either start or get serious minutes for their respective clubs at this point in the season (and both have good opportunities).

    Think of it this way: the USA does not NEED Altidore and Adu at this stage. But if we’re ever doing to be more than a country that once every 4 WC’s advances to the knock-rounds and all other times we exit scoring struggling to score more than 1 goal in 3 games, we NEED Adu and Altidore. Not where they are now. But where they’ll be if (be still my beating heart) either should end up starting for their clubs and playing regularly.

    Putting Adu and Altidore, even starting them, for the WCQ at this point does little for their development and may even retard them if it hurts them with their clubs. To me, this is similar to the dilemma that Arena had with JOB at Ajax. He played that one well, JOB got major minutes with AJax and was brilliant in the 2002 WC.

    As for Cooper, I’d have included him at the expense of EJ.


  • TECH

    WOW? If BRADLEY gets this crapy team that played against guatemala, we are so screwed.I mean the europeans are doing amazing, and we cant compete with this team. We need freddy adu, cooper and altidore,also what is the deal with neven subotic, i’ve seen him play on burrossia dortsmund and he plays good, is he going to join the USA team or what.


  • Fajkus Rules

    After putting McBride on the Olympic team and stealing PT from Altidore, we give another has been like Johnson another call up. Chris Rolfe at least hustles and pressures the defense; not EJ though, he’s an EPL player now. Jozy ought to be on the bench for these 2 upcoming games.


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