U.S. Men's National Team

Confederations Cup: Projecting the USA roster

USABeatsMexico (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                     Photo by ISIphotos.com

It might seem like it's still far away, but the U.S. national team is just about a month away from holding training camp ahead of a loaded June calendar, a calendar that includes World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.

Consider the list of opponents in South Africa: Brazil, Italy and Egypt, a trio of very tough and very dangerous teams.

With that in mind, I recently wrote a piece for ESPN.com projecting the U.S. roster for the Confederations Cup. There are still a few weeks before a squad will be named, and plenty can happen between now and then such as injuries, but here is the 23-man squad I projecthead coach Bob Bradley to be calling in for the Confederations Cup, which the U.S. begins on June 15th vs. Brazil:

Projected USA Confederations Cup roster

  • Goalkeepers– Tim Howard,Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann

  • Defenders– Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Frankie Hejduk, Jay DeMerit, Dan Califf, Jonathan Spector, Michael Parkhurst, Jonathan Bornstein.

  • Midfielders– Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley, Jose Francisco Torres, Pablo Mastroeni, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Freddy Adu

  • Forwards– Landon Donovan, Brian Ching, Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies

If there are two issues with this roster it is the dearth of fullback and wing midfield options. I could certainly see Bradley dropping one of the central defenders and bringing one more fullback (such as Heath Pearce, Marvell Wynne or Michael Orozco). Steve Cherundolo's recent hip surgery make it seem very unlikely that he will be ready in time for this tournament.

The wing midfield issue isn't as dramatic because Donovan and Davies can play on the flanks in a pinch and there just aren't that many other flank options (Robbie Rogers has been dealing with a hamstring injury, leaving Jeremiah White as someone who I think might merit consideration.

What do you think of this roster? What players are missing that you feel should be on the roster? Which players made our cut that you feel shouldn't have? What do you think of the U.S. team's chances at the Confederations Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

  • CapeCodFutbol

    Also, if Feilhaber starts to get more time, he should go to the gold cup too. He does well in that, and he’ll be plenty rested.


  • NJsoccer

    Edu is getting frequent time with his club now, usually starter and all 90 minutes. He should be in confed cup imho. I still like a Torres Bradley combo but depending on the opponent there may need to be a more defensive minded or offensive minded combination in the middle. All of the center mid options I’m good with. I agree with the other posters that dropping a centerback option and adding more fullback options would be a better idea. The Ching-Altidore combination up top is crucial so if Altidore isn’t healthy in time we’re screwed. For defense Spector is very important as well in case Beas doesn’t have enough experience but if he’s not healthy in time then we need to find a more suitable back-up for Beas and Pierce isn’t coming back (or he better not.) Also Califf in the middle again is a scary idea.


  • Nick

    Lets do this!





    Edu has the body and IQ to play Centeral defender. Convert him to defense, not Beasely.


  • RLW2020

    i am planning on attending a few Gold Cup matches, are the teams going to be relatively the same for all the summer USMNT games.
    I have never been to a Gold Cup match, but it seems logical that some of the top players might not be called up for a game verse Haiti… am i right?

    also all of the MNT games this summer, Gold Cup, CONCAF, and Confed. are going to be on ESPN, right?


  • RLW2020

    in South Africa tho.
    the US has a legit shot at making a statement that they should receive a higher spot in the next world cup and not get put in a group of death.
    Brazil is going to be difficult, but Egypt and Italy in SAf should be very close matches.



    I’d take Beckerman over Kljestan, and Marshall over Califf at this point.






    Subs: Guzan, Torres, Adu, Spector, Beckerman, Davies, DeMerrit.


  • JP

    I really don’t think these guys in the Scandinavian leagues merit the looks they’ve been getting (Califf, Davies, Parkhurst). I’m not sure scoring goals in the Swedish league says that much. If Davies moves on to Ligue 1 and keeps it up, great, bring him in. But not now over a guy who’s scoring goals in MLS (aka. Cooper, Casey, Buddle, Rolfe, Findley, etc.)


  • Jeremar

    Bradley’s team has always been built around this formation:


    He will never alter this. But if he were to examine his squad objectively in the light of the stiff competition at the Confed Cup [and then the WC], he would see that he has to throw this out the window, and put Boca at left back. The sooner the better. Marshall, with his tackling ability, would be best suited for the CB slot.

    Side note: Why is Brian Carroll, the winner of like three Supporter’s Shields in a row and the possessor of one of the best footballing minds in MLS, not even mentioned as a CM candidate?


  • anon

    Feilhaber over Mastroeni. (Technical ability over Red Card waiting to happen…Edu and Bradley can play d-mid anyway.)

    Marshall over Califf. (Scoring ability/Defender on set pieces over the traffic cone.)

    Eddie Johnson over Brian Ching (Speed and Youth over Age and no-scoring ability.)

    Jeremiah White over Sacha Kljestan (in-form vs. out of form).


  • Brant

    @ Kaiser, who said…
    “Germans like to compare football with Carl von Clauewitz, who wrote the book On War and was the creater of modern strategy.”

    Hey, I know Clausewitz (14 years in the Army… speak German fluently…) I was noting that it would be a ton of fun to watch a full-speed team. Play ’em against Panama or something.

    @ Jeremar, who asked…
    “Side note: Why is Brian Carroll, the winner of like three Supporter’s Shields in a row and the possessor of one of the best footballing minds in MLS, not even mentioned as a CM candidate?”

    Because he could get lapped by an arthritic turtle wearing concrete boots. I love Carroll as much as the next guy. He wears my number, plays for my favorite team, plays my position, and works his butt off. But as great a coach as he’ll make some day, he’s just not fast enough to play at that high international level.

    In a race between Carroll and a brand new bottle of ketchup starting to flow, I’ll take the ketchup.


  • Kevvo

    It will be interesting to see how we compete against the Italians and the Brazilians, whatever side they put out. Remember that virtual Brazilian B team that made Messi, Tevez et al look like chumps in the Copa America final? If Brazil chooses to compete, they will make us look bad.

    Italy is an interesting one. At WC 2006, they had alot of trouble with the US and Australia. Neither the US or Aus is stacked with talent like the Italians, but there is a certain athleticism and competitiveness the Italians have trouble dealing with it seems to me. I’m looking for a Guiseppe Rossi start and here’s hoping his fellow NJ natives make him pay dearly for snubbing the land of his birth


  • EA

    Is this the internet?

    Great. Then here’s my starting 11 for Confed Cup:

    Zimmerman – COOPER! – Davies
    Feilhaber – Adu – J. White – Rogers
    Whitbread – GOOCH! – Wingert

    How’d I do?


  • Brian

    @RLW 2020

    I remember reading a press clipping saying that ESPN would be broadcasting the Confederations Cup, and of course, the WC Qualifiers. The Gold Cup traditionally has been on FSC, and I would assume that wouldn’t change this time around.


  • huricano

    I don’t think Adu, Davies, or Mastroeni are Nats quality at the moment. Adu has been a failure in Europe, admittedly much to my dismay. Davies is not yet a proven entity. And Mastroeni no longer has the pace, or the bite to perform at the highest level. However, I like all three of these players, so their inclusion would not be a disaster.


  • BrooklynFC

    We NEED Klinsmann, he would undoubtedly play a more attacking style. I would love to see a 3-2-4-1. Klinsmann would do that. Bradley should really be coaching in the MLS, no disrespect but he is better suited to be a coach in the MLS. My (and Klinmann’s) lineup would look as follows:


    This would be my lineup for many reasons.
    1) I really can not see Ching playing at Forward against top competition.
    2) I really can not see Beasley starting at Left Back against top competition.
    3) Boca can play both LB and CB, though he plays LB he doesn’t play LWB he simply isnt fast enough, so instead of having him play LB I would like to see him playing LCB where he can combine both skill sets.
    4)Spector can play both RB and CB, so playing RCB is ideal for him.
    5)The tandem of Boca and Gooch would stay intact in this formation.
    6)Both Torres and Edu can cover for whenever Spector or Boca push forward.

    I would love to hear some feedback about my ideas.


  • Jon E

    … I would love to see a 3-2-4-1. Klinsmann would do that… My (and Klinmann’s) lineup would look as follows… I would love to hear some feedback about my ideas.

    Posted by: BrooklynFC | April 28, 2009 at 12:32 AM

    My primary feedback is that you’re wasting perfectly good mind-reading technology pulling line-ups out of Jurgen Klinsmann’s skull when you could be making enough money first to buy your own country and next to naturalize the right players for its national team.


  • smokeminside

    Anon, I’d rather have some age and savvy (Ching) over an erratic head case like Johnson, who doesn’t know how to use the speed God gave him.


  • Chris








  • zongzap

    Can’t argue with your projected picks and think BB’s picks will be very close to yours. I will say this however. Bradley has had enough time to build a contender. If we find that we are not competitive against these teams, and I think we won’t be, then I think it’s fair to finally call Bradley’s program a failure and we should look for a new direction before the next WC.

    Even his defenders will have a hard time defending him if we can’t compete. If he bunkers against the CONCACAF minnows, I can see him lining up a in a 8-2-0 formation against the big guns


  • Tom P

    “I’d take Beckerman over Kljestan, and Marshall over Califf at this point. ”

    I strongly agree with that.


  • Adam

    Maybe I missed it, but I never saw Keller retire from international soccer. I think he’s the perfect number 3 keeper. And given the fact that I haven’t been all that impressed with Guzan lately, maybe number 2.

    Maybe I’ve been living in a shell, but when did our defensive options become that bad? Jay DeMerit, Dan Califf, Jonathan Spector, Michael Parkhurst, Jonathan Bornstein? Really? Those are realistic national team options? DeMerit has been in and out of Watford this year due to disagreements and injuries. I don’t think Califf cuts it at the international level. Same goes for Bornstein. Parkhurst may make it, but he’s not ready yet. If Spector can go three full games without getting injured I think he would be fine (because, let’s face it, with Brazil, Italy and Egypt, the Confederations Cup is three and out).


  • Brian

    What’s with the worry about Adu et al. riding the pine in ZA and not playing in the Gold Cup? I’m pretty sure some of the benchwarmers at the Confed Cup will get lots of minutes in the Gold Cup. Adu has barely played this year. It’s not like is body is drained. Same could be said for Altidore.


  • Felix

    I’d leave Adu off the Confed Cup roster and bring Jeremiah White, who can play as a winger or a withdrawn forward, but other than that, I would also bring Michael Orozco, who has received regular minutes as well as Copa Libertadores experience, and leave off Jay DeMerit who has been in and out of the Watford lineup all year. Other than that, I have no major quibbles.


  • Isaac






    Dempsey isn’t a natural winger so Roy Hodgeson takes away the responsiblities of a winger, which is getting down the flank using their speed, which neither Torres or Dempsey has,and crossing. Instead, lets cut inside with Dempsey and Torres and leave to flanks to Beasley and Hejduk. We could also let Altidore and Ching drop out wide more like the did in the Trinidad and Tobago game, which is what led to the first goal.

    Donovan always does well running through the heart of the defense and will pick up some laid off passes from Ching. Altidore also did the same thing during the El Salvador game which is what led to the shot that Ching put right at the keeper(not his fault, he’s not lefty).

    Donovan and Torres should also beable to know when to switch, and for all we know the starting lineup could have the two switched, this is just my preference. Torres and Dempsey should also know when to switch if we need more service from the flanks( and if they don’t BB will give ’em a yell).

    In reality the lineup will work like this





    Torres/Dempsey will play as central midfielders and drop out wide for defensive reasons. Dempsey/Torres will also cross when we’re lacking service from the wings.

    This is sort of the way AC/Inter Milan play with the two big forwards, Adriano/Ibrahimovic or Pato/Inzaghi, the quick third/center forward, Stankovic or Kaka. We should get out there with a creative mind while having players with a good work rate.


  • Felix

    Why is everyone so obsessed with putting Beasley in at LB?? He doesn’t like playing there, he’s barely played for Rangers and if he was actually going against some good wingers and fullbacks, like he will face in the Confed Cup, he’s going to get smoked. He doesn’t have the positional sense, the size or strength to be an effective defender against strong competition – all he is his fast.


  • EA

    I believe the roster (assuming 23) will break down as:

    GK – Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann

    DEF – Hedjuk, Spector, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Califf, DeMerit, Pearce

    M – Donovan, Mastroeni, Edu, Bradley, Torres, Klejstan, Beasley, Dempsey

    F – Altidore, Ching, EJ, Adu, Davies

    Starting 11 will be:

    ————Ching – Altidore———–

    Dempsey – Bradley – Edu/Mast/Kle/Tor – Donovan

    Beasley – Bocanegra – Onyewu – Hejduk


    As much whining as there will be, guys like Kljestan, Pearce, Califf and EJ will probably be brought in. They are familiar with the program, and the staff and other players are familiar with them.

    “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.”

    Those players’ strengths and weaknesses are known, and you can gameplan accordingly. Bringing in a player with minimal caps, and minimal international experience and asking them to play against the best team in Africa, the best team (arguably) in South America, and the defending World Cup champs is a recipe for disaster.

    Also, you won’t see MLS players that at least don’t have the chance of starting. No Keller, no Marshall, no Cooper, no Wynne. Silly to take them away from thier club teams for three weeks to just practice, when European teams are out of season.

    The Gold Cup roster should look markedly different.


  • RLW2020

    “three and out”???

    i have never watched the Egyptian team but their roster has 3 players playing in the EPL one in Germany and one in the Swiss league. none of which are highlight players in those leagues. I don’t know much about the players or the level of play in their national league, or their qualifying play. overall this does not sound like a game the US is not favorites in., right?

    as for the other games italy should be a good match as well.
    brazil should be difficult, but a draw is not out of reach. maybe i am too optimistic but the improved play of jozy, dempsey, torres, onyewu, bradley, boca and howard gives our team a considerable chance of advancing or at least playing well.


  • Isaac


    You’re an idiot. Beasley is the only American to score in a champions league for two teams. He also has 17 goals for the Nats, 2nd behind Landon, at least in unretired players. He helped PSV to the Semifinal and with that win against Lyon.

    At left back, maybe not, but to say he’s only fast is just stupid on your part.


  • Arthur Spooner

    starters i wanna see:





    although i don’t believe that Freddy, Spector, or Sacha(maybe) will be in Bob’s first-choice starting XI


  • Scott C.

    I think Beasley played left back during his brief spell at Man City, if I remember correctly. And he may be bigger than our best right back, Cherundolo. I too like him at left back…

    I don’t think the Confed. cup and the Gold cup overlap do they? If not, I think some of our European players should play both. I’d like to see Adu, Edu, Davies, etc. be in Africa as subs, and get starting roles in the Gold cup. Beasley and Altidore could probably do both as well. I think Torres will be out of season too…


  • Jason

    Ives, thanks for taking an early shot at the roster, and I’ll pick some nits, some along lines you have suggested. But in the main, I think you’ve got it right.

    1) You appear not to have taken much from the last qualifier. For me, Beasley is now the #1 LB, and Donovan is now a midfielder. Our best XI looks like this:

    Hejduk (Dolo)–Gooch–Boca–Beasley

    Maybe Kljestan, Torres, or even Edu for Pablo.

    2) I’d think Guzan will start the Gold Cup, and so BB might take another keeper, especially if there is a loan deal worked out and he has to get acclimated with a new team. Also, I think the 3rd keeper spot (but not necessarily the #3) will have to be a veteran, seeing Guzan’s lack of playing time. Don’t be surprised to see Kasey Keller this summer (if he’s interested).

    3) You’ve got too many CB’s on defense.

    4) I don’t think it will be just the best 23. The Euro borderlines will go the Confed Cup, the borderline MLSers will go to Gold Cup (for the most part).

    My 23, starters first.
    GK: Howard; Hahnemann, Robles (Keller).
    D: Hejduk, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Beasley; Spector, DeMerit, Califf, Bornstein.
    M: Dempsey, Bradley, Mastroeni, Donovan; Kljestan, Edu, Torres, Adu.
    F: Altidore, Ching; Davies, Johnson

    Gold Cup:
    GK: Guzan, Perkins, Busch
    D: Wynne, Marshall, Orozco, Pearce; Simek, Parkhurst, Gibbs (if interested)/Goodson, Convey
    M: White, R. Clark, Feilhaber, Rogers; Holden, Szetela, Thorrington, C. Clark/Alvarez
    F: Cooper, Casey, Rolfe, Tracy.


  • Will M

    Why isn’t anyone mentioning DANNY SZETELA?????

    The guy is ripping it up for Bresica, and they might get promoted to Serie A. The guy is starting for a top Serie B team… that’s incredibly impressive. Way more so than MLS or sitting on the bench in Ligue 1


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