While the Confederations Cup still has one more game to play, the U.S. national team will begin play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup very soon. Now we know who will be on that roster.
Charlie Davies, Freddy Adu, Kenny Cooper, Steve Cherundolo and Jimmy Conrad are five of the players chosen for the U.S. Gold Cup team, which begins play on July 4th vs. Grenada.
Here is the roster:
GOALKEEPERS– Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Troy Perkins (Valarenga), Luis Robles (FC Kaiserslautern)
DEFENDERS– Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaellands), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)
MIDFIELDERS– Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), Sam Cronin (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS– Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United)
Surprises? There are plenty.
Charlie Davies is a surprise considering how much he has played in the Confederations Cup, but his inclusion here makes it clear that he has no intention of returning to Hammarby. Veteran defender Jay Heaps has to be considered a surprise, while Jimmy Conrad's return to the national team fold might put to rest some of the conspiracy theories about his lengthy absence. Logan Pause might be a surprise pick for some, but he has quietly enjoyed a very strong season for Chicago.
(So why Heaps? it boils down to this. The team needs a back-up left back to Heath Pearce. How many American left back options are there exactly? Not many.)
Surprising absences? D.C. United rookie Chris Pontius seemed like a good bet to make the squad. Houston winger Brad Davis has enjoyed a good year, but there have long been questions about his work rate on the international level. Jose Francisco Torres seemed like a good bet for this tournament, but you wonder if Pachuca wanted him participating in two tournaments this summer. Houston defender Geoff Cameron, arguably the best defender in MLS right now, is a disappointing exclusion but Houston has Stuart Holden and Brian Ching on the roster so you have to think Bob Bradley didn't want to take three of Houston's best players at the same time.
What might the starting lineup be when the United States takes on Grenada? Here's a possible starting lineup:
What do you think of the roster? What do you think about this starting lineup? What player's inclusion surprised you the most? Who's absence surprised you the most?
Share your thoughts below.