U.S. Men's National Team

SBI's 23 for 2010: September 2009 Edition

USAvsSpain (ISIphotos.com)

                                                                      Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team hasn't booked its place in the 2010 World Cup just yet, but a pair of recent qualifying wins has the Americans on the doorstep. This means we can keep looking ahead to 2010 and thinking about what the team will look like that heads to South Africa.

Recent qualifiers have helped some players move into prime position to be considered, while some others have seen their World Cup hopes fade even further. There is still plenty of time though so the group that makes sense now, could look very different come next June.

If you missed it, here was our 23 for 2010 for August. There are only a few changes to this month's group, though there is plenty of jockeying for position going on.

Now, here is the group of 23 players we see the U.S. team taking to the 2010 World Cup as of right now:

SBI 23 for 2010 (September 2009 edition)

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Troy Perkins

DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Steve Cherundolo, Chad Marshall, Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Bornstein

MIDFIELDERS– Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Maurice Edu, Jose Francisco Torres, Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers

FORWARDS– Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Brian Ching,

Here's a closer look at the positions:

GOALKEEPERS– This threesome remains the same, with Marcus Hahnemann continuing to be Perkins' biggest competition for the third goalkeeper spot.

DEFENDERS– Jonathan Bornstein makes the list by virtue of his recent starts, and his solid performance vs. Trinidad & Tobago. Frankie Hejduk has to fight to get his place on the roster back while Heath Pearce may benefit from getting games in MLS.

Jimmy Conrad has become the forgotten man after his Gold Cup concussion, but he deserves to be in the discussion, as does Michael Orozco, who merits a look in the upcoming qualifiers. As for Edgar Castillo, he needs to play for the national team and show what he can do before he can be projected as someone Bob Bradley would take to South Africa. If he gets a look in the upcoming qualifiers, and can impress at left back, he could slide into the 23 for 2010 by October.

MIDFIELDERS– DaMarcus Beasley's inability to secure a transfer or loan for the fall drops him off this list. Robbie Rogers gets the nod this go-round but two names that merit consideration are Mikkel Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya. Diskerud is part of the U.S. Under-20 national team and doing well in Norway while Bedoya, a left-footed player, has begun to establish himself in Sweden.

Central midfield remains a jam-packed position and continues to await the inclusion of Jermaine Jones, who has now suffered an injury setback. Torres' solidified his place with a quality cameo vs. El Salvador while Feilhaber continues to impress. Maurice Edu is still working his way back from knee surgery but will hold onto his spot for now, and should keep it if he returns to the Rangers starting lineup. Kyle Beckerman is on the fringes, but may not have helped his cause with his showing vs. El Salvador.

If there's a player who improved his stock more than anybody else over the past month it's Holden, who is a lock right now.

FORWARDS– This foursome remains the same for now, but there are players worth considering. Kenny Cooper enjoyed a strong first month in the German Bundesliga 2 with 1860 Munich and will move closer to a roster spot if he can keep it going. Conor Casey remains Ching's biggest competition as a target forward on the roster. Others to watch are Eddie Johnson, who is seeing spot duty with Fulham, and speedy Robbie Findley, who could be called on if anything happened to Davies. Chris Pontius also remains on the radar.


What do you think of this group? Which player do you think should be on the list? Who made the team that you don't think should be on it?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Chris from OC

    “I heard Claudio was considering coming out of retirement….

    Posted by: milkshake of despair | September 16, 2009 at 04:04 PM”

    Man that would be a scary thought–

    In any case, I forgot who it was in the many comments before mine that took a look at Orozco as compared to the rest of our current back line. The difference (and it’s an important one) has to be comfort on the ball. As much as I like Gooch and Boca, they don’t really distribute well. At the very least, when they get the ball in the back they seem to be thinking “Oh crap, I have the ball! Gotta get rid of it!” I haven’t seen Orozco that much, but if he does keep a cool head–and use it to make good decisions about distribution–then maybe he deserves a look. Same goes for Torres at mid. IMO he seems comfortable on the ball, I would prefer him over Clark– but I’m a big fan of Holden (as a super sub at least; he brings lots of energy).


  • r.benjamin

    Ives – I’d be interested in who your picks for the 23 would be. I agree with the names you put in guessing what Bradley would do but like most here I would choose differently.

    Put me down as:
    -Rather have EJs speed than Ching’s “hold up”
    -Giving Castillo and Orozco serious runs to determine their inclusion over FH and JB.
    -As serious a look as possible at JFT or BF combo with Jones

    BTW – The league you perform in is HUGE. I look great in the over30 but pretty slow in mens open v 23 year olds. Speed of play and being used to it is everything.


  • andrew

    should we call in Tony Sanneh as well?

    Posted by: gabe | September 16, 2009 at 01:21 PM

    gibbs is only 29. it’s just kind of odd he doesn’t get more looks. is he really that bad at colorado?


  • euroman

    Great feature Ives.

    I think Orozco was left off the roster for a while in favor of Marshall and Goodson due to the fact they were both the DEFENDER OF THE YEAR in their respective leagues. Califf was a first team choice for awhile. Then he started not showing well and these two guys were in line before Orozco due to their club form. Just because of the league someone plays in doesn’t make their quality. Their performance in whichever league needs to be to certain level. All that being said… i like the kid and hope he gets continued consideration. The racism and blackballing talk is silly (Pablo has been capped since ’06 right?). There are many other logical reasons to be considered.

    Posted by: Paul Westerberg | September 16, 2009 at 02:52 PM

    Goodson was the Player of the Year league -wide not a mere Defender of the Year.


  • Joeja Joga Bonito

    I’m so glad to see that most fans see the complete lack of talent in Conor Casey and Brian Ching. It seems like they get playing time simply for being taller than our other forwards. If you’re a “target forward” but you cant do anything skillfull w/ the ball then what’s the use?

    (SBI-A little late to the party no? Nobody’s calling either of those guys Ibrahimovic, but to say they can’t do anything skillful with the ball is a bit much.)


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