U.S. Men's National Team

Projecting the preliminary U.S. 30-man World Cup roster

USAvsNetherlands (JohnToddISI) 

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley has some tough decisions to make when he picks his 23-man World Cup roster, but even before he selects that final squad, Bradley will first have to pick 30 players for the U.S. national team's preliminary World Cup roster.

Bradley will name that group of 30 next week and the decisions aren't as easy as you would expect.

Here is my Fox Soccer take on the 30-man group Bradley will call in. The project squad I select has a few surprises, specifically Frankie Hejduk and Freddy Adu. Remember, not all players on the preliminary roster will actually make it to the national team's training camp in Princeton, and there are sure to be at least one or two surprise selections and omissions.

Here are some more thoughts on the 30-man preliminary roster:

Why Frankie Hejduk? Bob Bradley needs to look at fullback options and Hejduk's experience makes him someone Bradley could take a look at. Frank Simek has fallen out of the picture, Marvell Wynne has played well as a centerback but has been awful for the national team and someone like New England fullback Kevin Alston is promising but still too young. I don't see Hejduk making the 23-man roster, but I can see him invited to camp.

Why Freddy Adu? The fact that he is starting for Aris FC in the Greek League playoffs is a significant sign that Aris head coach Hector Cuper likes what he sees in Adu. That coupled with the fact that there aren't many other creative midfield options makes Adu a legitimate candidate. Robbie Rogers is not playing well in MLS play, which also helps Adu's cause.

Why not Robbie Findley? If Findley is finally over the knee injury he was dealing with for a while then he could still be a call-up. If Davies can't make it, then Findley's chances increase significantly. As it stands, Findley hasn't been playing well.

Why not Eddie Johnson? Truth be told, I have a feeling we'll see Johnson, but I couldn't figure out who Bradley would leave out. He's definitely a candidate to replace Davies if Davies can't go, but he could also be brought in over one of the two red-hot forwards, Edson Buddle or Herculez Gomez. Much like Adu, Johnson is playing in the Greek League playoffs, and his two goals in Aris' first playoff games could leave Bradley intrigued enough to bring him in.

Why not Jeff Cunningham? Have you seen him play in MLS lately? All his goals have come via penalty kicks because he's been missing chances in bunches.

Why not Sacha Kljestan? He's shown some good signs the past two weeks, but it may be too little, too late in a pool loaded with central midfield options. He does play on the wing for Chivas USA, but hasn't really been used there with the national team. If Bradley decides Kljestan is a better wing option than an out-of-form Rogers and Adu, Kljestan could head to Princeton.


What do you think of the group? Which of the 30 players do you think won't be making the squad? Who do you think is the most glaring omission from the projected 30-player preliminary roster?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Louis the Sane

    You may have a valid point but no one here is in a position to evaluate the ultimate in house team “thing”.

    I love Frankie but just because you and I think he’d be a great guy to have around doesn’t mean the players and coaches agree with you. I’ve cheerfully accepted working alongside useless, self centered morons who would have been more productive dead than alive. I accepted carry the loda for their sorry butts because that was what the boss told me to do. I suspect the USMNT players are no different.

    By the way in his last interview Bradley quoted Marcelo Lippi on the cliche about “it’s not the 11 best players but the 11 who play TOGETHER the best “. Bob isn’t quite the moron everyone thinks he is.


  • SC BSU

    I think an in form, healthy Ching would be a lock for the US. But that guy hasn’t been seen since the early part of 2009.

    He keeps getting hurt and then having to play himself back into shape and then getting hurt. Now he’s just coming back from what has been described as a major hammy tear. The World Cup is physically very demanding and just don’t see how anyone can trust that Ching, who is older, will hold up under the strain. And an unfit forward would be terrible.


  • Naes

    While you’re at it shoot yourself in the face over Donovan going. The majority of his success is in the MLS. “How does this translate to the international game?”


  • Josh C

    “But as we’re both arguing for the same thing – he goes, but struggling about his position in club football and whether the last two games hint at a shift, let’s shake hands! ”


    You are not reading what Ives is writing . or at least you aren’t being really specific with your reply.

    By saying “he goes”, do you mean Adu goes to SA or Adu goes to the 30- man camp?

    Ives wrote:

    “That doesn’t mean he makes the World Cup team, but it can definitely mean a 30-man roster inclusion.)”

    He’s saying it’s possible Bradley might bring Adu into the 30 – man camp. That doesn’t mean Adu goes to SA. Nothing more , nothing less.


  • Martin

    Easy. You may only ever get one shot at the World Cup. You bring the guys who can help you get as far as you can NOW.


  • Joamiq

    You don’t know that he won’t be there. If Ching is not healthy, Casey is our next best target striker and he goes.


  • Joamiq

    Bedoya is certainly not secure. One of Clark, Edu, Torres, and Feilhaber is likely to be left out. Ching is not secure.


  • Joamiq

    How on earth has Altidore clearly shown he can play holding forward? It’s the exact opposite: he’s shown that he CANNOT play holding forward.


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