U.S. Men's National Team

SBI's 23 for 2010: The Final Pre-World Cup Edition

USAvsNetherlandsSquad (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

In just about 24 hours we could find out the final 23-man roster for the U.S. World Cup team. There are plenty of unanswered questions heading into tonight's friendly vs. the Czech Republic. Answers U.S. coach Bob Bradley is hoping will be found tonight.

While plenty could change with some strong (or weak) performances tonight, I offer up my final projection for the World Cup roster. Here is the final version of SBI's 23 for 2010:

SBI Projected USA World Cup squad

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan

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

MIDFIELDERS– Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Stuart Holden, DaMarcus Beasley, Jose Torres, Benny Feilhaber.

FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Brian Ching, Herculez Gomez


Some quick thoughts:

The last cut was Alejandro Bedoya, who was edged out by Heath Pearce. Why? The injury concerns surrounding the defender pool makes it tough to imagine Bob Bradley bringing just seven defenders to South Africa. If he has confidence in his defenders being healthy, then he could definitely bring Bedoya.

Another possibility for Bedoya's inclusion would be if Bradley decides to leave behind one of his many central midfielders. As it stands, this roster has five central midfielders, which Bradley could decide is one too many.

Edson Buddle gets edged out by Gomez, who has had a good camp and is better suited for a super sub role. Tonight's performances by the forwards could definitely shake up the forward selections.


What do you think of this group? Which selections do you disagree with? Whose name do you like seeing on the roster?

Share your thoughts below.

  • jayrig5

    I know it’s going to happen, but I don’t understand why Ching will be on the team. Is he going to start? Probably not, most everyone agrees Dempsey or Donovan will be up top. Is he a scoring threat off the bench? No, most everyone agrees he’s not really capable of scoring goals at the international level. Is he on form? Not really, I wouldn’t say. So what role is he playing? The “hold-up man”? Why do we need that? If we’re behind, we want to bring in a forward that doesn’t score? If we’re ahead, our tactical move is to swap a forward for a forward? I just don’t get it, really. It’s not like he shows up in big moments…His 11 international goals came against El Salvador, Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad/Tobago, Jamaica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela. He’s the poster boy for “helps in CONCACAF, struggles against everyone else.”


  • Scott

    Hopefully, he has learned from these mistakes. We shall see tonight? With several of the locks not playing, we will see folks like JB playing for a spot.


  • GSScasual

    if they do not win, i do not think anyone vying for a spot should be called up… its do or die. time to take us soccer to the next level, no more losing bullshyit, we are here to dominate… no prisoners


  • Gacm32

    You want both Ching and Altidore to start together? Thats a recipe for disaster. Two target forwards starting together is not what our national team needs. At this point in Chings’ career all he can do is attempt to hold the ball up. He doesn’t have good enough dribbling skills to turn and create a pass for Jozy. I would want to see Deuce/Jozy or Jozy/Herc.


  • Micah King



  • CG

    Hmmm… I’ll keep this brief as the apparently self-anointed Ching jockey.

    1) I’m not suggesting Ching is a superstar, has been a superstar, or ever will be a superstar. I just happen to think that his skill set (limited though it may be) has a place on the team. I won’t rehash the post of Brooklyn Dave a few down from this one since he did a good job of summarizing why I think Ching has a spot here.

    2) Obviously if he’s not healthy, #1 is moot. I’m OK with people thinking I’m stupid, but I’m not.

    3) If you won’t root for whatever team BB puts on the field, please don’t question my intelligence, fandom or patriotism. And don’t reply with the fantasy-world response of rooting for team success, but hoping x player doesn’t do well in the process.

    4) Ching’s lack of skills being documented on this site means nothing to me. No offense, but I like to draw my own conclusions.

    5) I wasn’t comparing Beckham to Ching as much as I was an aging veteran with a particular skill (say what you want about drawing fouls, but I’ll take every single one we get that’s close to the goal). On the subject of Beckham, check out some of the English boards or rags and see what they are saying (more like said since it’s old news) about Beckham’s caps recently and whether they were deserved or were the charity work of a coach who seems to like him. Again, don’t stress. I’m not making a comparison between Beckham and Ching in terms of which player is better or worse.

    6) If we had a better target forward in our pool, I would take him in a nanosecond. In my opinion, we don’t. He goes. Altidore and Dempsey start up top. Ching gets used situationally, if needed.

    Again, I don’t necessarily like or dislike Ching. This was a discussion started by Ives about the 23 spots. If healthy, I think Ching is definitely in that 23. I wrote several months ago about why taking Ching and either Buddle or Gomez, who each offer essentially the same thing as subs, was better than Buddle and Gomez. Altidore is not on the level of Ching as a target man (AS A TARGET MAN… I’m well aware of the fact that Altidore is a better overall striker). I’m also not concerned with MLS or CONCACAF “minnows” since the players he’s being measured against for the spot also play or have played (poorly) in MLS and against CONCACAF “minnows”.


  • jpc

    I’m not concerned really about who is playing at a higher level. Neither MLS nor the Mexican league are at the level where you can say success will translate.

    Nobody really can tell whether or not Buddle’s OR Gomez’ games will translate to success internationally, and that’s what I was getting at.

    Gomez seems to me to be a poacher, but if that skill doesn’t translate internationally, he’s got nothing to provide as far as I know (admittedly all I’ve seen of him this year have been highlights, but the majority of his goals and attempts were of that kind).

    Buddle’s game on the other hand is multifaceted, and if he is unsuccessful internationally as an out and out goal scorer, at least he can maybe provide assists, or hold up play, or can turn and take on defenders and draw some penalties like he does in MLS.

    That’s really my point on the two, Buddle has more pro’s that may translate, while Gomez may be a one trick pony, and if that one trick doesn’t translate, then its a wasted slot.


  • beachbum

    darling in the media circles? poo poo

    he’s a darling at Bolton, and a darling in USMNT circles, because he’s damn good


  • madmax

    What was the argument for the lock on Ching? How was his camp? Is he a walk-over noncompetitive selection?

    I guess I like to be beat up with his story.


  • Joamiq

    After tonight’s game, Ives, I agree with everything you’ve got here except I think Bedoya gets that last spot over Pearce. I think BB is going to think of Edu like an 8th defender (even though he wasn’t very good in that role tonight). And I think JB and Pearce were both SO bad that taking them both is like taking two dead weight LBs, which is a waste. JB is a better team chemistry guy, so I think he goes over Pearce.


  • Steve

    Amen. The two worst players on the field tonight were Pearce and Bornstein, bringing both would be asinine.


  • Matthew Yu

    I find it confusing why everyone’s final 23 prediction includes Brian Ching. He was a no show last night in the final 45, and barely held onto the ball. He does not have the same speed as Buddle, and Buddle is much more of a hard worker on the field who can strike a ball better than Ching from what I have seen. Yeah, experience goes to Ching, but from what I’ve seen, Buddle can be a bigger contributor for the World Cup. Oh, and if Onyewu and Bocanegra are just coming back from injuries and have a chance to prove themselves (Onyewu), why couldn’t Charlie Davies be given the chance? I bet he can prove to be better over Eddie Johnson, he never deserves another chance.


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