U.S. Men's National Team

Who will get the USMNT January camp call?

 Mix Diskerud (ISIPhotos.com)

With Christmas around the corner it isn't just Santa Claus making a list of those who have been good this year.

Bob Bradley is making a list as well and in a few weeks we will find out which players he has selected for the annual January U.S. national team training camp. There are plenty of MLS candidates to choose from after a season that saw many new faces emerge, and some familiar faces play really well.

Last year, Bradley brought in a camp of 30 players, made up mainly of MLS players, with some Scandinavian-based players mixed in. We aren't likely to see a list for next month's camp until closer to Christmas, but based on the recent MLS season, and the performances of some European-based players in recent months, there is a group of players you can see getting the nod when Bradley unveils his list.

With that in mind, here is the projected 30-man roster I see Bradley calling in for the January U.S. national team camp:


GOALKEEPERS– Kevin Hartman, Nick Rimando, Matt Pickens, Sean Johnson 

DEFENDERS– Clarence Goodson, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Nat Borchers, George John, Heath Pearce, Marvell Wynne, Kevin Alston, Sean Franklin

MIDFIELDERS– Alejandro Bedoya, Benny Feilhaber, Mikkel Diskerud, Brek Shea, Eddie Gaven, Bobby Convey, Jeff Larentowicz, Geoff Cameron, Robbie Rogers, Kyle Beckerman, Dax McCarty

FORWARDS- Edson Buddle, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Chris Wondolowski, Justin Braun, Conor Casey


Some quick thoughts:

Call it the John Kerry double flip flop. I originally listed Goodson, but took him off considering his impending move to Danish club Brondby, but with Brondby also off until March, Clarence Goodson should get a call. No, he's got nothing to prove, but he's a veteran and the camp needs veterans. If he passes on this camp, Chad Marshall would make sense as a replacement.

One player who nearly made this list is Ike Opara. The San Jose rookie had a great start to his first MLS season before a broken foot sidelined him. He's a future national team player, but given the fact he just returned to training in November makes me wonder if he would get the call ahead of any of the above centerbacks. If Bradley is intrigued enough by his potential, Opara could be making a trip to training camp.

It wouldn't surprise me if Gale Agbossoumounde got called in so he could get some quality training in, much as was the case in South Africa last month.

Kevin Hartman was in camp a year ago, but will he be looking to rest his the knee injury that hobbled him late in the year? There aren't a ton of goalkeeping options to choose from.

Landon Donovan is absent from this list, as he should be. Let's face it, he is either going on loan to Everton again or he's taking a long and deserved break.

Neither Logan Pause or Brian Carroll are on this list despite starting against South Africa. Why? It's fair to say Beckerman, Larentowicz and McCarty probably all have higher places on the USMNT depth chart than Pause and Carroll.

I'm open to some suggestions, and could swap in a name here or there. There were a handful of players who I could see getting a look. Any one of three San Jose defenders in Brandon McDonald, Jason Hernandez and Opara, to Rapids defender Drew Moor. Attacking wise, someone like Justin Mapp enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in Philadelphia, and young goalkeeper Brad Knighton might be someone to give a camp look at if players like Hartman and Rimando can't make it. Chris Pontius is someone who would be a good player to invite but he's still recovering from surgery.

There are plenty of players who people always bring up, but who aren't eligible to play for the USA. Players like Sebastien LeToux, Danny Mwanga, Tony Tchani and Rodney Wallace. Oh, and Andy Najar. If you're not eligible to play for the USA yet, you're not getting a call-up, so people should probably stop considering those type of players as options. At least until they secure American citizenship.

Those hoping to see some European-based benchwarmers making the trip for this camp shouldn't hold their breath. Last year's camp only included four non-MLS players (based in Sweden, Norway and Denmark).


What do you think of the group? Who is missing from the list that should have made it? Who's name are you happy to see included?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Matt Johnston

    AS for young keepers, maybe Zach McMath of U. of Maryland. He already plays at the U-20 level. I would normally call in Hamid as well, but with recent surgery, he won’t see playing time although camp time might not be so bad if he is able.

    I would think that Jon Busch would get a call, particularly if Hartman takes a pass.


  • Rob

    LoL no worries, I must have missed that link up….. but my over-all point is held at I will say 95% of the time….


  • Matt Johnston

    The funny thing about Tim Ream is that we were hearing many of the same things about Clarence Goodson about six years ago. Solid player, good with the ball at his feet, but not really a top-class defender. I would argue that at this point Goodson is #2 or # on the depth chart for U.S. MNT.

    I see Ream as one of those late developers. Remember, just two years ago, pretty much no one outside of St. Louis had heard of this kid.


  • Annelid Gustator

    I just want the guy to get his mojo back, wherever he plays. But frankly we need defenders and forwards so much more than middies that I hope he gets back on the ball and then back in D.


  • Ja Ja James

    I hear you Isaac. I justvalue Torres game over what Rodgers brings on the wing. We have not had a true left winger since 2002 with Eddie Lewis. Deuce can play there as well as Landon, but you are right, Rodgers is our only true wing player we have in the pool. I just dont believe he has progressed enough to continue getting call ups. If he could cross like Lewis then I would understand.


  • Lil' Zeke

    I’m ready to write you off for the pool, but Findley’s one of our top fifty players. If he figures it out down the road and goes on a tear, I’d invite him back. Why rally around a needless formula like that?


  • robinswood

    Okay, I’m going to throw jeff parke’s name in there. It’s not as if he wasn’t in line a couple of years ago until his “controversy.” Solid beyond solid, The man just did not fail this season for the Sounders. Great distributor, rarely gives up anything in the air, and is a threat on set pieces. Great organizer and a guy who is tactically beyond reproach.

    With him and Hurtado next season, the Sounders will have one of the best CB tandems in MLS.


  • Primoone

    Ok…so Convey is slightly above average in speed. You have a point in that regard. However, slightly above average is still better than Rogers’ average speed. In addition to this, you failed to address the fact that he is more experienced , (EPL experienced) and gives better service and plays both sides of the pitch with the ability to slide up the flank from a LB position. His consistency was also realized at the national level at some point however, finally succumbing to injury which ultimately led to a return to MLS. Every time I see Rogers’ name on a roster or in the lineup, Im always asking myself, “is this the Rogers’ moment…will he break out? How many breaks does he get before he really makes even the smallest impact?
    You will get no argument from me regarding his Football acumen. His head is all messed up and quite frankly it’s a detriment. It sounds as if you may be referring to what Rogers has done at the Club level however, I have yet to see it on the National level myself. You want 1v1 and a great shot? Move Duece to the Left where he can cut to his right. Insert Holden on the right.

    and contrary to what JaJa is saying, Rogers is not the only winger in the pool.


  • elmatador

    Zach Lloyd from FC Dallas…he’s young and has tons of potential. I see him play all the time at Pizza Hut Park in FRISCO


  • El Torito

    Really…… what about Altidore’s years of no performance (riding the bench at a club level)and constant call ups. Adu is hurting but he was hurting before, but everytime he was called up he scored or performed.


  • El Torito

    We need to remember that we had a great run with an majority MLS team last Gold Cup. How ever, we could not match up the speed of the young Mexican players that lead to the 5-0 defeat.

    Buncker BOB need to remember this….. The good thing is that Mexico is going to be coming into this tournament with a “US who? really?” mentality and we need to send them packing early.

    Mexico is predictable, you put pressure on them and they cry, then you score, and they fight, you score again and they turn on each other.

    Just play fast, smart, and constantly attack. USA back to the Confederation Cup.

    We need affective, fast, smart and tight players.


  • bizzy

    ….but you’ll rather have Jeff Larentowicz, Robbie Rogers, Kyle Beckerman, Dax McCarty, Casey and have the US embarassed. Grella, Simek and Adu are at a higher level than all those guys regardless of what you may think. Grella has been with Leeds who have refused to left him go, even though he wanted to leave for lack of playing time, so they loaned him. Simek is playing for league one, doing very well and a starter…meaning he can bring something to the table.
    Adu you are right lets not touch that because he is a big deal if just training with Randers becomes an issue.
    Our current squad is being picked from MLS..not serie A or English premier league!!!!! Now is the time to see what we have and weigh all our options, instead of fielding dead weight players that cant even make MLS team 2 let alone team 1


  • bizzy

    and by the way the Hondoras (not Chile or Mexico) team that beat us in JAN this was our line-up:

    Conrad (capt.)
    Marshall (Pearce, 61)
    Feilhaber (McCarty, 77)
    Beckerman (Casey, 60)
    Kljestan (Bedoya, 61)
    Cunningham (Goodson-1, 45)

    any names look familiar???

    Honduras, when the beat us, fielded players like
    Amado Guevara – playing for a team in Honduras….HONDURAS…Motagua!!!

    Carlos Pavón – Played for LA now he’s playing for Real C.D. España in Honduras

    Ramón Núñez played for FC DALLAS guess what team he currently plays for now?? LEEDS UNITED…Just to name a few

    A perfect example of why Grella, Adu, Simek, jemal johnson, Starikov, Lee Nguyen and others should be looked at instead of including pass dead beat players….


  • RLW2020

    finally some fair statements about Casey..

    i know he doesn’t look or play like the ideal player and ya he doesn’t have speed like Davies or technical ability like Jozy but he is a different type of goal scorer. Casey is a very good poacher..

    from many nights watching him at Rapids games he is at times frustrating to watch but if a ball is deflected in the box or put in the air on a cross he is one of the best at putting in the net. He scores a lot of scrappy goals and his style at times can be useful vs. dominative latin teams.. i also don’t see a whole lot of forwards from MLS/Scandi gunning to take his place either.


  • RLW2020



  • RLW2020

    fulham needs dempsey bad right now.. the only way he moves is in the summer if fulham get sent down (which will not happen!)


  • RLW2020

    look at it position by position looking forward to the gold cup:

    GK: (Howard, Guzan) set.. bring in quality MLS GK’s to test the rest of the team, also Johnson is a prospect that could use a look

    LB/RB: (Dolo, Spector, Bornstein, Lichaj) test prospects and let team build: Altson, Franklin, Pearce, etc
    CB: (Gooch, Bocanegra, DeMerit) need experienced international backups to push for these spots: Goodson, Gonzalez, etc

    DM: (Jones, Edu, MB) set.. test quality MLS options.. good for training
    Wing/Mid: (Dempsey, Donovan) set.. test quality backups and build confidence (Bedoya, Shea, Benny, Mix)
    F: (Jozy, ?) develop young prospects (bunbury, agudelo) and quality backups (casey, buddle, wondo)


  • RLW2020

    Drew Moor was one of the best players for the rapids all year.. surprised not to see him. Maybe over George or Nat..

    I guess Wynne has more USNT potential than Moor but right now I would rather have Moor.


  • RLW2020

    not a bad idea.. i think SBI said that a while ago like a Dane Richards conversion.. hopefully he can make the shift up in PDX.


  • USA4Life

    What about Eugene Starikov? A young American forward who has seen quality minutes with Tom Tomsk in the Russian Premier League. With all of the other “forwards” being called into question, will Starikov be given a chance?


  • GW

    “dax” McCarty?

    Holden would be fine in a Gareth Barry type role. He’s a fine player but he’s doesn’t have the attacking threat potential Diskerud has.


  • Goalscorer24

    What about?:

    -Defender, Etchu Tabe with Finnish club RoPS

    -Left back, Daniel Williams of Frieberg, in Germany

    -Forward, Tony Taylor of Estoril

    -Ryan Guy, forward in the Irish league. (I know it is 2nd tier, but he scores, why not try him?)


  • Brian

    Dude did you not read what I wrote? Not only are guys like Grella, Simek and Jemal Johnson playing in the English 3rd division (whether they’re even worthy of a call up or not is up for debate) but what is not up for debate is the FACT that they play in league WITHOUT A WINTER BREAK, so they are UNAVAILABLE for this camp and the Chile friendly.

    Same with Torres he’ll be UNAVAILABLE too because the MEXICAN CLAUSURA STARTS JAN 7TH.

    Starikov is the only one who would be available (not counting Adu).


  • Louis Z

    Technically I think Ream is ahead of the curb, physically I see some limitations, could he overcome with experience? time will tell.


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