U.S. Men's National Team

More notes on the USA Gold Cup squad

Bob Bradley (ISIPhotos.com)

As the news of the U.S. national team Gold Cup roster selections sink in, here are some highlights from Bob Bradley's conference call explaining his decisions:

Timmy Chandler was left off because it was decided he needed a rest after playing an extensive number of minutes for the first time in his pro career, and playing in the Gold Cup would have left him with little time to recover before the next German season. The sense here is that the U.S. team wanted Chandler, but ultimately reached an understanding with him and his club team, Nuremberg.

It should be noted that at 21, and in his first season with the first team, Chandler wasn't in much of a position to go against his club's wishes and not risk hurting his standing with Nuremberg. If Chandler were a veteran player in a better standing, he would have been better positioned to insist on playing in the Gold Cup.

Alejandro Bedoya's exclusion was purely a personnel decision, and Bradley made no mention of having an issue with taking Bedoya from his team. Looking at the squad, it looks as though Bradley simply chose Robbie Rogers over Bedoya, despite the fact that Bedoya is playing the best soccer of his young professional career (and despite the fact that Rogers has been steady though hardly outstanding this season for Columbus).

Bradley noted that Rogers provides the team with a good flank option and started the season well with Columbus.

"Thus far his mobility and energy with (the Crew) have been good," Bradley said. "We all know that Robbie has a lot of talent."

Freddy Adu earned his place due to his strong form with Turkish second-division side Rizespor. Bradley hasn't been to Turkey to see Adu play in person, but he has watched his games via computer.

"Typically playing in the second division in Turkey doesn't bring you back into the scene," Bradley said. "He's shown us soccer qualities that will help our team.

"It seems like a good opportunity to get him back in with us, where we have a good month together and challenge him and hope that he has continued to grow and mature."

Jonathan Bornstein was chosen because he's always fit and ready, even if he's not playing regularly for his club. His experience with the national team, particularly at left back and against CONCACAF competition, clearly led to the selection.

Chris Wondolowski was taken because he is on good form with San Jose.

"As we watched different games, we felt strongly that Chris Wondolowski was in good form, has scored some very good goals and seems to be a player that gets a couple of chances every game," Bradley said.

(CORRECTION– Jay DeMerit and Brad Davis are NOT Gold Cup alternates for the USMNT.)


We'll have a more detailed report on Bradley's conference call shortly. For now, feel free to tell us which players you were happy to see make the squad, and which picks surprised you the most.

Share your thoughts on the U.S. squad below.

  • joe

    lmao no it’s not. MLS is better than turkish 2nd division it’s not even debatable.


  • joe

    Bunbury is a nice prospect but that’s all he is right now in comparison with Wondo. Wondo is much more skilled than Bunbury. I have direct kick so yes I get to watch Boonbooree quite a bit and I completely disagree with you. The numbers also do not support your proposition. Teal had 5 goals last year to Wondo’s 18, and has 3 goals this year to Wondo’s 5.


  • Joamiq

    I’d love to see the evidence. I can’t say I have evidence to the contrary, but I’ve never gotten that impression.


  • Joamiq

    Great point. I’d love to see Bedoya over Rogers, but the difference would probably be minimal. This is a very good team.

    The only thing that I’m worried about in your lineup is Ream. I’m a RB fan and I love him, but I’m not sure that he’s ready to start yet. But I think you could stick Goodson in there and it wouldn’t be a huge step down from DeMerit.


  • bizzy

    first thing is first, anytime you talk about Bradley and the nats you get a hold bunch of bashing but this selection only confirms one thing…..BB likes who he likes period…..not based on playing time..not base on performance…just pure favorism. How do you justify MB good friend Robbie Rogers over Bedoya whose been on fire lately?? How do you bring in a guy like bornstein thats not even getting in that much playing time in the Mexican league.
    If he can show favorism to these guys what do you think he’ll do for his son? Expose them enough in the national spot light and evenually they’ll excel and justify their place on the team….it worked for MB.


  • The Dude

    Let me begin by saying that I’m never–NEVER–happy with the US squad. Second, I will not rest until Bornstein is banished from the Nats. Third, Wondo is excellent in SJ–a team built around him–but what has he done for the USMNT? I’m not sure he’s the right fit for our setup. Fourth, I would have liked to have seen Mixx, a younger GK as backup, JF Torres, and Bunbury as a fourth forward. I want to see some younger guys getting a chance. All things considered, this team doesn’t excite me that much.


  • Ben

    You’re having a laugh. Rodgers can’t cross at all. Are you related or something?


  • Ryan

    Not really. I was comparing two specific players, and saying they were receiving comparable amounts of field time.
    But, to be fair- Onyewu and Jozy have both seen plenty of game time since their respective loans, and I’d take a barely playing Mike Bradley over Kljestan or Torres any day.


  • adub

    dude rico clark was not to blame my friend…. Bocanegra and Demerit choked vs Ghana so to say that Clark is being left off becuz of 1 game that is insane


  • wrek1@hotmail.com

    When is the last time those characteristics were displayed on the pich by Sasha. Benny. Or rogers . Yes on paper u can make all the xavi comparisons in the world as well as point out that their natural positions call for such characteristics….however, the proof is iin the pudding. Ill give bradley credit for putting the obvious starters on the field but, coaches make their money by inserting dept at crucial times in a game…and that is a something that bradley lacks


  • Brian

    He hasn’t been at the top of the game since his injury against Costa Rica at RFK in 2009. Actually he really hasn’t been at the top of his game since before his move to AC Milan, so we’re talking 2009 Confederations Cup here. That’s the last time I felt Gooch was at the top of his game. In the last few hex qualifiers in 2009 he looked rusty, due to his lack of time at Milan.


  • Isaac

    Considering that Bob Bradley helped the USA out of situations three times by ” inserting dept at crucial times in a game” at the World Cup, I’d say he’s anything BUT lacking in that department.

    Moreover, Kljestan has always been creative. Inconsistent? Yes, but he’s always been the guy that has a direct effect on the attack when he’s allowed to. I’m not saying Feilhaber IS Xavi, but he’s in that mold of midfielder. Someone who can help his team keep possession and dictate the game. Rogers, again has always been the typical wing option, while Bedoya has been better coming inside, something that we have other players for( specifically Adu, Kljestan, Donovan, Dempsey). Bob was going for guys that fit certain tactical needs. These guys happen to be it.


  • Commando Lando

    Adu….”soccer qualities”???? He’s the best 30 year old juggler in the history of the sport, but what other qualities does the old man have? I could score in the Turkish second division.


  • Primoone

    I gotta be honest with you…I don’t remember getting through to the second round based on Bradley’s subs. I saw a lot of hard work, determination and most importantly, luck. Those characteristics cannot be coached. They have been there before Bradley and will always be there after long after he is gone. It’s part of the American fabric. Thats being real with you.

    With respect to wich players fit in nicely into Bradley’s tacticle scheme, why not look elsewhere for players that fit that mold? I’m of the opinion that players who consistantly underachieve on the national stage should only get looks during friendlies, if any at all. It is not enough to choose players who can give you certain things…you must choose players who can do it consistantly. Sasha and Rogers have stunk it up for the national team…and Bradley wants to bring them in during the Gold Cup. Think about the message Bradley is sending.


  • Brian

    I agree with you. Everyone has had a long season and is tired. I don’t see Dempsey withdrawing because of being tired. Plus Chandler is 21. It’s not like he is 33 and can’t handle the demands of the international game. All coaches know what playing for a national side means to a player. A coach would have to be a real a-hole to not let a kid play in a meaningful tournament like this because they are worried he won’t be around for pre-season. Lamest excuse I’ve ever heard. If he were committed 100% to the U.S. Bradley would have said so in the press conference to put down fears of him playing for Germany.


  • Angel FAN of USA

    I don’t get it that Chandler is not coming cause he is tried and the Club doesn’t him to play the Gold Cup. Come on anyone here is not stupid. Clubs are not taking Serious the USA cause we have a Weak Federation and a Weak Coach, I bet if Bielsa was coaching this team he would already made some noise or maybe all he would do is ask and they’ll give it to him.. But no, no is not like that Look at Chicharito Man. U a bigger team that always playing for something other been demoted as Nuremberg is. He was given Permission to play Gold Cup even they don’t want him to play Copa America he still say he wants too and he is NOT A SENIOR PLAYER IVES. So please don’t say thing like that.. Tell it like it is, NO RESPECT TO THE USA, Plus BOB BRADLEY KEEP DOING THE SAME SH*T HE HAS DONE IN THE PAST WHEN MEXICO ARE MIXING A GREAT TEAM OF YOUNG(VETERAN) WITH NEW YOUNG PLAYERS. I HATE TO ADMITED BUT USA NOT THIS YEAR…


  • AshortDeparture

    That’s beside the point, he’s no longer eligible to be called up by Germany anyway, having already played for the US nationals, right?


  • AshortDeparture

    Houllier wasn’t managing for the last couple of weeks when they got those points that catapulted them into the top half due to his hospitalization. Also, there’s the fact that Bradley is making appearances off the bench for Aston Villa (which is actually more impressive than it seems, considering he’s above Jean Makoun in the pecking order). We’ll see whether they make the loan move permanent once it’s up, but I hope he continues developing wherever he goes.


  • Jovins

    It also isn’t just about taking time off this summer – if Chandler played in the Gold Cup, he would have no break before the start of the next German season. The club’s not worried about what’s already happened, necessarily, but more what’s going to happen.


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