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.