U.S. Men's National Team

Chandler headlines list of surprising exclusions from USMNT Gold Cup squad


Photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com


As surprising as the inclusions of Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu and Chris Wondolowski on the United States Gold Cup roster might be, what is perhaps more eye-opening is the list of omissions.

Timmy Chandler, Teal Bunbury and Alejandro Bedoya were all left off of the U.S. team for this summer's tournament, opening coach Bob Bradley up for more criticism should he not succeed with the outside-the-box players he elected to chose.

Chandler's meteoric rise on the national team scene figured to make him a shoo-in for this summer. His attacking prowess from the back and speed up the right side added a new dimension to the U.S. national team, and he impressed mightily in friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay.

Bradley insisted on a conference call with the media that the 21-year-old Chandler was physically and mentally drained from his first season of top-flight soccer; however, reports from Germany seem to point in the direction of his club, FC Nuremberg, not wanting Chandler to spend his summer playing internationally as opposed to resting up for the club's preseason.

"We had a number of different discussions with him and the club," Bradley said. "When we added them all up, at the end of his first real season playing at this level, we felt that it didn't make sense at this time for him. He's carried a few little injuries as of late. He's told us that physically and mentally this season has been a hard one."

Bradley alluded to the notion that Chandler jumping ship to play for his native Germany is not really a concern. With Chandler only appearing in friendlies for the United States, that technically is still a possibility.

"The simple matter is the way things work, until a player plays in an official match, you don't know for sure," Bradley said. "In all of our conversations with Timmy he's always expressed how excited he is to have played for the U.S. We feel that there's been a very good level of discussion and follow up with him, and it's all in the idea that he's going to play a role for us."

Bradley didn't address Bedoya's situation in much detail, but it did not seem to be a club-vs.-country situation based on Bradley's comments. Bedoya's exclusion at the benefit of Rogers is a bit puzzling considering Bedoya's current form for Orebro and Rogers' stable-but-not-stellar form for the Columbus Crew.

Bedoya just scored his fourth goal of the young season over the weekend and has put in time in attacking and defensive central midfield roles as well as out wide.

As for Bunbury, who Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said last week would be on the U.S. roster, Bradley overlooked him in favor of Chris Wondolowski. Bradley praised Wondolowski's current form and said that "he has scored some very good goals" and "seems to be a player that gets a couple of chances every game."

Bunbury has struggled in his last few MLS outings, but he has provided a spark when given the opportunity in past national team friendlies.

"Teal is a young striker that we certainly see a lot of potential," Bradley said. "We've had a good opportunity to work with him in some camps and just felt that this time, in terms of our whole roster, I didn't think it was the right time for him. I don't think hes been as sharp as we would like so far in the season, and I think that's a sign of him continuing to mature and grow."

To a lesser extent than the aforemnetioned trio, the exclusions of Charlie Davies, Herculez Gomez, Jay DeMerit and Edson Buddle also turned some heads.

Bradley didn't make it seem like Davies would have been selected even if he was at full fitness, which he currently is not. He injured his hamstring in D.C. United's May 14 game against Colorado and is doubtful for this Sunday's match at Portland.

"We've certainly seen a lot of progress from the start of the MLS season until now, and we're excited about that," Bradley said of Davies, whose six goals are second-most in MLS. "You look at strikers, and you want to see goals, and obviously he's done well to convert in some goal-scoring situations, but in terms of his all-around contribution to the team, I think he's still working his way back."


Which omission surprised you the most? Who do you think should be on the squad that isn't?

Share your thoughts below.

  • bohawk

    Deutschland, Deutschland, uber alles.

    Bad vibes on this one as i seriously doubt US would roll over for Nuremberg unless Chandler was in agreement. I hope I’m wrong.


  • sir coble

    I believe his passing percentage was still the highest on the team in his world cup debut.


  • sir coble

    dangit. that was a response to and for JFTorres in the slovenia world cup game. I believe in him still.


  • Sir Knox

    Is there a quality National Team podcast out there?
    With this explosion of activity there seems to be an opportunity for regular debate
    regarding the team.

    WFD is pretty awesome but I think there’s room for a dedicated podcast even if its only 1 or 2 hours per month.

    PS – is Bob Bradley freaking crazy with this lineup? I think the world of Jozy but he falls into the category of strikers haven’t been scoring lately. I have questions from the top of the lineup on down but I know these have already been asked


  • Brandon

    I was shocked when I first saw the roster, especially with the exclusion of Chandler but I’ve calmed down somewhat. While I’ve been stoked that Bedoya has really been on fire, and though I don’t rate Rogers at all, the truth is that neither one was going to play an important role right now for the Nats in games that matter. Bedoya is clearly on the rise, but people should remember that he hasn’t really shown very strongly at the international level yet. Long term it’s not such a bad thing that he keep getting big minutes in league play. Were talking backups here, both of whom are probably behind Benny on the depth chart anyway. The Chandler omission still stings a bit, but Dolo is peaking and was fantastic in the World Cup. Neither of these omissions means that we are any less capable of beating Mexico.

    As for Freddy, for a player who hasn’t played much over the years, keeping him active with his season ending is a good thing. Don’t tell me he can’t shred against Guadaloupe.


  • YO

    I want Chandler to be a man and come out clean with the real story and his intentions, this is not good enough for the the die-hard U.S. Fans.


  • DML

    Definitely some vibes here. Though, can’t say I blame the guy. If you had the choice of playing national team soccer with the US or Germany…


  • Phil

    I’m sorry, but Rogers and Bornstein do not pass the laugh test. There is no rationale you can offer that makes them stronger choices than other MLS prospects or international omissions. I appreciate being conservative and going with known quantities, but this is myopic and gives two players who are really struggling to find form and club playing time way more credit than is merited.


  • John

    I actually think he is spot on. Leaving Bradley off the roster would have sent a clear message that you don’t get called up if your not playing for your club. Double standards.


  • Commando Lando



  • away goals

    Your totally right. Coaches at the highest level should restrict themselves to a single criteria when selecting their team.

    Still can’t believe bradley started jozy against spain back in 09. Such an idiot/hypocrite.


  • bryan

    For the surprise inclusions, I’m okay with Adu and Wondo. I don’t think Adu will get many minutes and it’s nice to see him back in the conversation. Wondo has been playing well, so I’ll agree he deserves a shot.

    As for Bornstein and Rogers. Forget about it. I’m sure Bornstein was added to replace Chandler, but I would much rather see Pearce. Or, I would have liked to seen an additional midfielder or striker added. Between Dolo, Boca, Lichaj and Spector, the truth is we have decent enough options for fullbacks.

    As for omissions, I obviously questioned Chandler but that one has been explained. Teal, not too surprising since he’s not doing much. CD9 had bad timing with an injury, so I’m ok with him being left off. Gomez should probably be on this squad, and if not him, than Buddle. The biggest omission for me is leaving Bedoya off. I know he hasn’t played all that well for the Nats, but I would rather take him over Rogers. Bedoya can play on the wings and would likely come off the bench anyway. He’s in better form and will likely be a part of the Nats for quite some time.


  • winston

    Yeah. Better to send messages than put the best team forward. That’ll learn’em.


  • Paul

    The Chandler situation is troubling. Regardless of his concerns about fatigue, or his club’s concerns (threats?), anybody who claims he is “proud” to play for the US should jump at the chance to play in the regional championship, especially where he is likely to see significant time. I hope this is not Rossi 2.0. The other possible explanation — that he was afraid to anger his club — is just as worrisome.

    Bornstein’s selection left me dumbfounded. If regular playing time at your club is as important as Bradley says it is, the selection is perplexing at best.

    Rogers over Bedoya is inexplicable.


  • Bobeto

    I don’t have a problem with Bradley being on the roster….Will he start? Probably, now that may concern me.

    What scares me is seeing Bornstein on the roster. With all of his (lack of) playing time in Mexico….he could only get worse…if that possible.


  • malkin

    Exactly. I’m looking forward to beating mexico. Not sending a message to fringe players.


  • Stephen

    I actually think it’s the opposite. They play pretty well in big games, but then play poorly against teams they should beat, i.e. Spain in the Confed Cup, and Slovenia in the WC.


  • fischy

    I don’t know who has been admitted, unless you mean Adu or Rogers. Or, maybe you don’t mean “admission”. I shouldn’t make fun, since I’d love to get to know a biglustythonggrl.


  • kwall

    FYI I did some research. Since 1990 USA record vs. Mexico


    Enough said


  • JCB0523

    Simple fact of the matter is EVERY viable attacking/penetrating ball the U.S. had versus Slovenia came from the foot of JFT! Now I have watched that game very closely on more than one occasion, and I would encourage anyone who doubts what I am saying to watch it again! The problem most fans/BB have with JFT is he can actually possess the ball, be composed, and have the vision to just knock it around until an attacking opportunity arises. His exclusion is a mystery, so is Bedoya, Bunbury, Starikov,Whitebread, Davies, and Diskeruud! Onyewu, Rogers, and Bornstein aren’t worthy of inclusion…but we all Know BB likes “his” boys!!


  • Peter

    Outplayed jones? Maybe your overlooking the very first touch of the Argentina game when he kicked it straight out of bounds from kickoff!


  • mark

    I don’t like the Chandler situation at all. Something just seems fishy. They don’t want a 22 old playing an int competition? He’s tired? Dudes 22 and didn’t play half the season with the 1st squad.


  • Angel FAN of USA

    why he is an idiot. I think everyone here are entitle to their own Opinion, I like M. Bradley but why is he call up when he hasn’t been playing at all. Ok if Bob wants him on the team I hope he is leave him on the bench but NO I don’t think he would do that.. But I guess u smart and u might know the truth don’t u? just be respectful to other and let them express their thoughts.


  • bryan


    Dolo, Gooch, Goodson, Boca
    LD, Bradley, Jones, Dempsey
    Jozy, Juan

    I’d be ok with Edu over Bradley, the only reason I didn’t go with him is because I feel Bradley is better at getting forward. But the truth is, I’d be fine with Edu starting in his place.

    I’d like to see two forwards, but I could see Bob going with the 4-2-3-1. I just feel our strikers aren’t exactly good in that formation. If he does that, I’d like to see Edu and Jones staying back, Dempsey and LD out wide. Since Holden is not here, that would leave Sasha, Benny or Adu in that third center mid position.

    I would also be ok to sit Juan and put Dempsey in his place in a 4-4-2. Then either have to play Benny, Rogers or Adu on the wing.


  • cc

    Rogers is a one dimensional player, easily shut down by even the most mundane of defenses. refer to the last Gol’ Cup. he did nada.

    I disagreed with the PACO sub at half then, and now. he’s a young player. wasnt used to the Slovenia size(plays in Mexico afterall) and was doomed to “fail” because Bradley hadn’t given him the experience with the 1st team that he needed. – but WTF? he got the result against Slovenia. but then decided Ricardo Clark is the way to go against Ghana???? Bradley is a very frustrating coach.

    Bradley has been VERY quick to pull Torres, yet keeps going to the Bornstein, Rogers,etc well, WAY too often.


  • aps

    I DON’T BLAME CHANDLER. He wants to PLAY in a real competition and the GC ISN’T one. If the US was in Copa America then I think he’d be there.


  • beachbum

    I thought Torres’ USMNT debut came in a start vs. Cosat Rica in WC qualifying down there on that concrete Saprissa field


  • beachbum

    Gooch, DeMerit, Jozy…all have been called up, and started, even though they were not playing for their clubs much. there are more examples


  • Jack

    Lazy Out-the-door needs to be benched until he gets PT…..Edson , where are you????


  • Goalscorer24

    Look how long it took them to fire Rognen at the U20 level. My guess is Bradley does not get fired unless he screws up in a big way like Rognen did by not qualifying for the U20 Wolrd Cup.


  • Dennis

    Chandler’s situation is more in the diplomacy realm than soccer. Get over it! Chandler will do what he wants, but I expect he will be involved in US W.C. qualifying.

    Bornstein has been on the field for some memorable US wins, vs Spain, Algeria, Costa Rica, he is even a hero in Honduras. I still think he is not a natural defender and makes too many mental errors, but he is versatile (he is probably a better midfielder) and he has done enough good in the past to manage to hold down the spot at left back against some strong teams.

    Bedoya has performed well lately by all accounts, but I was not impressed the last couple times he was in a US uniform. Rogers has more speed and this team is not the fastest in the world so he is included for his ability to stretch the defense and make good crosses.

    Adu, I dunno, simply have not seen him play in over a year except for highlight clips (by definition, he looks good there).


  • Dennis

    I expect you are right Bradley will start Gooch in the Spain game. He needs to see how Gooch responds. I expect though that Ream will take over a middle spot by the first CG game. I am worried about Boca’s speed on the outside against Spain than might bite us.

    The Spain game will be about testing the defense. I am not sure Jones, who gets cards faster than Rico Clark is the right answer against Spain. Spain is a tough test, I hope the US can get a better than failing grade.

    Scoring goals, forwards, there is no perfect, proven, reliable solution. I do want to see Wondo against some good teams. Of all the choices, only he and Clint have been scoring goals for their clubs with any regularity. (Donavon is likely to remain a midfielder, but is the other goal scorer). Juan and Jose may not have the grit needed yet, both are damned with the “potential” descriptor.


  • Tom R

    Smart choice on Rogers. Is is a proven late game sub. He was excellant as the late game sub is the one that played against Costa Rica in the WC Qualifier. I thought is was a mistake that he did not make the WC squad because they were missing that type of sub in several matches.

    Keep in mind Rogers is left and right footed. He can play either wing, striker and has also proven he can play as a left back in a pinch (Olympics-game against Nigeria).

    Bradley knows what he is getting from the player.


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