Top Stories

A look ahead: Who should the USMNT call up vs. England?


The highly-anticipated USA-England friendly on May 28 is still a touch more than two weeks away but that doesn’t mean we can’t start thinking about it. Especially not when England manager Fabio Capello unveiled his roster for the match.

This leaves us with the obvious question of who will U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley call up for the friendly at Wembley? I wouldn’t expect a roster for another week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate.

Will Bradley factor in MLS matches? If so, Houston, FC Dallas, D.C. United and New England all have games on the same day or the day after. That would rule out the likes of Brian Ching, Kenny Cooper, Taylor Twellman and Michael Parkhurst (unless Bradley takes Cooper and Ching and calls it a wash for Houston and FC Dallas).

And what about Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s concerns about Jozy Altidore being fatigued? Will Bradley pass on Altidore in order to give him some rest, or will he call him in because he sees Altidore as a player who should have a key role in World Cup qualifying?

Here is the 18-man roster I see Bradley using for the England match:

GK- Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann

D- Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Heath Pearce, Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Eddie Lewis

M- Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley, Freddy Adu, Maurice Edu, Kyle Beckerman

F- Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson

And the Starting XI? Here’s my guess:






A few thoughts on the roster:

Beasley has worked his way back to the point of being able to dress for Rangers and he could potentially see playing time in the UEFA Cup final. That tells me he’ll get the call against England.

I would personally leave Altidore home and bring the Texas forwards of Cooper and Ching. Altidore doesn’t need to go from NYC to England to Houston. He needs to rest up for the Olympics. That said, it will be up to Bradley to decide whether he thinks Altidore needs rest or needs to log minutes with the national team first team ahead of World Cup qualifying.

I also am not a big Eddie Johnson fan, but if he’s healthy I can’t see Bob Bradley not calling him in.

I swapped in Feilhaber for Edu. I can see Bradley leaving Edu back in order to give him some rest and give Feilhaber a look. I can see a Michael Bradley-Ricardo Clark tandem, though I’m still reminded of how much they struggled against Mexico when paired together. Forgot about Houston’s mid-week game, which would likely rule out Clark. I’ll go with Kyle Beckerman getting a call in and Maurice Edu getting a start. Feilhaber’s going to the Toulon Tournament and his lack of first-team action likely rules him out of any of the upcoming friendlies.

What 18-man roster and starting lineup would you like to see face England? Share your thoughts below.


  1. One person I’d really like to see get called in is Parkhurst though its highly unlikely as Bradley has always favored the Gooch-Boca pairing, even though I think a Gooch-Parkhurst pairing would be the best the US has to offer.

    Altidore Dempsey

    Beasley Bradley Edu Donovan

    Pearce Boca Gooch Cherundolo


    Bench: Johnson,DeMerit,Hanhemann, Convey,Adu, Lewis(unfortunately),Spector

  2. With LD, who knows if he’ll show up. Beasley is just recovering to full health. Ching is in la-la land, and EJ hasn’t shined. So what does Bradley do. He’ll call all on these players, fit or not, in-form or out. It doesn’t matter, the USMNT is too looslely structured and we will get the samo-samo, hot, tepi, or dull, display.

  3. You’ve got to start E. Lewis for the first 45 at least. See if he cant whip in a cross or nail another free kick…not to mention he knows the opponent.






  4. Bradley should choose an all-Euro player based team and this will enable him to evaluate the pluses/minuses of each player. Either the player(s) in question have it or don’t have it to compete at an international level. The players need to show up or have Bradley use the ax.

  5. Poor Fulham… They stayed up but pissed away 6 million they could badly need to improve on EJ. That one could come back to haunt Roy the Savior.

  6. ok, maybe not a world cup berth, but if you lose then you watch south africa from home. far-fetched i know, but i’d almost guarantee bradley brings his a-team for the barbados match on june 15

  7. How can you seriously say that these European FRIENDLIES are more important than a WORLD CUP QUALIFYING match against Barbados??!? I don’t care if we’re playing St. Lucia, you’ve got to get a result in the first leg or you’re going into a hostile environment with a World Cup berth on the line. Stranger things have happened in soccer….

  8. agreed Larry…these games are the most important, other than Mexico, in our current schedule(yes one could argue Barbados, but lets be serious), he must bring our A+ squad and right now and 18 guy roster would look sumthin like this:

    GK: Howard, Hahnemann

    DF: Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Pearce, DeMerit, Spector

    MD: Dempsey, Beasley, Bradley, Edu, Clark, Lewis

    FW: Donovan, Altidore, Cooper, Ching






  9. Someone mentioned it earlier, but Feilhaber was seeing playing time by the end of the year. In the game against reading he played the entire second half (almost got himself a goal off a header as well!).

  10. Feilhaber has no business being called up and is seems that will be the case since he was just announced for a u23 tournament. Beasley is a big “if” not having played in 6 months. I think you have to at least call up Convey and then watch the two of them to see who does better – or you could go with Edie Lewis. I can’t imagine why anyone would looking at Edie Johnson.

  11. Feilhaber has NO business getting a call-up.

    How on earth can someone who has sat on the bench (or not even made it on the bench) for the WORST team in Prem. history play for our National team?

  12. Some great posts.

    I think what Feilhaber is owed is a chance to stay in the top flight following Derby County’s relegation. This game will be a good opportunity for him. But I agree- if we’re putting our best case 11 on the field, Benny is watching from the sidelines if not the stands. [Does this logic also apply to Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann?]

    I agree with the posts calling for Robbie Rogers to get a look.

    Kev@2:46 posted what I think is probably our best lineup for any match although I wonder if Altidore can be a target-man up front. I think Jozy is better served as a striker with Chingy/Cooper etc as the center-forward.

    Good post on the Spain question– Ives, do we know if the US will callup 1 roster for England (May 28 in London) then a second for Spain (June 4 in Santander)? Will they hold a camp through the second match? Also, consider Argentina on June 8th at Giants Stadium! One has to assume that the US will be picking almost entirely from European players whose season’s have ended for the England/Spain matches.

    Then a best available team for Argentina.

  13. Ives – that is our best starting XI (and I believe will be in 2010) with the only question mark being Feilhaber. Luckily we have so many options at that position that we should figure it out with 2 years to work on it. I like Adu as a supersub due to his speed and versatility.

  14. I don’t really want to see Jozy called in for this match, and there’s no way in hell I want to see him alone up top. That kind of treatment is what is wearing him down. Playing him alone up top would result his getting the crap knocked out of him. I would much rather see Cooper and Ching. Let Jozy rest.

  15. If I were Coach Bob I would call in

    G: Howard, Guzan, Seitz

    D: Gooch, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Pearce, Spector, Subotic*

    M: Donovan, Bradley, Rogers, Adu, Szetela, Clark, Beasley, Holden, Edu

    F: Altidore, Ching, Dempsey

    * I would beg Neven to finally accept the US

    Guys I would not call in because they are going in the wrong direction: Eddie Johnson, Benny Feilhaber, Bobby Convey


Leave a Comment