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Bradley names 33-player U.S. national team pool for upcoming friendlies

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U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley has named a 33-player pool for the U.S. team’s upcoming matches against England, Spain and Argentina.

While the usual suspects made the list (Donovan, Dempsey, Howard), Bradley also called in some players who have played their way onto the radar in recent months (Robbie Rogers, Kenny Cooper and Michael Orozco to name three). He also named some talents who haven’t seen much playing time in recent months (Carlos Bocanegra, DaMarcus Beasley, Freddy Adu, Dominic Cervi).

“With the challenging schedule of friendlies we have organized to prepare for World Cup qualifying, this is an excellent opportunity to continue to evaluate our player pool and at the same time balance the workload,” Bradley said. “Many of our players have just completed seasons in Europe, and the MLS schedule is in full swing, so it is important that we manage the time wisely to give ourselves the best chance to be successful in the important matches this summer.”

Here is the 33-player pool:

GOALKEEPERS– Dominic Cervi (Out of Contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS– Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Eddie Lewis (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)

FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nate Jaqua (Out of Contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich)

I’ll offer up a further breakdown of this group on Friday morning. Which names surprised you? Which players are missing that surprised you? Share your own thoughts on the group in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. kpugs, i think outsized not over rated. I’m just looking for someone who plays solid and doesnt make mistakes. Onyewu had 1 thing to do against the czech rep, and within the first few minutes he failed. Parkhurst is small but my boy is wicked smaat.

    Overall happy with the picks, i’ll wait to bash them after their performances.

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  2. I think Bradley has it in for the Crew – he calls up both wingers and the team captain… ugh!

    I’ll tell you that Hejduk still runs his tail off every minute of every game that he’s out there. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as one of the 3 senior players at the Olympics because (1) he’s a great locker room guy, and (2) it would be a ‘make up’ call for Hejduk missing the ’06 Cup with his knee injury.

    Fulham = 3 players, Crew = 3 players

    No other club more than 2, and one of the those is Chivas USA who famously wanted to stock their team with Mexican players…

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  3. I think Bradley has it in for the Crew – he calls up both wingers and the team captain… ugh!

    I’ll tell you that Hejduk still runs his ass off every minute of every game that he’s out there. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as one of the 3 senior players at the Olympics because (1) he’s a great locker room guy, and (2) it would be a ‘make up’ call for Hejduk missing the ’06 Cup with his knee injury.

    Fulham = 3 players, Crew = 3 players

    No other club more than 2, and one of the those is Chivas USA who famously wanted to stock their team with Mexican players…

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  4. Cory- who are the hispanic players you would like to see us call in? and in who’s place? i would love to have castillo, or the kid from Pachuca, but if they don’t want to play for us… Good to see Orozco in there

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  5. What I want to know is why there isn’t more hispanic players being called up? We can’t allow another edgar castillo pass through our hands again. Nevertheless, with this 33-man roster, does neone believe we have a legit chance of winning any of the upcoming friendlies?

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  6. Graham – Eddie Lewis scored a goal in his last US game, he’s getting consistent playing time in one of the world’s top leagues. What more should he do? He’s more deserving than half the names listed.

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  7. I’m posting too many times in a row…

    As for the U-23s who were left off, Bradley is being nice to the clubs in hopes that they release their players come Olympics time. Thats my guess as to why Holden isn’t there (remember, he was called in for the Mexico gam e so Bradley obviously thinks highly of him), Alvarez possibly too. Rogers, Altidore and Edu were called probably because Bradley believes they help give the senior team the best chance to win right now, while he can do without a fringe (for now) senior team player like Holden.

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  8. As for the roster, there are some names that I wish were on there and only two that I could do without (Wolff and Jaqua), so I guess it is pretty solid. It’s nice to see some of the depth the team has on paper.

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  9. Holden grew up in Houston and has American citizenship (I believe his dad was/is American military? Not sure where I heard that or even if I am thinking of the right guy). He has a UK passport which came in handy when he was at Sunderland, but in interviews he has always considered himself American.

    As far as rules being different, to my knowledge, US Soccer is pretty strict on citizenship requirements for the senior team, and all youth teams. ODP isn’t as strict.

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  10. – My initial reaction to seeing guys like Hey Dude and Mastroeni in the squad is generally the same to readers who immediately question their inclusion in view of their being “past it.” However, I also realize that senior players are sometimes worth having in the squad for the leadership and guidance they provide in camp more than the direct impact they provide on the field. It’s for this reason that I’d love to see Brian McBride assume a coaching role after his retirement. I’d wager we’d see diving and flopping around in the box cut in half.

    – I’m scratching my head on the Wolff thing, though. The guy can run, but he’s so profligate in front of the net, I just don’t see why we keep bringing him in.

    – It’s good to see Beasley back, even though he’s likely short of match fitness; it would have been nice to have the option of being able to plug Edgar Castillo in left midfield in his absence. That oversight could come back and bite us in the future.

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  11. umm kpugs, this has been discussed ad nauseum, stuart holden is eligible to earn a senior cap, that is why he was called in previously. He has always stated his desire to play for the USA and I should know, I’ve know him since his days playing hs and club ball.

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  12. To briefly answer two questions: Nate, Parkhurst is scheduled to be partying hard with the rest of the “most overrated players in the history of the game.” He’s slow, an average tackler, a halfway decent distributor at best. He can get praised in MLS all he wants, he’s nothing more than above average, and never will.

    MikeK, Mastroeni is a defensive mid. I’m sure he’s covered in defense during his career, but he’s a midfielder.

    Geoff: Wynne has made ridiculous progress in the past year. RIDICULOUS. Having said that, you just can’t rely on a guy who is still relying on trackback speed to cover his many errors. I kind of agree with you that he shou

    4now: Should we add you to the list of morons who think people are supposed to immediately become global superstars when they transfer to new leagues? Let me guess, you were crapping on Dempsey when he was terrible for Fulham when he got there, and now you love him. Idiot, open your frickin eyes. I feel like if people are posting opinions on the best soccer blog in existence, AT LEAST KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

    ld be there though, for experience.

    I love the injection of youth, especially Orozco, Jozy, Cervi and Cooper.

    Guys in this group who should never, ever, wear the nats colors again in a “real” competitive match (i.e. not friendlies):

    Wolff: He has been awful for years. His only above-average attribute ever was speed, which he lost due to injury. Can’t shoot, pass, dribble, etc. It’s beyond me that he is still being paid to play, much less getting nats call ups.

    Mastroeni: He’s past it. I don’t have anything at all against him other than at this point in his career, we have at least 4-5 guys in the national team pool that aret better than him at his position.

    Hejduk: Obvious reasons? His negative has always been ridiculously poor tackling (especially since he’s a defender) and a tendency to lose his mark. Now that he no longer has speed, stamina, or attacking ability, he is useless.

    Nate Jacqua: Again, obvious. He is most likely the worst player in the entire USA player pool. Consdiering guys I previously mentioned, that’s not too great. He is big. But he’s also disgustingly slow, awful in the air, terrible on the ball (passing and shooting), is most likely the dirtiest American player (only reason neither Twellman or Donovan are is because they turn it off when they wear the nats shirt, Jacqua does not) and provides no value whatsoever to any team. I was happy that he found temporary success in Europe just because he is a Yank. Bottom line is he is a terrible, terrible player compared to any other striker in the group and some that didn’t get called up.

    Final thought: Does anyone even know if Holden is eligible to earn a senior cap? The rules are more strict thatn the youth teams. And also, who’s to say he won’t play for Scotland? It’s not like he was born and raised here, we simply have a better team (unless you are a mindless fool who thinks FIFA’s rankings are accurate).

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  13. GK:

    Perkins gets a well-deserved call-up, but surprised not to see Hannamen and Keler there (especially the latter who is 2 caps from 100) The conventional wisdom on Guzan still boggles my mind. I’d rather take Conway or Brown anyday.

    DEF:

    No Gibbs? No Subotic? Happy to see Orozco included. Seeing Hejduk’s name anywhere just makes me happy – classic character. The notion that Freeman might have been included is a joke, I’m assuming, nychapin09. Sad that Simek’s injured and pleasantly surprised that Bradley didn’t call up Bornstein.

    MID:

    Agreed that Lewis has been in good form and that he deserves to be included, in as much that Maestroeni does not (unless he’s some incredible locker room presence – in which case, jut bring Berhalter). I think Clark and Gavin are consumate MLSers. I’m not a huge Zizzo fan, nor do I know the slightest about Arguez, but if they are getting looks in the Bundesliga they probably deserve a look here. Dunno how bad his ego is, but I still think Feilhaber distributes the ball as well as any other American. Convey seems to be slipping off the map… Where’s Szetela?

    Forwards:

    No more Ching and Jaqua, please. I understand the Johnson call up, but, to be honest, can’t imagine that having him around is good for morale or training. RR is the new TT. Still crossing my fingers for the third or fourth coming of Santino Q. to be honest.

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  14. The 23-player roster for these friendlies?

    GK: Howard, Guzan.

    D: Bocanegra, Onyweu, DeMerit, Cherundolo, Spector, Orozco, Pearce, Hejduk.

    MF: Adu, Bradley, Edu, Lewis, Clark, Kljestan, Beasley.

    F: Altidore, Donovan, Dempsey, Ching, Rogers, Cooper.

    This is just actually what I’d like to see. There are probably four names above that will not be in the actual final 23.

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  15. agree with what someone said above – seeing this make me realize we have some depth and real talent. that being said, i’d like to see bradley try some new central back pairings. id really like to see a spector onyewu pairing – actually id rather see a parkhurst/onyewu pairing with spector and cherundolo on the outsides, but still, i think partnering a quicker smarter defender with onyewu would balance well with his size and strength. i dont think him and boca pair well together, and until boca starts playing agin i think we shouldnt seal him in as our starting center back and captain. in addition, if bradley plays 2 defensive midfielders again i might go crazy, especially when all our defensive midfielders arent like say a michael essien, they are just purely defensive – dont anyone say anything about bradley scoring a ton of goals, yes hes playing awesome, but hes only a destroyer and his goals have all been toe pokes and such…id like to see a good holding midfielder in there with him, like feilhaber or even donovan…finally, i want to take another look at edu at center back, i was pretty impressed with him there in the world cup qualifying…

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  16. Bradley continues to mix the national camp with veteran and young players. There’s nothing wrong with that. And it has worked for him and the team most of the time.

    Still the inclusion of Califf, Mastroeni, Gaven and Jacqua are questionable.

    Players that could have been there instead of those four are Parkhurst, Zizzo, Rolfe and Arturo Alvarez.

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  17. I think Holden would have gotten the call if BB didn’t have to worry about MLS teams being unbalanced by calling up too many players. If 3 Dynamo starters get called up during MLS play… that’s directly effecting the way the season goes in MLS. Mastroeni on the other hand has no teamates being called up, making it easier to be called upon without upsetting the league. I would like for 2010 pool players to be called up over 2006 pool players. But it looks like BB is calling up WCQ players instead.

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  18. Good group. I like seeing that the rehabilitation of Feilhaber continues. I think he brings something different and very useful to the team. His time at Derby appears to have been wasted. Here’s hoping he finds a team that will get him some playing time.

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  19. I don’t think Heyduk should be on there, he’s too old. They should be looking at some younger wing options. There are a million decent holding midfielders. I think the gabs on the national team roster are left back, left wing, and forward. I’m glad to see RR and Kenny Cooper there, but I think Nate Jaqua is there so Bob Bradley can find him another job.

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  20. Before Pablo committed the stupidest foul in recent Nat history he was about half a foot away from burying a wonder strike against Italy….he is a bit too old now, but he’s not garbage. If Frankie gets to be a veteran presence to provide minutes so does Mastroeni.

    That really was a dumb foul…ughh.

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  21. I gotta say I’m suprised Parkhurst didn’t make a 33 man squad, although all the defenders selected deserve to be there.

    Frankie is perhaps past his prime, and we do have more cultured fullback options now, but HeyDude has always got that hustle.

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  22. Eddie Lewis has been playing consistently, and playing as well as one could play on the sorry excuse for a team that was Derby County. He plays left wing, and can fill in at left back, has a great left foot for free kicks, and can cover a decent bit of ground. He got called in due to the fact that Convey has a niggling injury he can’t seem to get over, Beasley is coming back from major injury himself, and we stand a pretty good chance of needing his services during qualifying this summer.

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  23. nice to see a player whose earned it get the call like Rogers. even though he wont make the starting 11 (or the bench even?), its good experience for him to get a taste of full NT training.

    kind of disappointed to see players that wont be in contention for 2010, like Mastroeni, over players that have impressed at the WC qualifying, like Holden.

    Looking at all these names makes me feel our team is strong, and has decent depth now at least.

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  24. I like the squad. To play armchair coach, my only gripe would be with Jaqua. I would rather see Rolfe, Thorrington or Zizzo. But thats really minor.

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  25. surprised to Cervi on the list. i would think he would need a little more seasoning (or at least signed with a team) before warranting a call-up. his performance with the U-23’s was unimpressive.

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  26. Ives, do you have anymore news on how Dominic Cervi’s trial with Celtic has gone? Furthermore, is there any chance of Brad Guzan interesting Celtic again?

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