Top Stories

Who should Bob Bradley call up against Cuba and T&T?


                                                                                      Photo by

With three points in the bag after last week’s 1-0 road win against Guatemala, the U.S. men’s national team heads into the next set of World Cup qualifiers knowing that two wins could all but lock up advancement into the Hexagonal round.

A trip to Cuba followed by a home date in Chicago against Trinidad & Tobago are up next and U.S. coach Bob Bradley will have some tough decisions to make regarding player selection. Steve Cherundolo is set to serve a suspension while Pablo Mastroeni is dealing with an injury that could keep him out. You also have some players who could be in the midsts of transfers.

So what will the 18-man gameday roster look like that Bob Bradley trots out against Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago (18 players will dress but more will be called in to camp) ? Here is one potential group:

POTENTIAL USA ROSTER vs. Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago

GOALKEEPER– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan

DEFENDERS– Frankie Hejduk, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Bornstein, Marvell Wynne

MIDFIELDERS– Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Eddie Lewis

FORWARDS– Brian Ching, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Kenny Cooper

I could see Bradley calling in this group. Why? Well, the combination of Heath Pearce’s recent struggles coupled with a potential transfer from Hansa Rostock could lead Bob Bradley to leave him in Germany and give Jonathan Bornstein a look. I also think Wynne showed enough in the Olympics for Bradley to call him in as Frank Hejduk’s back-up at right back.

Freddy Adu is the glaring absence. Why no Freddy ? He’s in the midst of a new move to Monaco and I can see Bradley wanting to leave him in France to settle in. If he decides the time is right to bring Adu in, you might not see Eddie Lewis Sacha Kljestan. I could also see Bobby Convey getting a look ahead of Lewis if Lewis isn’t healthy (though as someone rightly pointed out, it has been a long time since Convey got a look. The 2-2 tie vs. Mexico in February to be exact).

At forward, if Altidore is healthy I can’t see him not getting the call. Given Clint Dempsey’s recent struggles Bradley need some fresh blood to look at. Kenny Cooper is the player everyone wants to see but I see him getting the nod because of Eddie Johnson’s recent loan move to Cardiff City. If Bradley decides he wants to use Johnson against a T&T team he has had success against in the pass, then fans will have to keep waiting for Cooper to make a national team appearance. That said, if the Americans beat Cuba, I can definitely see Cooper getting the mid-week call against Trinidad & Tobago.

It should also be noted that you could and will likely see changes to the 18-man rosters for the two games, especially if the U.S. team beats Cuba.

So who do you think should get the call? Feel free to share your thoughts on the potential roster below, and remember that more than 18 players will be called into camp, but only 18 will be in uniform on game days). But first, it’s time for a poll on whose absence would bother you the most:


  1. I’d like to see

    1. Tim Howard

    2. Jonathon Bornstein

    3. Carlos Bocanegra

    4. Oguchi Onyewu

    5. Frankie Hejduk

    6. DaMarcus Beasley

    7. Michael Bradley

    8. Freddy Adu

    9. Landon Donovan

    10. Clint Dempsey

    11. Kenny Cooper

    12. Brad Guzan

    13. Michael Parkhurst

    14. Jozy Altidore

    15. Frank Simek

    16. Justin Mapp

    17. Robbie Rogers

    18. Sasha Klestjian

  2. The US will roll through to the hexagonal. But, they we need to figure the best line-up before then.

    I’m all for trying more young talent with the experienced players. Here’s what i’d like to see in the next 2 games:







  3. I think that this could be the 18-man roster for Cuba and T & T:

    GK: Howard, Guzan

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

    MF: Bradley, Dempsey, Beasley, Edu, Kljestan, Lewis, Adu

    FW: Johnson, Ching, Donovan

  4. I hope the US can do better then Micheal Bradley in the future. I cant believe that some think he’s actually quality. I also think that Ching and EJ have no business playing for the MNT right now. Dempsey has been at most unimpressive. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

    Id let Jozy and Adu stay at their clubs and definitely see what Cooper can do.

  5. what about charlie davies? i have no idea how he’s doin in sweeden, but the little i saw of him in the olympics was enough to convince me. we have no consistent strikers so why not give him a shot?

  6. Boone,

    Most clubs aren’t made up of all international calibre players, so they don’t stop practicing while the other guys are gone. Practice schedule may be lighter since there is no game, but the teams are still together. For guys like Adu and Jozy to spend time with their teammates to build chemistry and to hopefully impress the coaching staff is very important. Thus the call by some of us to leave them with their clubs.

    No disrespect to Cuba and T&T, but if the opposition was tougher they’d definitely be in camp.

  7. For the Cuba and T & T games, a roster similar to the Guat. game is fine with me. I don’t care how we look, just get the win. Then for the remaining games T & T, let some guys like Pearce, Dempsey, Johnson and any other Yanks take some time away to establish/re-establish themselves on their club teams. Bring in guys like Cooper, Conrad, Parkhurst, Holden, Rolfe and if there is a decent left back in the pool to get some work.

    I say leave Altidore and Adu at their clubs for now to establish themselves, cause those are two guys we really need playing regularly and playing well. Then call these guys in for the remaining 3 games to play some qualifying games to get some experience in that atmosphere.

    Lastly, it is downright scary how thin we are at leftback. We’d better dig up the next David Regis if neither Pearce of Bornstein can lock that spot down. Cause there isn’t much left in the cupboard after those two.

  8. Why is everyone saying that the new guys in Europe (Ie Adu, Jozy, etc) need time to settle in with their new clubs???

    If I’m not mistaken (and I am not), UEFA has a full slate of WC qualifiers on both the days of the Cuba and T&T games….If Jozy stays at Villareal, there will be know one else there…so what would be the point??

  9. Johnny,

    Who is that constipated monkey in the video, ehhhh?


    You might be referring to my brother? I think. What time of the video was it?

  10. Roberto, Clyde Simms? You must be joking. He shouldn’t even be playing first team for DC United. Give me back Brian Carroll! He can barely handle the speed of MLS and his passing game is very suspect. There is no way he could handle the international game.

  11. Nothing wrong with having options…except on the offensive side of the ball, then we get just the same old sad sack personnel.

  12. After watching Bornstein in the Concacaf Champs League game last night, I’d stick with Pearce. I’m not sure that Bornstein completed one pass.

    But then again, if we play like we did against Guatemala, then that shouldn’t bother Bradley.

  13. I’ve read through the thread and am not sure were all the so-called Heath Pearce hate is. There was maybe one post with someone saying Pearce makes them vomit. Saying Pearce played badly isn’t “killing Pearce.” Yes, Lewis struggled on that flank as well, but to absolve Pearce of all blame for his performance is crazy. He got beat one on one several times and got caught in terrible positions several times. That doesn’t mean he goes into the national team wilderness, but that performance, coupled with his less than stellar showing AT Barbados at least raises the question of whether it’s time to give Bornstein a look. Nothing wrong with having options people.

  14. @Neven Subotic

    I partially agree with you. I don’t think Landon Donovan should retire, and I like him as a player. But I haven’t seen him be physical, and he tends to disappear for horribly long stretches sometimes.

    Ives, I like your lineup. I would leave Edu and Altidore in Europe. Apparently, Cuba is inexperienced, and another road win wouldn’t be bad. So, I think a veteran squad would be great. If Cooper isn’t up vs. Cuba, fine. Against T&T if we beat Cuba, BB has to have an incredible excuse.

    All the Heath Pearce haters chill out. He has one bad game, and you condemn him. He isn’t perfect. Do you think Dolo would have done better against Loco Rodriguez?


Leave a Comment