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The U.S. men’s national team’s next World Cup qualifier isn’t for another three weeks but all U.S. fans want to talk about is which new players Bob Bradley will bring into the World Cup qualifying mix.
Here is my story for ESPN.com today on seven players I think have earned the chance at coming into a World Cup qualifying camp and could get a look next month.
So who made the list? The obvious three lead the list. Jozy Altidore, Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu. I’m definitely in the "Call in Jozy ASAP" group these days, but while I think Cooper and Adu should get calls I am not in the "Start them now" crowd.
So who were the other picks?
I went with Chad Marshall, Robbie Rogers, Charlie Davies and Jeremiah White. I chose them for their club exploits and for their unique characteristics.
There were other players who I know are popular among MLS fans as potential call-ups, such as Edson Buddle, Nate Jaqua and Bobby Boswell, but I think those players will get consideration in the January national team camp rather than this year.
I know a lot of the urgency among fans for new blood is the questionable production of the U.S. offense, but I’m not sure if any of the prospects mentioned above are the missing link that would have put a few more goals past Guatemala or Cuba. I do think that, of the aforementioned prospects, Altidore is the one who I feel is ready to step in and play major minutes. i know there are some questions about whether you take it slow with an 18-year-old prospect, and whether Altidore has the make-up to handle so much, so soon. That’s why it wouldn’t surprise me if Bradley took things slowly with Altidore. I personally wouldn’t waste any more time and start integrating him into the national team.
As far as the less obvious selections, I do think Charlie Davies merits a look. I also think Chad Marshall has taken major steps toward establishing himself as the best young central defense prospect in MLS. Jeremiah White is a player I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of considering the lack of natural right wing options in the pool.
What do you think? What players would you like to see at least get a look in the remaining World Cup qualifiers this year? Share your thoughts below.