Photo by ISIphotos.com
Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson, Jonathan Spector and Marcus Hahnemann were among the players chosen by U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley for upcoming World Cup qualifiers vs. El Salvador (March 28th) and Trinidad & Tobago (April 1st).
The usual suspects such as Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsy, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra were also called up, but the inclusions of Adu, Johnson, Spector and Hahnemann are likely to draw the most interest in the coming week as all four look to try and work their way into the squad.
Here is the 22-man roster for the upcoming qualifiers:
GOALKEEPERS– Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 4/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton: 8/6 SO), Marcus Hahnemann (Reading: 1/1 SO)
DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 17/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 3/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford: 1/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 15/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 13/1), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 8/0), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United: 2/1)
MIDFIELDERS– Freddy Adu (AS Monaco: 5/1), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 22/6), Michael Bradley (Borussia MÃ¶nchengladbach: 7/4), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 3/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 7/0), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 12/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 2/0)
FORWARDS– Jozy Altidore (Xerez C.D.: 4/1), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 13/6), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 13/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 26/9), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City: 9/8)
Goalkeeper Tim Howard is suspended for the El Salvador qualifier on March 28th in El Salvador, meaning either Marcus Hahnemann or Brad Guzan will get the call.
Among the missing is right back Steve Cherundolo, who is still working his way back to full fitness after dealing with injuries in recent months.
Adu and Jozy Altidore make the squad despite both suffering through difficult loan deals that have made playing time non-existent.
Eddie Johnson's inclusion will raise some eyebrows but there's no denying that he has played very well for Cardiff City in recent weeks. His World Cup qualifying experience, and past success, surely played a role, along with his current form. It should also be noted that Altidore's lack of playing time at Xerez may have Bradley looking for an alternative for a forward to bring off the bench.
You may also notice that Spector's arrival coincides with the absence of Jonathan Bornstein. Spector is versatile enough to serve as a back-up for Frankie Hejduk and Heath Pearce, which should help give the U.S. roster some valuable flexibility.
There will be complaining about some MLS names that are missing, but it probably isn't a coincidence that Bob Bradley only called in MLS players who are expected to start (with the possible exception of Pablo Mastroeni). Not a bad policy with the MLS season just getting underway.
The United States plays El Salvador on March 28th before playing host to Trinidad & Tobago in Nashville, Tennessee on April 1st.
What do you think of the group? Happy to see Spector back in the mix? Surprised to see Johnson get the call, or did you expect it given his recent form with Cardiff? Shocked or encouraged to see Freddy Adu getting a look?
Share your thoughts on the roster in the comments section below.