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SBI’s 23 for 2010: August 2009 Edition

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Now that the CONCACAF Gold Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup are behind us, we can start taking stock of the U.S. men's national team and just what the squad is shaping up to look like ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

There is still plenty of time between now and when U.S. coach Bob Bradley has to select his 23-man roster (oh, and yes, there's still the whole having to actually qualify part), but that doesn't mean we can't start thinking about what the U.S. roster will look like in next summer's World Cup.

With that in mind, here is the 23-man World Cup roster I see the U.S. taking to the 2010 World Cup:

SBI 23 for 2010

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Troy Perkins

DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Steve Cherundolo, Chad Marshall, Clarence Goodson, Frankie Hejduk

MIDFIELDERS– Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Maurice Edu, Jose Francisco Torres, Stuart Holden, DaMarcus Beasley

FORWARDS– Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Brian Ching,

So who's missing? Let's go by positions:

GOALKEEPERS– Marcus Hahnemann can certainly grab the No. 3 spot if he gets games in England next season, but Perkins picked up momentum in the Gold Cup.

DEFENDERS– Heath Pearce is back in the conversation at left back after a good Gold Cup (the final notwithstanding). If he finds a club to play for where he will get playing time, he can definitely be in the mix. Jonathan Bornstein is also in the mix, but struggled at the Confederations Cup after a decent start. You may notice three natural right backs in the group. Spector and Hejduk can both play left back in a pinch so their versatility should help their cause.

Centerback has become a pretty stacked group, with Marshall and Goodson showing well. Jimmy Conrad is right there with those two, and only his concussion in the Gold Cup quarterfinals kept him from showing he belongs in the 23 right now. For me, it's between Conrad and Goodson for the final centerback spot. Danny Califf had a rough spring and has to, for my money, fall behind Marshall, Goodson and Conrad in the pecking order. Michael Parkhurst trails the pack.

Some other names to keep an eye on include Michael Orozco, Eric Lichaj and yes, Edgar Castillo.

MIDFIELDERS– Where is Jermaine Jones? Since he's not eligible yet I've decided to leave him off. Once he's actually played for the United States then he will have a place in the 23. The most shocking pick here is DaMarcus Beasley. Does he deserve to go based on current form? Absolutely not, but he has a year to regain his form and Bob Bradley will certainly give him every opportunity to get his form back. That, coupled with the failure of anybody to step up and

Other missing include Robbie Rogers, Freddy Adu, Kyle Beckerman and Sacha Kljestan. I'd say Kljestan is the closest of that group, assuming he can recapture his mojo. Rogers struggled badly late in the Gold Cup to hurt his chances, but he's young and has room to grow. Adu was shocking in the Gold Cup, and is unlikely to be a factor unless he goes somewhere he will actually play regularly. Beckerman had a good Gold Cup but is at a loaded position.

FORWARDS– Bob Bradley desperately needs a target striker or two but the pool just doesn't have any international caliber candidates. Ching is best suited for the role. Other candidates for the slots include Eddie Johnson if he can continue to play and see more time in England, and Kenny Cooper if he makes a move to Europe so he can grow and develop. Youngsters such as Marcus Tracy, Chris Pontius and Preston Zimmerman are long-term prospects to keep an eye out for.


SBI will provide a monthly update to the 23 for 2010 so please stay tuned. For now, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this group. What do you think of this 23-man roster? Who isn't on the list that you think should be?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hey I have a question, what are the real chances of Jones being called in for Aug 12, is a good chance or a long shot? can someone answer that for me? Although I like Pearce, Castillo seems like a great young talent what are hes chances for the Aug 12. Did he put the paperwork through like Jones did?

  2. I’d Take out Goodson and hejduk and put in Pierce and Castillo.

    I’d take out Torres and put in Adu. I know he’s overrated. But he is capable of producing the unexpected at times. And that’s valuable. I like Torres alot though. I’ll probably eat my words later.

    I’d probably put in Klejstan instead of Holden. When he is in form he is a dominant player. I hope he returns to that form. I miss old sacha.

    And I really can’t wait to see Jones take the field and see what he can do.

  3. Beckerman should get more playing time, he really showed heart and desire. I really enjoyed watching him play during the GC.

    Im not saying he should start, but something about him makes me think he could be a fantastic player.

  4. Yea i would have Adu as the 4th Foward……but that is if we are playing A style form the ground where he would be good like a supporting striker not where he is trying to head balls in like a Brian McBride like the way he was playing so high up vs Honduras. I think Feilhaber is Adu’s best friend, If Feilhaber and Bradley are in the center of the pitch,we can play through the middle which would be Adu’s style as he would be a Supporting Striker…….*of coarse im talking about an in-form Adu.

  5. Ives, your almost there! In my book stuart holden is out. I put Donovan as a midfielder and adding Freddy Adu as the 4th forward. Adu is by far superior over Holden,Eddie,CASEY,cooper. I rather have an OK ADU playing on our squad, then having those lazy asses with no sense of footwork playing for us. I’ve seen what Adu is capable off, can’t say the same about Rogers,Holden,Casey,Eddie,Cooper!

    Castillo??WT%?? Have you guys even seen this kid play? He is an avearge player with below average skills, nothing more. Club America didn’t want him, so why he is good to play for our national team?!

    I rather have AJ Delacruz or Omar Gonzalez in that LB position! These guys are far more atletic & speedy then Castillo.

  6. Based on early returns at the Gold Cup, Marshall and Goodson were all making strong cases for inclusion. The debacle against Mexico tells me Bradley needs to look elsewhere, for now. Whether that means playing Edu out of position in defense, or giving Conrad a further look, I’m not prepared to say. We still haven’t found an answer at left back. Is it Boca? Or do we keep him in the middle, with DeMerit in reserve? Then, we need a left back. Maybe Spector over there, or Bornstein, Pearce or Castillo? Even if Boca starts on the left, Bradley should have a back-up that actually plays the position. Until I get to see Castillo, I can’t say — but probably him or Bornstein. And Conrad, in the middle (not Marshall or Goodson).

    Jones will make the team. My guess is that Holden beats out Torres. He just brings more to the table than Jose. Forget about DMB.

  7. You know who needs a chance at forward?….PRESTON ZIMMERMAN! This kid can find the back of the net. He should have been on this gold cup squad!

  8. Why does everyone think that just b/c he’s been in a lot of games that Ching is any good? A striker’s job is to score and Ching couldn’t find the goal if he was the only one on the field. And, Altidore is a sub at best. He is still a little boy that can’t even stay on his feet. I know we desperately need a real striker, but please don’t bring back Eddie Johnson!

  9. The reason I feel HOLDEN is so far ahead of the people he’s in a dead heat with is because of how versatile he is. He took all the corners, set pieces, can play any mid position… If on their best day, Sacha/Beckerman, at their best position, get compared against Holden at that specific position… Then they slightly edge him out, but Holden has a lot of tools they don’t have.

    Also, when has Holden had a REAL REAL bad international game like Sacha has had. I’m not talking about the dumb penelties he acquired against the danes in the olympics, i’m saying overall play.

    Holden should be far ahead of a lot of his competitors because of his overall tools and play. I see him as consistent and reliable. I’ve seen a bad form Sasha and its scary lol.

  10. Edson Buddle of the Galaxy might be a target striker who should get a look in friendlies and whatnot. He’s shown incredible capabilities for the Galaxy.

  11. F(3): Altidore, Davies, Ching
    [add: McBride if he’s up for it.]
    [close: Adu, Arnaud, Cooper, Johnson]
    [fringe: Casey, Rolfe, Pontius]

    M(9): Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, Feilhaber, Clark, Edu, Torres, Beckerman
    [close: Kljestan, Beasley, Rogers, Holden, Quaranta]
    [fringe: Szetela, Cronin, White, Hill, Thorrington]

    D(8): Onyewu, Demerit, Bocanegra, Spector, Cherundolo, Bornstein, Marshall, Conrad
    [maybe add: Castillo if he switches]
    [close: Pearce, Califf, Hejduk, Goodson]
    [fringe: Simek, Whitbread, Cameron, Orozco]

    GK(3): Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann
    [Friedel if he’s up for it]
    [fringe: Keller, Perkins]

  12. Howard, Guzan, Keller

    Onyewu, Boca, Demerit, Marshall, Spector, Cherundolo, Hejduk, Castillo

    Bradley, Jones, Edu, Clark, Dempsey, Donovan, Feilhaber, Holden, Adu

    Altidore, Davies, Ching, Cooper

  13. I am going to say that right now I would go with a 23 man roster consisting of this:

    G- Howard, Guzan, Perkins

    D- Onyewu, Bocenegra, Spencer, DeMerit, Parkhurst, Marshall, Cherundalo, Castillo

    M- Dempsey, Bradley, Feilhaber, R. Clark, Holden, Jones, Torres, Donovan

    F- Altidore, Davies, Ching, Cooper

    I just look at this and all I can think is how I wish this was our roster for the Gold Cup. Yeah I am still not over that game yet. Wont be either till we beat Mexico.

  14. please don’t take offense..

    but anyone suggesting that rogers should be on our 23 at this point can’t be considered to have a credible opinion on who our squad should be, right?

  15. FIXXXER,

    I will absolutely not bash you for wanting McBride on the team. Connor Casey was a waste of a forward IMO. He was sent into the games in the CC to hold the ball and he couldn’t even do that. He was lazy and not even getting back to help on defense. McBride gives his all every time he is on the field and I would call him up over Casey in a second. McBride is all heart and IMO can still get it done. He can hold the ball and is excellent target for free kicks and crosses because he’s a beast in the air.

    Also I think Orozco isn’t getting a fair shot here. He got called for a ridiculous red that the ref made up to get us out of the Olympics. He should have definitely been at the Gold Cup for us. He’s good he just gets overlooked because of one horrible call. That pisses me off.

    I would also rather see Eddie Johnson get a call before Casey. I think that if Eddie can get in good form he would help us in the WC. He’s big, strong, and fast all he needs is confidence in himself. If he is on, he can be extremely tough for opponents to defend. And I also hope Beasley can find himself out of this slump because we all know just how good he can be when he is in form. Let’s pray that he sees consistent playing time and gains confidence and form back because he will definitely be an asset.

  16. Cooper deserves it he creates chances for himself and other. (Just missed a sweet cross to Ching). Ching is big and slow and can hold a ball but does not provide much else.

  17. When it comes down to it, Castillo will be on there instead of Goodson; J. Jones instead of Beas; and Adu instead of … oh, can’t find a place for him right now.
    But here’s hoping he gets it going this season and earns a spot (maybe, MAYBE dropping one defender to add Adu on there.)
    Same goes for M. Orozco, shame his talent gets overshadowed by one mistake. I guess there’s always 2014 for him.

  18. “FORWARDS- Bob Bradley desperately needs a target striker or two but the pool just doesn’t have any international caliber candidates.”

    Although he’s not international caliber at this point, keep an eye on Steven Lenhart from Columbus. Sure he’s very rough around the edges but he’s scored some pretty amazing and timely goals in his short career. If he keeps improving, next summer might finally be his time to shine. The guy is absolutely fearless.

  19. I saw “Frankie” and I was excited until I saw the “Hejduk” part, rather than “Simek”. Healthy, he is better than Spector, although the latter is more versatile and could shift over to LB, thereby providing more options. There is absolutely no need for F.H. this year, or any other for that matter.

    How quickly we forget people…

  20. This is obviously premature, but I would love to see what you think the 2014 squad would look like. There are a bunch of young guys that could be a part of that group (Cronin, Pontius, Tracy, etc.).

  21. Beasley’s been hurt for a year and a half. While none of us are happy with his play of late, being hurt is certainly a good excuse. IMHO, he deserves the chance to work his way back onto the team. Personally, I don’t think he’ll make it but I think we have acknowledge the fact of his injuries & not ask why he’s even being talked about.

  22. J. Jones needs to be in this group so does Castillo, these two are great players and I believe letting them out will be a mistake, as letting DMB in will also represent a mistake unless he recuperates its original form…

  23. I think Jones for Goodson.
    I would hope for Pearce for Beasley too.

    Goodson has a ways to go to make it to the next level, IMO. He was exposed, along with Jay (never again) Heaps, by Vela and Gio on Sunday. If Conrad was there, Goodson would not have even played that game.

    Is Pearce coming to MLS or where is he going?

  24. Ives-

    I love Beasley for all that he’s done for the USMNT in the past, but if you want him on the WC2010 team, he’s going to have to show a whole lot more than he has this past year.

    Yes, he’s a natural lefty, but lately he’s also been a liability.

    If your reading this Beasley, you are a USMNT Hall of Famer and I appreciate all that you’ve done for us !!

  25. Kenny Cooper is horrible and should be banned from the national team.

    Move Dempsey up and let folks more athletic play midfield.

  26. Notes:

    We are stacked throughout the middle of the field: goalies, center backs, and center midfielders.

    We lack serious depth along the touchlines. This really worries me. If Beasley can regain his form, then I’m not panting, but not having ONE natural winger in a World Cup is unheard of.

    Can’t offer much else when the World Cup is still over 300 days away.

  27. 1. No Sacha. He gives the ball away too easily.

    2. No Beasley. He is in the tank.

    3. J. Jones will take the spot that would otherwise go to Sacha/Holden.

    3. Castillo. No Goodson.

    Of course, I am assuming Castillo and Jones will be eligible to play for the US in 2010.

  28. Anyone on here who suggests Beasley in the final 23 as of now or in a year from now should be banned from this site…including you Ives!!!

  29. One note: I said overstatement. Hejduk came up big, but I think “single-handedly” is taking it too far. I remember all 11 players stepping up.

  30. Overstatement of the day:

    “It was only a few months ago that [Frankie Hejduk] single-handedly willed us back from two goals down in El Salvador.”

    He’s got his role, but right now he sits third among right backs. Personally, I’d take Bocanegra, Castillo, Pearce, and Bornstein over him at left back. He’s got his role, but barring some injuries, I don’t understand why he’d be included in the WC roster. If locker-room presence is all we want, I say we go ahead and call up Drew Carey. I bet he’d be an absolute riot. And he can probably quote Bob Marley, too.

  31. Benny scored the third goal in a 3-2 win over Randers FC. I think he might have had an assist, as well.

    It’s good to see him playing with confidence again.


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