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USA Gold Cup squad shrinks as Cherundolo and Parkhurst return to Europe

Steve Cherundolo 1 ( 

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Defenders Michael Parkhurst and Steve Cherundolo are the latest U.S. national team players to leave the Gold Cup squad to return to Europe, meaning U.S. coach Bob Bradley will have two fewer defensive options when the Americans face Panama in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

Cherundolo is returning to Germany to join Hannover 96 in pre-season. His departure means Seattle midfielder Brad Evanscould get the nod at right back on Saturday. Toronto FC rookie Sam Cronin, who has been used at right back at times for TFC, could also be another option.

Parkhurst leaves after a rather disappointing performance against Haiti. He is headed back to Danish club Nordsjaelland. The centerback position isn't as much of an issue, with Chad Marshall and Jimmy Conrad the leading candidates to start vs. Panama.

Bradley won't be able to turn to the seven extra roster players for cover at right back and centerback. That group was made up only of midfielders, forwards and left back Jonathan Bornstein (though Ricardo Clark has been used at right back in the past).

Surprised to see Cherundolo and Parkhurst go? Who do you see starting in the back for the USA vs. Haiti? Think Brad Evans can do the job at right back?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. MUFC 223,

    I don’t think you should be so dismissive of the idea of a true Copa America. The CONMEBOL and CONCACAF championships are second rate,…and way behind the European Championships. The only way to add some luster/prestige would be to combine the competitions.

    Also, DC Josh….I don’t understand your issue with travel for a combined event? If the qualifications are bifurcated why would travel be an issue? For example, the US would have to qualify out of CONCACAF and Brazil would have to qualify out of CONMEBOL.

  2. Good for him. He needs to get back to his starting position with H96.

    I do think Cherundulo needs to trim that hair,.. he looks like George Washignton!

  3. and trust me, i understand that we aren’t THAT concerned with winning the title. but considering we can make history by winning it again, i’m not sure why we at least don’t have a full strength B team.

  4. way to plan ahead Bob. we just keep losing the best players on the team. this is quickly turning into a sub par C team.

  5. evans, I like the guy but his club football isn’t as a defender, but the USMNT is overloaded at midfielders, his only chance of getting on the field is playing out of position–het can get up the field, though.

  6. Why are we bashing BB for not having players? I’m sorry – but its OBVIOUS that he isn’t in the tournament to win. If he was, we’d see Donovan and Brad Guzan starting every game. He has a plan, its long term, and it clearly depends more on having top players with their clubs than it does on beating A/B teams from Concacaf in a meaningless tournament.

  7. loosing Dolo hurts…I have to believe Bradley will give Evans the start at RB. Without a true RB on the roster at this point, I fear we will get torched down that side of the field, (imagine Mexico’s attack with Gio flying at Evans or Cronin)…

  8. The Gold Cup isn’t a success on its off years because Warner insists on having it every 2 years, unlike the rest of the world.

    Also, why does someone always say “Combine Copa America and the Gold Cup”?

    How many times does that absurd notion have to be shot down?

    There isn’t a snowball’s chance in Hades that CONMEBOL will ever have anything to do with CONCACAF.

  9. “ya, i would rather our player win spots on intn’l clubs but I would also like to go to the Confed Cup in 4 years too!”

    This tournament has no impact on the next Confederations Cup.

  10. After the performance against Haiti, I’m not sure that I’d WANT to see him out there, but isn’t Heaps normally a right back?

  11. ya, i would rather our player win spots on intn’l clubs but I would also like to go to the Confed Cup in 4 years too! – and beat Panama, Canada and Mexico! Just look at how much the Confed Cup invite has done for US Soccer this summer.

    wynne was rough in his last WCQ game, but this would have been a better venue for him to play. I would have called him in for the Haiti game – all fast physical strikers that had an edge on Heaps and Parkhurst. plus it would be fun to watch him face canada.

    wasn’t guzan on the list of players they could call in too? i have not seen perkins get tested much but robles look bad. Call in Guzan we all know he has a secured 2 spot and going to take the 1st GK yet.

  12. I’d rather these guys be with their teams in Europe trying to earn spots and time rather than playing in the Gold Cup. I think we have a pretty good idea of who can and who can’t step up for 2010. Besides, is a great performance v Panama or Haiti or whoever really gonna carry that much weight right now?? If we lose, we lose. Play as much youth as we can and start looking to build depth. Also, I think tournament has been good to draw a conclusion to a number of players national team careers.

  13. all the people calling for Wynne, do you not remember the last time he played for that national team? HE WAS HORRRRIBBBBLLLEEE. Its telling with all his physical attributes that he still cant be a star in the MLS or even be consistant game in and game out. I am all for him getting there, he just isnt there yet.

  14. BrianK, the only problem is travel. I agree, it would make it meaningful, but it will never happen. It could be held in one country every four years, similar to the Euros, with the final being held at the country’s largest stadium.

    It’s a dream competition, but it also combines two different confederations, so money will be an issue as well. When Brazil is playing Guatemala, there will be no guessing who is selling tickets, so a competition over ticket money could be an issue.

    But can a man dream? Yes.

  15. Where is Marvell Wynne????

    He was on the Confederations Cup roster, but never played, as far as I can recall.

    Now he isn’t on the Gold Cup roster. Many of the guys who were on the latter are leaving, have left, or are proving themselves unworthy of wearing the jersey. I’d think this is a perfect time for Marvell to get some national team experience. He’s got some real flaws in his game, but against teams that feature really athletic forwards, like Haiti, I’d think he’s be an asset.

    I have to question this personnel decision, just like I question including Brian Ching on the roster but wanting to avoid playing him on turf, when at least half the US games (if we make the final) are on turf.

  16. “This Gold Cup is a joke by the way. I don’t think anyone cares about it,…” DC Josh

    I would like to echo Josh’s comment. In Jack Warner’s mind the CONCACAF Gold Cup is a huge success but in reality it is essentially a non-event.

    This is what needs to be done: Combine the Copa America and Gold Cup into one competition,…called the Copa America. Include 8 qualifying teams from CONCACAF and CONEMBOL – 16 teams in 4 groups of 4. Play the tournament every four years during the summer at the same time the European Championship is being held. Then,…Copa Americas would be a very meaningful tournament and supplant the European Championship as the second most important tournament after the World Cup.

    [I write this knowing that as long as Jack Warner is President of CONCACAF this will never happen.]

  17. Hey what about Goodson? He played right back many times for FC Dallas when Drew moore was not available before he left, didn’t he?

  18. It’s QUARANTA, not QUARANTE, haha. He is Italian, not hispanic.

    For those calling for Sacha, he is too busy getting high and eating cheeto’s in Vancouver. I don’t want to see him anyways. I’d rather see Clark in there.

    I don’t know why Marvell Wynne isn’t in there. I hope to the heavens he is on the extra roster. If he is going to be our 4th right back option, he needs to get in there playing. He is MUUUUUUUUUUCH better than Brad Evans.

    Our right back options are the best fullbacks we have, why doesn’t Sir Boss Bradley try one of them over on the left instead of having a loaded right side and an extremely weak left side. All you have to do as a left back, if you can’t cross the ball well with your left foot, is use your speed to get around the defender, and win a corner kick. Look at what happened when he played Donovan in a winger role, he FLOURISHED. You can’t be afraid to try new things as a coach.

    This Gold Cup is a joke by the way. I don’t think anyone cares about it, except Canada. I really enjoy watching our youngsters, especially ones who are stepping up to the occasion.

    If Jozy is coming in, you gotta start him and Ching up top, and bring in Charlie to burn by exhausted defenders who have had to deal with the two monsters up top.

  19. I’m sure having Dolo leaving was known well in advance. As for Parkhurst, he couldn’t play anyway so why not release him to play for his club.

    Rather than moan about who we don’t have available, we should look at this as another opportunity for the younger/fringe guys to play against better competition. We should be able to handle Panama with the team that’s available, but probably need some extra guys for Canada or Mexico.

  20. Here is the good news

    Charlie Davies is still with the team.

    Altidore has been called in for this one, he arrives Wed.

    Loosing Stevey C is a blow b/c he is one of the few guys on this team who knows what they’re doing and his replacment is lackluster

  21. Brad Evans? you must be joking. Ugh. If Bradley knew that Dolo would have to go back to his club, why didn’t he call in Frankie?

  22. Ives, remember Chivas doesn’t have a game the week of the SF/F.

    If we get there, I’d expect Bornstein to be deployed on the right, and Kljestan at RM.

    Here’s my expected SF/F line-up:


    If Davies goes back, then Ching/Cooper/Casey as the other forwards.

    Pause, Beckerman, Goodson, Arnaud, and Quaranta will be the other weapons off the bench.

  23. Parkhurst would have been ineligible for the QF match anyway due to YC accumulation.

    Why don’t we have a better RB option than Brad Evans? Heaps shouldn’t play. We none of:

    – Hejduk
    – Wynne
    – Simek
    – Ward
    – maybe even Thorrington is better?
    – Lichaj?

  24. Very upset that Cherundolo has left, we could have really used him to lead the team. I am not liking the fact that our team is getting weaker and weaker as time goes on.

    Here is the line up I would like to see against Panama:







    I would also bring in Clark and Kljestan to have coming off the bench. I dont know why we are taking this tourny like it is nothing. I really want to see the USA win this Cup, expecially if we are to meet Mexico in the final.

  25. This tourney is a joke now. I understood calling up a B team since the A team had played in the Confed Cup.

    Having players just skip out on the team just doesn’t look good.

    Why even call in Europe based players if they weren’t going to be with the team for the whole tourney.

    An All-MLS squad would have been better…and why didn’t he put Donovan on the extended roster….he’d have been a great “ringer” for the final. (if we even make it….)

    Bradley screwed this one up…..i totally agree with cc’s comment about the communication. Terrible team management.

    Every tournament that the US plays in should be taken seriously.

    Now…it’s 2 of the last three that Bradley has turned into a farce.

  26. By the way, for all you Red Bull fans, looks like you guys might have signed a decent defender with Leo Krupnik.

    Excuse me if this was mentioned in the comments section of another post. I just didn’t see a post for it so I thought I would through it out there.

  27. Heading into this tournament I was expecting to get to the final and considering its on turf, see this lineup:






    Bench: Adu/Davies, Ching, Quaranta, Beckerman, Pearce, Conrad, Perkins

    But now if Davies leaves, almost half of the starting XI plus the first sub is gone (though Parkhurst and Adu were not on form). Lets remember that to win the final or even get to it we play 3 games in 9 days which means we will need more than a starting XI and now that depth we seemed to have with the expanded roster will be tested.

    I know Torres said he was tired but I really wish he was on the expanded roster. I would rather have him as an unused option than have Klejsten as an option I would rather not use.

    You have to wonder what kind of communication Bradley had with these guys. Why have Feilhaber on the expanded roster if you’re only going to get 25 minutes out of him (though they were an impressive 25 minutes). And if he knew Cherundolo was going to want to head back early you would think he would have brought another right back or atleast added one to the expanded roster, like Wynne.

    While I want to win this tournament I do understand the guys wanting to head back to their clubs and wanting to make an early impression heading into the club season prior to the WC’10, but with the Cherundolo defection I’m not sure this team was completely thought out.

    If we lose this tournament I’ll still hope to see the silver lining of this young inexperienced team down the road like we did from the 07 Copa America team. But Bradley better get it right at the WC.

  28. the further we advance in this tourney the more these euro clubs will want their players back.

    i think we can forget about jozy for the rest of the way

  29. -Ching-Davies-

    I dont think Clark gets called up for Saturday. I doubt we see Pause-Beckerman and Holden on right side. I think Evans will be fine on right but would have felt much more confortable with Cherundolo. Not sure if Hejduk is back healthy yet but his name on extra seven might have been nice. No way we see Heaps. Hope for semis we see Guzan, Jozy and Clark called in- maybe it is possible Cherundolo gets called back?

  30. Ching-Davis




    Dont know if he will call Bornstien or Clark.

  31. Parkhurst played against Honduras too. Obviously, he wasn’t very memorable. But at least vs. Honduras he didn’t do anything as dreadful as leaving that guy alone at the back post for Haiti’s first goal.

    May as well test some new blood. We know all we need to about Dolo.

  32. Parkhurst is no loss, as he was bad. No Cherundolo hurts on the right side. Middle should be good with conrad and Marshall. The left is ok with Pearce. Evans will have to do.

  33. I can’t remember, were any of the “extra” callups at our disposal defenders? ‘Cuz then I’d suspect if we had any, he would join us for the next game…. if there are no extra defenders to call up, I’m not sure what BB is gonna do.

  34. maybe bobbo can toy around with a 3-5-2?I dont want to see Heaps out there again either..i want to actually win this tourny






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