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SBI’s 23 for 2010 (April Edition)

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A little more than two months stands between the U.S. national team and its World Cup destiny, less than 10 weeks before 23 Americans will be chosen to represent the United States in sport's biggest event.

The World Cup roster picture is pretty clear for the most part, but some plotlines continue to develop as we draw ever closer to Bob Bradley's deadline to pick his roster.

There have been no international matches since I last picked a 23 for 2010, but there has been plenty of club action to help give us a picture of how things are developing.

Marcus Hahnemann, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya are among the players to enjoy strong months, while DaMarcus Beasley's battle for playing time at Rangers and Stuart Holden's recovery from a broken leg have been other storylines to watch.

Here is SBI's 23 for 2010 for April:

SBI 23 for 2010 (April 2010 edition)

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan

DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Bornstein, Jay DeMerit, Clarence Goodson

MIDFIELDERS– Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, Benny Feilhaber, Jose Francisco Torres, Maurice Edu, DaMarcus Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya

FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Conor Casey

Left off last team-Heath Pearce, Brian Ching

New additions– Charlie Davies, Conor Casey


Some thoughts on this month's selections:

The same three goalkeepers are locked in, but Marcus Hahnemann's play for Wolverhampton makes him a pretty strong selection as the No. 2 goalkeeper ahead of Brad Guzan.

Bob Bradley will have a decision to make regarding how many defenders he wants to take. Does he go with the standard eight, or does he go with seven to make room for his midfielders? This time around we go with seven, though Frank Simek is probably the next choice over Heath Pearce in my book.

Oguchi Onyewu still hasn't returned to action for AC Milan, but until we hear about an actual set-back in his recovery, he should be back in time to be fit for the World Cup. Whether or not he'll get some games for Milan in the meantime remains to be seen, but Onyewu goes to the World Cup if healthy regardless.

Alejandro Bedoya and DaMarcus Beasley would seem to be playing for the same position, but the versatility of both players will leave them in for now. Beasley's hold is shaky though as he continues to struggle for consistent playing time. If he's playing and fit, Beasley will go.

Central midfield could wind up being the area where a surprising player is left out of the 23-man roster. Will Bradley bring five central midfielders to South Africa in Michael Bradley, Edu, Clark, Feilhaber and Torres, or will he be forced to leave one of them off in favor of another defender? This time around, we'll keep the central midfield Fab Five intact.

Forward is the position everyone wants to talk about. We've tried to be cautious with our projection of Charlie Davies, but we're going to include him this month as moves ever closer to returning to the field for FC Sochaux. While it still remains uncertain how much of his ability will still be there once he does come back, I'm banking on him being good enough to make this 23.

Brian Ching's hamstring injury makes things even more wide-open on the back-end of the forward pool. Ching looked like a safe bet, and could still make it back in time, but for now we will leave him off for Conor Casey. I was very tempted to include red-hot Herculez Gomez instead of Casey, but we need to see Gomez keep up his recent stellar form for another month before he'll get the nod. Casey isn't a sexy pick, but he'll be chosen for his ability to provide a holding forward option off the bench. If Ching is healthy by early May he will be a good bet to still be included, but Bradley might have to start thinking seriously about the injury risk for Ching, who has endured his share of injuries over the past month.


What do you think of this group? Which player is missing that you would include? Which inclusion do you think was a mistake?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Even though the present USMNT has achieved some respectability in the world of soccer, and many of our best players have played or are playing on clubs in the best leagues in the world, I still can’t explain why I’m not as confident going into this World Cup as I was back in the days when we had,

    (in no particular order and off the top of my head)-

    Reyna, Wynalda, Max-Moore, Harkes, Cobi Jones, Mcbride, Ramos, Keller, Olsen, Pope, Balboa, Lalas, Agoos, Stewart, Armas, Lewis, Wolff, Hejduk, O’brien, Mastroeni etc. etc.

    (I know I’ve accidentally left off some of my other favorite players from this era, but you get the idea)

    Except for Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Howard, Davies, Bocanegra, and Beasley I’m a tad worried about our team.

    Then again… maybe this is where our new heroes will emerge.

    Let’s hope so!!!!

    GO USA!!!!!!!

  2. Do you think we could just take 2 keepers instead of 3, or is that way too risky?

    I know…one injury and one red card and we’d be done in South Africa…but having that extra roster spot for a field player seems so tempting at this juncture for the USMNT.

    What do you think???


  3. Hey, what about Brad Davis as a midfielder off the bench?

    He’s got great skills… fantastic ball control…excellent free kicks… hustle… soccer savy and awareness…leadership … can create tons of opportunities for scoring…he’s played for the USMNT before… he’s been a major factor and contributor on Championship teams in MLS…he’s still young and he has a vast amount of confidence.

    C’mon Coach Bradley…we can certainly use him.


  4. Can anyone give me any info about the on-field seating at Rentschler Field for the USMNT on May 25, 2010? Is the mid-field line considered to be seat #1 or is it seat #15…16 or 20???

    Maybe someone who has been to a USMNT game at this field could help me out. I’ve called Rentschler Field , but no one seems to know.

  5. Simek is barely able to get on the field at Sheffield Wednesday. It seems he has yet to recover from his serious ankle injury. Not what I would call a great option. It’s a mistake of the highest order to ever take a player whose fitness is questionable to the World Cup ( see England 2002, 2006, or the US 2006). Every one of those guys needs to be available for duty, especially for the US who need 110% from everyone to win.

    Do you really think Edu would be lost as a defender? He has played all over the field in his career.

    You sound like an American and American fans really get all hung up on specialization,

    ” He’s a left sided midfielder you can’t play him on the right!” Johann Cruyff would be turning over in his grave, if he was dead, which he isn’t.

    Maybe you’ve heard of Michael Essien and Claudio Reyna. Both of these guys are primarily known as midifelders but both spent a lot of time playing right back and playing it well.

    My solution for Bornstein was to leave him at home and use Robbie Rogers at left back. Rogers is a better passer, crosser, shooter, is about as good a defender and is nearly as fast. Plus I’ve seen him drop back on the left numerous times and he could play left wing. An American Wayne Bridge. But I haven’t seen him lately.

    I’d have no problem with Edu anywhere at the back. He’s a pro.

  6. primoone –

    Sarcasm is extremely difficult to pick up when being read by someone who doesn’t know you. So if you choose to express yourself with sarcasm, you have only yourself to blame if it gets taken out of context. If you want to say Jimmmy is an idiot just call him an idiot and be done with it. Your attempt to show how witty you are just puts you in a bad light.

    jimmmy –

    I have seen all of Holden’s USMNT games and none of his Dynamo or Bolton games. If he is doing well at Bolton, fine. However, for the USMNT I think he showed really well at the Gold Cup but has been just average to slightly above average for the US ever since. Your praise for him, while sincere I’m sure, is the sort of thing that gives US fans a bad name for hyperbole.

    Holden may be great one day but right now he’s just slightly above average for the US.

    He may not even make the SA team.

  7. I think a 75% Davies definitely makes the team. If nothing else, he is a burst of speed off the bench if he can’t play a full 90. If we had any other real options up top, we may be able to deal without him, but with our lack of forward prowess, I think we need him no matter what shape he’s in.

    Assuming Onyewu is healthy, he should be fine with little playing time before the cup. He’s a smart player and he has always had an ability to read the game. I don’t think an injury will take that away.

  8. I feel that we are in trouble. The Algerians and Slovenia have been highly overlooked. They have played great against some of the most formidible teams on the planet. Ask the Czech Republic. Their coaching has been great, and the teams have gelled. They have not had multiple wholesale roster changes for their games. It has been commented that Bob B has been playing to the system and not to the team – square pegs into round holes -absolutely. This is a reflection of the under 14 coaching mentality of US coaches (‘Stay in your position’). The only ‘stars’ we have are our goalkeepers and Donovan/Dempsey (Double D’s) who are really offensive midfielders. It should be noted that defense usually wins. Our defense is suspect, and none of them are capable of venturing past midfield(Beasley?). There is no way Gooch, and Davis will be ready. I propose breaking the team into the following: goalkeepers(Done – 3), defensive players with the idea of playing a back 3 and occasionally 4 (Bocanegra, Spector, Cherundulo, ?Bornstein, ?Demerit, ?Goodson, ?Pearce,?Wynn), Defensive Midfielders (Edu and Bradley – both can play in central denfense if necessary, Clark, Torres, ?Jermaine Jones?), Offensive Midfielders (Donovan, Dempsey, Bedoya, Feilhaber, Holden, Beasley, Brad Davis?), and Front Line (Altidore, Gomez). I would suggest a 1-4(off mid)-2(def mid)-3-1. Adu and Nguyen need to be brought to camp. May th best players get picked. A 35 man roster can be named by May 12th. We need to play to our strengths(weaknesses?). I predict 4 points will be needed to get out of the first round. We need major luck.

  9. Im sorry that you took my comment as being offensive. Im a nice guy 🙂 You just seem to hate Holden for no reason and Im hoping he helps the USMNT a lot this WC

  10. awwwe…come on SBI primoone has some valid points. Hell, Ill be the first to admitt that Im not a superstar. Besides they are opinions…

    To be honest with you…I dont even like soccer…Im just in it for the chicks!


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