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The Monday Freestyle: U.S. squad to be announced, Europa Final set and the team I’d take to Princeton

It was a relatively slow news day in the soccer world on Monday, what with World Cup preliminary rosters set to be unveiled on Tuesday and the Europa League final headlining proceedings on Wednesday.

Here are some items to ponder as Monday winds down:

The U.S. 30-man preliminary World Cup roster will be unveiled on ESPN2 at 2pm. As it stands, we can figure that Edson Buddle and Brian Ching are among the selected (thanks to Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and the Houston Dynamo PR department for (inadvertently) leaking that info to the masses).

Former England manager Steve McLaren has parlayed his success at Dutch champion FC Twente into a nice two-year deal to become the new manager at Wolfsburg. Will he bring along Costa Rican star Bryan Ruiz (since it's a safe bet Edin Dzeko is on his way to a bigger club)?

The Europa League Final looks set to go on as planned on Wednesday (ash cloud be damned). If you're wondering where you can watch it, DirecTV is showing the match, but that's about it as far as television options. SBI will be doing a live commentary on the match so you can always follow along here.

With the World Cup a month away, my colleagues at Fox Soccer have begun their World Cup previewing with a wide variety of info, including the first of their 32 team previews. They began the team previews today with North Korea.

I know some of you have asked me to name my own 28-man roster for next week's U.S. training camp. Here is the group I'd bring to Princeton:

SBI'S Proposed 28-man roster for USMNT Training Camp

Goalkeepers– Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan

Defenders– Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Bornstein, Heath Pearce, Chad Marshall

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

Forwards– Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Brian Ching, Edson Buddle, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez

A few caveats to consider. If Torres has club duty with Pachuca, and if Davies isn't healthy, that could free up a spot for Freddy Adu, Robbie Rogers or Sacha Kljestan.

Chad Marshall might seem surprising, but he played a full 90 minutes on Saturday and was entrenched as a top four centerback just a year ago. Frankie Hejduk probably played himself out of the picture in recent weeks, though it wouldn't shock me if he wound up on the squad.


The SBI MLS Power Rankings will come out Tuesday morning for those of you wondering where it was today. I had to take care of some equipment upgrading today as I get ready for the World Cup, which is fast approaching. As you might expect, there's plenty of shaking up in this week's rankings.

Also look out for the MLS Team of the Week, MLS Best XI, and the return of the MLS Rookie of the Week feature.


What do you think of any of the above items? Did you like my 28-man projected camp roster?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jozy’s message on his twitter appears to be a sign that Davies will not be invited. Probably a better decision not to invite him, then only to have him not make the final 23.

    It breaks my heart if true, but it could be the best decision for both team and player.

  2. “I’d like to know how Bornstein is on this list.”

    Easy. He’s appeared almost 30 times for the US in 3 years. Why WOULDN’T you? This isn’t a Playstation game, where you can pick 11 different players each time out.

    These guys NEED to be familiar with each other to succeed.

  3. “If you’re wondering where you can watch it, DirecTV is showing the match, but that’s about it as far as television options.”

    What the hell?!?!

  4. No way. That would be a huge mistake…if DMB was getting regular PT and was playing tenaciously, sliding into guys and wasn’t afraid to get crazy with people, then yes, he’d be a good candidate for LB. It’s just not his game.

  5. Davies is exactly the type of guy your bring into a 28 man camp.

    You give him 2 weeks to figure out what he can contribute at the Cup. There is a chance by June 1st he could be a contributor. If he doesnt make it, you leave him off the next list.

    I am not saying string him along like JOB, but give him a chance in camp to demonstrate that he is back.

    When healthy, he is clearly in the top 23.

    Its the same with Herculez Gomez and Buddle. They have performed well enough with their clubs recently to make you think they MAY be able to contribute for the nats. Give them 2 weeks playing with our best. IF they sink, oh well. If they dont, put them on the plane.

  6. The problem wasn’t the press, it was the poor coaching. How does a squad that 2 years later is among World Cup favorites miss out on Europa?

    Answer: McLaren who was obviously in over his head, starting with his let’s make Beckham a scapegoat stunt at the start of his ‘reign.”

  7. Adu did not play that well in MLS, maybe you forget one coach after another…did not seem so impressed as you.

  8. the ELEVATION at plush Princeton has me worried. Shouldn’t we be training at high elevation, on gravel with horns blaring all around rather than at low elevation in luxury? The U.S. wins when they are gritty, not when they think they are more sophisticated technically than other teams, we are not pretty. The boys cannot forget those huevos they have when they play hard in Central America or in Azteca. Princeton. Damn.

    (SBI-The US team will be in South Africa for 11 days before the England match, plenty of time to acclimatize to the altitude according to the country’s top experts on such things. Princeton will be used to establish the fitness foundation before departing to South Africa.)

  9. I agree this is a missed opportunity to measure where MLS teams are at – or maybe we just don’t like the answer, since MLS teams usually haven’t either the squad quality or depth to show well.

    Bummer for Chicago last year, very very close.

  10. It’s a good list.

    I think if he only calls 26 players in I’d drop Marshall and Johnson. EJ has gotten so many chances to shine at the international level and just hasn’t cut the mustard.

  11. Right. Davies makes it to camp, for sure.

    To make it onto the plane depends on what Charlie shows in next few weeks.

  12. The North Korea piece was a waste of time.

    I can tell you that there are three Japanese born players who currently start for their J League sides.

    Chong Tese has been called the Wayne Rooney of North Korea. He is a fast and powerful player who has some skill but is very erratic when it comes to touch around the net. He also has a huge temper and is prone to complain. He was chosen at the target forward position over possible Brazilian NT player and Porto forward Hulk when both were at Frontale.

    Ryan Yong Gi is the free kick/set piece specialist for Korea DPR…..currently he is a J League co-leader in assists with 4 and has scored 4 goals this year (in 11 matches). He gets his scores off of set pieces and PKs. He is in a bit of a slump right now after a hot start for newly promoted Vegalta Sendai.

    An Yong Hak is the starting D mid for the Omiya Ardija and the starting Center Back for Korea DPR. A strong player with a good aerial game, Hak is prone to commit clumsy fouls. He covers a good amount of ground for a big man but tends to bull people over on challenges. He is a good candidate for a red card, especially against Italy.

    That was off the top of my head. I’m sure calling up a colleague in South Korea for some information would have not been too hard. They did play 8 qualifying matches…..I bet if the journalist had called the AFC, they would have probably given him some match tapes.

  13. 50%? I REALLY hope that Bob B. doesn’t bring a 50% Davies to the WC as a feel good story. This is the World Cup were talking about and every player needs to be close to 100% especially playing at 5,000 feet plus elevation. Including Davies in the 30 man roster is logical — take a look at him in training camp and see how fit he is.

    Realistically, do you think that Davies is going to be as fit, fast and match ready in one month’s time? Can you really justify taking someone that is only ready to play 20-30 minutes? What if one of our forwards gets injured in the first match and Charlie can’t step in to play 90? These are the difficult questions one has to ask. His speed is his biggest asset and hopefully he can regain it after the accident. If he isn’t in considerable shape, I wouldn’t take the chance on him and would take an in-form forward that has been playing week in and week out like Gomez.

  14. the good think about this lineup also is that both bradley and edu can go foward and be effective, and be EXTREMELY disruptive in the midfield which is the only way we’ll prevent service to rooney and the likes, you want rooney to see the ball as little as is possible to beat england, and you do it by cutting off the midfield. late in the game sub torres or felhieber to edu to try and kill the clock or get an offensive spark

  15. i seriously dont friggin understand the sudden attention Buddle is getting. at the very end of last season all ANYONE could say was how terrible Buddle was for LA Galaxy, everyone was saying they wanted him to be cut from the roster, because of his lackluster performance all year and the terrible pk in the finals.

    Now what he scores a few goals and hes merit a spot on the 23 going to south africa? people need to realize that the defense in MLS is absolutely NOTHING compared to what he would be facing in south africa, which is something he has absolutely no experience with. im sorry but buddle will be an absolute sham against the likes of englands back 4, and if we advance, Brazils? give me a break.

    At least Jozy has proven himself to be useful against the likes of Spain and Brazil in the confed cup. Just because he hasnt got alot of playing time does not take away from his quality and his experience at this level. IMO the only options should be Ching if healthy enough, Casey (he did score two essential goals in qualifying remember) jozy, and Dempsey.

    The world cup isnt the stage to be trying a completely unproven striker especially when our upcoming friendlies arent going to be top competition that we would see if we advance out of group stages.

    And honestly i think our best choice is to play defensively and capitalize on counters like we have in the past. We’re never going to have the possession numbers because we just plain dont have the technical players for it so we nee to disrupt and go foward, not expect to string together 20 passes and have a shot on goal which is why Torres isnt as successful with our team, because he prefers a possession game.

    …………Jozy Dempsey……
    …………….Bradley Edu………

    would be our strongest lineup atm.

  16. Did everyone read ESPN’s (or was it SI?) article on Adu? Various coaches said the same thing, that he doesn’t read the game well, he’s not soccer smart, and that by starting playing at a high level so young it cut off his being a student of the game…

  17. The cuts to make 23 should be Marshall, Beasley, Ching, Eddie Johnson, and Davies if he can’t go. If Davies is good for 15min a game at least, then cut Buddle…

  18. boludo is speaking boludeces, Adu will be left off for Bedoya and all the mid-fielders we’ll need to take. He’s still young and has time, he’ll be in the mix for 2014…

  19. they have had all the previous games, sometimes they freeze up or get cut, or the commentary will be Polish or Turkish, but most of the time at least one works…

  20. I’d be really surprised if Barrios starts. Haedo Valdez will definitely start, and then either Roque or Cardozo. I’d bet on Roque because he has more big game experience and always seems to come through unlike Tacuara Cardozo who rips it up for Benfica but never does anything for PY…

  21. Did anyone see the Futbol Mundial on gol tv featuring Davies? Filmed in mid april i think, he look ok/good on the foot speed drills, but he seemed ginger when kicking a ball around.

    It left me thinking, 3 weeks is probably not enough to get to peg 85 out of 100 as Bradley put it.

  22. Davies, through his play before the accident and his determination after, has earned the right to show BB where he’s at.

    This is the 30 man preliminary roster and camp. Not the Final roster. It’s the place where fringe roster spots should be earned or lost.

  23. I hope Buddle,EJ,Pearce, get drop from W.C roster. I prefer Adu playing behind Altidore in the later stages of the game. I don’t see why everyone jumps on the Adu bash bandwagon. His 2010 performances have been better than most USMNT players this season. He is the only man on our roster who can keep the ball for more than 5 seconds without lossing it! Most of the pool is built on defense, so why bring 20 players that have almost the exact same qualities on the field? We need a player who can spark a team with a pass or a nasty move to the box to draw a penalty in case we are down 1-0 late in the game. The best defense is an OFFENCE in el FUTBOL! We need atleast one good technical player on the roster, let it be ADU.

    ADU for South Africa 2010! 🙂 Let the haters begin.

    Rogers & Sasha?? Oh noooo!… these bums are just average players, good enought for the MLS, but not good enought for the NT.

  24. Mexico did not impress at all. They are starting to get some heat by the Mexican critics. A horrible play by the Ghanian goal keeper accounted for the only goal.

  25. I think Ives is right on with the 28 to be called into camp – I think the other 2 to make the full 30-man camp roster will be Robbie Rogers (who I think is underrated) and Hejduk as the veteran workhorse presence.

    When it comes to starting lineup and our forwards, I think you’ve got to give a huge value to current form, and not just the body of work done over the past 2 years or so. Pair Altidore up top with whoever is proving in camp that he is sharpest – between Buddle, Gomez and Davies in my opinion. Or if no other forward is really impressing, go with the 4-5-1 with Altidore as lone striker and Dempsey as withdrawn forward behind him.

  26. Charlie davies is not going to south Africa people. Open ur eyes. He made a huge mistake and now he will see just how big it was. And Ives saw altidore with his girl lindsay Lohan at the home depot today so yes it’s relevant!


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