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Projecting the USA Gold Cup roster: Final Edition


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The CONCACAF Gold Cup is just two weeks away, meaning the wait to see Bob Bradley's U.S. national team roster for the tournament is almost over.

Bradley will announce his roster this afternoon, and while a good number of roster spots are easy enough to project, there are still a handful of spots clearly up for grabs.

Whether it's the No. 3 goalkeeper spot, the back-up left back spot, the final two midfield places and the fourth forward selection, there are more than enough roster slots still in doubt to make this afternoon's announcement just a little bit suspenseful.

So who do I see Bradley selecting today? Here's one last projection of the roster:


GOALKEEPERS – Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, David Yelldell

DEFENDERS – Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Tim Ream, Clarence Goodson, Timmy Chandler, Jonathan Spector, Heath Pearce.

MIDFIELDERS – Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Benny Feilhaber, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan

FORWARDS – Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Herculez Gomez


Here are some thoughts on the picks and who just missed our cut:

GOALKEEPERS – The question is the third goalkeeper spot. Brad Guzan is getting married this summer, so with him unlikely to be named the question becomes whether Bradley goes with an MLS keeper like Nick Rimando, who can stay with RSL unless needed, or will Bradley turn to Yelldell in an effort to get him better integrated with the national team set-up.

DEFENDERS – The first seven slots among defenders seem like locks, especially with Jay DeMerit's recent injury spell likely ruling him out. That leaves an eight spot presumably for a left-footed defender, natural left back ideally. Jonathan Bornstein has experience with the team, but just hasn't seen much playing time. Zak Whitbread is coming off a stellar season with Norwich City, and has some experience at left back.

So why do we go with Heath Pearce? He has an edge over Bornstein in that he's actually been playing regularly (and playing very well for Chivas USA, though at centerback rather than left back) and he has an edge over Whitbread in that he's actually got more experience in the national team set-up than Whitbread. Bradley's track record says he goes Bornstein, but we'll throw Pearce in as our surprise inclusion.

So why not other MLS defenders, like George John and Omar Gonzalez? Right now Onyewu, Goodson, Ream, Bocanegra and Whitbread are all rated above them for now. John and Gonzalez are worthy picks, but lose out to depth.

(UPDATE-Yes, I did forget to include Eric Lichaj, who's definitely on the radar. He's been on our projected 23 before, and since he saw regular playing time at Leeds, it wouldn't be a complete shock to see him get the nod, especially if Bradley believes he can provide cover at left back).

MIDFIELDERS – The first five names are automatic, and the way Alejandro Bedoya is playing in Sweden it is safe to say he'll be on the team. That leaves two midfield spots for the likes of Feilhaber, Kljestan, Ricardo Clark, Jose Torres and Brad Davis.

Feilhaber is playing well since joining New England and should be on, and Kljestan is coming off a good season with Anderlecht, which should be enough to bring back into the fold. Davis might seem like a stretch on this list, but with the lack of pure wingers in the pool, and how well he's playing for Houston, Davis had to be considered.

(UPDATE– Mixx Diskerud is an interesting proposition, and he's playing well in Norway by all accounts. He's on the radar, but does Bradley take him over some more familiar names? It would be a bit of a surprise.)

FORWARDS – Charlie Davies looked like a safe bet before suffering a recent hamstring injury. Does that mean he definitely won't be on? We'll find out this afternoon,but it seems unlikely Bradley would risk a roster spot if Davies' health status is uncertain. Now, if Davies is making good progress, and taking him wouldn't be too risky, I can see Bradley bringing him.

If Davies can't go the question becomes who is the fourth forward, or will there be a fourth forward? If Bradley takes four, Gomez' hot streak to end the Mexican season puts him on the radar. Eddie Johnson and Robbie Findley are healthy, but neither has played much lately. Edson Buddle is an option, though Gomez would seem to have the edge ahead of him.

Bradley could also just go with three forwards and use Timmy Chandler in midfield, while sliding Dempsey to forward when needed. This would allow Bradley to bring an extra defender (more likely) or midfielder (less likely).


What do you think of the squad? Who didn't make this group that you hope makes the team Bradley ultimately selects? Who didn't we discuss in the breakdown that you feel should have been considered?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You say Parkhurst has proven repeatedly that he isn’t international quality — what are you basing this on? Please provide me with REPEATED evidence.

    #1 He hasn’t been given much of an opportunity, preferred instead to bigger more “athletic” options.

    #2 When he has played it has been w/ the second string and his goals against average (an ok assessment for a defender) has been very good.


  2. Curious myself, because i didn’t get to see it and have no idea what you are talking about in your seemingly interesting response. Yes, I am off of work, drinking beer, and reading every post on this SBI thread.

  3. true, crosser of the ball he is not. I guess on my imaginary fifa game, if he isn’t listed as a striker then he would be a cam, not a left mid.

  4. actually, quite often, for both their respective teams, they shift into the ACM role. Haven’t you ever seen them pushing the backline in the center of the field, receiving the ball, and then distributing in dangerous areas. I have seen goals from both of them in this scenario, while they are listed on the wing….

    What do you think an ACM does?

  5. Holden plays it better than you might think, but defends better than you might think too… Holden as an attacking mid next to a Jones was something I couldn’t wait to see, and now have to. Kinda like Davies in the world cup.

  6. You started the argument without even a look at the population, no need for a sample…you lost. deal with it.

  7. Jones, Bradley, and Edu all score goals and are attack minded, they just make sure they defend first and don’t sit up top waiting for the ball. I’m not sure we are good enough to field a player in such a position. If we were, then Adu should play. All offense and no defense would suit his game for our team. When Sasha plays, he is expected to defend. He just doesn’t do it so well. Jones attacks with as much flair as Sasha, without the terrible off games.

  8. Which team plays in the better league: Orebro (Bedoya) or Rizespor (Adu)? Same question with goodson, kljestan, et al.

    I wish there was a link to the salarys of the players again, that would say a lot.

  9. Keep Wondo in san jose. If he makes the team he will probably be riding the pine. So let him score for San Jose so we can get back in the playoff race.

    And for the record Agudelo can’t even get a start on his team, Bunbury hasn’t scored in 6 weeks, Jozy has scored 3 goals in 2 years in europe. Herculez had a good run with Puebla but Pachuca he’s scored 5 goals so far. Edson Buddle 3 goals in 14 games in 2nd division Germany. Im definitely not impressed with any of these players.

  10. I’d like to see start:




    (I think Agudelo plays very well off of strong players, i imagine could combinations here between himself and Deuce. Plus, I personally believe he showed better than Jozy last game. Give him his due.

    Obviously, there are many games, so we may see a lot of different formations. What is good about that is players who are great and show even more future promise but are inexperienced with the nats, like Chandler, Agudelo, Ream, & Lichaj, can build up experience in the early group stages and actually be playing at their top form by the final, a la davies et. al. at confed cup.

  11. It’s true we’ve lost our share of matches with two holding midfielders. My point was that it’s not a completely hopeless system.

    True playmakers have to be good enough to drive the entire team’s attack. Everything goes through them.

    I don’t think that player exists in our pool. Do we really want to put all our attacking eggs in the sacha/adu/mix basket?

    And though their names get thrown around a lot, neither torres nor holden play this role.

  12. I think this a good point, and therefore we must start Deuce up top. He lead his 8th place premier league squad in goals by being a replacement forward when the starters were injured…
    With that kind of resume, you gotta put him up top. Plus, that is his preferred position for the nats. That leaves the question who do we replace that wing with. Now I would suggest Chandler, but Bedoya is an off the bench option as well, which is nice. Especially because you can easily replace chandler at right back with quality. This all makes sense, and I hope we see it.

    So who starts with Deuce up top, Agudelo or Altidore?

    Or do we go with the inexperienced but potentially potent Agudelo-Boon-boon concoction?

  13. Trollish comment for the day (I need to vent/kid around)


    Bob is an idiot if he doesn’t replace the entire team with Beasley clones.

    Thank you

  14. but if it were up to me, I would bring spector instead of onyewu, but both are for cover, not starters. Spector’s versatility make him a very valuable player. Yes, I do prefer a newb of either goodson or ream to the old vet. And Ream’s distribution has incalculable value.

  15. Agree! chandler at right-mid and dempsey up front with jozy or agudelo. We get our best players on the field and have at least one forward who’s a proven scorer.

  16. So, who starts in defense?

    I’d like to see:

    But that is too inexperienced in the middle for Bob at this point, so he will be compelled to start at least Boca in the middle.
    It will be interesting to see if Onyewu gets yet another opportunity to prove he has his confidence back….

    If Chandler plays in Midfield, then I wouldn’t mind either Lichaj or Cherundolo. Right back is very solid. But Chandler is a must start somewhere, and he and Lichaj have played well together on the right before.

    I expect to see

    I read above that Lichaj plays a mean left-back, better than Pearce. Is he better than Boca on the left? If that is true, then I would prefer:
    Lichaj-Boca-Ream-Chandler (if chandler isn’t midfielder)

  17. How about USMNT VS:

    Paraguay 0-1: MB/Edu – dominated but no skill in the MF to get by players and create a spark, but what do you expected from 2 Defensive minded CM.

    Mexico 1-2: MB/Clark

    We are known to tie or lose to inferior teams and this Gold Cup everyone’s coming after us. A good defense is having a strong offense and keeping the ball it their half. we just can’t rely on counter attack and set prices because if we don’t get enough of them…there goes the game

    We need an attacking midfielder. In the Gold cup, where we are the team to beat, no more coming from behind!!!!! We should only have one CDM on the field at a time, unless we are trying to secure a lead. Jones is without a doubt the best CDM we have so thats going to bring complications.
    Mexico always gives us problems because of their ACM and this gold cup will be no different. Giovani Dos Santos is going to cause all sorts of problems for us. He’s an ACM listed as a forward….Standby

    Adu, Torres, Mix, Benny should be in camp (selection is another story) with the USMNT, unless like Adu, its better for them to be with their club teams

  18. Sure, but they were also starting (or at least playing a major role) at major English clubs. Agudelo is only starting when Henri is injured, he was replaced by a player from a lower english division who has performed better on the field than Juan did. To say Agudelo is an important part of the Red Bull attack would be overstating things a lot.

    Of course, he is talented and he looks to grow into a much better player, but right now…

  19. I think we should play a 4-2-3-1.






    Goodson- Threat on set peices and playing well for Bondby.


    Lichaj- Given the lack of leftback options and his strong play at left back for Leeds i think he deserves the spot. His pace and hustle at left should be up to par at international level. atleast for the gold cup.

    Edu- Just won another title playing for the full 90 everytime. Deserves to start

    Jones- Played full 90 every game at blackburn and actually did not get a yellow card in his last game! Shocking.

    Chandler- Do we really not want his pace and crossing ability not of the field?

    Demps/Donovan- with their recent scoring for their clubs i would want them as close to the goal as possible.

    Alitdore- Really don’t have any other forward who can play up by himself.

    Mb and Gooch dont deserve to start due to their lack of pt at club, especially play the full 90 all tournement( talking to you MB). If MB does fulfill his MB90 status something is gonna start to smell fishy about BB.

    By the way, does anybody know how many players the red bulls are gonna lose??

  20. I am worried that Gooch will ever recover his old form and certainly, it is questionable if he will be ready this June. That said, Bradley does have some loyalty to past performers so it is likely he will get a spot on the 23.

  21. Where are the goals coming from has been the question for the USMNT since before the 2006 W.C. when it was clear that if McBride didn’t score the US was in trouble.

    I am not sure how Wondo gets left off the list, he lead the US domestic league in goals last year and while off to a slow start has stepped it up recently. I would not be surprised to see him ahead of any of the forwards presently on the list. He is more of a handfull to keep track of than Gomez or Agudelo without the ball and can occupy defenders with runs that pull the defense out of shape for the US midfield to exploit.

    Still, he did not overwhelm last time he was called up. If he keeps scoring though, he can’t be ignored.

  22. The delay is due to Bradley and Hyndman sparring over George John. Hyndman will win as he literally has balls of steel. Bad news for our USNT D

  23. ahhh good question, and the asnwer is yes, he FINALLY matured as a player and does not try to do everything like he did in the u20 and u23 world cups, he has tons of skill, but his defensivenes isnt great but he does pressure more alot more than he used to, thats why he always starts and plays 90 minutes with rizerspur in turkey

  24. What will your rant bring to the discussion that no other rant about Bradley and Altidore has before?

    If the answer is “nothing,” then don’t even bother.

  25. im getting worried that he will be starting bocanegra, bradley, altidore and onyewu.. id like to c torres play, and bring in adu, he has the skill no other usa player has.. agudelo, dempsey as forwards.. adu ,torres, donovan, feilhaber as mid, cherundolo, chandler, ream, pearce as defender and howard at back


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