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Projecting the USA Gold Cup Team: The Forwards

Jozy Altidore (

When Bob Bradley sits down to pick his CONCACAF Gold Cup team, deciding on the forwards he is going to bring won't be easy.

There are cases for several forwards, and cases against many of those same forwards. Whether it's players who are or aren't scoring goals, or even in the case of Juan Agudelo, a player who isn't starting at the moment in MLS, there will be plenty for Bob Bradley to consider.

Assuming Bradley selects four forwards, which four will he pick? He still has a month to decide, but Bradley is likely going to choose from a pool of forwards we are all very familiar with.

Here is a look at the candidates (along with your chance to pick which forwards should go):

Jozy Altidore

Not starting at Bursaspor, but getting minutes. He did score a goal last month, and is in no real threat of not making the Gold Cup team. At this point the only question is whether Altidore is starting against Canada or not.

Teal Bunbury

Has looked good since returning from an off-season elbow injury. As looked as good as fellow young striker Juan Agudelo, and has earned more playing time. His battle isn't with Agudelo though. It's with veterans like Gomez and Buddle.

Juan Agudelo

A speedy threat who also has the strength to ward off defenders, Agudelo isn't starting for New York but he has still managed some magical moments in MLS play this season. He's only 18 but it's tough to see him not making the squad.

Charlie Davies

The lack of quality speed forward options coupled with Davies' strong form in MLS makes him a very good candidate to make the Gold Cup team. As much as Bradley might want to take his time with Davies, it is tough to argue with the impact Davies is making in MLS play and the qualities he is showing. 

Herculez Gomez

A hot streak to end the Mexican League regular season put Gomez back on the radar, but with Bunbury looking good, Gomez could be on the outside looking in. He has nudged ahead of Edson Buddle though for the time being.

Edson Buddle

Getting minutes if not starting regularly for German second division side Ingolstadt, Buddle has helped the club climb out of relegation danger. Has he done enough to climb back into the Gold Cup picture? It's a toss-up between him and Gomez, but Bunbury remains the player Buddle will most likely have to compete with for a spot.

Eddie Johnson

Getting regular minutes during his loan to Preston North End, but hasn't done all that much with the playing time. He's an old stand-bye who has a good chance of at least getting a camp invite, but it's tough to see him cracking the top four.

Chris Wondolowski

Still doing well in MLS, but the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner just doesn't look like a realistic threat to edge out any of the top six.

Robbie Findley

Only recently back from a long-term injury, Findley can't possibly be chosen ahead of Agudelo or Davies. Can he?

Conor Casey

Injuries have curtailed his MLS season and he's a LONG shot. Honestly, he's got no shot at this point.

Brian Ching

See above.

Will Bruin

A very promising start to his rookie season, Bruin is a perfect candidate for the January national team camp, but he's not ready to beat out the leading candidates on this list for a Gold Cup place.


Now it's your turn to pick. Select the FOUR forwards from the list below that you think should be on this summer's Gold Cup roster:


Who did you select and why? Which forward do you absolutely NOT want to see on the Gold Cup roster? Which forward combination are you hoping to see against Canada?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Once again you are right on target with your thoughts on Jozy.

    Ives, I know you don’t agree with me (though I respect your opinion), but Altidore is way over-rated.

    USA all the way!!!

  2. Absolutely true!

    I’m not a hater, I’m a USMNT fan and I want what is best for them.

    Can we please give someone other than Jozy a chance?

    How will we ever know who is the best player at this position unless we sit Jozy and give others as many chances as he’s had.

    He is not the answer!

  3. I never said he was better than altidore… can you read? i was simply explaining why Bunbury isnt performing up to Altidore’s rate, because the league contains more quality now than it did when Jozy was here

  4. Ha..nice one.

    I picked Buddle over Davies because I think in that tournament Buddle might have an X factor (being stronger than most defenders) where Charlie’s speed is somewhat prevalent in the Latin leagues. Plus he has WC experience.

  5. Donovan.
    Plus, players like Dempsey were on the radar of the nats, and scoring in world cups, before moving to europe. So these players may make a move later, but that one variable is not the end all be all of judgement.

    Secondly, I wonder if EJ would compete at the same level in MLS that he did in the past.

    Third, EJ has always had a poor first touch, ball control, and vision. He scored goals on pure spped. Always been a problem at international level. Don’t you think Boon-boon-rey and agudelo show a bit more international level skill set promise? I think their skill set, which isn’t pure speed, matches up better for future nats success.

  6. ej has already conquered the mls and now is trying to conquer Europe. None of these players has conquered the mls. Ej was main star on his mls teams. None of these players ever were premeir scorer in mls and European league which Ej is trying to get playing time is harder. Striker position is hardest position to get playing time in. He has to had some experience at other European clubs to get playing time. These other players should not be considered. No European experience where soccer is at its hardest.

  7. By the way and for all of us to keep it in perspective…Mexico is bringing Chicharito…and probably 2 or 3 others like Vela, DeNigris, and/or Angel Reyna (leading scorer in Mexican league)…

    Their frontline is definitely better than ours…crap even Costa Rica forward line is better than ours, they have Bryan Ruiz (after Chicharito the second best forward in the region), Saborio, Marco Urena (plays in the Russian Premiere League…

    Bottomline our forward pool is weak…much weaker than going into the WC..good enough for group game but after that we will struggle…

  8. I have a feeling Gomez will make it as a a mid/striker utility kinda guy so I think the first 4 on the list and Gomez will all make it. Gomez is pretty versatile and has learned how to play the role of ‘super-sub’ wonderfully.

    The only one I could see getting swapped out is Bunbury for Buddle.

  9. By the way Will Bruin is a guy to keep an eye and I hope he continues to score wiht Houston. He is in the top 5 leaders right now but hey its early in the season and only 21 years old. I would definitely at this moment keep an eye on him for the U-23 team with Agudelo and Bunbury. Bobby Wood should be a guy to keep in that team’s forward player pool also.

  10. Don’t see what people see in Gomez…the guy is not good and recently with Torres put on the market for the lackluster overall performance with Pachuca…he is not USMNT A team quality…he will be back in MLS and fade away wiht other second string forwards…hope he proves me wrong…Here are my picks…

    Agudelo–given and hopefully Backe continues to give him playing time that damn old European who doesn’t line up Americans in an American team.

    Altidore—bust or not in his current form he is a given for his experience and continued potential and given GC opponents a hard time

    Davies—hope he continues his form

    The 4th spot is hard and what I look is for who can cause more damage to GC quality opponents and that may be Conor Casey but honestly you cannot skip Teal Bunbury…according to MLS stats he has a pretty high scoring goal % and goal per 90 minutes ratio…behind of course Davies…other in consideration would be Edson Buddle and why not EJ or Dempsey at the forward position…

  11. It’s win now vs developing players with upside. I’m with bringing the young crew of Bunbury, Agudelo, Jozy and CD9. Let’s not waste time with with Buddle (who good qualities) if he’s not realistically a player who will go to the next big tournament (after GC). This rational holds up most with this position because it’s the US biggest weakness. Bubury over Buddle.

  12. Because the choices suck. I voted for Findley, Ching, Casey, and Johnson because its completely ridiculous to see them on the list.


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