I'm not in the mood to mince words or getting all wound up through great elaboration, so I'll cut right to the point.
Today, USMNT coach Bob Bradley called 23 players for a midweek friendly against Denmark in Aarhus, yet stunningly ignored AGF attacker Jeremiah White. This, my friends, is a bush league maneuver.
Now, nobody is suggesting White should be thrust into the World Cup frame suddenly - but to not even call the guy into camp for a game at his club's home park is an overt slap in the face.
Forget that White has largely been unfairly ignored for a long while now. Forget that 'Nats get a call, a dressing or even a cameo in their home parks all the time. Forget that some of the attacking midfield players brought to Denmark have just finished their MLS seasons, chocked full of additional international duty. Forget the added cold water fact that AGF teammate Benny Feilhaber (who, admittedly, is deeper in the frame than White) will be in Red, White & Blue for the game. Forget even that Bradley has his favorites, as any coach does.
I do not even want to hear how this is a "World Cup prep friendly". The tourney is seven months off and half the stars are unavailable due to injury or club commitments. It doesn't wash.
The simple truth is there is no excuse for not being able to find 5-10 minutes of pitch time for White at NRGi Park on Wednesday, much less excluding him altogether. And if there is a personal grudge angle to this, frankly, that makes it even worse to deny the rare opportunity for a (to date) career American abroad to wear his national shirt in front of his adoring home fans.
Seriously... what in THE hell is Bob Bradley thinking?
- Greg Seltzer