Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What USMNT squad would I call up?


G - Guzan, Howard, Perkins

D - Bocanegra, Marshall*/Califf/Gibbs, Castillo, Cherundolo, Conrad, Goodson, Pearce, Spector

M - Bradley, Beckerman*/Cronin, Cameron*/McCarty, Dempsey, Donovan*/Beasley/Bedoya, Feilhaber, Torres, White

F - Altidore, Casey, Cunningham, Findley*/Cooper

The players marked with an asterisk may or may not be available, depending on MLS leg two results this week. I have thus given at least one alternate choice, listed in order of preference.

And yes, that Beasley. If Donovan isn't around, we could use another veteran attack presence with speed - and let's face it, the guy needs games.

UPDATE: I've had several people ask why I omitted the possibility of Holden, who is still on playoff duty. It's nothing against this or certain other excluded players, but some guys still going in MLS probably need a break. I don't want to get more players injured right before they head into the offseason.


- Greg Seltzer


KO said...

Greg--if we need another veteran attack presence in the midfield (assuming Donovan will be tied up), I think I would rather see John Harkes.

Just sayin'.

I have watched Beasley in every single USMNT game that he has played for the past 2-3 years. I have also been watching his sparse minutes with Rangers. Sadly, I think he has completely lost it. I think "it" could come back, but he plays with no confidence right now(and can you blame the poor guy?). And without confidence, a soccer player is worth very little.

It DOES break my heart a little. But I think this would be an opportunity for a new player to step up and show that he can be a leader in the midfield going forward. And no, I don't know who that could be. Maybe Michael Bradley will grow up quickly.

RVD said...

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Greg Seltzer said...

Perhaps, I should have been more specific... veteran CAMP presence. Not line-up presence. Maybe some bench minutes, so he can try to get that confidence back.

KO said...

I should have picked up on that, Greg. Maybe I agree with you on that point, but even then, I fear that DMB may be a lost cause for the USMNT.

Greg Seltzer said...

I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel. If he gets a run of games - and really he should as Rangers have been terrible - things look very different suddenly.

KO said...

Fair enough. But I'll end with this: I think it would be fair to say that the quality of play at the international level, in particular against quality opponents like Denmark and World-Cup-qualifier Slovakia, is higher than anything in the SPL (eh, Old Firm derby excluded). Given the down-time that Beasley has had, it seems that Beasley may struggle to play well and gain confidence with bench minutes against those sides.

Thus, I think Beasley needs club minutes before he can even offer the veteran camp presence that might benefit the USMNT. Throwing him into the fire against Denmark seems like it would be bad for his confidence--and bad for the team's confidence in a veteran like Beasley.

Greg Seltzer said...

Due to injuries and the MLS playoffs, we simply won't have a full "A" team. Some guys called will need to be ones you wouldn't normally call if everyone was available. At that point, it's just: which ones?

For winger types, I named White. Rogers is in the playoffs. Convey and Mapp had down years. Clark, Johnson and Zizzo are hurt. And so on and so forth... I just wouldn't be surprised in this particular situation if Run DMB got the call.

KO said...

Clark's hurt? I guess I didn't know that. And if RSL manages to hold up Thursday night, I will be pumped to see Rogers on the field for the USMNT.

And you're right. We have to call someone. Our walking-wounded list scares me. I think it's time that our boys had some good luck, no?

Greg Seltzer said...

Clark had knee surgery. He could well be physically ready for the January camp, but I'm thinking he may not even get a look then.

Good luck is something we can definitely agree is overdue.

ectomes said...

I've never had the pleasure of seeing Bedoya play, but some people clearly rate him -- the most important of which is his manager.

Greg, what kind of game does he play? Is he a box-to-box guy? A winger?

I apologize for my ignorance, but now that he's getting first team minutes in a decent league, I don't want to stay willfully oblivious anymore!

Greg Seltzer said...

Bedoya is an attacking midfielder. He's natural in the middle, but could probably go wide as he is learning more about two-way responsibilities in Sweden.

In style, I'd say he's a bit of a Lampard; he likes the late run, get shots off, spreads the ball around.

Connor Walsh said...

I think Landon Donovan, Rico Clark, Chad Marshall and Stuart Holden could/would be the only guys from MLS called up. As great as Bornsteins goal was against CR, he really worries me. Beckerman? surely we're past that. Isnt Edu back to full training this week with Rangers? No Adu? He's getting more time with Belenenses than Monaco and he got calls then. Eddie Johnson since he's there. How about Matt Taylor at FSV Frankfurt? I havent followed him this season but i understand he had a good one last year. Maybe Diskerud, Arguez, Jeffery, Cervi? Cunningham would be interesting, he's rumored to have some suitors across the pond. Casey needs a break, he stopped scoring and Colorado fell apart. Is Beasley even alive?

Greg Seltzer said...

I'll just takes these one at a time:

"Beckerman? surely we're past that."

- Hmm, I'd still like to see more. And we have several CM injuries, so depth picks are in this time.

"Isnt Edu back to full training this week with Rangers?

- That does not make him in any way ready for U.S. duty yet.

"No Adu?"

- More than anything, I'd really like to see Freddy establish himself with Belenenses right now. That's just me, though. He certainly could be called, especially if Donovan is unavailable.

"How about Matt Taylor at FSV Frankfurt?"

- No way. Taylor's had some early season injuries and hasn't played much.

"Maybe Diskerud, Arguez, Jeffery, Cervi?"

- I think Diskerud definitely needs a breather. I momentarily considered Arguez, but he really needs to start breaking into a miserable Hertha line-up. Jeffrey also needs to be seeing Club Brugge time before he's called. Those three really aren't for this cycle.

Cervi, meanwhile, has never played a single pro game - which puts him far down the list. Colin Burns or David Yelldell would be far more deserving at this time. That being said, Celtic has brought Cervi into their Europa League selection due to Boruc's injury. In other words, he's one knock or red card away from suddenly finding himself with the #1 role at Parkhead.

"Casey needs a break, he stopped scoring and Colorado fell apart."

- Casey will have had three weeks break by then, which is to say three more than Ching.

Bryan said...

I doubt we'll see too much experimenting - not only is this Bob Bradley that we're talking about, but this is two of likely three games on European soil with European-based players against decent opposition before the WC roster is named. Bob won't exactly rock the boat, and I doubt we'll see too many guys we haven't seen much of before.

That said, I'd like to see what Castillo can bring and perhaps Jeff Cunningham.

Greg - your love of Cory Gibbs has me intrigued. I actually want to know how he's looked this year but I never get a straight answer. I was always a big fan of his and felt terrible for him when he did his knee before the last WC...it's possibly too late but great athletes like him are always useful, you'd have to say.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Bryan: It's not about experimenting. It's about a half dozen key nucleus guys being either out injured or in the MLS playoffs. If the main guys aren't available, he has to call someone.

Gibbs had an okay season, but it was also his first full campaign back from the knee woes. My hope is that he makes a big leap in this upcoming second full season back.

It's not a major weight-bearing hope... but it is a hope.

Bryan said...

And Greg, I'm with you on Beasley. Imagine a confident, got some games under his belt, got a lot to prove guy as a late-game sub in the World Cup. Could be worse, right?

KO said...


Imagine a confident, got some games under his belt, got a lot to prove guy as a late-game sub in the World Cup. Could be worse, right?

I honestly don't think it could be worse, actually, if we are talking about Beasley.

DMB has had a lot to prove in the past two years. In that span, he has proven one thing--that he isn't up to the task. His last few games with the National Team, in particular, were absolutely, positively the most atrocious displays of carelessness and dysfunction that I have seen out of a United States player in a long time. Bob Bradley yanked him at half-time of the Brazil game in the Confederations Cup, and Bradley doesn't yank people.

Beasley's error in the Brazil game tells you everything you need to know about his game then, and nothing has changed.

Sorry--as is clear from my previous posts, I disagree strongly that Beasley should be called up to give him some playing time, has somehow earned a call-up, or would be even marginally beneficial to team chemistry if he is called up.

I am not saying he's finished, but he should be finished with the USMNT until he has clearly established that he is out of this mid-career funk.

Bryan said...

@KO - That's precisely why I said "imagine!"

I'm not suggesting Beaz get a call up for the upcoming friendlies, but if he somehow gets some regular playing time, he's not a terrible player - and as a late-game, in-form option, he wouldn't be too bad. He only really started to swoon earlier this year; remember when he was our problem-solver at left back?

Anyway, we're arguing semantics.

KO said...


You're right--I guess I assumed that when you said "imagine," that you had some confidence that it would come true. I didn't catch the sarcasm in the note.

Sean Heffernan said...

Greg, with Robbie Rogers now available after the Crew's playoff exit do you think he should get a call?

Greg Seltzer said...

To be blunt: no.

I will post an updated list of who I'd call in a bit.