Friday, May 20, 2011

Predicting the US Gold Cup roster

Agudelo & Bunbury: Brothers from different mothers
In advance of RoboBob's official announcement on Monday, let's partake in some good old fashioned *educated* guessing on his official 23.

As a quick sidenote, got my credential confirmation for the semifinal at Reliant this morning, so I'll be in attendance giving our NSC friends that good old fashioned reporting. I'm expecting to see US v. somebody and Mexico v. somebody in the doubleheader, and only one of those teams not making the semis would upset me. Hint: it's not Mexico.

And NSC has some inside info on The Chosen, so thanks to Greg's reporting I can confirm guys with a * by their name are on the provisional list already.

The 23

Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, David Yelldell
Comments: Howard is obvious, but with Brad Guzan unavailable, there will be some scrambling to fill the backup slots. Hahnemann has been on the outs at Wolves but he's still among the best possible options, and Yelldell remains an interesting prospect for the future after getting his first cap against Paraguay. He's also 29, which is like 15 in keeper years.

Timothy Chandler*, Clarence Goodson*, Eric Lichaj*, Steve Cherundolo*, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Tim Ream, Jay DeMerit
Comments: A few of these are gimmes, but the rest depend on how Bob wants to play it. All eyes will be trained on left back, as always, and whether anyone steps up there is a conundrum I won't bother answering. Right back appears to be locked down with Lichaj, Cherundolo and Chandler all calling that their natural home, but can anyone make the switch? No way Dolo makes a permanent move at his age, and Chandler has already begun the process of establishing himself as Dolo's replacement for Brazil 2014, at which point Dolo will be 35. That leaves... Lichaj? We'll see. Sure as heck shouldn't be Bornstein.

Jonathan Spector*, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Benny Feilhaber, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Mix Diskerud
Comments: The most stocked position by a mile. Lots of ways to go here. All of these are known quantities except one. Diskerud is the only pup of the group, and his inclusion (in my 23, dontchaknow) gives him an opportunity to snag some possible PT in a group blowout... say, Guadeloupe? I list Jonathan Spector in midfield because I expect that's where Bradley will put him, given that he seems to have settled there nicely in recent months. I miss Stu Holden already.

Juan Agudelo*, Teal Bunbury*, Jozy Altidore, Herculez Gomez
Comments: The bash brothers (see photo above) are back in spades after a good run together last fall. Jozy is struggling for playing time (that's new) at Turkish club Bursaspor over some strange negotiating ploy, so his form may be questionable early. The fourth striker - now there's a puzzler. I thought about either Buddle or Gomez here, but I couldn't ignore Herc's recent form for Pachuca. He's been ripping a hole in the net lately, and while Bradley does value experience, I think striker is a position where he's willing to stock up on younger legs.

- Will Parchman


victor said...

"He's also 29, which is like 15 in keeper years." haha that's so true

Go Navy said...

I would love to see Michael Bradley as a center back one of these days.

Will said...

Think you might have a bit of a wait on that one, Navy. At least until somebody replaces Senior.

And the more I look at my list, the more I think it's unlikely that both Gooch and DeMerit go. I can definitely see Zak Whitbread replacing one of them.

over there said...

Just postulating about the future...

Does AJ Soares have international potential? He's a character, so he'd at least make the USMNT interesting.

Will said...

Hard to say at this point. His MLS career is still so young.

Hopefully Bradley pays attention to his Twitter feed. That might merit a call-up on its own.

Joe said...

Is Gringo Torres totally frozen out now?

Will said...

With midfield as stacked as it is, it becomes harder and harder to make a case for Torres' inclusion when he made so little of his World Cup chance. I don't think his performance against Slovenia was the debacle it's often made to be, but I think it exposed him a little bit.

Plus, Bobbo's 4-4-2 is totally lost on a central mid like Torres. He gets jammed into the back of the empty bucket and is forced to do far more defending than he's comfortable with. He's a creative player, but he doesn't have the defensive bottle to play end-to-end like Bobbo likes out of his center mids... hence the reliance on players like Edu, Jones and Bradley. I like Torres, but I think his ship as a starter has probably set off, barring some change.