Over the course of his first year in charge of the U.S. national team, Bob Bradley looked at an amazing 60 players, blooding a veritable assembly line of young U.S. talent, from Jonathan Bornstein to Benny Feilhaber, Maurice Edu, Jozy Altidore, even his own son, Michael. Yet inevitably, like any national team coach, there are few players that he's probably overlooked. ESPN's Jeff Carlisle names five the U.S. coach should take a closer look at.
Top of his list is Houston defender Eddie Robinson. After all, if he's good enough to anchor the back line of the best team in MLS, shouldn't he be given a shot with the national team? Second in line is FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper, who played against Denmark last January (he even scored in that game) before breaking his leg in June. Cooper has the size to compete at the international level, but failed to find his best form after recovering from injury. Third is midfielder Colin Clark, who "was one of the few players worth watching on a bad Colorado team." Fourth is Chicago's Chris Rolfe, another player who suffered a long-term injury in 2007, although he came back in fine form to help the Fire into the playoffs, where he scored some spectacular goals. Last is Arturo Alvarez, also of FC Dallas, who was recently called into the U-23 camp.
For the most part, the 60 players called up by Bradley in 2007 are composed of players for the future, most of whom are now training with the U.S. U-23 camp, or established veterans from the senior squad. Because there's so many, Carlisle says his top five "must overcome steep odds to make a breakthrough."