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USA's options are diminished
by Ridge Mahoney, January 18th, 2008 7AM

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[USA-SWEDEN PREVIEW] Two players have left camp and at least one other is injured, so the choices for U.S. coach Bob Bradley will be limited somewhat when he names his 18 players who will face Sweden Saturday at Home Depot Center (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 8:30 p.m. ET).

Striker Eddie Johnson and goalkeeper Matt Pickens have departed to pursue opportunities in Europe, and defender Dan Califf has been bothered by a mild hamstring strain, and his availability will be decided shortly before game time. Midfielder Ricardo Clark is also in camp, but the Houston midfielder has not completed his long MLS suspension, so his participation against Sweden is also up in the air.

Bradley has 24 players in camp, including Landon Donovan, who will set the all-time U.S. goalscoring record if he hits the net against Sweden. Eric Wynalda and Donovan share the record with 34 goals.

Califf, who left MLS in 2005 and wound up in Denmark with Aalborg BK, is one of three players released for this match because their Scandinavian clubs are on winter break. The others are ex-MLS defender Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann/Norway) and Jeremiah White (AGF/Denmark), one of five players without cap. (Clarence Goodson will be off to Norwegian second-division club IK Start after the Sweden game.)

One player who hasn't left camp, at least not yet, is goalkeeper Brad Guzan, the target of a transfer bid from Glasgow Celtic.

(Already on Celtic's books is Polish keeper Artur Boruc, but despite recently signing him to a new contract, a source with ties to Poland believes the club will move him in the summer if not this month. An offer for Guzan is expected to be received by MLS. Guzan has also been scouted by representatives from Arsenal.)

Bradley is expected to call up at least a few of his foreign-based players for the team's next friendly on Feb. 6 against Mexico in Houston, but has said that squad, too, will consist mostly of domestic players.

Sweden beat the USA, 1-0, last August, but head coach Lars Lagerbeck hasn't brought most of his best players. Not one player from Sweden's starting lineup in that game is in this squad. Sweden beat Costa Rica, 1-0, last Saturday in San Jose.

U.S. Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Steve Cronin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Zach Wells (D.C. United)
DEFENDERS: Dan Califf (Aalborg BK, Denmark), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann), Todd Dunivant (Toronto FC), Clarence Goodson (IK Start, Norway), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC).
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pat Noonan (New England Revolution).
FORWARDS: Josmer Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus, Denmark).



 



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