Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Production absent from U.S. frontline
by Mike Woitalla, September 4th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

For the USA's first game in Cuba since 1947, Coach Bob Bradley has brought in players based in Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Mexico -- in addition to seven MLS-based men.

The experienced squad -- half of the 20 players have more than 30 caps -- aims for a second straight win in the semifinal group phase of qualifying when it faces the Cubans on Saturday. Less suspenseful than whether the USA can beat a team ranked No. 71 in the world is whether the USA's frontline finally finds its form.

Attackers not included in the squad are Olympic team youngsters Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore. They're better off focusing on establishing themselves with their new clubs, Monaco and Villarreal, respectively. In their absence, more experienced U.S. strikers have another chance to prove they can deliver up front.

Eddie Johnson, whose spectacular scoring run for the USA now seems like ancient history, was recently demoted when his English Premier League club Fulham loaned him out to second-tier Cardiff City. If Johnson doesn't prove effective in Cuba, or on Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago in Illinois, it's hard to imagine even the patient Bradley will believe in a resurgence from the 24-year-old Johnson.

In fact, the productivity of the frontline in general is a cause for concern. Johnson did hit the net in the 8-0 laugher against Barbados in June and Clint Dempsey scored twice in that game. But in games against more formidable foes, the U.S. forwards have been unproductive.

It took a goal from defender Carlos Bocanegra to down Guatemala in that ugly 1-0 road win to open the semifinal group phase. Before that, the Americans went scoreless in friendlies against Argentina, Spain and England.

Dempsey, whose star has fallen at Fulham, needs a good game against Cuba to prove he's the right man for the frontline. Aside from the goals against Barbados, he last struck for the USA in a 4-2 loss to Brazil a year ago.

Bradley is still banking on Houston's Brian Ching while shunning more productive MLS forwards Kenny Cooper and Edson Buddle.

Ching scored one U.S. goal in 2007 - against Trinidad & Tobago in a Gold Cup rout. His two goals in 2008 came against, you guessed it, Barbados.

If you throw out the Barbados rout, only one goal in the USA's other eight 2008 games came from a forward - when Altidore scored in the 2-2 friendly tie with Mexico in February.

As usual, the USA has the option of using Donovan up front, but the better option is to continue using his explosiveness out of the midfield. If Ching, Johnson or Dempsey can't provide a suitable spearhead for the USA against in these next two games, the Altidore project is sure to start in earnest.

U.S. ROSTER (by caps)
PLAYER (GP/G) CLUB

Landon Donovan (102/36) Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Eddie Lewis (81/10) Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Frankie Hejduk (79/6) Columbus Crew (MLS)
DaMarcus Beasley (78/15) Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)
Carlos Bocanegra (59/10) Rennes (France)
Steve Cherundolo (49/2) Hannover 96 (Germany)
Clint Dempsey (43/11) Fulham (England)
Eddie Johnson (36/12) Cardiff City (Wales)
Oguchi Onyewu (35/4) Standard Liege (Belgium)
Tim Howard (32/0) Everton (England)
Brian Ching (28/7) Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Michael Bradley (22/2) Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)
Danny Califf (20/1) FC Midtjylland (Denmark)
Heath Pearce (17/0) Hansa Rostock (Germany)
Ricardo Clark (14/1) Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Brad Guzan (9/0) Aston Villa (England)
Maurice Edu (8/0) Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)
Sacha Kljestan (5/0) Chivas USA (MLS)
Marvell Wynne (1/0) Toronto FC (MLS)
Michael Orozco (0/0) San Luis (Mexico)

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Michael Garcia    
"It is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude ...
Video Pick: Player loses his wig!    
The 19-year-old defender Baily Cargill was one of the top rated players for second division Bournemouth ...
MLS Trade Central: Wednesday's deals    
MLS and Chivas de Guadalajara reached an agreement regarding Mexican star Erick "Cubo" Torres, who played ...
NASL will open 2015 spring season on April 4    
The North American Soccer League will open its fifth season with the first week of the ...
Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too    
It isn't every day that two cities pass measures to build soccer stadiums. Hours after the ...
U.S. Abroad: Midweek Hot (and Cold) List    
John Brooks scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season for Hertha Berlin to open the ...
Road to Vancouver: More to Brazil than Marta    
Marta, whose magnificent performance powered Brazil past the USA Sunday at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
TV Report: Fox plans unprecedented coverage    
The 2015 Women's World Cup will receive unprecedented coverage on Fox as it will air 16 ...
Klinsmann red-carded in starring role against Germany    
Jonathan Klinsmann's first international match against Germany, the country his father, Jurgen, played for and coached, ...
Olsen sees new D.C. stadium as one piece of grand plan    
He's D.C. United through and through, so head coach and former player Ben Olsen knows better ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives