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
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
Galaxy drops precious points at San Jose    
[MLS: Sunday] Even if they were on the road, games against Montreal, last in the overall ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 12 Pepperdine staved off heartbreak at Kentucky, recovering from a last-minute equalizer to ...
Green makes Hamburg debut, Jacobson hits winner    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Julian Green made his Bundesliga, starting in Hamburg's 2-0 loss at archrival Hannover 96 ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Sophomore Ashley Hatch led BYU to a 2-0 win over No. 24 Long Beach ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Brandon Aubrey's goal in the 75th minute gave No. 1 Notre Dame a 1-0 ...
Orlando City upset in quarterfinals    
[USL PRO: Quarterfinals] Antoine Hoppenot, on loan from the Philadelphia Union, scored in the 39th minute ...
Ticos crowned again, Pappa and Penedo win top honors    
[COPA CENTROAMERICANA] Costa Rica won its eighth Central American title, beating Guatemala, 2-1, in the final ...
Morgan and Wambach are back    
[USA-MEXICO] The Concacaf Women's Championship could get ugly. Mexico is considered the only team with a ...
Guzan's Aston Villa climbs into second place    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Both Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) and Tim Howard (Everton) recorded shutouts on the road ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives