Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Balanced squad picked for Mexico showdown
by Ridge Mahoney, February 9th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[USA-MEXICO COUNTDOWN] There wasn't all that much suspense regarding which of the European-based players would be selected by Coach Bob Bradley for the Hexagonal opener against Mexico Wednesday in Columbus. So the inclusion of Jozy Altidore, who just went on loan to CD Xerez, and the exclusion of Freddy Adu, stuck on the bench while on loan to Monaco from Benfica, is notable for Adu's notoriety, but not at all surprising.

Altidore started, and scored, against Mexico in the last meeting of the Concacaf rivals, a 2-2 friendly tie in Houston one year ago. Adu came on as a sub in that match but his scant playing time in the past 12 months counted heavily against him.

Regulars Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley and Tim Howard head the squad, and Bradley also selected DaMarcus Beasley, who hasn't played much this season but scored a nice goal for Glasgow Rangers against Milan in a friendly last week. Maurice Edu, Beasley's teammate at Rangers, wasn't picked, as Bradley has nearly all of his preferred selections available in central midfield and central defense except for the suspended Pablo Mastroeni.

Bradley must choose between Frankie Hejduk and Marvell Wynne to replace the injured Steve Cherundolo at right back, and whether Ricardo Clark will get the chance to lend his pace and range to the USA cause may depend on where, and if, Sacha Kljestan gets a start.

Kljestan hit a hat trick playing centrally against Sweden in a 3-2 win last month but Bradley might prefer a Bradley-Clark pairing to better contain Mexico. Kljestan could still start on the right but that is one of the roles Dempsey fills.

Bradley and Clark started centrally against Mexico in Houston. The quickness of Jose Francisco Torres is another option but with only two caps he's extremely inexperienced, though his presence in this squad is a clear signal of future intentions.

There is cover at each position in the squad of 20: two goalkeepers, two left backs, three central defenders, two right backs, two left mids, three center mids, several options at right mid, and either three or four forwards, depending on where Donovan and Dempsey line up.

Bradley's choice of eight players from the January training camp that included MLS players and four based in Scandinavia mirrors his confidence in excluding Adu and Edu and a few others based in Europe. As it has turned out, those guys weren't at Home Depot Center just to make up the numbers.

Jonathan Bornstein is the second choice to Heath Pearce at left back; a year and a half ago, Bornstein played the entire Gold Cup final, a 2-1 win over Mexico in Chicago. Defender Danny Califf backs up Onyewu and Bocanegra in the middle; Charlie Davies adds speed and Brian Ching bulk to the forward possibilities.

Robbie Rogers is the natural alternative to Beasley at left mid, and both have the speed to give the pacy Mexicans something of their own medicine. Mobility will be essential defensively, as Nery Castillo is just one of Mexico's blur merchants who can run at opponents or blow past them at any moment.

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Mercy asked for Chandler after red card    
Timmy Chandler could be looking at an early Christmas as he was red carded in Eintracht ...
What They're Saying: Leonardo Santiago    
"We have the MLS rights throughout central and north Florida, so any discussion of another franchise ...
MLS Cup Countdown: 'Amazing night' expected    
Saturday's MLS Cup shapes up as one of the best in league history with arguably the ...
Coaching: New NSCAA course on LGBT Inclusion     
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) has launched a free online course to help ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"If you could wave a magic wand and not have to address things like: What do ...
MLS Moves: 'Caps re-sign Hurtado, renew 11 options     
A day after announcing it had declined the option on midfielder Pedro Morales, Vancouver finalized its ...
TV: Fox Sports will air MLS Cup in VR    
For the first time since its launch in 1996, MLS will not air its final on ...
Video Pick: Bundesliga goalkeeper bloopers    
As part of its annual advent calendar series, Bundesliga YouTube presents the Top 10 most "catastrophic" ...
U.S. Abroad: Bob Bradley to critics: 'Hit the road'    
With just one win and five points in seven games as Swansea City's manager, Bob Bradley ...
Soccer in December in Toronto -- who'd have thought?    
It may surprise a lot of people to realize that Seattle is farther north than Toronto. ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives