Michael Lewis reports that 33-year-old strikerJeff Cunningham, the FC Dallas striker who led MLS in scoring last season, has one game -- Wednesday's friendly against El Salvador (7 pm ET on ESPN Classic & Galavision) to prove himself worthy of a spot on the U.S. 2010 World Cup roster.
"A couple of months ago, I didn't think I had a chance. Now for me to be in the mix, I am just grateful for that. We'll see where it goes," said the Jamaican-born naturalized U.S. citizen who has scored for 121 MLS goals, second best in league history.
Coach Bob Bradley has noticed there has been an urgency in Cunningham's and other veterans' play: "You could tell in these two camps certain guys, certain veterans that now are given another opportunity took it really seriously. They know how much is at stake. Jeff has been around the national team at different times in his career, but never really became a permanent part of it. He has taken this quite seriously."
Cunningham probably is a longshot to make the team, given his subpar performance in the 3-1 loss to Honduras last month. In fact, none of the forwards who are on the roster for the El Salvador match are guaranteed anything. The two other candidates are target men who play a different game -- the Houston Dynamo's Brian Ching and the Colorado Rapids' Conor Casey.