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Selection process cruel to U.S. heroes
by Paul Kennedy, May 11th, 2010 2:09PM

TAGS:  men's national team, world cup


[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] The USA qualified for the 2010 World Cup with a thrilling 3-2 win over Honduras, arguably its biggest away victory since its 1-0 win at Trinidad & Tobago qualified it for the 1990 World Cup 20 years earlier. But the World Cup selection process can often be cruel as Conor Casey and Charlie Davies, the two stars up front that memorable night in San Pedro Sula, found out on Tuesday when they got the news that they won't be going to South Africa.

Casey's two goals -- the first set up when Davies flicked a ball on to him in the penalty area -- against Honduras are the only two goals he's scored in his 20 games for the USA, and he lost out to at least three forwards who did not take part in qualifying -- Robbie Findley, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez.

Casey was preferred to Jozy Altidore for the crucial game against the Catrachos, but it's Altidore who's the only sure bet among six strikers on Coach Bob Bradley's short list.

Injured three nights later in a car accident that took the life of another passenger, Davies lost a race against the clock to recover in time for the World Cup.

Like Oguchi Onyewu, who injured his knee the day after Davies' accident, Davies has not played since October.

Davies returned to France's Sochaux and hoped to play again before the end of the Ligue 1 season, but Bradley said on Tuesday Sochaux would not issue a medical clearance for him to join the U.S. training camp.

As for Onyewu, he made the AC Milan traveling squad for its game at Genoa on Sunday.

"He didn’t make the 18-man squad," said Bradley, "but I think that shows he continues to make progress."

Bradley had few surprises in Tuesday's announcement except to say that he would be bringing all 30 players to camp in Princeton, N.J., where field sessions begin on Monday.

Of note:

-- Bradley took 21 foreign-based players and nine MLS players.

-- It's a relatively young team with 15 players 25 or younger on June 12 when the USA opens against England. Only five of the 30 players are 30 or older.

-- Only seven players have played in the World Cup. DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan have played in two.

-- Davies and Casey were two of only six players from the U.S. team that finished second at the 2009 Confederations Cup who did not make the list of 30 players.

-- The most notable absentee, of course, is Freddy Adu, whose stock has fallen so low that his exclusion from Tuesday's list hardly received any mention.

25 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
37 Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves)
31 Tim Howard (Everton)
(Age) DEFENDERS (9):
25 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)
31 *Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes)
31 *Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96)
30 Jay DeMerit (Watford)
28 Clarence Goodson (IK Start)
25 Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew)
28 *Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan)
25 Heath Pearce (FC Dallas)
24 Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
28 **DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers)
23 Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro)
22 Michael Bradley (Bor. M'Gladbach)
27 Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt)
27 *Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
28 **Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
24 Maurice Edu (Rangers)
25 Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus)
24 Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)
23 Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
24 Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA)
22 Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
(Age) FORWARDS (6):
20 Jozy Altidore (Hull City)
29 Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
32 Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)
24 Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
28 Herculez Gomez (Puebla)
26 *Eddie Johnson (Aris)
*Previous World Cups in which they played.
Note: Age as of June 12.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: May 12, 2010 at 10:08 a.m.
    Now that coach has made his selctions, what players of consequence get the most on-field time during the WC prep friendlies.
  1. John Munnell
    commented on: May 12, 2010 at 1:13 p.m.
    Eddie Johnson? Really? Again? Such a selection, even in the 30, puts every Bradley decision into question.
  1. Alex G. Sicre
    commented on: May 12, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.
    I agree with you John, Eddie Johnson again? even in the first 30?? Wow whats he got on Bradley?
  1. Eric in DC
    commented on: May 12, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.
    Ric: I think you're crazy if you think Bradley's inclusion is the result of nepotism. He's a great player who has really faced the highest level of competition in Germany and he's responded well to those pressures. His growth as a player over the last year has been impressive.
  1. Joe Grady
    commented on: May 13, 2010 at 10:20 a.m.
    hey ric...get off it. Michael Bradley is the real deal. I'd be outraged if he didn't make it. no nepotism. If you know anything about the kid, you'd realize how stupid your comment was
  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: May 13, 2010 at 5:28 p.m.
    Who cares about Conor Casey's one solid game. He was terrible in just about every other game he played. He's a slug! And despite what the French reported, I would still take Davies over Findley. Besides, I don't trust the French. They probably want to sabotage are chances.
  1. Jermaine Gause
    commented on: May 14, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.
    I think Bob and Co. made a very wise choice, with the exception of Connor Casey. If this is totally about form over favoritism, he should have invited Conor to compete with Ching for the target man position. I would've left Findley out.

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