[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.
-- 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.
U.S. 30-PLAYER LIST:
(Age) GOALKEEPERS (3):
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)
(Age) MIDFIELDERS (12):
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.