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Five Europe-Based Surprises in Bradley's Squad

Ives Galarcep at the North Jersey Herald takes a look at the five surprise additions to the U.S. national team squad for its upcoming games against Ecuador and Guatemala. U.S. soccer fans have probably heard of European-based Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector, Benny Feilhaber, Michael Bradley and Frank Simek, but with the exception of the two EPL-based players, the chances of catching them on television are few and far between.

DeMerit, America's rags-to-riches soccer story, has gained tremendous experience in the Premiership this season as a central defender for Watford. Despite the near certainty that his club will be relegated, Galarcep says DeMerit has played well enough to be sold at the end of the season-and don't forget about his pending FA Cup semifinal date against Manchester United. Spector, a former Man United player, has been playing regularly at Charlton and West Ham over the last two seasons. A defender who can play any position, Spector also gives Bradley more cover in defense.

Simek, a right back for Sheffield Wednesday, has seen more playing time than the other four in the past two years. He started his career in England with Arsenal before finding more opportunity at the second-level club. Feilhaber first made his mark at the U-20 World Championships two years ago. The central midfielder's performances resulted in a contract in Germany with Hamburg and some first-team action, including three appearances last fall in the Champions League. Michael Bradley, Bob's son, was the youngest player ever sold by MLS when he joined Dutch club Heerenveen from the MetroStars. The 19-year old central midfielder has played for the seniors before, but he will most certainly be used for the U-20 World Cup in Canada this summer.

Read the whole story at North Jersey Herald »

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