Title says it all...video by Jay Bell.
Monday, April 5, 2010
So we're going to examine the depth at each position and give you the low down on all the players I think are in the running:
This is the easiest pick of the bunch. Tim Howard continues to play very well at Everton and with his PK save against West Ham this past weekend became the first goalkeeper in the EPL since 1989 to have three penalty saves in a single season. That's an astonishing statistic for you. Brad Guzan continues to ride pine at Aston Villa but seems to be Bob Bradley's number two despite the lack of PT. However, studying under Brad Freidel has its benefits and Guzan is easily a lock for the prelims. Marcus Hahnemann is on a bit of a tear with Wolves at the moment and is probably a lock for the third spot after Troy Perkins transferred back to MLS and surrendered 6 goals in his first two matches. Perkins probably makes the alternate spot should one of the previous three pick up an injury.
We'll start with the right back position, which unlike its left side counterpart is pretty much set in stone. Jonathan Spector and Steve Cherundolo continue to go full matches with their clubs and seem like locks for the last 23. In the middle, Oguchi Onyewu is only a week or so away from full training with AC Milan and is the US' best defender when fit and in form. Jay DeMerit, Clarence Goodson, and Carlos Bocanegra seem to round out for the last 23, but I think a player like Chad Marshall could be the 5th guy to come in and give Goodson one last run. On the left side, I think Bob Bradley will bring three guys: Heath Pearce, Jonathan Bornstein, and Edgar Castillo. Bornstein has been struggling mightily for a few months and Pearce and Castillo could be set to reap the benefits.
This depends on the fitness of players like Stuart Holden and Jermaine Jones, but for all intents and purposes Holden is running and despite trying to rehab for over a year Jones is still experiencing pain when he runs. So Jones is the odd man out.
On the right side we'll see Holden, Clint Dempsey, and Alejandro Bedoya all in camp. Dempsey and Bedoya are playing full matches with their clubs and impressing to say the least. Holden is out of the cast and is around 10 days from full training. My guts tell me he'll be there. Now to the melting pot that is central midfield. Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Ricardo Clark, Jose Torres, and Benny Feilhaber are all likely to be in the final 23, but the competition will likely be for the starting position next to Bradley Jr. On the left side, Landon Donovan seems to have made it his own and DaMarcus Beasley will be the back up.
First lets get the sure thing out of the way. Jozy Altidore is that sure thing. With Brian Ching picking up a hamstring injury this past weekend the forward pool becomes increasingly thin. Charlie Davies continues his astonishing recovery but will it be enough? Conor Casey, Eddie Johnson, and Hurculez Gomez figure to get in on the action as well. Johnson only gets the nod because he has more caps than Casey, Cunningham and Findley combined. Gomez come because he has scored 8 times in his last 10 matches. Casey comes to push Ching.
The seven guys who don't get selected to the 23 will be the injury alternates so the dream remains alive for all.