Ever since the roster came out I've been debating amongst myself and others about the route that Bob Bradley would take moving forward. Seeing as there are 18 men for this roster, it would seem a pretty safe bet that everyone will play, if healthy. That being said, here is the starting lineup that I see Bob Bradley playing out of the gate:
Brad Guzan is the easy pick to start in goal for this one, but look for Cervi to get a half at least for his first cap.
With Eric Lichaj clearly being the more impressive between he and Jonathan Spector, I see a move for Spector inside, where he is comfortable, and has played there before with West Ham and at various youth levels. Central defense has become surprisingly thin. Added depth can never hurt. Clarence Goodson takes up his position in the middle, and Jonathan Bornstein, the likely captain, fills in on the left. Tim Ream has played left back in college, so it is very possible that we see him get some time there, with Gale Agbossoumonde and Nat Borchers each getting a fair shake as well
In midfield, I'm not sure why Bob Bradley called in Brian Carroll and Logan Pause, as it would seem neither have much of a future with the Nats. Knowing Bobs typical cautious style, he likely starts with the holding mids to set the pace, then ups the temperature a bit by introducing the more attack minded Mikkel Diskerud at halftime. Alejandro Bedoya and Robbie Rogers on the flanks round out the midfield, with Eddie Gaven the as the back up for both.
Up top, the two youth should get the call from the get go, might as well in my opinion. Robbie Findley is a known quantity. Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury offer some flash and youthful exuberance to a position in desperate need of it.
So there it is.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
United States U20 standouts Juan Agudelo (17) and Gale Agbossoumonde (18) are very surprising calls. Other youth called in are Teal Bunbury (20) and Mikkel Diskerud (20). Bunbury, an impressive forward from the Kansas City Wizards, was born in Canada, and once thought to be lost to our northern neighbors, it appears has changed his tune and will likely get his first cap for the US. Diskerud's name has been coming up since the end of the World Cup as a youngster who has earned his right to be brought into the US fold. His play in Norway has been a staple of consistency.
Agudelo and Agbossoumonde are the first two players to receive call ups to the full team after being developed at the United States Soccer Development Academy. Agudelo could become the third youngest United States player to earn a cap, behind Bobby Convey and Freddy Adu, and will be the youngest ever under Bob Bradley.
Here is the full roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Dominic Cervi (Celtic), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (Estoril Praia), Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake), Jonathan Bornstein (Tigres), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (Kansas City Wizards), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Want to know what I'm excited about this month?? No, not the US game next week against South Africa. It's the Torneo de las Americas tournament in Kennesaw, Georgia on Nov. 21-29. The United States roster features a who's who of up and coming US stars. Here is the roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Eduardo Fernandez (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.)
DEFENDERS (7): Gale Agbossoumonde (G.D. Estoril Praia; Syracuse, N.Y.), Bryan De La Fuente (Chivas USA; Bell, Calif.), Greg Garza (G.D. Estoril Praia; Grapevine, Texas), Korey Veeder (Crystal Palace Baltimore; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Parker Walsh (Karlsruher SC; Roanoke, Va.
MIDFIELDERS (5): Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), Alex Molano (NK Dinamo Zagreb; Grapevine, Texas), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union; Sacramento, Calif.), Moises Orozco (Tigres; Oxnard, Calif.), Conor Shanosky (D.C. United, Sterling, Va.), Alex Zahavi (Maccabi Haifa F.C.; Los Angeles, Calif.), Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA; Sylmar, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls; Barnegat, N.J.), Tristan Bowen (Los Angeles Galaxy; Van Nuys, Calif.), Fuad Ibrahim (Toronto FC; Richfield, Minn.), Omar Salgado (Unattached; El Paso, Texas)
The names that pop off that list are guys like Gale Agbossoumonde, Sebastian Lleget, and Juan Agudelo, but arguably the most important name, is that of Alex Zahavi. Zahavi, a stand-out in the Portuguese U17 national team, it seems, has switched his allegiance to the United States. Zahavi is a veteran of the Benfica, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Sporting CP youth systems. He's a rare talent on the left wide of midfield, despite his being right footed.
The United States will take on Colombia on November 26 and Mexico on November 29 in the three team round-robin tournament.