Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Process of elimination

Mexico already has called in their group of 23 players for the game against the U.S. next week but as far as Bob Bradley's task goes, there is still some time left before the U.S. releases their roster and selects their own set of players for the game.

While the international contingent will be revealed after the weekend's slate of games (I'm assuming we won't know until at least Sunday the final list of foreign-based players), in camp there are plenty of players from whom Bradley could sort out his roster.

I'll try and figure out here with some rationale as to who I think will be on the roster, stands a chance of making the final cut and won't participate in the game at all.

Certain: Brian Ching, Sacha Kljestan. I don't think there is any doubt over the status of these two. In fact, I'd say to go ahead and pencil them in the starting lineup. Ching's experience and Kljestan's form will come in handy against Mexico.

Possible: Jonathan Bornstein, Frankie Hejduk, Marvell Wynne, Ricardo Clark. I would be surprised if we saw all four of these players but I'm expecting at least two. Bornstein, Hejduk and Clark have played and had success against Mexico. Bornstein and Clark were on the field for both U.S. wins over Mexico in 2007, including the Gold Cup final. Hejduk's accolades and experience speak for themselves. I think it comes down to one spot for Hejduk and Wynne, and if that's the case I'd take Hejduk. However, Bradley could opt for some cover in case Steve Cherundolo cannot recover in time to play in the match. Gun to my head, I'm picking Bornstein and Hejduk to join Kljestan and Ching.

Try for El Salvador/Trinidad: Jon Busch, Will Hesmer, Matt Pickens, Ugo Ihemelu, Chris Wingert, Brian Carroll, Eddie Gaven, Jack Jewsbury, Robbie Rogers, John Thorrington, Kenny Cooper, Charlie Davies, Chris Rolfe. Carroll played in Bradley's first win over Mexico in 2007 so that may count for something, but more than likely none of these guys will join the international-based players in Columbus. That's not to say they aren't valuable - in fact, I think 2009 will be an important year for several of these guys, and that Bradley will call on several of these players for qualifiers/cup matches. But now is not the time for them, mostly because they either lack experience or have too many players in front of them to stand a chance of making the roster (Cooper, for instance, is a fine player but you've got plenty of other experienced options up front).

1 comment:

joel es latest soccer news said...

Cherundolo is not going to play. He is still injured.Here's Frankie!!!!