The United States national team announced the roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at El Salvador and at home against Trinidad & Tobago.
First the squad, then some thoughts:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Reading)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Danny Califf (Midtjylland), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Freddy Adu (Monaco), DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Xerez), Brian Ching (Houston), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff)
Yes, that's Eddie Johnson on the list. I don't know if that speaks well of Johnson's ability and time with Cardiff or if it speaks poorly of the depth the U.S. has. Charlie Davies made the second-to-last cut for the US-Mexico match but has apparently been surpassed by Johnson. Maybe US coach Bob Bradley feels that El Salvador will be beneficial to Johnson since he scored his first international goal there in 2004. I don't expect him to play, however, as I'd say he's the fifth-best option at forward. But he is experienced and has had success in Central America, and that has to count for something.
The defense features Jay DeMerit and Jonathan Spector, two players who have battled through some recent injuries. It does not feature Steve Cherundolo. Perhaps Frankie Hejduk will once again start for the US, or maybe Spector could be an option on the right.
I'd expect to see several of these players see time on the field. I don't think Bradley will use the same lineup twice. We may see Jose Francisco Torres for the first time in the Hex as well as Freddy Adu or Danny Califf or Pablo Mastroeni.
Players who saw time or were on the benc in the Mexico game but are not part of this roster are: Marvell Wynne, Ricardo Clark, Jonathan Bornstein. I wouldn't read too much into their collective absences, though. It's likely a combination of the league schedule, the chance to bring other players into the mix (DeMerit, Spector, Mastroeni) and the need to continue giving as many players the chance to see time and participate with the team. Remember, this summer will be busy and we'll likely see the trio suit up for the US soon enough.