Thursday, January 24, 2008

Haven't we seen these guys somewhere before?

Did you like the U.S. side that beat Sweden? Well, you're in luck. It's all abuzz around the Internets that Bob Bradley et alia have picked the following 21-man squad to train ahead of the U.S./Mexico match here at Reliant Stadium Feb. 6. The official announcement is here. Check out this roster (though this is not the final group as the official release points out there might be some more Euro-based players on the final roster):

GOALKEEPERS – Steve Cronin (LA Galaxy), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Zach Wells (D.C. United)

DEFENDERS –Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Ramiro Corrales (SK Brann), Todd Dunivant (Toronto FC), Clarence Goodson (formerly of San Jose Earthquakes), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution), Eddie Robinson (Houston Dynamo)

MIDFIELDERS –Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Pat Noonan (Aalesund)

FORWARDS – Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus)

As Ives Galarcep pointed out, don't be too shocked at what seems like a less than full-strength U.S. squad. It was a less than full strength side that beat a full-strength Mexico 2-0 last February in Phoenix.

I'm not as pessimistic some posters around the blogosphere have been, but I do agree that we should be bringing in the best side we can when it comes to Mexico. They haven't beat us this century on U.S. soil and it's clearly in their heads. It would be nice to keep that going. That being said, I think this is a relatively strong side, and basically the same one that beat Sweden. I wouldn't argue so strongly against this team, especially seeing as how they are several key players who have a good deal of success against Mexican national teams and club sides in the past. Landon Donovan, Eddie Robinson, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Guzan and Jimmy Conrad all fit this mold. (And by the way, Andrea Canales has a nice story about Eddie Robinson at Soccer365. Check it out.)

I'm wondering about a couple of key absences though, particularly Jozy Altidore and Maurice Edu. Having Freddy Adu would also have been nice as he brings more than Rolfe or Jeremiah White. Where Altidore and Edu are, though, is my main question.

UPDATE: Just saw this note on Du Nord, which I should always check before writing anything:

4 guys from the previous roster headed to Florida this week to train with the Olympic team: Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan & Marvell Wynne.

Other Euro-based players I'd like to see are: Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey (a good Texas boy!) and Michael Bradley.

The thing that stokes me though, is that as of right now, over 43K of our closest friends (as of right now) will be in attendance, including of course, Mister3d, Playtherapy and myself. I can hardly wait.


Oscar M. said...

The starting 11 from that roster are pretty good. As a DC United fan, I'm intrigued that Zach Wells was called up. With Troy's departure, we'll have some strong competition for GK once we sign the Peruvian GK rumoured on his way to RFK.

I'm also interested in seeing Jeremiah White get some more minutes, Bradley was keen enough to call him back in.

Martek said...

I'm with you Oscar. I remain somewhat mystified by what passes for the intelligentsia in Soccerblogland at the constant call for guys like Onyewu and Feilhaber that have been OK for the US, but not great. I'd love to see predominantly MLS sides in these friendlies to see what they can do.

And good luck with Zach Wells. He was always a pretty reliable backup here in Houston. He had a few butter-fingers moments that might cause you some heartache, but is he's cured that, then you guys have a keeper at keeper.