Tuesday, August 14, 2007

USMNT Roster Released vs. Sweden

Bob Bradley announced his 19 man roster for the August 22nd friendly against Sweden today. 16 of the players currently play in Europe, with the remaining three being taken from MLS.

Goalkeepers (2) – Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

Defenders (6) – Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

Midfielders (6) – DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Bobby Convey (Reading FC), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids)

Forwards (5) – Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Kamani Hill (VfL Wolfsburg), Josh Wolff (1860Munich), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96)

Most of this roster doesn't surprise me but here are a few that do:

Landon Donovan: The LA Galaxy are putrid right now; so Bob Bradley calls Donovan up for a midweek friendly in Europe? The Galaxy have a Thursday night ESPN2 match against Chivas USA the following day, unless the US Air Force fly him back or the Concord is brought out of moth balls, Landycakes won't be suiting up against the best team in LA. I guess it is Don Garber's fault for the MLS schedule not allowing for FIFA dates, but tell that to the Galaxy fans.

Jonathan Bornstein: Chivas USA are currently third in the West and have a good look at a playoff spot, so they aren't in the same situation as the Galaxy are. However, they are playing in that same ESPN2 Thursday night match up, so I am shocked that he was brought in as well.

Bobby Convey: Convey is returning from injury and didn't even suit up for Reading this last weekend, due to fitness issues. So why even have him make the flight to Sweden from England? Convey might be better off staying in London and training with his club's trainers.

Giving more of the relatively unknown US players who work in Europe a chance with the squad is a good thing. I would have liked to see Heath Pearce brought in from Hansa Rostock, but Bornstein got that roster spot. All in all, it isn't a bad line up.

Here is my starting 11:

Bocanegra ----- Onyewu
Cherundolo -------------------------Bornstein
Bradley ------- Feilhaber
Donovan/Deuce ----------------------- Beasley
Wolff --- Deuce/Donovan
For all the shock I have with Donovan being called up, I understand it. The USMNT plays completely different when Donovan is not on the field. Is he a true #10? No, he isn't. Yet he still brings the creative spark that the team needs. Without him (or in matches that he disappears in) the team is very, very flat and cannot play their way out of a wet paper bag. This is why Bradley brought him in. I am just shocked that MLS didn't bring up a huge stink when LA was notified.
This should be a good match up. Both sides seem to be bringing their best teams available, so the on pitch performance shouldn't disappoint.

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