Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What, no Adu?

So no later than maybe 15 seconds after the USMNT roster for the International Friendly against Sweden was announced, all of the internet pundits started demanding to know why Bob left the MLS phenom and new Benfica midfielder Freddy Adu, off the 19 man roster. I on the other hand, would have been a little more shocked at Freddy being included than I am about Donovan being taken away from the LA Galaxy. Freddy needs to not be in this roster, for his own good.

It is pretty simple, and if anyone had read Bradley’s interview with Jack Bell in the NY Times, then you would have had a very good understanding that Adu would not be selected.

“Really what people need to do is to look on the FIFA calendar and if you see a single fixture date you know it is pretty much in and out. The Sweden game pretty much means the guys will play with their clubs on the weekend and then fly in to Sweden, which already should be a huge advantage for European-based players. That gives you a light training Monday and Tuesday then the players all leave.

Whenever you see a double date, there's an opportunity for us to have four-five days of training and make it more like a camp, that's importance of the double-fixture dates. If you look back to when we played Mexico in Phoenix I had said that it wasn't the right time to bring the younger guys in. I wouldn't want to bring a player in, and then a day or two later throw them on the field. We had not had a camp so I could assess some players. I said then that the double date in March would be a good opportunity, and it was.”
– Bob Bradley

So from this viewpoint, considering that Adu hasn’t been in a Bob Bradley camp before, he wouldn’t get the right amount of time to evaluate Adu on his level of play, so it would be a wasted trip for him to go to Sweden. This does fail to show why Bradley did call in Sal Zizzo. The only guess I can venture is because Zizzo plays forward, which is pretty thin of a position to call up. Midfield, which Freddy plays, is stacked with experienced players to call up.

The bigger reason, in my mind of why Adu was not called up to the national team is that because he has only had a week and a half of training time with Benfica. I am assuming that Zizzo has been with Hannover 96 a little more than that. Given that Adu will be fighting for a starting spot with Benfica, having him leave for four days wouldn’t help him with the club. Having Adu stay in Portugal for this match will go along way towards getting him first team action with his club. Considering Bradley’s statements, I would actually expect Adu to be in the camp in September.

Freddy needs to get settled and used to Portugal and Benfica. Once he gets adjusted to his new club and gets first squad time, then it will be a better time for him to start collecting caps.

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