Wednesday, October 10, 2007

USMNT Roster for Switzerland

USMNT coach Bob Bradley announced his 21 man roster today for the 10/17 matchup against Switzerland in Basel.

Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, England), Tally Hall (Esbjerg, Norway), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham, England), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Dan Califf (Aalborg, Denmark), Jay Demerit (Watford, England), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege, Belgium), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock, Germany), Steve Purdy (1860 Munich, Germany)

Midfielders: Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen, Netherlands), Maurice Edu (Toronto), Benny Feilhaber (Derby, England), Eddie Lewis (Derby, England), Danny Szetela (Racing Santander, Spain)

Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Preston Zimmerman (Hamburg SV, Germany), Sal Zizzo (Hannover, Germany).

Overall, I am impressed with this roster. Think about it for a moment: the USMNT is currently in a five game funk where they haven't won, this after a ten game win streak for the year. The press is hyping the fact that Bradley has led the US to this "decade-worst five-game losing streak " and he still brings in a group of guys that is collectively long on experience on the senior level. Yes, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Gooch, Lewis, Beasely & Deuce are on the roster (Deuce doesn't have that much experience over two years), but the rest have either only just cracked the seniors team (Bradley, DeMerit & Feilhaber) or like Hahnemann, hasn't really been a stalwart on the roster before this year.

Bradley looks to be a guy who isn't reading the press or worrying about what place the USMNT gets ranked every month by FIFA. He is a guy who is still looking towards the future. By bringing in guys like Edu, Szetela, Seitz, Zizzo, & Adu (guys who look to be the future of the squad along with Bradley & Feilhaber), Bradley is continuing with the program he started with the Copa America roster; getting the new, younger guys into the mix. By getting them into these camps and matches, Bradley is setting up for the 2008 Olympic Qualifier squad and for the 2010 World Cup Qualifier squad.

I am also happy to see that Bradley resisted bringing in several guys from MLS squads that are in the playoffs or in the playoff hunt. He could have easily have brought in Donovan, Twellman, Johnson, Mastroeni, Conrad and others, but he didn't. This gives both their clubs and the newer guys chances for the future. Their clubs still have chances to get into the playoffs or get ready for them. It also, as stated above, gives the new guys shots at playing time.

I honestly do not expect the USMNT to win this match against Switzerland. Given the situation, Switzerland should be fielding it's A Team, as they need to use every available match for training for the 2008 European Championships. The US doesn't need to win this game, despite what the media is saying. Bradley did his primary job for 2007: win the Gold Cup and get into the Confederations Cup. He now is charged with getting the newer players more international match experience and that is exactly what he is doing.



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