U.S. roster for Poland friendly announced


                                                                Photo by ISI Photos

Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey were among the 18 players chosen for the U.S. national team’s upcoming friendly against Poland in Krakow on Wednesday (3:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley named a European-based roster with just three MLS-based players among the 18 (Donovan, Ricardo Clark and Brian Ching).

Among the more intriguing selections are Cory Gibbs, back after a long injury layoff, and Benny Feilhaber, who did not make the U.S. Under-23 national team roster for Olympic Qualifying just two weeks ago.

If you’re wondering where players such as Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, Maurice Edu and Stuart Holden are, all three are being given a break after going though Olympic Qualifying.

Here is the roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading FC), Tim Howard (Everton FC)

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Cory Gibbs (Charlton Athletic), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS: Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Lewis (Derby County)

FORWARDS: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (1860 Munich)

What do you think of the roster? Share your thoughts below.

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92 Responses to U.S. roster for Poland friendly announced

  1. Dannyc58 says:

    No Adu?

    Ives, any truth to a bust up btwn Feilhaber & Adu?

  2. Spencer says:

    No Altidore or Adu? And Eddie Lewis give me a break that guy is way too old. Josh Wolff he is not up to par of the National Team. Good thing our defense is the only part that he called up that is not laughable at. Seriously half the forwards really aren’t even in the picture anymore. Midfielders aren’t bad except like I said Lewis and Benny didn’t deserve a call up.

  3. Jon E says:

    Yeah, the Feilhaber thing is weird. Either Bradley is essentially saying that Nowak has no eye for talent/form or something mighty peculiar happened with Feilhaber at the U23 camp. Maybe both.

  4. Tom says:

    Why no Jozy or Adu, is it because they just played in the U-23’s?

  5. CD says:

    After watching Fulham play last weekend I have to say that our striker options make me sad.

    I do like the rest of the roster. I would like to see Demerit get a start.

  6. Spencer says:

    This would have been a great game to have seen Holden play in, just like the other guys I thought should have been there.

  7. MZ says:

    Line up and explanations:

    they have a good chance to win this game and i hope they don’t blow it by going with josh wolff. He was non-existent in the brazil game and can’t hold up the ball.

    My lineup:





    feilhaber looked good in his brief spell against mexico and Clark was to say it kindly, poor. Pearce plays LB for rostock, although he is able to move across the back line, similar to spector. Since cherundolo is on the right side and bocanegra and Gooch have the middle sown up. I see Pearce on the left, the same place he played against south africa. Spector could break in at LB if he has a good camp but he doesn’t play LB for West Ham, although he is capable of it. Look for Johnson, feilhaber, spector, demerit, and hanheman to get significant time as sub’s and gibbs and wolff little if any.

  8. Ives says:

    Danny, all I’ve heard is that the Adu-Feilhaber thing was fiction.

  9. Blustar says:

    Just want to repeat a question asked ealier Ives, WHY NO ADU!!!???

  10. Ives says:

    Read the post Blustar

  11. Blustar says:

    Oops! my bad, sorry about that.

  12. East River says:

    Gibbs? The guy is just coming back from a long injury rehab and hasn’t even played for his first team after signing with them almost 2 yrs ago. Maybe he should decline this call up since his last 2 injuries were picked up on national time duty.

  13. MiamiAl says:

    Gibbs will become the 2010 team’s version on John O’Brien…Hopefully he can come back and give that backline a needed boost. I still remember Gibbs shutting down Van Nelsetelroy in Amsterdam. Healthy, I like him as a starter.

  14. jcmckenney says:

    can people please rid Ives’ posts before blasting out retarded questions.

  15. Ives says:

    No Problem Blustar, would have been good to have the full squad but I’m sure the full squad will be available for the England, Spain and Argentina matches.

  16. Yossarian says:

    Best group of defenders I’ve seen the mnt field in a loooooong time. Those are the guys I want on the field for the U.S.

  17. Joamiq says:

    I really don’t have a problem with this roster. There are enough players here who could be important parts of the national team going forward but present questions, and hopefully this game can help provide answers. I won’t outline all of them, but I’ll just say that in the back, Cherundolo is the only player who is a lock to start for the next few years; in the middle, we can yell all we want about the inclusion of Lewis but the fact is we don’t have a better (healthy and in form) left winger right now; and up front, I too don’t think Wolff is going to be much of a factor going forward, but I can’t think of who else would be 4th on our European forward depth chart. Every other player is potentially important in the long run and I want to see what they do on Wednesday. This game won’t fully answer questions about them – no single game does, despite the knee-jerk reactions fans have to individual games – but their performances will add to our knowledge base for each of them, and that’s what friendlies are for.

  18. Matty C says:

    4-5-1 with Ching as an island striker, Donovan withdrawn behind Ching, and Dempsey playing in the midfield out wide on the right?

  19. camjam says:

    Ives: Has Clint D officially made the move to forward? I know Fulham has been playing him there because of their lack of decent strikers, but I always remembered him in the midfield.

  20. Chow says:

    When do you think we can expect the Poland roster?

  21. Tim Crawford says:

    Josh Wolff? Really?

  22. Javier says:

    EJ was terrible this weekend against Newcastle, why is he still getting called in to the national team? He’s got speed, but doesn’t do anything. And why is Feilhaber getting called in to camp? He’s not even playing with Derby County. So much for bringing in players that are playing well with their club teams.

  23. Isaac says:

    Say what you will about Eddie Lewis but at least he puts every shot he takes on frame.

  24. Joamiq says:

    No 4-5-1 please. I actually like MZ’s lineup. But we should also remember how well Donovan and Ching play with each other. I’d strongly consider giving Donovan time up top with Ching if they’re not able to effectively connect with LD at right wing.

  25. Amit says:

    I want to see Ching and Altidore. That would be amusing. EJ and Altidore could be cool also.

  26. Eugene says:

    Snooze. Is there anything new here? We’ve seen this roster countless times, the formation never changes, there is never a new idea with it and the results are lackluster. I don’t know what, if anything, we’re going to get out of this Poland match with this roster.

    Since our last European matches, our guys for the most part have either been benched by their club teams or are in relegation battles. If any other country was facing this situation, they would likely choose a new group of players rather than trot out all the same guys.

    With the very notable exception of Mike Bradley, who is having a great season. (not counting goalkeepers)

    Here is the set up for the guys that deserve to play in this match (from this roster):








  27. Andolini says:

    where is the game being played? somewhere in Europe I take it?

  28. dave says:

    Great to see Gibbs back with the nats. Excellent group of defenders, midfield is thin and forward is ok. I think Bradley might do what he did against Mexico in the gold cup and start Donovan and Ching up top with the possibility of Donovan and Dempsey switching. Here is the line-up I think Bradley will go with:





    -The only change I would make is Feilhaber for Clark. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Donovan and Dempsey playing as the outside mids with Ching and Wolff up top, just to experiment while Beasley is still out.

  29. Robby says:

    Eddie Johnson should be given a rest, too. He is absolutely worthless on the pitch in the EPL… He shows no apparent interest in acclimating to the level of play; or, perhaps he just can’t cut the mustard.

    Heath Pearce’s lack of quality play is getting tired, too. Surprised to not see Bornstein or Califf brought back into the mix.

    Eddie Lewis??? Are you kidding me? Waste of a slot. Josh Wolff falls in this category, as well. Cherundolo is an iffy selection, at best.

    Negativity aside (along with the mediocre players), some good picks here….Still would have liked to get another look at Edu, Califf, Bornstein, Adu….

    LIMB PICK: Eskandarian. He deserves a shot.

  30. MiamiAl says:

    FYI:Poland Squad

    Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc (Celtic), Tomasz Kuszczak (Manchester United), Lukasz Fabianski (Arsenal).

    Defenders: Marcin Wasilewski (Anderlecht), Pawel Golanski (Steaua Bukarest), Mariusz Jop (FC Moscow), Jacek Bak (Austria Vienna), Michal Zewlakow (Olympiakos), Grzegorz Bronowicki (Red Star Belgrade), Arkadiusz Radomski (Austria Vienna).

    Midfielders: Mariusz Lewandowski (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dariusz Dudka (Wisla Krakow), Rafal Murawski (Lech Poznan), Michal Pazdan (Gornik Zabrze), Wojciech Lobodzinski (Wisla Krakow), Lukasz Gargula (GKS Belchatow), Jacek Krzynowek (VfL Wolfsburg).

    Forwards: Maciej Zurawski (Larissa), Euzebiusz Smolarek (Racing Santander), Lukasz Piszczek (Hertha Berlin), Radoslaw Matusiak (Wisla Krakow), Pawel Brozek (Wisla Krakow).

  31. Patrick says:

    Nice to Brian Ching healthy enough for the USMNT.

    As we move towards the WC qualifier in June, who will form the best strike tandem with Jozy? Brian, Clint, Freddy, EJ, Landon, Preston? Anyone getting ahead of them in the pecking order before South Africa next year?

  32. Steve says:

    US odds are around 2.75 right now, kind of like it, if we can play defensive and hold the fort then manage some pk for Lando

  33. Andrew D says:

    Copy/pasting what I posted at another forum.

    It’ll be interesting to see what kind of lineup we will see.

    Heres what would make sense






    I’d say this serves up a couple questions here. I think the first is the obvious: Who do you start next to Bradley? You’d think it’d be either feilhaber or clark. But, with feilhaber not even making the olympic team, is this even realistic? I mean he may have just wanted to go back because he thought he had a chance at PT at derby, but maybe he was beat out for a spot. So thats easy, plug clark there. But wait, anybody remember the USA-Mexico game? Yeah, the whole clark/bradley tandem thing didn’t work out too well. So who’s left? Well, you could always plug donovan or maybe even dempsey there. out of the two id say leave donovan out on the wing and play dempsey there, simply because Donovan has had more time there recently and he has a bit more pace than dempsey. However, You could also play Boca there. I believe boca has seen time at defensive mid for fulham frequently, and was seen there recently against everton. Then that would slide either Spector or DeMerit into the CB role, with spector also being an option at Center mid. Don’t know how BB is going to do this, I guess it just depends on if he plans on being offensive-minded or defensive minded. I’ve already written too much on this haha, but here are some of those formations in a nutshell.







    with Spector/Boca being interchangeable







    and this happens to be my favorite






    And then of course the second is: Do you pair up Johnson and Dempsey to see if they learned something new at fulham? Maybe a nice game for the 2 up top might say something to Mr. Hodgson about his lineup picking and why he keeps playing danny murphy (who is shite lately) over dempsey. I personally like the 3rd option because ching has always been known for decent holdup play, I’d like to see some chem between EJ/Demps, and I’ve always liked attacking formations.

    P.S. Eddie lewis is our best option at Left mid right now whether people like it or not. Convey is still trying to get back in form from the mexico injury, Beasley is rehabbing, and id much rather have a 33 year old experienced vet that gets PT in one of the worlds best leagues over brad davis and justin mapp who both play in an inferior league (yes I said it) that is out of season. People complain way too much.

    And this is what, EJ’s 3rd game at fulham? Let him play out the season before you guys get out the noose. I’ll admit he looked horrible on saturday, but against everton I thought he looked decent and he def can improve. I’d just rather let things unfold, for all we know he has a really good game next week. and if by the end of the season he isn’t going anywhere then we can release the dogs.

    And im not ruling out a clark/bradley tandem in the middle, as that is what BB is probably going to use. But I can’t be too confident after seeing them play mexico..

  34. sublicon says:

    woo, josh wolff back in favor? lets see

  35. Pugnacitas says:

    I don’t see why all of you are hating on Benny. I would put him in my starting XI every time and the reason he didn’t make the u23 squad was because he thought he was doing well working his way into the Derby line up and wanted to stay in England. The kid is good at possessing the ball and he plays some great balls into space but since we don’t any strikers that like to run at people/actually run (cough cough thats you EJ cough cough)then most of the time it goes unnoticed. To say we shouldn’t call him in because he gets no PT at Derby is insane. They have 10 points on the season; clearly the managing is terrible. Mark my words, Benny will be on the 2010 and 2014 WC rosters and be one of teams strengths.

    Dempsey – Ching

    Lewis – Bradley – Feilhaber – Donovan

    Pearce – Bocanegra – DeMerit – Cherundolo


    Spector for Cherundolo

    Johnson for Dempsey

    Clark for Bradley/Feilhaber

  36. j says:

    I don’t know if it’s strictly manager’s preference, but something strange has to be going on with Bocanegra if he can’t break into the starting defense at Fulham. I thought I read somewhere that he wants to go to Coventry in the summer, which if true, could be read as a sign that he’s given up on the season and his career at Fulham. (Obviously, I’m not saying that’s the case. I’m not the biggest Boca fan, but I would never say he’s soft, or a quitter.) But, seeing as how he has had virtually no minutes lately, when you have other options that have been playing I think you have to take a look at them, don’t you? Demerit being the poster boy for this group, although he’s just coming back from injury now, and has been playing right-back for Watford. I’m just not happy with the defensive partnership of Onyewu and Bocanegra, if we start them against Spain, what’s the over-under on goals for Torres? 2? I might take the over. Lewis is the best option for now at LW, but what about this lineup? Obviously, it won’t happen, because Bradley plays the same people.






    Flip Onyewu for Spector if you wanted to have more versatility on the bench, maybe flip Donovan and Dempsey, but this gets the best players on the field. Of course, based on previous lineup choices, I’m not sure getting the best players on the field is Bob Bradley’s goal, but there’s always hope.

  37. Matt Mathai says:

    Has everyone who is yammering about how poorly Eddie Johnson is doing at Fulham considered that it might not be his ability but his style of play that isn’t a fit for that league?

    Fulham plays the most mind-numbingly boring soccer I’ve ever seen. I watch their matches because I almost feel it’s my patriotic duty to do so.

    The same goes for Feilhaber. It’s laughable that he’s being judged as incompetent because he doesn’t play at Derby. I think you could make a decent case that NOBODY plays soccer at Derby.

    I think they’d both be better served by going to more technical teams in Holland or Spain. They’re both far too subtle in their play to be stuck in the ping-pong, mindlessly frenzied running ‘style’ of the lower EPL.

  38. Dave R says:

    Not sure of purpose of Lewis and Wolff boy. They are OUT for WC sud africa. Pearce and Gibbs — yeah? Gonna get these guys some playing time — a little “practice” during a Poland friendly? UMMMMM well….so much about picking players in form

    How about calling up some more MLSers> The wankers abroad will hate, but oh well.

  39. Spencer says:

    I think Spector deserves a start. He is starting in a mid table PL team, and the only other defender playing at that level right now is Cherundolo. Boca should be a sub.

  40. Q says:

    Has anyone noticed that Dempsey has come off the bench for garbage minutes the past couple of games for Fulham? When he’s on the pitch he seems uninterested. This comment was made (I think by Ives) during the last international match he played. I see the same thing while playing for Fulham. Maybe it’s the coach, maybe it’s the system or maybe it’s just that he doesn’t really like playing soccer. Either way, he doesn’t ever seem mentally ready to play.

  41. Mountain Man says:

    I’m soooooooooo sick of Dempsey and EJ. They havent done crap for the US Nats except for statistically lead each game in step overs, making Hejduk step overs look rare. Also, both of their work rates are that of a new born sheep.

  42. Seisco says:

    I think Dempseys one of the most motivated players for the US. He doesn’t get rattled in big games like some other “leaders” on the team. When the pressures on he’ll come to play.

  43. Palermo Son says:

    IMO, Gibbs is coming back from injury and got called in to give Bob a look at him — he won’t start or play. Benny hasn’t done jack since last summer.

    What I’d like to see with this lineup (not what will happen)


    Dolo Gooch Spector Pearce

    Donovan Bradley Clark Lewis



    The idea of Landon on the wing is growing on me. He’s got the pace for sure, and his passing is easily sufficient.

  44. David Berger says:

    Happy to finally see the line up, no surprises really.

  45. Dave says:

    not sure how Feilhaber makes this lineup still if he can’t even make the U23 one. Novak sent Benny a message, Bob needs to as well. Interesting to see Gibbs on there after only reserve action. Last Demerit better get the nod over Boca in the center, I think I’d rather have a guy who actually plays for his club team starting…….

  46. Javier says:

    what is this message that Bradley should be sending Feilhaber? it is a little strange that Benny would get a call-up to the senior team after getting snubbed by the u-23s, but the u23 games counted and Nowak wanted guys who were playing regularly.

    if Benny is simply getting the shaft at Derby, it doesn’t make sense to punish him even further by “sending messages”…maybe he does well in the friendly and it gets teams interested in securing him via a loan or transfer…either way, it’s a FRIENDLY so it’s harmless to call him up and the options were limited anyway…i’d only have a problem with this if another deserving, young player wasn’t called up, at Benny’s expense.

  47. YankatOxford says:

    There is more than considerable irony in the statement “wankers abroad.”

    This roster is missing four attacking players and a central midfielder due to U-23 qualifying and injury. Freddy Adu just dragged the U.S. into the Olympics, and Jose Altidore was around for the ride. Adu has earned a rest, and a chance to break into the Benfica first team for the run in.

    DaMarcus Beasley is recovering from a knee injury and Bobby Convey has played well for the Reading reserves in the last three weeks, but has yet to see any first team action since the knee injection he took after the Mexico match. Obviously, the versatile Maurice Edu also played with the U-23s.

    In addition to those five, Frank Simek is still recovering at Sheffield Wednesday, but should be available to compete for a spot on the bench in the summer.

    Few of the MLS players are fit, and that explains only three call ups there. That and a lack of quality players, (outside of those who are currently playing for U-23s). Frankly, the entire U-23 team was shocking yesterday, MLS and non-MLS alike. From MLS Guzan and Bornstein would really be in the frame outside of those already on the Olympic team if they were fit. (And Taylor Twellman)

    Just seeing Cory Gibbs on the roster is fantastic, and he has completed a full 90 minutes in three reserve matches for Charlton recently. I still remember the hammer blow I felt when he experienced the second major injury prior to the 2006 WC.

    I have no problem with the Lewis selection, but Josh Wolff has been poor for TSV 1860 this year. Jeremiah White would have made a bit more sense. Perhaps Neven Subotic would have warranted a call? He’s played extremely well for Mainz, but they’re are plenty of CBs on the roster.

    Outside of Wolff for White this roster was just about the best available under the circumstances.

    The real question is if Michael Bradley will get to play an attacking midfield role in this match.

  48. dano says:

    I agree on Josh Wolfe Yank, but I think that this summer, with MLS in season, we’re going to have to use our Euro based guys extensively. I think Bob probably just brought him in to have a look and compare him to EJ. One of them needs to play the speedy forward role.

    Hopefully our guys play well in Europe.

  49. YankatOxford says:

    Agreed dano, but White also starts in Europe albeit in the Danish top flight for AGF Aarhus. Maybe Bradley felt he got a decent enough look at White in the early spring games?

    – One things to the screamers:

    Adu has not met his new manager at Benfica. He probably would like to do this before their next match day.

  50. Erik Abarca says:





    ——————Johnson ———Wolff——————————–

    I would like to see Demerit get his chance in place of Boca, i think he deserves it, on the other hand, like the old saying goes “if it aint broken, don’t fix it” that is why i got Boca in there.

    Donovan on the right, because 1.) he needs to be on the field, 2.) so does bradley and demsey, 3.) we need 2 fowards up front, enuff w donovan and dempsey playing up front, they are not true fowards. Its good that we have that option, but We need them providing service up top.

    That is a HUGE reason for our lack of goals. Just take a look at Ives piece last week on US lack of goals. Yes i know we did’nt much of an option before, but hey i think it is time EJ top step it up, give him the nod and for Wolf to show what he got, hes been playing in Germany pretty consistant. Lets see what he got. Its a friendly, so lets see what EJ and Wolf can do together with the service they can get from a midfield like what i have listed.

    And lastly, Lewis on the left, aside fromt the fact that he is a true left footer, also because of his service, he’s playing week in week out in the EPL. Its not like we have another choice, we dont have much options with DMB and Convey unavailable.

  51. aristotle says:

    No one will admit to this, and I will no doubt be called Mr. Negativity, Mr. Pessimism, etc., but right around the 2006 World Cup American soccer reversed direction from continually improving to going in the opposite direction as far as the quality of our players and national teams are concerned.

    I think this happened because of a combination of players not developing as expected and players who seemed to have already made it on the national level actually going backwards.

    I know everyone likes to be optimistic but I think we are quickly getting to the point where we have to realize that the national program is in a period of regression.

    Here is a list of players who were expected to be really good players at this point and or our hope for the future at one point or another, but have for one reason or another gone backwards. I’m sure I am also missing players who should be on this list.

    Eddie Gaven

    Danny Szetela

    Eddie Johnson

    Taylor Twellman

    Brian Ching

    Bobby Convey

    Josh Wolff

    Nate Jaqua

    Kyle Martino

    Clint Mathis

    Jovan Kirovski

    Edson Buddle

    Santino Quaranta

    I’m sure some will argue Ching and Johnson but they are clearly going backwards right now. You may also be able to add players like Justin Mapp to this list soon. You will notice more than half the list is made of strikers. That certainly helps explain our current situation of practically no talent at that position. If Altidore somehow doesn’t make it and ends up on this list, who does that leave?

    Right now we have the POTENTIAL of Altidore and Donovan (who I think should have been a midfielder) as our national strike force. People have been ripping everyone else to shreds without realizing that there really isn’t much left. Now, much like we did with Donovan, we are so desperate that we are trying to make Dempsey a striker.

    One final comment on strikers. Given the dearth of quality strikers it is mind boggling that Kenny Cooper is not being given more of a chance. What more does he have to do to compete with the likes of Taylor Twellman, Brian Ching, and Eddie Johnson? I know he was injured and that didn’t help, but still, he needs to be given a fair chance soon.

  52. John says:

    I thought our National Team was getting ready for the 2010 World Cup, not the 2006 World Cup.

  53. aristotle says:


  54. Hector Mendoza says:

    DaMarcus Beasley… Get well soon!

  55. jpc says:

    I would like to see:






    – I would like to see players like Chris Rolfe, Alecko Eskandarian, Robbie Rogers, Kenny Cooper, Arturo Alvarez and especially Justin Mapp a run in this squad. We are obviously gonna have our best players for England, Argentina and spain, so why not give a shot to these players who have performed very well for their clubs (although some have had injuries last year)… And why do we play poland every other game?

  56. usnavysrchief says:

    Don’t understand whey BB is not getting the team ready for Qualifying?? This team selection does not do that. UNLESS!! He knows Gibbs is ready to step in at LB, Pearce is ready to step in at LM (Where he is currently playing at Hansa Rostock). He knows what he’s got at RB/CB with Dulo/Spector/Gooch/Demerit/Boca but I do wish he had called up Nevin Subotic just to get his name associated with the USA before he bolts to another country which he is eligible to do. Lewis/Wolf/Ching shoud not be on the roster at all. Hopefully he plays Johnson and Demps up front with Lando/Bradley/Feilhaber/Pearce in the Middle. Even though I still don’t understand what Donovan brings to the table recently against strong competition?? He needs to carry his weak butt overseas to a real league to prove tat he can play with the big boys. In the future I see Adu taking his spot on the team. It is possible to play a 4-4-2 with this line up but BB is not that good a coach to use an attacking line up. He needs to go also!! He will probably play a 4-5-1 and keep his Son way behind the attacking force even though he is scoring lights out in a major Euro league.He’ll play Ching up front because his little boy Lando wants him too and forget about a partnership of Johnson and Demps up front Lando does not like Demps/Johnson because they like Rap. BB Does not want to upset Bruce Arena so he will not deviate from the plan!!!!!! That is why we still have to see Lewis/Wolf/Chang/Donovan etc… on the roster. PATHETIC SELECTIONS!!!

  57. michael says:

    I have a strange feeling Michael Bradley is going to be playing attacking midfield like he does for Herenveen for this match.

    I understand not including Adu and Altidore because they are just finishing U23 duty and should get back to their clubs, so its cool. I like the Ching and Donovan pairing up top with Dempsey playing on the wing.

  58. aristotle

    I think this is a case of unrealistic expectations

    Most of those player you listed are having strong careers (or have already had), and ARE among the best US players. They are just not having strong careers if you compare them to the world’s top players.

    When you think about it – unless I am missing something, we dont have a single player in a top ten team in any of the three top leagues in the world. The US is simply not a world power – we are a pretty good team, in what is becoming a pretty good soccer country – but clearly still second tier. A team that the world’s top teams need to take seriously or we could sneak away with a win.

    A team that can consistently win in CONCACAF and make the world cup and the olympics, but we can not really be considered a threat to do anything there (well who knows about the olympics, but thats a bit different).

    When you look at where our best players play, I think that right now the whole is better than the sum of the parts and our coaches deserve some credit for that. it’s amazing how many of these posts are screaming about how bad everything is.

    The 06 cup was clearly a downer, but i dont think you can say we have been in decline since then – unless you took the FIFA top ten ranking we had climbed to seriously. If we had never been ranked higher than 20 (which we clearly should not have been) we would have to say we climbed to a decent second tier team, and have been hanging there for a while.

  59. Julio says:

    B. Ching and Wolff are a joke, enough of these two dead beats. These guys are MLS and 2nd Euro League players. They are not good enought to be on our US Squad. We gave them a chance and have not panned out. Time to let Jozy, Adu, Holden and the rest of our youth a chance, not start but at least be on the squad with Dempsey and Donovan and Company.

  60. MiamiAl says:

    I disagree Julio. Ching is our starter if healthy when we go two up top. Oddly enough, I am not a Josh Wolf hater. I think he he has been great right up to having to score a goal. He looks like his usual pesky self, that is always running around at a high pace. Its when he makes a sweet move and tries to score when he miffs (usually missing close) and giving the other team a goal kick. But he can draw defenders. Hey, for this game, he is just another body.

  61. CD says:

    To those that say the US product of player is not improving. Take a realistic look at the value that the players on this squad have on the international soccer market compared to teams in the past. US players in the current pool are valued in Europe for a reason. The transfer fees for the US players have steadily increased and so has the salaries that they receive. In the free market of European football the increase of US player value can not be disputed.

  62. Johnny says:

    HO Hum. I understand the break for Jozy and Freddy, but there are some players on this list that haven’t played in a first team match in months. If Boca and Benny start in this game it will be reminiscent of Bruce Arena’s habit of playing favorites. Let’s hope that this game will be more exciting than the snorefest that wast olympic qualifying.

  63. CD says:

    If this were a write your own caption segment of the BLOG:

    “Dad, Clint took my soccer ball and he won’t give it back.”

  64. Ted says:

    So this pretty much means that Cory Gibbs get injured in training on Tuesday, right?

    Please Gibbsy, stay healthy, we like you.

    Also, where is Subotic? This scares me.

    Though it won’t happen, I would like to see Spector start over Boca. He is a better player getting quality minutes for a better team. The lineup I wish would happen, but won’t, assuming we don’t switch to a 3-man central midfield like we should, is:

    Dulo, Onyewu, Spector, Gibbs

    Donovan, Bradley, Feilhaber, Pearce

    Johnson, Dempsey

    Johnson gets the nod over Ching solely on being in season. And I know it’ hypocritical to start Gibbs and Pearce, so I guess I am.

  65. Rob C says:

    Jozy and Freddy have had quite a bit of international responsibility over the past couple of months, so it’s probably good to let them get back with their clubs and back to a less hectic schedule.

    I like this roster how it is. It’s got a decent mix of youth and veterans, and most of these players play in Europe, so they won’t be intimidated by that atmosphere.

    Last note here. Some posters above have complained about Clint Dempsey. This, to me, is absolutely absurd. I think since the retirement of McBride, he is the best player on the National Team (not counting goalkeepers). The guy has a rare mix of athleticism, speed, soccer IQ and technical ability. He holds the ball really well and makes smart passes to keep possession. People who don’t see this must be watching different games than me.

  66. Uncle Jason says:


    I think some of your readers may be retarded because every time I read your blog there are always a number of d-holes that ask you questions that you already answered in your opening caption. Why the F does this happen? They are intelligent enough to read your blog, but not intelligent enough to understand it?

  67. TK says:

    Quote – LIMB PICK: Eskandarian. He deserves a shot. – Quote

    Didn’t know Alecko’s mom & pop posted here.

    A parents love is blind.

    Aristotle. You are trying way too hard buddy. Way too hard. Unrealisitc expectations indeed.

    We weren’t as bad as we looked in 98, we weren’t nearly as good overall as people thought in 2002, we again weren’t that bad in 2006, especially with 3 of our most skilled, solid players who should have been in their prime out with injury, or just being a total headcase – JOB, Gibbs, Kletus the Knucklehead.

    We are creatin depth. We are growing and learning. It’s easy to improve when your team is absolute crap. Not hard to get to a certain level, to climb to the next level is much harder, takes what most don’t like TIME, and a simple growing infratstructure, player pool, coaches, etc, etc, etc…

    The way you look at it, and interpret things do yourself a favcor and stop watching for several years. Then come back and you will feel better. We will be near the world you live in now. You don’t live in reality now.

  68. rocky says:

    all i can say is these veteren players better play their hearts out from now on, if they hope to make it to south africa. The bottom line now is the youth in my opinion has already caught up to the senior side, and with the performance of the u23’s, every us fan has to be excited about the future, this has never happend for us, so its a good sign.

    First off freddy adu has now proven that he is the most valuble player i think for the us. he is now moved ahead of donavan, dempsey, and beasly on the depth chart and hes only 18! this guy is doing all the right things and he looks like hes gonna be a monster for a long time to come. altidore before the tourney supplimented his place as top forward, so no real suprises there but he looks like a monster too. i think edu and bradley will form a great partnership in the middle as ball winners, they are both two way players who are pushing to be the starters.

    Some vets are def regressing in europe, look at dempsey, hes so good, but they continue to play him in the wrong position, he needs to get the ball, im starting to think england is not his league i think a move to spain would be much better for him. Eddie lewis, boca, are garbage and they shouldnt even be picked.

  69. TK says:

    Uncle Jason. Some clearly are.

    Get ready to read this question 12 million times.

    Is MLS ever going to have promo/relegation?

    I know you answered this before but will it?

    Serious. That’s what we get here.

  70. Reid says:

    Jonny i couldnt agree more, while i have liked it when BB experiments, he seems to also play favorites more often then not. He tinkers in the middle and up top but not in back, when clearly early on gooch sucked (has shown well recently) and favortism with players not seeing QT with their clubs. If our U-20 and U-23’s sucked I could see his point, but there are signs of quality with those kids, might as well give them a chance, it couldnt hurt in friendlies… except on forums like this after the games

  71. beckster says:

    Pleeze….Benny? You must be joking. He can’t make the u23 team? Hasn’t played in months….Edie Lewis is playing but isn’t going to be left wing in next world cup. The left wing position will be Beasley and Convey so have Convey play and get some time. He is been better in his reserve games as of late.

  72. kpugs says:

    Beckster…ever heard of a FRIENDLY? It’s March of 2008, half the guys on the team probably won’t be playing in the world cup.

    Speaking of which, how Josh Wolff is still permitted to suit up for the national team is beyond me. Hell, how he EVER was permitted to is beyond me. I get it…he used to be fast. For like a day. And completely sucks in every way.

    TK well said, I’m sick of a lot of the stupid and ridiculous posts we get here these days. Including mine.

  73. Fly the Coop says:

    Do you all remember that 10 years ago, we were seriously, seriously struggling for competition at pretty much every position except for goalkeeper??

    Today we have the luxury of arguing about each and every position on the field, formations that will maximize our attack AND/OR defense, and whining about players that are or are not included in our lineup – “Bradley and Clark in the middle…no, Bradley and Feilharber”, “Ching as a holding center attack with Dempsey trailing….no, EJohnson and Josh Wolff together”, “Boca isn’t getting enough playing time at Fulham so Spector should step in….no, Spector is a quality left back and should take Pearce’s place”.

    And with the young talent from the U-23s joining the argument during the coming year, the debate will get even more heated.

    Look…Mexico can’t beat us and Canada is envious of us. We should appreciate how far we’ve come in short, short time.

  74. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    What I’d like to see:


    Cherundolo——–Spector —-Onyewu—————Pearce



    ——————Johnson ———Ching——————————–

    Would like to see LD and Dempsey on the wings in support of Bradley’s forward runs. Think either of them could spring EJ, and Rico has enough to close down the back side.

    What I think we will see:




    ——————Johnson ———Dempsey——————————–

    I do not think BF will start. He is just not match fit to do so

  75. brett says:

    Let me start by stating an obvious observation about Subotic… anyone else just think that this kid isnt completely sure what he wants to do yet?? everyone seems to be getting unhinged that he’s not on the roster, but noone seems to realize that perhaps bradley is trying, but Subotic is just not sure yet..

    i agree with questioning benny’s appearance, but i guess it depends on the set-up and when he appears on the pitch… coming in as a 2nd half sub may not be a bad idea, depending how the game go… MB and Clark deserve the start, but that only leaves 1 midfield sub… Donovan or dempsey are surely starting at Right Mid (while the other is starting forward)….

    i felt Wolff did great against brazil, by opening up the field… as i was at the game i saw first hand what he did… outside of that game i havent seen him play much in friendlies…

    as for any of our U23’s not being on the roster, LETS BE SERIOUS here people… they just got done playing 5 games in a span of 2 weeks… let them rest and go back to their clubs…

    AND FINALLY: i cant believe im doing this >.< but im actually going to defend EJ against the EJ bashers (funny as i am one of the biggest EJ basher)… EJ did perfectly fine this weekend, even the announcers mentioned it… 95% of the time EJ was having to check back for the ball receiving it in the air having to 1 touch it back to another player… it wasnt EJ who did poorly this weekend, it was Fulham as a whole…. just b/c the guy isnt tearing it up (especially since its his 3rd start in the epl??) scoring loads of goals doesnt mean he’s doing poorly…. i swear 90% of the US fans who post here are always expecting the worst… every time a roster is posted its “terrible picks” or “why isnt so-n-so not here, we are going to lose”…. outside of English fans, the US have got to be the biggest bunch of downers ive met…. hell even scotland and ireland have more confidence against HUGE opponents (not saying Poland is huge, but im refrenceing when they play the big boys in europe)…

  76. brett says:





    ——————Johnson ———Dempsey——————————–

    i agree this is probably what we’ll see more of…. hopefully EJ will go back to his option of making runs, rather then checking back (what he’s doing with Fulham)… Dempsey seems to do well checking back getting the ball and turning (more then EJ)….

    hopefully Bradley can go into more of an offensive role… i have faith in clark at slowing Poland’s attack….

  77. pdizzle says:

    if he plays bradley and rico together i am going to go crazy – you cant have two defensive midfielders in there and expect to control play at all. yes bradley has scored goals, but they are all either on set pieces or hustle goals. not to detract from his goals, but they arent incredible 25 yard strikes or a result of a great through ball or something – dont get it twisted, bradley is a defensive mid, and nothing else. also id like to see boca out of there, and demerit. you shouldnt reward players who cant get pt for their club time with national team time. send him a message that if he wants to be captain and even play in 2010, he needs to get time and get it soon.

  78. Tim says:

    Honestly, I can’t see why anyone on this board has a criticism of this roster. It’s probaly as strong a team as the U.S. could field on any given day. The keepers and defenders are top notch, and the midfield and forwards certainly aren’t bad. I’d like to see a 4-4-2 as follows:





    Adu shouldn’t get a call up because he just went through Olympic qualifying. He needs the rest, and no sense injuring him for a friendly. As a slight aside, I don’t quite understand the “disbelief and grumbling” everytime Adu doesn’t get a call. He’s good guys, but it’s not like we’re leaving Ronaldinho on the bench, phhlease…give it a rest.

    On a different note, the U.S. will unveil the new away kit for this game. While I’m hoping for something really cool in red, I know that I’m going to get something pretty lame in blue…PLEASE NIKE!!! DON’T DISAPPOINT ME!

  79. MiamiAl says:


    Does Bob Bradley play his son on the USMNT in the same position that he plays in Holland??? If not, why does he not use Michael in the same way he is used in Holland? A guy that has scored 20 goals in Europe deserves to have that attempted to be replicated on the USMNT which sometimes struggles to find goals.

  80. Dominghosa says:

    I’m sure this eas answered already but, yes, Adu, Altidore and the rest of the U-23s besides Spector are being left off to give them a rest. Spector didn’t join the eventual Olympic team until the semifinal match.

    Also, I hate that US Soccer designs a new kit every other year. STICK WITH ONE already. There is nothing to identify US Soccer with. Jerseys usually do that. Brazil’s yellow kit. Argentina’s light blue jersey. Italy’s blue jersey.

    It’s too bad US Soccer wants to make money rather than gain an identity.

  81. Seisco says:

    Great new jerseys…please spare us. Now England and Spain are going to laugh at us.

  82. brett says:

    Tim- i didnt even think to put LD in the middle…. i guess thats b/c if we did that we wouldnt have a true midfielder unless we stuck Dempsey out there…. i dont think Feilhaber has the conditioning to play that position, not to mention he sucked royal there against the Swiss (and S.africa i belive he played there)…

    but if we can switch the lineup to accomidate LD in the center, i think that duo (bradley and LD) would work well..

  83. Felix says:

    Cory Gibbs getting called in is interesting. I don’t think he’s played a actual game in a couple of years, isn’t that right? I’m not a big fan of Eddie Lewis getting call-ups still, but it’s not like we are deep at left mid right now with Beasley and Convey’s injuries.

  84. brett says:

    Felix- perhaps giving someone a call up like Alverez or Nguyen would have sufficed??

    personally Nguyen would have been interesting to see, but i do say that with Beasley injured and Convey’s recent form, Lewis is probably our best option up left…

  85. Tim says:

    As far as Lewis, I think some wonder why he calls because of his age. True, he’s probably not somebody we’d be looking to secure for 2010. However, with Beasley and Convey out, he provides a solid fill at that position. He probably won’t win any games for us, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, he probably won’t LOSE any for us. He basically is a “good fix” until the guys we’d expect to be at that position are ready to play.

  86. Ted says:

    Fly the Coop hit the nail on the head.

  87. aristotle says:


    You’re post didn’t really make much sense. How am I unrealistic? Are you saying I was too optimistic and that’s why I see things negatively now? I wasn’t the one who was outraged because we didn’t improve on our quarterfinal performance from the previous world cup.

    Let’s make this a lot simpler. Let me pose a question to you.

    If we get to the 2010 World Cup and are grouped with two of the top five teams in the world, and the third team in our group is approximately on the same level or just below us, would you expect us to advance out of the group? Whatever your answer is, please explain why.

  88. aristotle says:


    Maybe you haven’t noticed the MASSIVE decline in the value of the dollar that has made our players so much cheaper to teams overseas. Look at the value of those players transferred in their currency. It’s really not that much.

  89. aristotle says:

    Fred MacMurray:

    You’re right about unrealistic expectations. The expectations for the 2006 World Cup were absurd. This is my point. It was an outrage to nearly everyone that we didn’t make it into the second round. We’ll never know for sure, but I don’t think people would have been happy at all if we were eliminated in the second round. They wanted to build on the 2002 performance even though the circumstances were FAR less favorable. Yet, ever since that time expectations have slowly been lowered, even though people are claiming we are improving all of the time. I can honestly envision a 2010 World Cup where we don’t make it out of the first round again, and people saying we did a good job but our expectations were too high. We will almost certainly have easier competition, and we WILL have an easier venue. So even if we made it to the second round it would hardly be an improvement if it was under much easier circumstances.

    The bottom line is that I don’t think anyone can honestly say that we have a team now that is better than this one from 2002.













    That team wasn’t just lucky, they were good. There is no team we have had since then that could have “luckily” beaten Portugal and luckily outplayed Germany in the quarterfinals.

  90. brett says:


    point taken, but 2010 is 2 1/2 yrs away… with 2 1/2 yrs more experience for Bradley, Adu and Altidor alone could sway votes depending on growth of surrounding players…

    id say we should wait til the 2010 WC roster appears and then compare

  91. Mountain Man says:

    Altidore is the next Conor Casey

  92. j says:

    mountain man… you’re a moron.


    lewis is in form and a valuable option for qualifying.


    gibbs is the key for whether or not we make the 3nd round.