The U.S. men's national team added a pair of defenders on Tuesday to cover for the absences of Clarence Goodson and Cory Gibbs, and it was a pair of defenders you might not have expected to see.
San Jose fullback Jason Hernandez and Colorado central defender Ugo Ihemelu were called in by U.S. coach Bob Bradley to take part in the U.S. national team camp at Home Depot Center.
Were these convenience call-ups, with both players having resided in the area? Or were they next on Bradley's radar? Bradley and Hernandez have ties, with Hernandez having played for Bradley in New York and with Chivas USA. Ihemelu is a former LA Galaxy defender who has earned call-ups in the past.
Perhaps the more surprising development regarding the latest call-ups was the fact that KC defender Jimmy Conrad wasn't one of them.
The 2006 U.S. World Cup defender and 2008 MLS Best XI selection has been in the U.S. national team wilderness as of late, with his last call-up coming a year ago in the 2008 January national team camp.
While the U.S. camp is only two days old, we are already getting some good coverage of it from the folks over at Ussoccer.com. Here is a video interview with U.S. midfielder (and key to the Houston Dynamo's future) Stuart Holden:
What do you think of Hernandez and Ihemelu getting the call? Disappointed to see Cory Gibbs drop out? Wondering where Jimmy Conrad is? Do you see Stuart Holden having a breakout year in 2009?
Share your thoughts below.