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It might seem like it's still far away, but the U.S. national team is just about a month away from holding training camp ahead of a loaded June calendar, a calendar that includes World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.
Consider the list of opponents in South Africa: Brazil, Italy and Egypt, a trio of very tough and very dangerous teams.
With that in mind, I recently wrote a piece for ESPN.com projecting the U.S. roster for the Confederations Cup. There are still a few weeks before a squad will be named, and plenty can happen between now and then such as injuries, but here is the 23-man squad I projecthead coach Bob Bradley to be calling in for the Confederations Cup, which the U.S. begins on June 15th vs. Brazil:
Projected USA Confederations Cup roster
Goalkeepers- Tim Howard,Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann
Defenders- Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Frankie Hejduk, Jay DeMerit, Dan Califf, Jonathan Spector, Michael Parkhurst, Jonathan Bornstein.
Midfielders- Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley, Jose Francisco Torres, Pablo Mastroeni, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Freddy Adu
Forwards- Landon Donovan, Brian Ching, Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies
If there are two issues with this roster it is the dearth of fullback and wing midfield options. I could certainly see Bradley dropping one of the central defenders and bringing one more fullback (such as Heath Pearce, Marvell Wynne or Michael Orozco). Steve Cherundolo's recent hip surgery make it seem very unlikely that he will be ready in time for this tournament.
The wing midfield issue isn't as dramatic because Donovan and Davies can play on the flanks in a pinch and there just aren't that many other flank options (Robbie Rogers has been dealing with a hamstring injury, leaving Jeremiah White as someone who I think might merit consideration.
What do you think of this roster? What players are missing that you feel should be on the roster? Which players made our cut that you feel shouldn't have? What do you think of the U.S. team's chances at the Confederations Cup?
Share your thoughts below.