Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
Now that we have had a few hours to digest the selections made by Bob Bradley for the 23-man World Cup roster, it is time to take a step back and think about what the selections mean, and what the team looks like now.
Here is my piece for Fox Soccer on the selections and the squad the United States will be taking to South Africa.
Here are some more thoughts as I make the trip down to Philadelphia for Saturday's match vs. Turkey (and sit in some brutal New York traffic):
All eleven starters from the U.S. team's friendly loss to the Netherlands made the World Cup team. Perhaps we should have given Findley more credit for being higher up in the pecking order than we thought based on the start in that match.
I'm still surprised about Brian Ching. What's funny is that when Bob Bradley spoke after Tuesday's match and talked about a forward being able to make the transition to the international level, most observers thought his comments were subtly pointed at Edson Buddle. Listening to them now, they sound very much like comments about Ching.
One player who wasn't surprised by the forward selections was Tim Howard, who had talked up the forwards all week. Howard believes the U.S. team is in great position to benefit from two in-form strikes like Buddle and Gomez.
Talking to Robbie Findley about his selection, I noticed a word tattoed on his left hand. The word was humility, and talking to the RSL striker I found a grounded player who was certainly a surprising pick, but who isn't likely to take the selection for granted.
Will Findley make an impact? Based on the past few months it's hard to believe so, but remembering the Findley who helped RSL win the MLS Cup title, it isn't as if he's completely incapable of contributing when healthy.
Alejandro Bedoya did impress in camp, but his relative inexperience proved too much to overcome. I would put good money on him continuing to progress and being a strong candidate in 2014.
Jonathan Bornstein goes as the seventh defender, but at this point I really don't see him getting minutes in the World Cup. He should get a look in the Turkey game as a sub, but at this point it's tough to see him being used much.
As much of a concern as left back is, Beasley's form is promising for the position. Not just because he could offer an option there, but if he starts on the left flank he can provide defensive support for Carlos Bocanegra or Jonathan Spector against England's speedy right wingers. He certainly bailed his teammates out repeatedly by tracking back and
Now that you have had some time to soak in the 23-man roster, what do you think of the group? Still think Ching should have made the 23? Think Findley will surprise?
Share your thoughts below.