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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And then there were 23...

U.S. Men's head soccer coach Bob Bradley has named his final 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as announced on the US Soccer web site. Here is our team:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (2010), Marcus Hahnemann (2006, 2010), Tim Howard (2006, 2010)

DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (2006, 2010), Jonathan Bornstein (2010), Steve Cherundolo (2002, 2006, 2010), Jay DeMerit (2010), Clarence Goodson (2010), Oguchi Onyewu (2006, 2010), Jonathan Spector (2010)

MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (2002, 2006, 2010), Michael Bradley (2010), Ricardo Clark (2010), Clint Dempsey (2006, 2010), Landon Donovan (2002, 2006, 2010), Maurice Edu (2010), Benny Feilhaber (2010), Stuart Holden (2010), José Torres (2010)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (2010), Edson Buddle (2010), Robbie Findley (2010), Herculez Gomez (2010) 

All in all, I'm not too surprised at the choices Bradley made. There are quite a few debutantes to the World Cup stage and, amazingly, only four of the final twenty-three ply their trade in the MLS domestic league. This speaks to the depth of international experience this team boasts and should give fans of the beautiful game here in the U.S. some hope that we will post a good showing this go-round.

I think it's a bit much to ask for that the US team will penetrate deep into the draw, but a strong second place showing in the group stage is almost expected. Unfortunately, that will most likely earn us a meeting with a slightly injury-depleted but still dangerous Germany, the projected winner of Group D.

As always, our international hopes will be hanging on the pace and presence of Landon Donovan. The difference this year is that he has some help. His scorching hot scoring partner from the LA Galaxy - Edson Buddle - made Bradley's cut, and a rededicated DeMarcus Beasley from Scotland's Rangers should offer plenty of speed on the left wing - a prospect we've been waiting years for.

Physically, we look strong in the middle of the park with Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley, but there are still questions all over the defensive end.

I'd like to see the proposed starting eleven in action for the final friendly before the team departs. I believe that game will show us a lot of what we have to look forward to. ESPN will be broadcasting the game against Turkey on May 29th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Tune in and support those Yanks!


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