For those who have followed the U.S. Men’s Soccer for the past 10 years or more, this past week’s results at the FIFA Confederations Cup have to be a move forward. One thing that should be learned by now is: Becoming a world power in soccer takes time. And the 2009 Confeds Cup was another step in that direction. It has the potential to be one of the larger steps we’ve taken, but only time will tell if that’s the case. I expect our team to compete against every team they play. And they showed that when they put their mind to it, they can. Also, they showed that if there is no desire to challenge every ball and have all 11 players hustle on both ends of the pitch, we’ll get the snot beat out of us.
I am disappointed that we did not finish our last half of play well. It’s tough to be up 2-0 at halftime and lose 3-2, even if your opponent is 5 time World Cup Champion, Brazil. I do believe that Brazil may be the only team in the world that could have come back to beat us after being down 2 goals. Hopefully, that game will be another learning experience that makes our team better. I have to give a little credit to Brazil and the class they showed to our team after winning. And as a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s cool to see another evangelical believer not ashamed of his faith (Kaka).
I now have a better idea of who I want to see on the World Cup squad for 2010. In my opinion here are some names we should see next summer (& my thought of each player in this tournament) if injury does not play a role: Landon Donavan (for the 1st time showed the leadership skills we’ve been waiting for); Clint Dempsey (still a little lazy on defense, but always brings moments of brillance w/ the ball); Michael Bradley (understands the game as well as any player on our team); Benny Feilhaber (sees things no one else sees); Oguchi Onyewu (a beast in our back line); Jay Demerit (earned a spot beside Onyewu in my opinion); Jonathan Spector (right back should be his position to lose now); Freddy Adu (I know he didn’t get play time, but if we’re going to win one of the next 3 or 4 World Cups he’ll be a huge reason why.); Jozy Altidore (Truly is our most pure forward, but he still lacks hustle and ball control.); Carlos Bocanegra (I really liked him at left back); Tim Howard (looked shaky at times, but will still make the team). Maurice Edu (if he recovers from injury well, he should be a shoe in for our team).
A list of players that are in the mix in my opinion: Charlie Davies; Ricardo Clark; Jonathan Bornstein; Heath Pearce; Steve Cherundolo; Frankie Hejduk; Brian Ching; Brad Guzan; Conor Casey; Jose Fransisco Torres; Danny Szetela; Robbie Rogers.
Players that in my opinion shouldn’t be on the roster ever again unless there are miracles: DeMarcus Beasley; Eddie Johnson; and possibly Sasha Kljestan. Bottom line with Beasley and Johnson: You shouldn’t be playing for the national team if you don’t get play time for your club.
We’ll see a totally different team in July during the Gold Cup. Here’s the roster for this North American Tournament:
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Troy Perkins (IK Start), Luis Robles (FC Kaiserslautern)
DEFENDERS (7): Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaellands), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), Sam Cronin (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United)
This hopefully will be where Freddy Adu has his coming out party!? It’s gonna be a great chance to see some not so well known names in the American pool of players and give them a chance to make a bid for the World Cup squad. The only player on this roster that saw significant playing time in the Confeds Cup is Charlie Davies. GO USA!!!