I’m dealing with dial up – so here are some lo-res thoughts on today’s World Cup Preliminary Roster announcements.
Charlie Davies – The big news is that Charlie Davies was deemed unfit for the USA squad. It is a shame but it was always a long shot. The fact that he still isn’t cleared from his club team Sochaux made it an easy decision. While all USA fans are sad to see him fall short, he is only 23 and he’s gonna be a force in USA soccer for the next 8 years for sure. All things considered, I’m really not all that upset – especially with the way Edson Buddle has been playing (alongside Landon Donovan no less).
USA Squad – Thank god Gooch is there! While his rehab hasn’t finished in time to get him back on to the field with AC Milan, it looks like he should be able to lead the USA backfield onto the field in South Africa – we might be in real trouble if he isn’t. It was a toss up between a number of midfielders with Kyle Beckerman getting the short end. This is probably because Robbie Rogers is more dangerous at attacking from the left – a skill that will prove very necessary if DeMarcus Beasley has a weak camp. Only one of those two will likely go and my money is on Beasley. I thought that Conor Casey would get the call over the injured Brian Ching (do you really want to see either of them enter the game in late important minutes?) but apparently Ching is expected to be fit. I’m assuming he makes the 23-man squad since he made this list. Eddie Johnson, huh? Well he won’t likely go. Remember, Bob Bradley has to cut 7 more players before June 1!
Here’s my guess at the Cut List:
Definitley gone: Heath Pearce, Chad Marshall, Eddie Johnson, Robbie Rogers
Bubble (3 of 4 will be gone): Alejandro Bedoya, Sasha Kljestan, Robbie Findley, Herculez Gomez
Bob Bradley also has the option of dropping his 7th Defender (likely Clarence Goodson or even Jonathan Bornstein) and then keep one of those last 4. Sasha and Gomez seem the most likely to make it – but it is going to come down to who plays best over the next few weeks.
England – It is cool to see Joe Cole make the squad, but I don’t think he’ll make the cut to 23. It is too bad Carlton Cole didn’t nab a striker spot as he is a rising young talent and the experience would have done him a lot of good – especially since Emile Heskey is over the hill. Scott Parker won’t make it and Tom Huddlestone might not either, but Fabio Capello should definitely take Adam Johnson. The young right winger has been on fire for Manchester City. It is interesting to see Jamie Carragher come out of National Team retirement. Shows you England is really hurting at defense. Finally, Wayne Bridge is a bitch. John Terry shacked up with his girl and so he protests by not going to the World Cup?! Dude, you gotta get your priorities straight.
Brazil – While I’m not surprised Ronaldinho didn’t make the squad, it is still a shame. But the real shame is the exclusion of young striker Pato. Regardless, Brazil is going to be really, really hard to beat.
Argentina – Lisandro Lopez is an amazing player and they should have taken him – simple as that. But this team is stacked! Messi, Tevez, Kun Aguerro, Diego Milito, and Higuain… gimme a break!. The real question is if super-douche Maradona can get them to play like a team.
France – How do you not take Karim Benzema? If he had stayed at Lyon instead of being a $30M bench warmer at Real Madrid, he would have made the squad. Still, Le Bleu has the personnel to be pretty nasty.
Spain – Wow… I don’t see where you can cut 7 players. Spain is definitely the team to beat.
29 days to the Copa!!