The January friendly against Honduras told us little other than our MLS depth ain’t what it used to be. It would have been nice if the ref had chosen to not give a pair of soft yellows to Jimmy C., and then we might have learned a little more about those last few spots.
In other news, Clint Dempsey’s knee did not require surgery, but we’ll all still be wondering what kind of shape he’ll be in come summer. Oguchi Onyewu is rehabbing well, and even Charlie Davies is showing signs of a borderline miraculous recovery. On the flip side, Jermaine Jones still hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since last Spring. As the outside man in a deep midfield, you’d probably need to rule him out at this point. Also troubling is the lack of playing time for Jozy Altidore, Carlos Bocanegra, and Mo Edu over the last month. That said, here’s our 23 for South Africa, January edition…
Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann
Defenders (8 ): Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Bornstein, Edgar Castillo, Clarence Goodson
Midfielders (8): Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Jose Francisco Torres, Stuart Holden, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Robbie Rogers, Ricardo Clark
Forwards (4): Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Kenny Cooper, Jeff Cunningham
This month we move Goodson on for Brian Ching, mostly based on the logic that you bring a lot of defenders to the World Cup, where the U.S. has shown a propensity for picking up cards. And Rico Clark, who has been on most lists from the beginning comes on for the still injured Jones. Two guys to keep an eye on will be Davies, naturally, as well as DaMarcus Beasley, who was looking good again before his latest injury. And for slow learners like me, watching for sings of Freddy Adu is always good fun.