It’s just over a month until the US Soccer Team begins the Gold Cup, aka the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Gold Cup occurs every two years, but recently the US Soccer Federation has only given it primary attention in the years directly after the World Cup. So this year. The reason being that this Gold Cup winner will travel to Brazil in 2013 (the summer before the next World Cup) to participate in the Confederations Cup – which will have the champions of the other regions.
The other reasons we will see the strongest possible roster for this year’s Gold Cup is that last time we sent a B-Squad to let the veterans rest and blood some of the newer/fringe guys, and we proceeded to get spanked by Mexico in the final. Also, with the various machinations at the Federation, Coach Bob Bradley’s job could depend on it.
Anything less than beating Mexico and winning the Gold Cup will be a disappointment. So with the MLS season a month old and the Euro seasons winding down, here are Beemsville’s current selections for the 23 roster slots…
Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Hull City), David Yelldell (Duisburg). NOTES – Guzan will miss the first round due to his wedding, and Yelldell can learn more about the U.S. setup and allow Bradley to avoid calling on any MLS keepers. In case of injury, the first MLS keeper called would be Nick Rimando.
Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne), Oguchi Onyewu (Twente), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Timothy Chandler (Nurenburg), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Leeds), Tim Ream (New York). NOTES – No real left back in the group, but I’d let Lichaj, Chandler, and Cherundolo give it the other-footed try.
Midfielders (8): Landon Donovan (L.A. Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro). NOTES – Spector has played more high level games in midfield than most of this group and can also play in the back. Torres gets the nod over other similar players as a change-up.
Forwards (4): Jozy Altdore (Burzaspor), Juan Agudelo (New York), Teal Bunbury (Kansas City), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca). NOTES – A decent blend of speed, power, and skill; the forward pool is finally showing signs of life.
Just missed the cut: Nick Rimando, Benny Feilhaber, Charlie Davies, Edson Buddle, Sacha Klejistan.