Bradley’s Tall Order

Bradley’s Tall Order

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 29, 2010
  • Alejandro Bedoya, Benny Feilhaber, Bob Bradley, Brad Guzan, Brian Ching, Carlos Bocanegra, Charlie Davies, Clarence Goodson, Clint Dempsey, Conor Casey, DaMarcus Beasley, Eddie Johnson, Edson Buddle, Heath Pearce, Herculez Gomez, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Bornstein, Jonathan Spector, Jose Francisco Torres, Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Marcus Hahnemann, Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu, Ricardo Clark, Steve Cherundolo, Stuart Holden, Tim Howard

Bob Bradley has a lot of thinkin' to do right now. (Getty Images)

I realized I’ve slacked on my World Cup hype duties these last couple months and now that the big event is a month and a half away I need to pick it up here. Today just seems like a good day to talk about the USMNT and who Bob Bradley will call into camp next month.

We know Bradley will be calling in more than what will ultimately become the final 23-man roster for the World Cup. He’s gotta do this to evaluate the final few roster spots that aren’t finalized just yet. Most would agree that a good chunk of the roster is probably already set in Bradley’s mind. He knows his keepers and likely most of his defense and midfield. But up top things get dicy with the slew of injuries and lack of quality form out of some guys in the pool.

Bradley has a lot to consider in the form of guys coming off of injuries too at this point, which in a way is a good thing. Sure their form could be off but having a few main guys back will go a long way in getting out of the group stages in June.

You’ve probably seen plenty of these rosters guesses but this is my take at it. Feel free to agree or disagree below in the comments section. I’ll give you my 26-28 guys I think that could be called in next month (obviously not all will be called here).

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Brad Guzan

There’s really no dancing around this one unless one of these guys goes down in the final weeks of the English season. Howard is the easy pick for starter and really if we had to go with the other two in any game I’d feel okay with that as well.

Defense: Jonathan Spector, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay Demerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Bornstein, Steve Cherundolo, Heath Pearce

This area is fairly set in my mind. Having Onyewu back in training at AC Milan is huge for him and the US. I’ve gone back and forth in my mind over Bornstein’s inclusion with the team but he’s a Bradley guy so he’s in no matter what really. I won’t go into who should start on the right or left back but with this group we should be ok. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Spector at left back at this point but Bocanegra could end up there as well based on his play in France this year.

Midfield: Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Stuart Holden, Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Ricardo Clark, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Francisco Torres, DaMarcus Beasley

Things get a little tougher here. In a way I consider both Deuce and Donovan more as strikers than as midfielders but I know they’ll be listed here when the roster comes out so I won’t even try arguing it. There is a thought too that Edu could slide into a centerback role as well which could free up another spot for another midfielder or take away from one defender.

Holden is getting healthy and that’s a real positive thing to see for this group of players. I think Bedoya has made some major strides in getting close to winning a roster spot, he’s one of my darkhorse picks here. Beasley is another guy that is on the fringe for me but I just got a gut feeling that he’ll make it.

Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Charlie Davies, Eddie Johnson, Brian Ching

This group is the hardest to figure out. Part of me thinks Brian Ching will make it if he returns from injury in time, the other part of me figures at this point its a long shot. With the way that Buddle and Gomez have played recently we know at least one of them should probably make it to South Africa.

I put Casey up there because I see him as another one of those Bradley guys. His form hasn’t been great this season but its been good enough. I don’t love the idea of Johnson here but he’s really finding his own way in Greece right now which should boost his confidence. He’s one of those guys that rides good confidence to the bank and if he is sailing high right now in Greece it will only make things tougher on Bradley, which isn’t a bad thing either.