Peter Nowak’s selections for the 2008 US Men’s Olympic Team where fairly straight forward. However I was somewhat surprised by a few decisions. However none of these decisions can be filed away as shockers. With only 15 available U-23 spots from the legitimate pool of 40 plus possible players I mentioned earlier this week all the decisions were going to be difficult and could have gone either way.
1) The inclusion of Benny Feilhaber.
We all know Feilhaber’s situation at Derby County and the fact that he was cut from the Olympic qualifying squad before the group play matches began in Tampa indicated to me he had a high threshold of what he needed to accomplish at the Toulon Tournament where after one half of football he was injured. I believe this selection was made due to an injury to Eddie Gaven something I was unfortunately unaware of when I mentioned Gaven as being snubbed on today’s 2Gs show.
2) The exclusion of Dax McCarty
While McCarty has had a somewhat undistinguished career now four seasons into his MLS life, he is without question a better player for the US youth international teams than his club performance would indicate. It can be strongly argued that McCarty was the second best American in qualifying and was also a key member of last year’s squad that went deep in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
3) The omission of Kamani Hill even as an alternate
Hill is so versatile and can play virtually anywhere on the pitch, so not having him as even an alternate was surprising.
4) Charlie Davies selection instead of Robbie Findley
While Davies pace is electric his finishing is at least at the club level inferior to that of Findley’s. In addition, Davies has lacked confidence just about every time he’s dawned the US shirt at any level.
These are minor qualms however: for the most part Nowak did an outstanding job.