Jeremiah White was called into US camp this past January and evidently did not make an impression on Bob Bradley. After playing a few minutes against Sweden he was released from the camp and has not been called back since. White can only hope Bradley is as open in his willingness to give attacking players opportunities after early failures as Bruce Arena was. Arena for example called Jeff Cunningham, Brian West and Conor Casey repeatedly into US camps even though it was pretty obvious none of the three had what it took to play international football.
White is playing well for Aarhus in Denmark currently as a striker and we know Bradley must be watching since his personal favorite midfielder Benny Feilhaber is also part of the club. (Note I didn’t say Feilhaber plays for the club because he has played once since arriving in Denmark after the Olympics) White is one American who won’t be intimidated by urine bag tossing fans at Saprissa Stadium or those throwing bottles in Guatemala. He’s faced far worse than those things as a footballer.
White originally signed out of Wake Forest for a club in Serbia, the same nation that conducted under Slobodan Milosevic an ethnic cleansing of minorities in the 1990s. White told ESPN.com following about a 2004 incident in Belgrade:
“As I got closer to the group, a few of the guys began to raise their arms, making Nazi gestures towards me. At that point, I probably should have walked away, but I asked them what their problem was — I said to them that they probably have no clue why they were making those gestures,” White said. “Long story short, one of the guys confronted me in an aggressive manner, and I defended myself.”
After that the group of hooligans chased White through the streets and escaped partly due to his legendary speed which seemed so tantalizing in the one game we saw him versus Sweden. The incident made international news including the Guardian and the BBC.
Bob Bradley has three qualifiers to experiment with. For all the love Kenny Cooper gets he’s not a pure striker (a subject Chris Webb of United Mania will disect for us this Friday on the American Soccer Show) and needs to play off someone. White could be that player that Bob Bradley so badly wants to believe Eddie Johnson is: the pacey, wirey attacker that draws fouls and keeps the defense on their heels while creating space for the US midfield.