MLS Heavy US Squad Announced: Thoughts
Cory Gibbs, a key member of the US squads that led up to the 2006 World Cup has been recalled as has Brian Ching for US Soccer annual January training camp in Carson, CA. The rest of the training camp squad is young and is made up primarily of MLS based players with a few Scandanavian based players mixed in.
Here is the squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Jon Busch (Chicago), Will Hesmer (Columbus), Troy Perkins (Valerenga), Matt Pickens (out of contract).
DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (Midtjylland), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles), Cory Gibbs (Colorado), Clarence Goodson ( IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto).
MIDFIELDERS: Geoff Cameron (Houston), Brian Carroll (Columbus), Ricardo Clark (Houston), Eddie Gaven (Columbus), Stuart Holden (Houston), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus), John Thorrington (Chicago).
FORWARDS: Brian Ching (Houston), Kenny Cooper (Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby), Chris Rolfe (Chicago).
The most significant call ups are that of Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven and Chad Marshall, all MLS Cup winners and all players who could quite possibly contribute in World Cup qualifying. Rogers could give the US a left sided threat that has been missing due to Damarcus Beasley’s inconsistency and injuries. Jose Francisco Torres of Pachuca is also in the mix to suplant the out of form and oft injured Beasley in the US lineup. (This may be in fact wishful thinking since Bob Bradley has consistently reinserted Beasley into the US lineup when he’s been healthy even if his replacements have looked more lively and dangerous in previous matches.)
Eddie Gaven is finally becoming the type of player many observers including myself seemed impatient to witness several years ago. Despite having all the advantages of being considered the second or third best young US player in the 2003 to 2005 time period, Gaven went on to see the likes of Michael Bradley and Benny Feilhaber among others hit stardom and national team success long before he did. I have always believed that Gaven can be a more complete and dangerous midfielder than Bradley or Feilhaber and he is beginning to demonstrate it now.
Marvell Wynne must be considered a real threat to unseat Steve Cherundolo at right back before World Cup 2010. Wynne is much more dangerous going forward and seems to be developing the type of physical compontent to his game that was lacking period to being coached by John Carver in Toronto. Sean Franklin may also develop into a national team caliber centre back, but he must be considered at best a pool player for qualifying.
Geoff Cameron had a very bright year for the Houston Dynamo in 2008. Coach Bob Bradley in yet another un-Arena like move has quickly called him into US camp despite the fact that he never once suited up for a US Youth National Team. This is another indication that Bradley is doing thing differently than Arena did particularly in the second four years of Arena’s long tenure.
Sacha Kljestan has cemented himself as a national team regular and John Thorrington the onetime Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen reserve player has stayed healthy for the longest span in his career and also may be counted on in qualifying. Our Americans Abroad player of the year Charlie Davies joins Ching and Kenny Cooper a fan favorite who now has scored twice in only three full national team appearences up front.
The training camp concludes with a friendly against Sweden on January 24th at the Home Depot Center.