A busy critical summer period for the US National Team looms ahead. Coach Bob Bradley has a core of 25-30 players he’s looking at to fill 22 World Cup squad spots. The Confederations Cup and Gold Cups provide competitive atmospheres to test players without the pressure of World Cup Qualifying.
At the top of list for Bradley is to take at several European based youngsters who could contribute to the US cause.
Here is a list of European based players that should be called in for one of two tournaments.
Pretty much a lock for one of the two tournaments.
Why Szetela has disappeared from the US pool in the last year is a mystery. He probably fits Bradley’s 4-4-2 “bucket” system better than just about any other holding midfielder.
The problems the US have on the backline demand another look at this under the radar player.
Spector is probably in the mix anyway, and is versatile enough to fill in at left back, central defender or holding midfielder.
Too talented to simply write off.
Has played very well with Aalborg. Having never been capped at the youth level is another feather in the cap of NCAA Soccer and the Wake Forest program or is it another dart for US Soccer’s scouting program of youngsters?
Another uncapped player who is a survivor of the lower leagues in England. Can play on the flank or up front.
Can still provide depth on the right side where Clint Dempsey has virtually no quality cover.
A versatile player whose club career has been disastrous but who still has the poise and technical skill to contribute.
The only consistent American goal scorer in Europe. Needs reps with Jozy Altidore or Brian Ching to develop chemistry before the World Cup.
He was good enough for Peter Nowak to burn an over age spot for the Olympics but seemingly never good enough for Bradley’s selections. This does not make sense.
Behind Tim Howard, the US goalkeeping pool hasn’t been so poor since before the 1989 World Youth Championship when Kasey Keller burst on the scene as a capable backup to Tony Meola. Robles may not play consistently, but can you really trust Brad Guzan to step up if Howard is out injured?
His one token appearence for the US against Sweden last year was inconclusive. A player who consistently gets first team action in a decent league cannot be totally ignored.
We haven’t seen this kid since 2005 in the U-20s when he was still on Liverpool’s books. He’s become a consistent first teamer for Milwall as they chased promotion to the Championship.
Playing consistently well for his club side. Can add depth on the backline.