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Josh Wolff: A Return to the US National Team Should Be in the Cards

p1 wolff 0703 Josh Wolff: A Return to the US National Team Should Be in the Cards

Only one current US National Team pool forward has proven he can contribute at the highest level in the World Cup. That forward is Josh Wolff often maligned but never forgotten. An attacker of rare speed and technical skill in the American setup Wolff’s reunification with Curt Onalfo a longtime national team assistant in Kansas City has sparked a revival a compelling revival.

At a time where the United States National Team enters a gauntlet of summer matches with question marks stemming from the teams bad performance off of US soil (The US has scored more than one goal in match outside the US just twice in its last 19 games outside the country)a proven goal scorer and creative offensive force like Wolff is more needed by Bob Bradley than many may think.

So many of Josh Wolff’s previous problems with consistency stemmed from injuries. Wolff had a hand in both US goals in the historic 2-0 win at Crew Stadium over Mexico in early 2001, but suffered a serious injury a month and a half later playing for the Chicago Fire in MLS.

Wolff returned to health just in time for the 2002 World Cup and made a fantastic run to set up Brian McBride’s initial goal in the 2nd Round win versus Mexico. But after Wolff’s move to Kansas City in 2003 injuries struck again and he has battled consistency since. Wolff’s move to Germany to play for the smaller club that calls the Allianz Arena home didn’t work out.

But Wolff’s return to Kasnas City has been magic. Here is why a healthy Josh Wolff needs to be part of the US setup for his longtime club coach Bob Bradley:

  • Veteran savvy: Wolff has been to two World Cups and will be a positive, upbeat influence in camp and in the locker room.
  • Good technical skill: Wolff is one of the few American forwards whose first touch isn’t like a rock and also can hold the ball up setting up his team mates. As we saw in 2002 he played well off a target forward, Brian McBride. He can provide the same sort off quality playing off Brian Ching or Jozy Altidore.
  • Finishing Touch: Of Wolff’s nine international goals, most were against quality opponents unlike many in the US pool who have built gaudy stats against CONCACAF minnows. With Wolff again finishing well for the Wizards, his form is likely to carry over to the national team most semlessly than with less experienced players who are in the US player pool.
  • Understanding of Bob Bradley: Wolff played five season for Bob Bradley in Chicago and played his best football at the time.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →
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10 Responses to Josh Wolff: A Return to the US National Team Should Be in the Cards

  1. Travis says:

    “(The US has scored more than one goal in match outside the US just once in its last 19 games outside the country)”

    OUCH. Josh Wolff is NOT the answer for sure, but that statistic is pretty damning. And actually you have it wrong. It’s actually 1 multiple goal performance in 22 games off of US soil going back to 2005. The one exception was against Poland where we scored three goals.

    We need help and the Confederations Cup is sure to be a total embarrassment based on recent performances.

  2. eplnfl says:

    Kartik: Are trying to make the USMNT the soccer version of the Republican Party? It is nice to see some of the great names of yesteryear doing well. McBride, Wolff, Keller, and Thornton to name a few. However, for the US to advance deep into the 2010 WC names like Adu, Altidore, and Bradley must need to star for the Stars & Stripes. Future achievements will not take take place with names of the past.

    Now, that is not to say that Wolff should not be called up by Bradley for one or more of the various matches this summer. He should in fact be given an opportunity to wear the national colors once again, but only with the present in mind.

    You do point out another MLS player who once wore the red of the Chicago Fire but is now making a name for themselves somewhere else. That maybe one of the better stories in MLS this year.

  3. Travis says:

    Adu, Altiodre and Bradley aren’t cutting it at all when we leave American soil agaionst better opponents. Well Freddy maybe yes, he played well against Spain, but better teams have a way of making Altiodre and Bradely look like kids. Time to try something new. I do not like Kartik’s suggestion of Wolff but do see where he’s going with these recent posts and totally agree the team has to be shook up. Other than Donovan, Howard and Gooch nobody should be gifted a position on the team.

  4. kyle says:

    Are we this bad at forward? Josh Wolff should never play for the US again. We saw his best years. Let the young kids show what they have. I am so sick of bringning back these old players becuase of their experience and and what they used to do. Ability>>>>>>>Experience.

  5. Ryan says:

    I’m not anti-Josh Wolff, but where do you want him to slot in? Confederations Cup? Gold Cup? WCQ?

    I’m all for getting some quality veteran help in the mix, but I’m not sure I want him in the most important matches. Who knows how he’ll react after so much time away from the team.

  6. Roger says:

    Wolff isn’t the guy I would recall but to prented like this US team is somehow a good team that is going to make an impact in South Africa is laughable. Bradley needs to drop the eurosnobic attitude and call in more MLS guys like Davy Arnaud and Tim Ward to shake up this squad.

    MLS top to bottom is stronger than any league in Europe. It’s the most competitive league in the world.

  7. Joey Clams says:

    Why turn back the clock? Current form is all well and good but where is the promise, the up side? With all due respect to Hejduk and Beasley, are they really multicycle players? Are Onyewu and Bocanegra back to back WC pair? My point is that our sentimentality – or gutlessness – is killing us. Wolff? Why bother?

  8. Max says:

    Jeremiah White or Jemel Johnson would be better options to shake things up that Wolff. Sorry, Kartik I just cannot take someone who scores goals in MLS but couldn’t even sniff the pitch in the German second division over younger forwards with more potential upside.

  9. I was tying to delete the spam comments and C Webb’s comment got inadvertently deleted. Chris, could you post that comment again? Word Press has no way of retrieving deleted comments.

  10. Travis,

    It is actually 2 multiple goal games in 22 not 2 in 19 as I stated in the post or 1 in 22 as you stated in your comment. Nonetheless, the statistic is very very telling.

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