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Thoughts About the Olympic Selection

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.

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  1. Mark

    July 22, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Szetela is mediocre I fear. McCarty would have been a much better pick in my opinion.

  2. Chop

    July 19, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Yes I have. Many times.

    I think he’s way overrated. Yes, he scored a nice diving header against Poland in the U-20 WC. However, I lost track of the number of unpressured giveaways and passes straight out of bounds for the rest of the tournament.

    Szetela was so impressive that he couldn’t even crack the Columbus starting X1, a team that finished second to last in the East last year.

    I know the kid has a modicum of skill and plays in Italy, but that doesn’t automatically grant you a place on the Olympic team.

  3. Michael

    July 19, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Chop, have you seen Danny Szetela play at all??

  4. chop

    July 18, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    One has to remember that McCarty’s inclusion into the qualifying campain was because Michael Bradley was not available.

    The bigger question to me is why Szetela gets chosen over McCarty. Szetela, while having better skill than Dax, is a turnover machine in midfield.

    I’m indifferent on Kamani Hill. He did ok, not great in qualifying.

    I agree that Ianni is a horrible choice. He flat out stinks. No redeeming quality except depth if one of Parkhurst/Orozco/Sturgis gets injured or suspended.

    Also, who is going to play left back on this team? Orozco perhaps?

  5. eplnfl

    July 18, 2008 at 11:16 am

    The Chicago area feels very well represented with Brian McBride and Brad Guzan and we know Jon Spector would have made the team if healthy. Chad Barrett was left off.

  6. Come on you Hoops

    July 18, 2008 at 9:43 am

    McCarty’s snub probably owes itself to his injuries than any other factor. He’s been a rock for the US teams and I cannot imagine Nowak simply decided to drop him for no good reason other than injuries.

  7. Matt Johnston

    July 18, 2008 at 9:08 am

    The omission of Hill is the one sort of mystery to me as well. However, could Bob Bradley be looking at him for World Cup qualifying? As you note, Hill is a great all-around player, with lots of pace. He needs some work on his first touch, but outside of that I think he is a quality player.

  8. JR

    July 18, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Sal Zizzo whose play last year in the U-20s and this year in the qualifying to me was a big big snub.

    Who is going to play on the right side? Klestan? He’s better in the middle!

  9. Phillip

    July 17, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I think Parkhurst was a FANTASTIC pick.

    Major props to Nowak for that one.

  10. Larry

    July 17, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I think Patrick Ianni was a horrendous choice. Eric Brunner was more deserving.

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