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US Squad Becoming Stale and Predictable

Kyle Beckerman is among several outstanding players missing from Bradley’s recent call ups

With today’s announcement that the injury prone and ineffective DaMarcus Beasley has been added to the US squad going down the Guatemala for the most important match of the Bradley era, some suggestions for Coach Bob Bradley. STOP CALLING THE SAME PLAYERS INTO THE NATIONAL TEAM IRRESPECTIVE OF CLUB FORM OR GENERAL QUALITY. In other words, Carlos Bocanegra’s performance for Rennes this past weekend is not a reason to call him in ahead of Michael Parkhurst, nor is the fact that Eddie Johnson has not played first team football in months a reason to call him ahead of Kenny Cooper.

After an outstanding first year on the job where Bradley capped almost 80 players, the coach has settled on a mostly comfortable selection of the same 22-25 players for every match. Here are some players that have earned a look with the national team during this cycle who may contribute more than regular Bradley selections.

  • Michael Parkhurst: No question exists in my mind that Parkhurst’s adept sense of positioning would be an asset to a US side whose defensive performances have been among the worst by an American team in the last 15 years. Could replace Jay DeMerit
  • Kenny Cooper: The favorite on Internet message boards, Cooper’s 6’3” frame in addition to his excellent touch on the ball (unlike most American strikers) makes him a natural at the national team level. Could replace Brian Ching.
  • Jeremiah White: Speed kills and White has made his name in Denmark for it. Could replace Eddie Johnson
  • Charlie Davies: At one time Davies was nothing but a speed merchant but these days he’s become a more technically gifted and useful player. Could replace Eddie Johnson
  • Edson Buddle: Buddle is more than a flash in the pan. He’s begun scoring goals and creating chances with minimal service in tough situations. Could replace Eddie Johnson
  • Marvell Wynne: We saw how good he is on the ball and in closing down attackers in China. The fact that he is behind Drew Moor in the player pool is simply laughable.
  • Kyle Beckerman: One of the most technically gifted American players on the ball. Beckerman is outstanding in the attack but wouldn’t fit into Bob Bradley’s bucket. Maybe he could play out wide? Could replace DaMarcus Beasley or Clint Dempsey.

I am sure some other names should be on this list and am anxious to hear the thoughts of our readers.

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  1. usasoc

    August 20, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I agree that the National team is stale. But as long as the USA motto is ” once good always good” new players wont get a real chance .

  2. Armand

    August 16, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Good post Kartik but some additional names for you.

    Frank Simek
    Danny Szetela
    Neven Subotic (if he wants to play for the US)
    Jemel Johnson
    Zac Whitbread

  3. Ric

    August 16, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I agree with Phillip that this team is a set of known commodities. They’re also the most mature squad we have, who have played in pressure situations, and seeing as this road game to Guatemala is the most high-pressure game of the round, it’s understandable that Bradley would want his most mature squad.

    And, speaking of this as a high-pressure situation, I find it interesting that when Kartik names the 7 players he wants to see, he names 5 MLS-based players and 2 from the Olympic squad. This from the same writer who, less than a week ago, tried to blame MLS for not preparing our players for high-pressure situations.

  4. Scott

    August 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I actually hope we lose on Wednesday. It’s tough to say, because I love U.S. Soccer, but the only way to affect positive change is to get Bradley out. And the only way that happens is if we drop some results and someone at USSF HQ wakes up.

  5. USA Fan

    August 16, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Kenny Cooper is better than any striker on this squad.

  6. bandeeto

    August 16, 2008 at 12:17 am

    EJ might not have gotten minutes at the olympics either. I don’t rate him above Altidore or McBride. EJ can run (without the ball), fall down, and tap the ball back when not under pressure. I don’t think I missed anything. Basically he’s the perfect player to apitomize Bradleys Bucket. Lots of running, little (or no) results, booring to watch.

  7. Phillip

    August 15, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I actually prefer the squad he’s taking to Guatemala. They’re known commodities, and this will be our only really difficult match in this round.

    I expect Cooper to be called in before the TandT and the Cuba matches.

  8. Football Detective

    August 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Also, stale + predictable = SAFE.

    What do you really expect from Bradley?

  9. Football Detective

    August 15, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    We get the point about Johnson but seriously, Davies couldn’t get any minutes on the Olympic squad.

    This is really the beginning of a new cycle so give players like Johnson a chance before you relegate them to the Jason Kreis Hall of Fame.

  10. Mark

    August 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    I’d add Frank Simek to your list.

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