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Time for Taylor Twellman

With the recent World Cup qualifiers demonstrating how pathetically weak the US striker corps is the time has come for Bob Bradley to call back the player whose exclusion from the World Cup 2006 squad raised the most eyebrows. To Bradley’s credit he did feature Twellman in the 2007 Gold Cup and Copa America, but injuries and the sudden fascination with Brian Ching have stopped Twellman from getting his chance again.

Despite being several inches shorter than Ching, Twellman is a better target man on set pieces. Also Twellman has the combination of athelticism and technical skill that most American players, irrespective of position lack. Eddie Johnson seems to have run his course as a national team striker, Kenny Cooper is not getting a chance for whatever reason and Brian Ching lacks the quality to be considered a reliable attacking player when the opposition improves as it will in the Hexaganol. If Twellman is healthy he has to be strongly considered as the first choice striker for Bob Bradley until Jozy Altidore is finally allowed to grow in the national setup. (Whenever that turns out to be.)

It seems to have been forgotten by many in the US Soccer community that Ching’s inclusion on the 2006 World Cup squad at Twellman’s expense had more to do with personality and team off the pitch chemistry issues than with football itself. Twellman has always been and will continue to be a superior striker to Ching or Johnson both at the club and at the national team level. Twellman has the explosiveness as well as the utility on set pieces that the US needs in this period where the coaches seem resitant to calling in Jozy Altidore,  who in most other nations would be already the obvious first choice striker.

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  1. bandeeto

    September 13, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Twellman has had to deal with the same difficulties as any current “striker” on the US MNT. Poor/non-existent service and no link up play with an MIA attacking midfield.

    Twellman is not the kind of striker that creates his own chances out of thin air, however if given some quality to work with he will finish.

  2. Scott

    September 12, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more. Twellman has had plenty of chances to prove he’s not athletic enough or skilled enough for the USMNT.

    Players we need to see before TT: Altidore, Cooper, Buddle, Davies.

    You wrote it yourself Kartik; every game without Jozy and Freddy is a small win for our opponents…

  3. elopingcamel

    September 12, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I got back into soccer during the ’06 WC, so the only times I’ve seen Twellman play for the Nats was during the Gold Cup, and I wasn’t terribly impressed but him then. I wasn’t disappointed per se… just not terribly impressed.

    I completely agree that he is a better striker than EJ or Ching, and even everyone’s current internet obsession, Cooper (that’s not a knock on Cooper, cause man I want him to get called up over EJ). But the impression I get is that Taylor was never very impressive for the Nats.

  4. Phillip

    September 12, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Has Twellman had a good game at the international level?

  5. kevquinnc

    September 12, 2008 at 11:05 am

    FYI: According to the talking heads the reason Cooper isn’t included in the National Team is because he likes the ball on the ground instead of at his head. WTF

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