Like Mexico, the US has called a clear “B” team for the North American Championship tournament leaving the door open for someone else to possibly win the event this year. (It won’t be Trinidad and Tobago though because they failed to qualify). Here is the squad with some analysis:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Troy Perkins (IK Start), Luis Robles (FC Kaiserslautern)
Robles and Perkins were presumably split games in a competition to determine who becomes the front runner for the third keeper spot in South Africa next year.
DEFENDERS (7): Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaellands), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)
Cherundolo returns from injury after presumably having lost his starting RB job. Conrad returns and it is nice to Heaps and Parkhurst on the team. Heath Pearce gets one last chance at LB. I’m disappointed to not see Tim Ward, Michael Orozco or Marco Vidal.
MIDFIELDERS (8): Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), Sam Cronin (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
Arnaud’s call in is long overdue as is Clark’s. Cronin, Evans and Pause are all surprises. The omission of Danny Szetela is disturbing, as is Jose Torres omission. Jeremiah White would have been a solid call up as well. He can play out wide or up front. Szetela’s continued absence from the national team begs the question if he would have been better off declaring for Poland two years ago when he has the chance.
FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United)
Santino Quaranta’s comeback story is complete.
Both Bob Bradley and Javier Aguirre have evidently determined that this year’s tournament can be used for experimentation instead of cementing the sides that will face each other at Azteca in August. If someone other than Mexico or the US is ever going to win the Gold Cup again (keep in mind Canada won it in 2000) this would be the chance. Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama have all previously reached Gold Cup finals and this tournament may represent the great chance for Central American football.
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