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Bob Bradley’s Gold Cup Squad Can Now Fill The Depth Problem

After that surprising run in this past Confederations Cup from the Egypt Match all the way to the final, we all saw what happens when you face a top side like Brazil that has depth from the top players in Europe all the way back home to their parents house kicking the ball around once they start walking. The problems for the USA wasn’t so much that their starting eleven was bad, but who can help when Bradley calls them off the bench to keep any form of a lead or who can get that equalizer and find a way to win the match.

That’s what this current Gold Cup tournament was about for Head Coach Bob Bradley. Find the players that can step up and fill in that Depth problem when they face Mexico this coming August 12th and the rest of the World Cup Qualifiers to face the top sides of CONCACAF and when they are ready to play against anyone in their group for this coming World Cup. Besides Charlie Davies who impressed during the Confederations Cup & the Gold Cup we can see that many players have also proven very quickly that they could be ready for the bigger matches with the senior squad.

Robbie Rogers & Stuart Holden have shown in the group stage they are ready to join the senior side. Rogers with his crossing abillity during the run of play setting up goals for Freddy Adu & Holden as well as scoring a goal in that match against Grenada has his stock rising.

Stuart Holden has also shown to be a hero at the right moment getting that late equalizer in second half stoppage time against Haiti and he is strong in the air as well when he headed in the goal against Grenada. How about a calming influence in the middle of the field where Kyle Beckerman was trying to spring the forwards into a scoring chance and was able to get the ball away from the opposition.

How about a re-birth of a playing career in DC United’s Santino Quaranta. So much has been written about him with all the negative things he has done to himself and what a strike against Honduras at RFK to get his home town fans screaming for him and I believe we were all screaming for him when he scored that goal. Troy Perkings has aquitted himself well in goal and made the big saves when he had to.

Sooner than later our National Team needs to be replenshed from the top players who will get towards the end of their careers with younger players who want to start their International Careers. While some of these kids took the express straight to Europe to establish their career, there are some that are on the local being here in Major League Soccer. While we all understand that the rules and setup of the league is a headache we all have to know that without this league being seen as the top division of US Soccer non of these players who are on this current Gold Cup Roster would have that chance to show what they got.

Of course I want to see this squad win the championship and prove to the rest of the Confederation that even without our top stars like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and so on that we have the talent and now creating some depth for our National Team that they can get the job done. Just like Brazil who only had Kaka, Lucio, Daniel Alves & Julio Cesar they showed that they didn’t need Ronaldinho to win the Confederations Cup.

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  1. soccer goals

    July 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Holden and Rogers should help the USA with their depth.

  2. Jammer

    July 16, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I can’t find the Panama PK on youtube but I’ll take your word. I found the Mexico PK. It was questionable but IMO not clear, as the defender was sliding also.

    I can see your point, there is enough evidence for suspicion. But you must also blame FIFA. Why does soccer have only one referee to cover a huge field, while basketball and ice hockey have several on a small floor with fewer players? Multiple referees can see more, confer on hard calls, and make corruption more difficult. It will always be hard to distinguish corruption from the incorrect calls that occur regularly. Challenges and instant replay should be allowed on PK’s and red cards given their ability to completely change the game. FIFA stifles reform. I believe this is a hindrance to wide acceptance of soccer in this country where we expect more consistent officiating in our sports. 3 out of 4 main sports leagues adjust the rules every few years at least, excepting baseball. They have far more checks on the system (instant replay, public debate, administrative audits) and work harder to maintain credibility.

    Every soccer fan has several bitter memories of their teams losing in games heavily affected by a few poor calls. And bothered by the suspicion that the game was fixed, although as I said it’s hard to distinguish from frequent poor calls in a quick game with frequently out of position ref’s. And I personally am frustrated knowing with near certainty that change is impossible in this lifetime. US leagues know that losses in perception will result in viewers drifting to other sports or between college and pro. Soccer knows they have a near monopoly on major sports in much of the world and has no incentive to change. But I rant anyway. This issue to me is astroturf to Kartik 🙂

    My original on-topic point was that it wasn’t easy for the US first team in 2007, supporting the idea that moderate success this year would be very significant and show much quality depth to replace the poorer confed cup call-ups. (Quality for us, not compared to say Brazil.)

    I’ll completely agree that I should have replaced the words “strong performance” with “lucky and atrociously officiated.”

  3. Andrew

    July 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    The US also used a dodgy PK call to beat Panama in the quarterfinals and a questionable PK to beat Mexico, but the Canada one was the most blatant. I think it was not a coincidence that 3 straight US games in the 2007 Gold Cup were questionable. It was a title but a tainted one at that. That’s why the US run to the Confed Cup final was tainted also, because of how the USA qualified for that tournament.

  4. Jammer

    July 16, 2009 at 10:45 am

    About the 2007 tourney, you are kind of making my first point. It was a good showing + luck + questionable officiating calls for the US to win it, and they are still even money with a second team this year. So it says something good about the team’s depth. Of course performance is more important than predictions.

    No question Canada got cheated out of the regular time draw. To me, logic says that it was a mistake. A ref who wants to affect a game’s outcome will do it with questionable red cards and PK’s or non-PK’s, calls that are inherently subjective and can’t easily be questioned, and can put the game away much earlier. The way it happened, the conspiracy would require the collaboration of the linesman and the ref, making a call which can easily be disproved on camera to the detriment of the ref’s reputation, at the end of a game when scrutiny will be highest, and the ploy would have failed if Canada had the lead or achieved their equalizer in a situation with no opportunity for a bad call. It’s implausible.

    Unfortunately concacaf’s actions this year give fuel to the conspiracy fires.

  5. Lars

    July 16, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Well Daniel, the two are related. As I said, if you aren’t playing your B Team in clutch situations, how will they ever gain the experience needed to fill in for injured/suspended american A team players… They won’t. By gaining those extra spots, the US has essentially helped hamper their future, but in the short term has gained an unfair advantage here in this tournament, by creating more depth for the team.

  6. Daniel Feuerstein

    July 16, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Lars if you listened to the podcast with Kartik & I we agreed that CONCACAF did the wrong thing. I said if the USA got seven extra spots on their roster than ever other side should’ve gotton an extra seven roster spots. We all know this Confederation is a joke and if they can’t stop themselves acting so stupid then maybe they can be taken seriously.

    This report is about fixing the depth problem for the USA, not how many extra spots they got. That issue has been taken care of by us. We are with you and you along with every other Canadian supporter has every right to complain about that. But before you call the USA cheaters, how many times has Mexico gotten away with murder by the refs and the confederation.

    I wished they would stop doing these dumb things, but they will never get their act together and try to show how legit this Confederation can be. Continued interference by CONCACAF is not US Soccer’s fault.

  7. Lars

    July 16, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Except Jammer, the US did not legitimately win two years ago. Shady CONCACAF practices took away from the legitimacy of a US win in the Semi-finals..

  8. Bob

    July 15, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    We’ll truly see if the US has any depth starting with the game against Panama on Saturday. IMHO, we were fortunate to escape the Haiti game with a draw. They took it to us. Beating the Honduran B team and Grenada mean nothing. Beating Haiti, who has some recognizable USL players would have been a good sign but of course we needed a moment of wonder from Stuart Holden to even tie them. We know Holden and Rogers are quality, but the rest of the guys on this Gold Cup team are garbage IMHO. We will get exposed Saturday unless some of the regulars like Kljestan, Casey, and Altidore are called in.

  9. Jammer

    July 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Two years ago, although the US was not a longshot, it was considered a strong achievement to win the gold cup with first team. This year, the US is even money to win with the second team. ( This has a lot to do with Mexico’s recent performances, but I take heart at what it says about the state of US soccer.

    I can’t agree more with the Canadians. I loved watching the subs turn the Honduras game around, but the US team would have gotten through to the KO round with an honestly earned tie.

    I think the Canadian team would be smarter to try to bring a cup home in an opportune year. 2014 is still distant. They have a pretty strong team, and some no-shows may be related to club loyalty and unwillingness to continue working with an unpopular and unsuccessful national team management. Are you sure that development has been their strategy from the start?

  10. Lars

    July 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Kartik, did you get to talk with any of the Voyageurs? I know they had sent two people to Miami. This is the first time they’ve done anything like this. It’s like two guys who decided they’d try putting together for media from the Canadian National Supporter’s Group. I think their stuff is on youtube, and it certainly is on the Voyageurs site.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      July 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm

      Not only did I talk with them, those were the two guys I was talking about in my post match piece that I left the pressbox with to watch the end of the second game from the crowd! Max and Laurence were their names. In all I met about 20-25 Canadian journalists and fans at the games, and practices.

  11. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    July 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Agreed Lars- talking to the Canadian journalists the other day here in Miami for the final group game they were still poed about the Americans getting 7 extra spots and one guy asked in jest if the US would get 5 more spots next week.

    I think the anger is not just limited to Canada- I am sure Panama is also angry and Honduras since they lost largely because of Feilhaber who was added into the team as one the 7 extras and then called in for that game.

  12. Lars

    July 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Yes, the US team can now fill the depth problem. Even moreso in this tournament than in future tournaments because CONCACAF has allowed them to cheat!

    If the US played by the same rules as everybody else, they’d probably have a better shot at winning the World Cup, because they’d be used to facing adversity. Calling players up from the Confed Cup roster to play in clutch games doesn’t teach your so-called “depth” (I call them B team) players to play in the clutch and certainly does not help when your A Team players go down with injuries or suspensions.

  13. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    July 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Canada who we will potentially play in the semifinal is doing the same thing. They are trying to fill holes and asses young players for the 2014 cycle since they are already eliminated this go round. Panama has a strong team with the right combination of athleticism, skill and size to cause us some trouble. Gary Stempel is pretty good tactically and recalling our struggles against them in 2005 and 2007 we need to come out sharp Saturday to avoid an upset.

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