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Cooper, Conrad Recalled: Marshall Dropped as US Prepare for World Cup Coronation

USA vs MexicoThe United States has basically sewn up a World Cup berth. Political trouble in Honduras coupled with the complete collapse of Costa Rican football (outside the youth level) in the past few months has the US virtually assured passage from CONCACAF. But Bob Bradley still is not leaving anything to chance, calling an experienced squad to the final two qualifiers against reeling sides.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton: 14/8 SO)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 24/3), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA, 4/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover: 19/0), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards: 1/0), Clarence Goodson (IK Start: 1/0), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan: 18/1), Jonathan Spector (West Ham: 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 13/4), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo: 7/1), Clint Dempsey (Fulham: 20/5), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus: 4/0), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo: 3/0), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew: 0/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 6/0)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Hull City: 11/6), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids: 5/0), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 16/6), Kenny Cooper (1860 Munich: 1/1), Charlie Davies (FC Sochaux: 5/2), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 33/11)

Kenny Cooper has started his club career in Germany well with 1860 Munchen, and his recall is a sign that Bradley is willing to look beyond the established pool of strikers for options. Conor Casey’s continued selection is baffling. Sure, he scores goals in MLS, but so did Jeff Cunningham, and much like Cunningham, Casey has proven to be a poor international.

Your thoughts on the squad selection are welcome here!

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  1. Rafael

    October 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    The political situation in Honduras will have zero effect on the game. Honduras will be all business and with many playing in Europe, they will be hungry for success. It is their time. The U.S. won’t know what hit them. They will loose that game to a more talented technical team.

  2. Brad

    October 3, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Where are we at with yellow cards?

    Do we dare sit these guys to save them for Costa Rica?

  3. Tony

    October 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Where are Orozco and Castillo?

  4. Jason

    October 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Just curious, why is there a picture of Peter Nowak with this post?

  5. Jason

    October 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I know a lot of factors can work into it, but is anyone else amazed that Jimmy Conrad has only played in 1 qualifier?

    He is my sleeper pick to start.

    As a USMNT fan And Rapids fan, please leave Casey home!! His form in MLS is falling off. His only recent goals are marginally taken PKs. He adds nothing Ching doesn’t, and how many target guys do you need off the bench.

  6. Joey Clams

    October 2, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Qualification is basically sewn up? Virtually assured? The US could easily lose the next two matches. Other big boys have been on skids. Why not us?

  7. francesco

    October 2, 2009 at 1:04 am

    the left back question still remains and BB is obviously not going to bring in castillo as soon as we’d like.

  8. Seybold

    October 1, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I read in the Honduran media that the USA and Honduras have only played 5 total qualifying matches: two in 1965 and 2001, and the Chicago match. Unbelievable, seeing as how we usually play El Salvador, T&T, Mexico and Guatemala twice each cycle, and Costa Rica two or even four times each cycle.

    Anyway, our away record is two wins and one draw, 2-0 in the matches in San Pedro Sula.

    • LI Matt

      October 2, 2009 at 5:21 am

      Of course, most of that time it was the US who didn’t progress to a point where they would’ve met Honduras.

      In ’89, Honduras was knocked out by T&T; in ’96, a home draw with Jamaica proved fatal.

  9. paul

    October 1, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I don’t think that political issues will necessarily derail Honduras in the next match. Yes, things are not ideal, and all US soccer fans would be wise to wish this nation, for its own sake and for the sake of its national team, a quick resolution to political instability. Remember that personal trouble can focus the mind of an athlete as well as scramble it. Trouble off the field can encourage a player to make the most of his time on the field, where politics idles for 90 minutes. (If it could only idle for longer peroids of time, we might actually have a world worth living in…)

    I am a bit disapointed with the selections. Given the number of players on red cards, and the limited positive play from others (Casey, Clark, Bornstein), it would be refreshing to see ol’ Bob try to bring in some fresh faces–see Orozco, Castillo, ect. Perhaps a victory in Honduras would encourage Bob to experiment with his lineup against Costa Rica. It would be good to see a different formation and personel combination out on the field in games that actually matter. But the US does still need to clinch a spot to South Africa–this is probably not a good time to do too much experimenting, although seeing Cooper and Conrad return is nice.

    I think US fans should remember how well this team played against Honduras in Chicago. Yes, Honduras wasn’t at full strength and is playing far better now than it did then. But that US performance was vasty underrated because we let in a goal so early. I was at that game, and the way we were able to keep possession–Sam’s Army was even able to string together a good number of ‘Ole!’ chants during the second half–is a reminder that there is something wrong with that extends far beyond Kartik’s current favored “European journeymen” meme.

  10. viva estadounidenses

    October 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    How do you figure “political trouble in Honduras” guarantees us anything? San Pedro Sula is stable. Do you read Spanish, cuz I do, and the sports media in Honduras is scoffing at the idea that politics means anything for the game. And the more I look at the Honduran side, the more I like it. They’ve got a lot of strong European based players and several domestic players who could be playing in Europe and probably will be as soon as they get a good contract worked out, e.g. Osman Chávez, but he’s not the only one.

    The bottom line is that the Zelaya situation does nothing for the US qualification effort.

  11. EPLNFL

    October 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Well then, given the opinion above can the US be expected to win both of the games and finish at the top of their group? How can this be possible. Will we hear that Bradley got lucky due to a political situation and Costa Rica’s inability to finish? Yet for the swine flu maybe we would not need to worry about either of the games. Once you qualify it simply does not matter how you did it.

    Wasn’t all of this known really after the last round of games when the doom and gloom crowd had the US in the 4th spot and having to face a South American team in a playoff that we where sure to beat. It did take a math major to figure out that in one game or another a draw would advance both teams to South Africa which has been pointed out and which somehow happens at times. Should we not be ashamed of team playing our best against such weak sides? Our will all those European stars that Honduras have suddenly forget they play for major clubs and pack their talent away. With a win or a draw against Honduras now now possible will Bradley play the C team vs. Costa Rica and risk attacks for sending his stars back to their clubs?

    • eplnfl

      October 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm

      Sorry for the fractured language, I was trying to rush off a comment, never a good idea.

  12. todd

    October 1, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    the numbers are Caps/Goals, right?

  13. peter osgood

    October 1, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    No Orozco is continually shocking. He plays every match at the highest level of anyone in the pool. Has tons of skill and should at the very least be getting chosen over Goodson or Conrad.

    Even is he’s stuck on the bench with Gringo, they can sit together and plot the future of a truly dynamic US side.

  14. Mark

    October 1, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Kartik is gushing and celebrating right now because his three year campaign to have Cooper called in for a meaningful game has paid off.

    I wonder if and when Cooper fails, if Kartik will pull back his words? Probably not.

  15. Robert

    October 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    J.Spector Gooch BocaNegra Steve Cherundolo

    M. Bradley-
    Holden Donavan

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