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Winners and Losers in the Gold Cup Call-Ups

The call-ups are done, and the rosters are known.  Every team participating in this year’s Gold Cup has unveiled their rosters, and as expected the U.S. and Mexico look the strongest but other teams look to have the talent to challenge the top two.  After a day reading some quality analysis and thinking about the selections, there can be some definitive statements made about who are the big winners and losers in this round of international call-ups.

Players have been advised that they will miss about a month of action and any time this many players miss that much time, there is a definitive impact on league quality and play.  More specifically, though, some teams will benefit from the call-ups while some will face some tough challenges.

Here are our list of call-up winners and losers.  Agree or disagree?  Share your thoughts in the comments section:


  • MLS – The league saw a record 32 players selected for international duty this cycle, with seven being chosen for the U.S.  The league is strengthening its claim that it is showcasing world class talent, and that talent is spread throughout the league with all but three teams losing a player to international duty.
  • DC United – Charlie Davies not being called up to the U.S. team is excellent for the Black-and-Red, especially if Bob Bradley insinuated he would still be on his radar.  DC retains its top offensive threat during a schedule stretch that is tough but, if they can grab some points, sets them up nicely for a playoff run.  In the past, DCU talent like Harkes and Olsen were US stars; now the team loses only Dejan Jakovic to Team Canada (and keeps Andy Najar).  This will allow them to continue building cohesiveness in the Olsen system and have their best players available for a tough month.
  • Team Jamaica – Don’t look now, but the Jamaicans are actually a pretty good team.  Imagine a starting XI that includes Donovan Ricketts, Tyrone Marshall, Shavar Thomas, Dane Richards, and Omar Cummings.  Maybe they are not the favorites in this tournament, but I wouldn’t take them lightly.
  • Teal Bunbury – It’s odd that someone who was left home would be a winner, but I think Bradley had a plan for Bunbury that included his exclusion.  Sporting KC is losing four players, is finishing a brutal road trip, and has to open a new stadium all while trying to generate a buzz among the fans.  Sporting KC is now Bunbury’s team – he will be there for the stadium’s first kick, he is the most recognizable face for the next month, and he is becoming the de facto face of the franchise.  I think Bradley knows this will happen and I think he wants it to happen.
  • Seattle, Chivas USA, Dallas – These are the three MLS clubs that did not have anyone called up.  Two of them (Seattle and Dallas) are riding hot streaks and making a playoff push, while Chivas has played well save a poor result in the SuperClasico.  I’m curious to see if these clubs can take advantage of their opponents’ absences and continue to push up the table.


  • MLS – It will be tough over the next month as some of the league’s brightest stars won’t be playing.  Fans hoping to see Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski when LA and San Jose face off will be disappointed.  True, players like Beckham and Henry will provide some star power, but those New England games are about to be a lot less interesting.
  • San Jose – As Chris Wondolowski goes, this team goes.  No Chris Wondolowski is a major problem for the ‘Quakes.  Their three mid-June matches are at DC, at Kansas City, and hosting LA, matches that could go either way.  They are hoping Wondo isn’t the key to those matches.
  • New York –  The team with the most players called-up has to be considered one of the losers.  In all, New York loses five players to international duty: Rafa Marquez (Mexico), Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream (USA), Dane Richards (Jamaica), and Dwayne De Rosario (Canada).  While this does not necessarily decimate the team – after all they still have Henry, Rodgers, etc. – it does subtract depth from a team that already had depth issues.
  • Colorado – The biggest loss for the Rapids is that they are about to get a healthy Omar Cummings back, but instead he will be trying to begin playing again with Jamaica.  For a team that has desperately needed a healthy offense, this was a big (though not unexpected) blow.
  • MLS Players Not Called Up – The “Camp Cupcake” MLS players who did not receive a second call up may be on the outside looking in.  Players like Jeff Larentowicz, Zach Lloyd and Sean Franklin have to wonder if they will get a second chance at wearing the U.S. shirt.
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  1. ExtraMedium

    May 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    “The league is strengthening its claim that it is showcasing world class talent”

    Dick Vitale voice: “ArE yOu SeRiOuS!?!?!?!?!??”

  2. Alan

    May 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    MLS doesn’t win from this unless they adjust the schedule around international play (not friendlies). This is one area that fans of MLS and fans that are critical of MLS should be in agreement on.

    • Charles

      May 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      Don’t you agree the MLS is in a bit of a bind.

      Not like they are at some of Europe levels, they are only playing 34 games, but they need to expand the schedule for $$$ for the league.

      But that contradicts having a better playoff
      having time off for WCup, Gold Cup etc.

      I am definitely for having a shorter regular season and accomidating the other two….ownership is not.

  3. Dan

    May 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I HATE you garber. MLS should be off or a month!

    • Alan

      May 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      This would definitely be a good time to have the friendlies.

  4. SJQuakesFan

    May 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    There should be a Gold Cup break for the MLS the season. Two game-weeks should be replayed later on, probably two mid-week games along with the regular weekend games. MLS teams hurt both in performance and attendance when their stat players aren’t on the field.

  5. The original Tom

    May 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    This tournament hurts the MLS. Fans understand players missing games, or teams taking a summer break for the World Cup; but not for the Gold Cup. They don’t know who is missing and why, and just think the league sucks.

    I wish the Gold Cup was only every 4 years like the Euroes (my dream would be to combine it with South America and have qualifying for it), or if it has to be every two years (so Chuck Blazer, head of CONCACAF can fill his pockets); every other tournament should be during the winter. One other thing, the preperation camp should just be one week; let’s be serious, you can “warm up” by beating Haiti in your group.

    I really have little interst in this tournament, although I admit I’d probably go to a game if it was in Denver. I have more interest in the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

  6. Charles

    May 25, 2011 at 9:51 am

    While I agree that MLS is strong and the picks by Bradley, while I didn’t agree with all of them, were representitive of that.
    I don’t agree with MLS being a winner in this.
    This vague notion of MLS validation and increased credibility is highly overrated IMO.

    1. No one outside the US cares about MLS except that Beckham is playing there……and why would MLS/MLS fans care if they do ?
    2. Anyone that does care, already knows where MLS stands. The fans that MLS needs to attract aren’t ones that know Bornstein was a dubious selection but the US is hurting at left back. (Most probably don’t even know what the Gold Cup is). The people that know that are already fans ( or MLS Hater Morons ), they already know about MLS.
    3. The league is already viable. This isn’t 1980, with most teams on the brink.

    Net, net, I don’t see ANY MLS-Gold Cup bump from this. ZERO.

    • Abram

      May 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      I want to disagree with you, but you are right.

      I’m not sure if this makes any senes, but Gold Cup is not UEFA European Football Championship, nor is it Copa America, or even Africa’s Cup of Nations. I love MLS, but the amount of MLS players does not really speak to the credibility of the league. Until Gold Cup is off FSC and onto a more major network (even would be a step up from FSC) it will not help improve the image of MLS or US Soccer (meanwhile the Mexican First Division and Mexican National Team are getting well respected, weird how that works out).

      • Charles

        May 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm

        Sorry Abram, but that is not what I said at all.

        I said I don’t care about improving MLS’s image,
        IF people that follow the Gold Cup don’t realize MLS is strong, they are biased morons that aren’t going to be “converted” anyday soon

        I don’t think this affects MLS profitability because there will be no Gold Cup bump.

        Therefore I don’t think MLS is in the winner column.

        • bradjmoore48

          May 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm

          “I don’t think this affects MLS profitability because there will be no Gold Cup bump.”

          Yes, it does. SUM gets money from both MLS AND the Gold Cup, so MLS owners profit from the tournament. Which is why they won’t be so worried about a post-Gold Cup “bump.”

          • Charles

            May 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm

            Good point….no great point.


      • Charles

        May 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

        Plus I said MLS is strong and Bradley’s picks showed that…close to the exact opposite of what you said.

        • Abram

          May 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm

          I think we actually are agreeing, I just can’t word exactly what I’m trying to say. So, I’ll try again…

          MLS is a good league, but the Gold Cup is not a tournament taken seriously, or even recognized by many casual fans. If more people (at least in America) paid attention to it MLS would be a winner BECAUSE of the large amount of players called up (not just by the US but by all the involved CONCACAF nations). But without a wider audience, there will be no Gold Cup bump (as you put it), nor would one be expected. I don’t know if this made anymore sense than my last one.

          • Charles

            May 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm

            Sorry, I am a bit sensitive about some on this site taking what other say and twist it like they are agreeing, but they are not.

  7. Charles

    May 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

    First of all completely off topic:
    FIFA Opens Ethics Probe Into Board Members Warner, Bin Hammam

    • The original Tom

      May 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      Sepp Blatter got this going just before the election for FIFA president. The Guardian ( had a good report on this. FIFA and Blatter are so currupt it is depressing, I’d still vote for Hammam because he is not Blatter.

      • Charles

        May 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

        Blatter came out saying that he is going to wipe out corruption at FIFA:

        First of all, who has been in charge during the time that corruption started that needed to be wiped out ?
        Then he discloses that 10 or so years ago someone tried to bribe him.
        Just telling everyone now ?
        And that no he won’t tell anyone who ( and obviously not going after the guy either )
        What ?!?!

        Vote for anti-corruption people, vote for Blatter.

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