US Releases Gold Cup Roster; Could Union Benefit from NYRB Absences?

US Releases Gold Cup Roster; Could Union Benefit from NYRB Absences?
May 23, 2011, 1:22 pm
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USMNT head coach Bob Bradley has released his 23-man roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup (June 5-June 25). US Soccer has made winning the Gold Cup a priority, which helps to explain why so many veteran names are included on the roster. The winning team qualifies for the Confederations Cup, which will take place in 2013 in Brazil (site of the 2014 World Cup).

The US roster after the jump....

GOALKEEPERS (3): Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Leeds), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Freddy Adu (Rizespor), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

What are my thoughts on the roster? I could do without Bornstein (for obvious reasons), Onyewu (who bizarrely has been playing left back for Twente), and Rogers (not very threatening on the outside).

I have no problem with Adu making the squad. I've long been a Freddy advocate. Say what you will about him (and it's all been said), but he brings a unique set of skills to the US roster. Has his club odyssey been exasperating? Yes. Has he been playing second division soccer in Turkey? Yes. Is he capable of an individual moment of brilliance off the substitutes bench? Yes. Plus, he won't be 22 until the first week of June. His development is nowhere near complete. I have zero problem bringing him in, giving the coaches a firsthand look at him during training, and judging him against a veteran crop of US players.

To date, Carlos Ruiz, who will represent Guatemala, is the only Union player on a Gold Cup roster. However, the Union will will likely still be be affected by the tournament. They are scheduled to play Real Salt Lake on June 11th. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was selected by Bob Bradley and may not be available to play against the Union.

I say "may not" because early indications are that Marcus Hahenmann will be designated the number two keeper. Why is that important? Well, the Gold Cup is being played here in the US. Early indications are that Bradley may allow Rimando to stay with RSL. In the event of an injury to either Howard or Hahnemann he could easily join the team.

Also, the New York Red Bulls, who currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Union, will be losing a ton of talent during the Gold Cup. Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo will represent the US. Rafa Marquez will be with El Tri (Mexico), and Dwayne De Rosario has been selected for the Canadian side. Realistically, the Red Bulls may struggle to earn points with all of those players missing. Perhaps the Union can take advantage and put some distance between themselves and New York.

The tournament opens June 5th. The US opens play against Canada on June 7th at Ford Field in Detroit.

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