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

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

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.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny are still alive.

The Flyers reduced their roster to 39 players on Thursday, assigning 10 players to the Phantoms for their separate training camp, which opens on Friday in Lehigh Valley.

There were no major surprises among today’s cuts.

Goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon, both of whom were outstanding during exhibition play, report to the Phantoms as the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates in net.

Stolarz had a 1.36 goals against average and .944 save percentage in 88 minutes of game action. Lyon had a 0.67 GAA and .972 save percentage in 90 minutes of playing time.

Together, they teamed up for the 2-0 victory on Wednesday against the Devils (see 10 observations).

Also assigned were defenseman Robert Hagg and Reece Wilcox, plus forwards Radel Fazleev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne, Corban Knight, Danick Martel and Mark Zengerle.

After four games in three nights, the entire camp roster had a complete off-day on Thursday.

Sanheim and Provorov have stood out on defense with the latter virtually certain to make the team.

Konecny was very impressive in exhibition play on Wednesday (see story), and will be given a long leash in camp because of the competition at forward.

Both he and Provorov are just 19 and can only go back to junior if they don’t make the final cut with the Flyers.

Schultz injury
Wednesday’s announcement that veteran defenseman Nick Schultz would miss 4-7 days with a lower body injury — a minor MCL sprain of the knee, according to sources — means extra opportunity for several younger defensemen.

Remember, Radko Gudas still is not 100 percent, but getting close to it with his right wrist (fracture). The two benefactors here could be Sanheim and Sam Morin. Provorov was going to be around until the very end, anyway.

The Flyers have four preseason games remaining. Schultz is expected to return for at least one of the final two games.

Inside Golf
The weekly 30-minute segment will feature the Flyers Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation when it airs on CSN on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.

Harry Donahue visited Trump National Golf Course in Pine Hill, NJ earlier this month to catch up with the Flyers. Others on hand are Mark Messier and ESYHF President Scott Tharp, plus Snider Hockey Chairman of the Board Bill Whitmore to learn about Snider Hockey.

The event raised over $1.6 million. You can catch the broadcast on CSN on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. It will also air on TCN on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers' abundance of big men lends itself to numerous combinations in the frontcourt.

On Thursday, Nerlens Noel had his first experience playing with Ben Simmons. The center gelled with the rookie forward.

"It's a great duo, I think," Noel said following the morning practice session of training camp at Stockton University.

Noel has been paired with many big men during his career with the Sixers. Last season, he faced the challenge of playing out of position at times with Jahlil Okafor. The logjam prompted him to speak out about the current makeup of the roster (see story).

After playing with Simmons, Noel saw how the two can share the court.

"I think we complement each other very well, especially on the defensive end," Noel said. "He's definitely a lockdown type defender that digs in."

Even though Simmons has yet to play an NBA game, Noel already envisions how he can help the Sixers.

"He just plays basketball the right way," Noel said. "When your big man does that, it makes it a lot easier because he is very versatile being a point-forward type. That opens up a lot of things for him to be able to open up for his teammates."