Recent press reports have been stated that Bob Bradley has been in contact with Leeds United's Bradley Johnson. The young midfielder is having a fine season, having scored six goals from just twelve starts in League One.
I spoke with Johnson, and while he confirmed that he has had contact from the coach and that the US brass has been impressed, there is a potential stumbling block that stands in the way of him playing for the US - he's simply not American.
With just days to American kickoff in Kano, YA has arrived in Nigeria, and as usual, we'll be bringing you the best coverage available of the U-17 run here in Sub-Saharan Africa. Let's hope it lasts longer than the U-20's turn at the World Cup did.
Of course, the chances of that are excellent based just on the group the Americans find themselves in. With Malawi and the UAE (though they could surprise) in the foursome, the US should be able to manage the four points they need for a round of 16 berth.
I'll go ahead and right away offer my apologies to Bob, Benny and the boys.
Having just wrapped up a berth in South Africa next summer, Bob Bradley and US Soccer were quick to schedule the first in what will be a long series of pre-World Cup friendly games. Starting with the November 18 game against Denmark in Aarhus, they will dedicate the next six months to tuning up, sizing up, whittling down and finally sharpening up the 23 faces which will board the plane to South Africa next summer.
Jonathan Bornstein just earned himself a thank-you note.
Throughout his career, it seems Carlos Pavon has done everything he can to keep Honduras out of the World Cup. If you are reading this entry then there's likely no need to recap his latest efforts from Saturday night since you've probably watched them on youtube again and again....and again.
It's easy and understandable to forget that today is a game day for the USMNT - one that would have been a celebration of a tough qualifying campaign which ended in success in Honduras over the weekend.
Of course the events early Tuesday morning cast a pall over any positive emotions as the realities of life remind us once again that sport is valuable for entertainment purposes only, and there are much more important things than a result on the soccer field.
The US did themselves a huge favor by taking all three points in Honduras and avoiding any last day scenario that could have seen them in a all-or-nothing playoff against what is certain to be a good South American team. Honduras and Costa Rica's hides are now on the line instead, meaning Coach Bob Bradley has some decisions to make regarding his lineup for Wednesday night's final hexagonal match-up in Washington DC, which is still meaningful - just not for the Americans.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a lineup for this final match, and my guess is Bradley will err on the side of caution when deciding who to run out.
What a surprise I got when I was sorting through the referee assignments for this afternoon and saw that the central judge for tonight's crucial US-Honduras would be none other than Roberto Moreno. It seems like a bad joke, but apparently there are only four or five international referees in the region right now, and the one permanently assigned to important US games is Moreno.
For those of you who don't know why this assignment is a bad one for the US, just think back to August in El Azteca. The Panamanian was so intimidated by the Azteca crowd and atmosphere that he might as well have Mexico's twelfth man. Think things will be any different when this homer refs in front of a packed house in San Pedro Sula tonight? There's no reason to.
After experiencing further problems during the rehabilitation of his left leg, Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones will be forced to miss another six weeks following surgery.
Having originally suffered a hairline fracture in his left tibia in as the team began training camp in June, the dual-citizen defensive midfielder had twice briefly resumed full training with the Gelsenkirchen-based team before being ultimately forced out for another three weeks of rehabilitation in mid-September when he felt discomfort arising from the metal plate inserted to stabilize the fracture.
Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey will miss out on Saturday's World Cup Qualifier against Honduras due to a shoulder sprain.
The US sits in first place in qualification in the tight hexagonal finals, and face third place Honduras, who are three points behind, on Saturday night in San Pedro Sula. Dempsey is the Americans' second leading goalscorer in qualification with five goals to his name.