BRENT LATHAM - Friday, August 28, 2009
Altidore will look to get more time
The US national team has announced its roster for the upcoming round of qualifiers against El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago.
Coach Bob Bradley chose to call in the bulk of the team he has been using all summer long, with a few minor variations.
Backstopping the team for the two crucial matches will be standby Tim Howard, who is coming off a rocky start to his club season at Everton. His backup will be fellow Premiere League shot stopper Brad Guzan, who has played well in extensive action early this season at Aston Villa.
With Oguchi Onyewu suspended for the El Salvador match in Sandy, Utah, the back line will likely be anchored by the duo of Jay DeMerit and Carlos Bocanegra. Chad Marshall and Clarence Goodson provide the other options at center back.
The wing backs will be a harder decision for Coach Bradley, with Steve Cherundolo coming off a tough match in Mexico, and Jonathan Spector waiting in the wings. On the left, Jonathan Bornstein looks like a probable option if Bocanegra moves back to the center.
The midfield is once again anchored by Michael Bradley, with the Houston Dynamo's Rico Clark likely to pair with him in the center. Landon Donovan, fully recovered from his short but highly publicized battle with the H1N1 virus, is certain to take his spot on the flanks along with Clint Dempsey.
Also included in the midfield call-ups are fan favorite Jose Francisco Torres of Pachuca in Mexico, and Gold Cup stand-outs Kyle Beckerman of Real Salt Lake and Stuart Holden of Houston.
Bradley will also have a decision to make up front, as the recent torrid play of Jozy Altidore at Hull City and Charlie Davies at Sochaux may make it hard for him to include perennial favorite Brian Ching. Somewhat surprising among the forwards was the call-up of Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley, who has been on a recent goal scoring run in MLS.
The United States needs six points from the upcoming two matches to be able to rest easily going into the final round of games in October. Anything less than two wins, combined with home wins by Honduras, Mexico, and Costa Rica, would leave the Americans in serious danger of finishing out of the top three, automatic qualifying spots for the 2010 World Cup.
The Americans currently sit in third in the six team group, with ten points, two behind first place Costa Rica and trailing Honduras on goal differential, with the Mexicans just one point behind.
The US takes on El Salvador on September 5 in Utah, then travels to take on Trinidad and Tobago four days later in the Western Caribbean.
US Roster for World Cup Qualifiers
Guzan, BradAston Villa (England)
Howard, Tim Everton (England)
Bocanegra, Carlos Rennes (France)
Bornstein, Jonathan CD Chivas (MLS)
Cherundolo, Steve Hannover 96 (Germany)
Goodson, Clarence IK Start (Norway)
DeMerit, Jay Watford (England)
Marshall, Chad Columbus Crew (MLS)
Onyewu, Oguchi AC Milan (Italy)
Spector, Jonathan West Ham United (England)
Beckerman, Kyle Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Bradley, Michael Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)
Clark, Ricardo Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Dempsey, Clint Fulham (England)
Feilhaber, Benny AGF Aarhus (Denmark)
Holden, Stuart Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Rogers, Robbie Columbus Crew (MLS)
Torres, Jose Francisco Pachuca (Mexico)
Altidore, Jozy Hull City FC (England)
Casey, Conor Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Ching, Brian Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Davies, Charlie FC Sochaux (France)
Donovan, Landon LA Galaxy (MLS)
Findley, Robbie Real Salt Lake (MLS)