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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
After the World Cup in Germany 2006, we wasted no time in putting out our first version of 23 Tickets for South Africa. This go-around, we've waited several months before unveiling, this, our first post-Ghana list because, well, we just weren't motivated...and wanted to see how the initial pool evolved.

With the Gold Cup looming this summer, we should get a strong gauge as to how World Cup qualifiying will shape up, and we've mixed in some youngsters to go along with the usual suspects to reflect this changing of the gaurd.

In the past, we at YA prognosticated who we believed that the US head coach would call up to his final roster, not who we thought should go. From here on out, we're reversing this, as A) ... frankly, we think we know better than Bradley, and B) ...we hope that our choices are a little bolder and elicit more discussion from you our readers.

If you agree, disagree or somewhere in between, use our comment feature at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts with us and your fellow YA readers.

PACK YOUR BAGS, BOYS
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
If only he played with the US the way he plays with Fulham (EZ) Okay Clint, pretend the USMNT is in the Europa League (AV)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Returns for his fourth - and likely final - World Cup (TT) I'm actually fine with Landon in MLS now. He's got nothing left to prove (CW)
Michael Bradley - M, Roma (Italy)
Needs to head to a club where he actually gets to play (RF) Moving to Villa was the dumbest USMNT move since Gooch to Newcastle (CW)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
Would anyone blink twice if Manchester United brought him back? (AV) The undisputed number one for 2014 (KB)
Stuart Holden - M, Bolton Wanderers (England)
If he can stay healthy, he can become a superstar (EZ) Hopefully can fit Brazil into his injury schedule (DS)

NEARLY A LOCK
Jermaine Jones - M, Schalke 04 (Germany)
Wish the USSF found this guy earlier, but better late than never (KB) Theoretically a lock with his skill and beastmode qualities, but penchant for yellow cards could neutralize him (CM)
Maurice Edu - M, Stoke City (England)
Needs to get out of Scotland to continue improving (BS) Quietly becoming a indispensable player in midfield (KB)
Brad Guzan - GK, Aston Villa (England)
Is he forever destined to be the *next* great American goalkeeper? (DS) Looks like he might just get his shot next season in England (RF)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Timothy Chandler - D/M, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)
Gott sei dank für die Deutschen! (DS) Blitzkreig can describe both his play on the field and his rapid progression from reserve player to Bundesliga sensation (JH)
Clarence Goodson - D, Brøndby (Denmark)
Impressed by what I've seen so far (AV) Very underrated player that will start all during qualifying (BS)
Juan Agudelo - F, FC Utrecht (Holland)
Talented and confident young player with the ability to score goals (TT) A couple years training alongside Thierry Henry would even land Danny Devito on the plane (DS)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Charlton Athletic (England)
A weak pool of prospects could leave him still standing in 2014 (JH) Bob Bradley is jumping the shark here. Horrible World Cup, Milan doesn't want him and Twente gave up after a few games. Gooch is done. (CW)
Tim Ream - D, Bolton Wanderers (England)
His distribution is a very welcome addition to the team, but he needs to toughen up and to use his height properly (JH) His distribution and composure are worth any growing pains along the way (TT)
David Yelldell - GK, Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Experienced but unproven on the international stage (TT) The third 'keeper taken, unless someone us steps up (RF)
Teal Bunbury - F, Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Could he possibly relegate Altidore to the bench? (KB) His chemistry with Agudelo will be pivotal to the young core of the team (CM)
Jozy Altidore - F, Sunderland (England)
Jozy is slowly going the way of Freddy Adu (EZ) Better turn on his jets with the young guns coming behind him. You can only be a "prodigy" for so long (AV)
Charlie Davies - F, Randers FC (Denmark)
Missing South Africa will be the impetus for something special (CM) We're witnessing an incredible comeback, considering the circumstances (EZ)

IN A BATTLE
Eric Lichaj - D, Nottingham Forest (England)
Will take over left back (BS) Has the ability to make the squad but has some work to do (EZ)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
He's young, he's slowly refining his game, and best of all he's versatile (DS) Dude, haven't we been waiting for like a decade for him to "develop"? (CW)
Alejandro Bedoya - M, Nantes (France)
His next few years are key. Where will he develop after Orebro? (BS) Brings some flair to bunker ball (AV)
Benny Feilhaber - M, New England Revolution (USA)
Providing MLS doesn't kill his game, will provide smart distribution (CM) 2014 without our Brazilian-born yank would be a travesty (DS)

WORK TO DO
Mikkel Diskerud - M, Rosenborg (Norway)
Youngster should improve, and could be Donovan's heir apparent (RF) Bright future ahead, will benefit from the experience (TT)
Omar Gonzalez - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Will get to shine through WCQ as he adjusts to playing at a higher level (CM) Needs work but he has some raw talent (BS)
MOVING UP

Joseph Gyau - It's been a while since we've had a true winger good enough for the USMNT; the wait should be over soon (JH)

Zak Whitbread - Will be a starter next season in the Premiership. If he can have a strong season or two he'll be going to Brazil (CW)

Bobby Wood - He will emerge nicely in Germany the next few years (BS) Wood stands near the top of the prospect list (JH)

MOVING DOWN

Carlos Bocanegra - Obviously part of the 23 in the near future, but clearly not part of the 23 in 2014. Will stick around on merit, but will he be dislodged?

Steve Cherundolo - Will Brazil be the swan song on his fantastic career? (DS) How much longer can the man hang on? (RF)

Jonathan Bornstein - There's a reason he's not playing in Mexico. (CW)

OTHER BUBBLE BATTLERS

Freddy Adu, Gale Agbossoumonde, Anthony Brooks, Ricardo Clark, Jay DeMerit, Robbie Findley, Sean Johnson, Perry Kitchen, Sacha Kljestan, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce, Luis Robles, Robbie Rogers, Adrian Ruelas, Jose Francisco Torres, Chris Wondolowski

note: Yanks Abroad's Kenya Brown, Rich Fidler, Jamie Hill, Christopher McCollum, Brian Sciaretta, David Smith, Taharka Taylor, Andrew Vorce, Chad Winger and Edgar Zuniga compiled this feature.
Matt C in Tampa
Wednesday May 18, 2011 1:15 pm
Interesting/scarey that you have no true back-four defenders in the PYBs, or NaLock categories.
Unless something happens---injury-wise----or huge drop in form, i think Boca and Dolo will be going...and not Gooch.
grady36
Wednesday May 18, 2011 1:03 pm
How does Findley get a nod as a bubble battler and neither Gomez nor Buddle get a mention?
Marc Silverstein
Wednesday May 18, 2011 12:48 pm
and just how well did you do with those 2006 predictions???
Phil
Wednesday May 18, 2011 12:40 pm
Really good. I love Kelyn Rowe. He will be a superstar!!!
Brent
Wednesday May 18, 2011 8:49 am
I'm sure there will be some young guns that aren't even mentioned on the team. Dolo will be there in the end, He is too solid to get left off the plane. Very exciting time for USMNT. I thought Gooch had more than 8 appearances for Twente. Back to the MLS.
PoppyWasSloppy
Wednesday May 18, 2011 7:12 am
I like your picks a lot. If Bradley chooses this squad, it will be extremely more athletic than the last one, especially at the forward position. But it looks like you chose only two defensive wingers (unless you put Spector there). With four defensive mids, and no set backups at each wing position, I think we'd be in bad shape. I am assuming you just selected the most likely to go in 2014 without an eye to formations. I hope that a younger player can supplant Feilhaber as he is getting older. Also, what about Omar Salgado? Isn't he supposed to be the next big thing? I believe he'll be 21 when 2014 comes around.
Dan
Wednesday May 18, 2011 2:26 am
First Ives, now YA--why's everyone so high on Davies? I'm a DC fan, have been for years, and I love Davies as much as the next guy, but can we honestly say he's back to international caliber? Maybe I'm missing something.

Chandler, Agudelo, Diskeruud, and Bedoya should go higher. Yelldell and Jones go lower. But that's just my opinion.

More seriously, everyone completely overlooked Hercules Gomez and Edson Buddle, who was instrumental in preventing Ingolstadt's relegation. And in terms of young prospects earling some looks higher up in the pipeline, Conor Doyle has done more than enough with the U-20's to get a look, and Justin Braun is making a case as well. This list has serious flaws.
Brandon
Tuesday May 17, 2011 11:33 pm
@ Ilya - Did you even read the comments for Gooch? The YA writers couldn't agree on where he'd be by then, hence the whole 'not being a lock' thing.
Ilya
Tuesday May 17, 2011 11:18 pm
"From here on out, we're reversing this, as A) ... frankly, we think we know better than Bradley, and B) ...we hope that our choices are a little bolder and elicit more discussion from you our readers."
and C) ... we hope that we will have a better coach than BB.

Gooch over Boca, Dolo, and Whitbread? Are you kidding me? You'd better predict the Olimpic team.
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