June 23, 2007

"Whatsa? Who? Huh?"

I thought I'd use my favorite quote from my boss to describe the USA's Copa America roster. (For a little background, my boss is the kinda guy who made sure there's a DVD player on the new computer in the office so he can watch Talladega Nights.)

I like what Bradley's done with the roster, but as we were saying last weekend, this team's gonna get killed. Especially when you consider that they open with Argentina, who's bringing the big guns.

Remember, this is the most prestigious regional tournament for CONMEBOL. The only thing more important for them is World Cup Qualifying, but that's a year off.

I'm just praying to God that Guzan is the starter. Aside from the nonsense that happened on Thursday in Houston, he's been the best keeper in MLS this season. He's also the future. Howard and Guzan should be # 1 and 2 in South Africa, so this should be Guzan's first big test.

But what troubles me is the lack of scoring on this team. Combined the team has a paltry 25 goals scored for the national team. Take away Eddie Johnson's 10, and well, that spells trouble. Then take away Ben Olsen's and Taylor Twellman's 6 each, and well, yikes.

I also think that this is going to be Twellman's big and probably last chance to prove himself. There's some big weight on his shoulders and if he keeps struggling like the way he's done in the Gold Cup, it could be adios. It's one thing to score in MLS, and another to score in international competition.

But I still like Bradley's roster a lot more than I like Hugo Sanchez's. Sanchez knows that his job could possibly be on the line after the team's piss-poor performance in the Gold Cup, so he's taking his vets.

Why take Oswaldo Sanchez? Hasn't he proved himself at the international level? I know this isn't a Mexican soccer blog, but I'm dumbfounded at this choice. When is Jose Corona going to get his chance?


Pops94 said...

If the US wins today and performs well at the "Copa the Copa America...

"They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?"

Sorry about that Neil Diamond moment.

If the US wins today and does well at the Copa America we will have a legitimate claim of being the 3rd best team in the Western Hemisphere. I don't see why we can't get out of the first round with this squad and lose nobly to Brazil in the second round.

Longshoe said...

I had the same reaction as Guero when the roster was first announced, but I'm starting to come around a bit.

GK- I'd assume Keller will get the majority of the minutes, but hopefully El Guzano will get one of the first round games.

D- You can get a solid 4-man backline out of this group. Bornstein and Pearce on the left. Conrad has shown he can play at this level in the middle, as well as DeMerit. Boswell is good cover there, and needs to start really being assessed. This tourney is a real chance for Marvell Wynne to shine.

M- The defensive center of midfield is solid between Clark, Feilhaber, Beckerman, and Olsen. Mapp, Kljestan, Gaven, and Nguyen are going to have to provide the creativity. I feel okay about Mapp on that, but the rest are unproven at this level.

F- The goals are expected to come from EJ and Twellman. They really need to perform at the level everyone expects for this team to have a chance at success. Davies and Gomez will be ready to provide a spark, I just hope they can.

I think Bradley is taking this tournament in the right way, he wants to give some of these guys a real test to see if he can count on them when qualifying gets started. Results are secondary. With the scheduling immediately after the Gold Cup, I don't think he had much of a choice.