The USSF just doesn’t get it. I understand that winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup gives us the opportunity to play in the Confederations Cup in 2009. So I get why we sent our strongest team to the tournament. Now that the Gold Cup is almost over, it is time to put out the roster for the Copa America, a tournament that we were invited to.
Below, I’ve listed the players that will represent the United States in that tournament. Looking at this roster, I can’t help but feel that we are going to get destroyed.
GOALKEEPERS- Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
DEFENDERS- Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Dan Califf (Aalborg BK), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjælland), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS- Kyle Beckerman (Colorado Rapids), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Hamburger SV), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Justin Mapp (Chicago Fire), Lee Nguyen (PSV Eindhoven), Ben Olsen (D.C.United)
FORWARD- Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Herculez Gomez (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution)
(Roster List from “Soccer By Ives”)
This lineup cannot beat any of the top teams in the Copa tournament. A quick scan of the Argentina lineup shows that they are ready for this tournament, and they are actually looking to win, something the USSF obviously isn’t looking to do. Argentina has brought its best players to the table. Lionel Messi, Juan Riquelme, Roberto Ayala, and Carlos Tevez are just a few of the big names. And Argentina won’t be the only team ready to play. Brazil, while missing Ronaldinho and Kaka, will have many other quality players such as Robinho, Diego, and Alfonso Alves.
The US is going to have to score goals to win this tournament, and Taylor Twellman and Eddie Johnson have proven in the Gold Cup that they aren’t scoring threats on the international level, so I can’t figure out for the life of me why Bob Bradley thinks that they will score against better competition. US fans should not buy the excuse of getting their younger players more experience and seeing which young players can really play. That’s why we play friendlies. Also, it is not as if European based players could not have played in the tournament. The Copa America is a FIFA sanctioned event, which means teams must release their players so that they can represent their countries in tournaments like this. Even Landon Donovan said that he wanted to play in this tournament, and he was not placed on the roster. No Donovan, no Clint Dempsey, no Tim Howard, nothing.
Don’t get me wrong. These aren’t bad players. They’re decent, some are even good. I hope that they shock me and I’m going to be rooting hard for them. I also understood that this could and has happened. But I know many USA fans, myself included, were looking forward to this tournament as a chance for the USA to reintroduce itself to the world as an up and coming power. I’m not saying the Gold Cup squad would have won the tournament, but they would have put up a great fight and shocked some people. There is a difference between getting young players experience and just flat out mailing it in, which is what we are doing here.
The next time you hear someone ask why the world doesn’t take the US National Team seriously, here’s yet another reason why.