Home > Defenders, Forwards, Goalkeepers, Midfielders, MNT Lineups > Please Freddy, Do Hurt ‘Em

Please Freddy, Do Hurt ‘Em

The U.S.’s performance in the Confederations Cup is arguably the greatest performance ever by a team that finished with a losing record.  And, as we look forward to the World Cup, it occurred to me that with the guys who were injured (but who presumably won’t be in June 2010) the chance to win a spot on the World Cup team suddenly looks a lot smaller for a lot of guys.  As a result, the last couple of spots are going to be a numbers game.  And the 2009 Gold Cup may be Freddy Adu’s last chance to force himself onto the 2010 World Cup roster.

Back in April, Yanks Abroad compiled what they called 23 Tickets to South Africa.  Just two months later, that article reads like ancient history:  DaMarcus Beasley “Nearly A Lock” and Spector, DeMerit, Bornstein, and Feilhaber all below Bobby Convey?

In April, 6 players were “packing their bags,” according to Yanks Abroad.  But now, I think there are 10-15 who are dead certain locks.  Assuming everyone mentioned is healthy, here is the breakdown:

LOCKS

Goalkeepers (2 locks):  We’re taking three.  Timmy is obviously a lock.  Guzan is now a lock to be on the roster after his performance against Egypt, but could fall to #3.  We can’t be sure who the third keeper will be, but if Hahnemann wins the starting job at Wolverhampton, he’ll get the offer.  And if not, Kasey Keller may want to go along for the ride.

Central Defense (2):  Gooch and DeMerit are locks after their performances.  Bocanegra is probably the best option in the middle if either of these two can’t go, but I have him at left back for now.  Any other backup CD spot is still up for grabs, with Danny Califf, Chad Marshall, and Jimmy Conrad being the most likely options. 

Left Back/Right Back (2):  Boca and Spector are locks.  I’m still not convinced that Spector is a starter over Cherundolo and Hejduk, but he’s a lock for the roster because he can play both sides.

Midfield (5):  Bradley is a lock.  Jermaine Jones must be a lock.  Edu is a lock (assuming he regains his starting job when he comes back from injury).  For now, I’ll say that Ricardo Clark isn’t a lock.  Jones and Edu do what he does, only better.  Not to slight Clark, but it is what it is.  Donovan and Deuce are obviously locks to start at this point.

Forward (2):  Because it’s Bob Bradley’s choice, Ching is a lock.  (Even when he thought that 4-5-1 against Brazil was a good idea, you know Bob was wishing it was Ching, not Altidore, up top.)  And if Jozy can start after getting no playing time for six months in Spain, he’s definitely on his way, even if he gets limited playing time again this year.

THE REST OF THE ROSTER

That’s 13 locks without counting some guys who have been getting huge amounts of playing time.  This is where it gets interesting.

Goalkeepers (1):  Assuming each plays this season, the options are Hahnemann or Keller, unless Bradley chooses a young guy to get the experience (Robles? Cervi? Seitz?)

Central Defense (1):  We’ll give the defense one more CB (let’s say Califf for now) with the assumption that Boca is the main CB backup.

Left Back/Right Back (2):  Bornstein on the left and let’s say Cherundolo on the right.  Hejduk gets left home.

That gets us to 17, leaving 6 spots for midfield and forwards.  Who goes and who doesn’t at this point?

Forwards (1):  Tough to leave out Davies at this point, even if only as a super sub. 

Midfielder (2):  Based on their Confederations Cup performances, Clark and Benny get the nod, and that leaves three spots.

FREDDY’S FUTURE

Freddy is hanging by a thread.  Torres and Sacha too.  One more defender (Hejduk) and there’s even one less spot available.  And this breakdown ignores guys who are only recently out of the picture, like Heath Pearce, Eddie Johnson, or Bobby Convey.  I also ignored DaMarcus Beasley, but you would have to think that he would be given a spot if he could get back his mojo.  I think he’s done with, so I’ve ignored him for now.

Even more scary for Freddy, this analysis doesn’t even consider the possibility that a Gold Cup teammate such as Robbie Rogers, Stuart Holden or Kenny Cooper shows that he is more deserving of a spot.  So, when we say that this is Freddy’s last chance to prove his worth before the World Cup, it really is true.  Not only must Freddy play well, he has to outplay his Gold Cup teammates.

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