The article below is a predictions article. See the official USMNT 2010 World Cup Squad.
The draw for the 2010 World Cup is here. Fixtures will be up shortly.
Here we preview who will make the World Cup squad in 2010 for the United States. Opinions, recent performances, and tactical decisions are all factored into the decision. Updates will be posted regularly, as the season goes on.
Landon Donovan – M/F – Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
No way Bob Bradley leaves the U.S.’s most explosive player behind come 2010. His only problem will be finding where to place him in the lineup.
Damarcus Beasley – M/F – Rangers (SCOT)
Beasley already has UEFA Champions League experience with PSV, and will get more this year with Rangers. Has locked down the left winger role, even with the likes of Bobby Convey and Freddy Adu behind him.
Carlos Bocanegra – D – Fulham (ENG)
Becoming a better player by the game, Boca is a default starter in the center for the U.S.
Clint Dempsey – M/F – Fulham (ENG)
Has been excelling for club and country as of late. Dempsey’s resurgence has forced Donovan to the right wing, with Dempsey claiming his favored second-striker position.
Michael Bradley – M – Heerenven (HOL)
A starter for both club and country, Bradley has proved his critics wrong with his recent performances. His performance against Brazil was excellent, barring the last 5 minutes. Tends to collect cautions, but that should straighten out as he matures.
Steve Cherundulo – D – Hannover 96 (GER)
Some say he is too small, but Cherundulo is the best fullback in the U.S. pool. Barring injury, he will be in the starting XII should the U.S. qualify.
Tim Howard – GK – Everton (ENG)
The best keeper in the U.S. pool, bar none. Has excelled at Everton the past year, and will be between the sticks in South Africa.
Benny Feilhaber – M – Derby County (ENG)
Has yet to get settled at relegation favorite Derby, but Feilhaber will find his way into the starting lineup. Versatile, Feilhaber can play on the right, as an attacking mid, or in a holding role. Should make the squad for the trip to South Africa.
Oguchi Onyewu – D – Standard Liège – (BEL)
Physically impressive, Onyewu has been mistake prone as of late. His stint at Newcastle found him wanting, but had a solid game against Brazil (own goal was not his fault) barring missing his assignment on Lucio’s header. The favorite to partner Boca in the center.
Jay Demerit – D – Watford (ENG)
Demerit was one of the few bright spots during Watford’s 2006-2007 Premiership campaign that saw them relegated. Having spurned offers from Fulham, ‘Boro, and Portsmouth, Demerit has said he will consider his options should Watford not gain promotion. In a battle with Onyewu to partner Boca in the middle.
Jonathan Bornstein – D – C.D. Chivas USA (USA)
Bob Bradley’s favorite left back, though many question why. Has been serviceable, but not outstanding, for the U.S.
Bobby Convey – M – Reading (ENG)
Injuries had seen Convey lose his spot in the squad since the 2006 World Cup. Personally, I believe he should be tried out at left back, a position he that he has dabbled in in the past.
Jonathan Spector – D – West Ham (ENG)
Versatility is Spector’s game. While he has stated that playing in the center is his dream, the fact that he provides consistent depth across the back line is his main selling point. A smart defender, he will challenge for the left back spot and possibly for a spot in the center.
Eddie Johnson – F – Kansas City Wizards (USA)
Everything has been said about Johnson’s lack of finishing on the international stage, but 11 goals in 30 international appearances is not a bad record. His speed and strength are an asset to the U.S. squad. His much rumored move to Derby County would do much for his development.
Jozy Altidore – F – Red Bull New York (USA)
Jozy seems to be the striker of the future for the U.S. Many want to see him thrown into the fire right away, but waiting until qualifying may be the best bet. An appearance against St. Kitts or some other CONCACAF minnow would do much for his confidence.
Freddy Adu – M/F – Benfica (POR)
Arguably the most hyped player in the U.S. pool, Adu will have just turned 20 when the 2010 World Cup opens. Hasn’t seen any first team action since the managerial change at Benfica, but should develop enough to be a force for the U.S.
Brad Guzan – GK – C.D. Chivas USA (USA)
One of a large number of quality young American keepers, Guzan has essentially been the third choice keeper since last summer. He should back up Howard come 2o1o.
Frank Simek – D – Sheffield Wednesday (ENG)
Wednesday has been laying some eggs as of late, so here is to hope that Simek stands out.
Ricardo Clark – M – Houston Dynamo (USA)
Clark has been amazing presence in the Dynamo midfield, being an anchor for the team that won the 2006 MLS Cup. He is included here instead of Mastroeni due to his offensive effect from the holding role and his greater atheltic and tackling ability.
Those are the 19 players that should make it. The other 4? Thats the real question.
Kyle Beckerman (M, Real Salt Lake) – Good two way midfielder, will add much depth during quailifying.
Danny Szetela (M, Racing Santander) – His move to Spain will give him playing time, but it’s still early.
Taylor Twellman (F, New England Revolution) – Great domestically, but he has failed to make an impact on the international level.
Brian Ching (F, Houston Dynamo) – The most likely from this group to make the team, it may be Ching’s chemistry with the U.S. midfield gives him an edge.
Johann Smith (F, Bolton) – The speedster needs some first team action to be considered, much potential here.
Heath Pearce (D, Hansa Rostock) – My personal choice for left back, but has traditionally been ignored by national squad coaches. His first Bundesliga season will provide an excellent litmus test.
Marcus Hahnemann (GK, Reading) – Reading hasn’t been outstanding, and neither as Hahnemann.
Chris Seitz (GK, Real Salt Lake) – Look for him to take over the full time starting role at RSL sometime soon. Tons of potential.
Quentin Westberg (GK, ES Troyes) – Stuck with a bad club and inept manager, Westberg needs to look to transfer come January.
Michael Parkhurst (D, New England Revolution) – Good in MLS, but it has yet to be shown if he can be a force internationally.
Sal Zizzo (M/F, Hannover 96) – Young with potential, but needs first team action.
Josh Wolff (M/F, 1860 Munich) – Plays in the midfield at 1860, but it looks like Wolff is losing a step.
Pablo Mastroeni (M, Colorado Rapids) – A card producing machine, Mastroeni looks to be one of the players left behind as the newest batch of midfielders come into the fold.
Kasey Keller (GK, Fulham) – He will be 40 in 2010. Not an unheard of age for someone to appear at a World Cup, but it is still old.