JANUARY USMNT CAMP SNUBS
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
JAMIE HILL - Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Often, the rosters of US national team camps are as notable for the players omitted as they are for players included. Bob Bradley's 24-man January camp is no exception.

So when the boys in red, white, and blue convene in Carson, CA to prepare for the friendly against Chile, which players will have the right to brood at home over their snub?

Goalkeepers

Bradley brought two veterans and two rising talents, but he ignored the man who was arguably the best in MLS in 2010: Kevin Hartman. However, despite his return in the playoffs, Hartman has been hobbled by the MCL that was damaged by Thierry Henry's brainless behavior. Furthermore, the Dallas netminder will be 40 in 2014 meaning that he is more likely part of the NT's past than part of its future.

Defenders

Two highly-regarded young central defenders will not be making the trip to the Home Depot Center: George John and Ike Opara. Rather than being ignored, both are beset by injuries and are thus unavailable.

There are several other accomplished centerbacks who were not invited. Chad Marshall and 2010 MLS Best XI member Nat Borchers turned in good seasons, but did not receive the call. The absence of the Houston Dynamo's Geoff Cameron is also likely to cause consternation among the rank and file supporters of the US team.

Bradley's choice of fullbacks was the most unexpected element of an unexpected squad. Rookie part-time starter Zach Loyd will report to camp instead of more experienced players like Hunter Freeman, who just joined the Houston Dynamo after two strong years with IK Start. Kevin Alston is another young right back who has shown promise, but apparently failed to catch Bradley's eye.

As is always the case with the US, options at left back are limited, so most expected Bobby Convey to join the fray after his renaissance season with San Jose. Whether Bradley is unimpressed with the former Reading man or whether he chose to go with younger options is unclear.

Midfielders

With so many midfielders in the midst of European league seasons, the center of the park is an area in which Bradley was forced to dig deep into the player pool. Jeff Larentowicz will relish a chance to earn his first cap, but an MLS veteran like Kyle Beckerman could feel unfairly overlooked.

Columbus Crew midfielders Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers have seen action with the national team as recently as last month, but were left out of this month's roster.

Benny Feilhaber, while available, is a player whose qualities are well known and as such Bradley decided to award a spot to a youngster like Eric Alexander.

Chivas USA's midfielder Michael Lahoud certainly feels snubbed after announcing he will consider pursuing an opportunity with Sierra Leone, the country of his birth. Despite his full-throated expression of dismay, the group that believes that Lahoud's exclusion was an injustice remains a very small minority of US soccer fans.

Considering the January camp has become something of a youth movement, one might have thought that Eugene Starikov would be called up and evaluated after a promising run with Tom Tomsk of the Russian Premier League. However, the young winger will have to wait for an opportunity.

Forwards

The biggest MLS names to not appear on this roster are Edson Buddle and Robbie Findley. The pair are seeking contracts in Europe and therefore are unavailable for the camp.
Erik
Thursday January 6, 2011 2:35 pm
No Matt Pickens? C'mon now...
Peter
Monday January 3, 2011 1:04 pm
It seems to me that the majority of the players omitted from the January training camp roster are known quantities. Since this is the beginning of a new four-year cycle leading to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, I believe Coach Bradley wants to look at new, young players this month to see if they can contribute to the National Team at some point over the next four years.
Mike E.
Saturday January 1, 2011 10:50 pm
Pablo, Chile just announced that they too are sending a young team. Bob Bradley isn't the only coach with depth questions needing to be answered.
Mike E.
Tuesday December 28, 2010 9:29 pm
Some here are missing the point. Bob Bradley is checking out the UNknown here. He knows Beckermann can play. He knows that Marshall, Borchers, Convey, Gaven, and Feilhaber can play. He knows that Robbie Rogers CAN'T. What he's trying to find out is WHO ELSE is good enough to play for him.
MARTIN
Tuesday December 28, 2010 1:39 pm
"Playerswhoflourish in mls rarely do anything in the national team."

Really? Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard come to mind.
mat
Tuesday December 28, 2010 7:31 am
wow who are these guys? whats the point?
referee1951
Monday December 27, 2010 11:12 pm
these criticisms ring hollow. Bob Bradley has many players to evaluate. To impress, one must truly stand out wherever the league. Yanks are now playing in many top leagues around the world. Many. Too many to cite. Only way now is to play those who earn a call up, no reputations allowed. Sorry friends. No more Hejduks or Bornsteins or Feldhabers or Findley or whoever unless their club play shows they earned a call up. Today, such players as Dempsey, Lichej, Bradley, Holden, and many others have worked their way to top of club and league. Why play a MLS'er when there are EPL and equivalents waiting, like Parkhurst, or Lichej of so many in Mexican league. Bradley has my vote. Viva Bradley. Sure I want Klinsmann. But Bradley has done wonderfully. Bruce Arena was excellent. A US-World game changer. Bradley has been just as good. Hooray Bradley.
terry
Monday December 27, 2010 10:16 am
It's actually a compliment to many that weren't called. This camp is for the greenest of the green...only a couple of experienced players are being called in. Marshall, Borchers, Parkhurst, Beckerman, Feilhaber and others are FAR beyond this gruop of C-D level talent. Now this C-D talent could develop but they are miles and miles away from being able to contribute at the A level (full MNT).
Ed C.
Sunday December 26, 2010 8:48 pm
it seems that anybody can make the US Nats these days. while i agree with giving youth a chance, bradley is still a bit bizarre in his roster. what is the guy thinking??

if those MLSers want to get noticed, they really need to find a european team. honestly, the level of play in MLS isn't that brilliant. i remember some on the boards, many even, that MLS is equal to the english championship. insane! i equate it more to the belgian top division. anybody?!?!
doc
Thursday December 23, 2010 6:54 pm
Great point on parkhurst hes t*ts... But do you honestly think the U.S knows who Starkov is???? Honestly??? Theyve missed so many players over the years they dont even know who Paul Rauchubka is who was a starting goaile in the English Championship the last three years. And findley should not stay in mls...he'll stagnat...If Findley eer gonna be come a good player its in the English league championship, where theyre not goona give him a million opportunities and a million chances like the nats. Theyre is a ton more media pressure for a championship team, a famous one nonetheless, than theyre is for the wholenats in the world cup, and especially the mls.Playerswhoflourish in mls rarely do anything in the national team.
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The USMNT classic with Mexico was a tale of two halves, with the U.S. drawing 2-2 with Mexico.
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