BRENT LATHAM - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The U-17 roster is out and everyone seems to be focusing on the names not on the list rather than those that will be making the trip to Nigeria.

The missing players are Charles Renken, Joseph Gyau, and Sebastian Lletget.

As detailed earlier in the week on YA, coach Cabrera has made it clear that players not included were left off for one of three reasons: 1. injured, 2. not good enough, 3. didn't want to come. Each of the situations would appear to be applicable to one of those three players.

One case is easy enough to get to the bottom of: Renken has yet to fully recover from a serious knee injury sustained while playing with the team this spring, and is thus ruled out.

Those of Gyau and Lletget are clearly more difficult situations. When I spoke to coach Cabrera, long before the roster was actually announced, he made it clear that the only non-residency player to be included would be Will Packwood. (A lot of people seem to think Luis Gil has moved to Arsenal but it seems he is still in residency, a move may come soon - more details on this forthcoming.) Thus both players seem to have failed the physical presence test, one which is clearly important to Cabrera.

While Gyau is rumored to have had a falling out with Cabrera, I have no evidence to support that claim as yet, and at this point it looks like Gyau, who was used rather sparingly in qualifying, simply became, in Cabrera's mind, surplus to requirements given the emergence of other forward options like Victor Chavez and Andrew Craven. So situation #2, not good enough, might apply here- again at least in the coach's mind.

As for Lletget, here's where we open an ugly can of worms. We're doing our best to get the player's side, but at this point it would appear that Lletget was unwilling to leave West Ham to participate in the pre-World Cup camp, and that was a deal breaker for Cabrera. So here we have case #3, didn't want to come.

Again this is just speculation, but that attitude would seem to fit with Lletget's comments earlier this year about focusing on his professional development. There's another clue in Lletget's telling May interview with Noah Davis at Goal, in which he reveals that he would eagerly trade in his American jersey if a higher profile team (his parents are reportedly Argentine and he has Italian ancestry) came calling.

While Lletget may or may not have retracted that statement since, my two cents would be that Cabrera made the right call. Until the kid straightens out his national allegiance, why not give the spot - a valuable developmental tool and an investment on the part of the USSF, to a kid who really wants it? The last thing Bradenton or the U-17 needs to become is a shop window for foreign federations.

I'll be meeting up with the team in Kano in a few days, and I'll do my best to get further towards the bottom of this situation. In the meantime my inclination is to give Cabrera the benefit of the doubt, and wait to see how he fares with what is still a very talented team.

Check for updates on twitter @yanksabroad and @brentjavan.
Know Nothing
Sunday October 25, 2009 6:53 pm
Too few players are being developed. Bradenton helps mold the best players identified by the USSF into a cohesive unit, but in the end players develop differently, some peak at 17 while some are just starting to develop. Of the players who played in WC qualifiers, how many went through Bradenton?

Perhaps the Bradenton experiment should be discontinued. Instead, the USSF should work with MLS and the A-League to partially finance and work out a system for youth academies and youth academy leagues.

Oh, and as for Gyau and Llegett, I can't fault them for honing their skills overseas since their ultimate goal is to become professional footballers. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say both opted to stay with their clubs.
Saturday October 24, 2009 3:11 pm
youth soccer in this country is run backwards. and american coaches as an american i tell you, are the worst in the world cause not only are they soccer dumb but there also egostical, stubborn and career ruining coaches.ive seen so many american coaches make the stupidist substitutions and tactical changes and the worst thing about that is that they dont notice and they think there right.i think future american coaches should look to get their licence of any kind whether it be youth or professional ,oversees in europe or in south america.dont get me wrong theirs alot of good players in this country but without the right coaching and right motivation from these coaches then US soccer will always be more or less like we are now.
Dustin Johnson
Friday October 23, 2009 7:42 pm
THANK YOU SO MUCH, FINALLY SOMEONE ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS and taking some chances and having an opinion. I say Lletget can go grease it up with Rossi if wants. No matter how good he is he a long way from ever making Italy or Argentine and if you ask me you support the country that gave you shelter no matter what.

This a great group - even without these guys - and I say Go, Go, USA. Let's put this behind us. We go to war with the Army we have and this Army can win. I am not joking. If anything, this controversy should motivate a group a talented guys who are being overlooked by all of us by harping on about these guys.
Juan from L.A.
Friday October 23, 2009 6:56 am
I really don't know what to think. I have been following these kids with so much anticipation that they might be best group of generation since the Beasley-Donovan generation. Even pass them. These were three kids that throughout this journey were the backbone of this team to all of a sudden not be included in the final list just makes me think what's going on. I just hope for the sake of the development of my country and for start winning (as I quote Donovan) and not just participating that Cabrera made the right choices.
Thursday October 22, 2009 7:37 pm
We sent a college team to play against European professionals in the U-20 World Cup. Now we are sending a high school team to play against European professionals. I wonder how this will turn out!!??
Thursday October 22, 2009 7:30 pm
guys read this article and make your own conclusion
Thursday October 22, 2009 2:13 pm
This kid sounds like another rossi.... forget him... Argentina and Italy wont come for him...
Thursday October 22, 2009 12:56 pm
Lletget will regret this move. We dont want you Lletget.
He has no pressure. If one country doesnt want him, then the other will come asking for his services--maybe not
Wednesday October 21, 2009 2:20 pm
Great article, thanks for the info we've all been clamoring for.

I imagine the Lletget ultimatum just applied to his place in the U17 team.

People need to chill out on placing blame on youth coaches for a young player's decision to represent one country or another. Perpetuating this myth that Subotic went to Serbia because Rongen left him off the U20 team is ridiculous. Same with Arena saying that Rossi needed to get club time before he could play for the Nats. And if Lletget and Gyau don't end up playing for the USMNT, it won't be because they felt Cabrera was too strict or that residency was too stifling.
Our coaches can't cater to every diva-like whim of players with dual-nationality just to make sure they pick us. (That's not to say any of the players in question are acting like divas, but from the comments on every US soccer site, you'd think we needed to fall all over ourselves to appease them)
Wednesday October 21, 2009 2:17 pm
excuses . that was always the case when it came down to subotic and possibly now lletget.thier are many american soccer players like this in this country that dont dream of playing for the usa and would rather play for their parents country !thats very unfortunate for the US. i know theirs also many that would love to play for the US but theirs also many that dont.atleast rossi was honest about it but subotic`s excuse about rongen i dont buy it.if he TRULY wanted to play for the US he would`ve put his differences aside with rongen and taken that call from the US, but no instead he blamed the ussoccer federation for not regognizing him enough . to me thats a lame excuse and was obvious he did everything he could to not play for the US because he just didnt feel american as a player or a person.i give credit to rossi for atleast giving a straight answer and not trying to convince people that the system failed him.about Lletget not sure what his intentions are but if its the same as subotic or rossi, he should be honest now and go for the national team he is aiming to play for. dont just use the US as a back plan let your voice be heard like rossi did before he was even considered for the italian national team.
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