BEHIND THE U-17 ROSTER EXCLUSIONS
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
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.
Bradley
Wednesday October 21, 2009 2:07 pm
Great article. I agree 100%
Jose
Wednesday October 21, 2009 12:48 pm
I was wrong in my comment,, the media try to tell you some thing is not thru ,, i read the article in goal about lletget, and they give him an ultimatum ,, thats not right ,,they told him if he not join the program he can forgeter about the national team ,, i think we are going to lose another good player because of the federation and the media that control the news shame of you
Thank you pwip for the news
Ron
Tuesday October 20, 2009 11:17 pm
Where is goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre???, the best goalkeeper in our country between the ages of 16-19 and he is only 16. This coach does not have a clue and it is unfortunate the politics in the US Soccer Federation is so clear to see, most time our best players are not in the national team so how can we win when we have a coach who selects the team on favoritsm rather than merit and pure quality. He has no right to coach the national team and he has no credibility to begin with to earn the right to coach the national team.
Jose
Tuesday October 20, 2009 11:05 pm
Lletget said in an interview that he will trade in his american jersey if a higer profile national team came call him he can go argentinian or Italian ,, let him go ,we have thousand of kids who will be committed to our colors
Goalscorer24
Tuesday October 20, 2009 7:27 pm
Lletget's comments earlier this year about focusing on his professional development is the same thing Subotic said before he switched his national team allegiance to Serbia!
Paul
Tuesday October 20, 2009 6:02 pm
Gyau is clearly good enough. I have no idea where that is coming from.

As for Subotic and Rossi, clearly Subotic was a case of Rongen's screw up. Subotic was slighted and had no motivation to return. Rongen can't recognize talent. Subotic is fetching tons of money, meanwhile what big money defender (or player) for that matter has Rongen nurtured?

Gyau and Lletget are in the same boat in my mind. I often wonder about Rossi. US Soccer needs a better system. It needs to be a better organization. Right now, its 2nd class. Otherwise we will continue to be stuck with the 2nd tier players while the best go off somewhere else.
Fred
Tuesday October 20, 2009 5:45 pm
Great article -- I had been wondering what was goin on, but none of the other articles I read gave any insight. Keep up the good work.
Jose
Tuesday October 20, 2009 3:23 pm
I think Lletget is not a thru american ,so let him go ,the only thing batter me is they take ventage of our camp ,,they should sing an agrement,,or the parents ,that they going to estay with the national team if not don't accepted get chance to another kid with more comminment to the american team
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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