Monday, November 21, 2005
Only seven months remain until World Cup 2006, and the race for a place in Bruce Arena's final 23-man World Cup roster is heating up.

You might be wondering who will travel to Germany and who will watch on television with the rest of you... well, YA is here to help!

How does it work? We list the guys we think are going to make that final roster in four separate categories that denote how deeply you should carve our proclamations in stone. We will keep an eye to players that are gaining or losing ground, so naturally we will return every month until the squad is announced to chart progress.

The November edition has 15 players all but assured of a seat on the plane, but plenty of movement near the bottom. Charlton defender Jonathan Spector makes his debut in the 23, while veteran stopper Eddie Pope drops off the list for the first time. Hampden Park scorer Josh Wolff comes back into the group for Taylor Twellman, and Steve Ralston re-enters in favor of Chris Albright.

As always, we want your feedback. Feel free to send in your 23-man list or comments to our http://www.yanks-abroad.com/content.php?mode=contact&action=show§ion=generalmailbox[endlink].

Kasey Keller - GK, Seattle Sounders (USA)
Duh. (GS) Dear Injury Gods, be kind to the king of his very own German castle. (RF)
Landon Donovan - M/F, León (Mexico)
An impressive post season in MLS; there is no way he gets left off the plane. (SOC)
DaMarcus Beasley - M/F, Puebla (Mexico)
He switched to the right in the first half against Scotland – random tactical switch or experiment to solve our biggest line-up problem? (NT)
Claudio Reyna - M, New York Red Bulls (USA)
Still has a depth of vision on the field that sets him apart. (SOC)
Brian McBride - F, Chicago Fire (USA)
Take your vitamins, you are needed. (HK) And some folks had doubts given his age. Yeah, right. (RF)
Eddie Lewis - M, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
No reason to think that he's slipping, especially if Bruce still considers him a defender. (NT)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Charlton Athletic (England)
The Cleveland Browns could use a few guys who hit like this football player. (RF) Well... he will certainly be fresh. Watch your hats, World Cup strikers. (GS)

Steve Cherundolo - D, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Clear improvement over the past two years, he looks stronger and more adventurous. (SOC)
John O'Brien - D/M, ()
A lock if he can stay healthy – downgraded because that's rare. (NT)
Gregg Berhalter - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Has become quite smooth and reliable, but who knew he could strike a sweet lefty free kick? Watch him score in Germany to exorcise the Frings ghost. (GS)
Carlos Bocanegra - D, Rangers (Scotland) on loan from Racing Santander (Spain)
Just no way he's left off the roster, too versatile, too money. (MF) A versatile defender could challenge for a starting spot. (NT)
Bobby Convey - M, San Jose Earthquakes (USA)
Not sure what his role will be in Germany but he's going to force Arena to make some tough line-up decisions. (NT)
Cory Gibbs - D, Chicago Fire (USA)
Maybe the US's best one-v-one defender when healthy. (RF) Tough, fast, set to return in January and must-have in the selection. (MF)
Marcus Hahnemann - GK, Everton (England)
As it stands, the Royal hero is Keller's deputy. Not much happening to indicate things will change. (GS)
Pablo Mastroeni - M, Colorado Rapids (USA)
Arena's first choice destroyer, end of story. (GS) Would have to play himself off the team. (MF)

Eddie Johnson - F, Aris (Greece) on loan from Fulham (England)
He's young and strong, he'll be fine. I'm more concerned about any aged defenders he might encounter at World Cup. (GS)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know. Trust me, he'll be there. (GS) He'll be around as a student to Keller. (RF)

Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
What the Italians call "un atipico", a player who can give you something different. Clint is useful as a sub and went all the way to MLS final. (SOC)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
Finally starting at Charlton and played a nice game against Scotland, he's versatile enough to earn a spot one World Cup ahead of schedule. (NT)
Josh Wolff - F, Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Showed some spark in Scotland, and for the moment, grabs the seesaw lead for my final forward slot. (GS)
Frankie Hejduk - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
There are some new kids on the block for Heydude to compete with. (SOC) Frankie has all the intangibles, and Arena loves the surfer. (RF)
Steve Ralston - M, New England Revolution (USA)
None of the chasers have done themselves any recent favors, and we all know Bruce will make some wily veteran choices. (GS)
Chris Armas - M, Chicago Fire (USA)
My money says Arena brings a pair of midfield crushers to Germany. Armas is well liked by Arena, missed out in 2002 and others will have future opportunities. In the end, it all depends on how well and soon he comes back from the knee injury. (GS)

Heath Pearce - He can run, dribble, cross and comfidently play left back, all of which makes Pearce the smart dark horse. (GS)

Chris Rolfe - Good burst, decisiveness and control - there is still time for him to crash the party. (GS)

Ben Olsen - Bruce will be deciding between Benny and Chris Armas and Benny seems to be gaining momentum. (NT) Fills the beard quota and added some grit in Glasgow. (HK)


Taylor Twellman - Zero goals in the playoffs didn't help, but scrappers are welcome with Da Bruce. (MF)

Chris Albright - Can anyone think of a reason we haven't tried him out as a right-sided midfielder? While not a typical shifty winger, Albright might be an interesting experiment out there. (NT)

Eddie Pope - I won't take his place away until he resumes MLS play in the same form. Let's call mirage and hope that he refuels for a big finale over the winter. (GS)

Santino Quaranta - Quaranta gained some ground over the summer but has been flat the last six weeks or so. (NT)

Brian Ching - Hard to see what he offers that is not already available. (SOC)


Freddy Adu, Adin Brown, Brian Carroll, Conor Casey, Brian Ching, Jimmy Conrad, Ramiro Corrales, Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Gaven, Herculez Gomez, Chris Klein, Richard Mulrooney, Peter Philipakos, Matt Reis, Brian West, Kerry Zavagnin

note: YA's Rich Fidler, Mark Flannery, Harris King, Sean O'Conor, Greg Seltzer & Neal Thurman compiled this feature

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