23 TICKETS TO GERMANY
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
Monday, March 6, 2006
Just over two months remain until Bruce Arena must submit his World Cup 2006 team sheet, and it is time once again to display the 23 men YA believes will make the plane ride to Germany this summer.

The staff has been busy firming up the roster since we last checked in, with 19 spots all but filled.

Eddie Pope charges back into the side, while injured midfielder John O'Brien stays in our group by a slim margin over Kerry Zavagnin. Bobby Convey regains "lock" status, while Clint Dempsey also moved into the travel zone.

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]

PACK YOUR BAGS, BOYS
Kasey Keller - GK, Seattle Sounders (USA)
Man, I love the way Germans say "Kasey Keller" like it's the horrifying chorus of a Rammstein song. (GS)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Loves the big stage. (MA) Look what Convey and 'Dolo have done with regular European time, Lanny! (MF)
DaMarcus Beasley - M/F, Puebla (Mexico)
Showed versus Poland that he needs Reyna in the middle to make him effective against a solid defense. (NT) Convey heat will only make him better. (HK)
Claudio Reyna - M, New York Red Bulls (USA)
So long as he stays fit from here on out, the injury layoff ends up being beautiful rest. (GS) The Jersey boy will get the job done. (MA)
Brian McBride - F, Chicago Fire (USA)
The leadership of a veteran and the performance of a younger man. (HK) Might just be the US player whose absence is most noticeable. (GS)
Steve Cherundolo - D, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Stevie C. is gonna have a HUGE World Cup, you watch. Say your goodbyes now, Hannover 96 fans. (GS)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Another guy almost certain to have a new address this fall. His Richter Scale matchup with Luca Toni will be one helluva show. (GS) Solid as a rock, if nothing else, he'll keep the sun out of our eyes. (SOC)
Eddie Lewis - M, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
He's a team player, and now left back for a team that's been searching for one forever. (RF) His set pieces will be a big key in Germany. (GS)
Marcus Hahnemann - GK, Everton (England)
He's going to both the EPL and Germany in the next few months. (RF) A solid backup, just don't distract Lewis with XBox. (SOC)
Carlos Bocanegra - D, Rangers (Scotland) on loan from Racing Santander (Spain)
Looks solid for Fulham and the US. (MA) Has the kick-it-far clearance down pat. (HK)
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
Brimming with promise, he should be the next American Euro-star. (SOC) That sound you hear is Steve Ralston cursing his ill-timed injury. (GS)
Bobby Convey - M, San Jose Earthquakes (USA)
Auditions for backup #10 are open again, Mr. Arena is ready to see you now. (NT) Second year in Europe has made all the difference. (RF)

NEARLY A LOCK
Gregg Berhalter - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Solid play on March 22nd will book his ticket. (HK) Experience along the backline is important. (RF) If he can't return to 2005 form soon, his seat could actually slip away. (GS)
Pablo Mastroeni - M, Colorado Rapids (USA)
Game changed when he came in against Poland. (HK) The best (if not, only) destroyer we have. Please secure your carry-on bags in the overhead compartment. (GS)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
Had a good 45 minutes against Poland; however, he needs to get some Man United playing time. Tim is hanging on to the #3 position. (MA)
Eddie Johnson - F, Aris (Greece) on loan from Fulham (England)
He wasn't impressive against Poland, but had very little to work with and seems past his injury woes. (NT) It will take a lot for Bruce to leave one of his golden boys out. (SOC)
Cory Gibbs - D, Chicago Fire (USA)
Just needs to show he's back. (MF) Plenty of time to get where he needs to be. (HK) Should be fit and ready to travel to the big show. (MA)
Frankie Hejduk - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Bruce's "every man" veteran. (MF) Experienced, adaptable and a morale-boosting dude. (SOC) He'll be there. Deal with it. (RF)
Taylor Twellman - F, New England Revolution (USA)
Drives the other guys nuts with his work rate. (MF) Has found where the back of the net is on an international level. The kid should solidify his position by impressing in Dortmund. (MA)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Eddie Pope - D, Real Salt Lake (USA)
Will be back to defend American soccer. (MF) I smell one last big hurrah, a la Hong Myung-Bo. (GS) It would appear that his spot is so solid that Bruce didn't need to see him against Poland. (NT)
Josh Wolff - F, Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Makes things happen, has been there before. (MF) Josh's problem is simple: he is better when starting and he ain't starting. (GS)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
The kid has really stepped up his Charlton performances of late, and versatility never hurts in a tourney side. (GS)

IN A BATTLE
John O'Brien - D/M, CD Chivas (USA)
Anyone else think he's healthy and hibernating? Watch him "magically return" for the last three games of the Eredivisie season (wink, wink). (GS)
MOVING UP

Conor Casey - It's not too late, but he needs to produce quickly at Mainz. (GS) Not being injured is moving up at the forward position. (HK)

Ben Olsen - Trustworthy at DM, but perhaps four years too late. (SOC) A Bruce favorite... a March 22nd call-up? (MF)

Kerry Zavagnin - Bruce wants defensive midfield cover apart from Pablo in the squad. (SOC) Unfairly maligned for constantly being overrun by the breaking Poland midfield while the US played turnover-ball for the first 35 minutes. (GS)

MOVING DOWN

Heath Pearce - If he isn't called to start against Germany, he is almost probably finished for '06 consideration (barring injuries). However, my early money says he's the guy in 2010. (GS)

Jimmy Conrad - No. 6 center back is probably too far down the list. (SOC) Has shown well, but stands in the longest line. (GS)

Chris Klein - Crosses should go to your teammates. (SOC) Would be well advised to go big in whatever minutes he can scratch against Germany. (GS)

Steve Ralston - His best chance was as a starter, and Dempsey is taking that away from him. (GS) No soup for you! (CW)

Pat Noonan - Now was not the time to get injured. (GS)

Todd Dunivant - See Noonan. (GS) Eddie Lewis might have played him off the roster. (MF)

Freddy Adu - Funny stuff from Arena about him not knowing if Freddy plans to buy tickets to the World Cup. Bruce will be here all the week, try the veal. (NT)

Santino Quaranta - His absence from Germany while healthy is not a good sign. (NT)

Chris Rolfe - Just didn't impress enough during the stateside camp. (RF) The game in Dortmund is his big chance. (SOC)

BUBBLE BATTLERS

Chris Albright, Chris Armas, Kevin Hartman, Matt Reis

note: Yanks Abroad's Michael Adubato, Sara DeWitt, Rich Fidler, Mark Flannery, Harris King, Sean O'Conor, Greg Seltzer, Neal Thurman and Chad Winger compiled this feature
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