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Thursday, July 2, 2009
You asked for it, you got.

Today, July 2nd, 2009 is the Five-Year Anniversary of Yanks Abroad's existence. And in celebration, we're releasing our most popular feature.

For this go-around on the visit to the travel office, we are throwing away our normal routine by choosing who we would send to South Africa next summer, instead of trying to figure out Bob Bradley. And let's face it, that's not easy.

Among our changes is veteran DaMarcus Beasley being stopped at the airport by security and not let anywhere near the plane, while Jay DeMerit and Jonathan Spector can now sit back and relax and order the cocktail of their choice.

Sacha Kljestan joins Beasley on the outside looking in while an oldie-but-goodie hops on for his fourth trip to the World Cup.

If you agree, disagree or somewhere in between, use our new comment feature at the end of the page and share your thoughts!

PACK YOUR BAGS, BOYS
Jozy Altidore - F, Sunderland (England)
Still only 19...and he looks and plays like that? My goodness. (BL) Joan Capdevila should have listened to him. (KB)
Carlos Bocanegra - D, Rangers (Scotland) on loan from Racing Santander (Spain)
Keep him on the left for the rest of the qualifiers. (KB) Was a few steps slow in South Africa, hopefully because of the hammy, but either way he'll be there. (GM)
Michael Bradley - M, Roma (Italy)
More important to the team than his father. (MA) I can deal with him being a little petulant as long as he makes plays. (AB)
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
Floated in a few games, but got his act together - he's a danger in the box. (RF) His big bronze ball says it all. (DS)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Showed the world he was more than a spot kick taker. (AV) Is becoming Captain America right before our eyes...finally. (GM)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
I'd take him over anyone else in the world right now. (BMH) When the US couldn't cope, he could. First name on the team sheet. (AV)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Dear Newcastle, enjoy the Championship for me. Sincerely, Gooch. (DS) The reason Spain didn't even try to send in any corner kicks. (AB)

NEARLY A LOCK
Jay DeMerit - D, Watford (England)
Confederations Cup shot his worth up, he can start packing. (RF) Did you watch David Villa get shut down by a guy that plays for Watford? (AV)
Charlie Davies - F, Randers FC (Denmark)
How is it we needed to be almost eliminated for this guy to get a shot? (BL) Make sure you choose your destination wisely. (BMH)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
We've got a new challenger to Cherundolo on the right side. (KB) Stay healthy and play is all he needs to do this upcoming season. (RF)
Brad Guzan - GK, Aston Villa (England)
Solidified his #2 spot against Egypt. (DS) Couldn't ask for a better backup. (GM)
Benny Feilhaber - M, New England Revolution (USA)
Brings a composure that others lack. (AB) Has to have a good season before he's a lock. (GM)
Jermaine Jones - M, Schalke 04 (Germany)
Lots of haters, but also lots of game. (AB) Clark and Kljestan, take a back seat to the starting DMid... (CW)
Jose Francisco Torres - M, Tigres UANL (Mexico)
Paco in a Reyna role would have closed out Brazil. (CW) Does Bradley know he's on the bench? (KB)
Steve Cherundolo - D, Hannover 96 (Germany)
The Gold Cup will be his place to shine as a leader. (RF) Let's not forget this guy is a really good right back. (BL)

IN A BATTLE
Maurice Edu - M, Stoke City (England)
With Jones in the fold, Mo becomes the backup. (CW) ... but he's going regardless. (DS)

WORK TO DO
Freddy Adu - M/F, Philadelphia Union (USA)
Gold Cup is his best chance to show he deserves some time. (BL) Find some playing time anywhere, even if it's the Luxembourg 4th division. (BMH)
Frankie Hejduk - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Dude stands up when needed. (MA) His energy and veteran leadership are indispensable. (DS)
Heath Pearce - D/M, CD Chivas (USA)
Is still competing for the left back spot, but has to have a good season first. (GM) Heath's chances are running out in USA colors. (MA)
- F, () on loan from ()
I can't see him starting in front of our new dynamic duo. Maybe he can mentor? (AB) Striker is the weakest position and so he gets it by default. (BMH)
Brian McBride - F, Chicago Fire (USA)
Says he'd reconsider if approached? Ok, Bake, 'Will you play?' (CW) ...but does he still have the legs? (MA)
Danny Califf - D, Philadelphia Union (USA)
Is ready to step in when needed, and is solid as they get. (GM) passed by DeMerit but still on the cusp. (DS)
Marcus Hahnemann - GK, Everton (England)
Playing in the Premiership will help his cause. (AV) If Timmy got hurt, I'd put him in before Guzan. (BMH)
MOVING UP

Conor Casey - The forward spots are completely up for grabs with the exception of Jozy. (GM)

Edgar Castillo - If he says he wants in, let him in! (BL) Could he solve the problem on the left? (KB)

Ricardo Clark - Bradley seems to love playing next to him, and vice versa. (GM) Given the chance due to injury and played okay. (RF)

Zak Whitbread - He's been overlooked too long. (MA) ...by the US. Premiership and Championship clubs are paying attention. (CW)

MOVING DOWN

DaMarcus Beasley - I've about had it with him. Do work on the club level. (AV) ...or he'll be watching the World Cup on ESPN. (RF)

Jonathan Bornstein - This is what happens when you take a forward and try to make him defend. (CW)

Sacha Kljestan - Struggled mightily against quality opponents, his form is failing him. (RF) That hat trick versus Sweden is looking like a fluke. (AB)

OTHER BUBBLE BATTLERS

Bobby Convey, Kenny Cooper, Mikkel Diskerud, Stuart Holden, Eddie Johnson, Kasey Keller, Chad Marshall, Pablo Mastroeni, Michael Parkhurst, Tory Perkins, Santino Quaranta, Luis Robles, Frank Simek, Marvell Wynne

note: Yanks Abroad's Michael Adubato, Arch Bell, Kenya Brown, Rich Fidler, Bri-Mathias Hodge, Brent Latham, George Murphy, David Smith, Andrew Vorce and Chad Winger compiled this feature.
Paddy
Thursday July 2, 2009 2:53 pm
You'd take Brian McBride and Brian Ching over Conor Casey? Seriously? That's not the direction this team need to go in. And Ricardo Clark on the bubble? He deserves a spot over Pearce
tom
Thursday July 2, 2009 2:35 pm
We saw what happens to DMs in international competition. More likely than not, the US will have one suspended/injured in the WC. Thus the need for 3 DMs and that means Jones, Edu and Clark all go.

I wouldn't mind McBride if he is in-form.

But I'd also take Bornstein over Pearce if I had to make a decision today.

Otherwise, my list had everyone on it that yours did.
Kenny
Thursday July 2, 2009 2:31 pm
When did Adu fall out of favor? Even if he isnt getting playing time in the Bigs, he was still an impact player on the U-17/20 international circuit. He is known to be a tempo changer on the field. Something I think the men's squad dearly needs!
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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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