23 TICKETS TO SOUTH AFRICA
EXTRA TIME
Monday, September 14, 2009
Jonathan Daniel/Getty
Jozy is a lock
Since first launching it 2005, we've seen 23 Tickets become our most popular feature - so much so, that we've now seen ESPN shamelessly rip off our format. Never fear, though, nothing is ever as good as the original and we're back this month with wholesale changes.

Last time out, we deviated from our normal pattern, and handed out the tickets as we would have if we were in charge.

Now we're back to the regular routine, and prognosticating who we believe head coach Bob Bradley will bring along - assuming he can manage to get the US to South Africa.

Booted from the plane are a host of players headlined by Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasely and Heath Pearce, while Kenny Cooper and Clarence Goodson grab the final two seats over Eddie Johnson and Jonathan Bornstein.

If you agree, disagree or somewhere in between, use our comment feature at the bottom of the article to share your thoughts.

PACK YOUR BAGS, BOYS
Jozy Altidore - F, Sunderland (England)
Hoof it to Jozy will be the theme at Hull this campaign. (RF) The kid doesn't seem to be fading. (BL)
Carlos Bocanegra - D, Rangers (Scotland) on loan from Racing Santander (Spain)
He won't have too many more stinkers like he did against Mexico. (CW) Either at center of left back, he'll be an asset. (RF)
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
Has Houdini-like ability to appear out of nowhere and make a big play. (IH) Hopefully he doesn't relax after his contract extension with Fulham. (RF)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
The one indispensable American field player. (BL) Hope we get Confederations Cup Landon and not World Cup 06 Landon. (IH)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
Unless he breaks both his arms, he is the #1 keeper. (IH) No brainer. (BS)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Any yank who plays for AC Milan gets the auto invite. (AB) Even if he warms the bench in Italy, he's still our best center back. (DS)
Charlie Davies - F, Randers FC (Denmark)
What a wonderful last few months for this former Eagle. (RF) On his way to being the most dangerous forward to wear a US jersey. (IH)
Michael Bradley - M, Roma (Italy)
As long as the attitude is in line. (AB) Beginning to display a worrying tendency of disappearing from games. (BL)

NEARLY A LOCK
Brad Guzan - GK, Aston Villa (England)
Bob's boys wouldn't miss a beat with Brad. (AB) Looked great in the Confederations Cup appearance. (IH)
Jay DeMerit - D, Watford (England)
I hope that playing for mediocre Watford won't effect his mentality. (CW) Everyone's favorite former pub leaguer provides a solid presence in the back. (AB)
Benny Feilhaber - M, New England Revolution (USA)
Denmark has put the swerve back in his step. (RF) His hot and cold play has been mostly hot of late. (BL)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
It's all looking good Johnny, now please just stay healthy! (DS) Showed he can step up when needed. (AV)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Steve Cherundolo - D, Hannover 96 (Germany)
Getting less playing time, but he's still a solid vet. (BS) Showed he belongs in the hunt, even after a long injury spell. (DS)
Jermaine Jones - M, Schalke 04 (Germany)
Hopefully he can live up to his hype. (AV) Fortunately the time is near. (DS)
Jose Francisco Torres - M, Tigres UANL (Mexico)
He's going to be picked, but Bradley playing him is a different story. (AV) The fact he can play on left is huge. Not part of CM logjam. (BS)

IN A BATTLE
Stuart Holden - M, Bolton Wanderers (England)
A great Gold Cup has moved him into the mix and into Bradley's sights. (DS) His versatility, hustle, and crossing have made him a good option of the bench. (BL)
- F, () on loan from ()
Will the coaching staff ever realize he is not the next Brian McBride? (IH) Can easily drop off the radar. (AV)
Maurice Edu - M, Stoke City (England)
Is as skilled on the field as he is off it... (AV) ...but has to prove himself again after his injury. (BS)
Ricardo Clark - M, Stabæk (Norway)
Only if Bob Bradley brings three defensive mids... Who am I kidding? Of course he'll bring three. Hell, if he could figure out a way to play them all at the same time he would. (CW)

WORK TO DO
Edgar Castillo - D/M, Tijuana (Mexico)
You begged, we forgave you, now you'd better live up to the hype... (DS) We will see soon where he stands. (BS)
Kasey Keller - GK, Seattle Sounders (USA)
Experience and being a good teammate gets the nod. (RF) If for no other reason than to get some Slipknot on the team plane. (CW)
Kenny Cooper - F, Portland Timbers (USA)
I'm not sure if he's winning me over, or if I'm just fed up with the other options... (CW) A year in Germany does the body good. (RF)
Clarence Goodson - D, Brøndby (Denmark)
Outside of the Mexico debacle, liked what he did in the Gold Cup. (AB) It's between Clarence and Chad Marshall for the fourth center back slot. I'm going with the guy who plays in Europe. (CW)
MOVING UP

Alejandro Bedoya - Has become a regular starter for Orebro. Game is on the rise. 2010 might be a breakout year. (AB)

Chad Marshall - A serviceable backup. (BL) Has overtaken Danny Califf in the pecking order. (CW)

Michael Orozco - Has started the latest Mexican tournament en fuego and should earn some looks after the next rounds of qualifiers. (CW)

MOVING DOWN

Freddy Adu - I still have some faith but the coming months at Belenenses will make or break his chance. (DS)

Jonathan Bornstein - He may try hard, but he is simply not international quality. (CW)

Sach Kljestan - Perhaps his hat-trick really was a fluke... (RF)

OTHER BUBBLE BATTLERS

Danny Califf, Conor Casey, Mikkel Diskerud, DaMarcus Beasley, Marcus Hahnemann, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Johnson, Michael Parkhurst, Heath Pearce, Troy Perkins, Luis Robles, Robbie Rogers

note: Yanks Abroad's Arch Bell, Rich Fidler, Isaac Heath, Brent Latham, Brian Sciaretta, David Smith, Andrew Vorce and Chad Winger compiled this feature.
Marmaduke
Monday September 14, 2009 8:42 am
If Orozco could get a look I think he'll be able to bump Goodson. At least, I hope so. He did get a stupid card in a big game, but that puts him in pretty good company on this team.
Justin
Monday September 14, 2009 8:39 am
Did anybody see Dempsey actually play defense for Fulham this weekend. I think I saw him make a tackle. Why can't or doesn't he do that for the Nats?
John
Monday September 14, 2009 8:14 am
That was a waste of a comment asanji. It's less than a year before the WC and we're at the end of the qualifiers -- we should know all of the players in the hunt to make the WC roster by now!!! BB would definitely be doing a terrible job if he hadn't evaluated all of the potential talent available to him by this time! This is one of the few areas where he's actually done a good job.
matt
Monday September 14, 2009 2:19 am
What? We haven't even seen Jones, Castillo, or Bedoya play...and based on how much time Torres has played do you really think Bradley is going to play these guys, esp the Mexican players?? Rogers has been judged unfairly I think and what about Wynne...a second chance for Gavin..Findley...or maybe a look at Gonzalez ( if Orozco why not )....and Beasley has proven to be good on the left in the past he just needs playing time...this is risky to choose players we have never seen play...would be nice to see Cherundelo in and Spector transition to left or why not him in the center and Boca in the middle if DeMerit is injured??

anyways thanks for keeping this up...love it!!
asanji
Monday September 14, 2009 1:08 am
my proble, with is list of 23 is we already know this guys. we need to start looking for new names that will change the mentality of the team and yanks it is your job to serve us with new talent and not the old lads we already know. im sure the US will be the only team in SA that will maintain yhe same qualifier team for the WC unless we start looking for fresh and untested blood and there must be out there.
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