Saturday, January 23, 2010
The United States national team camp concludes Saturday night with a friendly versus fellow CONCACAF nation Honduras at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Head coach Bob Bradley will be using this as an opportunity to possibly give seven uncapped players their first crack at international play.
However come the starting whistle, Bradley is likely to trot out a first 11 boasting of experience including midfielder Benny Feilhaber who is sure to pick up his 31st cap, the most of any of the players in this year's camp.
Other veterans such as goalkeeper Troy Perkins, defenders Jonathan Bornstein, Heath Pearce, Clarence Goodson and Jimmy Conrad are likely to anchor the back.
The midfield will see Feilhaber lead the way alongside other stalwarts such as Robbie Rogers, Sacha Klejstan and Kyle Beckerman.
Current YA Alejandro Bedoya of Swedish Allsvenskan club Írebro SK stands to have a good chance at seeing some playing time as do one-time call up and FC Dallas man Dax McCarty and the two Brads, Evans and Davis who play for the Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo respectively.
Up front World Cup qualifying hero Conor Casey may get a starting nod after his two goals versus the Catrachos that sealed the USMNT's spot in South Africa. Robbie Findley offers an intriguing possibility at striker as well after leading Real Salt Lake to the MLS Cup championship.
Two players who will be unable to take part are midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and forward Marcus Tracy who have left camp due to injury.
The 'Nats went undefeated versus the Central Americans in 2009 with four victories, two of which came in World Cup qualifying while the other two during the USMNT's run to the Gold Cup finals.
Honduras head coach Reinaldo Rueda has his squad in the World Cup for the first time since 1982, mainly thanks to Bornstein's whose last second header against Costa Rica in the final round of qualifying salvaged a 2-2 for the US and put the Catrachos in the finals.
The ever-familiar Carlos Pavon will lead the visitors' attack in front of what will likely be a solid contingent of Honduran fans in the stadium.