23 TICKETS TO SOUTH AFRICA
EXTRA TIME
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Jonathan Daniel/Getty
Altidore is going to his first Cup
The last games before the official roster announcement is made have been played. That can only mean that it's time for us to hand out our 23 Tickets for the last time.

Before we do, let's look back on our first edition following the debacle in Germany and see how we progressed over the last four years.

Of the 23 we chose back in July 2006, 14 have made it to our final cut for the 2010 event. Yes, we laid an egg on our guesses of Bobby Convey and Cory Gibbs being locks, but of the remaining choices, four of them should still be named as alternates this time around.

Back to the present, we've put Charlie Davies back on the plane as his miraculous recovery from his tragic car accident in October continues, while DaMarcus Beasley goes from not even a battler to his third World Cup to complete his phoenix act.

Meanwhile, Kenny Cooper's ill-advised move to England costs him dearly and Jermaine Jones, despite still being injured, pips Ricardo Clark to a spot in the midfield.

If you agree, disagree or somewhere in between, use our comment feature at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts with us and your fellow YA readers.

PACK YOUR BAGS, BOYS
Jozy Altidore - F, Sunderland (England)
The USA's best pure forward. (BS) Near last minute goal versus Holland showcased quick strike ability. (AB)
Carlos Bocanegra - D, Rangers (Scotland) on loan from Racing Santander (Spain)
Unquestionable leader of the US team. (JK) His club situation hasn't affect his status for the US. (RF)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
He's at the prime of his career and has shown his best play this last year. (JK) Hopefully his fire at Everton will also last through July. (DS)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
The only better option is Brad Friedel and he's not coming back. (EZ) His decisions between the sticks are sometimes questionable. (MA)
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
He's still one of the most creative players we have. (AV) As a wing, he tends to disappear for stretches until he strikes brilliantly. How would he look up top? (JVW)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Will make a mockery of Peter Crouch on June 12th. (AB) Assuming no recovery setbacks, he's on the plane. (DS)
Michael Bradley - M, Roma (Italy)
He easily makes this team no matter who the coach is. (BS) Red card in waiting. Book it. (CW)

NEARLY A LOCK
Brad Guzan - GK, Aston Villa (England)
The Aston Villa back-up is used to the role. (RF) Personally, I'd start him in front of Howard. (MA)
Jay DeMerit - D, Watford (England)
Captaining an English club as an American is no easy task. (AV) The player that came out of nowhere to play in the EPL will continue his dream career and make the World Cup team. (BS)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
Recent performances tell us he's above 'Dolo. (RF) Will be looking for a start come June. (AV)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Steve Cherundolo - D, Hannover 96 (Germany)
If Bradley wants the best defending right back, he will start. (JVW) Can he please play left back? (IH)
Maurice Edu - M, Stoke City (England)
Showed against Holland and against Celtic that he can play. (BS) One of our deepest position, but he's quality. (AV)
Jonathan Bornstein - D/M, Atlante (Mexico)
Has been awful for the US for the past 2 years. Bradley will wish he never capped this guy, let alone bring him to South Africa. (CW) Clearly blackmailing the coach. (JVW)
Jose Francisco Torres - M, Tigres UANL (Mexico)
Composure on the ball is unmatched on squad. (RF) Nice skillful alternative for US in midfield. (TK)

IN A BATTLE
Marcus Hahnemann - GK, Everton (England)
Doesn't really matter, but I don't know who else deserve it in his place. (IH) He's always been in the shadows and is destined to remain there. (EZ)
Stuart Holden - M, Bolton Wanderers (England)
Health is working against him, but if healthy, he is going. (IH) Just when he was coming into his own, ouch. (EZ)
Benny Feilhaber - M, New England Revolution (USA)
Seemed like a lock a few months ago, but has to get healthy. (IH) Always one of our most clutch tournament performers. (DS)
Jermaine Jones - M, Schalke 04 (Germany)
There is definitely room for him on the roster. (MA) Needs to get healthy, but appearance in Amsterdam bodes well. (TK)
DaMarcus Beasley - M/F, Puebla (Mexico)
I'll admit it. I was wrong about DaMarcus. (CW) Bease is back and back big! (AB)
Clarence Goodson - D, Brøndby (Denmark)
Impressive with his opportunities in the Gold Cup and recent friendlies. (JK) Late call ups are a good sign. (TK)
- F, () on loan from ()
Our best hold up forward, brings the best out of our midfielders. (JK) We're short on decent strikers... (MA)

WORK TO DO
Charlie Davies - F, Randers FC (Denmark)
I think I see the USMNT version of Willis Reed coming to life. (AB) Rebuilt like the 6 Million Dollar Man... could be priceless. (JVW)
Heath Pearce - D/M, CD Chivas (USA)
Has played much better since joining MLS. And can actually defend. (CW) Has shown that he's not completely lost it, but is that enough? (DS)
MOVING UP

Alejandro Bedoya - Such a versatile young player who showed some spark against the Dutch. (AB)

Robbie Findley - He's just not ready to step in for Davies. Give him some time . (EZ)

Frank Simek - Being named to the roster for Holland was telling. If Cherundolo or Spector go down, Frank could get the call. (CW)

MOVING DOWN

Conor Casey - Despite flashes of brilliance, Casey is a two-trick pony. (EZ)

Ricardo Clark - Has to start getting minutes, but I haven't forgotten his Confederations Cup performance yet. (IH)

Kenny Cooper - His move to England wasn't the smartest thing to do at this stage. (MA)

OTHER BUBBLE BATTLERS

Freddy Adu, Kyle Beckerman, Edgar Castillo, Eddie Johnson, Sacha Kljestan, Chad Marshall, Michael Parkhurst, Robbie Rogers

note: note: Michael Adubato, Arch Bell, Rich Fidler, Isaac Heath, Bri-Mathias Hodge, Trafton Kenney, John Kretlow, Nick Leyden, Ryan Noel, Brian Sciaretta, David Smith, Andrew Vorce, Jon Van Wagenen, Chad Winger, Edgar Zuniga compiled this feature.
Chuck
Tuesday April 20, 2010 1:52 pm
I hope he hasn't "seen all he will...". Buddle and Gomez are on form at a position of need and they are not worn down. Who said "The World Cup is a young man's tournament, a fit man's tournament". In the previous WCs, the USMNT took some based solely on rep, not form. That didn't work out so well.
Nolan
Monday April 19, 2010 9:17 pm
Why is Jozy Altidore a lock? What has he done lately? Nothing.

Bob better bring in Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez at least for a tryout in the last friendlies!
Kyle
Monday April 19, 2010 10:26 am
My 23:
Starting: Howard
Bocanegra, Gooch, Demerit, Cherundolo
Donovan, Bradley, Edu, Holden
Dempsey, Altidore

Bench: Guzan, Hahneman
Spector, Goodson,
Feilhaber, Torres, Clark, Adu, Jones
Davies, Mcbride, Bedoya

I know Mcbride is internationally retired, but if Davies doesn't return we have to have another target man up top besides Jozy, and these MLS guys just don't cut it. Ricardo Clark earned his roster spot at the Confed Cup and I'll be shocked if he's left out. Bedoya deserves a spot with his form, and Freddy Adu? well what can I say, he surely hasn't earned it, but in my opinion nobody really has, so we might as well give the last roster spot to someone with a chance of scoring a brilliant goal off the bench, and he's really the only one that fits the bill (besides Benny), you can swap him out for Ching, cause at least with Brian you know you're going to get 110% which is more than these other MLS bums can say. I will PAY to make sure Bornstein, and Beasley don't go
Calvin
Thursday April 15, 2010 3:13 pm
ok this is the lineup. seriously, Ching? What are you guys thinking.

Howard

Boca, Onyewu, Spector, DeMerit

Bradley
Edu or Dempsey, Jones, Donovan

Altidore, Davies or Dempsey

Lets hope these guys are healthy enough for June...
dude
Thursday April 15, 2010 11:18 am
I'm sorry, how is Beas back big? We have no idea where his ridiculously mercurial confidence level is right now, he's not even making the 18 sometimes for Rangers. And how does a guy who has never played for us, has issues with his club, and still has not recovered from injury make the squad in our deepest position? Right now, Clark is in better shape with his club than Jones, and he played well for us in the Confed Cup.
Marcello
Monday April 5, 2010 1:15 pm
Goalies: Howard, Guzan, Hahneman

Defenders: Boca, Onyewu, Cherundolo, Spector, DeMerit, Goodson, Castillo

Midfielders: Bradley, Edu, Torres, Feilhaber, Holden, Donovan, Beckerman, Bedoya

Forwards: Altidore, Dempsey, Gomez, Buddle, Ching
Shihab
Tuesday March 30, 2010 6:06 pm
My lineup
boca,onyewu,cherundolo,spector
dempsey,bradley,donovan,feilhaber or jones
Jozy,davies/ching
bench
demerit,goodson,castillo,marshall,
holden,beasley,edu,adu,
johnson
Jerry 1984
Friday March 26, 2010 12:07 pm
My 23

gk: Howard, Friedel, Hahenemann

defenders: Onyewu, Bocanegra, Demerit, Orozco, Symek, Goodson, Spector, Cherundolo

Mildfielders: Torres, Holden, Bradley, Clark, Dempsey, Donovan, Edu, Beasley, Feilhaber, Adu

Forwards, Altidore, Davis (/ Gomez/ Johnson/ Bedoya) Very Difficult
Fernando Sanchez
Friday March 19, 2010 8:59 am
Beasley as a LEFT MIDFIELDER......Please Bob do not repeat COSTA RICA AND EL SALVADOR DUMB EXPERIMENT OF HAVING BEASLEY AS A LEFT BACK OF RIGHT MIDFIELDER....
Puppet-Mistress
Wednesday March 17, 2010 11:50 am
Ryan Miller for South Africa 2010 =)

Yea i know its unlikely, but mean i can hope and cheer for him =)
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