23 TICKETS TO BRAZIL
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
After the World Cup in Germany 2006, we wasted no time in putting out our first version of 23 Tickets for South Africa. This go-around, we've waited several months before unveiling, this, our first post-Ghana list because, well, we just weren't motivated...and wanted to see how the initial pool evolved.

With the Gold Cup looming this summer, we should get a strong gauge as to how World Cup qualifiying will shape up, and we've mixed in some youngsters to go along with the usual suspects to reflect this changing of the gaurd.

In the past, we at YA prognosticated who we believed that the US head coach would call up to his final roster, not who we thought should go. From here on out, we're reversing this, as A) ... frankly, we think we know better than Bradley, and B) ...we hope that our choices are a little bolder and elicit more discussion from you our readers.

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
Clint Dempsey - M/F, Fulham (England)
If only he played with the US the way he plays with Fulham (EZ) Okay Clint, pretend the USMNT is in the Europa League (AV)
Landon Donovan - M/F, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Returns for his fourth - and likely final - World Cup (TT) I'm actually fine with Landon in MLS now. He's got nothing left to prove (CW)
Michael Bradley - M, Roma (Italy)
Needs to head to a club where he actually gets to play (RF) Moving to Villa was the dumbest USMNT move since Gooch to Newcastle (CW)
Tim Howard - GK, Everton (England)
Would anyone blink twice if Manchester United brought him back? (AV) The undisputed number one for 2014 (KB)
Stuart Holden - M, Bolton Wanderers (England)
If he can stay healthy, he can become a superstar (EZ) Hopefully can fit Brazil into his injury schedule (DS)

NEARLY A LOCK
Jermaine Jones - M, Schalke 04 (Germany)
Wish the USSF found this guy earlier, but better late than never (KB) Theoretically a lock with his skill and beastmode qualities, but penchant for yellow cards could neutralize him (CM)
Maurice Edu - M, Stoke City (England)
Needs to get out of Scotland to continue improving (BS) Quietly becoming a indispensable player in midfield (KB)
Brad Guzan - GK, Aston Villa (England)
Is he forever destined to be the *next* great American goalkeeper? (DS) Looks like he might just get his shot next season in England (RF)

FAIRLY SAFE BET
Timothy Chandler - D/M, FC Nürnberg (Germany)
Gott sei dank für die Deutschen! (DS) Blitzkreig can describe both his play on the field and his rapid progression from reserve player to Bundesliga sensation (JH)
Clarence Goodson - D, Brøndby (Denmark)
Impressed by what I've seen so far (AV) Very underrated player that will start all during qualifying (BS)
Juan Agudelo - F, FC Utrecht (Holland)
Talented and confident young player with the ability to score goals (TT) A couple years training alongside Thierry Henry would even land Danny Devito on the plane (DS)
Oguchi Onyewu - D, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
A weak pool of prospects could leave him still standing in 2014 (JH) Bob Bradley is jumping the shark here. Horrible World Cup, Milan doesn't want him and Twente gave up after a few games. Gooch is done. (CW)
Tim Ream - D, Bolton Wanderers (England)
His distribution is a very welcome addition to the team, but he needs to toughen up and to use his height properly (JH) His distribution and composure are worth any growing pains along the way (TT)
David Yelldell - GK, Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Experienced but unproven on the international stage (TT) The third 'keeper taken, unless someone us steps up (RF)
Teal Bunbury - F, Sporting Kansas City (USA)
Could he possibly relegate Altidore to the bench? (KB) His chemistry with Agudelo will be pivotal to the young core of the team (CM)
Jozy Altidore - F, Sunderland (England)
Jozy is slowly going the way of Freddy Adu (EZ) Better turn on his jets with the young guns coming behind him. You can only be a "prodigy" for so long (AV)
Charlie Davies - F, Randers FC (Denmark)
Missing South Africa will be the impetus for something special (CM) We're witnessing an incredible comeback, considering the circumstances (EZ)

IN A BATTLE
Eric Lichaj - D, Nottingham Forest (England)
Will take over left back (BS) Has the ability to make the squad but has some work to do (EZ)
Jonathan Spector - D, Birmingham City (England)
He's young, he's slowly refining his game, and best of all he's versatile (DS) Dude, haven't we been waiting for like a decade for him to "develop"? (CW)
Alejandro Bedoya - M, Nantes (France)
His next few years are key. Where will he develop after Orebro? (BS) Brings some flair to bunker ball (AV)
Benny Feilhaber - M, New England Revolution (USA)
Providing MLS doesn't kill his game, will provide smart distribution (CM) 2014 without our Brazilian-born yank would be a travesty (DS)

WORK TO DO
Mikkel Diskerud - M, Rosenborg (Norway)
Youngster should improve, and could be Donovan's heir apparent (RF) Bright future ahead, will benefit from the experience (TT)
Omar Gonzalez - D, Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Will get to shine through WCQ as he adjusts to playing at a higher level (CM) Needs work but he has some raw talent (BS)
MOVING UP

Joseph Gyau - It's been a while since we've had a true winger good enough for the USMNT; the wait should be over soon (JH)

Zak Whitbread - Will be a starter next season in the Premiership. If he can have a strong season or two he'll be going to Brazil (CW)

Bobby Wood - He will emerge nicely in Germany the next few years (BS) Wood stands near the top of the prospect list (JH)

MOVING DOWN

Carlos Bocanegra - Obviously part of the 23 in the near future, but clearly not part of the 23 in 2014. Will stick around on merit, but will he be dislodged?

Steve Cherundolo - Will Brazil be the swan song on his fantastic career? (DS) How much longer can the man hang on? (RF)

Jonathan Bornstein - There's a reason he's not playing in Mexico. (CW)

OTHER BUBBLE BATTLERS

Freddy Adu, Gale Agbossoumonde, Anthony Brooks, Ricardo Clark, Jay DeMerit, Robbie Findley, Sean Johnson, Perry Kitchen, Sacha Kljestan, Chad Marshall, Heath Pearce, Luis Robles, Robbie Rogers, Adrian Ruelas, Jose Francisco Torres, Chris Wondolowski

note: Yanks Abroad's Kenya Brown, Rich Fidler, Jamie Hill, Christopher McCollum, Brian Sciaretta, David Smith, Taharka Taylor, Andrew Vorce, Chad Winger and Edgar Zuniga compiled this feature.
Mark M.
Wednesday May 18, 2011 4:33 pm
Is it possible to put Bradley on the Moving Down and Gone list? I'm just saying that it will all be for naught if he continues to manage the team. The last game in the World Cup proved that. Findley, Bornstein, and Clark (pulled before 1st half ended, without an injury, because Bradley realized (too late) that he had made an error by starting him). By the way, whatever happened to a National Team coach resigning after a bad showing at a major tournament? Where's your dignity Bradley?
Ryan
Wednesday May 18, 2011 3:52 pm
JF Torres warrants a whiff for his skill and ability, but doesn't fit in the system. Hate to say it, but Jozy is a dead man walking. With the rise of other players and his lack of growth, if we don't see something change soon he will just be another Eddie Johnson.
Kyle
Wednesday May 18, 2011 3:47 pm
The reason Dempsey doesn't score for the US like he does for Fulham is that the US team is not built for a forward like Dempsey. Dempsey is like a slugger. He will shoot on sight and swing for the fences, and that's fine as long as he's getting enough opportunities which Fulham's midfield is able to provide. The USMNT, however, gets precious few opportunities on goal mainly because we still have a huge disconnect transitioning from midfield to offense. This means the USMNT have to work extra hard for opportunities on goal, and when they are squandered by 35-yard prayers that don't hit the target, it tends to take the air out of the team. His SH-SG-G are roughly 130-40-12 which is about a goal every 9 shots. The US team is having a good day when the whole team manages more than 5 shots on goal
Sam
Wednesday May 18, 2011 3:39 pm
What about Luis Gil? He's got some potential.
Paul R.
Wednesday May 18, 2011 3:17 pm
To the Jozy naysayers: he played an incredible game against Algeria. He's a hard worker. That being said, he still has to compete for his slot. If only we could see his practices with the team, we'd have a better idea of his form
Bill
Wednesday May 18, 2011 2:55 pm
In order to close out games, the USMNT needs a true hold up player up front. It is for this reason that I think Bob Bradley brings back Brian Ching for Brazil. The team needs a true hold up player and there is none better for hte USMNT than Ching.
Carlos
Wednesday May 18, 2011 2:28 pm
I'm in the camp to bring Dempsey up top from the get go. We now have Chandler to play RM. Let the other striker position be fought over by the young guns.

Above should have been worked on once Chandler came on the scene & showed his quality, now we have one game Spain & perhaps a couple of early round games in the Gold Cup to see if it works on the field.
Kevin
Wednesday May 18, 2011 2:13 pm
To be honest, the list does have its flaws. I'm surprised at not seeing Brek Shea, Justin Braun or Anthony Wallace (yes, the Anthony Wallace of Colorado Rapids - kids going to be great). With some more experience, I see Davies, Braun, Agudelo and Bunbury as our strikers going to Brazil 2014. Hell, maybe Salgado can make his case as well.
Desi
Wednesday May 18, 2011 1:53 pm
DeMerit, Boca and Dolo will be 35 in 2014. Way too old. Gooch will be barely 32 and it's going to be hard for Bradley to not include him especially since he's one of Donovan's boys.

for the forwards, Buddle will be 33. Gomez will be 32. Both were afterthoughts until just a few weeks before the World Cup last tine...3+ years from now, no chance. Findley will be 28..He's got a chance still to learn how to play soccer. And he's a Bubble guy. meaning YA thinks he has little shot.
Todd Nelson
Wednesday May 18, 2011 1:47 pm
Please put Jozy Altidore on the bench!

I think we will be much more effective with Dempsey and Agudelo up top, rather than Jozy Altidore and whoever. Donovan could even be put up top. As Donovan begins to get older he has proven he possess a great ability to provide excellent service in the box. He won the Silver Boot in MLS for good reason.

Also, we now have some world class midfielders: Stuart Holden (injured unfortunately) Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley. We don't need Donovan there anymore.

Dempsey, is in excellent form, as one of the most effective strikers in the EPL! He should be, without a doubt our star striker.

Jozy Altidore is sooo over-hyped. He has done nothing in months, even years! Why would we consider him our star striker when Dempsey is so in form? Jozy doesn't even get 90 minutes consistently with his new club. There is a reason he barely gets any play time in Turkey and Dempsey consistently starts in the EPL.
Page 2 of 3
« Previous 1 2 3  Next »
ADD YOUR COMMENTS
Name


Email (will not appear on the site)


Comment


Join the YA Email Alert?

Comments are moderated and will be posted if they are on-topic and free of profanity, abuse and spam. HTML and links are not allowed.

SUBMIT COMMENT