A Summer of Cups: The Win and Davies Set to Pull Double Shift at the Gold Cup

There’s really not much you can say. Even almost 24 hours later… It was a game that even 10-15 minutes in, you had a feeling that there was a definite shot at bringing the European Champions down a peg. Could we survive the rough patches? The fatigue? The risky nature of hard tackling? The overwhelming answer was yes. There was not one player that started that game that deserved any less than what they got today – a win for the ages. Everywhere you look – the Guardian, BBC, ESPN – there’s nothing but respect for these guys and a belief that anything can happen come Sunday. It’s amazing what can happen when you keep 11 guys on the field (okay, okay…Bradley was sent off in the 86th minute but still). Dempsey after the second... If I had to pick a trio of stars, it’d be tough…Landon Donovan of course. In fact, he has looked dangerous throughout the whole tournament and the only one in offense that has consistently played well in South Africa. The tandem of Onyewu and DeMerit was incredible (DeMerit playing himself onto a lot of team’s radars with the performance of his life). For big men, their ability to throw their body at anything, close down the likes of Torres and Villa, and still manage to come away without any huge mistakes was unbelievable. Hope it earns DeMerit a trip back to the EPL…Finally, you have Timmy Howard – last line of defense. He was called upon to make few incredible saves but all were timely. The near post kick save being the one ESPN liked the most. Who else? Everybody! Feilhaber showed craft on the lead-up to the second goal, Dempsey looked a new man out there (playing defense?! wow…), Bradley – aside for the red card – brilliant. You can find negatives, but later…For now, just applaud and absorb and hope we can keep 11 on the pitch come Sunday.

AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU And yet – even with a huge game looming on Sunday vs. the winner of Brazil/South Africa – there is no rest for the whole of the USMNT. Come July – a new test awaits and it’s the younger guys expected to pass it. Below is the announced 23-man roster for the Gold Cup which for the US starts July 4th vs. Grenada. One thing is for sure…that 30-person preliminary roster dug up several weeks ago was definitely an old one (16 of the 30 listed were left off).

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Troy Perkins (IK Start), Luis Robles (FC Kaiserslautern)

DEFENDERS (7): Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaellands), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), Sam Cronin (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Santino Quaranta (D.C. United)

It looks like Charlie Davies is the only Confederations Cup call-up working double duty. Freddy Adu, Pearce, and Luis Robles as well but the three have yet to see action. I don’t mind this roster as MLS-laden as it is. Plenty of younger guys representing the Stars and Stripes – seven looking for their first cap (Robles, Pause, Clark, Holden, Heaps, Cronin, Evans). Nine more have less than five appearances under their belt. A predicted Starting XI? Try (assuming a 4-5-1)…

—————————–Perkins————————— Cherundolo——Parkhurst——-Conrad——–Pearce Arnaud—————–Beckerman————–Quaranta —————————–Adu——————————- ——————Ching————-Davies—————–

There are some omissions here, especially by way of those in Major League Soccer. A lot of people were calling for DC United’s Chris Pontius and Houston’s Geoff Cameron. Cameron was a long shot with both Holden and Ching slated to be going but might Pontius – favorite for the Rookie of the Year award – have deserved the call-up over a Robbie Rogers or Colin Clark? Maybe Rogers, but not Clark. His play for the Rapids this year has made Colorado no longer a pushover. Davies up top with Cooper or Ching interests me but it still remains to be seen who’s going to score the goals here. I’m most disappointed about the absence of the FMF duo Michael Orozco (Heaps over Orozco or Cameron, seriously?) and Jose Francisco Torres. There’s no reason for Torres not to be on there ahead of Seattle’s Brad Evans. I agree taking a Sam Cronin is ultimately a good thing, but Evans? With Evans, Logan Pause, Cronin, and Beckerman it feels like four of the same.

Clarence Goodson has become one of the best defenders in Norway but it’ll be interesting to see how that translates on the international stage. There’s a chance he could start over Conrad. Overall, it’s a B- team but there are several additions that should be interesting to watch namely Goodson, Holden, Rogers, Clark, and Freddy Adu getting the time to show his stuff. Anyone else missng that you would have liked to have seen? So the search for a third straight Gold Cup championship begins. My question to you is: do we have the right personnel to get the job done?

Coming later – early weekend most likely – is a quick sit down with US international (and snubbed Gold Cup hopeful), possible Union transfer target, and current AGF Aarhus winger Jeremiah White. White was back in town on his break and I was able to catch up with him before he flew back to Denmark on the 23rd. With Benny Feilhaber rounding back into form – as seen in the match vs. both Egypt and Spain – and White coming off his best season yet…AGF could be a force to be reckoned with in Denmark next season. More to come…