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Thursday, May 04, 2006

The USA World Cup Squad

I know this was announced a couple of days back, but I'm slow, so there !

The complete squad as chosen by Bruce Arena is as follows :

Goalkeepers (3): Marcus Hahnemann, Tim Howard, Kasey Keller

Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Jimmy Conrad, Cory Gibbs, Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Lewis, Oguchi Onyewu, Eddie Pope

Midfielders (8): DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni, John O’Brien, Ben Olsen, Claudio Reyna

Forwards (4): Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson, Brian McBride, Josh Wolff

Most of the commentators (certainly in the United States) have been commenting on how many of these players actually play in Europe compared to the Americans last World Cup adventure.

But really, the most interesting thing is the consistency between the 2002 squad and this one. Just over half this squad played under the same manager in the 2002 Finals and certainly a large percentage of what would be Arena's starting XI played in the previous finals.

Personally, I think manager Bruce Arena has been very canny in the build up to these finals, integrating the domestic MLS players with the Europeans where possible and working extremely hard on fitness and teamwork in a way that many of the major soccer nations would be proud of.

He's also fortunate that a few of his most famous players - McBride and Convey, most notably - have had very good seasons. Expect a few surprises from the Americans again this time around.

Shame no Freddy Adu, though.

posted by mark_s at 9:54 PM


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