Friday, October 2, 2009

US v Honduras not on TV, roster announced

Its ridiculous that the US-Honduras qualifier isn't on TV - either English or Spanish stations. Its not even on PPV, which would be pathetic in itself. Its only available in closed circuit in what are predominantly Honduran friendly bars. Reports are that only 20-30 bars across the entire United States may carry this game in English. All bars will have to charge a hefty cover charge, possibly $20, just for admission to recoup the cost they paid for the game - which may be around $2000.

Personally, I plan to boycott watching this game. The Honduran Federation should not be rewarded for this kind of decision. In the future, FIFA should allow each federation their own rights to broadcast within their country. There's no reason US Soccer's World Cup qualifying games should not be on the ESPN networks. no reason at all.


The US roster for the last two critical WC qualifiers away at Honduras and at home vs Costa Rica have been released.

GKs: Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Its mildly surprising that a 3rd keeper wasn't called in. I would probably play Gooch between the posts if catastrophe befalls us.


RBs: Jon Spector, Steve Cherundolo, (edit 10/06) Frankie Hejduk added
These 2 are no brainers. The question is, who starts?. Spector and Frankie can both play on the left.

CBs: Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Jimmy Conrad, Clarence Goodson
Gooch, Boca start. Conrad's a solid, experienced call-up since DeMerit and Marshall are both injured.

LBs: Jonathan Bornstein
US fans are probably clamoring for Edgar Castillo to at least make the camp roster. Tough for Bradley to incorporate new faces now though. Boca is a backup option at LB here but more likely Spector or Hejduk.


RM: Clint Dempsey, Stuart Holden
No brainer picks. - (Edit 10/05 - with Dempsey's shoulder injury, Holden is a candidate to get the nod. Either him or Feilhaber.)

CM: Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Francisco Torres
Clear top 4 options. It would have been interesting to see if Bob Bradley would have picked Jermaine Jones, even though he's new, if he was healthy. Maurice Edu still not healthy either.

LM: Landon Donovan, Robbie Rogers
Rogers was a bit of a surprise but it highlights our weakness on the left flank. Oh Beasley, where art thou (form)? Not being displayed for the Rangers, that's for sure.


Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Brian Ching, Kenny Cooper, Conor Casey
Jozy and Charlie should start but Bob might opt for Brian Ching's experience. Kenny Cooper's play in Deutschland has earned him a call-up but neither Cooper nor Casey will likely see any time. At least 1 if not both will not make game-day roster.

The fact remains that a tie or win over Costa Rica in the last game secures our passage to South Africa. Therefore, many US fans are discounting our chances to win this game at Honduras. Many have even gone as far as to suggest that Donovan should sit out this game since he is in yellow-card peril and would miss the last and most important game left. However, I think we need to play to win. Its not like Landon is a defensive fouling machine like the younger Bradley.

I like that we have gone with essentially the same roster that led us to prominence in the Confederations Cup. It is too late to make drastic changes now. New faces can always be evaluated in the 7 months after qualification. Bob has already said that he intends to schedule friendlies vs top competition in the months leading up to SA. (Seeing how we have played friendlies vs Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, etc during Bob's tenure, I think the US program is much better for it.) This will give new faces like Jermaine Jones a chance to integrate with the team.

We have clearly not played very well on the road so far so even a draw in Honduras would be a positive result for us. But with everyone doubting us, I'm predicting a 2-1 victory. Not that I will see any different.

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