Fresh off the presses from US Soccer comes word that Bob Bradley has announced his roster for the March 3rd friendly against the Netherlands. While the glut of European-based players is a gimme, some of the names set to join the squad at Amsterdam ArenA may garner a degree of surprise. For me, my attention quickly shifted to the inclusion of former Maryland Terrapin and TYAC favorite Mo Edu. As Ives Galarcep points out in his column, Edu hasn’t been with the USMNT in nearly a year as a result of surgery on his knee.
Beyond Edu making the plane, one may raise an eyebrow or two over the inclusion of Eddie Johnson (but no Freddy?) and Heath Pearce. With regard to Johnson, his improved play in Greece has warranted him a look from Bradley, but a shot at a spot on the SA roster remains a two goal performance away from becoming a reality. For Pearce, our own Doug Beard pointed out earlier today that Wednesday’s match against El Salvador featured, “the Pearce we like to see.” Clearly Bradley saw past his questionable yellow card and was pleased with how he used his speed to beat two defenders in setting Ching up for the equalizer.
Speaking of Ching, our Man of The Match against El Salvador will have to pay for his own ticket if he wants to join the USMNT in Europe next month. This doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t headed to South Africa come June. Rather, Bradley may be more concerned with seeing what he can get out of Eddie Johnson and Robbie Findley, who along with Jozy Altidore, will make up the forwards on the roster for the Netherlands friendly.
Let’s have a look at the full roster set to play the Netherlands in Amsterdam:
GOALKEEPERS– Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS– Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS– DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Everton), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS– Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)
Any glaring omissions (Sacha?) or startling inclusions (JFT?) on the roster? We’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to post your comments below or in the forum.