With two friendlies done, it is time to take a look at the US squad for the Gold Cup. There are some changes as loss of Stuart Holden will force at least one change. Here is a look at the my projected squad followed by a closer look at each position.
Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton, ENGLAND), Tim Howard (Everton, ENGLAND), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake, USA)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne, FRANCE), Jonathan Bornstein (Tigres, MEXICO), Timothy Chandler (FC Nurnberg, GERMANY), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, GERMANY), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps, CANADA), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente, HOLLAND), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls, USA), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United, ENGLAND)
Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro, SWEDEN), Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach, GERMANY), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, ENGLAND), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles, USA), Maurice Edu (Rangers, SCOTLAND), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus, DENMARK), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers, ENGLAND), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, BELGIUM)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls, USA), Josmer Altidore (Villarreal, SPAIN), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY), Teal Bunbury (Sporting KC, USA)
I believe the rumors that Guzan is going to skip out on the Gold Cup which makes me think Hahnemann is going to be called in for the tournament. The third goalkeeper spot could got to a MLS keeper with Sean Johnson (Chicago, USA) as another option to Rimando, but I wouldn’t be surprised if David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg, GERMANY) was auditioning for the spot during this international break. Luis Robles (Karlsruher, GERMANY) and Dominic Cervi (Celtic, SCOTLAND) remain possibilities, but I think he will go with more experienced options.
In defense, Ream has probably locked up a spot. He may be taking Clarence Goodson’s (Brøndby IF, DENMARK) spot from the World Cup. Chandler was also impressive and pushes Eric Lichaj (Leeds United, ENGLAND) out of the squad. Bornstein is still a stretch, but the team is thin at left back although Spector remains an option there. Although I doubt it will be for the Gold Cup, Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt, GERMANY) as a center back is an interesting option.
The midfield is getting crowded. Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, and Edu are all locks. I think Feilhaber is in good standing, but he is not a lock. Kljestan as a attacking midfield option is worthwhile and you can’t argue with is play in Europe compared to the other options. Bedoya has potential, but he really hasn’t been impressive in the last few games. However, he is more of a pure winger which has him on the team. This has meant that Jose Torres (Pachuca, MEXICO) was dropped. He will be competing with Feilhaber for one spot in the squad. Bobby Convey (San Jose, USA) and Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek, NORWAY) are some dark horse candidates specifically to replace Kljestan or Bedoya.
At forward, Agudelo is a lock and Altidore and Buddle seem close to certain. Bunbury is injured, but he is probably the leading candidate for a fourth spot. A hot hand could take Bunbury’s spot with Chris Wondolowski (San Jose, USA) and even Charlie Davies (DC United, USA) as the leading options. It may just be the optimist in me, but I do think Davies could be a serious candidate based on his start to the MLS season.
The last people on the squad are Bornstein, Bubury, and Bedoya with Torres and Lichaj being the last cuts. Bornstein might be safe as the only player to cover at left back. However, if Bornstein continues to not get playing time at his club, Bradley could decide the team can get by with seven defenders and cover at left back from Spector. He could even be dropped for the better attacking option in Lichaj although it is unclear whether he could play left back. I think Bradley will bring at least four forwards and Bunbury has shown decently well in his appearances for the US. Bedoya might be barely holding on to his spot as Chandler has the ability to play at right midfield (and is more effective there) which might negate the need for another wide midfielder and open a spot for Torres or possibly another forward.
Who do you think Bradley should take to the Gold Cup? Who do you think helped themselves the most during the last two friendlies?