View Full Version : USA announces friendly with Honduras - Jan 24

12-15-2009, 01:58 PM
The US will face Honduras (http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Mens-National-Team/2009/12/US-to-Face-Honduras-January-23.aspx) at the conclusion of their January training camp at the Home Depot Center on January 23.

The January training camp is usually for the lesser known players in the pool to get a shot at some playing time as players brought in are usually MLS and Scandinavian based. With that idea in mind, the US has played Sweden a couple of years in a row with a group of young MLSers going against a group of young Allsvenskaners. Sacha Kljestan netted a hattrick in last year's match up.

In an ESPN SoccerNet piece, Ives discusses some players who should be on Bradley's radar (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=711634&sec=us&root=us&cc=5901) for January. Some intriguing picks by Ives. Bedoya and Tracy were expected from the Scandinavian contingent, while a few of his MLS selections seem out of the blue.

My prediction is that you'll see a squad closer to the Gold Cup team as clubs are not obligated to release players for this camp as its not on the FIFA Calendar. Here's who I see on the roster for January (club nation listed for non-MLS players):

GK - Troy Perkins (Norway), Jon Busch, Will Hesmer
DF - Danny Califf, Marvell Wynne, Jonathan Bornstein, Michael Parkhurst (Denmark), Omar Gonzalez, Kevin Alston, Clarence Goodson (Norway), Geoff Cameron, Frankie Hejduk, Sean Franklin
MF - Colin Clark, Sam Cronin, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya (Sweden), Benny Feilhaber (Denmark), Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven, Chris Pontius, Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor
FW - Robbie Findley, Marcus Tracy (Denmark), Connor Casey, Brian Ching, Jeff Cunningham

Several players you'd expect in here (Landon Donovan, Stuart Holden, Ricardo Clark, Chad Marshall) are likely leaving MLS for Europe and will not be available.

Here's the line-up I'd like to see:
GK - Perkins
DR - Franklin
DL - Alston
DC - Cameron
DC - Parkhurst
MR - Bedoya
ML - Rogers
MC - Feilhaber
MC - Beckerman
FC - Tracy
FC - Findley

12-22-2009, 11:50 AM
And here's the 30 man roster, courtesy of duNord (http://dunord.blogspot.com/2009/12/team-usa-winter-training-camp-roster.html) and also Ives (http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2009/12/us-soccer-names-30-players-for-january-camp.html), with my comments by position:

GOALKEEPERS: Kevin Hartman (Kansas City), Troy Perkins (Valerenga), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Zach Thornton (Chivas USA)

Perkins and Rimando are in the running for the third string keeper behind Howard and Guzan. Personally, I would have liked Chris Seitz in this position. I'm guessing Perkins will get the start against Honduras.

DEFENDERS: Kevin Alston (New England Revolution), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)

Marshall is going to South Africa, barring injury, as the fourth central defender, while Bornstein has been decent of late at left back. Gonzalez, Goodson, and Conrad are fighting for the fifth central defender position, but aren't going to make it without injuries. Alston is an interesting prospect, but as a right back, he's well behind Spector and Cherundolo, but the injury situation is a variable with Spector showing some skills at central defense.

Missing players are Sean Franklin and Michael Parkhurst. The knock on Parkhurst is that he's too short and too slow, but he hasn't been given the chance to show that on the international level. Franklin fits in with this group, but it appears that Bradley rates him behind Alston and Wynne at right back.

MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Jeff Larentowicz (New England Revolution), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Brandon McDonald (San Jose Earthquakes), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

Feilhaber is the established player on this squad and will be going to South Africa, barring injury. Bedoya has shown well as a winger in Sweden, but isn't likely to surpass Holden or Beasley, unless he has an incredible showing. Cameron has been a force in MLS playing right wing, central mid, and central defense with Houston. Kljestan had a hat-trick last January against Sweden, but has fallen out of the national team picture since. Larentowicz is a surprise for me, but I like the selection. He's a very tenacious player in defensive midfield, but also has a great shot from distance. I don't think he'll make the trip to South Africa, but its good to see him getting some recognition, despite being overshadowed by Shalrie Joseph for his entire career.

It might look like Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark are missing, but Clark is going to be settling in with Livorno, while Holden is looking for a European contract himself (and he has more than a few offers). I should have had Jeremiah White in my original list, but Ives is reporting (http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2009/12/morning-ticker-robinho-urged-to-stay-houston-hopes-for-stadium-and-more.html) that he's been let out of his contract at Aarhus and will be with a new team at this time.

FORWARDS: Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Marcus Tracy (Aalborg)

Most of these guys were expected here. Braun's inclusion is the surprise in the bunch, but at 6-3, he looks like a tall, target striker that could be useful to go with the speed guys in Cunningham, Findley, and Tracy. Those three could catapult themselves into a major role in South Africa with a strong performance here. I'm looking forward to seeing what Tracy is all about.

Here's what I am seeing as the starting XI:
GK - Perkins
DR - Alston
DL - Bornstein
DC - Marshall
DC - Gonzalez
MR - Bedoya
ML - Rogers
MC - Feilhaber
MC - Beckerman
FC - Tracy
FC - Casey

Subs will be Findley and Braun at forward, Davis and Kljestan in midfield, and Goodson and Wynne in defense.

01-07-2010, 09:57 AM
And this is Alejandro Bedoya (http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2010/01/bedoya-looks-to-make-mark-on-us-roster.html), for those of you who were curious. He played at Boston College with Charlie Davies and followed him to Sweden. Davies went to Hammarby, while Bedoya landed with Orebro.

Bedoya is a natural left winger who could find his way to South Africa with a strong showing here. If he shows well, Donovan could be moved up beside Altidore.

01-07-2010, 10:38 AM
Just read this in No Short Corners, a blog I should become more familiar with. Ricardo Clark seemed set for Livorno, but hasn't signed or moved yet. This is because he has suitors in SEVEN countries (http://www.noshortcorners.com/2010/01/few-quick-goodie-morsels.html). Whoa...

And while we're going down the depth chart of US defensive midfielders, Jeff Larentowicz is also a free agent and looking for work in Europe, with Scandinavia as his likely destination. As a Revs fan, I'm bummed, but I like Pat Phelan in the red-headed defensive midfielder role that Nicol has to go beside Shalrie Joseph.

01-13-2010, 10:39 AM
A solid update here (http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2010/01/usa-training-camp-notebook-conrad-tutors-young-defenders-and-gonzalezs-advice-for-draftees-1.html) from one of Ives' writers.

Jimmy Conrad has taken the role of veteran leader in this group, which makes a lot of sense as the guys with similar numbers of caps (Feilhaber, Bornstein, Pearce) don't have the amount of playing experience and leadership that Conrad has as captain of the Wizards. I would expect to see him as captain against Honduras in 11 days.

From the looks of this article, Omar Gonzalez has impressed and will likely be starting along side Conrad in central defense. There have been some injuries to report as well as Jeff Larentowicz has left camp with a lingering hamstring injury, though looking for a professional contract is probably more important to him than getting in on the fringiest of fringes with the national team. Kevin Alston, Chris Pontius, Robbie Rogers, and Marcus Tracy have all sat out some practices with a variety of ailments, though nothing too serious that would make them unavailable against Honduras.

01-23-2010, 01:26 AM
And now some cyptic, not currently, but possibly future news from Ives.

First, this tweet (http://twitter.com/SoccerByIves/statuses/8082720289): If USMNT fans could see what I've seen today they would feel much better about their team's World Cup chances.

At first glance, I got the impression that Alejandro Bedoya was American for Lionel Messi, but that wasn't particularly likely.

And then this blog entry (http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2010/01/on-the-comeback-trail.html) featuring a photo of Onyewu being carried off in the match against Costa Rica where Ives states, "With Dempsey, Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu currently sidelined, there is certainly cause for concern, but the progress that has been made by Davies and Onyewu has to be seen to be believed. I will be covering this subject in some in-depth stories that will appear on ESPN.com and SBI on Monday so stay tuned."

Needless to say, all American soccer fans and I will be tweaking out until Monday with this lovely carrot dangled in front of us.

01-24-2010, 05:12 AM
I missed the match, but the US lost 3-1 and from what I read, I didn't miss much. Here are some assessments based on what I know of the players and what I read about the match.

There was a pretty promising lineup to start with, featuring a speedy duo up top in Jeff Cunningham and Robbie Findley, Kljestan, Beckerman, Feilhaber, and Rogers across the midfield, and Wynne, Conrad, Marshall, and Bornstein in the back with Perkins in goal. That lineup went by the wayside early as Jimmy Conrad picked up his second yellow after just 17 minutes of action. Bornstein was shifted into central defense, with Rogers moving to left back, setting up a 4-3-2. From the reports, Bornstein actually faired very well as a centerback as it sounds as though his speed helped him get in position to cover for Wynne's ineptness and Marshall being caught out of position. Wynne, once again, has proven to be a superior athlete who has no clue how to play soccer, while Marshall was just a disappointment. Rogers is tough to fault as a left back as he is strictly an attacking player.

The midfield was lacking in chances to show what they can do. Beckerman appears to be the man of the match for the US as he was a considerable force in the center of the pitch. In the fleeting moments that the US spent on the ball, it was Beckerman who won possession or received the pass from defense. Kljestan was poor and seems to have completely lost his form since he looked like a potential star in the making after his hattrick in the January friendly last year against Sweden. Feilhaber tends to be at his best when he can take a more offensive focus, which he was not able to do after Conrad's dismissal.

Cunningham and Findley need good service to be effective, but the midfield did not get enough possession to supply it for them as Honduras were able to use the wings to control possession. It appears that Findley was able to show flashes of the ability that made him a favorite to take the place of Davies in South Africa. Findley has the speed and finishing ability, but lacks the strength that Davies provided. Connor Casey came in and proved what we all know which is that he cannot dribble to save his life. As the forwards had to track back to get the ball, Casey looked more like a JV high school player then an international forward.

Off the bench, Clarence Goodson sent a corner to the back of the net to make the score 3-1 in the 70th. Goodson was also burned on the third goal for Honduras, which could be expected for a guy who has only recently started playing center back. Goodson showed enough to get another look against El Salvador next month and his ability to play anywhere in the middle or right side of the pitch could get him to South Africa. Alejandro Bedoya was a guy many US fans were looking forward to seeing today. It sounds as though he didn't have the best of matches, but was stuck in a 4-4-1 and may have been trying to do a bit too much to prove himself. Still, he should be worth a look in February. Brad Davis was also effective off the bench, nearly scoring on a free kick and sending in dangerous crosses, but when Casey is your target its probably not worth the effort. Davis has always played well for the national team and I'm not sure why he hasn't gotten a chance in bigger matches.

As for an overall view on the match, there's not much to say. Honduras brought many of their experienced, first-team regulars and may players who will be going to the World Cup. The US didn't and that shows. Of the guys playing today, only Bornstein and Feilhaber are likely to start. Others who are likely to be in attendance in South Africa are Perkins as a third keeper, Marshall as a fourth centerback and Findley. Beckerman is still on the fringe and will be tracking the Jermaine Jones and Maurice Edu comebacks, while Goodson's versatility makes him a consideration. This was not a b-team, it was a c-team at best. Honduras brought much of their a-team and that gulf in class showed in the result.