Tag:Gold Cup 2011
Posted on: May 31, 2011 6:41 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 7:51 pm

How Gold Cup Will Affect MLS Teams

A record number of MLS players (32) have been named to international squads for the upcoming Gold Cup. Only two countries, Cuba, whose entire team is made of players from their domestic league and Panama will not have an MLS player represent them in the 2011 Gold Cup. Surprisingly, Jamaica leads all countries with nine MLS players, followed by the USA with seven and Canada with six.

Here’s a roster list for all twelve countries by SBNation that has all player club affiliations as well. MLSSoccer.com’s “Throw-In” Blog details the growing list of MLS players compared to players called up from its counter-part in Mexico, the Primera Division.

Let’s look at some of the MLS teams that will be greatly affected by their international call ups for the next few weeks…

New York Red Bulls: 5 Players – D Tim Ream (USA), F Juan Agudelo (USA), M Dwayne De Rosario (CAN), M/D Rafael Marquez (MEX), F Dane Richards (JAM)

Basically, the Red Bulls will be one of the hardest hit team just on the sheer number of their call ups. Every player listed above plays a regular role on the field for Hans Backe and he will have to go deep into his player pool to field some of those roles, especially at striker. Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers will be up front clearly, but behind them is only rookie Corey Hertzog, who has only three late substitute appearances to his young career.

Real Salt Lake: 4 Players - D Will Johnson (CAN), F Alvaro Saborio (CRC), F Arturo Alvarez (ESA), GK Nick Rimando (USA)

Jason Kreis will be without two of his strikers for the foreseeable future, but both Saborio and Alvarez have yet to find the back of the net this season. It will be hard to replace the versatile Will Johnson in midfield, but this is one of the deepest teams in MLS. Nick Rimando is only listed as the third keeper for the USA and shouldn’t miss any time.

Sporting Kansas City: 4 Players – M Craig Rocastle (GRN), M Stephane Auvary (GUAD), M Roger Espinosa (HON), Shavar Thomas (JAM)

SKC’s biggest loss is Espinosa, who has started seven of nine MLS games this season at defense. The other players have a combined seven starts and six substitute appearances, but only Espinosa has tallied a point this season, an assist in a 3-3 draw vs. Vancouver. For a team that is about to open its new arena and is at the bottom of the table, these call ups probably can’t come at a worse time.

Los Angeles Galaxy: 2 players – GK Donovan Ricketts (JAM), F/M Landon Donovan (USA)

So, LA will be without its number one keeper and all-world superstar Landon Donovan for a while. Big deal…these guys are loaded, JP Angel, Beckham and Co. should be more than enough to pick up the slack on offense and Josh Saunders is a more than capable backup in net.

New England Revolution: 2 1 player(?) – M Shalrie Joseph (GRN), M Benny Feilhaber (USA)

Boy the Revolution have lucked out, with MLS First XI midfielder Shalrie Joseph announcing today that he will not play for Grenada in the Gold Cup and is back training with the Revs. Feilhaber picked up a knock New England’s last matchup and Alejandro Bedoya is in US camp to possibly replace him. While the injury has put his Gold Cup in jeopardy, losing both of these players during any stretch of the Gold Cup would have been disastrous for the struggling Revs.

San Jose Earthquakes: 2 players – F Chris Wondolowski, F Ryan Johnson (JAM)

San Jose could be in a world of hurt with these call ups. Wondo is the Quakes offense, as the 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner is at it again in 2011, leading the Quakes with six goals and two assists. Johnson has eight starts, two subs and two assists this season and the Quakes will likely turn to a combination of Ellis McLoughlin, Steven Lenhart and Scott Sealy up front to lead their Wondo-less offense.

If I didn’t get to your team it probably means that you didn’t have that many significant call ups. I will mention Philadelphia will lose their enigmatic striker Carlos Ruiz to Guatemala so that I don’t have to listen to Storming Owls later, but he’ll probably say it’s not much of a loss anyway. Owls also came out with a Gold Cup predictions entry, which everyone should checkout as well.

Again, new batch of MLS Power Rankings for tomorrow (hopefully in the morning...but no promises) and then the Gold Cup previews start rolling out. Not sure of my weekend schedule yet, but the USA-Spain friendly from Foxboro, Mass., will be watched at some point at probably written about as well.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: May 30, 2011 9:18 am

Memorial Day USA Gold Cup Roster Analysis

In honor of Memorial Day, let’s break down the US roster before the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will take place across the USA starting June 5th and ending with the final in Pasadena, CA at the Rose Bowl June 25th. Tuesday I’ll have the effect of the Gold Cup on MLS teams, Wednesday the Week 11 MLS Power Rankings will come out followed on Thursday-Sunday with the Gold Cup previews and knockout round predictions. And at some point I’ll find time to sleep. Maybe…

Anyway, there is a solid mix of veterans, youngsters, domestic, international and surprise players on this US squad. Coach Bob Bradley is also going with the hot hand up front, selecting 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski, much like he went with Edson Buddle and Hercules Gomez in the 2010 World Cup last summer. The inclusion of Freddy Adu was a surprise to many, but since I expect him to be playing striker, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.

M Stuart Holden (Bolton, ENG) will miss the game recovering from his injury sustained in a EPL game a few months ago. GK Brad Guzan is getting married and is unavailable. Both players likely would have made the roster if healthy and available respectively.

GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard (Everton, ENG), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton, ENG), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake, USA)

Nothing really shocking about these selections by Bob Bradley. Tim Howard is one of the best in the world with the veteran Hahnemann backing him up. Nick Rimando will cover the third spot, but likely not miss games with RSL as he’ll only be called in if necessary.

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne, FRA), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres, MEX), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, GER), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, DEN), Eric Lichaj (Leeds, ENG), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente, NED), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls, USA), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United, ENG)

The usual faces of Onyewu, Cherundolo, Bocanegra and Spector join a cast of youngsters in Ream and Lichaj. Left back has long been a problem for the USA, but this group is versatile enough to maneuver around in Bob Bradley’s preferred (or likely) four-man defensive line. I’d expect the regular first line to start for the USA in their first two fixtures against Canada and Panama and the second line, likely Ream, Lichaj, Goodson and Bornstein in my opinion, to start against Guadeloupe.

MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu (Rizespor, TUR), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa, ENG), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, ENG), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy, USA), Maurice Edu (Rangers, SCO), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution, USA), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers, USA), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, BEL), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew, USA)

The normal stalwarts of Donovan, Bradley and Dempsey look to anchor the US midfield defensively and pace the attack as well. I would have figured Stuart Holden to start alongside Bradley in the middle, but he’s out injured. Maurice Edu or Sasha Kljestan could be a nice attacking compliment to Mike Bradley in the middle. I think Feilhaber and Jones are solid two-way players as well. Rogers’ inclusion is perhaps my only surprise on the roster, but he’s a nice utility winger. Adu is listed at midfield but I almost think he’ll be playing striker, or subbing with a striker and playing behind Dempsey at the wing. Taking nine midfielders could mean that Bob Bradley might be experimenting with a 4-5-1, leaving Jozy Altidore up front as the lone striker. If that’s the case, expect a stout three man center midfield with Bradley and two others and the wingers (Dempsey/Donovan) playing a little more towards goal.

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls, USA), Jozy Altidore (Bursapor, TUR), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes, USA)

The great mystery of the US roster lies with the strikers. Wondo is on fire in MLS, everything he touches or sends to someone else ends up in the back of the net. Agudelo will likely assume a role off the bench, where he’s very dangerous for the Red Bulls. If Bradley goes with a 4-4-2, I’d think Wondo would start up front with Jozy. If the US plays a 4-5-1, that almost leaves Agudelo in the cold since I don’t think he fits the lone striker spot. Wondo could be adequate alone up front because of his versatility in the attacking third. Again, expect to see Dempsey, Donovan or Freddy Adu up front at some point as well given the lack of true, listed forwards on the roster.

Note: These are my projected lineups and I am an idiot who plays way to much FIFA 11.

[4-4-2] - GK Howard, LB Cherundolo, CB Onyewu, CB Bocanegra, RB Spector, LM Donovan, CM  Bradley, CM Edu, RM Dempsey, ST Wondolowski, ST Altidore
Subs: GK Hahnemann, D Ream, D Bornstein, M Feilhaber, M Jones, M/F Adu, F Agudelo

[4-5-1] – GK Howard, LB Cherundolo, CB Onyewu, CB Bocanegra, RB Spector, LM Donovan, CM Feilhaber CM  Bradley, CM Jones, RM Dempsey, ST Altidore
Subs: GK Hahnemann, D Ream, D Bornstein, M Edu, M Kljestan, M Adu, F Wondolowski

[4-4-2] – GK Hahnemann, D Ream, D Bornstein, D Lichaj, D Goodson, M Jones, M Feilhaber, M Kljestan, M Rogers, ST Agudelo, ST Adu

Category: Soccer
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