Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bruce Arena announced the 23 man USMNT squad for WC06 next month in Germany. DCU's Ben Olsen was indeed included, and considering that he plays the same position as team captain and always broken Claudio Reyna, should get some playing time.

No surprises with the GK (Keller, Hahnemann, Howard).

I suppose I understand Eddie Pope's selection on D (Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Conrad, Gibbs, Hejduk, Lewis, Onyewu, Pope), though anyone who watched him should know he's cooked; perhaps he's included for the experience he can provide from the bench. Jimmy Conrad? He sucks. For the life of me, the best American defender on Conrad's Kansas City team is Jose Burciaga.

No surprises in MF either (Beasley, Convey, Dempsey, Donovan, Mastroeni, O'Brien, Olsen, Reyna), although a case can be made that the only USMNT player more broken more often than Reyna is John O'Brien, so to include both is to logically double the risk of breaking.

F (Ching, Johnson, McBride, Wolff) is USMNT's weakness. Ching over Twellman isn't as shocking as it first might appear - Ching is big, tall, good in the air, and it'll be set pieces and crosses that USMNT will rely on for scoring. Johnson is a punk. Wolff isn't a punk, but his first touch sucks.

Players report May 10, then three international friendlies for warm-up (soft friendlies: Morocco, Venezuela, Latvia), then Czech Republic in Gelsenkirchen June 12.


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