Other big names to have made the cut hold Rangers’ pair DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, who, although having struggled all season with form and injuries, have made the final 23. AC Milan Defender, Oguchi Onyewu, has put speculation surrounding his fitness to the back of his mind after being included. While David Beckham’s LA Galaxy team-mate and USA captain, Landon Donovan, didn’t surprise many with his inclusion.
Having had little success as a nation in football, the American national team has come on leaps and bounds in the last two decades. After competing in their first World Cup for 40 years in 1990, the USA team has qualified for all five competitions since. Advancing to the quarter-finals at the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan – this was the team’s best showing at a World Cup since 1930 and included a shocking 3-2 opening game upset against Portugal. This will give the American public belief as they head into their opening game of the tournament against a 6/1 England squad who led all European teams in the scoring charts during the qualifying stages.
Bradley now has until June 12 to prepare for battle against Fabio Capello and the England team. Backing him is Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot voiced his opinion stating that he feels it will be England and The United States who will qualify from Group C. He said: “England will be very, very motivated under Capello. Capello is a really outstanding coach. Of course, he has some issues what his team is going to be to start with, but they will be difficult to beat. If (USA) can survive after that in terms of the next two matches, they have a very good chance at qualifying. In fact, I think they will qualify.”
Having managed the likes of Tim Howard and Jonathan Spector during his tenure at The Red Devlis, as well as pitting his team against American Internationals such as Landon Donvovan and Clint Dempsey, Ferguson knows the quality that Capello’s men will be facing. “You know, they’ve proved themselves in previous World Cups. Donovan, Dempsey, have some experience of being there before,” Said Ferguson. “I don’t think they’re going to be overwhelmed with the atmosphere of the World Cup, the importance of the World Cup, the intensity. I think that will be easy for them. I think they’ll be used to that. They are very athletic, they apply themselves very well and are difficult to play against.” Ferguson added.
After suffering a 4-2 defeat in their last friendly against the Czech Republic, United States Coach, Bradley spoke about the team following his final decision. “The chemistry in this 23-man team is very good,” Said the USA Coach. “We have a good mix of experienced players and new guys and I believe this is one of our main strengths.”
Having cut big players such as Eddie Johnson, Sacha Kljestan and veteran striker, Brian Chang, Bradley explained why certain exits had to be made: “When you have to make a decision like this and cut a team down, you’ll invariably have three or four names for only one spot and you go through it as well as you can while respecting every angle that goes into it,”
Bradley’s 23-man squad will look forward to their last game on home soil against Turkey on May 29, before travelling to South Africa to face Australia in their final warm up match before the tournament begins.
Final 23-man United States squad:
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)
Tim Howard (Everton)
Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves)
Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes)
Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas)
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover)
Jay DeMerit (Watford)
Clarence Goodson (IK Start)
Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan)
Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers)
Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo)
Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Maurice Edu (Rangers)
Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus)
Stuart Holden (Bolton)
Jose Torres (Pachuca)
Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
Herculez Gomez (Puebla)