USA coach Bob Bradley announced his final 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ live on American television today. Included in the squad are AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is still fighting for fitness after injuring knee ligaments back in October, all-time top scorer Landon Donovan and UEFA Europa League finalist with Fulham, Clint Dempsey. Glasgow Rangers pair DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, both of whom have battled with big injuries and poor form of late, are both in Bradley’s final list.
“We’ve had strong preparations, we’ve played well,” Dempsey, who sat out last night’s 4-2 loss to the Czechs along with a bevy of other regular starters, told FIFA.com. “We finished top of our qualifying group, we went to the final of the Gold Cup and the final of the Confederations Cup last year, so there’s no reason we can’t get out of our group in South Africa. We’re one step closer to getting to the World Cup and getting down to the serious business.
“The chemistry in this 23-man team is very good,” Coach Bradley went on. “We have a good mix of experienced players and new guys and I believe this is one of our main strengths.”
The coach, who led the Americans to a runner-up finish at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, also included Mexico-based pair Herculez Gomez and Jose Torres while cutting veteran striker Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Sacha Kljestan. “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 said after the squad announcement. “Getting our final team of 23 sorted is an important step.”
The USA will meet fancied England in their South Africa 2010 Group C opener in Rustenburg on 12 June, followed by games with Slovenia and Algeria in what is considered by many to be a manageable section. Their next warm-up match will be played on 29 May, when they will hope to rebound from last night’s loss to the Czechs against Turkey in Philadelphia.
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Stade Rennais), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay Demerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus) Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Pachuca),DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers)
Forwards: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca), Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
*Please note that squad lists only become official after they have been submitted to and announced by FIFA.