Howard, Dempsey lead Gold Cup hunt
Bob Bradley has named his 23-man USA squad for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, selecting a full-strength team led by European-based goalkeeper Tim Howard, Fulham top scorer Clint Dempsey and LA Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan.
The tournament, which sends one team from the North, Central American and Caribbean zone to the next FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013, will begin on 5 June and run through to 25 June across 13 venues in the United States. The hosts will begin their Group C account against northern neighbours Canada in their opener, with later tests against Guadeloupe and Panama.
“We have said since the start of the new cycle that winning the Gold Cup this year is a top priority, and that was our focus as we built this roster,” said Bradley of his squad, which also includes New York Red Bulls starlet Juan Agudelo, former prodigy Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore. “We have a very experienced group, and we know that in a tournament like this all 23 players will need to contribute in order for us to be successful.”
Three members of Bradley’s squad are just coming off impressive seasons abroad. Dempsey set the single-season record for an American in the English Premier League with 12 goals and broke club side Fulham’s mark for career goals in the Premier League (33). Holding midfielder Maurice Edu helped Rangers to a domestic double, the Glasgow side capturing their third-straight Scottish Premier League crown as well as the Scottish FA Cup. Oguchi Onyewu, on loan to FC Twente, was part of the Dutch FA Cup-winning squad.
The Americans have won four CONCACAF Gold Cups, second only to five-time champions Mexico, who humiliated the Stars and Stripes 5-0 in New York in the final of the last instalment in 2009. Bradley will take the same squad to Boston to meet up with world champions Spain on 4 June in a warm-up friendly.
Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Leeds), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Freddy Adu (Rizespor), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)