USA Makes Final Roster Cuts

I meant to do this yesterday but I was busy.  It happens.  Anyway, Bob Bradley made his final cuts from the provisional squad down to the 23 man team that will be representing the US in South Africa.  For the most part, I think he did a fine job.  One pick in particular confused me a bit, but we’ll get into that later.  First, let’s take a look at the team:

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USA Takes A Big Step

Ricardo Clark celebrates his goal against Trinidad and Tobago

Ricardo Clark celebrates his goal against Trinidad and Tobago

Earlier tonight the US Men’s Soccer Team defeated Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 on a Ricardo Clark second half goal.  After the smoke cleared on tonight’s round of matches the US sits atop the CONCACAF (can we get a shorter name, please?) region with 16 points.  By my amateur, and quite possibly inaccurate, calculations, if the US beats Honduras or Costa Rica in  either of their last two matches then they qualify for South Africa.  There is an outside shot that when USA plays Costa Rica on October 14th, the winner will go on to the World Cup while the loser will play the fifth place team from South America.  Not an enviable position.

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Italy Downs USA

Ricardo Clark being ushered off the field

Ricardo Clark being ushered off the field

USA opened their 2009 Confederations Cup schedule against the current World Cup holders, Italy.  Unfortunately, they were only given a fair shot for 33 minutes.  That’s when the referee sent US midfielder Ricardo Clark to the dressing room for a silly tackle on Genarro Gattuso.  No one would argue that it wasn’t a foul or a yellow card, but a red card was way too stiff of a penalty.  In my opinion, Clark was one of the best players on the field for the Americans in their last game against Honduras and through the first 30 minutes of today’s game. His sending off changed the entire complexion of the match.  Italy would go on to win 3-1.

I’m not going to try and argue that the USA should have won, but Italy didn’t need the help and it was unfortunate that they got it like that.

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