The 2010 USA World Cup roster was feeling quite confident leading into the tournament. They had previously defeated Spain in the Confederations Cup the year before and had no issues qualifying for the first World Cup being held in Africa.
In their first match against arch-rivals England, they drew 1-1- thanks to a Clint Dempsey equalizer. After that, they were held to a 2-2 draw with Slovenia and defeated Algeria 1-0 in the final group C game. However, this was good enough to qualify for the round of 16 knockout matches.
Leading into the game, coach Bob Bradley was confident that his players would overcome Ghana and qualify for the quarter-finals. But, unfortunately, the hearts of the US soccer community sank when Ghana counter attached, and Asamoah Gyan scored a 93rd-minute winner to win 2-1 in extra time.
Here is a review of each player involved in the 2010 USA World Cup roster:
Date of Birth: 6 March 1979
Height: 187 cm
Shirt number: 1
First international: USA – Ecuador (10 March 2002)
Firmly entrenched as the USA’s number one goalkeeper, Tim Howard follows in the footsteps of such former greats as Tony Meola, Kasey Keller, and Brad Friedel. Currently giving good service to English Premier League outfit Everton, Howard’s rise to the top tier of European club football and the US national team has been nothing short of meteoric.
Tim Howard showed an aptitude for soccer early on. As an athletic youngster, he seemed to have the attributes to go a long way in the game. After a short career in the USA’s lower leagues in his native New Jersey, Howard was snapped up by the MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) of Major League Soccer in 1998.
He became a crucial member of the side almost at once, earning fan-favorite status for his incredible athleticism and shot-stopping ability. He gained further plaudits in 2001 when, at 22, he became the youngest ever winner of MLS’s goalkeeper of the year award. Not only had the netminder’s exploits caught the attention of the decision-makers at the helm of the United States national team, but Sir Alex Ferguson, one of world football’s managerial icons, was watching as well. So in 2003, Howard was off to Manchester United, where he stepped in for Fabien Barthez in the United goal.
His abilities, honed in MLS, made Howard an instant hit with his new manager, and he looked to have found a long-term home at one of the world’s biggest clubs playing in front of 60,000-plus fans week in and week out. He won an FA Cup with United in 2004, becoming the first American to do so. Still, his much-publicized mistake in the UEFA Champions League against Porto that same year seemed to damage his confidence, and Ferguson opted to relegate the American to the bench despite being selected in the PFA best eleven in his first season.
In 2005, Howard departed to Everton when Edwin van der Sar arrived. However, at Goodison Park, he truly shined, making the number one spot his from the outset and earning the respect and faith of manager David Moyes.
Howard’s arrival as the USA’s first-choice goalkeeper was a long road to hoe, up against such standouts as Keller and Friedel. However, he made his first appearance for the senior team – after impressive performances at youth level – in 2002 in a friendly against Ecuador. Then, after backing up Friedel at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Howard got his chance on the big stage as a member of the USA’s side at the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006. He started every game for the USA to win the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was instrumental in the United States reaching the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Date of Birth: 9 September 1984
Height: 193 cm
Shirt number: 18
First international: USA – Guatemala (19 February 2006)
Though only 25, Brad Guzan is rising fast in the competitive world of big-league goalkeeping, where patience and experience often trump ability. Currently playing understudy to namesake and former USA international hero Brad Friedel at English Premier League outfit Aston Villa, Guzan has established himself as a safe and ready number two, behind Everton’s Tim Howard, in Bob Bradley’s USA set-up.
He began his professional career in Los Angeles with Chivas USA. He immediately impacted his unique shot-stopping ability, spring-loaded reflexes, and cool instincts between the posts. Guzan spent three seasons with the Southern California Major League Soccer outfit and was named the league’s best goalkeeper of 2007. His performances attracted the attention of Villa boss Martin O’Neill, who swooped in for the youngster and eventually secured him a work permit. Although the evergreen antics of Friedel have limited Guzan’s playing time, the youngster has acquitted himself well when called upon.
He earned ten caps for the US national team after putting in good service in the youth set-up and starting all three of the USA’s games at the Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing in 2008. He has firmly established himself as an able stand-in for undisputed number one Howard and was a part of the USA squad that progressed to the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Date of Birth: 15 June 1972
Height: 192 cm
Shirt number: 23
First international: Trinidad and Tobago – USA (19-11-1994)
A solid and sturdy goalkeeper who has been making waves in England for a decade now, Marcus Hahnemann is unlikely to see any playing time in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. However, the faith shown in coach Bob Bradley’s veteran is a testament to the netminder’s strength of character and quick reflexes.
After playing with distinction at the collegiate level in his native Washington – the same birth state as former USA goalkeeping great Kasey Keller – Hahnemann signed up with the Seattle Sounders. He spent three seasons in the US second tier before moving on to MLS and the Colorado Rapids. He made 66 appearances in two seasons at the club before moving on to England, first with Fulham and loan spells at Rochdale before settling in at Reading. He made 276 appearances for the club, including spells in the Premier League. A firm fan favorite at Reading, he moved on and spent the last season at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Hahnemann has suffered the misfortune of some stiff competition for a regular place in the USA team, behind at various times in his career such standouts as Keller, Brad Friedel, and now Tim Howard. Even so, he has proved impressive when called upon by his country, making his first appearance in a US jersey in 1994. He was in the squad that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1995 and was an unused sub in the FIFA World Cup finals in Germany in 2006.
Date of Birth: 1 March 1986
Height: 183 cm
Shirt number: 2
First international: USA – Jamaica (17 November 2004)
Still, just 24, Jonathan Spector’s emergence in English football was nothing short of meteoric. Injuries have since blighted his rise and limited his playing time, but he is still a useful option open to USA head coach Bob Bradley in defense. After an outstanding career with the United States youth national team set-up, lining up at FIFA U-17 World Cup in Finland in 2003, Spector was already chipping away at a club career abroad.
He joined up with world football giants Manchester United in 2001 as a teenager, making a handful of appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team, before being sent out on loan to Charlton Athletic in 2005. He made several appearances from the start and off the bench, but injuries suffered before his move began to take a toll, and the player began to gain a reputation as injury-prone. In 2006, Spector moved to London side West Ham United, where he regained his fitness and secured regular first-team football.
He made his first USA senior national appearance in 2003 against Jamaica, and in 2005 lined up for the United States at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands. He was in the running to be included in then-coach Bruce Arena’s side for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, but a shoulder injury ended his hopes. Nevertheless, he was a team member that won the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and started every game as the USA surged to the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Date of Birth: 13 May 1982
Height: 192 cm
Shirt number: 5
First international: USA – Panama (13 October 2004)
He looks more like an American gridiron player than a footballer, but Oguchi Onyewu gives Bob Bradley’s USA size, power, and a bite at the back. The 26-year-old, of Nigerian descent and nicknamed ‘Gooch,’ combines well with central defensive partner Carlos Bocanegra to create a watertight seal in front of Tim Howard. He’s 1.93m and 95 kg but is surprisingly mobile and agile.
After two years of collegiate football, Onyewu bypassed Major League Soccer and hit out for European shores. In 2002 he landed in France’s Ligue 1 with Metz, from where he was loaned to Belgium’s La Louvière. He eventually made a home in Belgium and established himself at club giants Standard Liege in 2004, where he quickly became renowned not only for his size but his contributions to the team. In 2007, Onyewu was loaned out to Newcastle United in the English Premier League. Still, he could not adapt to the speed and frenetic nature of the game in England, returning to Liege after only 11 appearances for the Geordie outfit. Nevertheless, he helped Standard to the 2007/2008 domestic title upon his return.
For the United States, Onyewu has been a rock at the back, neutralizing opposition strikers since his 2004 debut against Panama. He started all three games for the United States at the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006 and was a crucial cog in the CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning sides of 2005, 2007, and 2009. His performances in the latter competition, where the USA went to the final, earned Onyewu a contract at Italian giants AC Milan.
Date of Birth: 25 May 1979
Height: 184 cm
Shirt number: 3
First international: Korea Republic – USA (9 December 2001)
USA’s steely captain Carlos Bocanegra is an uncompromising center-back, always willing to put his body on the line for the American cause. Born in California but with roots south of the border in Mexico, he made a name for himself in Major League Soccer with fledgling Midwestern outfit Chicago Fire. In his first season, in 2000, the defender’s impact on the team led to him being named the league’s ‘rookie of the year,’ handed out annually to the best new player in the US top flight. In his four seasons with the Fire, Bocanegra reached the MLS Cup final (the one-off game that decides the MLS champion), won the US Open Cup (the American version of England’s FA Cup), and was twice named MLS defender of the year, in 2002 and 2003.
The player’s rugged ability to snuff out opposition attacks and neutralize strikers led to a move to English Premier League outfit Fulham in 2004, where he embarked on a successful stint, playing 124 games and scoring 12 goals in the bargain. While in England, Bocanegra branched out as a player, lining up as left-back and occasionally in a holding midfield role. However, despite being a favorite among fans at Craven Cottage for his dedication and no-nonsense play, the arrival of new boss Roy Hodgson saw Bocanegra become surplus to requirements, and he was released in May 2008. Since then, he has moved on to France’s top flight with Rennes.
Bocanegra, now 29, made his first appearance for the US national team in 2001 and has amassed over 60 caps. Since 2007, when he is available and in the squad, he wears the captain’s armband and always commands respect, even scoring ten goals, most with his head.
Date of Birth: 19 February 1979
Height: 168 cm
Shirt number: 6
First international: Jamaica – USA (08-09-1999)
A sturdy and reliable right-back, Steve Cherundolo has been an American success story overseas for an entire decade now. Strong, dependable, and with a sharp positional sense and desire to get up into attack, the California native helps to make a strong rearguard for Bob Bradley’s USA.
With only two years of University football under his belt, Cherundolo moved to Germany in 1999, lining up with Hannover 96, who was then in the second division of the country’s professional set-up. In the 2001/2002 season, after establishing himself as first-choice in the right-back position, he helped the side to a spot in the top flight, where they remain to this day, even occasionally donning the captain’s armband.
With experience and professional panache to spare, Cherundolo earned his first cap for the United States national team back in 1999 and – despite struggling with severe injuries throughout his career – has established himself as a favorite in his chosen position, first for Bruce Arena and now for Bob Bradley. He was a member of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning side but missed out on the USA’s run to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final through injury. In all, he has amassed 57 caps for the side and scored two goals.
Date of Birth: 7 November 1984
Height: 175 cm
Shirt number: 12
Current club: Chivas USA (USA)
First international: USA – Denmark (20-01-2007)
A relatively new member of the US national team, Jonathan Bornstein – of mixed Mexican and Jewish heritage – has bullied his way into Bob Bradley’s reckoning after solid performances with MLS club side Chivas USA.
Either a striker or an attacking midfielder by trade, the 24-year-old California native began his MLS career in 2007, under Bradley, as a left-back due to a shortage of players in that position caused by an injury crisis. Since then, Bornstein has bounced around the pitch with appearances in attack, in midfield, and at the back.
Bradley prefers to use Bornstein in the left-back position for the national team, where he has earned nearly 30 caps since making his debut in 2007. Bornstein has found it challenging going holding on to his national team spot. Still, he represents a versatile option to the American boss, especially during times of injury crisis, and a player who can impact a game.
Date of Birth: 4 December 1979
Height: 180 cm
Shirt number: 15
First international: USA – Guatemala (28 March 2007)
A sturdy center-back, Jay DeMerit has made a name for himself in England. Born in the frost-covered American north in Wisconsin, the powerful defender headed over to Europe on a wing and a prayer. He joined a semi-pro side before impressing and signing with Watford, where he played a season in the English Premier League (2007-2008).
With nearly 170 appearances at Watford, DeMerit has even worn the club’s armband on occasion. However, the player’s high status overseas caught the eye of the powers in the US Soccer set-up in 2007, and he earned his first full cap, in March 2007, in a friendly against Guatemala. He then went on to take part in the victorious USA campaign at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and put in a star turn in defense when the US reached the final of the 2009 Confederations Cup.
Date of Birth: 17 May 1982
Height: 193 cm
Shirt number: 21
First international: USA – Sweden (19 January 2008)
A big, strong central defender, Clarence Goodson, may well be needed by USA coach Bob Bradley with regular starter Oguchi Onyewu still recovering from a knee injury on the eve of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Having played and impressed at MLS level, the tall defender is making a go of football in Scandinavia with Norwegian side IK Start.
Goodson began his professional playing career with FC Dallas in 2004 after three years of successful University football. In four seasons with the Texas club, he made 76 appearances, and his leaping ability saw him grab the odd goal as well on set-pieces. In 2008 he decided to try his luck abroad and signed a contract with Norwegian club IK Start, where he has scored 11 goals in 52 appearances and established himself as a top defender in the Norwegian league.
His success overseas did not go unnoticed by USA coach Bradley. He called Goodson into his experimental squad for last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup on home soil, where he managed to grab a goal in the semi-final against Honduras before a 5-0 loss to Mexico in the final in New York.
Date of Birth: 31 July 1987
Height: 185 cm
Shirt number: 4
First international: USA – Venezuela (26 May 2006)
An influential midfielder, mature beyond his years, Michael Bradley has become an indispensable member of his father’s USA national team. An imposing figure in the holding midfield role, the brawny destroyer can thread the occasional slide-rule pass and even scoring a goal here and there. Michael, still just 22, was raised on football, first in Princeton, New Jersey, where his father was the head coach of the local University team. Then he spent time watching from the sidelines as his father coached the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.
In 2004, at just 16 years of age, Bradley was signed by the MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls), coached by his father. After a slow start and a severe foot injury, he broke into the team in his second season and proved a force to be reckoned with among far more experienced professionals.
In 2006 the eager and ambitious young player headed to the Netherlands to join Heerenveen, then the youngest player to be sold by Major League Soccer. While in the Dutch top-flight, Bradley proved himself more than just a midfield bruiser, scoring 16 goals in the 2007-2008 season to become the club’s top marksman. Bradley’s impressive star turn in Holland led to another move at the start of the 2008-2009 season. He headed for the glitz and glamour of the German Bundesliga and Borussia Monchengladbach, where his footballing education continues today.
After putting in his time with the U-17 residency program in Florida, Bradley turned out for the USA at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in 2007, only days after helping the United States senior team to their fourth CONCACAF Gold Cup. He earned his first full cap in 2007 in a friendly with Guatemala but had been called up the year before for training camps ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
After his curtain-raiser, he became a constant fixture in the US midfield, playing a critical role in the 2007 Gold Cup campaign, though he showed his lack of maturity when he was sent off for a rash challenge semi-final with Canada. A busy man, Bradley also lined up for the United States at the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing, where the Americans were unlucky not to advance beyond the group stage. Since then, Bradley became a fixture in the USA side in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and played an instrumental role as the United States surged to their first-ever global final at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Date of Birth: 24 May 1982
Height: 170 cm
Shirt number: 7
First international: USA – China PR (27 January 2001)
Date of Birth: 9 March 1983
Height: 185 cm
Shirt number: 8
First international: USA – Jamaica (17 November 2004)
Clint Dempsey grew up in the small Texas town of Nacogdoches, where he kicked a soccer ball with other kids. One of the more colorful characters in the USA line-up, he is also one of its most successful, carving out a thriving career in the English Premier League with London side Fulham.
More at home playing off a genuine center-forward, Dempsey’s touch on the ball is his primary strength. He made a name for himself in Major League Soccer, first lining up for the Boston-based New England Revolution in 2004. Occupying a hybrid striker-attacking midfielder role, Dempsey took the league by storm and was named MLS’ rookie of the year’ (best new player). With his goals, dribbling, and ferocity both on and off the ball, he led the Revs to three MLS Cups (the one-off game that decides MLS’s champion) in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Dempsey made his USA debut in 2004, the same year he became a fan favorite with his club side. However, dominant performances for club and country soon made a move away from the USA a foregone conclusion. Although New England did what they could to keep hold of their star performer, the English Premier League’s glitz and glamour proved too much to resist for the player who grew up with limited means. Fulham bought Dempsey for a then-record 4 million USD transfer fee in 2006. He made his debut in 2007 but remained a seldom-used sub for the remainder of the season.
The following season (2007-2008), he came to life, becoming the team’s top scorer and establishing himself in the high-tempo environs of the English top flight. Now under coach Roy Hodgson, Dempsey is a regular starter in a surprise Craven Cottage side overachieving in the league and Europe.
In Europe, Clint Dempsey is respected by players and coaches
After a 2004 debut, he became a regular fixture in the side, making a mark with his ability on the ball and his battling nature, always fighting for the cause.
Outside of soccer, her is known for his other passion, being a hip-hop artist. Dempsey picked up the US national team player of the year award in 2006 and US Soccer athlete of the year honors in 2007.
Date of Birth: 04 March 1982
Height: 173 cm
Shirt number: 10
First international: USA – Mexico (25 October 2000)
In 1999 Landon Donovan picked up the Golden Ball as the best player at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand and soon afterward earned his first call-up to a United States national team training camp. The skillful attacking midfielder has since made over 100 caps and become the USA’s top all-time scorer.
He made his senior international debut in 2001. The intelligent player, blessed with an ability to press forward and get goals by the bag-load, soon established himself as the most talented and technically gifted American player of his generation. With close control, explosive pace, and superior vision, he earned himself a place in coach Bruce Arena’s squad for Korea/Japan’s 2002 FIFA World Cup. He played a significant role at barely 20 years of age USA’s run the quarter-finals. Roaming between the midfield and attack, he scored twice in a successful campaign, against Poland in the first round and Mexico in their memorable round of 16 triumph.
While Donovan enjoyed a meteoric rise with the national team, he has experienced mixed fortunes in his club career. He became one of the youngest American players in history to sign a professional contract with an overseas club when agreeing to join German outfit Bayer Leverkusen in 1999. However, it proved too much pressure too soon for the youngster. After a season with Leverkusen’s second team, Donovan was sent back across the Atlantic to San Jose Earthquakes in a loan deal to allow him to gain more experience in the familiar surroundings of his home state of California.
In his first season back, he led the previously flagging Earthquakes to their first MLS championship in 2001. He then inspired San Jose to a second MLS title in 2003, when he was voted the league’s best player, and his success prompted Leverkusen to call him back in 2004 for one more try at the big European time. Unfortunately, Donovan only lasted three months in Germany due to his unhappiness. Upon his return, he signed for Los Angeles Galaxy on a new contract that made him the highest-paid player in the American League. Donovan did not disappoint the fans in the City of Angels as he led the side to an MLS crown in 2005 and a runner-up finish in 2009.
Donovan was criticized for his play in 2006 Germany, where the United States went out after the group stage without winning a single game. Since then, though, he has re-found his form and confidence, becoming USA’s all-time top scorer, occasional captain, reaching his century of caps and having a marginally successful loan spell with Bayern Munich in 2009 and a star turn with English Premier League side Everton in 2010. Although criticized for going missing in the big games, Donovan – six-time winner of the US player of the year gong – is widely considered one of the best American players of all time.
Date of Birth: 1 August 1985
Height: 178 cm
Shirt number: 11
First international: Grenada – USA (04-07-2009)
At 24, Stuart Holden has established himself as a versatile option for Bob Bradley’s side ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was able to play in an attacking midfield role or out wide on the right; the Scottish-born player has improved of late.
An ill-fated move to the English side of Sunderland in 2005 ended without Holden making even one appearance for the club. He returned to the States the following year and signed a contract with Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, where he helped the Texan club to back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 and caught the attention of the powers in the US national set-up. His performances led directly to a move back to England – this time with Premier League side Bolton – in January 2010.
Holden made his first appearance for the US senior side in 2009, named in an experimental line-up for that year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, where the Americans lost to Mexico in the final. He has since picked up 13 caps for the full national team and scored two goals.
Date of Birth: 10 February 1983
Height: 178 cm
Shirt number: 13
First international: USA – Panama (12 October 2005)
A tireless worker in the middle of the park, Ricardo Clark’s exuberance, energy, and youthful graft have made him a valuable option for USA coach Bob Bradley. The Atlanta, Georgia native began his professional career with the MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) in 2003, where he was one of the finalists for the ‘rookie of the year’ award in Major League Soccer after a confident opening season in which he turned more than a few heads in the Big Apple.
After becoming a regular member of the squad in New York, he was transferred to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2005, and he then moved again – with the rest of the team in a location change to Houston, where they became the Dynamo – in 2006. Clark began to stand out in the holding midfield role in Texas, winning back-to-back MLS titles in 2006 and 2007. However, his performances with the Texas-based club and his outstanding turn with the USA at the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa in 2009 earned the midfielder a move to Germany, with Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.
Clark first broke into the US reckoning in 2005, lining up in a friendly against Central American upstarts Panama. His first goal for the Stars and Stripes came in the 2007 Copa America against Paraguay. He then became a regular in Bob Bradley’s side, not only at the Confederations Cup – where his performance in the fairytale win over Spain was much-lauded – but also in South Africa 2010 qualifying, where the USA finished first in the CONCACAF zone.
Date of Birth: 29 October 1987
Height: 168 cm
Shirt number: 16
First international: USA – Cuba (11 October 2008)
Born in the state of Texas, Francisco Torres is the son of mixed Mexican and American parentage. Recruited early on as a teenager to play for Mexican outfit Pachuca, he eventually broke into the starting line-up in 2008, where he played all three games for the club at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
Torres was eligible to play for either USA or Mexico. Still, when the versatile midfielder turned down the opportunity to play with the Americans at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, it looked as if he was leaning towards lining up for El Tri. However, only a few months after the showpiece event in the Far East, he pledged his loyalty to the United States.
Almost immediately, the 21-year-old player was called into camp by coach Bob Bradley, and he made his full national team debut on 11 October against Cuba. He has become a valuable option – usually on the left side of midfield – for the USA in FIFA World Cup qualifying and was also a part of the squad that reached the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa last year.
Date of Birth: 18 April 1986
Height: 183 cm
Shirt number: 19
First international: Switzerland – USA (17 October 2007)
A physically robust central midfield option, Maurice Edu has the ability and desire to advance from a deep-lying role and add himself to the attack at crucial moments. Fast, brawny, and with a fearless edge to his game, big Maurice is every inch a rising star in the American ranks.
Cutting a University career short to join MLS outfit Toronto FC in 2007, the bustling workhorse looked to be on his way straight to the top. But, instead, he won the North American league’s ‘rookie of the year’ award, and some of Europe’s big-name clubs took notice too, and Edu signed for Scottish giants Rangers in the summer of 2008. Since then, he has battled numerous injuries and re-established himself in the first team at the Glasgow club.
Edu earned his first cap for the USA in 2007 and has amassed a good number of appearances despite his many injury woes. However, he missed out on the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup campaign, where the US roared to the final after a positive performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Date of Birth: 19 January 1985
Height: 175 cm
Shirt number: 22
First international: USA – Ecuador (25 March 2007)
Born in Rio de Janeiro, this exceptionally creative midfielder of Austrian-Jewish ancestry arrived at organized collegiate football in the USA in a most unusual way. Enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, but not recruited to play soccer, Benny Feilhaber was, quite by chance, noticed kicking a ball around the campus and invited to try out for the team. He made the grade and became a standout member of the squad and USA’s youth national team.
After an outstanding overall performance for the USA at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands in 2005, Bundesliga outfit Hamburg came calling and signed the 20-year-old. After spending time with the reserves, Feilhaber made his first-team debut in 2006 and moved on to an unhappy stretch at Derby County, then of the English Premier League, in 2007 before settling in Denmark with AGF after Derby’s relegation.
An elegant playmaking midfielder, Feilhaber, who has suffered from niggling injuries and lack of form of late, is often the odd man out in a USA national team that likes to leave the creative tasks to Landon Donovan. However, the 24-year-old has picked up 31 caps since making his debut in 2007. He has scored two goals, the most important by far the long-range winner against Mexico in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final. He also lined up for the Americans when they went to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Date of Birth: 6 April 1982
Height: 178 cm
Shirt number: 9
First international: Argentina – USA (28-06-2007)
An outsider to make Bob Bradley’s final squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, Herculez Gomez’s hot form at club level in Mexico was something the coach simply could not ignore. With only a handful of US caps to his name, the 28-year-old striker of joint Mexican-American ancestry had a breakout season with Mexican outfit Puebla in 2010.
Beginning his club career in Durango, the opportunistic striker played for a succession of lower league teams in Mexico before settling in the United States and his hometown Los Angeles Galaxy in 2003. He stayed until 2006 and scored 16 goals in 53 appearances before being loaned out to the second tier of professional football in the States. Unsuccessful stretches in Colorado and Kansas City followed before moving south of the border to Mexico and Puebla. His ten goals in 14 appearances for the club earned him the top scorer title in the Clausura.
Gomez did not play in any of the USA’s qualifiers for South Africa 2010, and this competition will be his first run out at a FIFA World Cup. However, his ability to make an impact off the bench might well make him a dangerous weapon for Bradley if the US finds themselves in need of an attacking spark late in a game.
Date of Birth: 21 May 1981
Height: 185 cm
Shirt number: 14
A surprise inclusion in the USA’s squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, it is hoped that the LA Galaxy striker will enhance their prospects with his explosive pace and fill the hole left by injured striker Charlie Davies. At 29, Edson Buddle has yet to figure prominently in the US national team set-up, but his nose for goal and fine form for LA Galaxy in the run-up to South Africa makes him a dangerous joker for his coach.
Beginning his club career in the US lower leagues, he moved to MLS in 2001 with Columbus Crew, where he scored an impressive 42 goals in 101 appearances for the Ohio club. Moves to New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC followed, but the fleet-footed striker failed to recreate the excellent form he had in Columbus. Finally, in 2007, Buddle found a home in Los Angeles, linking up with strike partner Landon Donovan. Improving with every season at the southern California club, he started the current campaign in a rich vein of form with nine goals in nine games and is currently the scorer in Major League Soccer.
His first cap for the USA came in 2003, but he has only amassed a handful of appearances since then. He did not participate in any of the qualifiers for the global showpiece, and South Africa 2010 will be Buddle’s first run-out at a FIFA World Cup.
Date of Birth: 6 November 1989
Height: 185 cm
Shirt number: 17
First international: South Africa – USA (17-11-2007)
An uncommonly powerful striker, Jozy Altidore, has been tipped by many to fill the gap for the USA left by the retirement of former icon Brian McBride. With roots in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, Altidore, just 19, began his professional career with a bang in the domestic top flight with 15 goals in 37 appearances over two seasons for New York Red Bulls.
His power, nose for goal, and ability to bring those around him into the game and disrupt opposition defenses soon attracted one of Europe’s top talent assessors, former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean tactician wasted no time bringing the youngster to La Liga with Villarreal at the 2008 season for a reported 10 million USD, making the player the biggest-ever signing from MLS. In early November, he opened his account against Athletic Bilbao to become the first American to score a goal in Spain’s ultra-competitive top flight.
Unfortunately for Altidore, he was sent out on loan to second division leaders Xerez in January 2009 and found it difficult to secure significant playing time. However, his contributions to the US senior national team – after a glittering career at the youth and Olympic level – have been substantial and consistent. Winning his first cap in November 2007, the physically imposing striker has since moved into the reckoning in attack during qualifying for 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, scoring three against Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009 to become the youngest ever hat trick hero in US history.
Date of Birth: 4 August 1985
Height: 175 cm
Shirt number: 20
First international: Switzerland – USA (17-10-2007)
Robbie Findley’s form for Real Salt Lake was a surprise inclusion that put him on the national team coach’s radar in the run-up to South Africa.
After a successful University career, the jet-heeled striker moved to the USA’s lower leagues before settling into MLS with LA Galaxy in 2007. Shortly after making his debut with the southern California side, he was sent off to Real Salt Lake, where he helped create the Utah-based outsiders league champions in 2009. He scored a raft of goals in RSL’s unlikely run to the MLS crown, earning himself a reputation as an opportunistic predator.
Holding dual citizenship between the USA and Trinidad and Tobago, Findley settled on the American side of his ancestry. With only three caps for the senior Stars and Stripes. He is unlikely to be in Bradley’s plans as a starter in South Africa, but with his pace and eye for goal, Findley could be a good option off the bench.
Date of Birth: 3 March 1958
When Bob Bradley was appointed coach, some experts raised more than a few eyebrows. They were expecting a big foreign name to take over from Bruce Arena. However, since taking the USA reins, first as an interim coach and then permanently, the thoughtful tactician’s approach has reaped heavy benefits for the Americans.
Bradley never played professionally, who came of age in the United States with decidedly few options for realizing professional aspirations, played a proud four years at high-power Princeton University between 1976 and 1980. Then, he took up his first managerial post at the University of Ohio at the tender age of 22, before taking up the task at his alma mater Princeton in New Jersey. In eleven seasons there, from 1984 to 1995, Bradley honed his skills as a coach before heading off for greener pastures after Major League Soccer was established in 1996.
In the league’s inaugural season, Bradley settled in as assistant coach to his old friend and mentor Bruce Arena at DC United, where he helped the side to back-to-back titles in 1996 and 1997. His next step came in Chicago, playing its first season as an expansion club, in 1998. It was Bradley’s first gig as a professional head coach, and it was an unqualified success as the Illinois franchise, led by playing great Petr Nowak, did the double in their first year, picking up the MLS crown and winning the US Open Cup. Bradley, unsurprisingly, was named coach of the year for 1998. Then, in 2003, he moved on to the struggling MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls), where he spent two seasons leading the hard-luck side to their first Open Cup final.
After being sacked from the Metros, Bradley headed to new club Chivas USA in 2006 and revived the side after a dismal opening season. At this point, the coach appeared on the radar of the US national team decision-makers, having recently sacked Arena following a disappointing group-stage exit from Germany in 2006.
After being named head coach in December 2008, Bradley set about to build a team, using his experience coaching youth players at University and Olympic levels to cultivate a group of youngsters looking beyond the old idols like Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride.
Bradley led the USA to CONCACAF Gold Cup glory in 2007, beating Mexico in a thrilling final in Chicago. He has since established himself as a calming figure at the helm of a young and ambitious national team. He led the USA to a first-place finish in North, Central American, and Caribbean qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and in 2009 orchestrated a shock heard around the world with wins over Egypt and Spain to reach the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup, eventually losing out to Brazil after taking a 2-0 first-half lead.
2010 USA Soccer Jersey
When the 2010 USA soccer jersey was released, it certainly reminded us of the 1950 shirt that the United States’ 1950 shirt when they defeated England.
Designed by Nike, it was a white shirt with a light gray sash. In addition, the shirt had a rounded navy blue color. It certainly looks classy.
Nike claims it was 13 percent lighter and 10 percent more stretchy than previous shirts. To keep players cooler, it used Nike’s new Dry-fit technology and recycled polyester to construct these shirts.
The away kit was a navy blue shirt with a white sash and red outline.
Main Image: USA Today