US-Jamaica roster notes
The 18-man roster for the Jamaica friendly on April 11 in Cary, NC is out. My reading of these particular tea leaves:
- We're not taking this one too seriously. If we were, Tony Meola wouldn't be in goal; instead, Bruce would be taking the opportunity to get a look at some of the MLS-based keepers (Guzan, Cannon, Hartman).
- JOB! It's been almost a year since he played for the US, scoring the goal that tied Honduras in the semifinals of the Gold Cup (a great win for us that was buried because we had so many other great moments in 2005). Btw, no indication of his club status leaked in the roster; he's listed as "out of contract."
- My guess as to the lineup: a 3-5-2, with Dunivant, Pope, and Hejduk in the back; some combination of Ching, TT, EJ, and Wolff up top; and then Landon as AM, Mastro and JOB as D-mids; and then Noonan on the right and Clint on the left. This is more to get our best guys on the field than to put everyone in their natural positions.
- The forwards have the most to prove. The backline is likely set and going to consist of European players. But with the exception of McBride, our forwards will be MLS-based, and who's going remains very much undetermined. E.g., imagine if Twellman plays terribly but Ching bags a hat trick. Does this mean you take Brian based on recent form (including four goals for the Dynamo last weekend)? Probably not, but a hard call.
- Expectations? I think we'll do a number on Jamaica. Our guys are going to be taking this one real serious, since it's the last chance to show Bruce what they've got before the WC roster is announced in early May. Look for the forwards especially to pour in on as they seek the few remaining spots, which as I said above remain up in the air.