Crew Trio’s Last Time to Impress (Probably)
In a few hours, the U.S. National Team plays El Salvador with a roster of mostly MLS talent tonight in one of the few pre-World Cup games. The Crew’s trio of Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven, and Chad Marshall get another (possibly final) chance to impress head coach Bob Bradley. Like many of their MLS based teammates, the Crew contingent face long odds of making the Cup roster.
Marshall has looked indecisive in a couple national team matches last fall and was unfortunate to be paired with a deputized central defender in Jonathan Bornstein for most of the game against Honduras. He can retake the lead for backup central defender from Clarence Goodson with a solid game tonight. Chad can certainly help himself by showing off his aerial prowess on set pieces as well.
Rogers would be in a much stronger position, but his underwhelming 2009 season and lackluster game against Honduras playing impromptu left back has eroded his standing. Due to the USMNT’s rash of injuries, there is still an opening on the team. He can improve his standing if he can consistently show his attacking skills.
First an apology to Eddie Gaven, I had not realized that he was pulled due to injury for the game against Honduras until I wrote a long look at the player Gaven is compared to the player everyone expected him to be. He has now made the final 20 for tonight’s game and may even get in the game. I still think he is a long shot to make a World Cup squad. He is versatile, but Bradley has an wide assortment of players to chose from that are probably above him on the depth chart. I am still confused by Gaven, but I think that is more that I don’t know what I should think of him. I guess I should leave my 1,000 words on Eddie Gaven for later.
Each player will know soon if they have a serious shot at making the roster. The national team will play the Dutch in a week in Amsterdam on an international date. Bradley will call in substantial European reinforcements, players who either are established on the team or people on the bubble. It will be a very good sign if Rogers, Gaven, or Marshall are able to extend their call up into next week.