The team was introduced live on ESPN's SportsCenter this afternoon. (Elise Amendola/AP)
U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley has announced the final 23-man roster for the World Cup. What do you think of it?
Goakeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton)
Defenders (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
Midfielders (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton), José Torres (Pachuca)
Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake) Herculez Gomez (Puebla),
OUT (7): Ds Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas); Ms Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew); Fs Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)
For the record, my prediction for the seven players who would be omitted was: Marshall, Pearce, Bedoya, Kljestan, Rogers, Findley and Johnson.
So Ching is the one I got wrong - and I think it's quite a surprise to leave him out. Yes, Ching has been battling injuries, but none of the guys who made the cut have his size, and Findley certainly does not have his experience.
After the announcement, Bob Bradley held a conference call with reporters. Question and answers:
Why Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez, but not Brian Ching?
Plain and simple, Edson and Herculez have had real good stretches. Scored a lot of goals. Brian has been such an important player, but it's tough when you have an injury at an inopportune time.
Will we see a different lineup Saturday against Turkey than we did last night against the Czech Republic?
Yes, it will be. One of the most important steps was just getting to our final team of 23. That's important in terms of team-building. And now we look forward to the match against Turkey.
What's the plan for shoring up some of the defensive problems from last night?
Obviously, last night was a different kind of night, given the fact that so many guys weren't exactly sure where they stood. It was also important just in terms of Gooch [Oguchi Oneywu] getting back on the field for us. We'll continue to work hard on our defending as a team. We understand when you get into tournaments like that, it's critical and we have confidence that in this next stretch we can work on some things and get some guys sharper and fitter as we go.
Will Marcus Hahnemann play Saturday, and if not, does Guzan starting last night mean he is the No. 2?
We haven't made a decision for Saturday, and last night's lineup would not be an indication of that part of it. We recognize we have three good goalkeepers - clearly Timmy has established himself as our No. 1. Marcus, over the second half, of the season played really well for Wolverhampton and is a veteran. As much as we would have liked him to play last night we still felt it was really important for Brad to get that game.
More on Herculez Gomez, and why Alejandro Bedoya didn't make it
[Gomez] has been on a great run in terms of scoring goals. Watching him every day, his movement, he works very hard. I think those are things that also go well for us. Alejandro continues to move himself along, this was an important year in his career. he's worked his way into the nt pool and we be'leve that he ias a really good future.
Will we see something closer to the starting XI on Saturday than we did Tuesday?
Yes, I think. Last night we needed to see some players. We needed to size up some different situations. Now the opportunity on Saturday is different and gives us the opportunity to start moving towards June 12.
How hard was it to tell Brian Ching that he didn't make the team?
Extremely hard. The respect that we all have for Brian as a person, for the way he plays on the field, his commitment to the team. So it's always hard when you make these kinds of decisions but, it's particularly hard when it's someone who has contributed so much to the national team over the years.
How much did DaMarcus Beasley have to prove himself, and how much is experience and history?
He certainly had to prove himself. DaMarcus obviously had fallen out of it a little bit, and he needed to make a renewed commitment to the team, a renewed commitment to doing things as a player that still make this team better. And we've seen that, so we feel good about the way he's worked in order to make that happen.
Is there one player who really solidified his spot after last night?
I think that if you were going to name one player who fits into that category, you would probably point to Herculez Gomez. He continues to take advantage of his opportunities, and we really feel that he's worked hard to get to this point.
What did you see specifically in Edson Buddle?
It's always important to understand that when you make tough decisions, you try to factor in everything. We've talked a lot of about how guys have done in the camp, and we saw last night, but you also take into account where they are in their seasons. Certainly up until this point, Edson's been one of the best players in the league and we thought that type of form needed to really count.
Does the fact that the leaders on the team are a little closer to the young guys in terms of age help chemistry?
I think that it does help, especially with regard to key players that have been there in the past: Landon, Gooch, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard. So I think the relationships those guys have with the players work well for us. But we still have a good [age] range with Marcus Hahnemann, who continues to move forward. His experience helps us.
Why Robbie Findley?
That was certainly one of those tough, late decisions. We feel that Robbie brings something special, especially as a reserve. His speed when he comes into a match, his willingness to try to run behind the defense, we felt that those are things that when we looked at everything our team had, we still felt that we could use some of those qualities.
On Carlos Bocanegra’s leadership qualities and fitness
Carlos is our captain. His presence in our team is very important. He’s got a great way with the group. He’s very positive, he’s a player that when he steps on the field, people respect him for the way he competes. In those ways, his leadership has grown over the years, and is an important part of our team.
His fitness is good - every day, he feels just a little bit better in terms of getting past the hernia surgery. The time frame that you usually see with that injury is such that that we have great confidence about how he’ll continue to progress.
On Clarence Goodson’s inclusion
We’ve watched Clarence a lot in the last few months. We’ve had him in some camps. I think he continues to get more confident. Certainly his ability in the air both in defensive situations as well as attacking set pieces has been a great plus. As he continues to get experience, his play is going to get better and better.
On Oguchi Oneywu’s health and what level he has to be at for him to be a starter
Like any player, we need to see that he continues to make progress. Last night was a great start, and we’ve got a couple more weeks. We’ve got two more matches, so we’ll get a good read on where he is as we get closer to the first game.
When was the decision to select Robbie Findley made and where does he need to improve?
Robbie was one of the players that we discussed late last night. We made a decision that we needed to see the other players, and we only had six subs last night. We felt that we had a good feel for where Robbie was after other games this year, including most recently Holland.
What he’s shown is that his movement along the front line is good, his speed and ability to get behind the defense. In those situations, the ability to make those plays count a little bit more - part of it is confidence, when he gets himself with a little bit of an advantage, he’s the kind of player that defenders are worried about. To go at people, take his chances, and make a little more happen in those moments.
On Benny Feilhaber
Benny has played an important role for us. As a midfielder, he can play tilted a little bit to either side, [and] he can play in the middle. He’s a creative player, a player who can play and deliver the final pass. And we think that is important. Every time we get him into camp, the push is to get him to where now he can get that for long periods and be a little more consistent over 90 minutes.
On Jonathan Bornstein
Jonathan Bornstein has played in some big matches for us. He’s a very good competitor. Athletically, he matches up well with some of the quick, fast players that you see at the international level out wide. He’s a player that also can give us something going forward. So I think his contributions along the way have helped us, for sure.