USMNT / World Cup

National team story lines

Possible World Cup Squad Members

Jose Francisco Torres

Jose Francisco Torres definitely increased his stock in my book this past weekend with an amazing free kick in Pachuca’s game against Puebla in the Mexican League. He showed that he can bring something special to the National Team. In past performances he has shown strong passing, positioning, and soccer intelligence. Against Holland on March 3rd Torres might get the chance to start and show what he’s got.

This is especially true since Benny Feilhaber recently sustained an ankle injury that may keep him out of the lineup against Holland. Beyond that Maurice Edu and Ricardo Clark are suffering from injuries, so Torres might get the chance to start alongside Michael Bradley in central midfield. I think Bob Bradley ought to start Torres to see what he can offer because he has the talent to be a game changer for the US.

Freddy Adu

Another player who improved his chances of getting on the plane to South Africa is Freddy Adu. Adu got his first start for Aris Thessaloniki and scored the game winning goal by beating his defender to a cross. Hopefully Freddy will get another chance to start for Thessaloniki next weekend. Eddie Johnson also started in the same game, and was part of the first goal for Thessaloniki.

DaMarcus Beasley came back from injury and played well for Rangers over the weekend. He was substituted at half time, but the start was encouraging. Less encouraging was that Stuart Holden did not see the field for Bolton Wanderers after coming back from injury. He did at least make the bench.

Brad Guzan

Brad Guzan also did not get the start for Aston Villa in the 5th Round of the FA Cup. While Brad Friedel had started all the Premier League matches, Brad Guzan had been putting in strong performances in the FA Cup. It’s too bad he didn’t get the chance to continue his good form against Crystal Palace. Due to lack of playing time it might be smart for Bob Bradley to consider Brad Friedel or Marcus Hahneman as the back up for Tim Howard, which would drop Brad Guzan to the 3rd goalkeeper spot.

Finally, Kenny Cooper took a step backward by not seeing any playing time with Plymouth Argyle against Barnsley. He did make the substitutes bench, but after playing the second half the week before against Reading, this was a disappointment. Hopefully he will get some playing time next week.

Possible Future National Team Members

Michael Hoyos

There was interesting news this past week about possible future national teamers. Two dual citizen youngsters came out of the woodwork. Michael Hoyos, an 18 year old from California, played in his 3rd straight match in the Argentine Primera Division. He plays for Estudiantes de La Plata and made the jump to the first team over the winter. Apparently he was playing for something below the level of the reserve team, when the coaches recognized his talent and brought him up.

He has been living in Argentina with his mother and brother for the last few years. He holds dual citizenship and has said that he would consider playing for either Argentina or the US. He recently turned down calls from the US because he wants to concentrate on getting playing time with his team.

He scored in his first appearance and the goal was high quality. Apparently he has continued to play well for Estudiantes. There have been 3 games after the winter break so far, and Hoyos started one game and got subbed into the others. He is quick, is 6”1, and has played as an attacking midfielder or a winger.

He does not seem to be like a Neven Subotic type, but he hasn’t expressed a strong connection to the US either. Hoyos appears to have the potential to be a national team starter in the future, and it would be a shame to lose him to Argentina. The US National Team coaches are doing there best to reel him in, so at least he is on the radar. Hopefully Hoyos will choose to represent the country where he grew up, but it doesn’t sound like he identifies himself strongly as an American. We will see what happens in the future. I would love to see him get called in to the US U-20 squad for this Youth World Cup cycle. I bet he would end up being a star of the tournament.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams, a 20 year old,  seems less likely to represent the US, but could be a strong contributor in the future. His father is American, but he grew up in Germany and has never even been to the US. He never even went to the embassy to pick up a US passport.

He currently plays for SC Freiburg in the German Bundesliga. He got promoted to the first team recently and has been playing well as a right back. He says that he is naturally a defensive midfielder and that he is open to playing for the US. He seems very similar to Jermaine Jones.

Basically, he feels German but seems to recognize his American roots. If he doesn’t get plucked by the German national team system, then he could become a quality player for the US. It would be nice to see him get a call to the US U-23 team to see what he can do in the next Olympic soccer tournament. From the little I have read about him, he sounds like he wants to use the US youth system to generate interest in him from the German national team. I hope he chooses the US, but I suspect his first choice is to play for Germany.

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