Bob Bradley named a really interesting, young roster for next week’s friendly against Switzerland. No, Hope Solo was not called up. For the first time I can remember the roster includes players I have never heard of: Tally Hall and Steve Purdy. Apparently Hall played at San Diego State last year and spurned the superclub LA Galaxy to play in Denmark for Esbjerg fB. Good for him. Steve Purdy is such an unknown that he isn’t on wikipedia. How good can this guy be? A quick google search turned up some interesting stats: he is a 6’4″ 190 lb defender at 1860 Munich in Germany. Last year he played at Cal-Berkeley so he must be pretty smart. Put him next to Gooch and you’ve got to have the largest pair of center backs on any team in the world.
Also of note is that three recent U20 World Cup veterans who leveraged their strong performances in Canada to gain European contracts were called in: Freddy Adu, Danny Szetela and Sal Zizzo. The team has a pretty strong Maryland flair as well. Adu moved to Potomac when he was 8 or 9, Gooch is from Olney, and young players Chris Seitz and Maurice Edu who were also called up attended the University of Maryland. I had the chance to see Seitz and Edu play several times for Maryland and you knew both were destined for better things. It’s cool to see them get a chance.
You may have noticed that many of the stars of MLS are missing. Bradley wisely chose to allow players on teams with playoff chances to remain with their club teams. That means no players from any teams but Toronto FC (Edu) and Real Salt Lake (Seitz and Findley)
One nitpicky thing about the roster that irritates me is the numbers the players chose. With 21 players, the players should be numbered 1-21. Holding midfielder Szetela should not get the 9 shirt and there is no reason for Robbie Findley to choose 29. You’ll hear Max Bretos and Eric Wynalda make fun of players who wear ill-fitting numbers in MLS (defender Clarence Goodson wears 11, a forward’s number; Calen Carr wears 3, a defenders number). Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to see the starting 11 wear 1-11. How can a proper team not have a player wearing the 10 shirt? It’s ridiculous. I’d like to have seen Adu take on that responsibility but instead he chose 25. Good for Beasley (7), Bocanegra (3), Bradley (4), Califf (2), Cherundolo (6), Dempsey (8), Feilhaber (5), Zimmerman (19), Zizzo (21) and Edu (13) for choosing appropriate numbers.
Regardless of what numbers the players will wear, the match will provide an opportunity for some of the up-and-comers to play a good opponent in Europe. Here’s hoping for a good match.