Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Gold Cup player review

(I should note that I did this before looking at any Bigsoccer threads or anything else on the subject)


Jimmy Conrad
Getting a chance for the first time at 28, he needed to impress and did so. Despite a bad final, did enough to put him in the mix for 2006. May have made Greg Berhalter irrelevant.

Oguchi Onyewu

Everyone knew he had the ability to be an international star, and he stepped up to the plate. Was the best USA defender and made the Best XI. A great game against Honduras, not as good against Panama, but should go from here to become a regular (just like Gibbs in the 2003 edition).

Chris Armas

Like Sanneh, had a last chance to make an impact. Unlike Sanneh, he looked pretty decent and will probably get another chance. Still, he probably couldn't cut it against the top teams like Germany and England. But if Kerry Zavagnin keeps getting called up, then Armas deserves to as well.

Brad Davis

Started the first game and looked unremarkable, but his sub appearance in the final was great, and was the most dangerous player on the field. A great penalty, too. Should definitely get another look.

John O'Brien

Proved that he is indeed the same player who started every game in Korea and impressed us all. He can take defenders on, and few USA players can serve the ball in like him. Other than winning the championship, the best thing about the Gold Cup...please don't get hurt again. ;)

Santino Quaranta

This guy replaced Eddie Johnson on the roster at the last minute, to everyone's surprise, and came out of nowhere to impress everybody. Started the first game and gave a good preformance, and came off the bench twice. In the final, took the defenders on and nearly created the winning goal, then stepped up calmly and buried the penalty. Definitely in the mix now.


Eddie Pope

After a long, successful career, people are starting to worry about Eddie. Already the fans are starting talk of him being our "Agoos 2006." An awful giveaway against Honduras went unpunished, although he did struggle with injury the whole time. With Onyewu, Gibbs and Bocanegra, he may find himself on the bench next year, although I still consider him a lock to make the roster.

Tony Sanneh

After a great 2002 World Cup where he was possibly our best player, injuries and age have slowed him down. Playing in the center, this was probably his last chance and he was one of our worst players.

Greg Vanney

Like Hejduk, looked good offensively (serving some great balls in), but is shakey defensively. The same player he's always been, he could've stepped up here but didn't. We still need a better left back.

Ben Olsen

Got his first shot in a while, and didn't distinguish himself. Too many guys ahead of him that are more talented for him to really break through.

Steve Ralston

Not the greatest of times for Ralston. Has played well in qualifying against CONCACAF teams, but not as good here. I don't think he'll see much time in Germany, if at all.

Conor Casey

Started the first game and played poorly, then tore his ACL and will be out for at least six months. He really hasn't shown much with the national team, so he needed a good tournament. Now he can almost certainly kiss his chance goodbye.

Josh Wolff

Wolff is a guy who has a lot of talent, but doesn't score very often. He got a goal off a redirection against Jamaica, but didn't look very threatening overall. He's still going to get called up, especially since Johnson is hurt, but he didn't do himself any favors.


Kasey Keller

Proved time and time again why he is the man. Made some great saves against Panama, and saved a penalty in the shootout, as well as one against Jamaica. Barring injury, a sure starter in Germany.

Marcus Hahnemann

Started against Cuba, then sat the bench. Didn't really have much to do, as Cuba got had one great chance and little else. It was good for him to get a full game. Looks likely to make the World Cup, possibly as the backup.

Matt Reis

Didn't see the field. Being the third option gave him a chance to show Arena what he can do, so now he's on the radar at least. But with Hahnemann and Tim Howard, as well as the MLS guys (Joe Cannon, Jon Busch, etc) to compete with, he's a longshot.

Frankie Hejduk

Hejduk is one of those guys who gets a lot of flack, but he always seems to step it up when people count him out. Looked good getting forward, less so defensively. Until someone else steps up, he'll be our reserve right back, and possibly a left back.

Steve Cherundolo

Had a man of the match preformance against Canada, then was hurt against Jamaica. Still in line to start at right back.

Pablo Mastroeni

Steady as usual. If Reyna and O'Brien are both healthy, it will be interesting to see if he retains his starting spot.

Landon Donovan

Landon didn't rule the field like we know he can. But he was one of our better players, and single-handedly led us to victory against Cuba. Not totally consistant, but had a few moments of brilliance and made the Best XI.

DaMarcus Beasley

Like Landon, was up and down. Maybe he just isn't motivated against such inferior comeptition. He did win the Golden Boot, with three goals and four assists to go along with that, so I can't complain too much. Best XI selection as well.

Clint Dempsey

A talented player who provided a spark off the bench. Nice to see him gain some experience, but a bad preformance in the final. Didn't really hurt his chances overall though.

Pat Noonan

Noonan played up top, and played ok. Along with Dempsey, was a spark against Honduras. Will continue to get experience in the remaining qualifiers.

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