Friday, June 01, 2007

I'm With Landon: Why Play In Both?

Luis Bueno reports that both Jonathan Bornstein and Brad Guzan will be on the Copa America roster, as part of 8-12 players who will play in both tournaments this Summer. Also, it's come to light that Bob Bradley wants Landon Donovan to play in the Copa America as well.

I really don't get what Bradley and the USSF are doing here. There's no reason any player should play in both tournaments. We have a big enough pool now, and players either need rest from their Euro season or shouldn't be away from their MLS team that long. That's why I didn't want us to go to the Copa America, regardless of how much more prestigious it is compared to the Gold Cup. Besides, is it really going to benefit Donovan that much by playing in both?

I thought it would be optimal to take our Euro players to the Gold Cup, since that's the more important (though easier) tournament. Also since it's close to the end of their season. That way, those guys could get a nice, long break for the rest of the summer. Bring along a few MLS guys to start at forward and to round out the squad. The MLS guys should play the Copa America, because they need to get tested more. Also, the MLS season should be disturbed as little as possible. So that's another reason all the MLS guys should be called up for only one tournament each.

Yes, there may be more total MLS players involved this way, but each only goes to one tournament. And it's very likely that the USA will less time in the Copa (where most of the stars would be going in this scenario) than in the Gold Cup.

Here's what I had in mind:

Gold Cup

(mls guys in bold)

G-Cannon, Guzan, Keller
D-Bocanegra, Burciaga, Califf, DeMerit, Hejduk, Onyewu, Pearce, Spector
M-Beasley, Bradley, Dempsey, Feilhaber, Gros, Kljestan, Olsen, Ralston
F-Ching, Hill, Johnson, Wolff

Copa America

(euros in bold)

G-Howard, Reis, Wells
D-Barrett, Bornstein, Boswell, Conrad, Namoff, Parkhurst, Robinson, Simek
M-Beckerman, Carroll, Clark, Davis, Donovan, Mapp, Mastroeni, Mullan, Noonan
F-Cooper, Rolfe, Twellman

Comments on "I'm With Landon: Why Play In Both?"


Blogger Jarrett said ... (8:03 AM, June 01, 2007) : 

Isn't the reason that we are playing in both is the criticism that our players don't play enough meaningful, difficult games at the international level.

The whole reason of going to Copa is to cut our teeth on meaningful internationals outside of CONCACAF.

If Landon doesn't want to play, that's fine, but he shouldn't be surprised if Bradly hands the captain's armband to a real leader on the team come qualifying.

If we're not playing the Copa to win, why go at all? We could just as easily plan some meaningless friendlies when MLS is out of session.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:23 PM, June 01, 2007) : 

Arena, who is not prone to effusiveness, has called Donovan "the best midfielder and the best forward" in the US pool. I think it's likely Bradley thinks the same thing and expects Donovan to be the main offensive factor through 2010. What other field player is so important? It doesn't do any good to give new players time if we don't find out how they play with Donovan on the field. That means Donovan has to play on every team. Do I agree? Not necessarily. But it makes some sense.


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