U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a 20 player roster to face the Netherlands at Amsterdam ArenA on March 3 in the team’s final international fixture date before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Kickoff for the match is set for 2:30 p.m. ET with live coverage on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.
The team, which includes sixteen European-based, three domestic-based players and one player based in Mexico, will begin gathering on Sunday, Feb. 28 in Amsterdam. The U.S. will train have two days of training before facing the Netherlands. The match will also be the on-field debut of the 2010 Men’s National Team Away kit which the team will wear during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“This is a great opportunity for us to bring many of our European-based players together as we continue to finalize our plans for the World Cup roster,” Bradley said. “This is the final match before we bring the team together for the World Cup, so to have a match against one of the top teams in the world like the Netherlands is a big benefit and a good challenge for our group. They are expecting a large crowd to turn out for the game, and we are looking forward to an exciting atmosphere in Amsterdam.”
Many of the players based abroad will be looking to make their first appearances since the team’s final match of 2009 on Nov. 18 against Denmark. U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra leads the list of names while goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was unavailable during last November’s friendlies, could make his first start for the U.S. since the memorable conclusion to World Cup qualifying against Costa Rica on Oct. 14, 2009. The goalkeeper contingent is rounded out by fellow Premier League goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Marcus Hahnemann.
Midfielder Landon Donovan is the team’s leading capwinner and goalscorer. The Everton winger has been enjoying a prosperous spell with his club in the Premier League, having joined the team on a 10-week loan at the start of the new year.
There is a return to the Netherlands for midfielder Michael Bradley, who spent two and a half seasons with Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie. After moving to the Eredivisie in early 2006, Bradley established himself as an important part of the Friesland club before moving to his current team, Borussia Mönchengladbach of the German Bundesliga, in 2008. Longtime U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley will also make the trip to Holland, where he formerly played for PSV Eindhoven before eventually landing at Rangers.
Nine of the players in Bradley’s squad are currently playing in England, with Watford’s Jay DeMerit among those included. DeMerit has not featured for the U.S. since the Aug. 12, 2009, game against Mexico in Mexico City, but has returned from injury to feature for his team in the English Championship. Midfielder Stuart Holden is called into his first U.S. squad since signing with Premier League side Bolton Wanderers following the conclusion of the 2009 MLS season.
Also returning to the fold is defender Frank Simek, who last appeared for the U.S. on June 24, 2007, in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, a 2-1 win against Mexico at Soldier Field. Maurice Edu, a teammate of Beasley’s at Rangers, rejoins the U.S., having last appeared for the U.S. in the semifinal round of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying in a 2-1 win against Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15, 2008, in Port of Spain.
Rounding out the European contingent are Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore, Clarence Goodson and Eddie Johnson, who recently joined Greek club Aris Thessaloniki on loan from Fulham, as well as Alejandro Bedoya, who earned his first U.S. MNT cap against Honduras in January. The only player who does not ply his trade in MLS or in Europe is José Torres, who has been a consistent performer for Pachuca in Mexico.
Four members of the roster featured in the USA’s recent 2-1 defeat of El Salvador. Defenders Jonathan Bornstein, Heath Pearce and Goodson all played 90 minutes on the backline. Bornstein captained the U.S. for the first time while Pearce provided an assist during the victory in Tampa. Robbie Findley, along with Bornstein and Pearce, rounds out the trio of domestic-based players traveling to the Netherlands.
The U.S. will be facing the Netherlands for the fourth time in history, the hosts holding a 3-0-0 record. The teams last met Feb. 18, 2004, at the same venue, with Holland walking out 1-0 winners. The U.S. has previously met the Netherlands in a World Cup year, falling 2-0 on May 29, 2002, in Foxborough in the final Send-Off match before the USA went on the historic run to the quarterfinals of Korea/Japan.
The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster by Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Everton), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)
Source: U.S. Soccer