Los Angeles Soccer: David Yelldell

Five things we learned from the U.S. friendlies

March, 30, 2011

The U.S. national team was hit and miss during the friendlies against Argentina on Saturday and Paraguay on Tuesday, and it has nothing to do with the scorelines.

The Americans rallied to tie Lionel Messi-led Argentina, 1-1, in East Rutherford, N.J., a flattering result that provides no suggestion of how dominant were the Albiceleste. The U.S. was much better against Paraguay in Nashville, dictating large swaths of action, but couldn't overcome an early deficit in a 1-0 defeat.

Bob Bradley's team, 1-2-4 since the World Cup, is preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where there are weighty expectations (the U.S. must make it to the June 25 final at the Rose Bowl, likely against Mexico) and a big prize (the winner heads to the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil).

The bigger picture, of course, is 2014, the next World Cup, and Bradley has blooded more than two dozen players, with a handful demonstrating that they might have a real future at the international level. The U.S. coach already has had 58 players in camp since August and used 51 in the games against Brazil (2-0 loss, Aug. 10 in East Rutherford), Poland (2-2 draw, Oct. 9 in Chicago), Colombia (0-0 draw, Oct. 12 in Chester, Pa.), South Africa (1-0 win, Nov. 17 in Cape Town), Chile (1-1 draw, Jan. 22 at Home Depot Center), Argentina and Paraguay.

Here are five things we learned, or saw confirmed, in the games the past week:


U.S. Soccer once scrambled for every U.S.-eligible player that could be found in Europe -- every serviceman's son (Thomas Dooley, Earnie Stewart, David Wagner, etc.), every player married to a Yank (Roy Wegerle, David Regis -- too bad we missed out on Juergen Klinsmann!), every U.S.-born, foreign-raised talent (can't think of any off hand, sorry).

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U.S. calls: No Landon Donovan vs. RSL

March, 16, 2011
The Galaxy will be without Landon Donovan for next week's showdown with fellow Western Conference powerhouse Real Salt Lake, unless there's a deal in place with U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley that would allow him to suit up for L.A.

Donovan was, no surprise, one of 24 names on Bradley's roster released Wednesday for friendlies March 26 against Argentina in East Rutherford, N.J., and March 29 against Paraguay in Nashville.

The Galaxy plays at Real Salt Lake on March 26.

Donovon is among four Major League Soccer players on the roster, joined by New York defender Tim Ream and forward Juan Agudelo, and Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit.

Donovan will join the U.S. team Monday in Cary, N.C., the day after the Galaxy's home opener against New England. Bradley will determine the travel roster for the Argentina game by March 24, and the roster for the Paraguay game will be announced after the first game. These are the Americans' final matches before Bradley decides on a roster for the June 5-25 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the region's nations championship.

Galaxy officials said they expected Donovan to play against Argentina and miss the RSL clash, which makes sense. Donovan is the Americans' best player, and the Argentines are a world power. More than 52,000 tickets have been sold for the game.

The U.S. roster includes seven players from the L.A. area. In addition to Donovan (Redlands/Redlands East Valley HS), they are defenders Carlos Bocanegra (Alta Loma/Alta Loma HS and UCLA) and Jonathan Bornstein (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS and Cal Poly Pomona/UCLA), and midfielders Michael Bradley (Manhattan Beach), Maurice Edu (Fontana/Etiwanda HS), Benny Feilhaber (Irvine/Northwood HS) and Sacha Kljestan (Huntington Beach/Huntington Beach HS). All are based in Europe except Bornstein, who plays for UANL Tigres in Mexico.

Former Galaxy forward Edson Buddle, now at FC Ingolstadt in Germany, also is on the roster.

German-born goalkeeper David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg) and defender Timothy Chandler (FC Nuremberg) are making their initial appearances in a U.S. camp.

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