Los Angeles Soccer: Jonathan Spector

Pearce dropped, Pontius added to U.S. team

August, 29, 2011
MANHATTAN BEACH -- Chivas USA defender Heath Pearce is out, and Yorba Linda's Chris Pontius is in.

The U.S. national team on Monday made two substitutions on its 24-man roster for Friday's game at Home Depot Center against Costa Rica and next week's friendly in Brussels against Belgium, replacing Pearce and FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd with D.C. United attacker Pontius and Birmingham City's Jonathan Spector.

Pearce suffered a hamstring injury in Chivas' loss Saturday night to Real Salt Lake -- he said trainers told him they believe it is torn, but no word yet on what tests determined -- and Loyd is nursing a hamstring strain.

Pontius (Servite HS and UC Santa Barbara), 24, who was in the U.S.'s January 2009 camp at HDC, can play several attacking positions and has been employed primarily on the left wing with D.C. He has scored a career-best seven goals in his third season with the club.

DEALING WITH BRADLEY: U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was asked Monday during a roundtable discussion with L.A. soccer media whether it was uncomfortable coaching Michael Bradley, the son of Bob Bradley, Klinsmann's predecessor, who was dismissed from the job last month.

Bradley, whom Major League Soccer's website reports is finalizing a deal to join Italian Serie A club Chievo Verona before Europe's transfer window closes Wednesday, was a starting midfielder for the U.S. in Klinsmann's debut, a 1-1 draw Aug. 10 with Mexico in Philadelphia.

“It was not complicated at all,” Klinsmann said. “I called him up and said, 'Michael, first of all, I have the highest respect for Bob. He did a great job, and I will touch base with him down the road. ... I definitely want to sit down with Bob and pick his brain and have a soccer talk.'

“I told him I'm there simply to help him.”

JOHNSON CAN'T PLAY: German-born defender/midfielder Fabian Johnson, who plays at 1899 Hoffenheim, is not yet eligible to play for the U.S. -- he represented Germany at the 2009 UEFA U-21 Championship, and FIFA must grant approval for his switch to his father's homeland.

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Jonathan Bornstein: Back to South Africa

November, 11, 2010

Former Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein got the call this week: He's heading back to South Africa with the U.S. national team.

Bornstein is one of five players from last summer's World Cup squad that U.S. coach Bob Bradley placed on his roster for Wednesday's "Nelson Mandela Challenge" friendly against South Africa in Cape Town. The former Los Alamitos High School, Cal Poly Pomona and UCLA standout, who will join Mexico's UANL Tigres in January, is the most experienced player on the roster, with 34 international appearances.

Bradley also called in Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who played for the coach when he was in charge at Chivas USA, West Ham United defender Jonathan Spector, Orebro midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, and Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley from the World Cup team.

Columbus Crew winger Robbie Rogers (Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach/Mater Dei HS), who was on the U.S. preliminary World Cup roster but did not go to South Africa, also is on the team.

Six uncapped players are on the roster. The most intriguing is Kansas City Wizards forward Teal Bunbury, who has turned down invitations to play for his native Canada, saying he has a better chance to realize his goal of playing in a World Cup by declaring for the U.S. That he does.

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