Initial camp roster (pending boycott of Beijing Olympics)

So, at least four of these guys will be cut, perhaps six or seven, and then assuming qualification, three more will be bounced to make room for overage players. Tough gig.

Rich Fidler, along with nearly everyone else, assumes that Michael Bradley (and Jonathan Spector) will be among the guys elbowing aside the kids that were called in today. I, however, maintain the slim hope that Peter Nowak will cut his boss' kid. Yes, it would be a bad decision. Yes, it would be bad for American soccer. Yes, it might conceivably cost us qualification for a second straight Olympics. But wouldn't it be worth it just to see the angry, icy glares Bob Bradley and Nowak would give each other? You know it would.

I've asked Luis Hernandez to stomp on my face so that I could see things from Nowak's point of view, and here's who I would start:

G: Seitz, given that I've never seen Hall or Cervi play in my entire life.

D: I'm feeling good with putting Wynne and Sturgis on the outside, okay with sticking Spector in the middle, and real iffy about these other guys. No wonder people are talking about shoving Maurice Edu back there. Thinking central defender will supply one of the overage players, assuming we get that far. I have no idea whether Michael Orozco is any good or not. Would sure solve a lot of problems if he were.

M: Well, this is easy if we're playing the crappy two d-mid system that Bob Bradley likes. Two out of Edu, Bradley and Kljestan, then Feilhaber and Adu. Wait, do I like Sal Zizzo or Robbie Rogers in mid, and Adu up top, more than I like Charlie Davies? Maybe I do. Zizzo sure looked good last year in Canada. We'll start with him, and then work our way down to Eddie Gaven.

F: I don't know if you guys have seen this Altidore kid, but he's pretty good. Not really sold on any of the other listed forwards besides Freddy, in whom I still believe. Look, he was fantastic in Canada, and whatever you think of his MLS career, he has historically destroyed his peer group. I mean, obliterated them.

It's not a horrible roster by any means, and even in this early stage compares well with Olympic rosters through the ages. (Probably the 1988 team is the only one I'd put money on to beat this crop. Yeah, I know, the 1988 team didn't make it to the next round, and the 2000 team finished fourth. The 2000 field was SOFT, man.)

I don't think Brazil and Argentina (or Mexico) are trembling in their boots, but I'm optimistic.