Many are called, few are chosen

Boy, people sure hate the US roster for the Guatemala game.

I have no idea why I don't. I at first thought that I was too preoccupied tasting the sad of the Galaxy, but Dave Denholm is if anything more irritated about Adu's exclusion than Adu himself.

I at first thought that Adu was left off for the same reason that Parkhurst and McBride were left off the qualifying roster, and the same reason Donovan was left off the Olympic roster...until I took an eighth of a second and remembered Kljestan was called up. I thought "Well, maybe Olympics, Nats, AND Euro club commitments were too much to ask" - then I recalled Michael Bradley. Then I thought, "Okay, but Adu just joined a new club, just like Jozy" - oh, wait, Guzan and now Maurice Edu. Then I thought, "I'm not good at this."

So right now Bob is in love with Sacha Kljestan - well, the guy has a world of ability and drive, and if he just gets a little guidance to stop making agonizingly stupid decisions, the guy will be fantastic. Sadly, his current role model is Preki, something for which Maximum Bob is directly responsible, and Preki the coach isn't teaching Kljestan much about keeping cool under fire the way Preki the player could.* Besides, coaches love teaching. A talented guy can be taught things like "don't jump and twist sideways in a free kick wall," but a guy who already knows that isn't going to necessarily get more talented...so down the road, the talented dunderhead is going to be a better player. So goes the thinking. I too am bewitched by the possibility of Kljestan not being an idiot.

And right now he's sticking with Eddie Johnson, a player whose mental grasp of the game is under continual barrage by his arch-nemesis, shiny objects. I don't want Edson Buddle called in because my club desperately needs him*, but Kenny Cooper still has a pulse, so what's the deal?

Well, Maximum Bob didn't have an extended camp for this match. It's a rare coach who on a short preparation time goes with unfamiliar players, and based on track record it's easy to understand Johnson over Buddle. If Buddle makes it all the way to the end of the year, this will be his, what, second truly good season in MLS? At the age of 27 or whatever, three years older than Johnson? If I had to win a game this week, I'd call in Buddle, no question. But I understand why Bradley didn't. (Oh, Bob is probably putting a lot of stock in EJ's 8 goals in qualifying, which is also exasperating. If it's past performance you want, call in Gonsalves and Borghi.)

Same with Bocanegra and Onyewu yet again. Would I prefer Conrad and DeMerit together? You bet your rhetorical questions I would. But Bradley has had success with Boca and Gooch, so they're the default. Yeah, they're going to force Howard to make at least three unbelievable saves, but at least they're tough enough to deal with Carlos Ruiz. And if they can't deal with the Carlos Ruiz 2008 version, I think we'd all rather know that this week than in the Hexagonal. (Had Bob actually called in McBride, that would have been the trifecta of CONCACAF teams using MLS forwards to recapture former glory, what with Blanco dealing with sober Mexico fans instead of drunk Fire fans this week.)

Bradley's going to look at pretty much everyone - he'll have to, our talent pool isn't deep enough. I'm not worried about guys not getting their chances. I'm worried about Donovan playing right midfield. Look, it was a cute idea, but he's our best player, and DaMarcus is healthy again. A few years ago, these guys had an understanding that bordered on telepathy. Maybe it's only a matter of time before Beasley breaks another piston or whatever, but this was the cycle that the two of them were supposed to truly break out. Stranding them on opposite sides of the field, with three or four or five defensive midfielders between them, will be...difficult to watch.

*What is it about coaching that reveals personality traits we didn't see as players? I don't remember Preki or Jason Kreis being such headcases as players, and I saw them both play for years. Dominic Kinnear of the Mutiny was upstaged by people like Cle Kooiman, but Kreis and Preki never drew multi-week suspensions as players. Must be the authority. MLS as Stanford Prison Experiment?