This caught me a little by surprise, to be honest. I'm way behind on forming fiery opinions based on nothing but third-hand reports from Yanks Abroad and BigSoccer fora. Worse still, I've completely forgotten who our savior is this month. Is it still Kenny Cooper? Or have we moved on to Lee Nguyen?
God, and I haven't even begun demanding that Sunil hire a foreign coach already, in order to give the Yaks legitimacy in the eyes of the world. I was distracted by Sven-Goran Eriksson re-enacting Hernan Cortes bringing Mexico the gift of smallpox.
I can't wait to read the roster. It's like a late Christmas present, or a slightly late Hanukkah present - you know, those horrible waxy chocolate coins that I guess they ate at Masada or whatever the hell Hanukkah commemorates. At last, something to talk about besides god-damned promotion and relegation.
Ooh - the headlines say it's MLS-heavy! God, this is going to be great. Is there anything US fans hate more than MLS players? Nothing, nothing at all.
Ah, there's Chad Marshall. Oh, crap! I forgot!
CHAD MARSHALL IS A BIG FAT FEMME FOR NOT GOING TO EUROPE. HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BEING THE BEST PLAYER HE CAN BE. HE JUST WANTS TO BE COMFORTABLE. HE'LL NEVER BE A QUALITY PLAYER IF HE DOESN'T TEST HIMSELF AGAINST THE BEST THAT EUROPE HAS TO OFFER. I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR CHAD MARSHALL, OR, AS I CALL HIM, MARSHALLMALLOW.
Aww...crap. I knew this day would come, but now that it's here...no Frankie Hejduk.
I know he's ready at a moment's notice to come charging in to save the day, but I haven't felt this much of a jolt since Cobi Jones was finally dropped. Guess it's also the changing of the guard for Conrad, Lewis and Mastroeni. I realize there's a school of thought that believes Camp January is for kids and outsiders, but Bradley isn't the type to forgo guys who are in his long-term plans. I know it's tough to think that Danny Califf and Cory Gibbs are ahead of Hejduk and Conrad on the depth chart now, but that's the way things stand. Hejduk, Conrad, Mastroeni - you all served your nation well.
It also looks like the end of the line, barring amazing MLS performances in 2009, for Kyle Beckerman, Justin Mapp, Taylor Twellman and...wow, Drew Moor. Sure, John Thorrington revived his national team career, so I suppose there's still theoretical hope.
But again, I can't imagine available guys being passed over simply because we think Bob is curious instead of serious about players he's called in. Bradley's not a capricious guy when it comes to callups. Take Chris Rolfe. I hope against hope he does make it on the international level. He's too small and too slow. The fact that he's there ahead of Edson Buddle tells me that Bob Bradley had more than enough of Buddle when he was a Metrostar. Or there's another reason...see comment below. If Buddle scores forty goals next year, he still won't be called in. Rolfe is ahead of Buddle, Twellman and Johnson (I hope).
Besides, as far as I'm concerned, our forwards are Clint Dempsey and Please God Let Bradley Realize Donovan Should Play Up Top.
By the way, what's the point of raiding guys playing in FMF if we're never going to see them?
What I'd really like to see at this point is Kljestan dropped from camp - by virtue of his signing a big fat transfer the hell away from Chivas USA - and replaced by DaMarcus Beasley, making his triumphant return to MLS...for the Crew. The Fire took a Columbus legend, the Crew should take a Fire hero. It's only fair.
Wait - no Lee Nguyen? FIRE BRADLEY NOW