AEG, USMNT, the usual gang of idiots

Yay, qualifying roster is out. It's like Christmas. On Mars. With Jehovah's Witnesses.

But first, I think I should at least pile on this. I get very few Christmas cards from either the Angel City Brigade or the Union Ultras, but this is as weak as the Woody Allen Workout. I'm still willing to rant about the Legion-Riot Squad fracas of 2007, but neither of these groups were involved - and apparently the decision was more about West Ham-Millwall than Legion-LARS, which is even weaker. I blame Legion 1908 for everything from global warming to Amelia Earhardt's disappearance, but it's hard to see this as anything other than AEG being small.

Anyway. The US roster should be the big story, since it's, like, the most important thing in American soccer by a longshot. But even the US Soccer site is downplaying it - their lead story for the Full International Team is still the August 12 game, something you'd have thought the USSF wasn't THAT interested in promoting.

Twenty-four have been called, few will be chosen.

Just to compare this to the 20 men called for the Mexico game, we can make the following conclusions.

1. I am so sick of Brian "Hawaii 5-0" Ching I could just cry myself to sleep at night. Okay, maybe this isn't something we can all agree on.

2. I'd thought one of the questions of the Gold Cup was whether any of the players could pick up the broken pieces of their lives and somehow find a way forward. Well, Bradley's more forgiving than I am. Not only are Ching and Holden here, but let's welcome back Chad Marshall, Robbie Rogers and Kyle Beckerman.

3. Insight on the third goalkeeper will have to wait until Howard gets himself suspended again. Still Guzan backing him up.

4. Robbie Findley, this is your chance. ("Dan, he's only here because the game is in Sandy, and so Bob's not making Adu or whoever fly in for a couple of days only to be cut. Come to think of it, that's probably why Beckerman is back, too.") Not the point. I mean, it's a good point, but it's not the point. It's not like he's a backup goalkeeper. The United States will need forwards more desperately than it needs oil, and will do so for longer. (And yes, I'm in favor of starting wars in order to ensure a steady supply. Don't give me that No Blood For Goals crap, hippie.)

Yeah, he's probably not gonna make the game-time roster, let alone the 2010 roster. But if he goes in thinking like that, he certainly won't. So, Robbie, if you're reading this, stop. Get out there and train.

Also, it would be hilarious if it turned out the Galaxy gave up another future international while dicking around with Alan Gordon the past seven years.

5. Remember what I said about not calling in guys from nine time zones away just to send them back after a day or so? So what's Goodson doing here? Here's my guess. The Sandy game will be Goochless, so late in the game, when we're up three or four goals - and we damn well better be - maybe Boca or Jay or someone gets a yellow, and on comes Goodson. Does a serviceable job, we win, he goes back to Scandia with his international reputation repaired. The only reason I can remember his club - IK Start - is because it's something he ain't gonna do for the US, and I appreciate the irony. It's as if Ching played for the Houston Play Well Against Mexico.

6. Frankie Hejduk only just came back from injury, and Bob doesn't want to rush him back. SHUT UP SHUT UP I'M NOT LISTENING

It's not that we should win these games, but that we kind of have to. So that might account for some of the restrained coverage. Sure, there are no surprises on the roster. But, in the words of Reverend Spooner, I'm britting a shick over the possibility of bungling either of these games. Anything less than four points - and I think four would be a pretty bad outcome, honestly - we'd be up crit chic.