American Idol first round auditions

Not called in

I've taken a good, long look at the roster Bob has called in for Camp Fun, and I feel really good about them. This is a team that could easily challenge Columbus in the East next year.

"Gosh," thought I. "The US national team is as officially deep as the Jacuzzi in Barbie's Malibu Dream House." Well, apparently along with the players we've been cursing/cheering/both simultaneously over the past couple of years, players for clubs in season have also been left off. So trying to figure out where these thirty players stand in relation to, say, Torres or Orozco or Adu is a fool's errand.

Fortunately, I am at your service.

I didn't think it was still possible for the US national team to call into camp someone I've never heard of, but the name Alejandro Bedoya does not ring a bell. I hope next July in South Africa he's grabbing microphones doused in champagne and ranting about how people didn't believe in him, and more power to him. Wikipedia via Google (I work so hard at research) tells me he's 22, and nearly made the Olympic team in 2008.

Gonna go ahead and put Bedoya in as a longshot to make the roster, but every one of this roster is riding a dark horse, so to speak. Some of these guys might simply be too early - my fellow Galaxy fans and I, for example, are just going nuts about Omar Gonzalez. Presumably Houston fans feel the same about Cameron, Revs fans about Alson, and DCU fans about Pontius. I hope we're all correct - the US needs depth and new blood worse than an anorexic vampire.*

There's also the MLS veterans who are being shown the brass ring for maybe the last time. Rimando, Beckerman, Cunningham, Davis and Larentowicz are the names that jump out here. Larentowicz apparently hasn't even been called in before, let alone capped. Red Bulls and Fire fans are probably JUST FINE with that, of course.

Similar but slightly less heartwarming stories surround the guys who are either at the twilight of their storied careers, or whose storied careers took a turn for the Roy Lassiter. Feilhaber was once a hero of the Gold Cup, back in the distant past when the US won the Gold Cup. It hasn't even been a full freaking year since Kljestan scored a hat trick in the January friendly. Heath Pearce was once America's best left back, according to respected soccer observer Heath Pearce.

My personal favorite callup here is Brandon McDonald. Kicked out of Los Angeles in favor of the youth movement of Dema Kovalenko and Stefani Miglioranizi,** caught the falling star of the San Jose Earthquakes, but by golly didn't give up, and here he is today. I hope he absolutely tears it up. Even if he doesn't, he started the year out of MLS entirely, and ended it with the chance to represent his country. A small chance, but nevertheless, a chance.***

We'll see who has the chance to become this year's Frankie Hejduk (or, this year's Chad Deering) - the guy who comes out of nowhere and makes the roster. The three guys likely to survive this camp and friendly are Conor Casey and the two Crew players.

Well, and Jonathan Bornstein, who I assume Bradley thinks more highly of than default stopgap placeholder. Bornstein's going to be tricky to evaluate, though, what with the Honduras fans and players are going to stop play to carry him on their shoulders in a victory lap.

By the way, thinking ahead to the January friendly - what these players need to avoid doing at all costs? Scoring a hat trick. If Kljestan doesn't remind the other campers of the curse that carries, I'm sure Larentowicz can tell cautionary tales of Taylor Twellman.

*Wait, do vampire coffins have to be buried necessarily? That simile makes zero sense otherwise. God, that's too bad, I was so pleased with myself when I thought of it. Meh, I'll leave it in, no one will notice - note to myself, erase this footnote.

**Yes, both of whom had good seasons. Let's you and I follow up on this move and see how happy the Galaxy are with it around, say, August? Trading the future for the past can have a bad effect, like the Findley for Klein move, oh hey, look who's also being called in.

***If McDonald and Kljestan were to come into contact, would they cancel each other out in an explosion of upside and anti-upside?