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May 26, 2010
Bradley picks his team for South Africa

Benny Feilhaber (r) and Jonathan Bornstein are two of the 15 World Cup debutantes on coach Bob Bradley’s final roster for South Africa.
Benny Feilhaber (r) and Jonathan Bornstein are two of the 15 World Cup debutantes on coach Bob Bradley’s final roster for South Africa.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named the 23-man roster that will travel to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The team departs for South Africa on May 30, and will play their opening match of the tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg (ABC, 2 p.m. ET).

The U.S. squad carries a variety of World Cup experience into South Africa, as fifteen players have been named to their first World Cup roster. Meantime, six players have played in a World Cup game, with midfielder Landon Donovan leading the team with eight appearances – all as a starter – while DaMarcus Beasley has six World Cup caps to his credit. That duo and Steve Cherundolo are earning a place in their third World Cup.

“We have been working for almost four years to reach this point, and we are grateful to all the players who have been part of the process. There is a tremendous amount of respect for the efforts and professionalism that everyone has put into building this team,” said Bradley. “It’s important in any team building process to get to the final 23, and clearly there were some tough decisions to make. We are confident that this is a group of players that will work together and be committed to doing whatever it takes to be successful. We feel the roster has a good balance of players who have been a part of previous World Cups, those who have gained great experience in qualifying and Confederations Cup and some newer faces that have proved they belong..”

A total of 92 players received at least one cap under Bradley over the past four years, as the team compiled a 35-19-6 record. Forty-three players were used during the 2010 qualifying campaign, 19 of whom made the final roster. Those players accounted for 29 of 42 goals scored in qualifying, led by Jozy Altidore with six.

Donovan is the leading capwinner on the roster with 121 international appearances. The USA’s all-time leader in goals (42) and assists (42) is one of two players with a World Cup goal in the books. The other, Clint Dempsey, won the Bronze Ball at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and is coming off a banner year, having become the first American player to reach the final of a European cup competition.

The defense is backstopped by goalkeeper Tim Howard, the Golden Glove winner from the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, who allowed less than a goal per game in 13 appearances in 2010 World Cup qualifying. Team captain Carlos Bocanegra – whose 12 career goals give him second place on the all-time scoring chart for U.S. defenders – is the third most capped player on the roster with 77 appearances. Oguchi Onyewu has returned to action following a seven-month recovery from a ruptured patellar tendon suffered last October in the team’s final qualifier, a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica. Jonathan Bornstein, has the chance to appear in his first World Cup, as do Jay DeMerit, Clarence Goodson and Jonathan Spector.

Donovan was the dominant force in the U.S. midfield during in the final round of qualifying, contributing to 12 of the 19 goals scored. His five goals overall tied for second place along with Dempsey and Michael Bradley, who also shared the most appearances in qualifying with Donovan (15). Bradley is joined in the center of the park by fellow 2008 Olympians Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber and Stuart Holden. Edu and Beasley earned a Scottish Premier League title with Rangers in 2010, while Feilhaber earned his place in U.S. Soccer lore by scoring the goal in the 2007 Gold Cup final against Mexico that gave the U.S. a chance to shine in the Confederations Cup in South Africa. Holden made his first appearance for the national team less than a year ago, scoring a goal in his debut against Grenada in the opening match of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Ricardo Clark scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win away to Trinidad & Tobago in qualifying, while José Torres is one of two players on the roster to ply his trade in Mexico.

The strike force is led by Altidore, who has eight career goals in 24 appearances and is the youngest U.S. player in modern history to score a hat trick. A trio of forwards – Edson Buddle, Robbie Findley and Herculez Gomez – did not appear in World Cup qualifying for the United States. Buddle, making his first appearance for the national team since 2003, became the 92nd player to collect a cap under Bradley when he assisted on the first goal against the Czech Republic on May 25 in East Hartford. Gomez, who entered camp after becoming the first American player to lead a foreign league in scoring when he scored 10 goals for Puebla in Mexico, recorded his first goal for the full team against the Czechs.

A record 19 players on Bradley’s roster play professionally for clubs outside the United States. Overall, players representing clubs from 10 different countries will be donning U.S. colors in South Africa. The average number of caps earned is 34, compared to 44 in 2006. Likewise, the team is slightly younger than four years ago, averaging slightly under 27 years old. In 2006, that number was closer to 28.5 years.

The U.S. will play their final home match before departing for South Africa when they face Turkey on May 29 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (ESPN2, Galavision, 2 p.m. ET). The United States will play one final friendly before the tournament begins, this time on South African soil when they face Australia on June 5 at Ruimsig Stadium in Roodepoort (ESPN2, 8:30 a.m. ET).

The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (All-Time World Cup Roster Appearances)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (2010), Marcus Hahnemann (2006, 2010), Tim Howard (2006, 2010)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (2006, 2010), Jonathan Bornstein (2010), Steve Cherundolo (2002, 2006, 2010), Jay DeMerit (2010), Clarence Goodson (2010), Oguchi Onyewu (2006, 2010), Jonathan Spector (2010)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (2002, 2006, 2010), Michael Bradley (2010), Ricardo Clark (2010), Clint Dempsey (2006, 2010), Landon Donovan (2002, 2006, 2010), Maurice Edu (2010), Benny Feilhaber (2010), Stuart Holden (2010), José Torres (2010)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (2010), Edson Buddle (2010), Robbie Findley (2010), Herculez Gomez (2010)

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