By Ryan Fleming
Some quick thoughts on Bob Bradley’s choices for the United States Men’s National Team’s friendlies against Poland and Colombia.
- The inclusion of Brek Shea in the squad is a big one. The FC Dallas midfielder has impressed throughout the MLS season and hand a huge hand in the Hoops’ unbeaten streak that saw them catapult their way to third in the Western Conference, only four points behind the Los Angeles Galaxy . His creativity earned him his first ever USMNT call-up. The 20-year-old also adds a unique hairstyle to a team that desperately needs some character.
- Maurice Edu in the squad to me was a no-brainer. The midfielder has shown great work ethic and a sort of resurgence with the surprising Glasgow Rangers in the Champions League. If Edu continues to perform in the world’s most exclusive club competition, then thoughts will be running in Bradley’s head what he could do for the national team. That is, if he stays healthy.
- Beside Shea, the only other MLS player to make the squad was Heath Pearce, Shea’s teammate in Dallas. “We understand this is a critical point in the season for teams in MLS,” Bradley said in a US Soccer statement. “Given the circumstances, we felt it was important that the MLS players be given as much opportunity as possible to remain with their clubs and continue to make important contributions as the playoffs approach.” While that may be true, taking two Dallas players four days before they take on Real Salt Lake in a huge game is not helpful.
- Eric Lichaj also received his first call-up. The Aston Villa defender has seen match action once this season.
Ryan Fleming is an editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at Ryan.Fleming@thesoccerguysonline.com.