May 1, 2006
Will the bubble burst for bubble players? Here's one writer's World Cup team selections
By Michael Lewis
Tuesday is D-day for many players on the bubble who hope to make the U.S. World Cup team.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena will unveil his 23-man roster on ESPN's SportsCenter at 6 p.m., the group that he plans to take to Germany in June.
While stars such as goalkeeper Kasey Keller and midfielder-forward Landon Donovan are a lock to make the team, several players are keeping their fingers crossed that they will be picked.
Here's one writer's thoughts on who will get the call:
Goalkeepers (3): Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, England), Tim Howard (Manchester United, England).
Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham, England), Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany), Cory Gibbs (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Frank Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Eddie Lewis (Leeds United, England), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege, Belgium), Eddie Pope (Real Salt Lake).
Midfielders (8): DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Bobby Convey (Reading, England), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Donovan (L.A. Galaxy), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), John O’Brien (Chivas), Ben Olsen (D.C. United), Claudio Reyna (Manchester City, England).
Forwards (4): Brian McBride (Fulham, England), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards), Taylor Twellman (New England Revolution), Josh Wolff (Kansas City Wizards).
Arena reportedly may pick as many as a dozen alternates, and he has good reason for that: the threat of injury.
Arena remembers what transpired four years ago, when midfielder Chris Armas went down with a knee injury during a warm-up match only weeks before the team departed for Korea.
And you only have to look at what occurred Saturday, when England and ManU star Wayne Rooney broke a bone in his right foot in a 3-0 loss at Chelsea. He is expected to miss six weeks and England's first two World Cup matches.