Roster predictions ahead of US friendlies

Have LA's Gonzalez, Fire's Johnson done enough to earn call-ups?

Sean Johnson

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Getty Images

When the United States take on Poland on Oct. 9 and Colombia on Oct. 12, it will mark the genuine beginning of Bob Bradley's second tenure as the US national team's head coach.


The European leagues will be on a break, meaning he can call on his regulars across the Pond – although expect elder statesmen Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo to stay with their clubs. Also, even though it's not quite time for Conor Doyle or Mikkel Diskerud to make their senior debut, some new faces will join the proceedings.


The MLS season will be in full swing, so the Red Bulls' Tim Ream will likely miss out, but Bradley can call some players from teams already eliminated from playoff contention.


Here's how we think Bob Bradley's 23-man roster will look for the friendlies:


 


[inline_node:316138]Goalkeepers (3)

 


Tim Howard - Everton are struggling, but the American No. 1 will still make the trip back to the US.

Brad Guzan - The Aston Villa backup deserves a start if for no other reason than it will help him impress European club managers.

Sean Johnson - Marcus Hahnemann can stay in Europe while the Chicago Fire rookie gets his first taste of the national team (assuming his club side won't make the playoffs).


 


Defenders (8)

 



Omar Gonzalez -
The Los Angeles Galaxy don't play during this international break, which gives Gonzalez a prime opportunity to build on his start against Brazil.


Jay DeMerit -
The former Watford captain still needs a team, but the Nats will do for now.

Oguchi Onyewu - There's a chance the big center back will stay in Italy and try to break through at AC Milan, but he needs the game reps Bradley will give him.

Clarence Goodson - With Ream unavailable, the IK Start center back gets the call.

Jonathan Bornstein - While Chivas USA won't make the playoffs, the versatile Californian can take solace in another opportunity to impress Bradley (and win over his critics).


Eric Lichaj -
The flanker of the future gets his first genuine camp invite.

Jonathan Spector - The fullback can't find the field at West Ham but should still earn a spot in the 23.

Kevin Alston - It has been a lost season for the New England Revolution, but the speedy right back deserves to be in camp.


 


[inline_node:307079]Midfielders (9)

 


Benny Feilhaber - Will his torrid streak with Aarhus earn him a start in what could be a new formation for the US?

Jermaine Jones - Schalke 04's skilled enforcer finally makes an appearance with the Red, White and Blue.


José Francisco Torres -
The creative midfielder is another player who could benefit if Bradley installs a 4-2-3-1.

Stuart Holden - The Texan's play at Bolton makes a strong case he should be starting for the U.\S.

Michael Bradley - The Stars and Stripes' most indispensable outfielder?

Maurice Edu - Although he's looked strong at Rangers, Edu could be the odd man out in the center of the pitch.


Alejandro Bedoya -
The former Boston College Eagle continues to shine in Scandinavia and will look to win a job out wide.

Sacha Klejstan - Anderlecht's new man will get the call if he's healthy. If not, Geoff Cameron should take his spot.

Landon Donovan - He might deserve a break, but he won't get one (nor will he ever admit he needs a rest).


 


[inline_node:317068]Forwards (3)

 


Jozy Altidore - Can Altidore continue the improvement he showed in South Africa?

Hérculez Gómez - The Pachuca striker opened his scoring account over the weekend.

Eddie Johnson - He's been solid, if not spectacular, at Fulham and will get another chance to prove he can score against quality competition.