Talk To Me in Five Years: The 2007 Gold Cup Roster

Less a post here more just dawned because of two conversations this morning:

Back on the....

• On Justin Mapp

Made a comment this morning that Mapp is playing very well for the Montreal Impact. Got a lot of feedback that he was highly inconsistent for the Philadelphia Union last year. Agreed, but…

Players change and when they feel comfortable in a role it changes their outlook from perhaps nanoseconds to make an impression to tens of minutes. Should Mapp stay healthy and look this good four more games from now (and mind you he’s playing on a team with little attacking aptitude and that is always on the defensive)….well then maybe a contender can sneak in and steal’em. Line-hugging left-side midfielders a difficult lot to come by. Ask Sporting KC, they took a shot on Bobby Convey.

• World Cup 2010 forwards, how we looking?

This morning Clint Dempsey sits on 19 goals in all competitions for the session. Jozy Altidore is on 15. The completely “vigorated” (he’s not invigorated because he’s been doing it for awhile) Herculez Gomez sits on 11 (in 2012 alone) with Robbie Findley pulling up the rear at three.

They are almost the leading American scorers abroad this season and therein lies the interesting rub. Who enters the group? Matt Taylor, 30 years old, SC Paderborn 07 of the Bundesliga 2 who ironically played for Bradley at Chivas USA. Interesting.


Five years ago next month, the US Gold Cup roster would be announced. The historical is the team won the tourney (the last major tourney the USMNT won?) and here’s the squad that did it. Perhaps a bit dull to see most of these players would either retire or go on to be World Cup 2010 choices, but review nonetheless.

Below were some players on the periphery who were called in for friendlies immediately afterward:


After the break, a few other odds and ends:

» Chris Coleman is the manager that brought Clint Dempsey (among other Americans) to Fulham.


» Jurgen Klinsmann on the state of US Men’s Soccer post-Olympics debacle.


» Stu Holden out for the year according to Owen Coyle. Sad, for now.

» Herculez Gomez, triumphant in the CCL last night.

25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jared on 2012/04/05 at 12:30 PM

    The real question about Justin Mapp is whether his weird combover haircut is the best combover since Bobby Charlton rocked it in the 60’s.

    The USMNT needs to try some sort of formation with Herc and Dempsey playing off a central striker. Gotta find some way to get the goal scorers on the field although I guess the first step would be for Herc to get called up.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 12:38 PM

      All Kingpin with Mapp.

      On Gomez:

      Abstractly think about this:

      Klinsmann comes in and says he wants to play with more hispanics (my “h” is still broken) and reach south of the border for more talent.

      Klinsmann says that the most experience you can get is playing for a top side, playing a lot of games (UCL) and performing.

      Klinsmann implements the 4-3-3–although let’s be honest, you’re really looking at an unbalanced, diamond-esque 4-4-2–anywho, Gomez has played wide the past two years (fw and midfield) in similar systems.

      The US is stagnating off the ball in possession. Gomez excels off-the-ball.

      I’ll admit a homer disclaimer as I’ve become friends with herc (more because of his focus on team), but whether it’s his age or you don’t think he’s got enough chops in possession, whatever….don’t you have to bring in someone for a look based upon results of your play?

      And perhaps more so because you said you wanted to recruit south of the border when you came in.

      BTW, saw Wahl’s article on Gomez to MLS. There’s only one place I see Gomez ever going in MLS.

      Chivas USA. he’s not going back to the Galaxy and Chivas USA is in the the area, he’d be marketable and he’d be a great complementary forward for Robin Fraser.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/04/05 at 12:52 PM

        I think Gomez could work cutting in from the outside, a la Podolski or David Villa in a 4-3-3.

        Something like:
        GK, D; Williams, Bradley, Dempsey; Gomez, Altidore, Donovan.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 12:57 PM

          I think that’s challenge right there. Klinsmann has put really only left footed players up top on the left flank. Really just Shea and Fabian Johnson to a certain extent. Even the U-23’s mostly Shea there this past tourney with a little Joe Gyau (also left-footed)

          The US will lose *all* width on the left if they put Gomez there *unless* they have a left-footed fullback in Fabian Johnson or….or….Pearce?

          I think the only really exception on the left has been sort of trying Wondo there against Panama etc and that wasn’t the best.

          I think that’s the rub. On the right it’s been a hybrid role (likely the Donovan role) that is one that is attacking in space and tracking back. That’s not herc’s skillset per se.


          • Posted by dth on 2012/04/05 at 1:12 PM

            I kind of assumed we were playing Johnson at LB in most scenarios. Pretty sure he’s a better LB than Chandler is. And then, after that it’s….?


          • Posted by Alex on 2012/04/05 at 1:35 PM

            Gyau is right footed only. I don’t think I remember him even dribbling with his left for the U20s or the U23s


            • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 2:27 PM

              Really? Didn’t know that, but I meant to write Corona who I believe plays left for his club.

              Gyau stretches more vertically — you are correct.

          • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/04/05 at 5:31 PM

            As our U-23 team showed against Canada, when a team bunkers you need the outside backs to help break them down. Nothing better than Chandler and Fabian coming forward to unpark the bus. May not be a defensive enough formation for a top team but god a 4-2-3-1 of

            Herc – Deuce- Lando
            Torres – Bradley
            Johnson – Boca – Ream/Cameron – Chandler

            could really open a team up. And if you want more D against a top team then you start

            Johnson – Dempsey – Lando
            Beckerman/Williams – Bradley
            Chandler – Boca – Gooch – Dolo


            • Posted by dth on 2012/04/05 at 6:25 PM

              Would prefer Kljestan to Torres in your offensive formation.

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/04/06 at 5:15 PM

              Fair enough. I like Torres better than Kljestan but I can see the arguments the other way.

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/04/05 at 12:57 PM

        I don’t think anyone other than Buddle would argue that Herc deserves a shot. Age shouldn’t be part of the equation considering he’s only a little older than Dempsey, younger than Buddle and Donovan. He’s scored more than Buddle has in the past 2 years in the past 2 months. I’d understand more if he was left off the roster for Boyd who is scoring goals (albeit at a much lower level, had to put that caveat in there before DTH comes in and points out that it’s only the Regionalliga) and is much younger.

        I think the best bet would be Boyd and Herc called in along with Jozy. Boyd could be the backup for Jozy and Herc would be allowed to do what he does.

        I really thought that he would finally get a real shot when Bunker Bob was fired and replaced by Klinsmann.


      • Posted by lukesandblom on 2012/04/05 at 2:50 PM

        just wanted to say i think that we see a real 4-2-3-1 instead of this unbalanced crap once LD returns to the team. hopefully, at least


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 3:49 PM

          I don’t think so if only because JK wants to compress that backline and use a holder to divert attacks until the attack can regroup. It’s why he did/does like Kyle Beckerman so much.

          Beckerman is probably the best I’ve seen in MLS in knowing when to: (a) go for the tackle (2) divert and to which side (3) lay back (4) take a foul–took a very professional one last night against Montreal that perfectly halted an Impact break without getting even a smidge of warning from the ref.

          There would be an extra holder playing there for no real reason then.

          But I do think you hit the nail on the head. You’ve got Stu not back for awhile. You’ve got Torres always getting injured. You’ve Donovan and Shea who both work better in more open spaces. You’ve got up-and-coming target men in Sapong and Boyd.

          Yet through all this Klinsmann wants to constrict the space he puts the attack into.

          It’s tough, because the defense has been much, much better (no doubt learned at Inter & Germany by JK) but the only time the US has young points or looked prolific is on the break (Slovenia, Italy at stretches).

          Note, I’m not faulting Klinsmann, I think it’s a gargantuan task to attempt to teach a very “be familiar” system in sporadic camps and I do think it’s necessary.

          (I’ve got another tangent, but I’ll hold it.)


  2. Posted by dth on 2012/04/05 at 12:54 PM

    Just saw Altidore v. Valencia in the first half in Europa League. Pretty good performance–some loose touches, and a few instances where a potentially telling pass was a beat too slow; on the other hand, his hold-up play was very good and he occupied both centerbacks fairly well. He also had a nice diagonal run to set up a one-on-one with the GK disallowed because of a terrible offside decision. In general, you have to be pleased with the way he’s developed with AZ.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 12:58 PM

      Agreed on his development. If he can improve his hold-up play that would be massive. And his consistency.


  3. Posted by Andrew M. on 2012/04/05 at 2:07 PM

    Justin Mapp will always make us Mississippians proud. Nowak probably wishes he would have kept him on the roster after protecting Le Toux and then showing him the door. Just wish he was on a better team than Montreal.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 2:26 PM

      If he’s consistent, he’ll be in demand. Not that Montreal moves him, but I can think of a few teams that would drop what is probably about $150K in salary on him.

      Seriously, beyond Convey and Shea who else really stretches the field wide on the left with abandon.


      • Very true. Convey never convinced me he’s willing to work hard enough in MLS to deserve a spot on the field. It’s like he feels entitled to a spot because he played on PL team for a few games back in 06.

        Mapp will not only work for his spot, but when he’s on form he’s a star.


  4. Posted by dth on 2012/04/05 at 2:49 PM

    By the by, anyone else think Gomez would make a very good coach? Him and Cherundolo strike me as potential good coaches from the national team.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/05 at 3:43 PM

      Best players as coaches (great idea for a column) that I have spoken too, in no order:

      Sam Cronin
      Stu holden
      Jay DeMerit (quirky, but understands the game really well)
      Dax McCarty


  5. That is a sweet pic of Herc…BTW


  6. […] Justin Mapp is playing well for Montreal. Good for […]


  7. Posted by Crow on 2012/04/06 at 11:14 AM

    Two random questions- WTH happened to Gooch and Charlie Davies?

    I heard that Gooch got injured again- has he be been playing for Lisbon at all lately? And I know Davies went back to Sochaux- is he playing with the reserves?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/04/06 at 11:57 AM

      Davies has two appearances on the season. Bottom of depth chart for senior side and he loses value if he goes down to Reseves (meaning, if he starts playing and doesn’t perform.) Sochaux’s in 5th.

      Gooch I did hear get injured again. Like with an injury, you can never come back quite 100%. Onyewu still has a shot to be in the national team picture. Davies is not in it right now.


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