Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Adu for the USA?

Coach Bob Bradley's latest USA Men's National Team roster for the upcoming CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago has a curious absence: One Freddy Adu. Based on his performances in the USA's first two group games at the Beijing Olympics (Adu was suspended for the third match, down to his own petulance), this sort of beggars belief. Now, Bradley may think he has enough of a roster to walk these two matches and let Adu bed in with his new side Monaco (the lads and I have been to their stadium, by the way). But when you are a national-team manager, you have to budget, so to speak, for all outcomes. And if we go deep into the second half against either Cuba or T&T at nil-nil, you need someone on the bench who can unlock a defense and help you steal a result you might not really deserve. And of all the players who have worn a USA shirt, Adu is showing himself to be the most capable of doing so: whether it be a clever backheel, a probing run or that pass that required an extra second before being released. As a 14-year-old, his hype worked against him. But at this point, a USA starting 11 without Adu seems like folly. Just an opinion.