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NASL Player Makes USMNT Roster for Mandela Challenge

The US Men’s National Team Coach Bob Bradley announced his 18 man roster for the Wednesday November 17 international friendly match with South Africa.  Among the six players who received first time call-ups for the Mandela Challenge match is defender Gale Agbossoumonde of Miami FC.  Agbossoumonde, who played six games for Miami FC in the 2009 season, is currently on loan to Portuguese second-division club Estoril.  The game, which will be played at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, will be televised on ESPN2 and Galavision at 2:00 pm ET next Wednesday.

Joining Agbossoumonde, who will be celebrating his 19th birthday on the day of the match,  in making his USMNT debut will be St. Louisan Tim Ream, the outstanding rookie defender of the New York Red Bulls from St. Louis University.  Other players receiving a first time call-up will be Ream’s 17 year-old Red Bulls’ teammate Juan Agudelo, Kansas City Wizards’ forward Teal Bunbury, Celtic backup goalkeeper Dominic Cervi and Norwegian midfielder Mikkel Diskerud.  Congratulations to all these young players on making the roster !!!

Only five veterans of the USMNT’s 2010 World Cup squad will represent the United States in this friendly against the Bafana Bafana.  Veteran defender Clarence Goodson has recently signed with Danish club Brondby after starring at Norwegian side IK Start, while his fellow backliner Jonathan Bornstein is leaving Chivas USA to play for Tigres in the Mexican Primera Dvision.  Bornstein’s 35 senior caps lead this young roster. Coach Bradley will bring a very inexperienced, MLS dominated squad to Cape Town for this match, with three Columbus Crew players, two from the NY Red Bulls and 2009 champions Real Salt Lake and one player each from the KC Wizards and Chicago Fire. 

Since the World Cup this past summer, the USMNT has not been able to secure a win in international friendlies with a loss to Brazil and draws against Poland and Colombia.  Bob Bradley was re-hired as national team coach after some deliberation following the World Cup, and I congratulate him on having the farsightedness and leadership to bring more young players into the USMNT’s fold.  He could pad his win-loss record by bringing an experienced, veteran squad to South Africa, but he chooses to look to the greater good and future of the USMNT by giving opportunities to very young talents, and he should be supported for that decision.  Coach Bradley is truly a leader who puts the good of the national team ahead of his own record. 

USMNT Team Roster for Mandela Challenge

Goalkeepers:  Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Dominic Cervi (Glasgow Celtic)

Defenders:  Gale Agbossoumonde (Miami FC/Estoril), Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Tim Ream (NY Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

Midfielders:  Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)

Forwards:  Juan Agudelo (NY Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (KC Wizards), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)

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