Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Five Rapids Players Called Into US Camp

Nick LaBrocca and Colin Clark will be joining veterans Pablo Mastroeni, Conor Casey and Cory Gibbs in the US national team training camp this week ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Guatemala at DSG Park taking place November 19. This is the first time Clark and LaBrocca have been involved with the senior national team. I'll try and get some response from them later this week as this is a major achievement on their part and great reward for a very hard-working season. The selection of Gibbs, Mastroeni and Casey also makes a lot of sense given their sterling performances over the season and their local knowledge, less so in Gibbs' case, admittedly, as he has only been with the Rapids for half a season. US coach, Bob Bradley, will announce the final roster for the game after initial training, which starts tomorrow and ends Saturday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see LaBrocca and Colin Clark get an opportunity. The US team is pretty solid in the center, so LaBrocca will have his work cut out, but Clark may have an opportunity on the flank to crack the roster if he plays very well.

I salute the accomplishments of Pablo, Conor and Cory over their careers. However, given that the US has already secured a second round spot, I would've rather seen Bradley give some up and coming young players some time (Adu, Altidore, Orozco, Torres, Szetela, Davies, etc.). Even if the foreign-based young guys were eliminated from consideration, there's still enough young talent in MLS to field a more compelling line-up (Klestjan, Flores, etc.).

Pablo, Conor and Cory were decent call-ups...for Japan and S Korea in 2002. If the US needs depth at defensive midfield behind Bradley and Edu, then I'm fine with using Pablo opportunistically.

But when you have the freedom to look at a WC qualifier as a freebie, I think you need to emphasize youth over national team has-beens, as that experience may prove invaluable in the case of injuries during later round qualifying or in the tournament.