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Injuries have held up today’s U.S. roster announcement; plus, pondering Carlos Bocanegra

Mar 18, 2013, 10:49 AM EDT

Carlos Bocanegra, Randolph Hillsworth Burton

This morning’s United States national team roster announcement has been held up by injury situations – I am hearing that there might be multiple starters involved – and by the standard procedures of notifying the next guy in line.

“Multiple starters” are hardly words anyone around U.S. camp wants to hear ahead of Friday’s critical World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.

First promised this morning from U.S. Soccer, look for it sometime shortly after lunch today. (Some players have already arrived into Colorado; so if you happen to be at Denver International Airport, have a look around, would you? And then give us a jingle.)

This does give us more time to ponder a couple of roster puzzles. One is about the U.S. goalkeeping situation – but we’ve put that one to bed around here. Brad Guzan should get the call. Period.

And we move on.

But what about U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra (pictured)? On one hand, his years of experience could prove wonderfully handy in a pressure packed Friday night ahead at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. Not that Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, the presumed starting U.S. center backs, aren’t talented enough to manage the job. Rather, it’s about adding just a little more veteran calm, introducing just a little more on the job experience along a back line that’s highly inexperienced otherwise at international level.

It might be different if Steve Cherundolo was around to act as a veteran guide wire, but recent injuries to the longtime U.S. right back might make that impossible.

So, start Bocanegra?

Before you go there, consider that he has not played in a month for his Spanish second division club. Presumably, there’s a reason. And presumably that reason has to do with Bocanegra approaching his 34th birthday in May. That’s a lot of tread on the tires for a man never blessed with more than average speed anyway.

Do you really want to see how a rusty center back might hold up against EPL man Bryan Ruiz and Costa Rica’s cast of talented strikers? That seems like a substantial gamble, too, considering the stakes.

The classic definition of a dilemma is a choice between two equally less appealing options. I would say we are there.

  1. dreadpirate82 - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Talking about Bocanegra as a rusty center back makes me think of how little Cameron has played there since his move to Stoke City. After the injuries, I’m as worried about him as anyone. His positioning has been suspect against Guatemala and Honduras in the last two qualifying matches. He worries me. The talent is there, but is it really a good idea playing him where he hasn’t played much at all lately?

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is playing him at left back due to all the injuries. That would leave Goodson (shaky of late), Besler (no WCQ experience), Bocanegra (not playing), and Fiscal (not much experience) filling his spot in the middle. Not sure I like that option any better, but Cameron makes me a bit nervous.

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