The next stage of World Cup qualifying is just around the corner for the Red, White, and Blue. As such, Goal.com's Noah Davis takes a look at the 18-man roster coach Bob Bradley should use for the El Salvador match.
The great thing about qualifying is that there's always another match on the horizon. After dispatching of Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, the United States Men's National Team gets a six-week break before a March 28 game in El Salvador. With this in mind, Goal.com took a look the 18-man roster it thinks U.S. head coach Bob Bradley should call on for the game. (We'll be running a similar article about the April 1 fixture against Trinidad and Tobago next week.)
Brad Guzan -- Tim Howard is suspended for drawing a silly yellow card after the Rafael Marquez red card (although if he was going to miss a match, this is an okay one to sit out). As the clear second-best net-minder, Guzan gets the nod in net.
Troy Perkins -- After starting against Sweden, the Vålerenga keeper seems to be Bradley's choice from the pu pu platter that is the Red, White, and Blue's No. 3 spot.
Steve Cherundolo -- Health-permitting, of course. Cherundolo missed the match against Mexico due to an injury, but seems to be recovering nicely and played over the weekend for his club side, Hannover 96.
Marvell Wynne -- The 22-year-old is a bit too raw to start in a match of such importance, but you'd like to see him get a late run if the U.S. goes ahead.
Carlos Bocanegra -- The U.S. captain didn't have his best game against El Tri, but he was solid as always and clearly provides a stabilizing presence in the back.
Oguchi Onyewu -- Along with Bocanegra, Onyewu has firmly established himself as the U.S. center back of the present and foreseeable future. His game needs refinement -- watching him run with an attacking player towards his own net continues to terrify -- but he's an unmovable rock on set pieces and brilliant in the air.
Danny Califf -- He's the third center back on the U.S. depth chart. At some point, you'd like to see him get some PT, although that's not likely to happen unless the two players ahead of him get injured. He's probably a lock to anchor the backline in the Gold Cup, unless Bradley opts to bring him in to reinforce the defense during the Confederations Cup.
Jonathan Bornstein -- Heath Pearce, who can't get off the bench on a German second division team, had his shot against Mexico. He acquitted himself decently, but didn't win the job outright. He might never do so. Bornstein might not either, and the spot is up for grabs. The versatile winger deserves another look. If nothing else, his service into the box can't be any worse than Pearce's.
Clint Dempsey -- He didn't have a great game against Mexico and many of his talents continue to be wasted on the right side of the field, but Dempsey remains one of the few American players with the skill and creativity to create offense within the run of play.
Michael Bradley -- The revelation of the Hexagonal opening round game wasn't Bradley's offensive skills, as he's shown he could score on his club teams, but the maturity of his game. The coach's son played like one: controlling the midfield, picking his spots, and keeping a cool head.
Sacha Kljestan -- Another player who struggled against El Tri (could it be the haircut?), Kljestan's potential is nonetheless very close to being realized. He's shown he can create in the open field, but he'll have to improve if he wants to do so against the world's better squads.
Pablo Mastroeni -- After serving a one-match suspension in the last fixture, the hard-nosed Colorado Rapids midfielder needs to return to the American squad. He might not be around for South Africa, but he's earned the right to get a few more caps under his belt. Ricardo Clark's struggles against El Tri only helped nail this point home.
DaMarcus Beasley -- Despite worries that a lack of playing time in Scotland would hurt his form, the small midfielder showed up against Mexico. As long as he's healthy, Beasley should continue starting on the left for the Americans.
Jose Francisco Torres -- He didn't get to play against El Tri, surely a disappointment for the young Mexican American, but he should get some time against El Salvador. Freddy Adu will also be called into camp, and should be part of the 18-man squad against T&T.
Landon Donovan -- He's the leader of this team, plain and simple.
Brian Ching -- The Mexico match showed yet again why he's so valuable to the U.S. squad. The Dynamo forward holds the ball up better than anyone in the player pool and keys the American attack. It might not be the correct strategy, but as long as Bradley's continues to employ it, Ching must start.
Jozy Altidore -- You wonder if there's another player on the U.S. roster who's fast and strong enough to hold off the Mexican defender and make the pass to Donovan that triggered Bradley's second goal. The answer is no.
Kenny Cooper -- Both Cooper and Charlie Davies should be called into camp, but Cooper should get another shot on the bench.
Noah Davis covers the United States National Team for Goal.com.