Comparing My Predictions to the Olympic Qualifying Squad

The 19-man squad for the Olympic qualifying matches was released today and I wanted to look at how it compared to the final Olympic squad I predicted last year.

Here’s the U.S. Olympic Qualifying Roster:

GK, 2- Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

D, 6- Josh Gatt (FK Molde), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)

M, 6- Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Gent, on loan from Stabæk), Michael Stephens (Los Angeles Galaxy), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz)

F, 5- Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)*

Update: “CHICAGO (March 13, 2012) – U.S. Under-23 head coach Caleb Porter has added Tony Taylor to the training camp roster, with the Estoril Praia-based striker set to arrive March 14 into Nashville. The team will train for the next week before announcing the final 20-man roster for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which must be submitted by March 20 to CONCACAF.”

Josh Gatt plays right back for his club, though the public knows him best as a gut busting right winger.  Jorge Villafaña is a left midfielder and also listed as a defender.

Dilly Duka withdrew from consideration for the squad after sustaining an injury in Columbus crew’s match against Colorado Rapids this past Saturday.

Alfredo Morales of Hertha Berlin and Sebastian Lletget of West Ham United are the most likely replacements for Duka if either one can obtain a release from his club team.  Presumably neither player, nor Kaiserslautern forward Andrew Wooten, was released by his club for the Olympic qualifying.

Of the 19 [now 20] players currently named, 13 come from MLS clubs.

Onto the prediction I made back in August.

Of the 18 roster spots available for the actual Olympic tournament, not the qualifiers, I opted to select two overage players; Clarence Goodson in central defense and Stuart Holden in the center of midfield.

2 Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

-Check, and check.

5 Defenders: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Clarence Goodson (Brondy IF), Zarek Valentin (Chivas USA), Timmy Chandler (FC Nuremberg), Anthony Wallace (Colorado Rapids)

-Kitchener and Valentin are in.  Chandler will most likely be in the full squad in London.  Anthony Wallace seems to have been on the fringe and left out of the selection in favor of Opara and Sarkodie.

7 Midfielders: Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Josh Gatt (Molde FK), Joe Benny Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Stabæk), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Freddy Adu (Benfica), Stuart Holden (Bolton)

-Shea and Gatt are in, though listed under different positions.  Corona, Diskerud and Adu all got the nods.  Luis Gil is young enough for the next cycle and there are stronger options available right now.

4 Strikers: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)

-Altidore is currently tearing it up in the Eredivisie but will likely be in the final squad.  Agudelo is in, while Will Bruin did not impress during the 28-man December camp.  Omar Salgado is another player who is young enough to participate in the next cycle and has a lot of developing left to do with his club game.

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