North Korea launched its official World Cup song which has already rocketed to the tops of the charts in Pyongyang. A stirring orchestral number, the song praises the hard work and socialist dedication on behalf of the team in reaching only its second World Cup after its heroics at the 1966 tournament in England.
Final US Squad announced
USA.US coach Bob Bradley has gone for safety first in his final 23-man squad for the World Cup Finals.
Mindful perhaps of the way a defensive approach Togel Singapore helped the US almost win the Confederations Cup last summer, the lack of match fitness of AC Milan’s Oguchi Onyewu and recent defeats to the Netherlands and this week, the Czech Republic, Bradley has picked seven defenders and four strikers.G – Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves)
D – Oguchi Onyewu (Milan), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (Start), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA)
M – Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Ricardo Clark (Eintract Frankfurt), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Stuart Holden (Bolton), DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
F – Josmer Altidore (Hull), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
In goal the US look sound with three England-based keepers of whom Tim Howard is the confirmed first choice.
The defence has questions over it however, following some inept individual performances this season, although it all came together in South Africa last year when it mattered. FC Dallas’ Heath Pearce, previously first-choice left-back, was left out after he fluffed his last chance following a poor showing against the Czechs on Tuesday.
Midfield has no surprises with DaMarcus Beasley, a mainstay of the team four years ago, completing an unlikely comeback having looked out of the picture a year ago.
Up front, Bradley surprisingly dropped Hawaiian-born target-man Brian Ching, whom Landon Donovan has said is his preferred partner up front, in favour of Real Salt Lake speedster Robbie Findley. Fulham’s Eddie Johnson, who at one point seemed the future of US forwards, also misses out. With Charlie Davies injured, American striking options look thin, with a reliance on support from the attacking midfield talents of Clint Dempsey, Donovan and Bolton’s Stuart Holden, the one intriguing face to emerge in US ranks in the last year.
Only four of the 23 play in the US’ domestic league, MLS.
A first choice US eleven to play England on the 12th of June could look like this:
Howard, Spector, Bocanegra, DeMerit, Onyewu, Holden, Feilhaber, Bradley, Dempsey, Altidore, Donovan.
The US face England, Algeria and Slovenia in Group C.