Ching to lead U.S. team in Gold Cup
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Forward Brian Ching and defender Steve Cherundolo are back from injuries and on the U.S. roster for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup, joined primarily by national team backups.
Forwards Freddy Adu and Charlie Davies, defender Heath Pearce and goalkeeper Luis Robles are the only holdovers on the roster that also are with the U.S. at the Confederations Cup.
The roster was announced yesterday.
Ching, a Kamehameha Schools alum from Hale'iwa, and defender Michael Parkhurst are the only players who were on the 2007 U.S. roster for the Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Cherundolo, defender Jimmy Conrad and forward Santino Quaranta return from the 2005 Gold Cup roster.
The new roster will gather Tuesday in Seattle, where the U.S. starts its quest for a third straight Gold Cup title Saturday against Grenada.
Just six players on the roster have more than 10 international appearances and seven have never played for the national team. The roster averages eight appearances, down from the Confed Cup roster's average of 27.
Ching, a regular starting forward, injured a hamstring in late May, causing him to miss a pair of World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.
U.S., BRAZIL IN FINAL
A week ago, the U.S. men's soccer team was barely an afterthought, its struggles hardly stealing the spotlight from golf, baseball or "Jon & Kate."
Well, well, well, look who has America's attention now.
There's nothing like a big win to get the fans back home excited, and the U.S. team's upset of top-ranked Spain at the Confederations Cup on Wednesday night certainly qualified.
The New York Post had — "SOCCER SHOCKER!" — on its back page.
"This win is huge for American soccer," said Clint Dempsey, whose second-half goal sealed the 2-0 victory and ended Spain's record 15-game winning streak. "I'm excited about the result, and think all the fans back at home will be excited as well."
The American men will play Brazil on Sunday at Johannesburg in their first-ever FIFA final. Brazil, which shut out the U.S., 3-0, in pool play, beat South Africa, 1-0, yesterday to reach the championship.