On Wednesday, the 30-man preliminary roster announce by USA soccer coach Bob Bradley two weeks ago was cut down to the 23 that will make up the United States' 2010 World Cup team. Of those 23, three of them are Bruins and will take part in the world's biggest sporting event.
Carlos Bocanegra, a defender capable of playing bother center back and left back will go to South Africa, likely with the captain's armband that he has worn for the past few years. As a veteran and player with his spot on the roster locked up, Bocanegra did not play in last night's friendly versus the Czech Republic, a match that served mostly to sort out the last few roster spots. One concern for Bocanegra is the hernia surgery that he had at the beginning of the month, but he has returned to full training and should captain the team from here on out, beginning Saturday in a friendly versus Turkey
Benny Feiilhaber joined Bocanegra on the bench in last night's match as one with a roster spot locked up and he will go to South Africa as well, his first World Cup. The central midfielder is also capable of playing out wide and provides a calm on the ball and ability to spray the ball around that few on the roster have. As a member of the 2009 Confederations Cup team that finished in second place, Feilhaber was integral in creating the Yanks' second goal in their defeat of Spain, the world's top-ranked team. Feilhaber also qualified the US for the Confederations Cup with a screaming volley that proved to be the game-winning goal in the 2007 Gold Cup Final.
Joining Bocanegra and Feilhaber in South Africa will be Jonathan Bornstein, a left back who has played center back in a pinch. For all his detractors, Bornstein has been a mainstay with the national team for three years now and is one of the few to ever put the shackles on Lionel Messi, as Bornstein did in the 2007 Copa America. With Bornstein and Bocanegra making up the top two left backs at the moment, we can almost guarantee that a Bruin will man the position when the US opens up their World Cup versus England in Rusternburg on June 12.
Congrats to all three for making the team and I'm sure they'll represent as well in red, white and blue as they did in blue and gold.