The offseason just got a little shorter for a pair of Creve Coeur prep soccer alums who only last month took their pro team to the doorstep of an MLS Cup.
Brad Davis (Chaminade) and Will Bruin (De Smet Jesuit), who are teammates on the Houston Dynamo, were both named to the practice roster for the U.S. Men's National squad as it prepares to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The first match of the 2013 season for the national club is a "friendly" against Canada, in Houston January 27.
“It is definitely an honor to get a chance to represent your country, and I am really excited for it,” said Bruin in a statement released by Houston. “I think this is a great opportunity, and one I’ve been waiting for.” Said Davis, “The off-season was awfully short, for a good reason, and I’m just excited to get into camp and make a difference.”
Steve Ole Olson, founder of SoccerStl analyzed the move to elevate the pair, and what their chances of sticking at the national level are at this point:
The January camp is traditionally considered a bit of a cupcake camp, a chance to bring in some players who have been on the cusp but haven't gotten through yet. Last year Jack Jewsbury (Kickapoo/SLU) got called in but that is the closest he's come.
If you look at the list, all of the players but 2 are from MLS. Yet the National Team squad the past year of qualifying has had approximately 6-8 MLS players. Klinsmann was asked during an interview on Fox Soccer today (Sunday), when the roster was announced, who might make it. He used the 6-8 number.
The consensus is that this is the most competitive group brought in for a January camp in awhile and that's a positive because competition for positions is the best thing you can do. So less cupcake and more reality but still only 1/3 at most will make the qualifying roster.
Here's the roster from the last Qualifying game against Guatemala in October at Livestrong Park. Only 4 were MLS players
ROSTER BY POSITIONGOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (6) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4) : Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
January is a tough time to bring in foreign-based players, they've just returned from Xmas break or have other 'cup' tournaments going on.
The odds of Davis sticking is low, Bruin may break through but its more likely that this is a way to get good competition in camp and honor a pair of Dynamo players to enhance the ticket sales for the friendly on January 29th against Canada, at Houston. Bruin will get a good look and it will enhance his opportunities going forward and could be called back in late Summer prior to the final qualifying games in September-October. That would enhance his opportunity to be on the 2014 World Cup roster in Brazil then.