One native San Diegan’s World Cup dreams are over. Another will have to wait four more years, while one received his ticket Tuesday to compete for a roster spot.
Steve Cherundolo, the Mt. Carmel High alum who currently plays for Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga, was named to the United States’ preliminary 30-man roster.
Cherundolo—who was the starting right back for the United States at the 2006 World Cup—was one of nine defenders to get invitations to the final World Cup training camp, to be held starting May 15 in Princeton, N.J.
While preliminary rosters were due to FIFA on Tuesday, final 23-man rosters for the World Cup in South Africa must be submitted by June 1.
Cherundolo—a veteran of two World Cups and usual stalwart for the U.S. on the backline—is expected to land one of those 23 spots.
The 31-year old back was mentioned in a group of players that bring a certain leadership quality to this crop of Americans.
“From the beginning, we’ve talked to certain players that the need was there to take more responsibility to step up where other guys have been leaders in the past and assume those responsibilities,” U.S. coach Bob Bradley told reporters Tuesday. “We’ve seen along the way Timmy Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are the guys who have responded well and I think that the group as a whole has shown that there are many guys capable of providing leadership at the right times.”
Left off the roster were two other defenders with San Diego ties that have played for the U.S. in friendlies and World Cup qualifiers in the last year and a half.
At age 35, San Dieguito High alum Frankie Hejduk was looking for one last trip to the biggest stage in soccer. He was a member of the 1998 and 2002 U.S. World Cup teams.
He was integral in a few of the U.S. CONCACAF World Cup qualfiers last year, most notably in a 2-2 draw with El Salvador where the Americans were playing catch-up most of the match.
However, the veteran was left off the preliminary roster and his career—at the age of 35—with the national team seems to be over.
Poway High’s Marvell Wynne was also left off of Bradley’s preliminary World Cup roster, however his absence isn’t as surprising as Hejduk’s.
Wynne hasn’t had too much experience match experience with the senior national team. The 24-year old former top pick in the MLS Draft has just three official caps despite being named to a number of senior national team squads. However, he was a starter for all three matches for the U.S. Under-23 squad at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
But apparently that wasn’t enough experience to break through and be invited to the final camp. What may have hurt Wynne’s chances are his inexperience—not just on the senior national team but against top level club competition.
Wynne has played only for MLS clubs and of the nine defenders making their way to New Jersey this weekend, seven are currently or have had stints playing in Europe. The two defenders with MLS-only experience on the U.S. squad are former UCLA teammate Jonathan Bornstein and former MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall.
Heath Pearce—who currently plays for FC Dallas—has spent time in Denmark and Germany’s first division.
United States Preliminary 2010 World Cup Roster (current club team in parenthesis):
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton)
DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), José Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Puebla), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)
For more info: For more on the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, visit our World Cup Examiner, George Metellus, and Soccer Examiners Brian Louie, Matt MacDonald and Nicholas Richards. Visit our other San Diego Sports Examiner, Richard Farley. Follow me on Twitter.