US Coach snubs World Cup striker call

Final 2010 World Cup qualifying games

Bob Bradley has announced the 22-player US squad for the final 2010 World Cup qualifying games – and he’s probably hoping one notable absentee won’t make a difference.

The race for South Africa

The US face Honduras on 10th October and Costa Rica in Washington four days later knowing that a win in either game should virtually guarantee a place in the finals.

So why isn’t free-scoring FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham in the squad? That’s the question posed by the Los Angeles Times.

US squad includes LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan

Cunningham scored his 16th goal of the season against D.C. United on Wednesday, taking him one ahead of Conor Casey of the Colorado Rapids. LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan is five behind Cunningham. Casey and Donovan made the squad; Cunningham did not.

“No one is suggesting that Cunningham, 33, replace either in the American squad, but if Bradley could call up the powerful but ponderous Kenny Cooper, why not give a nod of recognition to Cunningham, who has speed to match that of Charlie Davies and is obviously red hot at the moment?”

According to former coach Bruce Arena, Cunningham may simply not be up to the job.

The paper quotes Arena as saying “There's a difference between playing club soccer and playing international soccer. I'm not sure this, right now, is the time.”

We’ll soon find out whether Bradley is right or not. He seems to have managed reasonably well without Cunningham so far. The FC Dallas man doesn’t appear to have played a single minute of the qualification campaign to date.

The US squad includes Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey.

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