Findley makes World Cup roster

Real Salt Lake’s Robbie Findley was named to the 23-man roster for the U.S. squad that will be going to South Africa for the World Cup.
After the speedy forward didn’t play against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night, I incorrectly assumed that meant the worst for him. It signaled that Findley wasn’t on the bubble and fighting for a spot on the team. I thought that meant he would be returning to RSL today.
Findley must have done a terrific job during this past week of training because coach Bob Bradley didn’t even need to get a look at him in action last night before naming him to the squad.
“I was definitely nervous,” said Findley when I talked to him by phone a few minutes ago. “I figured it meant I was either going home or staying, but I just told myself that I had done everything I could to put myself in position to make the team and now it was out of my hands.”
Maybe it was a good thing it was out of his hands because Findley said he was a nervous wreck all night until about 2:30 in the morning when they pulled him aside and told him he made the team.
Findley is one of four forwards on the squad. He joins Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez, while Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson were the two odd men out.
Gomez kind of came out of nowhere to make the team, and I for one, must admit I never saw it coming. I covered Gomez when he played for the San Diego Gauchos of the PDL. I remember he scored an absolutely stunning goal against the Utah Blitz when they were playing their games at Cottonwood High School, but I never thought I would one day see him named to the U.S. World Cup squad.
Findley was also a surprise for me. His speed has never been in doubt, but whether he could score at the highest level was. Apparently Bradley believes he can. My guess is that Findley will be brought in as a second-half sub when the team needs a real “burner” to come on when the opponents have tired legs, but I obviously have been wrong before and for all I know he will be starting and playing 90 minutes.
Anyway, it is a terrific opportunity for Findley and I hope all RSL fans will be wishing him well as he gets this chance-of-a-lifetime.

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.