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As U.S. soccer coach Bob Bradley is putting the final touches on his roster for the 2010 World Cup, there is a strong chance Conor Casey, born in New Hampshire, could make the cut. In the previous two tournaments, former coach Bruce Arena announced his squad about 6 weeks prior to kick off. If history is any indication, Bradley should be unveiling the team within the next week or so. FIFA requires teams to submit a preliminary roster of thirty by May 11 but with training camp (held at Princeton) set to open before that there’s a good chance we’ll find out sooner. If Bradley is smart, he’ll be sure to include Casey for one good reason:
The dude is a stone cold assassin in the offensive zone. Casey played his college soccer at University of Portland where we was named Soccer America’s Freshman of the Year. Not letting the accolades go to his head, Casey turned around and had a stellar sophomore effort leading the NCAA with twenty-three goals and seven assists.
In 2000, Casey signed with German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund where he spent his first year on the reserve squad. During his second year Casey was loaned out to second division club Hannover 96 where he tore it up, netting seven goals in nineteen games and helping Hannover get back to the top flight league. Hannover had basically been banished to the second league in Germany since the mid-seventies and Casey really contributed to a remarkable revitalization at the club. The following year, Casey was again loaned to second division club Karlsruher where he kept up the pace, scoring fourteen goals in thirty games. Casey now plays his soccer for the Colorado Rapids in the MLS, where he led the team with 16 goals last season and is currently ranked third in the league this year with three goals.
Casey got his first cap (appearance) with senior U.S. National team back in 2004 and served as a substitute during the Confederations Cup last year. His breakout match came in October last year against Honduras, in a critical World Cup qualifier, where he scored twice and was fouled to set up the game winning penalty (taken by Landon Donovan). He earned unanimous Man of the Match honors. The win officially qualified the U.S. for this World Cup. Pretty impressive stuff especially with the game happening on foreign soil in Pedro Sula, Honduras which has notably been one of the more hostile environments for the Americans.
As mentioned above FIFA requires teams to submit a preliminary roster of thirty by May 11, and then a twenty-three man roster by June 1. After June 1, FIFA allows teams to make changes only up to 24 hours before their first game and only for a medically certified injury. Replacements do not necessarily have to come from the list of 30.
Adding Casey to the mix with Altidore, Donovan, and Dempsey could be just the right cocktail to get the U.S. to the group stages and beyond. Until now we’ll have to sit tight for the release of the roster.