UPDATED: I just got off the phone the United States Soccer Federation, so I've updated this post.
Last week, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said Teal Bunbury would be with the U.S. team for the Gold Cup, but U.S. coach Bob Bradley didn't include Bunbury on the roster when it was released Monday.
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The United States Soccer Federation said it never communicated with Sporting prior to choosing the roster. Still, Bunbury took it all in stride.
“There must have been a miscommunication or that there would be a 30-man roster,” Bunbury said of Vermes’ proclamation. “It’s not the end of the world for me. I’m just going to keep pushing myself. Whenever I get another opportunity to represent my country, I’ll showcase what I can do.”
The omission is good for Sporting, because it won’t be losing Bunbury. And it could be especially good because he may be motivated to show Bradley that he made a mistake.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Bunbury said. I’m always trying to play for my national team. “That’s Bob’s decision, and I appreciate his decision. I wish the team luck and I’ll be watching the games on TV. I’ll probably be here for the game in Kansas City (on June 14). It’ll be a fun Gold Cup to watch.
“It’s going to make me a better person, better player and push me even harder, and in sense try and prove him wrong. That’s the only way you can take it. It either makes you or breaks you.”
One can’t help but wonder if Bunbury chances didn’t take a hit when he separated his shoulder in preseason.
“Teal is a young striker that we certainly see a lot of potential,” Bradley said in a teleconference. “I didn’t think it was the right time for him. I don’t think he’s been as sharp as we would like so far in the season. And I think that’s a sign of him continuing to mature and grow.
“And quite honestly, another part of it is the fact that as we’ve watched different games, we felt strongly that Chris Wondolowski is in good form. He has scored some very good goals, different kinds of goals and Chris seems to be a player that gets a couple of chances every game.”
| Pete Grathoff, firstname.lastname@example.org