Crew's Rogers suspected he'd get another US chance
OBETZ, Ohio — A year ago on Thursday, Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers wondered about his future with the US national team.
That day, he was one of the final seven players cut from the United States’ World Cup roster and was disappointed that his dream had been shattered.
Rogers was in a better mood this week after being named to the roster for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament and a match against 2010 World Cup champions Spain on June 4 in Foxborough, Mass.
“I thought I had a chance for it,” Rogers said of his second straight Gold Cup appearance. “To be honest, you never know. Soccer is so weird. Look at a guy like Edson Buddle, who wasn’t with the national team for awhile then goes to the World Cup. There’s so many ups and downs.”
He might be a curious pick for some because he has only two goals and an assist for the Crew in 10 games, but US coach Bob Bradley sees the potential.
“Robbie is a player that everyone knows has ability to run at people, get behind people, and he’s capable of playing on both flanks,” Bradley said on a media conference call on Monday. “We felt it was a good time to get him back with us and build on some of the things that we’ve seen over the years.”
Rogers feels his versatility is a plus.
“I can also play up top as well,” he said. “I think I add something either starting or off the bench. With the national team, I also played left back.”
Rogers, who has a goal in 10 international matches, will join the US squad for training after Saturday’s home match against Chivas USA. If the US reach the final on June 25, he will miss up to five Crew games.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha is happy Rogers has gotten another chance.
“Psychologically, it’s a huge boost for him,” he said.
Warzycha said there is no shortage of candidates for Rogers’ spot on the left flank in his absence.
Eddie Gaven might switch sides with Emmanuel Ekpo sliding from the center midfield to the right and Dilly Duka taking his role in the middle. Warzycha also mentioned Bernardo Anor and Leandre Griffit among the hopefuls on the left wing.
“First is, they have to show in training they are responsible,” Warzycha said. “Robbie may not be scoring the goals but he is responsible on the field. It’s really tough for other teams to get past him and create anything on that side.”
If there’s disappointment in the Crew camp it’s that Chad Marshall, a member of the 2009 Gold Cup team and finalist for the World Cup last year as well, was not chosen for the Gold Cup this year.
“I thought Chad would be on the roster,” Rogers said. “He’s one of the best defenders in the nation. I just hope he keeps his head up because you never know what’s going to happen.”