On Wednesday afternoon, coach Bob Bradley announced his 23-man World Cup roster for the U.S. national team.
Bradley revealed his final roster, which he cut from 30 players to 23, during a live telecast on ESPN.
The coach's decision came less than 24 hours after the United States lost an international friendly to the Czech Republic, 4-2, on Tuesday night. During that match in East Hartford, Conn., Bradley rested his core group and evaluated his second-string and fringe players.
The American squad will play its final send-off match, against Turkey, on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. The team then will fly to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup, which runs from June 11 to July 11.
Bradley's final roster consists of three goalkeepers, seven defenders, nine midfielders, and four forwards.
On May 17, when camp began in Princeton, Bradley had 30 players, some sure to make the roster, others struggling with injuries, and a few long shots sprinting to make the team.
"I think whenever you're in this situation, you'll always get to the end and have, in some cases, three or four names for one or two spots," Bradley said. "When you get to that point, you go through it in different ways and there's always total respect for what everyone has put into it."
Bradley said the final decision came down to filling specific needs (such as off-the-bench speed) as well as riding a player's momentum (if a certain player appears in peak form at the moment while another is struggling).
Two in-form players were forwards Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez, who both came into camp on scoring streaks and were last-minute additions to the 30-man roster. Bradley also included Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley, who the coach said provides unique speed off the bench, an attribute no one else can add.
Bradley called the omission of veteran forward Brian Ching a "particularly difficult decision."
"We have guys that have been to the World Cup before and have become really good leaders, and some younger players that have played key roles during qualifying," Bradley said. "As a group, there's great character, and we think that's one of our strengths."
Bradley also included veteran midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who struggled through his club season with Rangers in Scotland but will be playing in his third World Cup, and defender Oguchi Onyewu, who suffered a torn patella tendon seven months ago and played his first match on Tuesday night.
Bradley said he would use Saturday's match as a test for his finalized roster.
"We need to size up some different situations, and Saturday gives us a different opportunity," Bradley said.
The U.S. opens World Cup play on June 12 against England.