So how much goodwill does four goals in the knockout stages, a 2-0 win over the #1 ranked team in the world, and reaching a first-ever final of a FIFA tournament get you? In my estimation, that runs you about one selection of Jay Heaps for national team duty. Having thus returned to a neutral rating in my eyes, it seems that Bob won't be content until he has me firmly in the "you don't know what you're doing" camp.
Witness his use of the CONCACAF-granted seven extra roster spots for the Gold Cup. Now I understand that these players will be sort of an emergency-response crew, added to the playing pool when and if necessary. And I also understand that CONCACAF probably made this concession with the implication that the seven added had to come from the "A" squad assembled for the Confederations Cup (based on Blazer's none-too-subtle "providing the best performance possible for the public"). So let's take a look at Bob's choices...
Jozy Altidore - Fine. I wonder a bit that he wasn't added to the group in the first place considering his lack of playing time lately.
Conor Casey - All right, Bob, WTF? Seriously, WTF? You did see Casey's disgraceful jogging efforts as a sub in South Africa, right? And you want to reward him for that? Ugh. With seven forwards already on the roster (I'd lump Arnaud and Rogers in with the Adu/Quaranta midfielder/forward-hybrid crowd), and Altidore available to boot, why do you need a 9th option available?
Rico Clark - Fine. When Pause suffers pace-failure in the face of international play, maybe you want to have Rico available as midfield steel to spell Beckerman.
Benny Feilhaber - Fine. Another who I thought should have been included from the off. It's not like we've got much creativity in central midfield with this lot anyway. Additionally, he's working his way back to fitness, and he had a pretty good Gold Cup the last time we were in this particular dance.
Sacha Kljestan - Loyalty is one thing. Flat out blindness is another. Kljestan has been crap pretty consistently for club and country this year. Send him back to Chivas USA until he figures a way out of the funk. For all of Torres' toeing the party line and saying he needs a rest, I can't for the life of me see why you wouldn't have him available rather than Kljestan at this point...just in case (see: midfield creativity, lack of).
Jonathan Bornstein - Fine. Let's face it, Pearce should be able to hack Gold Cup duty, but if he starts consistently stinking up the joint, what are our other options at left back. Jay Heaps? God help us all.
Brad Guzan - Fine. The third in my "shoulda been in the original 23" group. Sure, he got a game at the Confederations Cup, but how many high-level games is he going to play for Villa next year? If he's the #2, you gotta give him the reps in net.
So if I'm "fine" with 5 out of 7, that's not too bad is it? I suppose. Except for the fact that I think 3 of those 5 should be on the roster in place of...oh, I don't know...Robles, Pause, and Heaps? In that instance, I'm saddled with finding some degree of fault with 5 out of 7 selections. Those are the kind of long odds that start phrases like "just lucky," "dictated by injury," and "remember the first two matches of the Confed Cup?" being bandied about.