With the World Cup starting tomorrow in South Africa, I figured it was the right time to write about the seven former Metros who will be representing their countries this year. The World Cup will set the tone for the MLS for the next four years. If the United States team plays well, attendance will be up as well as interest from outside parties. The league isn't making money despite the efforts to have games aired on major networks such as ESPN and FSC. If the US national team plays well, not only will it get major press, the sense of national pride will come out. So without wasting your time any longer, here are the representatives for this year's World Cup.
Jozy Altidore: Jozy is probably my favorite former Red Bull. He has a ton of talent for such a young player and the US team will need him to play well if they hope to get out of their opening bracket. As I said in the rumors story, he has been very vocal about returning to the team and playing in the arena and depending on his performance this may be a reality.
Andrew Boyens: Andrew will be representing New Zealand in the World Cup. He hasn't played for the Red Bulls during league play but he has played in two Open Cup qualifiers. Hopefully he has a great World Cup and can get some minutes during league play. I'm a mark for international play and there is no bigger stage than the World Cup to gain confidence.
Michael Bradley: Michael was drafted by the team in 2004 and played in 2005. He's been a mainstay on the National Team and hopefully he has a solid World Cup. He's a solid midfielder and part of the reason the US team has such depth at that position.
Edson Buddle: Edson joins Jozy on the front line of the national team. He was acquired and traded in 2006 but during his tenure with the team, he was very productive on the front line.
Ricardo Clark: Ricardo was with the team from 2003-2004. He, like Michael Bradley, is part of the incredibly deep US midfield. He was traded to San Jose in 2005 for an allocation and a youth international slot.
Armando Guevara: Armando will be playing midfield for Honduras this year. If you are unfamiliar with him, he was one of the most talented players to ever wear a Metros jersey. He was the league scoring champion and two time Golden Boot winner. He was traded in 2006 to Chivas US for a designated player spot and a 3rd round pick.
Tim Howard: Tim is the most talented keeper the team has ever had. He was sold off to Man U in 2003 and has been improving by playing in the EPL. The US team needs him to play well if we are to be competitive in this year's tournament.
So that's it, the former Red Bulls playing in this year's World Cup. Luckily, most of them are playing on the US team so I don't have to split my rooting for my national team vs. my home team. But hopefully with some good play, some of them will return in the future.