SANDY, Utah — Think Robbie Findley’s biggest problem is a routine scoring drought? It’s actually Edson Buddle.
Or maybe it’s Conor Casey. Or Herculez Gomez. Or maybe it’s all about that precious first touch.
No matter how U.S. fans look at the current dilemma facing coach Bob Bradley before next month’s all-important roster deadline, Findley has some work to do to get back into the mix as the World Cup draws closer.
The Real Salt Lake star is no closer to getting Bradley’s call today than he’s been in the past, and his numbers thus far this season haven’t helped his cause. He has two assists but no goals yet in 2010, while Buddle and Casey have enjoyed strong starts to a pivotal season that could define their futures.
Gomez, meanwhile, has found a magical scoring with Puebla, scoring 10 goals in 14 matches and sitting atop the goal scoring ledger for the Mexican Primera División.
For his part, Findley is keeping his thoughts on the matter largely to himself.
“I think about it a little bit,” Findley said this week. “It’s pretty big.”
Whether he gets the initial call into camp or not, even those close to Findley admit he clearly has some work to do to round out his game.
“He’s certainly one of the fastest players in the league and has the ability to stretch defenses,” Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey told MLSsoccer.com. “To me it’s less about his touch, and more about whether or not he’s able to maintain possession when he needs to.”
His touch and ability to hold the ball have not historically been his strong points, but Findley’s been working hard on making the necessary improvements. And RSL coach Jason Kreis has praised Findley’s ability to handle the expectations that will come with a USMNT call-up.
“He’s very even keel,” Kreis said. “He’s very humble. He has all the tools to handle it.”
The prospect may be overwhelming, but it’s one that Findley is willing to embrace, if given the chance.
“It’s just something that everybody dreams of,” Findley said. “It’d be an honor to represent your country and to be part of something like that.”