BRISTOL, Conn. --- Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez went from long shots to the U.S. World Cup roster, joining veterans Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Tim Howard on the American team headed to South Africa.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley cut seven players from his preliminary roster Wednesday to reach the 23-man FIFA limit. The Americans will play England on June 12 in their World Cup opener.
Let go were defenders Chad Marshall and Heath Pearce; midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers; and forwards Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson.
Midfielders Donovan and Beasley, and defender Steve Cherundolo earned their third World Cup trips. Beasley's selection capped a comeback from nine months of national team exile that ended in March.
Seventeen of the 23 players are based in Europe, with just four from Major League Soccer and two from Mexican clubs. Of the European group, eight play in England, three in Germany, two in Scotland, and one each in Denmark, France, Italy and Norway.
Both Buddle and Gomez are forwards, and Bradley said they "both have been in great form, scored a lot of goals this year."
Buddle was a nonenity for the U.S. during World Cup qualifying. But he's scored nine times this season for the Los Angeles Galaxy to lead the MLS, and he made his first start for the national team in Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic.
Gomez might have faced even longer odds to make the squad after his contract was not renewed last year by Kansas City in MLS. But he went to Puebla of the Mexican league and tied for the scoring lead with 10 goals.
"I wasn't good enough for the Wizards last year, so to be where I am today is amazing," Gomez said.