Vets key to youth development
At the time, Reyna and Pope were 32 years old. McBride was 34. They'd been teammates on three World Cup squads and had amassed 289 caps among them. And they knew that, because four years is an eternity in soccer, they had little chance of sticking with the team though 2010.
Fast forward to today. Coming out of this summer's tournament in South Africa, starting defenders Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo and Jay DeMerit are all 31. None of the three have officially called it a national team career, but can anyone really expect them to be kicking around, at age 35, when Brazil 2014 gets underway?
To read about how the current veterans on the U.S. team can help foster the development of the next generation of stars, you must be an ESPN Insider.