Klinsmann cuts Agudelo, Morales, Williams, Zusi ahead of U.S. matches

Agudelo (Getty Images)

The U.S. men's national team's final 23 are on their way to Jacksonville.

Juan Agudelo, Alfredo Morales, Danny Williams and Graham Zusi are not among them, as the four were cut from the national team roster by coach Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the team's upcoming five matches. 

Here is the 23-man roster for matches against Scotland, Brazil, Canada, Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala:

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) 

DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland) 

MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca) 

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Joe Corona is the only player among the 23 to make his first senior national team roster, and an appearance in one of the World Cup qualifiers would officially cap tie him to the United States. The same can be said for the 21-year-old Boyd, who is coming off his first cap in a friendly in Italy back in February.

Corona's club teammate, Castillo, returns for the first time since September, while Gomez also makes his return after a lengthy absence following a championship season with Santos Laguna.

As for the cuts, Williams was nursing a shoulder injury he suffered at the end of his season with Hoffenheim and was not fully fit. Agudelo just got dealt to Chivas USA and is working his way into his new club while finally getting extended minutes. Zusi was unable to distinguish himself in a crowd of central midfielders, and Morales, who can play in the midfield and defense, ultimately lost out to more experienced options ahead of him.

Agudelo and Zusi will be available for their respective clubs' games this weekend. Chivas hosts the Seattle Sounders Saturday night, while Sporting Kansas City hosts the San Jose Earthquakes.

"We have said from the beginning that these games are all about results, and we have chosen the 23 players who are in the best form right now and ready to get the job done," Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer release. "These guys have put in a tremendous amount of hard work in the last 10 days, and they are hungry to get started with the matches. We want to thank the players who have gone back to their clubs for all of their effort here. They are knocking on the door and will be ready to go if needed."

  • Greg

    Beckerman may be an above average MLS midfielder, but he seems out of his depth at the international level, and central midfield is not a place for your weakest link. I am not opposed to him playing with the USMNT, but I hope when 2014 comes around the only place we have to worry about nasty dreadlocks is from the street food vendors in Rio.


  • biff

    Well put. Johnson has looked good as a left winger for the USMNT, but considering that his new Hoffenheim coach has him starting at Left Back after playing attacking midfielder-winger earlier in the season, makes sense for Klinsmann to keep him at left back. But even from a left back position, we are going to see Johnson often racing down the sidelines and providing crosses to the box. I think Johnson also will score a goal now and then from an LB position.


  • ronniet

    Have you/we seen williams play defensive midfield for the nats or hoffenheim to say that he is better than edu or #3 in the pecking order for that matter? I know i sure havent so until that happens all most people can go on is edu’s form for club and his last usmnt game, which was quite impressive! And speaking oF bradley, i recall him stinking up the joint not too long ago


  • Travis in Miami

    Did you see Agudelo vs. the Galaxy? The kid is not match fit by a long shot.


  • Old School

    Please refer me to where I said Williams was better? Actually please refer me to where I mentioned Williams at all?


  • AndyGarcia'sBrother



  • Henry Alvarado

    TO get better and maybe one day actually win it. Look at Australia, its football has grown because of its departure of Oceania.


  • Seriously

    Exactly. Most of the argumentative posts in response end up making my point in a round about way. I never said Beckerman was a bad player, nor did i say his age alone was the reason to keep him out (way to miss out the critical stuff there biff, not surprising with a name like biff though). There are at least 3 players on the roster that fill Beckerman’s exact position with more skill and most are younger. Zusi is a different type of player, coming off the bench he could bring a different element in the way that Torres does except even there we have a difference in style.

    It makes little sense to have Beckerman who is reaching top age with little ceiling left to climb to when you could keep Zusi who has much more time to grow and brings a change of pace when you look at the rest of the roster.

    Beckerman is surplus to the need as someone pointed out. We have better players who do what he does, the same cannot be said of Zusi. We don’t have anyone else who plays the way he does. This would have been a good opportunity to integrate a future member of the squad rather than waste it on a player whose role can easily be covered by others who made the roster.


  • Seriously

    Did you even read the post? You must not have because your argument makes zero sense against it. I did not talk of Beckerman’s age as the reason to pull him. I said there are multiple better and younger players who fill his role so why keep him when we have the younger Zusi who brings a different look. Yes, age is mentioned in this statement, but if you think that is the defining point of the argument then you need to find someone who can teach you reading comprehension. My argument is based on skill, it just happens to come in combination with age making it even more odd that he is included. If there were 3 other players younger and more skilled than Donovan then yes we would leave him at home, that isn’t the case. It is with Beckerman. This was my point the whole time and had you actually read the post (or understood plain English, not sure which) then you would have seen this.


  • Big BL1 Fan

    You seem to be unaware that we don’t play a pulley system anymore. We play with a dedicated #6 DM and a box to box #8 CM. Edu is playing his position correctly.

    Edu is leading all midfielders in passing % under Klinsmann. His ball distribution is not poor.


  • GW

    Ever watch Manchester City with Kompany, Barry, De Jong or Yaya all on the field at the same time?


  • GW

    If there were such a list, it would be fascinating to see who was #28, 29, 30 and so on.


  • Brett

    I’m just glad Brek Shea isn’t there. “Giveaway” Shea as I call him.


  • GW

    Probably because JK is supposedly using this as a “simulated tournament” and letting Nick play for RSL and be “on call” so to speak, like it was the Gold Cup would not be an option in the World CuP.

    Every time I hear about how a third keeper won’t play a minute I think about how if Howard or Guzan pull a hamstring getting off the bus, the US is suddenly down to having Geoff Cameron or Landon as the backup keeper.


  • GW

    Every quote of JK on the topic of Beckerman has been very supportive of Captain Crofton.

    One thing no one seems to mention, RSL is a winning organization and breeds players with a winning mentality. Kyle is a tough bastard, limited but tough. Much like my favorite all time USMNT player, Frankie Hedjuk. He is living proof that attitude, mental toughness and heart can take you a long way.


  • Jose S.

    In FIFA 11 you could change a player’s nationality. They took that option out in FIFA 12.


  • ben

    Is it me or do we still not have a left fullback on this roster? Williams is hurt, Lichaj did not get invited, Chandler dissed us….so is it Boca out there with Cameron and Guch in the middle?


  • Judging Amy

    Twellman had 30 caps and 6 goals over his Nats career, starting at age 22 and ending at age 28. At 29 Wondo is already older than Twellman when he played his last game with the Nats. With 7 caps to his name, you think Wondo has 23 more Nat games in him considering the younger, better competition at his position?

    On the club level Twellman scored 101 goals in 174 league games. Wondo has an impressive 51 goals to 120 games rate. Still not as good as Twellman’s numbers though.

    Either you don’t know how good Twellman really was or you overrate Wondo (who I concede is a great MLS player). Stating that Wondo will become a lesser Taylor Twellman is in no way ridiculous (as the numbers show). Neither guy is (was) Nats quality against high level comp. Doesn’t mean they were rubbish.


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