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U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT call up vs. Mexico?

USMNTvsBrazil (Reuters)

The U.S. Men's National Team returns to action on Wednesday in the highly-anticipated friendly vs. Mexico at Estadio Azteca. We already know who Mexico will be bringing to the showdown, but U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has held off in announcing his team until the weekend.

Back in June, Klinsmann suggested that he would be fielding a full-strength squad for the trip to Mexico City, but circumstances might keep that from happening. When you consider that Clint Dempsey is in a bit of limbo, as are the Americans at Rangers, you wonder whether Klinsmann will bring those key players in or let them deal with their current club situations.

When considering the squad Klinsmann may actually bring to Mexico, it should be noted that since the friendly is a mid-week friendly, there won't be a lengthy training camp before it. The team will have just two days to work and not much time to get acclimated. That quick turnaround usually prevents completely new faces from being called in, but with Klinsmann, you can always expect a surprise or two.

So who is Klinsmann calling in for the Mexico friendly? Here is a roster we could see getting the nod:

PROJECTED USMNT ROSTER vs. MEXICO

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan

DEFENDERS– Timmy Chandler, Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo

MIDFIELDERS– Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Jose Torres, Kyle Beckerman, Chris Pontius

FORWARDS– Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Herculez Gomez, Chris Wondolowski

———-

Some thoughts:

This would be a full-strength team, and while many of these European-based players are in pre-season, Klinsmann has made a point of saying that he wants his best players coming in for friendlies. It will be interesting to see if he sticks to that.

Yes, that's Timmy Chandler on the roster. Reports out of Germany have suggested Chandler is set to return to the national team fold and a game at Azteca would be a good chance for him to help repair his image among USA fans who aren't happy with the perception that he's not fully committed.

The LA Galaxy have a game on Wednesday at Columbus, so you might think Landon Donovan would be left home right? Don't be so sure. With the number of games Donovan missed last year it's tough to think Klinsmann would pass on a chance to bring him in. Also, Donovan loves playing Mexico, and a chance to play at Azteca again is something you would think he would not want to miss.

Clint Dempsey has not been training with the first team at Fulham as his future with the club remains in doubt, so he's probably not match fit. That said, Klinsmann will want to bring him in and have him around the team. He might not be able to start, but you would expect Dempsey to be a safe bet for minutes if called.

Chris Pontius fills the "New face in camp" quota. He is a talented goal scorer capable of playing on the left flank. I'm sure many will suggest that Eddie Johnson should be called in. Yes, he's playing well right now, but with the current crop of forwards available, I'm not sure now is the time for Johnson to be called in.

Goalkeeper is a bit of a tricky one. Brad Guzan is in a battle for the starting job at Aston Villa, so you wonder if Klinsmann leaves him back to focus on that. If so, Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson or Bill Hamid should get the nod. Based on current form, and a chance to bring him back into the fold after the Olympic qualifying disaster, Johnson would be a good call-up.

————

What do you think of this squad? Who would you like to see called up that isn't on this list? Who is on the projected roster that you hope does NOT get called in?

Share your thoughts below.

149 comments
  • Jake

    Does the fact that he’s played for Cuba competitively make a difference? If not I think he could make the USMNT a lot better.

    Like

  • Travis in Miami

    Of course Chandler would come in – for a friendly. He gets to display his international soccer skills to Die Manschaft.

    Like

  • Smpl

    I continue to be amazed by this mythology that has risen regarding Wondolowski and the national team. Too many misinformed “experts” seem to think he has actually been given a substantial trial with the national team. FACT: he has NEVER played a full 90 minutes- not even close. FACT: he has 4 starts in which he was subbed out early and he has subbed in 4 times, several just a few token minutes at the end. He has played less than 4 full games with the national team scattered over 8 caps. I’ve seen those games and he didn’t look “lost” at all. I thought he played ok and deserved a further look. And his “horrendous” miss wasn’t even the worst one in that game (Dempsey blew several that night). I think Wondolowski could be an excellent international player.

    Having said that I hope he doesn’t get called up if he is only going to sit on the bench game after game like his last callup…

    Like

  • SHyndmann

    If you see these things about John, then my guess is the USMNT people see them as well.

    My guess is they view them through a different filter than you do. Or more likely John has had bad timing.

    He was called in to two camps where he could have demonstrated to the USMNT people what they were missing. The first one he missed through injury. The second one he passed on to try out for West Ham.

    So he has had the opportunities, he just did not get to take advantage of them. And opportunities are not available to you forever. Ream and Cameron have passed him by and Gonzo now seems to be getting ready to lap him as well.

    You make it sound like there is a conspiracy against John. As a neutral it seems to me he just has bad luck. A shot at the USMNT is guaranteed to no one. If you really want it that bad you have to seize the moment when you have it.

    John has had those moments but, for whatever reason it has not worked out for him so far.
    Some of that is bad luck and some of it is his fault but there is certainly not a conspiracy aginst him and it is pretty clear that the USMNT people know what he can do.

    He’s just not going to do it for the USMNT right now.

    Like

  • GW

    How would you know? By what you see on TV? I’m sure that is extremely reliable way to determine just how passionate a person is about his profession.

    Like

  • Rags from DC

    He should call Corona, Beasley, Torres, Herc for this one. Would love to see Licha, but I don’t think it’ll happen. Expect Morales and Williams if healthy as well, and then the many regulars. wouldn’t mind seeing Adu or Pontius get called in. Not saying Adu deserves the call, I just like the flair that he plays with at times.

    Like

  • Taco

    Not one mention of Brek Shea. A few months ago he’s the poster child for the future of US Soccer and plays every game, and now he’s completely off the map. Don’t get me wrong, I know why he is, it’s just crazy what a few months will do.
    For those talks of George John in earlier post, I would see Zach Loyd from FCD, before John.

    Like

  • Old School

    Those are fair points regarding EJ but Wondo has literally never shown anything on the international level, against anyone.

    EJ has, on the other hand.

    I don’t like EJ personality but I’d take him and put him on the bench every day of the week over Wondo if EJ is scoring goals.

    It should be noted, do prefer Wondo’s personality…I’m just realistic about his ceiling.

    …as for the Robbie Findley comparison, I read the response and that’s about the most positive thing I can say about the statement.

    Like

  • Old School

    Because he isn’t happy.

    The same reason RVP didn’t travel with Arsenal and has suddenly joined after months and months of speculation (going back farther than Dempsey’s).

    Fairly common practice to not put an unhappy player with the rest of your squad. Having him train with reserves borderline sounds like punishment for wanting to leave the club.

    Like

  • Old School

    Anibaba isn’t a RB and has never looked like a natural RB.

    Not that you’re implying it, of course. DLC putting him there during his rookie year was ignorant and would have been better served developing full time at CB.

    Like

  • louis z

    and that is why I think Boyd is a special player, he doesn’t say he is American, he shows it!

    Like

  • John

    You’re being paranoid! Chandler is not playing for Germany he’s staying with team USA, he told the German media last month. A player who wants to play for Germany does not tell the German media that he’s staying with the USA team.

    Like

  • Two Cents

    Goalkeepers: Howard and Guzan

    Defenders: Lichaj, Chandler, Dolo, Boca, Gonzalez, Cameron, Goodson

    Midfielders: Dempsey, Johnson, Adu, Edu, Bradley, Jones, Pontius, Gyau, Donovan

    Forwards: Boyd, Altidore, Gomez

    Depends how many he wants to bring up. What’s nice is that both Donovan and Dempsey can be played at forward if necessary. Thus, why I didn’t include more forwards. I’d like to see Johnson used on the left as opposed to LB. Although, for the team, LB may be where we need him, but I like Lichaj a lot, and Chandler (if he continues to play for the US) can take over for Dolo at RB.

    ————Altidore————
    Johnson——Dempsey——Donovan
    ——–Jones——-Bradley——
    Lichaj—Boca—Cameron—Chandler
    ————-Howard—————

    Like

  • SonicDeathMonkey

    Last time I checked, Torres has played in the World Cup for the US, while Adu has come nowhere near a World Cup roster. Major fail.

    Like

  • Call Up Lichaj

    No FACTs on how he didn’t look lost, but that’s ok.

    I think we can agree that someone will sit on the bench the whole time if five forwards are on the roster.

    Like

  • beachbum

    Good call on the 5 day thing man…he tired badly in the Olympic qualifying fiasco

    Like

  • beachbum

    But what did Torres contribute?and Iike Paco! But your major fail claim is not accurate

    Benny is a perfect player for Klinsmann seems to me but can’t get the call except for the January camp thing

    Like

  • beachbum

    So true. For me his whole situation reflects very poorly on Klinsmann who had him in his clutches for extended periods of development and only sent the poor kid spiraling downward…big fail to date

    Like

  • biff

    I totally agree with you when the player in question has not yet committed publicly. We need to give those players time and understand the dilemma. And that is exactly what we did with Timothy Chandler. But last year Chandler in several press interviews pledged to the US shirt, saying we had absolutely no reason to question his allegiance and commitment. As soon as he took that step, crossed over the boundary so to speak, it is a different story than a player who is being open and honest and saying he needs more time to make up his mind.

    Chandler is not a child. He is a grown man and it is time in September for him to either commit irrevocably to the USMNT by playing against Jamaica–or not. And if he does not accept Klinsmann’s invitation, then I am happy to cross him off the list and in the future fill his slot on the team with, perhaps, a player of lesser quality, but with more American heart who in the end might turn out to be a better cog in the team than Chandler in WC 2014.

    Like

  • Andy

    Of course Chandler would accept the call-up… It’s a friendly, so won’t cap tie him leaving him still free to accept that Mannschaft call-up he’s holding out for.

    If he never puts on the USMNT jersey again, I’ll be a happy man.

    Like

  • Shawn

    Klinsi has no reason to “pretend” he doesn’t need Adu. He simply doesn’t. When Freddy plays at a level that demands attention, instead of his usual flattering-to-deceive self, then we can talk.

    Until then, stop hyping a guy who is, to date, all hype, no performance.

    Like

  • Shawn

    I have to agree. EJ is in good form, but even with that, if you’re going to bring in a MLS striker on form right now, it has to be Wondo.

    Like

  • Shawn

    Jol would sell him (reluctantly) for a small fortune. The problem is, closing in on his age 30 season, people aren’t willing to pay what Fulham rates him. At least not yet.

    You don’t put an unhappy player in the full preseason program because you don’t want his discontent infecting the rest of the side. Jol has played Dempsey enough to show he knows what he has. But you can’t hold back the rest of the team for one player.

    I think at the end of the day, either Fulham’s going to have to lower their valuation, or Deuce is going to have to suck up his pride and play. And humility is not something that’s come easily to Dempsey so far in his career.

    Like

  • Shawn

    Of those three, only Guzan is ‘fighting’ for a spot. Jozy and Bradley will be in rotation, at least.

    Like

  • Shawn

    Agreed. And I also agree with the post above that one has to be patient with dual-nationality players. One of Rongen’s failures was his insistence 20 year olds “commit fully” to the US, and it cost us several quality players, IMHO.

    Like

  • Shawn

    When was the last of those eight goals?

    Oh yeah. And didn’t 5 of them come in one week? Outside of that, how many matches has he played well?

    I don’t think either of them is full World Cup International quality. But if you want one guy who can give you a goal in 10mins today, it’s Wondo. If we’re going on MLS form. As far as ‘skills’ go, I’m old school on this. A point-of-the-spear striker only has 1 skill that matters: Putting the ball in the back of the net.

    Like

  • Shawn

    I think this is the case. Klinsi already knows and he’s just trying to mind game the Mexicans a little.

    Like

  • Shawn

    Yes. He’s played in official senior side matches (Gold Cup) with Cuba. Therefore he (probably) is not eligible for the 1 time switch.

    However, he ‘might’ be eligible by the rule that allows a player to declare for a new nation if he has been ‘discarded’ from his home nation. It hasn’t been used often, and was meant for forcible exile rather than defection, but it may apply.

    And personally, I’d rate Alonso above Beckerman. But that still puts him below Bradley, Jones, and Edu…well, unless Edu gets stuck in the 4th tier of Scottish football, then I think lack of competition will end his international career.

    Like

  • Shawn

    I couldn’t disagree more. I don’t know what you think Klinsi did wrong. I think it’s more a question of what Shea’s ego did to him. Shea did a Freddy Adu. “Look at me, I’m young and on the national team, with Euro scouts checking me out. Aren’t I great?”

    He forgot the cardinal rule of the hyped player: You got the hype by playing well on the PITCH. Not by kicking a ball in trials.

    Like

  • Shawn

    I like Besler, but I can tell you why he isn’t getting a call up.

    He had appendicitis, and hasn’t been able to play consecutive matches since his return. I doubt SKC would release him for a mid-week friendly, given they’re in a heavily congested fixture, with several injured defenders, and Besler himself isn’t 100% yet.

    That said, I do think he’s a player that deserves a look, but I’d rather they waited until January.

    Like

  • beachbum

    Then we disagree strongly

    Klinsmann brought him in everywhere and had the chance to influence him in everything, including attitude

    All Brek became was a player who came under Klinsmann’s influence with abundant confidence and Belief who ended up losing both instead of one who gained more

    Shea has not been the same player since

    Like

  • LJ

    Beckerman is way to slow against teams like Mexico. Benny is at least creative…Adu is past his prime…love Torres when playing Mexico

    Like

  • GW

    Die Mannschaft? That is Germany right? Doesn’t Chandler play in Germany? And doesn’t Lowe live in Germany?

    If Chandelr wants impress Lowe wouldn’t it be a lot simpler to really play well for Nuremburg in Germany? I assume Lowe watches all the BL games?

    Why fly halfway around the world to fricking Mexico City?

    Like

  • GW

    I can see how JK’s influence is ruining the young Terrance Boyd. And he is not young but Geoff Cameron is pretty new; terrible how JK is ruining his career.

    Like

  • Ry

    What about Juan Agudelo? If given the chance he has proven himself mutiple times. And we need other younger players such as Corona to get a look.

    Like

  • SD

    The keepers id take over Sean Johnson?
    Howard, Hamid, Guzan, Rimando. And 2 of them havent had a look at them either but id take them anytime over johnson

    Like

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