USMNT Daily Update

USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann start vs. Canada?


The U.S. Men’s National Team’s January camp rolls into its final full week of action and Jurgen Klinsmann will need to start thinking about which player he will plan on giving playing time to when the USMNT takes on Canada on Jan. 29th in Houston.

The Americans have a closed-door scrimmage against Club Tijuana’s reserves at Home Depot Center, and while that match should offer some players an opportunity to impress Klinsmann, the training camp itself should ultimately determine who Klinsmann hands starts against the Canadians.

Canada named a young squad for the friendly in Houston, which means the MLS-heavy U.S. team currently in camp won’t be facing the toughest of tests in preparation for the Feb. 6th qualifier against Honduras.

That won’t make the friendly any less important for those players who are considered long shots to make the U.S. qualifying roster that takes on Honduras. Eddie Johnson and Graham Zusi are candidates to start, while Juan Agudelo and Mix Diskerud seem like safe bets as bench options, but beyond those four it is tough to call any of the other players in camp locks to make the trip to San Pedro Sula.

So who will Klinsmann turn to against Canada? Here is a starting lineup we could see take the field at BBVA Compass Stadium:

PROJECTED USMNT lineup vs. Canada

Some thoughts:

Jurgen Klinsmann could give 45 minutes each to young goalkeepers Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid, but I can see Klinsmann wanting to take a good look at Hall, especially with him playing at home at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Alfredo Morales might be a surprise to some, but he is a talented young player I can see Klinsmann wanting to take a good look at. Steven Beitashour and Tony Beltran are more natural right backs, but Morales is arguably a more intriguing prospect. The real question is whether he isn’t a better defensive midfielder. If Klinsmann believes so, then it’s more likely Steven Beitashour or Tony Beltran would get the nod.

Klinsmann could turn to Feilhaber as a starter ahead of Diskerud, but with Diskerud having played more recently there is a good chance he is sharper at the moment.

Edson Buddle might seem like a strange pick considering the poor MLS season he just had, but the word out of camp is that Buddle has looked strong. He also gives the lineup the best possible target forward for wide forwards Johnson and Agudelo. Chris Wondolowski could earn a start as well, but The trio we list seems like the trio best-suited to start together.  Yes, a case can definitely be made for Josh Gatt to start, as he did against Russia, and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if he did get the nod, but I just see the above forward trio lining up together.

So what starting lineup would I trot out against Canada? Here’s the XI I would go with:

Here is the full roster in case you forgot who was in camp:

GOALKEEPERS: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)

MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


What do you think of our projected lineup? What would you change in the lineup? Which player are you most hoping to see start vs. Canada? Which projected starter on our squad do you NOT want to see in the starting lineup?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Beto

    Subs: S. Johnson, Davis, DeLaG, Bedoya, Wondo, Beitashour


      • Josh D

        I think we see the two SJ sidebacks due to the recent MLS article focusing on them and Klinsi’s praise.

        I’d also like to see Zusi as the right winger/right-winged forward position because that’s his “natural” place on the USMNT team. As much practice as he can get there, the better.

        I’m a big Gatt fan, but that would drop him to the bench. I agree with the rest of your attackers. The vacant central midfield position would go to Feilhaber.

        The rest looks good to me! I’m excited to see our young boys in action!

        I may favor Wondo in the striker position. But Johnson proved himself and took his chances last USMNT go around so I see why he starts.


      • Josh D

        Gatt’s ability to reach his ceiling = Years

        Zusi’s ability to reach his ceiling = Is happening now

        Gatt’s ability to start in Honduras and make an impact = low

        Zusi’s ability to start in Honduras and make an impact = a lot higher

        We have to introduce talent, yes, but we ease them in as we qualify.


  • Roman Lewandowski

    Very excited about that potential back line. I hope Besler, Gonzalez and Morales all see significant playing time.


  • Jamie Z.

    Obviously, I haven’t been in camp, so any considerations of form and team chemistry go right out the window, but I would welcome some serious match time for Josh Gatt on the wing, perhaps in a front three with Agudelo and Johnson. I’d be excited to see what Alfredo Morales brings to the table and I have high hopes, if not high expectations, for Omar Gonzalez to make a major statement of intent.


    • Paul Miller

      I think Canada will be primarily a Gatt-Gonzo time to prove readiness for international play.

      I’m looking at a 4-2-3-1. Klinsmann is calling this a ‘prep’ camp for Honduras (minus many starters, of course), and I don’t see even a coach of questionable tactical abilities taking a 4-3-3 into this round of qualifiers, given that our bigger problems are on the center of the back line.

      Beckerman and someone else as DMs.

      Gatt at right wing. The next piece of the puzzle with be Diskerud. Where does Klinsmann seeing him fit in to the team? That will determine his position for this friendly, and the other pieces will fill in accordingly.

      Don’t forget Wondo.


  • Dinho

    I hope we don’t see Buddle start….I’d like to see this:

    ———– Agudelo—————-
    EJ ————————Bedoya
    ——Mixx ——– Zusi ———-
    ————- Morales ————–
    ————- Hall ——————

    I doubt we see that…but a boy can dream.


    • 2tone

      Gatt at RB? No thankyou. The guy is not RB. Shea roasted him last year during January camp. No Klinsmann see’s him as a Wide Forward which his best position.


      • Bobb

        People need to get over the Gatt at RB thing. That is not his natural position, it’s just where Molde had to use him TWO YEARS AGO because of injuries.


      • Josh D

        The supreme being Porter used him as a RB as well. And I agree completely, he’s not useful there. Speed does not mean a sideback.


  • Kid Presentable!!!

    Mark my words, if buddle is healthy, he will impress. He is a strong and more often then not skillful forward with the ball at his fee. He also is not afraid to do some of the dirty work and is very good at finding outlet passes to wing players and the other forwards that are playing off him.


  • 2tone

    The second line-up is what I would like to see, but here is another possible line-up.



  • Yazan

    Haha I looked at the projected lineup and thought “no no what is he thinking?” then I thought of the lineup I would want, and I scrolled down and there it was. Good job Ives.


  • David JS



      • David JS

        I just think all of these FWDs would be much better with a partner up front, and the personnel is better suited to attack wide and get crosses in rather than play thru the middle. I know Klinsi probably wants to see basically the exact opposite so I doubt we see this lineup, but this is who I’d play with.


      • David JS

        Maybe Klinsi would go with…


        …with a similar plan of attack.


  • Realist

    Wondolowski was the leading scorer in MLS. Why on earth would you start Buddle over him??

    And how in the world does Hamid even get called in to this camp. Have you seen some of the howlers he’s made for DC United and the U.S. Olympic Team?

    Hamid Stupidity



    • Paul Miller

      Wondo may not fit into Klinsmann’s chemistry search. Klinsmann seems to like young, hard-working and hungry players, and older players who take the younger ones under their wings. Don’t know Wondo, but he’s too old for the first group and maybe not quite what Klinsmann wants for the second.

      Remember, this guy benched Oliver Kahn. He moves to his own drumbeat. Oliver Kahn was one of the world’s best keepers at the time. Wondo is just the MLS’ best forward, at least statistically. That said, he did want Kahn on the bench in 2006. Just not on the field. So he goes from winning the Golden Ball in 2002 – only keeper ever to have been named a World Cup best player – to benched in 2006.

      I think Klinsmann is loving what Eddie Johnson is bringing to this camp. Been following EJ’s tweets. There isn’t a young guy there who hasn’t been to a nearby PF Changs with Johnson.


      • GW


        You need to get over this Kahn obsession. While they are both the same age, Kahn was winding down while Lehmann was having the year of his life.

        The lesson is JK plays the guy who is playing better.

        Lehmann was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2005–06 season, and he was Champions League Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2005–06 season. Arsenal got to the Final that year and Lehmann was playing great, though he did get a red card in the final.

        From a playing standpoint picking Lehmann was not a difficult decision. The political side was another story.


    • Paul Miller

      Oh, and Hamid is a great shot stopper. He’s also a kid who is prone to kid mistakes. I agree he’s not going to see much qualifier time this cycle. But if he outgrows the mistakes, we could see a heck of a battle between Guzan, Johnson and Hamid the next World Cup cycle (assuming Timmy isn’t planning to play until he’s 39, and maybe even if he is…).


      • GW

        Guzan is arguably playing better than Timmy now.

        If things stay the same it is unlikely that Howard beats out Guzan for 2018. For 2014 Howard is still apparently a very strong team leader and still playing well enough that he might be able to hold off Guzan.

        If you have an entrenched keeper his challenger has to be a lot better since keeper changes can be very traumatic to defenses. On the other hand maybe the shaky US defense could benefit from the change.

        Time will tell. .


  • FSegaud

    Hey Ives, any idea about game time vs.TJ? I’d suspect match will still take place on a practice field.


  • Bobb

    I like that both lineups have Mix, Zusi, Omar, and Agudelo.
    I don’t like that neither one has Feilhaber.
    And I don’t want to see Edson freaking Buddle.

    Also, that’s such an attacking oriented group that I worry that Beckerman won’t have the speed we would need from a defensive midfielder with that personnel around them. Perhaps Alfredo Morales instead?


  • Cairo

    Not interested in seeing Buddle, and would prefer Agudelo be a late sub. Once again folks low rate a guy who has scored some 60 or so goals over the past three seasons in Wondo, and our best left footed and set peice guy in Davis. Do people forget that Our biggest advantage vs. concacaf teams is in the air, and that great service is huge for us? Just want to see Morales, because i don’t know how Beckerman gets on the field for the full team. Most excited to see Morrow. Maybe the solution at left mid eentually will be Morrow at left back and Fabian at left mid. Morrow was a beast in the MLS all star game vs. Chelsea. Def. worth a look. My lineup:

    EJ Wondo
    Davis Mixx Zusi
    Morrow Besler Gonzo Beitashour


    • biff

      +1 on Wondo, Cairo, the best American MLS striker, bar none, and yet has never been given a decent chance to show what he can do wearing the US shirt. People always saying, yeah, he is okay for the MLS but does not have what it takes for the international game, while the fans make all sorts of pitiful excuses for Jozy, who, granted, is an excellent player and on a tear and playing great in the Dutch league but who has failed to produce for the USMNT. Always excuses for Jozy’s poor USMNT performances–no service, bad tactics from Klinsmann, etc.

      Wondo should finally get a start in a USMNT game with some decent support and get at least 60 minutes on the field. Could be a revelation, or it could show that his detractors are right and he truly does not have the right (international) stuff and then we can move on from him. But as they say, we won’t know until we know.,..


      • byrdman

        Maybe the coach’s see it everyday at practice (USMNT camps), and it is clear to everyone. He has scored so many goals in MLS, and gotten only a handful of opportunities at international level(which he has failed to impress in, and on occasion missed easy chances). You would think some player or coach somewhere would have said, “You know if they just gave Wondo some minutes he would be the answer to the forward problem on the USMNT.” But that has never happened. You would think with all these goals, somebody from some European league somewhere would come calling. Goal scorers are always a commodity.
        Maybe the professionals (coaches, players, execs…) know a little more than us. I’m inclined to trust the guys who make a living evaluating talent more than a guy like me watching on tv, scanning the internet for clips. Don’t get me wrong, most of you guys on here, know more about the game than I do, and I appreciate your insights. But to me it’s clear that he is not rated highly by people outside of MLS. I’m just a guy looking from way outside, so I could be wrong. Maybe he lights it up vs Canada.


      • Judging Amy

        Klinsmann has seemed very eager to give new guys good shots, especially at the forward position. Herc and EJ are two good examples. Calling in EJ and Gordon for a qualifier shows Klins’ lack of a MLS bias. Most of his decisions have rewarded him. I’d think at the striker spot, Klins would have a good eye.

        Wondo’s age, playing style, and lack of physical attributes is what denies him (right or wrong) the kind of slack Jozy gets cut.


      • biff

        But that’s my point, Judging Amy. Until we actually see Wondo in action as a starter and given 60-70 minutes PT, then all we can do is speculate as to how he would do in a game situation. To me it seems unfathomable that MLS’s best striker has never ever, not one time, been given a fair shot to show what he can do in a US shirt. I mean, geez, Jurgen Klinsmann Mr. Tinkerer himself, has experimented with silly stuff like Danny Williams at right wing and Jose Torres at left back, which just about killed the little guy, for gosh sakes. Why can’t he let Wondo have a chance, one little eensie weensie chance to show what he can — or cannot — do as USMNT striker.

        One thing we learned from the WCQ last year, especially in September and October, is that MLS players can make major contributions at the international level, and I’m not just talking about the USMNT, but with other CONCACAF teams, such as Jamaica, whose MLS-ers whipped our bu**s bad in Kingston in September.


      • Edwin in LA

        I’m sorry but you seem to forget the Gold Cup when Wondo got minutes among others.. Here is when he has played:

        Jan ’11 2 years ago vs Chile started and played 60 minutes….didn’t do a thing
        Then that summer vs Panama missed a huge sitter to tie the game and started vs Guadalupe not the most difficult of Concacaf teams and nothing….

        Again for camp in Jan 2012 he got 28+ vs Venezuela in AZ and he was shut out by the keeper….and in Panama nothing again
        but there he started only subbed out because Cameron got ejected so he’s had chances


      • biff

        As for Wondo not catching the attention of Europe, I read an article a couple of months ago that said he does not have an agent, but represents himself. Can anyone confirm that? If this is true, first of all, I would say this is totally insane of Wondo from a financial perspective and second, he doesn’t have a contact point or someone talking him up, which are what agents are paid to do. But it could be that if Wondo does not have an agent he isn’t even interested in playing in Europe.


      • GW


        These comparisons of Wondo to Jozy are apples to oranges.

        Wondo is a guy who has squeezed just about every ounce of productivity out of himself through hard work, intelligence, and discipline and toughness.

        Jozy is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
        In Jozy’s first 7 games for the USMNT he scored 5 goals mostly in WC qualifiers. After 17 caps Jozy had 7 goals. And even though he scored only one goal between the two competitions he did well in the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

        He also has many of the tools of a good international striker, i.e. he is big, strong, reasonably fast and has a cannon of a shot. Since the World Cup he has been in a USMNT slump though he looked good in the 2011 Gold Cup until he pulled a hamstring.

        So his early track record and his future promise along, along with a continuing dearth of credible alternatives and his form for AZ keep him in the running for a USMNT slot.

        biff will typically give you the hysterical , overreactive take on any given USMNT topic. The reality is Jozy’s continued presence in the USMNT picture ( despite his inability to kneel for the team picture) is based on solid reasoning, something biff is not likely to let get in the way of a good rant. biff takes a liking to certain players and wants to mess with stuff so they succeed.

        I’m interested in team results and would not care if they brought back Conor Casey,Brian Ching or Charlie fricking Davies as long as they fit into the team and scored regularly.
        Not that they should be compared but compare Wondo’s start to Jozy’s start.

        Wondo has had 8 USMNT appearances and scored 0 goals. This explains why SBI posters characterize him as a bust. They are being premature.

        I saw most of those games and it seemed like Wondo was brought on late, mostly as an after thought. He really has not had the benefit of playing in a system set up to take advantage of what he does best. This is pretty typical for a national team. The USMNT may be limited by it’s player pool in terms of how much it’s system can be tweaked to accommodate Wondo

        As Jozy himself once said, it’s up to the player to adjust to the team not the other way around.

        However, unlike just about everyone else on SBI I thought Wondo looked promising for the most part even if he did miss a sitter or two. I’ve seen many better players than Wondo miss much easier sitters. See Dempsey, Clint, Guadeloupe, Gold Cup 2011. If missing a sitter in a big game were grounds for being banned from your national team, the World Cup would be a pretty depleted competition.

        Goal scoring success is probably the most difficult thing to translate from a club team to a national team.

        Messi scores goals at a rate of one every 1.2 appearances for Barca. For Argentina it’s one goal every 2.5 games.

        Christiano Ronaldo scores goals at a rate of one every .92 appearances for Real Madrid. For Portugal it’s one goal every 2.7 games.

        That is a significant drop off and it shows you that club success is the no predictor of future results with a national team.

        Wondo has not really been given a fair trial with the US and he may never get one. From what I’ve read from JK he seems to feel the same way and he constantly praises Wondo.
        JK will give Wondo a shot. It probably won’t be ideal for him and he’ll probably have to make some adjustments but survival is about adapting. It’s too bad but if JK can get good production out of Jozy, EJ, Gordon, Boyd, Bruin, Buddle, Agudelo and Gomez I see no reason to adjust things just so Wondo can get in on it.

        This isn’t Soccermom soccer where everyone gets to play, and gets a trophy and no one keeps score and everyone develops their self esteem. This is a cutthroat business.

        Wondo can adapt, now, or fall by the wayside.


      • The Imperative Voice

        I don’t make excuses for Jozy, I equal-opportunity complain about both Jozy and Wondo because neither produces much in the NT jersey. Jozy has at least scored in some games for the team. Wondo is like Twellman redux. While I appreciate the abstracted argument that a high league scorer deserves his place, the reality is he is a poacher with a soccer IQ and hustle, and that’s less of an advantage when he moves up to an international level where soccer IQ is abundant and hustle required.


      • Dennis

        To be fair, Wondo has played in parts of 5 or 6 games totalling less than 3 time 90 minutes. If he had scored a single goal for the USMNT in that time, he would be doing far better than most forwards. So we are faulting him for lack of a single goal?

        It is what the coaches see in practices and what the coaches see in their own personal crystal balls that has kept Wondo off the field for the Nats. Unless Klinsmann comes right out and says that he thinks Wondo can’t score goals (unlikely since he keeps getting called into camps and it is pretty contrary to his MLS record), we will be left to wonder.

        I would say that Wondo is the single guy who has been most snubbed by the Nats, with Davis a fairly distant second.


      • Ruker

        I would disagree. You are emphasizing that Wondo has never EVER gotten 60+ min with the A team which he has. He started the 2011 GC game against Guadeloupe and flubbed a mini breakaway which could have given us a 2-0 lead and some extra breathing room heading into halftime. While I wouldn’t dream of taking away what he has done in the MLS, I don’t believe he is national team material. I agree that while most of his chances have been with the B team (or even lower,) he has indeed had one of the chances that your talking about and didn’t produce.


      • biff

        Okay. Let’s use your arguments and look at Jozy’s statistics for 2012

        USMNT 1-0 Italy
        Jozy, 79 minutes, no goals

        Canada 0-0 USMNT
        Jozy, 28 minutes, no goals

        USMNT 3-1Antigua Barbuda
        Jozy, 10 minutes, no goals

        Guatemala 1-1 USMNT
        Jozy, 26 minutes, no goals
        (And this is the game where MB and Jozy were breaking toward goal and MB passed a beauty for Jozy to tap into the net, but Jozy decided to stop running toward the ball and it was clear MB was not happy.

        Jamaica 1-2 USMNT Jamaica
        Jozy, 72 minutes, no goals

        USMNT 1-0 Jamaica
        Jozy, 10 minutes, no goals

        Russia 2-2 USMNT
        Jozy, 87 minutes, no goals

        So you tell me that Wondo “indeed had one of the chances that you’re talking about and didn’t produce.” Well, using your arguments, Jozy has had many, many more chances in just one year to score a goal than Wondo has had during his whole life and Jozy did not produce. So, using your logic, are you saying then that Jozy has had his chances and blown them all so he should be shut out of the USMNT going forward. Just asking?


      • David JS

        no one said Wondo has been given as many chances as Jozy. Just that he HAS been given chances, contrary to your assertions…


    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

      I agree our biggest advantage against CONCACAF teams could be through the air, but I don’t think we should go all out with that approach. In truth, we still keep an eye going forward to the world cup where players like Davis and Wondo likely won’t make the cut. We need to focus on our attack long term.

      I like the idea of Buddle through the center because he will allow the rest of our attack/midfield to do what they do best. his hold up play is good and he is a decent finisher. If my memory serves correct, I can’t really recall Buddle having a bad US outing in the last 3 years. That will allow us to much better assess EJ, Agudelo, Gatt, Diskerud, Zusi ect. ect. Our improving depth in the attacking positions is very very intriguing and it will be interesting to see what direction Klinsy goes in the next year.

      What has kind of been lost in the shuffle in this conversation is the defense. I am very excited to hear about Besler and Gonzo. How have they been doing? Does either have an inside track on the other? Are there any other camp surprises so far? Feed the people some info Ives.


    • Dennis

      Agreed, especially the strikers. with Davis and Beitashour capable of serving good balls, EJ and Wondo wlll find the goal. Not sure about Morales, might go with Beckerman just to have some pit bull in there.


  • louis z

    Here is my take

    ————– Buddle—————-
    EJ ———— Agudelo————Gatt
    ——Morales ——– Mix———-
    ————- Hall ——————

    I decided that a trio of Agudelo-Mix-Morales would be great, they can control the midfield, why? you have Morales the enforcer as well as distributor, you have the play maker in Mix and you have your attacking mid in Agudelo


  • chris_thebassplayer

    I like the second line up with the only exception being I would like to see Morales as the Dmid. Beckerman makes total sense given his experience, but we already know what he can do. Since it is a young Canadian side, I’d like to see what Morales brings as a Dmid. A little outside the box but a game like this would be the perfect opportunity to try Agudelo as an ACM. Using 2tone’s line up above, I would replace Benny with Agudelo.


  • WK

    it will have to be Beltran or Morales at RB- Beita was sent home with a slight muscle strain according to Yallop.


  • Adrian

    In this friendly, I expect to see more of the youth or new players with a core group that have played with USMNT. I cannot imagine that with Canada going youth the US would not too and see what they have for the Gold Cup team. This is not just for the WC qualifying teams, its about the 2nd and 3rd tier players we have for the Gold Cup Roster.

    In that same formation:
    ———————-EJ————————- Either EJ, Buddle, Agudelo or Wondo-should Wondo get a look?
    Davis—————————–Gatt——– @LM its either Davis/Evans unless EJ, Gatt vs. Bedoya
    ———–Diskerud—-Zusi—————–Diskerud or Feilhaber and Zusi vs. Morales/Evans
    —————-Beckerman—————— Morales seems to be only other competition unless Evans too
    Morrow–Besler-Gonzalez–Beltran—Should be interesting who else would compete for LB Lade?
    —————–Johnson———————-Could Hall or Hamid surprise and get the start?
    Reserves: Buddle, Agudelo, Bedoya, Morales, De la Garza, Beitashour
    I really expect to see many of the 1st timers get PT at some point in game like Bedoya, Morales (although he’s been to camps before), Beitashour and/or Beltran. It really wouldn’t make sense to me to play Buddle, Agudelo, Zusi, EJ, and Beckerman when you know what you have from them. I’d like to see more of the youth players get time even as late subs since we have like 6 that can play in a “friendly”.

    I’m interested to see how the scrimmage with Tijuana goes (with many US players on the Reserve team) that US will play like Alejandro Guido and possibly Greg Garza who backs up Castillo at LB. I find this scrimmage could be a great opportunity for JK to see some other US talent play that he doesn’t see on a regular basis. I’m big on Guido and he could be around next World Cup 2018.


  • Vic

    Defense looks good. The rest I would go with this lineup:

    Johnson Gatt

    Bedoya Zusi

    Diskerkud Feilhaber


  • The Imperative Voice

    I don’t see the value in grooming Morales to take a d-mid position we have well stocked when we need immediate backline help.

    Do people see Morales as a CB or a wingback? In other words, can he get into the mosh pit to fill the CB wilderness? I know Gonzo is the obvious one but the position has been so poorly played of late that mere competence there might be enough.


    • biff

      Yep, I don’t get the Alfredo Morales at d-mid argument either. What is the point? Why should Klinsmann waste valuable USMNT minutes assessing the d-mid capabilities of a club defender who has not even make the frickin’ bench for his club the past few months. Better to use that valuable time to assess the performance(s) of players who play d-mid at the club level. And quite frankly, I don’t really think he deserves call-ups until he starts earning regular club time. I will be very surprised if Klinsmann plays him against Canada.


    • Eurosnob

      Morales as a defensive midfielder makes perfect sense, if Klinsmann takes a long term approach to building the team. Testing certain players for the current qualifying cycle and testing other players for the future cycle is not mutually exclusive. Morales, Mix and Corona midfield dominated possession in the 2-0 win against a very talented U23 Mexican team that subsequently won the Olympics. How often do we see US teams dominate possession against Mexican teams or running 4-3-3 formation effectively? Morales was a big part of it. Morales is too young and inexperienced to play a big role in the current qualifying cycle (at any position) and he will not replace the likes of Jones, Williams and Bradley now, but he could become an important piece of the puzzle in the next cycle, particularly if Klinsi intends to transition to 4-3-3.


      • The Imperative Voice

        Bradley is an 87, Williams is an 89, Morales a 90. Even if Jones retires and he’s better than Clark, Beckerman, etc., you’d be grooming him for a spot laden with talent, not necessarily all of it that old.

        In contrast, even if he’s “not ready” as a back now, Goodson is 30, Dolo 33, Gooch 30, Boca 33. These players are already showing their age and in some instances dubious quality, and WILL NOT be back next cycle. Heck, if you do the math, Cameron would be 32 by 2018.

        I am also not a big fan of creating your own problems by getting cute. We need backs. So groom backs. The same need for DMs is not obvious. The ages on the DMs are OK, even if Williams might not work out. This reminds me of taking a perfectly good Chandler, and moving him to LB off his natural foot. Then we have 2 young LBs canceling each other out and an old fart RB who is losing a step.

        For that matter, some of the historical planning failures a la LB for several years, point to a need to think ahead, and not just in “he could play DM” terms, but really, like I said, we need backs and if we don’t start prepping them up there will be heck to pay, if not in Brazil, for the four years after.


      • louisz

        I didn’t know Bradley plays the “6” he can but I don’t see that happening in the near future. Morales is competing with the likes of Williams, Beckerman and Edu’s of the world.


      • GW

        Shortly after the Ghana loss, Donovan gave an interview where he said, in short, that US players had all the skills and the talent to win at this level but they were missing something in terms of savvy, of mindset, the sort of intangibles that can best be developed under intense completion.

        When he said that the US had no one who was on the roster of a Champions League contending club.

        John Mensah, the Ghanian captain had been at Lyon who had done quite well in the champions league and they also had several veterans of tough European competitions. And it gets even worse when you get to the teams we really want to beat to make noise. They mostly all have a lot of guys on Champion’s league contenders.

        The point is JK is more concerned about developing and strengthening the player’s mindset, the intangibles. It’s why he urged everyone to move to the toughest league they can.
        I don’t think he is overly concerned about positions per se. If Morales has the kind of mental makeup and the skills and al that other stuff that JK wants, he’ll worry about finding a position for him later.

        I’d be okay if it turned out that my core of players who all had the proper skillset, mindset and dedication turned out to be mostly midfielders. I’d convert some to defense and some to attack.

        If you’ll notice Spain played Fabregas at striker in the Euros rather than Torres because, and this is my assumption only, Cesc was confident about it as opposed to El Nino whose confidence was then on life support.

        This sort of love of the versatile confident player over the depressed positional specialist is sustainable with national teams because all national teams are essentially short term propositions as opposed to a club team. If Morales proves to be a revelation at right back or as the holding midfielder or as a center back , then you play him there, it’s that simple.

        2018 can take care of itself later.


  • 2tone

    If Beita was sent home then it has to be Beltran that starts. Morales is not a RB either. His best position is DM, but I could see Klinsmann try at CB as well.


  • adam tash

    agudelo – johnson
    davis – feilhaber – gatt
    ? – gonzalez – besler – ?


    • TomG

      Different bc lb was a position of horrific dearth for USMNT at the time while DM is one of strength.


  • Zac Mac



  • Georgie

    So stoked that Lade got tapped for the USMNT…hope to see him get a little burn at the end of the game. I am kinda bummed that some other young talent didn’t get the call: Dax McCarty and Perry Kitchen are notables.


  • TomG

    Well, we know Buddle and Beitashour won’t be starting now. So it’s probably Morales at rb. Maybe Bruin gets a shot up top.


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