By IVES GALARCEP
Veterans Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley headline the U.S. Men’s National Team roster chosen to travel to San Pedro Sula ahead of Wednesday’s vital World Cup qualifying clash against Honduras, a roster heavy on European-based players.
Graham Zusi, Eddie Johnson and Matt Besler headline a contingent of seven MLS-based players.
Here is the roster:
GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson
DEFENDERS– Tim Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Evans, Michael Parkhurst
MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Maurice Edu, Graham Zusi, Brad Davis, Jose Torres, Sacha Kljestan
FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez
Here are some thoughts on the squad:
Jose Torres makes his way back into the fold. He has been playing well for an unbeaten Tigres side and he could also be a good option against Honduras.
The biggest surprise on the roster is Brad Evans, though he had been considered a likely inclusion based on Sigi Schmid’s recent comments hinting at a call-up. Klinsmann has him listed as a defender and it’s very likely he will be battling with Michael Parkhurst for the final spot on the roster.
Among the exclusions are Terrence Boyd, Juan Agudelo and Kyle Beckerman. Boyd is finishing up pre-season with Rapid Vienna, while Agudelo missed the cut behind a veteran collection of forwards. It was believed that he could be seen as a late-game change-of-pace option, but Klinsmann decided to go with veterans for this tough road trip. Beckerman was a bit of a surprised because of his regular inclusion in the squad, and his solid showing against Canada, but the recent resurgences of Jose Torres and Maurice Edu made them the picks.
There will be some complaints about there not being enough exciting young talent in this roster, but with this being a tough road qualifier, and many of the young options being unlikely to play, Klinsmann has bought himself some time before trying to incorporate players like Mix Diskerud, Boyd and Josh Gatt into the qualifying mix.
MLS centerbacks Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler make the squad and represent the next generation of centerbacks. Klinsmann is fully aware that he needs to rejuvenate the centerback pool and it will be interesting to see which of those two he calls on to play if he needs one of them to step on the field against Honduras.
What do you think of the squad? Who are you most surprised by? Which exclusion are you most disappointed with?
Share your thoughts below.