World Cup Qualifying

Bradley, Dempsey and Guzan named to USMNT World Cup qualifying roster

Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan and Clint Dempsey headlined the 23-player USMNT roster announced for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers vs. Costa Rica and Mexico.

Several familiar faces were left oft the roster, including long-time captain Carlos Bocanegra as well as German-Americans Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Timmy Chandler. Johnson, Chandler, Williams and Jose Torres were left out due to injuries, while players like Bocanegra and Michael Parkhurst were left out due to lack of playing time in recent weeks.

The U.S. team is also missing Tim Howard and Steve Cherundolo for this round of qualifying due to injuries.

Some younger options were included in the team, with Joe Corona and Terrence Boyd both called in for the match.

Here is the squad:

GOALKEEPERS– Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson.

DEFENDERS– Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Tony Beltran, Justin Morrow, Clarence Goodson, Matt Besler.

MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Joe Corona, Sacha Kljestan, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman.

FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd.


Some quick thoughts on the roster:

The rash of injuries really put Klinsmann in a tough spot. He said a week ago that he thought Fabian Johnson would be ready. The fact that he wasn’t, and Timmy Chandler’s injury, left Klinsmann with no choice but to call in a roster short on fullbacks.

The fullback mess was in the making for weeks after Parkhurst failed to hold onto a starting role with Augusburg and Eric Lichaj failed to work his way into the Aston Villa rotation. Klinsmann was also considering Jonathan Spector, but he also sustained an injury this past weekend.

DaMarcus Beasley is back on the team and it’s a well-deserved call-up. He brings an in-form attacking threat on the left wing, and could also be considered for a left back role as well. Considering Justin Morrow is the only natural left back on the roster, Beasley absolutely could get the call at left back. If not in both qualifiers, certainly in the Mexico qualifier, where his experience on the national team and in Mexico will be a benefit.

Look for Maurice Edu to get a look in central defense in these qualifiers. He started there in the friendly win vs. Mexico in Azteca, and he could form a good partnership with fellow University of Maryland product Omar Gonzalez.

The rash of injuries could present some good opportunities for players like Joe Corona, who wasn’t on the roster initially.


What do you think of the squad? Which inclusions are you most surprised by? Who are you disappointed to see left out? Think the U.S. can grab three or more points from the next two qualifiers?

Share your thoughts below.

  • harry

    You my friend are dead wrong about Brad Davis being too slow. He plays the ball quickly and very accurately which overides his pace which is not bad in the first place


  • bbstl

    I’m actually okay with this. Are we desparately thin on the backline? Yes, of course we are. But, realistically, Costa Rica is the worst team in the Hex, and we should be able to handle them at home. Did we really think that even with a full squad we were going to get points at Azteca?


  • Ed

    Alot of people hoping for Edu at CB.. While I think Edu is a pretty versatile player and obviously was part of the result at Azteca, people need to remember that we looked AWFULLY shaky most of that match and would have lost 2, 3 – 0 if not for some brilliant saves from Howard. Honestly, given this roster, I like the idea of Gonzo-Besler in the middle since they seemed to work well together vs Canada. Granted they had zero pressure the entire game, but at least they will have had some game experience together, unlike Cameron-Gonzo in Honduras.


    • blag

      While that may be the score in the end, games are written on the field, not on paper. This usa squad needs to remember the grit and pride the usa teams of the past were known for. That old never say die spirit just does not seem to be there with this team. The urgency to play tough on opponents is missing.


  • SeattleSportsByMe

    While I fully understand the concern over lack of experience at the back line, I’m happy to see some new names in the mix. It wasn’t like the Chandler and Johnson were killing it. Lightening in a bottle maybe? If Beltran, Morrow or Besler can show anything positive, it would go a long way to improving that backline depth. I’m cautious but excited to watch.


    • MIKE R

      Morrow and Besler have played before…

      So I repeat, our defense blows.

      I didnt want to go to Brazil anyway


      • SeattleSportsByMe

        LOL they have a combined total of three senior team appearances. They may be trash, but you can’t make that claim after once appearance each. I agree it doesn’t look good, but the backline HAS NOT BEEN GOOD for a while now (some would say ever). The new names may be the same as the old names, but you are going to be hard pressed to convince me it will be any worse.


  • Isaac

    Have to feel for Klinsmann with all the injuries that occured on him, and in the defense of all places. It should be said that if he manages four points out of six, or even three, he deserves a massive pat on the back.

    That said, I wonder if the U.S. might consider going with a back three. This could be quite useful against two man strike forces, which is what the U.S. faced against Honduras. Any time we’ve had two strikers up against our two centerbacks, it’s been a scary affair. The worst case had to be when Tim Ream and Clarence Goodson were dragged around by Blas Perez and Luiz Tejada of Panama in the 2011 Gold Cup.

    With a back three, or a back five depending on how you look at it, we would be able to double team dangerous attackers, and our defense wouldn’t constantly need a shield.


  • MIKE R


    And once again Mexico is missing no one to serious injury

    need to rethink the hack a man leagues or players play in Germany England and MLS


  • Anthony

    Starting Line Up:

    Cameron – Gonzales – Besler – Morrow
    Zusi – Bradley – Jones – Shea (maybe Beasley)
    Dempsey – Gomez (Altidore will start on the bench)


    • Anthony

      We do not have the skill or defensive ability to play a 3-5-2, even thought I would LOVE it. Watch the Italians, Napoli and Juventus play the 3-5-2 and tell me if we have anyone even close to their level of distribution, and ball winning skills in the back to play that system. Ultimately, because it’s the easiest to play 4-4-2 with players who’ve never played before, I think he will go with this formation, and if needed, can take off besler to add attack with another winger and move cameron into the middle. Edu can be subbed on if needed to go defensive.

      Ultimately, we need to look ourselves in the mirror and realize that skill wise, we are not close to the top, so we need a formation that is easy to play, and somewhat comfortable for the players and their short training session together.


    • pjsmoov

      Works for me. Or replace Zusi with Gomez and put Dempsey and Jozy up top. Not sure why several on here want to put our only speedy midfielders at left back.


  • Michael

    I’d like to see this lineup. I think it utilizes the best and most experienced players we’ve got available.
    Dempsey Shea
    Johnson – Jozy


  • Soccertes

    Lots to comment on, but I’ll keep it simple:

    1. Terrible luck with player unavailability – these paricular injuries plus the Saga of Landon put Klinsi in a position I can’t recall RoboBob ever being in. It’s almost no-win. Let’s hope not literally.

    2. All Hail the Return of DMB! I had unoficially campaigned for it for months (OK, I wrote 3 tweets including one to Klinsmann when I was drunk, but still). Seriously, he’s got a ton of WC experience – in qualifying and the Big Show – he’s speedy, can stretch the field, has a left foot, and he’s been scoring in Mexico. I like what he brings to the squad.

    3. Stop whining over Boca. He hasn’t played in 6 weeks, when he did it was for questionable competetion, and he’s clearly lost a step. No disrespect for all his accomplishments and contributions – just pointing out that he’s not the dramatic loss or omission so many people think he is.

    4. Don’t get worked up over how this team will fare in Azteca. We’re not supposed to win that one. No US team has ever won a WCQ there (not sure how many draws – anyone?), and until they pulled a rabbit out of a sombrero there last year, they had never won there, period. That game is gravy. Costa Rica at home, however, is a must-win.

    5. Stop blaming the coach. I love our guys with often rabid devotion, but we’re not that good, and the rest of CONCACAF, and indeed the world, keeps getting better.

    6. Can’t wait ’til Friday.


  • Todd

    LOL…I hope you are happy Bruce Arena. Be careful what you ask for you just might get it. So much for all those dual nationals taking American spots.(Please understand the humor in this post) Wishing a speedy recovery for those sick and injured.


  • wilyboy

    Those fullbacks are going to kill us. This team already has trouble with a balanced performance, if we can’t get strong overlapping play from our fullbacks, I can’t even imagine how bad this is going to be.

    On a side note, I’m glad Hamid wasn’t called in, as he’s the only thing keeping DC solvent at this point. I’m starting to think that making the save of the week every week in MLS still won’t get through JK’s thick skull.


  • Goalscorer24

    Our entire defense is depleted with injuries. Scary. Well these guys will be getting thrown into the fire. Hopefully they can play well.


  • chris_thebassplayer

    JK will open it up and push the attack. The back line is thin but hopefully they won’t have as much to do. Omar and Cameron in the middle with Morrow on the left. I don’t mind Beltran on the right. I’d rather see Cameron in the middle instead of RB.


    JK’s front six


    What I’d like to see for this game.


    Deuce isn’t a target forward, but he’ll draw a ton of fouls around the box and draw more defensive attention than Jozy…opens things up for Herc and Corona.

    We’re going to rise to the occasion and put a few in. We just need to manage the counters and we’ll be fine.


  • Fifawitz1313

    Pretty clear we r going to be parking a big fat bus in Azteca. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us park 10 men in the box.

    Azteca line-up playing for a 0-0 draw:

    Bradley Jones


  • Luetchy

    EJ Dempsey Herc
    Bradley Jones
    Beasley Edu Gonzo Cameron

    Zusi if Dempsey is not matchfit.
    Beasley and Edu due to international experience and because I want Beasley putting pressure high. Morrow and Besler a possibility instead. No idea how Goodson has been doing since I haven’t caught much Danish Superliga lately (or any, ever).

    Shea for EJ and/or Zusi for Herc at 75′ since I figure they will have a lot of action and will be gassed at altitude.
    Kljestian for Dempsey and Beckerman for Bradley if game is in hand since they are sitting on yellows.


  • Dan M

    Guys, this line up can’t be any worse than what was featured against Canada. And the boys will be well acclimated, unlike their trip to Honduras. Temps in the 40s at 5280 feet should favor the guys who have been playing in N. Europe (but Costa Rica has a few internationals too). Should be a telling game. We can expect attrition throughout the WCup cycle and if we can’t handle it at home v. a Central American club, then we have no business advancing anyway.


  • chuck

    Man oh man. This defense is gonna be annhilated by Mexico. Sure they could come out uninspired like vs. Jamaica but it’s more likely that they’ll be utterly pissed off after being surpassed in douchebaggery by Honduras a few days earlier.


  • Cairo

    Don’t have the time to read through 100 plus comments. I’ll just say that I’m happy to see Beas back on the team. A tireless worker, still faster than average, and always willing to track back.
    What’s I’d put out if I were coach for a day:

    Morrow is a hard worker, tough, doesn’t back down. Herc and Beas are two tireless runners who will track back but can also create something from the wing. I prefer EJ to Jozy in a single striker setup. Goodson has mostly been ok with the nats. Let Gonzo be the enforcer, as this is the only area where Goodson has disappointed. This could work. I haven’t watched Corona enough to say how he fits in-he’d be my one wildcard. This lineup I think can get three points in Costa Rica and at least have a chance in Mexico


  • Applequist

    After Honduras it seemed possible that Klinsy would be in danger of losing his job with 1 point after the first three Hex games. Now, Klinsy has the excuse of injuries to hold on to his job despite 0 points after the first three (dare we say four?) games.


  • YO

    Good thing I don’t pay for those funky channels that televise these games anymore.


  • Paul Miller

    So, our rookie center back who looked like a rookie in his first qualifier… is suddenly looking like our strongest defender.

    Not down on Gonzalez, because I think he has a national team future, but… for the moment… crap.


  • pancholama

    So after reading a great deal of commentary regarding, this that and the other, this player, that player, Klinsi or no Klinsi, philosopher, or tactitian – I have to go with my gut on this selection of players –
    mmmmmmmm……………..I have a bad, bad feeling about this.


  • K

    no excuse for the crap that Landon Donovan is pulling.

    He’s not a super star yet he acts like one.


    • pancholama

      The cynical view is that Landon has always been about himself first, then his team, then the USMNT. Sad but true.

      The glass is half full argument would say that he deserves some time off. If he is going to make it to Brazil and make it there with us in decent shape – if he needs the time to rest and repair, and he has earned it. He has put in a lot of miles for the USMNT and scored lots of important goals for the team in big games.

      I say give the cow a large pasture. The cow knows when to return to the barn.


    • beachbum

      he’s already done it for 3 World Cup cycles dude, get over it. Klinnsman is the coach who supposedly going to take us to the next level right now

      we’ll see


  • 20

    big test for some young guys to step up. Just want to put out the list of players that are injured or missing for other reasons. I hope this puts things in perspective. We are not doomed, these games are just coming at a really bad time injury-wise, and if we get through them we will know a lot about the depth and character of this time. If disaster strikes and get 2 or less points from these games.. well then we still have 7 games left to put things right with all of our starters.

    F. Johnson

    7 big name players missing, 5 or 6 are probably starters


    • pancholama

      crossing my fingers, and hitting my knees, praying that this bunch of guys will be Boyz to Men and play with heart and soul – come together and really represent


  • Chupacabra

    If Goodson, Beckerman, and/or Shea play any of these matches the US is not going to Brazil.


  • Joamiq

    Happy with the midfield and forwards, but dear lord, the backline…

    I think we have to go with:


    Going with a back four that has never played together before and features two midfielders and a kid with barely any experience is almost suicidal, but I don’t see a better option based on what’s available. You can’t throw guys like Beltran, Besler, and Morrow into the cauldron at Azteca. I think we basically have to assume we’re going to give up multiple goals and have to go all out on the attack.


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