U.S. Men's National Team

The SBI Podcast: Episode 18 (discussing the USMNT qualifying roster, MLS Rivalry Week, and more)

Clint Dempsey Eddie Johnson.


The topic of the day in American soccer circles is the roster selected by the U.S. Men’s National Team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and that is what we kick our 18th episode of The SBI Podcast with tonight.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I discuss the 23-player roster chosen by Jurgen Klinsmann, and what the lineup might look like on Friday against Costa Rica. We discuss the inexperienced defense, and what the attack might look like.

We also talk MLS, with expansion a hot topic after Don Garber’s recent comments about Florida being a growing priority for the league. We also take a look back at the top matches of MLS Rivalry Week.

Give the show a listen after the jump:

What did you think of the show? Agree or disagree with our take on the U.S. roster?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Georges Jean

    With Costa Rica, the US squad must be sharp in defense and midfield. They had been thwarted by many key games due to the defense. Nothing had never been easy for qualifying teams: Spain [the reigning champions, etc. Whatever the coach comes with must be strong in tactical feats to demise a team like Costa Rica, the ” Central America Tiger”. Neither the Confederations Cup 2013 nor the World Cu 2014 will be easy. For instance, with teams like Spain, Germany, and Italy, the US squad must know where they stand now into the qualifying phase, not in 2014. And not giving a thought about World FIFA Ranking is not a nice way to approach any “World Cup”. The US must get what I mean whether you go back to 1930, third place in the World Cup. Take it serious now because 2014 will be too late!


  • Steve

    Did not know you were doing such fine work on these podcasts. Will be tuning into all of them in the future. Thanks for all you do for us fans!


  • Joamiq

    This is pretty off topic, but, I’m watching cricket on an Indian sports TV channel, and they’re running promos for MLS broadcasts! Pretty wacky…


    • Zarathustra

      Just returned from India early this morning and catching up on what’s been up since I left the US – everyone was into the India vs Australia match. This trip really highlighted how quickly football (soccer) is gaining in popularity in India – many of the younger people avidly follow European football. Of course it cannot compare with cricket or field hockey, the more affluent younger professionals eagerly grab on to soccer – like most anything western (often to their own detriment).


  • Shane

    This team being in transition should not be an excuse anymore. Klinsmann has been the coach for too long. He needed to settle on a team a long time ago. At this point the team is in transition because Klinsmann is clueless.


  • JG

    I disagree with Ives that Eddie Johnson has shown that he can hold down that left side. He hasnt produced. Shea hasnt much either, but I think that Shea is much more versitle, explosive and creative, and his work rate is twice of what Eddie’s is.






    ————-Altidore (or Boyd)———–


    • Ives Galarcep

      If Shea were 90 minutes fit I’d be inclined to agree that he’s a better wing option, but since he’s not I just don’t see Klinsmann starting him. Bring him off the bench? Sure, he’ll definitely play minutes, but just doubt he starts.


      • Matt

        Agreed. At the international level, without fitness…..talent often has far less impact on a game.
        I am guessing that Ives is referencing the fact that Johnson ahs played well with Dempsey in the recent past. Recall Johnson feeding Dempsey for the goal when he played on the wing for the Nat’s 8 months ago..???


    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

      I’ve been harping on this a lot lately, but I can’t see us starting two guys who probably can’t go the distance. We were screwed tactically when we had to make early subs in Honduras when a few guys weren’t able to handle the heat and got yanked early. Starting Dempsey and Shea, who have not been playing much at all, would be a massive risk. This is especially true considering we have other good options to play there. Dempsey is our best player and a must start, but Shea is replaceable. If we had to make two forced subs because they can’t handle the Denver altitude it really limits any tactical adjustments we might need to make. Ives has been pushing EJ on the left, and as much as I love EJ, I would go with Zusi or Beasley (depending on who is at left back). I don’t think EJ gives the proper defensive cover for whichever left back we choose.
      Costa Rica will know we are either starting an MLS guy with virtually 0 international experience or shoehorning Beasley into the left back spot. They will target our left because of that, and we need to make sure they have as much help as possible. Beasley can do that for Morrow, or, if its Beas at LB, Zusi has shown he will work hard for the team.


    • Steve

      I just don’t understand the logic behind playing two players (Edu/DMB) at positions where they are clearly not international quality. If you are going to have to go with a compromised back line, you should play a natural LCB and LB. At least they are comfortable there. To me, this solution is over thinking the problem. On top of that, its a crime that we all claim JK seems prone to committing. What is so difficult about building a system that takes advantage of the player pool and puts players in the position most likely to succeed? It’s not that hard.


      • Mwing09

        I see your point, but I’d argue your “international quality” statement. Granted they havent played there a lot, but Edu played quite well in Azteca at CB in the win, and Beasley has showed to be a servicable LB in the past against lower level teams. Are they top international quality? Obviously not. But theyre international quality enough to beat Costa Rica, and unfortunately we just dont have better options. Then depending on how they do against a weaker team, JK can judge what to do in Mexico.


  • Rick

    I believe Eddie Johnson is less effective on the wing and should be used as a forward which is his true position. He has done well playing there foe his club.


  • kkicks20

    Love the great analysis and perspective. No Chicken Little Syndrome here, love it!


  • Vic

    Assuming both Dempsey and Johnson start. Why play Dempsey at forward and Johnson at LM. Why not just reverse the roles?


    • Ives Galarcep

      Who is playing Dempsey as a forward? I have him listed as playmaker in my projection, and Johnson as a left forward.


      • Vic

        I wasn’t referring to your line-up. I was assuming that Johnson may start on the left and Dempsey at forward. From what I recall thats what Klinnsmann used against Antigua and Honduras.


      • Murph

        agreed, given our dept at mids and relative lack there of at forward, Duce is a forward in my book and playing in the pocket with freedom to roam and take opportunistic longer shots… That lets a creative mids like Zussi or Klesjian on the pitch!


      • Matt

        I agree that Klinsi wil likely play Dempsey at the playmaer position. But, do you think that the team would be better served with Sacha there and Dempsey on the wing floting in and out??

        AVB at Tottenham has played Dempsey at the playmaker spot this season quite a few times without alot of success. Is it me….I have thought that DEmpsey has had the most success when he has had winger’s who would cross regularly with him playing as a withdrawn forward being able to trial into the box….?

        I know….I started a whole new topic: What position is Dempsey best used at, and how this contrast’s with his different teams/results.


      • Matt

        I apologize gor my poor grammar and spelling.
        “Playmaker”, “floating”….were what I had meant to type.


  • Shane

    We know a 4-4-2 works best for us, I say use it.


    I read Shea’s foot still is causing him some issues. Really wish Klinsmann would’ve called in Brad Davis


  • PD

    Well, I think we can rest assured that, if for no other reason than it got all our tongues wagging, that we can see more Straus-like pieces in the future. That wasn’t click bait, that was click chum! The only way to have gotten more mileage outta that story would have been to include and offer of boobs and free beer.

    Some folks (myself included) have offered warnings for US soccer fan culture and media to avoid becoming the next England — The english have made a spectator sport out of off field BS as much as what happens on the pitch. That plus an overblown sense of their current standing in the world of soccer result in many being far too quick to judge the here and now and be pateient and trust in a process. We currently have a culture where three hot matches makes a young player the next Messi, but a drop in form or a birthday that starts with a 3- means a player is done. It’s ridiculously short-sighted and lacks any sort of context as to where the US is in context to the rest of the world. Don’t even get me started on the Ger-merican thing. Red State twaddle at it’s worst.

    I remember the environment around the USMNT on June 20, 2009. Folks were ready to burn the US Soccer offices and hang Bob Bradley from the nearest lightpost. The next day the team beat Egypt at the Confed cup and got a lot of help from Brasil beating up on Italy to go through. That of course set the stage for the mythical defeat of Spain. Trouble is, we’re too quick to forget that the same team that nearly didn’t make it out of qualifying was the same team that looked like a world beater on June 24. The same team that outplayed Brasil for 45 minutes on June 28 then had it’s asp handed to it for the next 45. Yet three years later we remember that tournament rather differently and compare a nostalgia-skewed past to our current reality.

    My question is this: if the team comes out of these two matches with 4 or 6 points will the pitchforks go away? My bet is yes. If that’s the case then this isn’t the problem everyone seems to say it is. We as fans need to learn from that and not be taken in by broadsheet gossip. If we come out of this with 1 or 0 points…. well that’s a problem.

    Up and down performances are nothing new. Culture doesn’t change overnight and change pisses people off. Did JK screw up his handling of Bocanegra? Absolutely. Did that play a role in how flat we were against Honduras? Most likely. Should we have lost that match? No, but it’s done and over, time to move on. Does JK seem to underrate CONCACAF opponents and is more focused on using these qualifying matches of issues other than securing points? I seem to think so, but that’s only my opinion. Does a coach have a learning curve? Absolutely? Is he going to admit that to national press? Come on.


    But again, points make all these concerns go away.


  • Pingback: Starting XI for USA vs Costa Rica - United States of Soccer

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer


Two years ago, the two sides made for an instant classic. On Saturday, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid will go at it again. The San Siro in Milan will be the stage for a Madrid derby this weekend as (…)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,092 other followers