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U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT call up for September's qualifiers?

USMNT starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

With a record 12-match winning streak, and a plethora of options to choose from, Jurgen Klinsmann is sitting pretty as he and the U.S. Men’s National Team head into September’s World Cup qualifiers.

Costa Rica and Mexico should both provide stiff tests next month, but given the wave of confidence the U.S. team is riding right now it seems inevitable that the Americans will earn the necessary results to secure a ticket to the 2014 World Cup.

And who will Klinsmann turn to in order to get that job done? He has a multitude of options, and the team’s recent win vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina only gave him more players to consider for the task.

Here are the 24 players we see getting the call for the USMNT World Cup qualifiers in September:

PROJECTED USMNT ROSTER 

GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS– Brad Evans, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, Clarence Goodson, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson, DaMarcus Beasley

MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Landon Donovan, Alejandro Bedoya, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Sacha Kljestan

FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Aron Johannsson

———-

Some thoughts on the projected roster:

The goalkeepers are set. Not much debating this trio.

Defensively, this group excludes Timmy Chandler, who seems to be persona non grata at this point, as well as Michael Orozco Fiscal, who misses out due to the number of quality centerback options. John Brooks showed well in his USMNT debut against Bosnia & Herzegovina, and should get a call. The real question is whether he is ready to accept it and the potential cap-tying appearance that could come with it.

In midfield, there are no real surprises in this group. Sacha Kljestan misses out, but it wouldn’t really be a shock if he made his way onto the squad ahead of Mix Diskerud, who didn’t exactly shine against Bosnia. Kyle Beckerman and Graham Zusi make their way back to the squad, while Jose Torres falls just short.

Forward is where things could really get tricky. We list five fowards, though both Dempsey and Eddie Johnson can play in midfield roles. The emergence of Aron Johannsson could cause problems for someone like Terrance Boyd, who could wind up being the odd man out of Klinsmann decides to bring an extra central midfielder.

UPDATE– With Terrence Boyd sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, he won’t be back in time for the upcoming qualifiers. We have replaced him with Sacha Kljestan.

———-

What do you think of the projected squad? Who missed the cut that you feel should be on the team? Who made our projected squad that you are happy to see on the team?

Share your thoughts below.

389 comments
    • Drewbles

      It’s the early rounds of the league cup, usually a good chance to get the backups so time on the pitch, especially GKs as they’re hardly ever subbed on in a match.

      Like

  • Bobb

    Doesn’t it matter that Joe Corona isn’t playing for Tijuana nearly as much or as well as Paul Arriola?

    Like

    • GW

      That is TJ. What assurances do you have that Arriola will play well with the US, a team Joe Benny has been playing very well for recently..

      Like

  • Jody

    I can’t believe how many people are calling for Johannsson to start after only playing 30-40 min with the MNT. In a friendly. Esp since many of them are subbing him in for Dempsey. Our captain. One of our top 3 players. Insanity.

    Like

    • Mat

      The answer is simple: play AJ, Dempsey, Jozy and Landon. Something like:
      Howard
      Evans (or Cameron), Besler, Gonzo(or Goodson or Brooks), Fabian
      Jones(or Cameron), Bradley
      Dempsey, Landon
      Jozy, Iceman Bacon

      If we play with those 4 players in the offensive sector, it would be a pretty technical and lethal combo. And our bench would be pretty legit as well.

      Like

      • Mat

        If I had to commit to a lineup, since I gave alternative options above it would be:
        Howard
        Evans, Besler, Brooks, Fabian
        Cameron, Bradley
        Dempsey, Landon
        Jozy, Iceman Bacon

        Jones not playing too well right now. Never a big fan of Gonzo (blunder prone). Brooks can only be an improvement.

        Like

      • Dudester

        Switch Dempsey and Iceman.People seem to forget that since last year around the time of the Italy friendly Dempsey and Altidore have started up top in most if not every important game we have played.

        Like

      • Mat

        They are interchangeable, though I prefer the speed of AJ for the counter attacks we’ll probably get in Costa Rica. Just my own preference. But during the game they AJ and Deuce should switch every so often to keep the other defense off balance.
        The one thing is please play with 2 strikers and not the lone striker system, in which Jozy is much less efficient.

        Like

      • Dudester

        When are we gonna be good enough to dominate possession and control the game when we we play the likes of Costa Rica and Honduras away.Therefore not relying on the counter as you said.I think we’ve made enough progress under Klinsi that the time might be now.

        Like

    • Josh D

      The argument is that Dempsey has not performed well so far in MLS, is still in “preseason form”, and hasn’t played as much recently. So their logic is that Aron has scored 5 goals in 6 matches and is in red hot form. So their conclusion is that if Dempsey starts, he may not be ready to play a full 90 intensity, game influencing performance. Whereas, someone like Aron is and showed enough against Bosnia and so far this season to warrant an extended look.

      I want Dempsey to start because I think he’ll raise his game for the Nats. However, I don’t care if he’s subbed out around the 70th minute for a striker with speed and an ability to influence the game. That’s not a reflection on Dempsey as a player or his importance. It’s purely a reflection on his form at the moment.

      Like

      • Mat

        Talk of benching Deuce is utter nonsense. His recent contributions to the Nats are impeccable. People are pretty short sighted it seems.

        Like

      • Shawn

        When it comes to Deuce, I’m in the Lalas “Form is Fallacy” camp. You don’t bench Deuce on a hunch. He has to have fallen off the wagon hard to be dropped.

        Like

      • divers suck

        Important qualifiers is hardly the time for “looks”, Josh D. I’m all for giving Aron “looks” but not as a starter, yet.

        ————–EJ—-Jozy————————-(interchangeable)

        Landon——————–Dempsey———-(interchangeable)

        ——-Bradley—–Jones———————-(Bradley box to box)

        FJ—Besler—–Brooks/Cameron/Gonzo–Evans/Cameron

        ————–Howard/Guzan——————-(either works for me)

        Sub in Aron Bacon for EJ (or whoever is out of gas) at 60 or 70 min and same for Beasley….

        Like

    • Dudester

      +1 not at Johansson already starting but that he’s starting over Deuce.Dont forget that Aron can play on the wing as well.If he starts it will be out wide over the likes of Zusi Shea Corona Bedoya not to mention EJ.Lando takes the other wide spot.

      Like

      • biff

        +2 ain’t no way Klinsmann is going to start Johansson at Costa Rica.

        Like

    • Increase

      People are crazy…. I had an argument the other day with a guy who told me that The 2013 Ballon d’Or wasn’t for 2013.

      So ya people……

      Like

      • Dudester

        Technically he was right.The 2013 ballon d’or is not for the calendar year of 2013.Its for the season beginning in 2012 and ending in 2013.Thats the way I always interpreted anyways.

        Like

      • bryan

        exactly. this guy is mad at me because i explain how it works. i didn’t design it. i agree, calling it the “2013 Ballon d’Or” but basing it off of the 2012 season and awarding it in January 2014 is confusing.

        but to be fair to FIFA, the season does go from 2012-2013. so maybe they should just rename it the “2012-2013 Ballon d’Or”

        Like

      • bryan

        it was me and if you can’t understand that the award is handed out based on the “previous year” performance (source: FIFA), then i’m not sure what to tell you.

        your argument against it was if the 2012 Ballon d’Or was based on the 2012 year, why was it awarded in January 2013? i explained that part to you too.

        Like

    • TomG

      I can’t believe you can’t believe how reactionary the posters on soccer message boards are🙂. That’s so sweet. Bobby Wood will score a bike this weekend and the entire site will explode with demands to call him up. It’s the nature of the beast.

      Like

      • Jody

        True. Guess I thought the guy who carried us through the first round and has developed a great raport with Jozy and is, um, the captain of the team might be immune. Nope.

        For the record, I was impressed by AJ’s 30 min of work vs Bosnia, and am glad he is doing well at AZ. I hope JK calls him in. But let’s let him prove himself before annointing him a starter (or even putting him ahead of EJ, a guy who just keeps scoring goals)

        Like

    • Mueller

      30 minutes on the road in Sarajevo seems tougher than 30 minutes on the road against Jamaica and 90 minutes at home against Panama. If everyone seems to think Cameron should start in the middle, I can’t see why Johannsson couldn’t start up top.

      Like

  • AJ Striker

    Why must we start Jones? He’s been awful lately. In a 4-4-2, if JK keeps one defensive mid (bradley) and starts Cameron at RB, those two can share the responsibility somewhat. Plus it allows you to have Aron and Altidore up top, with Donovan, Dempsey, Johnson in the middle. It’s in the more reserved 4-2-3-1 that he keeps two (bradley & jones).

    Like

    • Dudester

      Jones is gonna start because he has seniority under Klinsmann.I might be wrong but Klinsi doesn’t have the b@lls to bench Jones.Dont believe the whole “every place is up for grabs no one is safe” bs.JJ has to completely fall off the wagon so to speak for Klinsi to bench him.

      Like

      • biff

        I have some definite major complaints about Klinsmann, but his treatment of JJ64YY-R is not one of them. Jones has earned his playing time and suffered knocks and bumps for the shirt and never turned down a call-up, such as at Mexico City in August 2012 for the historic win when Michael Bradley and a whole bunch of others called in sick. But I believe that if Jones loses form and would become a liability, Klinsmann will drop him like a ton of bricks.

        My hope is that Jones can regain his form because he is a tremendous player capable of being a major force for us next summer in Brazil.

        Like

    • biff

      I’m a big JJ64YY-R fan, and I think when he is in top form, as he has been much of the past 15 months during WCQs, he is one of the most important players on the team. But he has been bad so far this season, plus Klinsmann pulled him during the Bosnia game. My point is: I don’t think Jones starts against Costa Rica. That game is too important to lose with Mexico following. Costa Rica is going to be out for revenge big time and this will be a tough away Concacaf game.

      Like

      • Beto

        Agreed.. I dont see JJ playing in San Jose for the same reason. Cameron should get the start and Beckerman should play too. No need risking him in a game that will likely be a bunkerfest on both sides with a card happy ref.

        Like

    • bryan

      i don’t understand your logic when you say:

      “if JK keeps one defensive mid (bradley) and starts Cameron at RB, those two can share the responsibility somewhat.”

      what are you talking about? because Cameron is at RB he’s going to help play the #6 too? just because? that literally makes no sense. i understand you are basically saying you want to play a #10 and a #6 midfield combo, but i’m just failing to see why you think it’s ok to bench Jones simply because Cameron will be playing RB. as if that will really make a difference. they are not related topics. at RB, Cameron will have his own problems to deal with.

      not saying you are wrong for wanting Jones to start from the bench, but i don’t understand your connection to everything being ok if JK benches Jones since Cameron will be at RB.

      Like

  • paulwp

    why is it 24 players instead of 23? I’d have to say, due to injuries, I agree 100% with this lineup. My only question is Kljestan. I could see any of 7 individuals from the pool filling that 24th spot. I could even see it going to a new guy JK wants to look at.

    Like

    • OSUExtemp

      A large number of players are carrying a yellow card. Pretty sure we have 9 players that could play meaningful minutes on a card, and could miss the Mexico match.

      Like

  • paulwp

    Also, you know JK is going to announce the team on the night of 6 SEPT (after the game) or something. Probably the last beef I have with the guy is how late he announces his teams like they’re a state secret or something… though I guess if that’s my only beef we’re doing pretty darn good.

    Like

  • Beto

    They should call up the capo jerks from ecs! Jk and throwing some fuel on the fire!..

    This 23 looks like the top 23.. Castillo over Sasha is the only change i can see but im not sold on him playing in either game. It will be interesting how Jurgen manages the yellow card situation. Id rather draw in CRC than lose Dempsey, Jozy, FJ or Bradley for Mexico!… Would i take a loss over losing any of them… idk

    Like

  • Beto

    Anyone else think We could get a point with a non yellow carded lineup:
    ——-EJ———–Johansson—–
    ————Donovan—————-
    —-Corona—————-Zusi—–
    —————-Beckerman———
    DMB—Goodson——Gonzalez–Evans*
    —————–Guzan—————–
    Off the bench: mix, castillo/sasha, brooks
    If needed: bradley, dempsey, altidore

    *has a card, but wont get another! Could bring myself to writing another name here

    Like

  • KingGoogleyEye

    Those shoes! Aaagh! it hurts my eyes. Looks like a Slurpee commercial.

    Can we please go back to cleats that look like leather? Black, white, dark blue. Brown or oxblood would look cool with certain kits. You want flair? try a nice wing-tipped version.

    Like

  • Snack Time

    Check it out! Klinsmann must have found the cure for Jozyitis. This is the lowest I’ve seen him crouch for a team photo since the beginning of the Bradley era.

    Like

    • user222

      LOL….. youre so right…

      I noticed him doing it for a couple years now
      The whole world knows the team photo is a tradition, so is the two line rows of players,
      the tallest at the back, the shortest completely crouching in front.

      just like with National Anthem, jozy doesnt respect enough to properly salute the flag.

      … what a lazy jozy arse player..

      Like

      • John

        If you’ve ever seen them do it, they literally spend about 2 seconds posing for it. Why everyone wants to read something into every time is pretty annoying.

        Like

    • GW

      OMG. The next thing you know Jozy will be singing the national anthem.

      Then, the next thing is they will allow players from New Jersey to play for the US. I guess the USMNT is really desperate.

      Like

  • Dudester

    If Beasley gets the start at LB and continues to get starts I hope it’s not an indication that JK thinks he’s good enough for Brazil.I hope he’s only using him there because he has yet to find someone adequate to play LM instead of Johnson.FJ is better player at LM than LB but is more valuable to the US playing the back.Same thing with Evans I believe and hope he’s a stop gap and that Dolo will come back strong, Chandler hits good form, Lichaj gets a chance or Cameron improves his offensive game as a RB.I think Cameron is better defensively than Evans but he’s less inclined to push up.

    Like

    • Nate

      why wouldnt beasleybe good enough for Brazil? even at LM, a position he plays regularly in Mexico?

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        i think the dudester meant that he didn’t think beas was good enough for brasil at LB, not LM. and i agree with him.

        Like

  • Dawwilly

    Klinsman has to get over the issues he has with Lichaj. Lichaj should be here as we need more depth at the LB and RB. Lichaj can play both, can get forward, and is playing steady minutes. Coach K has to be concerned about depth. Frankly, I would trade-off either Bedoya or Corona because Fabian can play out wide (even though I like both and think they a bring a lot). I think the USMNT plays with fire if it doesn’t get better depth at the back spots, particularly given Cherundolo’s knee issues. And that said I would let Chandler wander to far off in the forest despite his luke warm attitude.

    Like

    • GW

      “Klinsman has to get over the issues he has with Lichaj.”

      Why? Is Lichaj going to save the USMNT from the horrible tailspin it is in?

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        you don’t bring in depth because you’re in a tailspin. you bring in depth so the tailspin doesn’t happen.

        Like

  • Excellency

    I think he goes like this

    ——————-jozy(ej)——–

    Aron(shea)–dempsey(mix)—dono(bedoya)–

    ————-bradley(jones)——-
    ———————-cameron(rasta)——
    –castillo—–besler——gonzo—–fabian—-
    –(parky)—-(goodson)–(brooks)—evans

    —————-howard (guzan, rimando)

    Castillo, Evans and Fabian can all play mid if needed

    Like

    • bottlcaps

      I really hope JK does not keep buying into a failed formation for the US of a 4-5-1 with Altidore at the top. Jozy Altidore does his best work when not posted up front alone. Pair him up top with Johansson or Dempsey, Johnson and now Donovan and get him the service he needs and he can be “the Beast” that Di Canio and the JK looks for to score goals.

      Like

    • jlm

      shouldn’t mexico be focused on honduras first? they really need the points…

      also, mexico has scored 3 goals in 6 wc qualifiers. you think they are going to score 3 in one game in Columbus?

      Like

  • Dennis

    While neither Dempsey nor Donavon was called up for the Bo-Her game, I think it is really unlikely that JK would not start both of them. Similarly, Bradley, Altidore, Jones and FJ seem to be very likely starters. Backs Besler, Beasley, but the back line is probably the most uncertain . The midfield or forward spots will be determined based on whether JK really wants to attack, or to defend more, the choice between Jones, EJ, Zusi, Corona, Cameron, Beckerman will likely be determined by that as much as by what JK sees as the players’ relative strengths (and whether Cameron starts as a back).

    Like

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