We are less than a month away from a pair of U.S. men's national team friendlies against fellow World Cup participants Slovakia and Denmark and it is growing increasingly difficult to project just who will be playing in central defense for the United States when those matches take place.
Oguchi Onyewu is out up to six months after surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon, while Jay DeMerit is out for at least a month following corneal replacement surgery. Throw in the fact that highly-regarded MLS defender Chad Marshall has now missed six straight matches with a knee injury and you realize just how tough a job Bob Bradley will have finding a centerback partner for Carlos Bocanegra.
The two defenders most likely to be called on are Jimmy Conrad and Clarence Goodson, who each impressed during the summer's Gold Cup (at least before Goodson's shocker vs. Mexico). Conrad has the experience, and is coming off another strong MLS campaign, while Goodson did show some signs of being capable of playing more in the Gold Cup.
Who else is there? Michael Parkhurst is one possibility, but beyond that the pickings are slim as far as defenders with previous national team experience. Geoff Cameron has impressed in central defense for Houston, but he isn't likely to get a call-up before January.
Who would you like to see get the call in central defense against Denmark and Slovakia? Hoping Conrad gets the nod? Think Parkhurst makes sense for at least one of the matches?
Share your thoughts below.