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USMNT Daily Update: Projecting the Starting XI vs. Honduras

If you think the 2013 CONCACAF Hexagonal is too far away to start thinking about, consider this. The U.S. Men’s National Team’s opening qualifier is just 10 weeks away.

Nope, not that much time at all.

When the U.S. takes the field in Honduras in February, the team that faces the ‘Catrachos’ is likely to look a lot like the same team that tied Russia earlier this month. Major League Soccer will be in its off-season, meaning it will be that much tougher for MLS-based players to get starting nods ahead of European-based players who will be in the midst of their seasons (and even Mexican League-based players, who will be into their Clausura campaigns).

The Americans will be on the road, and likely playing in the hostile environment of San Pedro Sula, but they are also likely to face a Honduran side with some starters who aren’t in season. The Honduran squad that trounced Canada, 8-1, to clinch a place in the Hex included four MLS-based starters, which could give the U.S. an edge in the match-up.

So which U.S. lineup will take the field against the Hondurans? Here is what the lineup looks like with 10 weeks to go before the Hex opener:


Clint Dempsey———-Jozy Altidore————Herculez Gomez

————–Jermaine Jones—–Michael Bradley——————

—————————Danny Williams—————————–

Fabian Johnson———————————–Steve Cherundolo

——————Geoff Cameron—–Clarence Goodson————

—————————–Tim Howard——————————-


Some thoughts:

This lineup is obviously contingent on all these players being healthy and playing regularly. All are at the moment, but things can change in two and a half months.

Carlos Bocanegra is expected to be back in January from the torn hamstring suffered against Russia. If he can make a recovery early enough in January he could theoretically play his way into form in time for the Feb. 6th qualifier, but if he has trouble regaining a starting role at Racing Santander, and if Cameron and Goodson are playing regularly, then Klinsmann may have to leave Bocanegra out.

Dempsey hasn’t really played in a wide forward role much lately, which makes you wonder if Klinsmann would consider a more traditional 4-4-2, or potentially a 4-2-3-1 for the Honduras match. Graham Zusi and Eddie Johnson both played well for the national team in the late-year qualifiers, but both will be out of season when Honduras roles around so it could be tough for them to break into the starting lineup.

If Klinsmann decides he wants Dempsey in a more comfortable role, we could see this lineup:

————-Jozy Altidore————Herculez Gomez————–

—————————Clint Dempsey——————————-

——Jermaine Jones——————–Michael Bradley———–

—————————Danny Williams—————————–

Fabian Johnson———————————–Steve Cherundolo

——————Geoff Cameron—–Clarence Goodson————

—————————–Tim Howard——————————-

This formation puts Dempsey behind two strikers, but also means Jones and Bradley have to line up wider to help provide some support on the flanks.

You also have Timmy Chandler as a bit of a wild card. Klinsmann could be tempted to start him in a wide midfield role. It seems unlikely he would start ahead of a healthy Cherundolo at this point, but you also have to expect that Klinsmann will cap-tie Chandler if Chandler makes the trip to Honduras.

Danny Williams didn’t exactly instill a ton of confidence in his last USMNT outing, struggling badly against Russia. If Williams does indeed have a dip in form, or stops playing regularly for Hoffenheim, we could see a lineup like this one:

————-Jozy Altidore————Herculez Gomez————–

—-Michael Bradley—-Clint Dempsey——-Timmy Chandler—

—————————Jermaine Jones—————————–

Fabian Johnson———————————–Steve Cherundolo

——————Geoff Cameron—–Clarence Goodson————

—————————–Tim Howard——————————-

What do you think of our projected lineup? Do you like one of the other lineups we have listed a bit more? Who are you hoping to see in the starting lineup that didn’t make any of these projections?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jozy
    Dempsey-Donovon (Diskeruud)
    Fabian- Geoff-Spector (Don’t know why we don’t call him.. he’s better than Goodson)-Dolo

  2. nobody should count on Chandler just yet. He’s been ducking competitive matches since the 2011 Gold Cup. We’ll see about the 1000 percent commitment in late January,.

  3. Agudelo______________________Altidore_____________________Zusi

  4. I like the last line up you listed ives, mainly because its different and it cal ties Chandler.

    Who do you see as a 3rd forward coming off the bench?

    Do you see beasly being done at the nationsl level?


  5. —————jozy——–gomez——–

  6. Let’s not totally leave Stuart Holden out of the mix 😉 Gone but not forgotten.
    Will he play in the early Hex games? Likely not… but there are plenty of Gold Cup games to let him bring his experience to what might be our B+ Team and show he is back to full strength in time for 2014.

  7. Wish that Herc wasn’t a lock in the lineup. Jozy’s a better player, and I really don’t think they compliment each other well. On top of that, Herc is ineffective on the wing. He works hard and helps out defensively, but he doesn’t offer much on the attacking side of things.

    In a 4-3-3, Dempsey (LW), Altidore (ST), and Gatt or Chandler (RW) would give us a real attacking threat. Plus, the speed of Gatt or Chandler on the right will help out against a speedy, counter attacking side. If Chandler accepts the call up, then I would have him starting over Gatt because of experience amongst a few other things. (Better service, better defender, size, and strength)

  8. ———————-Altidore——————-

    Would be a very creative midfield, decent possession retention too. Would need the fullbacks to get forward for width and for Altidore/Dempsey to crash the box and poach a goal or two.

  9. If the question is what I’d like, rather than what is likely to happen, I’d go with this:


    The problem is that Donovan will probably not be there, which will lead to some lineup shuffles. I am hoping Freddy Adu gets a chance in January and wins a spot on the left. I think our best offense is consistent crossing into the box for EJ and Clint, and I don’t know anyone who can hit a better left footed cross than Freddy. Throw in Zusi on the right and this will work well in Central America.

  10. Ugh, please, no more 3 DM setups.

    It worked exactly once against Scotland, Dempsey should be part of that triumvirate. It adds clarity and offensive bite.

  11. ——————————-1—————————————-




    —————————Clint (10)———————————


  12. I can’t imagine us every using that last lineup under any circumstance unless we went with 3 in the back with 3 central defenders and Johnson/Chandler the wing backs. Which could be interesting if we had 3 central defenders worth starting.


  13. ——–Altidore————Gomez———-

    We gave proven the need for real flank play. With Donovan in real doubt Dempsey can play more centrally making space for Johnson. On Right Zusi is real winger. We MUST play with two Fowards as Jozy simply cannot play alone.

  14. GK T.Howard
    RB T.Chandler
    RCB D.Williams
    LCB G.Cameron
    LB F.Johnson
    RDM M.Bradley
    LDM L.Donovan
    RAM G.Zusi
    CAM C.Dempsey
    LAM E.Johnson
    ST J.Altidore

      • Who knows a new position could help Donovan get out of his loss for the game? i think it will help him. i was thinking RB because he is not bad at defending, but i switched it to CDM/CM. If he proves he can play RB or CM, he will fit in better with Everton and help with a transfer.

  15. Goodson starting? Are you kidding me? I rather have Omar Gonzalez any day who is a better CB than Goodson, and he has experience playing in hostile Central American countries in the CCL.

    • Honduras is exactly the wrong team to try to break Omar Gonzalez into the lineup. They are loaded with speed and they counterattack more quickly than any team in CONCACAF. Think Omar Gonzalez against Seattle in their last match (or either of the regular season games in Seattle), except far, far worse.

      • Yes, but at least he’s played with Cameron several times before, so their communication should be improving. OG and Cam would be starting from scratch.

      • My two cents “communication problems” tend to be more often and more consequential when slowpokes are involved. 90% of the time with someone quicker like say Eddie Pope if there was an issue it’s swept up before you can realize someone got left open.

        In other words, even if you gel Cameron and Goodson gelled — and IMO Cameron has always come across as more of an instinctive aggressive player than a soccer brain, which cuts against “gelling” — I think Goodson remains a mobility liability, whose slightest mistakes will be punished. Since I think most players mess up a little every game, I don’t buy this is something you can gel your way out of.

  16. Herc is NOT a wing LW or RW he’s a goal-poacher. Him and Jozy cannot and should not play together unless it’s a 4-4-2 and even then I don’t think they should play together. For the wings we need Shea or Gyau (LW) and Gatt or Suzi (RW). Consider that all of the above are very raw, I’d see something like

    Corona – Altidore – Dempsey
    J Jones – Bradley –
    Johson – Cameron – Goodson – Doolo

    I’d like to bring in Agudelo as a sub he’s got too much dynamic, Mixx and Castillo instead of J Jones at some point

    • Herc has played plenty as a winged forward. What he offers is defense out wide with his hustling. Which is what we’ll need. He’s also not a prolific, constant goal poacher or someone with enough technique to hold the ball up away from home. Jozy or Dempsey gets the nod for me.

      • Also somewhat worried about Herc’s situation at Santos where he’s been displaced by the youth movement. Hopefully he will land on his feet in a good spot.

  17. Can we please stop play Bocanegra and Goodson? They’ve already proven that they can’t hack it. We need to bring in new guys to play alongside Cameron, end of story.

    • It’s easy to point to CB as a weakness, but much harder to find solutions. No one is really playing all that well at a high enough level to merit a call up. Many of the mistakes have come from communication problems which will only be exacerbated by making this a musical chairs position. There simply isn’t enough time to break in a new guy, especially when that new guy most likely isn’t any better than the old guy.

      • How do I put this…..if the plan is to use a Goodson-type then your margin of error becomes slim. If your tall slow CB messes up it’s over. Bobby Boswell in Houston is a classic example. If he didn’t have to move one foot he’d be a great CB. If there is a coverage glitch, trips over his own feet, is stuck covering Oduro, etc., he’s toast. That’s one reason I prefer athletes on the backline.

        I do agree that the state of the options at CB is worrisome, but I think there are enough people floating around where Klinsi has to bear some responsibility for basically going right back to the same people for the Russian friendly. He’s boxed himself in where we basically have to start these same guys again for the qualis, or risk someone who’s not been tried in months, years, or ever. And we have a tough start to the Hex draw, and no real “fluff” among the finalists. The softer teams are like Jamaica and Panama that have beaten us already at least once this cycle, so there is no real room to play around until Gold Cup.

  18. Not enough creativity in the midfield with Bradley, Williams, and Jones. This team desperately needs a player like Stuart Holden. Any word on when he will be match fit and playing?

  19. Gomez
    Dempsey Gatt
    Jones Bradley
    Johnson Cameron ?? Chandler

    Altidore stunk in Russia and can be brought off the bench as a late aerial threat in a losing game a la ES 2-2. Williams stunk in Russia. Beg and plead for Landon. Favor the younger Chandler and Johnson over the ageing Dolo, who occasionally looks a step slow. Cameron is the most serviceable of a bad bunch of CBs and then you pick a name out of a hat for his partner in crime. If you are smart you do not give Goodson further chances to hurt you (any more than Gooch), nor do you risk Boca’s hammy snapping again, you call in either an old pro like DeMerit, or a younger player with previous camp calls in the past year or so. This is not a game to blood a new CB.

    • I have never seen a roster discussed for any particular upcoming match in the Klinsmann era when I did not see the comment “this is not the time to blood a new cb”.


  20. 1. The problem is Zusi is a better option on the right wing than on the left. Before Fabian, Chandler lined up at left back and played extremely well. Fabian can also play left midfield on the left side extremely well. If Chandler and Cherundolo are both in the starting 11 I expect we may see Chandler at left back and Fabian Johnson at left midfield with Zusi on the right. That would leave Bradley as a number 8 and Jones or Williams, but almost certainly Jones, playing as a defensive midfielder. Or we could see Bradley out right instead of Zusi–he played in that role for Roma in one match early in the season, with both Jones and Williams in central roles.

    2. Given Altidore’s current form and his performance against Russia it is hard to see him starting on the road. We know how conservative Klinsmann has been thus far when playing on the road and he knows exactly what he will get out of both Dempsey and Gomez. Even with being out of season it wouldn’t surprise me to see that the first guy off the bench is Eddie Johnson.

    • I like your first point aside from the fact that JK has said on more than one occasion he would like to play his best players in their natural positions, even though he sometimes doesn’t.

      That means Johnson at left back and Williams as the #6. I can’t see him moving Bradley out of the #8 role since he’s so effective there. Jones could fill in at either of those spots and if Williams continues to struggle, he may take over as the #6. Regardless, if he sticks with the 4-3-3 using our outside backs for width and wide forwards, they could all still see the field.

  21. Wow. Surprised that you think Jones is more a lock than Danny Williams in the line up. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would really rather see Zusi in than Jones. I think he offers something different, and that Jones/Williams/Bradley are too similar as players and haven’t clicked with all 3 out there.

    I also love the idea of fitting in Chandler on the wing. I think the US reaches its best play when we have more speedsters out there.

  22. My lineup:

    Herc – Jozy – Zusi
    – Dempsey – Bradley-
    – Cameron –

    bench: Guzan, Boca, Edu, Mix, Cherundolo, Sacha, Agudelo

  23. based on every recent indicator, Klinsmann will trout out lots of experience and defensive mids on the road for qualifiers…

    Goodson is an “ughhh” option, he’s there and there isn’t anyone with experience and health to step up right now, but he leaves much to be desired from….

    I see:

    Bradley Chandler
    Jones Williams
    FJ Cameron Goodson ‘Dolo

    a mishmash of speed on the flank (Chandler), gritty work up front and a bunch of space cloggers with Bradley, Williams, Jones in the middle-so as every road qualifier until now, an ugly game with US not able to retain possession, a motivated home side pushing forward with limited success and the result breaks in either direction on a fluky play (Goodson handball, Dempsey tap-in of a save…maybe both…)

  24. Ives,

    Thank you providing me with USMNT articles ona regular basis, I am new to this site and am very happy to see so many. I have been searching for a site like this for some time now. Cheers on the good work.

  25. Heres wwho I think will be on the 24 man roaster. I am not going to even consider selecting a starting 11 yet.

    GK: Tally Hall, Guzan, Howard
    Defense: Dolo, Fabian, Castillo, Chandler, Cam, Boca, Gonzo, Besler
    Cm’s: Bradley, Jones, Williams, Kljestan
    Am’s: Lando, Pontius, Gatt, Diskerud
    FWDS: Deuce, Jozy, Boyd, Gomez, EJ

    Could there be a few surprises you bet. I could see Brooks, Agudelo, Adu, Wooten, Wood, Lichaj, Corona all int he mix as well. Sorry I have never rated Torres, so I will continue to not put him in the equation.

    • GK: Hall? It’ll be Johnson for experience or someone safe like Rimondo.

      Defense: I think you bring Gonzo, leave Besler (based on Gonzo having more experience at the international level) and bring Goodson. We need experience.

      CMs: Great.

      AMs: Lando won’t play. He’ll still be in self-exile. Pontius won’t play as he’ll be out of form and doesn’t have the experience. I’d like to see Gatt and Mix, depending on Mix’s club situation. I’d add Corona to this list in place of Lando. And Zusi instead of Pontius.

      FWDs: I’m fine, even with EJ. I think he’s old enough and experienced enough to offer a second half boost.

      • Gonzo having more international experience is a bit of a misnomer. Five youth team games and two senior squad games. It’s more yes, but Brazil ran all over him and Honduras is strong up top.

  26. Don’t see 3 forwards. Either Gomez or Altidore starts on the bench. Since Cherundolo is likely to start at RB woujld like to see Chandler at Right Mid. Even if Donovan continues playing don’t see him starting. The game is 10 weeks away and with an extended break, Donovan will not be in game shape. As for other MLS players like Zusi, he could possibly start if he cuts his winter break short and is in shape at the time.

  27. Commenting on the formations/players that Ives laid out – firstly, I really do not see Timmy playing a wide midfielder role. Klinnsmann has certainly not been predictable and who knows but that would be a stretch, I think. We are dealing with a young player (which we know has enough things going through his head), I can’t see trotting him out in a hostile environment playing a position he is not accustomed too. If we were talking about a more seasoned guy it would be different. Getting points on the road early is more important at this point than cap-tying, I think.

    My vote would be for the second lineup Ives had out there. Bring Chandler in the second half for Steve to cap-tie him.

    Personally, I want to see Dempsey in the middle – involved as much as possible vs. CONCACAF.

    Having Goodson out there in any meaningful game scares the hell out of me at this point. That guy seems to be a magnet for being in the wrong place, wrong time. Handballs, fouls, etc. He scares me.
    Who else would I put out there? If Boca is unhealthy – I cross my fingers Gonzales is ready to prove himself.

    Wild card for me these days and always really is Edu. Proved himself off of the bench vs Russia. Does he stay there? As a utility sub – midfield or CB.

    • Chandler has played wide midfield for Nurmberg.

      He is also not easily rattled. When the US played Belgium Chandler started his first pro game ever at left back and shut down Eden Hazard. Not too bad.

  28. When has Dempsey played in a wide forward role? At Fulham, he either played as a left outside mid or in the hole behind a center forward in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

    Would much rather see us in a 4-4-2 because I believe that multiple players are better in that formation.

    I would go with:


    • Switch out Gomez for Johnson and Williams/Edu/Torres for Jones and I like this lineup. The US will have more talent on their side against everyone in CONCACAF with the exception of Mexico. A red is the only definite that could change that and Jones is by far the biggest risk. I also don’t think his distribution is subpar which is something the US sorely needs at that position. Gomez gives fantastic effort but isn’t nearly as dangerous as Johnson. Keeping him as a super sub is a nice weapon late in games.

      • I second that, save I choose Williams/Kleijstein over Jones. I also think Zusi on the right wing over Chandler would be a toss up….

    • Chandler has not been up to form this season. If anything we’d put Johnson outwide and keep Chandler home as a sideback. But I don’t think the 4-4-2 gets the best out of us anymore, especially away.

    • Yes. I think we are best when we have this sort of set up.

      I like this one, or the last one that Ives posted.

      But this one makes the most sense given talent and our track record with a traditional 4-4-2.

    • I think it’s a weaker formation. He doesn’t even play that way for Spurs. Playing him in the second formation puts him almost as a midfielder with Bradley being forced out wide to compensate.

      Honduras tends to play down the wing with speed. So I would imagine the first, 4-3-3 makes more sense as it’ll force them to tighten their midfield and our sidebacks can handle the wings.

      I don’t think we gamble with the formation this late on. We have a system, it’s finally starting to work so let’s keep at it. It’s defensive enough to hold out against Honduras, while attacking enough to have a go at the 3 points.

      Ives – Your thoughts on the sub bench? Do we see a wild card like Gatt or would his off season be too much for someone with very little international experience.

      I’d like to see Corona as he’ll be used to the climate and hostility.

  29. I just with Klinsi would stop rolling out so much D in the middle of the park. Pick any 2 of the following: Bradley, Jones, Williams, Edu, Beckerman, etc….. But for all of our sake, make that 3rd midfielder some with a little more going forward!!!

    • Pretty sure Klinsmann doesn’t really care about “our sake.” He cares about getting to the World Cup.

      It’s a tricky away opener. Points are a must. The team played well with that formation in Russia (Williams notwithstanding), and that was without Dempsey. No need to take a chance so soon – there will be plenty of time for that later.

      • I don’t think the team has looked at its best with three defensively oriented midfielders (Bradley, Jones, and Williams) playing all at once. Bradley has to start, but one of the others should sit, ideally for someone who is more of a winger and could add some pace and width. Absent Donovan, however, I’m not sure there is someone in the pool with sufficient quality who fits the bill with Gatt very young and Shea recovering from surgery. IMHO, the best adaptation would be to bring in a more offensive midfielder like Zusi or Klestjan, but Klinsmann will probably play the troika again.

  30. You missed at least mentioning the other wild card… Landon. My guess is that he’d be unlikely to play in that game and he certainly might not ever play a game of any kind after Saturday, but he deserves a mention in this space until his status is more clear.

  31. —————————Jose—————
    Johnson —–Boca——–Cameron—————Dolo

      • I have to disagree with playing Chandler on the left side of midfield, he is more effective going forward on the right from what I have seen. I am not too familiar with Zusi outside of his appearances for the USMNT, is he also capable of playing on the left side, if so I would say switch those two in your lineup.

      • Zusi started his club year this past season with SKC as CAM in a 4-3-3. Due to injuries he was forced more on the flank as a RW or LW. His dominant leg is his right, but he has shown the ability to supply with the left as well, as we saw in the most recent World Cup qualifiers in one particular service to Eddie Johnson from the right wing off his left.

        For SKC, he was used on both flanks opposite Kei Kamara for the latter part of the year, and in the USMNT match v. Guatemala, he started at RW and alternated with Eddie Johnson to LW, included a run of play goal while on the left wing.

        Zusi is well capable of playing any wing/attacking mid position, I would personally love to see Jurgen continue to filter Zusi in for starts or some spark off the bench.

        My question is, will we finally see another Matt Besler call-up?

  32. No Donovan? I know he has been hinting at retirement, but if he decides to continue you can’t leave him out, but he wasn’t even mentioned here. Also, I just don’t feel comfortable with Goodson in the back. Given Gooch’s performance in the last CL game, I’d rather see him than Goodson. I think EJ and Jozy would make an interesting pairing up top to consider. Gomez will probably be too old for Brazil so we should use others more. Putting Chandler in the middle in your second incarnation makes no sense to me. When does he ever play in the middle? Better with Kljestan or Zusi than Chandler. With Donovan, I like EJ and Jozy up top, Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley and Jones in the middle and Cherundolo, Johnson, Cameron and Boca/Gooch in the back. Without Donovan you plug in Zusi, Williams or Kljestan, whoever is playing better. Edu is also a possibility there.

    • Based upon Gooch’s latest La Liga game, I’d rather have Goodson. Actually, I’d rather have neither, but that may not be possible. I would actually love Edu as a CB.

      Where did Ives have Chandler in the middle?

      • I’m completely against Edu in the defense but it seems to be JK’s prerogative. I would much rather have someone who plays CB as a natural position in there, preferably a younger guy that can build for the future. Matt Besler, Omar Gonazlez, and George John will be fresh out of MLS and I wouldn’t mind seeing in there

      • My recollection is that his La Liga game was his first as a starter and he was pretty bad. I suspect he was very rusty. Remember he is coming back from injury. I think his stint in the CL game was a better measure and even the commentators remarked about how well he was playing.

    • Completely agree with your doubts about Goodson, the only issue is if Boca is still not fully fit and in form then there aren’t currently many proven options at CB that we have to trot out in a competitive fixture. Although, I would like to see some of the younger CB’s in the pool get a run out, I don’t feel a opening away match in the hex is the right place. As for Donovan I think at this point in time he shouldn’t be included in potential lineups for at least the first few rounds of the hex due to his recent doubts over continuing to play, if he has the drive include him of course, but that is not how it has sounded lately. Also, I still have many doubts over Gooch because he has been mistake prone for such a long time now. However, if he can continue to get playing time at Malaga and is able to prove he is past those constant mistakes (if I’m not mistaken a mistake of his lead to a goal in the Copa del Rey last week) then I say give him at least a call-up to see how he works out in training.

      • The place for experiments was Russia and IMO Klinsi while getting Chandler back involved out wide, wasted his opportunity re the CBs. I’m sure that Gooch is in a deeper dungeon of the doghouse than Altidore was, so I don’t see him leapfrogging from non-pool to XI, not a chance. I think if he gets a look it’s a friendly or 2013 Gold Cup. You’re not going to just stick the guy burned by Antigua out there in a Hex quali, that’s how you audition for the unemployment line.

        I instead expect to see same ol same ol in light of Russia which means Clarence and Geoff, maybe Boca. After Russia and the tail end of qualifying that is worrisome. Ironically, the options are more plentiful at wingback, where Klinsi has more parts than places.

      • agreed, and in that case I really hope Boca is healthy and playing well again, because Goodson really worries me. I don’t think he has the quality to play at the international level.

      • I share concerns about Goodson at the highest level, but in qualifying against all but Mexico he is at least adequate (and he is tall enough that it reduces the central American teams’ aerial threat to almost non-existant.

      • Could see them lining up like this:
        Cherundolo Gonzalez Cameron Johnson
        Chandler………….. Bradley………..Johnson
        Gonzalez obviously being the least likely to actually line up

    • Yup, It is going to be a very hard game. Honduras is playing strong, plus they have home field throw in a “great” Concacaf ref and we will be lucky to get a point out of this.

    • Agreed! It has been a LOOOOONG time since he was not in WC Qualifying. Clint Mathis was our best player then. I think we need him back to make it though the tough road games, calm the players down and keep a cool head. The new Time Warner Sports channel had a great interview with him where he sounded like the mature voice that the locker room is going to need. Plus, he really is still one of our best players. He just needs a rest.

  33. I understand the advantage of being in-season (form, fitness, etc.). By the same token, isn’t it also sometimes argued that players who are in the midst of a (grueling, tiring, you pick the adjective) club season might not be fresh and/or might need a rest? Indeed, isn’t that one reason why club coaches hate releasing players for international duty? Can somebody help me out with this issue? In terms of how many club games you’re playing, where is the “just right” between being rusty and being tired for international duty?

    • In general my response would be a fit but slightly dinged in-season player is probably fitter and sharper than an off-season player. However, we start with a trip to Honduras, a little bit of a haul for someone from Europe (heck, I don’t like the first four games of the Hex, that was not a nice draw), and MLS being in offseason means you could call select players into a camp of some length and get them as fit as possible. So I could see competing temptations to go seasoned and play for a point, or to freshen the roster up a little and see if that’s the best route to a point(s) result.

    • The German players will be very rested after their month-long break. Players tend not to tire until April. I think they’ll be fine in February.

  34. Do you think Donovan is going to be on a long rest, or do you think his future with the squad is questionable? I personally think he will rest up until the start of the Galaxy season, maybe take a trip to England and watch Everton as a fan, etc, then be ready for the second 1/2 of the Hex. What do you think?

  35. Have we seen Herc play effectively in a “wing” position? I’m trying to remember and it’s not easy to do these days….

    I’m more comfortable with the diamond midfield lineup posted here.

      • No Danny Williams… I cant get that 80 yard back pass out of my head..


        Any chance Eddie Johnson goes out on Trial or Loan to stay in shape??!!

      • Herc and Williams were the two weakest links in the Russian game, but Goodson was not far behind. Replacing them unless they have a decent run of good form for their clubs would seem likely. (I think neither Goodson or Herc have been consistent starters for their clubs lately and Williams had a bad game after the russia game so…) Hence, Edu, Chandler and perhaps Agudelo are strong possibilities. Of course of the latter 3 only Chandler is really playing for his club routinely. Perhaps a January camp will reveal more.

    • Dempsey, Jozy, Herc, at wide positions in a 433 has to be considered a fantasy at this point. We have tried, and we end up with a big splotch in the middle playing against a compacted defense.

      EJ plays left wing well and scores from the position. Dempsey scores from a central position. If Donovan isn’t playing we can play Zusi on the right wing and keep Gatt on the bench as an extension of his tryout Nov 14 against Russia. With Bradley and Jones at mid and some goal scoring mids (Diskerud, Kljestan, Corona??) behind them on the bench, I think we are well set on offense, at least for this away game in Honduras.

      The defense is another story. Klinsmann is way behind the curve and he is taking us on a joy ride with Thelma and Louise. I see Cameron is playing 90 with Stoke which could bode well for us at fb. He and Fabian can play either side at that position. As for the 3 central defenders, I wonder why we couldn’t see a foursome like Besler, Gonzalez, Berry and Hedges, if only they had actually seen call ups at some stage and had a tryout.

      • Are you suggesting Cameron won’t be playing the same position he’s been playing for us this past year (even though most of the year at Stoke he’s played on the right)?

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