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USMNT Daily Update: 23 for 2014 (January 2013 Edition)


The new year is well underway, and we are that much closer to the 2014 World Cup. The U.S. Men’s National Team is just days from kicking off World Cup qualifying, so Jurgen Klinsmann can’t really think about the World Cup just yet, but we now find ourselves just 16 months from Klinsmann naming the 23-man roster he will take to Brazil (yes, assuming the USMNT qualify).

Not too much has changed from last month to now, but there are some changes in our 23-player projection. Whether it’s the status of veterans like Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra, or the continued uncertain state of Landon Donovan’s national team future, there are still some things that remain so difficult to project when considering what the U.S. World Cup team might look like in 2014.

The recent January national team camp didn’t do much to change the look of a potential 2014 World Cup team, though Mass Besler and Omar Gonzalez enjoyed strong camps and showings against Canada to solidify their places on our projected 2014 World Cup roster.

Who else made the cut in the January 2013 edition of 23 for 2014? Here are the selections:


(Changes from December in bold)

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

Outlook– Guzan continues to strengthen his grip on the second goalkeeper spot, but the third goalkeeper remains a tough one to predict. Rimando might be a surprise to some, but with Guzan looking like such a strong No. 2, Klinsmann could be tempted to bring along a good locker room presence like Rimando rather than one of the pool’s younger options.  There is no guarantee Klinsmann will use the third goalkeeper slot on a young goalkeeper, but Sean Johnson’s recent 90-minute performance in the 0-0 draw vs. Canada seems to suggest he has moved ahead of Bill Hamid in the pecking order.

Missed the cut– Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid.


DEFENDERS– Fabian Johnson, Timmy Chandler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Maurice Edu, Matt Besler, Michael Parkhurst, Eric Lichaj

Outlook– Steve Cherundolo’s recent injuries are starting to raise concerns about whether he can really still be projected to be a part of the 2014 World Cup team. As things stand, until Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra enjoy lengthy injury-free spells, it will be tough to projected them onto the team.

Maurice Edu’s move to Bursaspor looks to be a good one for playing time, and to push him back on this list as a projected centerback convert. The development of natural centerbacks Gonzalez and Besler could allow Klinsmann to gamble on Edu, who can provide versatility.

No, Klinsmann still hasn’t called in Lichaj yet, but the fact that Lichaj continues to find playing time in a top league makes him the choice over Edgar Castillo. Michael Parkhurst breaks into the squad after completing a move to Bundesliga side Augsburg. He has yet to make an appearance for the German club, but the fact that Augsburg has enjoyed a good start to the second half of the season bodes well for the club staying in the Bundesliga.

Both Gonzalez and Besler showed well in the recent friendly against Canada, and Klinsmann sang the praises of both MLS defenders. The pair might not yet be ahead of a Clarence Goodson on the depth chart, but they’re both projected to ultimately move into the top four of the centerback pecking order.

Oguchi Onyewu remains an option, having done well with the limited playing time (eight matches in all competitions) that he has received with Malaga, but the recent signing of Diego Lugano could bury him even deeper on the bench.

Missed the cut– Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Edgar Castillo, Amobi Okugo, Brad Evans, Justin Morrow


MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Josh Gatt, Sacha Kljestan

Outlook– We’ve got a big shake-up in this group with Landon Donovan being left out. It has become tougher and tougher to envision Donovan being a part of the 2014 World Cup team. He just hasn’t shown much of an interest in being part of the team, and until he works his way back into the fold he will be left off of our project.

Brek Shea returns to the selection now that he has recovered from foot surgery, and has completed a transfer to Stoke City. The move should help him to continue developing.

Gatt provides some speed on the flanks, and gives the team some youth in midfield. There are other players who could provide that, like Joe Gyau and Alejandro Bedoya, but we’ll give the nod to Gatt now.

Joe Corona is a player right on the fringes. He just helped lead Club Tijuana to the Mexican league title, and should have an opportunity in the Gold Cup to make his mark on the national team.

Benny Feilhaber turned some heads with his showing against Canada, and with a move to Sporting Kansas City looking like a promising change, he just might be able to break into this team.

Stuart Holden is back playing for Bolton, but is still some ways away from being considered for the U.S. National Team. We have him back on the radar, but he will need to become a starter and enjoy a steady run of play before he can seriously be considered for a projected spot.

Missed the cut– Landon Donovan, Mix Diskerud,  Kyle Beckerman, Corona, Gyau, Bedoya, Stuart Holden, Nick DeLeon, Jose Torres.


FORWARDS– Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd, Herculez Gomez

Outlook– There is a tough decision coming between an older player like Gomez and a younger player like Juan Agudelo. With the World Cup still a year and a half away that is plenty of time for Agudelo to hit his stride, and time for Gomez to start showing signs of slowing down. That very well may happen, but until we see some serious signs of that it will be tough to omit a player like Gomez, who brings so many intangibles and a good locker room presence.

The top three of Altidore, Johnson and Boyd feels like a lock at this point, even if Boyd is still developing as a pro. He has enjoyed an outstanding run at Rapid Vienna and looks a safe bet.

Missed the cut– Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Chris Pontius, Will Bruin.


What do you think of this group? Which player are you happy to see make our projected 23-man roster? Who didn’t make the squad that you think should have?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives,
    I know he will 34 at time of WC, but I don’t see how a healthy (big if) doesn’t get a sniff here at center back given the issues in the back. Still plenty of tread on those tires given he’s been a full time pro only since his mid 20s. Realize it’s unlikely, but I would not be surprised if you see him toward second half of qualification or between qualification/WC14 (ala buddle, even though much harder for a def than fwd). I’m sure everyone thinks I’m crazy, but just remember someone said this when it happens.

  2. I must say I half-way agree with where Applequist was going with his post. It seems that most people assume we will qualify for Brazil. It is not a foregone conclusion (especially given our struggles in the last round). If JK and Donovan are in fact at odds and JK refuses to call him into the squad, or Donovan truly is burned out and makes the decision to retire from international duty on his own, what happens if we find ourselves in a deep hole mid-way through the Hex and are backed into a corner going into absolute must-win matches. Does JK cave, extend the olive branch, and beg LD back into camp? Or would LD feel the call of duty and decide to come out of retirement and ask to come back (if JK would have him)? Or would there just be crickets between the two? I shudder at the thought of that scenario, but I think it’s certainly in the realm of possibilities.

    • Particularly with how Klinsi did in Jamaica I am not looking forward to the first part of the draw. Probably best for me it’s mostly not on readily available TV. I expect us to pick up steam as the schedule comes around more favorable, but Klinsi is in a tough spot because if they don’t do well early and he has these ties next to them on the schedule, people are going to start calling for his head.

  3. Other guys not listed…Andrew Wooten who had a great break winning the golden ball in a tournament with teams from the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. Bobby Wood, also had a great break, will be starting or first off the bench for 1860 Munich, and John Anthony Brooks (if he doesn’t get called up to play for Germany in the U21 Euros, which is before the U20 World Cup, as Germany doesn’t have any CB’s getting regular minutes in 1st or 2nd division on their U21 squad)

  4. I think both Agudelo and Gatt are prospects for the future, not really good candidates for the present roster, but a year can do wonders so you never know.
    Gatt did nothing to impress me in his time against canada, basically he ran a bit then dribbled the ball until he lost it, sure he beat one or two players in the process, but he was unable to get his head up to make a pass. That can change, but it does not seem to be there yet. I think on present form, either Feilhaber or Bedoya would be a better choice.

    Forwards, I’m torn between EJ, Wondo and Gomez. Each has strengths, Wondo haters be damned, and each has weaknesses. Boyd has had a bit of success with the Nats and recently with his club, but the Austrian league is not much above MLS so he is doing nothing Wondo couldn’t to there in terms of scoring, he is big, but I’m not really sold on him yet either. Of those forwards on Ives list, only Altidore is nearly certain to be around on the USMNT in a year.

    On defense, age is an issue and I think Ives has it right to not count on Boca, Dolo and Gooch, still I would not be surprised if at least one of them is not on the squad. A name not listed is Beitashour who probably would have helped against canada had he not been injured, he the kind of fullback Klinsmann says he preferes (one who can get forward and support the attack). I’m not sold on Lichaj, he is a sometime starter for a team with a pretty leaky defense. It might be premature to list Edu here, but he is athletic, with decent skill and can fill in multiple spots.

    • All due respect but if you watched the Russia and Canada games, Gatt supplies a wing speed element missing from the team. You don’t just pick the 23 best honed soccer players, you need a mix which includes some flair and speed and bench attributes, so that if we need a different type of sub we have one. There is no way say Kljestan is coming in a game and changing it. He just holds the fort. But Gatt or say Gyau can beat people with speed and create chances. Tactical. Balance.

      • I would like to see Gatt have a couple good games with the full Nat squad before declaring him somebody who “can beat people with speed and create chances”. Which chances are you referring to against Russia & Canada? It’s great he can do that at Molde but we haven’t seen that at the international level yet.

  5. I’m starting to not feel very positive about the team. It doesn’t feel like we’re still moving forward. We’re very weak at CB and on the wing in midfield, and we’re OK but not great up front. I thought we’d be a bit further along at this point.

  6. Prediction: Landon Donovan doesn’t play the first 4 games of the Hex. The USMNT goes winless during his absence and Klinsmann is fired. Bruce Arena steps in as coach and coaxes LD back into the fold. The team finds its form and manages to qualify for the WC in the final game of the Hex.

    • Very interesting prediction about Arena, etc. I think the US will have trouble the first four games, including CR in CO, but Klinsmann will ride it out. MEX will definitely win the HEX and I see USMNT just sneaking in the 3rd spot to avoid the playoff.

  7. I hope Mix makes it. Sure, we could sub in Feilhaber or Klejstan, but they don’t provide what Diskerud can. Feilhaber can pass well, and Klejstan is competent. But Diskerud is a unique talent. I know JK wants him to be tougher, but can anyone honestly say we needed to be tougher against Canada? We needed some skills.

  8. I am not happy with lack preparation for the USNT.

    Chandler, Gonzalez, Cameron, Johnson
    Dempsey, Bradley, Zusi, maybe Holden
    Altidore & Gomez

    Gatt, Mix, Feilhaber, Boyd, Aguedolo etc…bench

  9. A starting 11- not for all opponents and situations..
    ‘Dolo, Gonzalez, Cameron, F Johnson
    Feilhaber, Bradley, Dempsey, Holden
    Gomez Agudelo

    Holden Right, Dempsey Left, Bradley and Feilhaber next to each other- i.e. diamond
    ‘Dolo right, FJ left

  10. Eddie Johnson was an epic fail in Germany 2006. I’m glad he’s been able to resurrect his career from rock bottom but nothing depresses me more than pretending he’s one of the top 4 forwards in this nation. He played worse than Wondolowski vs. Canada and got more minutes. Player selection criteria for the USMNT system is beyond whacked.

    • I’m sorry, this anti EJ rhetoric is preposterous. Name one player who shined in the Canada game. That’s right, no one. Now name the last forward that shined in a US shirt when the game mattered. Yeah, EJ. I’m not saying he should be on the top of the list, but to discount what he did for club and country last year is stupid, particularly if you are comparing it to 2006.

      • I hesitate to type this but he is scoring more consistently than say Jozy for the RW&B so that does place him in a favorable pool spot if what you are looking at is production. I hesitate because he’s a flawed player who looked at sea as central striker against Canada B/C. He started dribbling towards his own goal like a HS player who can’t think fast enough. I don’t want to depend on that, but then some others need to step up…..

  11. ‘keepers AGREED (like Rimando’s athleticism, experience and feet over SJ and BH)
    D I put ‘Dolo back in, E Castillo has been progressing well and playing great in Liga MX, (everyone give Lichaj the benefit that he is much stronger on the right..and he’s not playing that poorly in England, just to repeat it doesn’t make it true) I added 2 so I have to drop 2, Besler stays as a true CB over Edu, Parkhurst stays over Lichaj because of versatility playing all positions on the back line.
    Mid-Holden (faith he comes back, but on the wing) Benny- our best creative mid, I added 2, 2 must go, Gatt- I don’t see it, he is VERY raw, maybe 2018, Sacha has never showed it on the USMNT, his supposed strengths=technical ability, passing have been very poor, Mixx is a player I’d like to see also but we lack wings so it’s difficult, LD will probably come back and will displace someone, Torres can still work his way back in, to me Benny and Bradley should be the untouchables here, Clint can be a Striker…
    Strikers-Agudelo over Boyd, Agudelo has skills none of the others have, Boyd is energy but raw, Gomez can do what he does and much more…

  12. the bundesliga relegation fight should play into this quite a bit. If Hoffenheim or Ausburg gets dropped it could hurt D.Williams or Parkhurst and help Mix get on to the squad or maybe Holden or Donovan’s epic return. I am assuming that Johnson would get a transfer more likely than Williams..

  13. —Shea————Altidore——— Gomez

  14. “…and until [Donovan] works his way back into the fold he will be left off of our project.” Come on, Ives, we all know that Donovan is a sure thing if he decides he wants to play. There will be no working his way back into the fold – when he decides to, he’ll stroll back into the team. Maybe I’m arguing semantics here, but still.

    • You are arguing semantics. Yes, obviously he gets penciled in once he’s back on the team, but he has to work his way back onto the team. What that work entails remains to be seen.

  15. Incorrect:

    Defense: Parkhurst, Edu.
    Midfield: Zusi.

    Defense: ‘Dolo, Boca.
    Midfield: Beckerman(if you can’t see that Beckerman is going to Brazil then I question your analytic ability on this).

    • Hahahahaha… no way Beckerman even gets near that airplane! He is at best #7-8 CM (MB, JJ, Danny Williams, Edu, Mixx, Sasha, Feilhaber are all miles ahead).

      • Wouldn’t be so quick to laugh that off. Whether it’s a 4-1-3-2, a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, Klinsmann loves, LOVES, to play with a traditional #6. Of all the guys you listed there, the only true #6’s are Williams and Beckerman. MB, JJ, Sacha and Benny are all box-to-box guys, and Mix is the only one you could really consider an attacking midfielder. You might be able to throw Edu in the #6 pot, but I’d take Beckerman’s better passing and soccer IQ over Edu’s athleticism any day. If KB can stay healthy and on a good run of form, he’s a lot closer to making the World Cup squad than you give him credit for.

        Hell, given the fact that he’s been in camp recently and played well against Canada while Danny Williams has been on break, I wouldn’t be surprised (I’m not saying I’d do it, just that I wouldn’t be surprised) to see Beckerman not only with the A squad for the Honduras game next week, but starting.

      • In all likelihood KB does indeed make it on the plane — not because he’s the next big thing, but because he’s proven himself capable at doing the job that’s asked of him, and sticking to the plot in Klinni’s system.

        That bodes favorably in coaches’ eyes.

  16. Holden for me is the key. Here is my new new year’s lineup 4-3-3 subject to change…

    Johnson Altidore Boyd

    Dempsey Holden Bradley

    Johnson Golzalez Cameron Chandler



      • So you don’t think I am just being mean…my suggestion:


        Not perfect, but I still think better.

      • Problem these “balanced” lineups is not enough goals. How many will Zusi and Shea score in the next World Cup, and are you counting on Altidore to carry us as the lone fwd in a 4-2-3-1?
        We just don’t have enough offense, so we should roll the dice and play a physical 4-3-3 with overlapping backs and physically dominant forwards and mids who can also attack, and see what happens. We are just not good enough to win any other way – yes, we may well qualify, but we’ll go down soon after.

  17. There is going to be some quality talent left off this next world cup team. I’m almost not even concerned about talent level at this point, because you know it will be good.

    I’m more interested in molding the best overall team, one that can play a certain system over the course of a month and get better as the tournament goes on.

  18. People tend to forgot lichaj was one our best defenders in the goldcup and shutdown his side against mexico. This isnt some new kid that has no caps, lichaj knows what being an international player is about. JK will realize his mistake just like he did with michael bradley

      • you sure about that? he was glad to move him out of midfield for other options and only went back to MB after the others all struggled

      • Pretty sure, yup. MB90 was in a state of flux @ the start of the Klinni regime. JK gave him time to get his affairs sorted, and used the opportunity to give some other guys a few token looks to fill out his depth chart (something that BB never did, but that’s not relevant to this).

    • Not going to happen unless Lichaj starts playing a lot better with Villa. The Bradley situation was completely different as MB90 was not playing regularly at club level and was brought back very quickly once he was. Lichaj plays fairly regularly (not very well) and hasn’t been on the team under Klinsi.

  19. My quibbles. Danny Williams should have fallen off the list this month. His form for both club and country are awful. After a really good match in the center for the US, he followed it up with a howler against Russia, then proceeded to play so badly that Hoffenheim has benched him. At one point he wasn’t even in the 18. He hasn’t played a minute in well over a month. Unless he gets his form back… no way. Klinsi will for sure pick Beckerman.

    • Call me a homer but I think Will Bruin could sneak in. he’s really coming into his own especially towards the end of the season and has all the tools. Anyone who wants to complain about his cameo at the end of the friendly wasn’t watching. All the offense was coming down the right side and no one could cross it over the defense to Will who was in good positions so instead Agudelo kept hitting it 10 feet to either side of the goal with his head.

      • Will routinely disappears just like that for Houston. Your “bad Agudelo balls” is my “dependent on service from other players.”

  20. Someone needs to uncover the real story of Donovan not playing. My guess, total guess, but no one else has anything better…is that whatever is happening to cause the lack of playing in the World Cup qualifying is drving the rest of the train (wreck).

    If it is just the over committing by playing for mid level EPL sides in the offseason, I am on record of hating it while it happened…what a mistake. I don’t think it is. I wonder if it could be JK “forcing” him to go to Europe ?

      • JK is on record as challenging players and it may be he pushed LD too far. Some techniques don’t work on everyone.

      • exactly. Any coach’s job is to push the right buttons. Hope he can with Landon, if Coach wants to that is

      • A coach can’t use one size fits all techniques. Klinsi is going around calling out everyone over time. I understand Jozy. But Clint Dempsey, really? Some people have it coming others don’t. Some players need support others need a push.

        When I look at the US most nights it’s a mis-firing 451 that doesn’t create chances in keeping with our talent, and a coach whose Germany and Munich teams arguably under-performed compared to what one might expect of those storied sides. I mean, semis at home? Flushed in one iffy season from Munich? Dude’s overrated IMO.

    • He has played for one side in the EPL, Everton F.C.. Everton is currently one point out of the 4th champions league spot in the EPL. And Landon played well/ was adored while over there.

    • Pretty sure Donovan did the first Everton loan (and maybe the 2nd) before Klinsman took over as US manager.

      Donovan has always been pretty open and honest, so I take him at his word that he simply burned out.

    • Well, Charles Fix (by the way, what name do you usually post under?), I agree 100% with you sentiment. Something is going on there behind the scenes between Klinsmann and Donovan. I do have a few theories, but I would like to know for certain what the probelm is. If you read Klinsmann’s comments about Donovan in the WSJ interview last week, it is clear something is wrong.

      Unfortunately, the journalists covering US soccer are mostly timid and don’t want to rock the boat and therefore are avoiding the story. You can bet that if something like this was happening in national teams of England, Germany or Spain the press would be all over it.

      • Just want to add, I don’t think the problem with Klinsmann has anything to do with whether or not Donovan plays in Europe. Of course, I could be wrong.

      • I think the problem is LDs lack of motivation. JK was expecting LD to step up and be a leader and to help the young players along.. But, instead LDis sad, appearing teary eyed on ESPN interviews while contemplating retirement.. JK dosent seem like the type of guy who deals with that kind of …whatever you want call it…. JK is all business.. if you know what I mean.

      • and to be honest, there have been too many games where Donovan has mailed it in. Maybe he needs some time away to motivate him to play hard if he gets more chances

    • “No one else has anything better”? What about the fact that LD is struggling with motivation and isn’t sure what he wants to do with his career moving forward? Seems likely to me, and its what people have been saying throughout the whole process?

  21. Dempsey as a midfielder instead of second striker? I think it’s more likely that CD will be in our forward pool and that will leave one spot for EJ/TB. I think the mid spot that opens up then goes to Mixx.

    Gomez vs. Agudelo? Agudelo is all hype and minimal track record of performance. Gomez has produced in what were big games for his club. Yeah Gomez is aging, so that’s the question mark, but he’s very good at coming on as a super-sub and providing a spark up front.

    I’m not surprised that LD missed the cut. His latest diva act has signaled to Klinsmann that he doesn’t have the head to compete on the highest level of the game. Will he retire/won’t he retire… blah blah. I think Klinsmann wants to see him get his rear over to Everton and start pushing himself hard to build from there.

    • Can we move on from CD9? He hasn’t scored or even performed admirably since the accident. And as a DC fan, he did not perform for United.

      CD had his chance and blew it. Unfortunately, he’ll be remembered more for his “lesson learned” than his performances in 10 years.

    • I agree, Eugene, that Agudelo has been over-hyped. There is potential there, but up to this point he has not shown much and some people do tend to judge his performances with rose-colored glasses. Against Canada in just 27 minutes, he got the ball swiped from his feet by defenders three or four (or was it more) times. He had at least a couple of decent crosses that could have been headed in for goals. He hardly played for Chivas last year. He is not even close to being ready to be named to a Hex WCQ roster.

      But as I said, I do think he could develop into a good player, but not for the WC 2014 cycle. I really think he should be allowed to develop as other young players are being allowed to develop and people should stop hyping him.

      And I agree with you about Herc Gomez. We need him in the Hex and I hope he can stay in form for WC 2014. Jozy simply has not done anything the past year in a US shirt, playing seven games last year and scoring exactly — count ‘em — no goals.

  22. Players that will make some noise in the next year:

    Defense: Brooks, Hines
    CM’s: Holden, Diskerud
    AM’s: Pontius, Gyau
    FWDS: Wood, Zardes

  23. Had to recored the game on Tuesday, so had to stay up late when I got home to watch the game (there’s 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back). Really had hoped that Mixx would play, as I’ve liked what I’ve seen each time I’ve seen him. Both vs. Russia and a a couple of January camps/freindlies. Hope that Jurgen is pushing him to step up and that Mixx wil eventually get some playing times with the team

  24. I was surprised not to see Jermaine Jones on the list of Midfielders….hmmm

    Also, I actually liked Morrow from the Canada match. He showed a willingness/ability to move the ball quickly. I think he has the engine to get up and down the line and his positioning, while not perfect is decent. Crossing must improve, but all together IMHO looked MUCH better than Beltran.

  25. I don’t think Cherundolo’s knee injury is serious (supposedly been training with the team since Monday, per MLS web site), just bad timing for a qualifier. Just because he misses a game isn’t reason to keep him off the list completely (Bradley missed qualifiers in September…). If I remember right, the main reason Steve wasn’t called in for the Russia game is because it was pretty clear Chandler was going to play once he accepted the call up, and there was no reason to travel so far within a week if you’re not going to play.

  26. i should add, i rate lichaj, i think he can be a bigger part of the future usmnt than castillo, and i might take him over another fringe player (edu?) to 2014.

    but with klinsmann, for this cup? don’t see it.

  27. I would be very surprised if Donovan doesn’t pull it all together in time to play in the World Cup. It’s one thing to mess around with playing in MLS or for the early qualifiers in the Hex but another thing completely to miss a World Cup when you are clearly still good enough to start.

    I think the decision on forwards will end up being Agudelo going ahead of Eddie Johnson. With Johnson’s history I’m not sure we can count on what type of form/mentality he will have in 16 months.

    • Klinsi is certainly not the type of coach who will suffer Donovan’s cold should almost the ENTIRE qualifying process and welcome him back with open arms when Donovan decides to start playing May 2014. Klinsi is being political now, but if Donovan doesn’t show up by summer, he rightfully misses the boat.

      • Chandler’s situation is different. Chandler was young and immature, but it appears that he is ready to commit and play during the critical WC qualification stage. Donovan is a veteran player and presumably Klinsmann expected him to be one of the team’s leaders during qualification and at the WC. I expect that Donovan will miss the Honduras game, but be back in March. However, if Donovan refuses to help the team to qualify for the WC, Klinsmann might not want to upset the team chemistry by taking the 32 year old Donovan to the WC at the expense of one of his players.

      • “Chandler was young and immature, but it appears that he is ready to commit and play during the critical WC qualification stage.”

        Oh yeah? How many of WCQ games did Timmy play for the USMNT last year when he was thinking that Jogi Low was going to give him an invite for the German team?

      • There’s a difference between a young immature player skipping the beginning stages of WCQ because he thinks/hopes to play for his home country, or, at least, doesn’t want to tie himself down, and a captain and leader of the team skipping the hex because he’s getting tired of soccer. Coaches are a little less understanding of the latter.

      • dude get over it. Didnt you watch the Canada game.?.. Lalas said that Chandler will be in San Pedro Sula and likely start due to Dolo out..

      • A healthy, motivated , in form LD is the only “difference maker” out there for the US.

        If that version of Donovan shows up for the US at any point before the Hex is decided, and that may be a while, JK would have to be an idiot to refuse to use him.

        And JK is not an idiot.

  28. Wondolousy wont and shouldnt be in a mix of us shirts. Hes too slow at international level. I think a promising forward will come out of mls this year idk who but someone young. Maybe Findley gets back in the mix or Kenny Cooper anyone but wondolousy.

    • Findley wasn’t good enough to be in the mix when he was in the mix. Since then he’s managed to not score with Gillingham in the English League 2.

      • You probably couldn’t take seriously EJ-listers a year or two ago. Easy to say.

        I’m not a Findley fan but it’s all about who steps up. He’s put himself into a position to revive his career. We’ll see what happens. Bear in mind we had Gordon in a few months ago.

      • Agreed. Wondolowski’s limited performances have been no worse than Danny Williams, Torres and Castillo who have all been more often awful but for some reason get a lot of love by posters on this site.

      • Seriously Wondo Fanboys get over it… Wondo ia not a better option.. then Jozy, Boyd, Gomez or EJ.

      • I disagree. Wondo got very limited opportunity to prove himself, certainly less time than Johnson got over the years (and in the last US game). If you’re judging by the Canada game, no one looked good there (including Johnson).

        Wondo’s very good at getting into open spots, he just needs that first one to go in and take the pressure off.

        The only thing that is working against Wondo, in terms of making the WC 2014 roster, is age.

    • Wait, are we really talking about Wondo, Findley and Kenny Cooper having a crack at the World Cup roster? I mean, maybe if our first 4 or 5 strikers are all out injured they could have look, but even then I’m skeptical. Wondo seems like the closest, but he hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory at the international level.

      • Hey you guys said the same of Ej now hes a starter why not Findley or Cooper. Simply what I was sayin is we need better more consistant forwards, you guys seriously cant pick out one of our forwards and say hes a threat EVERY GAME.AND WILL SCORE MOST CERTAINLY. I have more faith in our mid to score

      • Findley is horrible…did you forget he made the last WC squad and was out of his league?!?! Cooper deserves a look if he continues his form from last year.. but by the looks of things he’ s not in NYRB plans.. so i doubt we will see a 17 + goal season from him… Findley is just laughable

      • First of all, I never said the same about EJ…he was a major contributor to the team in the 2006 cycle, then just lost his way with his club career and fell completely off the radar. I think it was always reasonable that if he found his feet again in a good club situation he could make a comeback with the Yanks.

        Conversely, Findley has never showed me anything on the international level other than speed and the ability to stretch defenses a bit, and he’s been MIA on the club scene for some time now. Cooper I’ve admittedly watched less of, but he’s never struck me as international caliber.

        Could either of these guys go on a tear, improve their game and get a shot? Conceivably. But will they beat out Altidore, Gomez, Boyd, EJ, Agudelo (if he’s in form), and Dempsey? It seems unlikely to me.

    • Why are we so insistent on coming up with petty nicknames like “Wondolousy” to express our discontent with a player, just say you don’t like him.

  29. I’m hoping Holden comes back and takes that last midfielder spot (Sorry Sacha). I think we do need to start accepting that Landon might not don a US kit again.

    Hoping EJ shows more against Honduras than he did vs. Canada.

    • Kljestan sucks no need to apologize. I think there is a list of guys like Benny, Holden, Mixx, Corona, who have superior talent at a similar spot and need to just step in and take the job.

  30. Interesting that Tim Ream isn’t even on the ‘missed the cut’ list. Just two years ago, he was the next sure thing for us at center back.

  31. Uh, Lichaj doesn’t “continue to find playing time in a top league.” He’s regarded by the club as the worst first team defender and only plays when the starters get hurt–which surprisingly has happened a lot for Villa. And when he has played HE’S BEEN AWFUL.

      • I didn’t contradict anything.

        “Continues to find playing time” is clearly implying that he earned a starting role and earned game time. He didn’t. He gets time when he’s the last ditch option, and even then he’s been quite bad.

      • can’t believe you’re arguing this.

        “continues to find playing time” is exactly what it sounds like: he gets minutes; nothing said about ‘earning’ them.

        and no, he’s not a last-ditch option. according to espn stats, he’s played in 15 matches (8 starts), which is tied for 11th most on their 29-man roster.

        no one (that i know of) is saying that he’s been good; that’s crazy talk. just let it go.

      • We clearly have different definitions of “continues to find playing time” then. I see that as a guy that is clearly not a starter but plays fairly regularly. It’s not implying that he’s playing because he’s good but that he is at least getting minutes in a better league than Castillo.

        Either way I would be very surprised to see Lichaj anywhere near the USMNT roster for the WC.

      • I have watched both Lichaj and Castillo in very competitive matches, and my observation is that Castillo trumps Lichaj in everything but straight-line speed and height/body weight. Castillo is more mobile and athletic, is a better attacker, and gets turned far less often. Granted, Lichaj is trying to defend against some of the top players in the world, but the emphasis is on “trying”. At this point, I would be more comfortable with Castillo.

      • Castillo plays every minute of every game for Tijuana and is always a threat offensively. He is also a key part of the number one defense in LIGA MX

      • Lichaj is not comfortable going forward. Unfortunately for him the US needs fullbacks who can attack:

        Edgar can attack.

  32. Strong picks as usual, Ives. With 16 months to go, and barring any injuries, I think Holden beats out Kljestan, Agudelo beats out Gomez and Diskerud finds a way to beat out Zusi.

    • Think you’re right about the first two not Zusi, though. I am a Mixx fan, but I don’t foresee anyone supplanting Zusi between now and the World Cup.

      • Have to agree. I think Zusi sticks but yes the last mid spot will be up for grabs btw four players, Holden, Kljeistan, Diskerud and Feilhaber.

  33. Not really a fan of EJ, too much projected promise and not too much result. Needs to work on pitch presence. I like Diskerud alot, hope he has continued involvement in qualifiers/Gold Cup if not selected for World Cup 2014.

  34. I think youve missed the cut in a couple of areas.

    Not going – Shea, Kljestan, Lichaj,

    Going – Donovan, Torres (maybe), Benny (maybe)

    You didn’t even mention Benny… guess he got cut from being cut. I also think Holden will get some looks after he plays a bit more

      • Also meant to say, Jurgen sounded kind of snarky as well when asked if Landon would be in his plans period, so that doesn’t really bode well for him.

      • Bayern history…? Also, given the way JK has called out players publicly and Landon’s… well… sensitivity, I can imagine it’s not a great fit. Pure speculation of course.

      • Do we even know if LD is playing soccer at all? Last I heard he was taking an “extended break.” His absence is of his own making. My guess is Klinsman would call up a motivated in-form Donovan in a heartbeat.

      • I agrer. Saying that Landon and JK have issues is ridiculous. Landon CHOSE to step away on his own. JK has nothing to do with LD’s laxk of motivation and/or tiredneas

    • “Benny Feilhaber turned some heads with his showing against Canada, and with a move to Sporting Kansas City looking like a promising change, he just might be able to break into this team.”

      — Unless this was just edited in.

      • I’d take:

        1. Johnson over Rimando. Klinsi has shown he gives the third keeper slot to a youth.

        2. Feilhaber who brings the experience and creativity over Sascha who has done nothing at the international level even though he has had chances with Bradley and Klinsi. I also trust Feilhaber more on the wings, especially with 10 minutes left in the game.

        3. Corona who has been riding the USMNT bench long enough over Shea who needs to settle at Stoke and get over his injury. Shea’s injury puts him even farther back than pre-season MLS players. Plus Shea played poorly last season.

        4. Boca instead of Besler – no way does Klinsi rely on that much inexperience in CB. If you’re bringing Rimando for his locker room presence, you are bringing Boca who provides a lot more.

      • Not sure how you came up with the idea that the 3rd GK spot goes to youth, he’s had Rimando there for every important game in the last year…

      • After Olympic qualifying, I’d rather have Rimando as the last last last line of defense available. Got to reward a stellar career and play with a spot. Johnson will likely be at the next dance, but this wc belongs to Rimando. Just like Hanahmen (sic) was rewarded in ’10 for his years of no nonsense work, it’s Nick’s turn.

      • In a World Cup the third keeper might actually play and there is no way, absolutely no way, that the position is for raw rookies.

      • Way off but nice try. Have you actually seen any of his games?

        Just to name some of his strongest games, he looked really good against Turkey in 2010 and Scotland in 2012. He also looked good against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, Belgium in 2011, Mexico 2011, and Antigua Barbuda 2012. Go back and watch some of those games and then say he was”awful” in any of them. In his last game against Jamaica the worst you could say is that he was mediocre.

        Unfortunately for Torres, he might not be the greatest fit for the National Team as he does have some weaknesses and his biggest strength may not be a good fit for the US. Most of his US teamates don’t have the instinctive off the ball movement that brings out his passing range like his club teamates did at Pachuca or his current ones do at Tigres. Right now he is starting on a very strong 1st place Mexican side, you should try watching some of their games as well.

        That’s fine if you don’t like Torres or appreciate what he brings to the field, but learn something about the game before making uneducated, misleading posts.

    • Yeah…. I’d say his issue, impatience is related to being constantly asked about an absentee player on sabbatical that is irrelevant in his world right now. LD has by his own choice taken himself out of the equation and separated himself from the game and this team for some time now and even expressed that he may retire altogether. I doubt the latter is the case, but if I’m coaching the USMNT, I’m not wasting my breath or energy on a player who doesn’t want to be there either… I’d be much more worried about the players who are and have been present, fully invested and busting ass for the team. Time comes LD is ready, fully committed, in form and ready to come earn some playing time…. talk about it then. It’s not personal, it’s practical, good sense and what is best for the T E A M.

  35. I remain perplexed at the fact that Drew Moor is still off the USMNT’s radar. The guy has played nearly every available minute of back to back MLS seasons (yellow card suspension notwithstanding) and is a true CB. Drew’s great in the air in both boxes and rarely makes positional errors, but somehow he can’t even make the MLS heavy friendly camps. I know the Rapids are a middle of the pack team with questionable big match experience and all that, but personnel development is all about finding the right guy for the job, regarldess of if he plays for a whale or a guppy.

    • He doesn’t have to be perfect. He’s getting experience at a very high level and should have been called in to at least assess his suitability for depth on the backline. That he can fill in at either fullback slot and is relatively young is what most people are excited about. I don’t think he would oust Chandler/Dolo or Johnson from a starting role, but he might be a more natural fullback than say Parkhurst.

      • Lichaj has been at Villa for four years now and had failed to impress a series of managers. He has failed to win a regular job even though his competition has been pretty underwhelming.

        What is he going to do when they finally get some real defenders?

        It reminds me a bit of Spector’s career arc except Spector played a whole lot more than Lichaj ever has and most US fans hated Jonny.

    • Your comment is absurd. Lichaj is a RB who has been playing as an emergency LB for Villa. The team is garbage, but blaming a guy who has been playing out of position all year out of necessity is ridiculous.

      Whether Lichaj should be called in is another question entirely, but to blame him for Villa’s struggles makes no sense whatsoever.

    • When he played for the US he was quite good, like Chandler. I think it’s logically backwards to make players who have played well for us show well for their club team to get back here. I understand the conundrum of a player like Wondo or Jozy who does produce at club but not for us, how many chances does he get. But if someone showed well here it’s almost dumb to wait on club form.

      Villa plays a very strange 352-type monstrosity that just seems tactically unworkable, a goals allowed machine. Plus the team is laden with U23 types. It’s not a normal situation and though I understand he’s human and have seen him beat for a Villa goal or two, it’s hard to judge in that odd a situation.

      • Actually I wouldn’t say that. All Diskerud has done when he’s been played is get a late game tying goal, a(n impressive) late game winning assist, and look silky overall. He’s not a complete player but he’s a creative attacker with plenty of skill, more than you could say about the players featured in midfield against Canada.

        Expanding on that, I may prefer Feilhaber to Zusi at this point. Zusi has better energy and feeling for speed of the game from the first whistle, but it feels like he doesn’t bring anything what guys like Feilhaber or Diskerud do in terms of overall skill and soccer I.Q.. Yes, he and Brad Davis bring great crossing/ball striking, but I so do Feilhaber and Donovan. We’ll see though.

      • Mix has been very lucky . He gets on late for a couple of minutes in the SA friendly and has a great assist for Juan.

        Then he basically does the same thing in the Russia friendly and scores a very lucky goal. In both cases it he came on in the eleventh hour when the opposition was very tired and the game was winding down.

        I don’t think you can evaluate him for the US based on maybe 20 minutes of action late in two friendles.

        More telling was his soft play for the Under 23’s , his failed loan in Belgium, and the lack of interest in him by bigger clubs outside a very weak Norwegian league.

        JK himself has indicated that he thinks Mix is “soft”. Not a thing.

    • Well if he gets capped in any of the World Cup Qualifiers this year or the Gold Cup this summer, then he will not be able to switch.

      But yeah if he doesn’t get called up for any WCQs or the Gold Cup, then I could see him wanting to go back to Norway.

    • I’ll ask again….anyone know what happened? He didn’t even make the dress list. Hurt? Wrong side of the coach? Or was Klinsi so secure with him he left him out.

    • Donovan will be back for the Galaxy and he will be back for the USMNT and probably for the majority of the Hexagonal (6/10 games) and he will be part of the Team that goes to Brazil if the team goes to Brazil. To say he has ducked his responsibilities and chances…hah …give me a break…I mean give HIM a break. He deserves it. Klinsmann has been very flexible with Donovan because there is NO ONE on the USMNT now, or in the near future, who can play like him or can replace him. JK knows it and Arena knows it…SBI should know it.

      Look for Luis Robles to take a shot at the third spot. He will probably be placed over Meara on the depth chart and get the starting role for the NYRB. He is a good keeper, given he time and opportunity to play, as it seems the Red Bulls have agreed.

      • I find your entire comment laughable. Especially the end. I’m a Red Bulls fan and I can tell you that while Robles is a solid keeper he is not going to come close to making the WC roster. He’s not even a top 10 US GK. Guzan, Howard, Rimando, Hamid, Kennedy, Busch, Perkins, Yelldell, Hall, Gruenebaum, and maybe even Meara would be better options for the WC squad.

      • Didn’t we tie Russia without Donovan? And, didn’t we beat Mexico, in Mexico City, without Donovan (actually, can’t remember if he was on the roster for that game)? So, really, did we?

      • You should add an I after that N in your name son….are ties what we strive for now and beating c team Mexico squads that played worse then we did yet controlled possession and shots on goal? I guess we should just pray for luck goals all the time huh…?

      • Landon may come back but as of today we just played a friendly without him, after some other games without him, won’t have him for Honduras, June maybe.

        But more importantly all we have to date from horse’s mouth is I’m taking a break. Arena suggested he may come back but Arena is not Donovan and Donovan ain’t talking yet. There is also a chance he pulls a Friedel and focuses on pro play.

        I don’t want Landon off the squad but conversely he has to want to be part of it, and soccer is not like some other sport where he snaps his fingers and gets ready. This is months of prep if he wants to be at an Azteca level. His thing is speed, endurance, work rate, touch. That’s not overnight.

        I think the next few months and then Gold Cup are going to help decide the incumbent #3. So Robles needs to make another Gold Cup roster (people seem to forget he’s been there before …. 2-2 Haiti, ahem …. he did not impress, one of the worst performances that side of Yelldell).

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