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USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann call up for the March qualifiers?

Omar Gonzalez

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There are just two weeks until the U.S. Men’s National Team’s next qualifiers. Just two weeks for players to make their case for inclusion not only on the roster, but potentially into the starting lineup when the U.S. takes on Costa Rica in an all-important home qualifier.

When the Americans walked off the field in San Pedro Sula after a loss to Honduras last month, the sense was that Jurgen Klinsmann would have to make wholesale changes to the team that looked so flat against the Hondurans. As we stand here a month later, there is a sense that the lineup might not see that many changes.

Whether it’s a back-line that still feels like a work in progress, or a midfield that quite simply hasn’t been producing enough chances for the U.S. attack, there are plenty of decisions for Klinsmann to ponder.

For one, do you bring in Carlos Bocanegra because of his experience, or do you leave him home because he hasn’t been getting playing time for Spanish second-division side Racing Santander? Secondly, do you bring in Edgar Castillo, who will have to wear a protective mask to play by then, and who would likely head into qualifying not having played in almost a month?

So who will Klinsmann turn to? Here is a projected USMNT roster for the upcoming qualifiers:


GOALKEEPER– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS– Michael Parkhurst, Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo

MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Maurice Edu, Joe Corona, Danny Williams, Jose Torres

FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey,┬áJozy Altidore, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd


Some thoughts:

Bocanegra hasn’t been playing, but his experience is invaluable and having him in camp wouldn’t be a bad thing, even if he isn’t expected to start.


Tim Howard is dealing with a back issue, but it isn’t expected to be out that long. Clint Dempsey has been sidelined with a minor injury but he too is expected to be back in time for the qualifiers.


Brek Shea makes the list and while he’s still settling in for Stoke City, it is clear that he has regained his fitness level. He’s getting regular sub’s minutes and it is very easy to see Klinsmann turning to Shea as a starting left wing option.


Edgar Castillo had surgery to repair facial fractures recently, but the injury wasn’t as bad as first thought, meaning Castillo could theoretically be back in action with a protective mask. Match sharpness could be a concern, but it can’t be ignored that Castillo hasd enjoyed career-best form before the injury.


Terrence Boyd hasn’t been getting call-ups lately, but with him continuing to score in Austria you wonder if Klinsmann will really ignore him again. We list 24 players in the camp, but that means at least one would be dropped. Boyd could be that player who earns a camp call-up but not a chance to be in uniform.


Joe Corona has continued to see regular starts for a strong Club Tijuana side, and is experience in the Mexican League, and more recently Copa Libertadores, should convince Klinsmann that Corona is worthy of a roster spot. If Corona does get the nod, that could cost Sacha Kljestan his place in the pecking order.


We will discuss projecting starting lineups next week, but for now let us know what you think of this projected 24- man roster. Do you think it’s a strong group? Who would you add to it? Which player would you leave home that we included?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. what would it take to get corona, diskerud, feilhaber, or zusi in a central AM role? i am begging hah. i am not saying it solves the grander problems of the team, but i would love to see, if not for at least 25-30 minutes, one of these players in a role that allows them to survey the field and attempt to unlock a defense.

  2. Well, it appears no one really knows, so I’ll add this one: Howard/ Chandler, Cameron, Boca, Fabian/Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Shea/Altidore, Boyd.

  3. Am I the only one that likes JK?! Sure, we’ve looked horrible at times but there’s also been some quality (friendlies… I know) appearances. I’m all for him trying different players at different spots and keeping many players on the radar. Keeps everyone motivated to perform so they don’t lose playing time and gives us the ability to shift things around when (not if) injuries happen. We need depth at all positions to continue to increase the level of play. Let’s see how we do in the Gold Cup and our home WCQs before we over-scrutinize every formation and call up.

  4. I keep the same five on the back end : Howard, Chandler, Gonzalez, Cameron, Johnson

    The midfield formation is terrible with three holding midfielders! I would rather see : Bradley and Jones or Edu in centrel, Dempsey and Beasley on the flanks

    Striker Force: Altidore and Boyd or Gomez

    Shea could see a sub, anyway Shea is a better as a sub player.

  5. Dempsey/Gomez




    Bench: Guzan/Jozy/Corona/Shea/Edu/Morales/Lichaj

  6. Give me







    Score some goals finally

  7. If JK approaches these tow matches witha sense of urgency and creates lineups to win as opposed to give people time to sort themselves out, this is how I think injuries and form will force us to line up in Colorado:






    switch out Howard for Guzan and Edu for Dempsey (who lines up behind Altidore) and I think you have the Mexico lineup. If he’s not too concerned about not having points after 3 matches, we might see this:







  8. For me leave off Williams, and replace him with Pontius. There is no need to have Williams, Edu, and Torres ont he roster.

  9. One observation I have with regards to Dempsey is that I think he tends to have his best games for the USMNT when he does not have to cross an ocean 2 or 3 days before the match. If there is a bright side to his injury it is that he will be rested and maybe the flights will not affect him so much.


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