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

USA Starting 11

Photo by John Todd/


With four points from two World Cup qualifiers, and with a handful of new faces stepping up to stake their claims to regular places on the U.S. Men’s National Team, the race for places on the 2014 U.S. World Cup team is looking like it will be a very competitive one.

DaMarcus Beasley and Matt Besler were the big winners in the last round of qualifiers, and while Besler was already a player we were projecting to make the U.S. World Cup squad in 2014, Beasley is someone who has successfully catapulted himself from the fringes of the conversation to right in the middle of it.

Here is the latest SBI projection for the 23 players we see on the 2014 U.S. World Cup roster (yes, assuming the U.S. qualifies):


(Changes from December in bold, new additions to the Missed the Cut list are in bold italics)

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson

Outlook– Brad Guzan put some serious distance between himself and the rest of the pack for the No. 2 goalkeeper spot, and is even drawing attention from those who feel he is ready to seriously challenge Tim Howard for the top spot. Sean Johnson remains the most likely No. 3 right now, though Bill Hamid has started the new season off in strong fashion.

Missed the cut– Nick Rimando, Hamid.


DEFENDERS– Fabian Johnson, Timmy Chandler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley, Steve Cherundolo

Outlook– Beasley has to be in the conversation after turning in two strong showings in qualifying, while Goodson’s effort against Costa Rica has him back in the mix. We already had Besler on the team last month, but that pick looks a lot better after his strong outing vs. Mexico. Clarence Goodson was on the outside looking in a month ago, but his showing against Costa Rica, and the fact he’s playing regularly for his club team, has his stock rising.

So how did Cherundolo get back in the mix despite still being sidelined by injury? With Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler and Goodson all looking like viable centerback options, Klinsmann could have the freedom to spend a roster spot on a veteran who is not only good enough to start when healthy, but who helps bring some experience and maturity to the locker room.

Missed the cut– Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo, Michael Parkhurst, Oguchi Onyewu, Eric Lichaj, John Anthony Brooks, Justin Morrow, Amobi Okugo.


MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Maurice Edu, Landon Donovan

Outlook– No changes to the midfield grouping, with Zusi doing the most to boost his stock in the past month. Yes, Landon Donovan is still on the list despite not having played yet this year, but with his public proclamations about wanting to win back his spot on the national team it’s safe to say he will be in the national team mix again very soon.

Joe Corona didn’t make the cut, but his stock is rising faster than anybody else who didn’t feature in recent friendlies. It is going to be a very important summer for him, and he could be a starting fixture on the Gold Cup team. A strong summer, coupled with continued excellent play for Club Tijuana, can earn him a spot on the World Cup roster.

Missed the cut– Sacha Kljestan, Corona, Jose Torres, Josh Gatt, Kyle Beckerman, Stuart Holden, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Villarreal.


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

Outlook– This quartet didn’t produce any goals in the recent qualifiers, but it is tough to see anyone breaking through this foursome just yet. For Gomez, his versatility and form on the club level has him fighting off the notion that he will be too old to make the 2014 team.

Look out for Juan Agudelo, who is enjoying a strong start to the 2013 MLS season with Chivas USA. He is another player who is in for a very important summer.

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


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. Hey where can we find replays for the Friday Randers game. It is nice to hear some positive news about Davies in both body and spirit. He was something special…it would be nice if he could be again. Also nice to see Holden making a start..even if it is at SW.

  2. this post provides an outstanding commentary on the regression of USMNT under JK and the (apparent) disinterest / incomprehension of fans/journalists to recognize it.

    when BB took over post 06 WC he IMMEDIATELY went about trying to establish who might be a fitting successor to claudio reyna in a distribution/creative role – and gave opportunities to his ‘skilled’ CMs throughout the cycle: feilhaber, kljestan, torres, holden. ultimately he did not settle on one as a starting fixture but he never abandoned them entirely and found significant WC minutes for both feilhaber and torres.

    In 2011 Gold Cup, before making way for JK, BB gave those minutes to kljestan and then freddy adu in the final.

    since taking over, JK has shown almost no interest in incorporating a player who’s primary skill set includes possession, distribution and creation. early in his reign he displayed interest in torres, and gave him a few opportunities – always in a position that strayed from his club role as a deep-lying distributor. torres continues to improve and now pulls strings for the team sitting atop Liga MX – undefeated Tigres.

    JK has seen fit to give kljestan – who has excelled (relative to USMNT players) in europa league and champions league for anderlecht of last few years – exactly zero starts.

    kljestan, who is about to (or already has) eclipse 50 career club assists is easily the most prolific play-maker in the post-reyna era. ZERO starts. and most people dont seem to bat an eye…

    couple interesting stats:
    – JK has won less than half of games since taking over (12 / 25) (BB and arena were both comfortably over .500)
    – 3 Hex games, 3 shots on goal for USMNT

    (oh, btw, beasley was roundly panned for being a liability at LB. ives has a “unique” opinion of him)

    • There you go again. Just because a couple of the dozen people who do post-match ratings in the soccer media biz panned Beasley doesn’t mean he was “roundly panned.” I’ll stand by the fact he had a good game vs. Mexico, especially given the challenge presented to him. Beasley played 180 minutes at left back against two dangerous wingers in Bryan Ruiz and Javier Aquino, but instead of giving him credit, you insist on holding into your preconceived notions about him. The fact is he played much, much better than anybody could have expected at left back.

      As for your whole rant about Bradley finding a Reyna successor, and how Klinsmann doesn’t give chances to creative players, it should be noted that from 2009 until he was fired, Bradley generally stuck with Ricardo Clark/Jermaine Jones types. for the better part of three years. I do agree that Kljestan should get a look, but the idea that it’s a travesty that more isn’t made of his exclusion is a bit much.

    • Mr. shine,

      DMB had a bad first half and a better second half.

      “roundly panned”? Maybe amongst your friends but the USMNT kept a clean sheet and my take of the ratings was that most of them were even handed.

      • DMB at left back gave them the ability to hold possession which was vital in holding off the Mexican pressure.

      • 3 Hex games – 4 points, that is what matters. The US has 7 more Hex games. If they take 7 shots total in those games and qualify then that’s just fine.

      • JK’s game stats must be evaluated in context. Many of those games were friendlies and the US is very much in transition. The games that matter are qualifiers and the US is top three in the Hex so JK is doing his job.

      • Here’s a stat for you Bradley had 24 games to prep his team for WC qualifiers. JK had 13 games.

      “when BB took over post 06 WC he IMMEDIATELY went about trying to establish who might be a fitting successor to claudio reyna in a distribution/creative role – and gave opportunities to his ‘skilled’ CMs throughout the cycle: feilhaber, kljestan, torres, holden”

      True. Which means BB saved JK a lot of time and trouble. JK came to the same conclusion BB did, that they were not really a full time solution. Only Sacha and Torres have improved their form at their clubs since the BB days and JK has given them opportunities. So far, they have not really impressed.

      For example Benny, who I love, went from being a starter to a 30 second half sub for BB over the years. By the time JK took over Benny had gone from the Danish second division to the arguably the worst team in MLS where he did not impress. That’s what you call trending down. Yet JK has still given him chances and Benny may yet make it back. But don’t tell me that this should be like Big Phil giving Ronaldinho and Kaka, legitimately great players once, a chance to make the Brazilian squad.

      So JK’s solution to a very old problem is to move to a high pressure, more tactical style that does not really so much on a single creative player. This is a transition that many teams have made.

      The US is not there yet but that is definitely where they are headed.

  3. Its amazing that you dont even list Brad Davis as either making the team or missing the cut. just total lack of respect for a very good player.

    • Davis is not being dissed.You can’t take these picks too seriously.

      We are about a year and a few months before JK has to name his final 23 for the World Cup, if the US makes it there.

      In soccer that amounts to a couple of eternities. One half to two thirds of Ive’s picks could be out of consideration for any number of reasons by then .

  4. I am a casual viewer with a deepening love for our NATS…..I am heartened that our back-line is suddenly aligning around Gonzales (what’s the friggin’ point without a staunch “you shall not pass” stand in our final 3rd?) I also have an unshakable conviction that Freddy will alight into our super-sub hero before the Summer closes on 2014 (this game also revolves around that special shock of genious in the final, attacking 3rd). I am really stoked when you factor in the names Howard/Guzan, Donovan, Dempsey, Holden? and Bradley. Both Bob & Micheal Bradley are national treasures…………….GO USA….GO EGYPT ~

    • That may be both the best and worst comment I’ve ever read on SBI. Best for its pure passion, worst because it was all over the place.

  5. Anyone think Donovan could be featured in the gold cup? Could lead a young team of fringe players while earning back his starting role

  6. Personally I think there should be 0 projections instead it should be which players are locks for Brazil 2014. In which case these are my locks:

    GK: Howard, Guzan

    Defense: Gonzo, Cam, Dolo

    Middies: Jones, Bradley

    Attackers: Dempsey, Donovan

    Everyone else will be fighting to get onto the Brazil roster. And no Altidore is not a lock.

    • Best player ont eh field though. Set up his striker partner numerous times.

      Routinely beat mulitple players with his dribbling and pace. held up the ball well, and created a few shots himslef one a superbly hit vicious volley that went just high over the crossbar.

      I have to tell you it was pre-accident Davies that I was seeing out there. Very encouraging performance and a sign that he may be fully fit physically and mentally.

  7. I think that Williams and Shea are the two on Ives roster who have had the weakest showings for the US lately and neither is actually setting his club afire either. I expect either Gatt or Corona to slip into those spots (or Beasley if Klinsmann wants speed on the left coupled with great defensive effort). One of the great things Donavon did when the two played together was to play balls forward behind defenders to Beasley who could simply outrun his mark to the ball; maybe not the most sophisticated soccer, but it was effective. Noone else seems to have as good a connection with Donavon (at least not so long a history of it) and that could matter.

    • “Noone else seems to have as good a connection with Donavon”

      I heard that said about Donovan a lot of other players over the years.

      The constant is LD

  8. The way I see it is there are 26 guys that are tough to omit. All of your 23 are in my 26, plus Castillo kljestan and Torres. Will be interesting to see who makes the summer roster and how many are taken. Good roster though

  9. How freaking great is it that we are able to have these discussions? I feel like team selection for the last World Cup was more or less solidified from the outset of qualifying! What’s more, it seems the selection might become even more complicated should some of the young and up and comers show well at the Gold Cup. Exciting times in American soccer these are!

    • I have to give JK some credit on these debates on who to play. People are always criticizing his shuffling of lineups and “strange” call-ups. I LIKE IT. He’s testing players to see how they do in the camps, locker rooms, as well as on the field. Makes players feel like they have to earn their spot/position as opposed to automatically getting it because they play for a big league/club. I think there is a little bit more depth for the USMNT than in previous cycles. Well, maybe not at LB.

      Completely agree that its great to have these discussions. Looking forward to the Gold Cup to see others try to make their way to the 2014 squad!

      • Definitely. Klinsman takes alot of heat for this idea but it is the only way to move the squad to the next level. Its painful but no one should feel automatically entitled to a spot just because they have been there already. Its up to the rising stars to push the starters to excel.

    • I seem to remember there were a few big surprises in the WC roster last time, notably Her Jules Gomez and Edson Buddle, who had not had much of a role in WCQ, but played their way on through their performance in their leagues. So I don’t really agree that there was no debate. But I do agree that I love the debate now!

  10. List looks accurate as to what Klinnsmann is probably thinking right now. The only disagreement I would have is Castillo over Beasley. Demarcus Beasley will be 32 by then. That could effect a player that mainly relies on his speed. I would like to see Gyau in there but I recognize he’s an outside shot.

    • Beasley shows no signs of slowing down or losing a step…His 32nd birthday will not automatically convert his DNA to make him slower.

  11. I think you can take Wondolowski off the “missed the cut” list. He’s not shown anything even in friendlies.

  12. Dont understand why Kljestan is out of the picture. I thought he was having a good year at Anderlecht and dont see him worse than Williams, Zusi, or Shea.
    Did I overlook something?

    • He is having a good year for Anderlecht.

      But for the US his main competition is MB90 and he won’t see a lot of time.

      JJ was out against Mexico but since that game was all about defense they went with Edu.

  13. Agudelo over EJ.

    Corona for Williams or Edu. You don’t need both. Probably for Williams as Klinsmann has already showed that he could play Edu in the back in a pinch.

    And, I agree that Dolo goes over Boca (assuming he’s healthy and still PLAYING at a high level).

    Would love to see a young guy make a push (Joya or Cuevas).

  14. Good projection for right now, but as always things will change. Players will fall out of form, players will get injured, other players will regain their form, and there will always be one or two players that come out of nowhere the last few months, leading up to the WC, to make a push for a WC roster spot.

  15. It sure does look like Davis looks better to the USMNT coaches than to the people in this forum. They keep sending him out recently. Just giving him a good look?

  16. Call me crazy, call me delusional, but I still think that Freddy Adu could end up as a major/key contributor. Here are my reasons:

    1) If he gets ample playing time and actually becomes a starter for Bahia, that would give the US a dangerous attacking weapon that we clearly lack.
    2) He can only get better as an attacker playing in Brazil, and in turn help facilitate the attack, by actually providing service to our forwards (which clearly is missing at the moment), and adding a threat that other teams would have to account for.
    3) He is playing in Brazil where the 2014 World Cup is being staged. He will have a clear advantage as to what the conditions are like to play in Brazil.
    4) He is the most techincally gifted player in the US pool.

    Obvisously, these are all big “if’s”, but I clearly believe the senior team needs an attacking spark, a facilitator in real number 10 mold, and Freddy Adu is the closest thing that the US has.

    • What exactly is a real #10? To me a #10 is clearly the most gifted player on the field that are FWD/CAM hybrids i.e. Pele, Maradonna, Messi, Mario Kempes, Zico; players in that mold. I like my #10’s to be more a FWD/ CAM hybrid. Adu is exactly this a FWD/CAM hybrid. If he can regain form then yeah I could see Adu in teh pocture come WC 2014.

      I could also see Charlie Davies in the picture as well, after watching his very good performance yesterday.

      • +1 to Charlie Davies. Loved a recent interview he gave where he talked about his motivation during rehab was to be back with the national team. You got to love that passion he brings to the team.

      • Bahia need to play him as a withdrawn striker or ACM (nearly the same position with less defensive responsibilities). If they do not then it will not be good for Adu.

    • I put Adu in the position of withdrawn forward or Attacking Central Midfielder group. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey play a similar role where they roam freely between the midfielders and forwards. This position also comes with less defensive responsibilities that a traditional midfielder would have. Playing and trying to convert Adu into a winger is like trying to covert Donovan to being a Defensive Midfielder. Let’s hope Bahia and any future US coaches play Adu as a Withdrawn Forward or ACM. Is it possible to play Donovan, Dempsey, and Adu as a ACM at the same time? Why not?

      Donovan Dempsey Adu


      That pentagon formation could do offensive damage in WCQ and WC

      • JK needs to work his motivation magic on Adu. Have one of his “talks over coffee” with him and let him know that he’s got the talent to be on the WC squad if he can focus his game. Get him a life coach or something. He’s been through so much by age 23 his mind can’t be right.

      • Donovan would be a fine defensive midfielder.

        Adu can be a winger but he is very limited in that role because he is not fast and his fitness is always a question mark.

        If you field Donovan and Dempsey and Adu at the same time, I don’t care how you draw it up, Landon will go to the wings, Freddy will stay central and Clint will roam to where he is needed.

        BB played all three in the 2011 Gold Cup final. They scored two quick goals on Mexico but soon gave up four . Part of this was because once the US took a 2-0 lead they could not retain possession long enough or defend well enough, to blunt the Mexican attack. The US obviously learned their lesson.

    • There is no #10 in the player pool, not even Freddy.

      Even if there was, they aren’t building towards being set up to use one.

      JK wants to play high line, high pressure and that does not really require a #10.

  17. Ives,
    I would definitely place Beasley at his natural LW position. This team needs more speed and guile in the attack. I would add Corona and drop Danny Williams at this point. We don’t need Four D-mids on this roster. We need more possession and creativity, which I believe Corona is ready to add. Also, is John Anthony Brooks still even in the conversation for the US? It seems as if he is backing away.

    • This is the one area were a lot of people seem to be on the same page. Edu or Williams is just a coin toss. They both are athletic and can hold the fort down pretty well as well as drop back to Center Back if needed. They are both prone to mistakes as we have seen in the last few games. Ex. Williams (Russia) and Edu (Mexico).

      I say we only need one of those guys and reserve that spot for a difference maker off the bench. That could be someone like Gatt (if he improves by next year).

  18. Also, should you fix the explanation above the template to show that it is comparing March 2013 to Feb 2013 (instead of Feb 2013/Dec 2012) Little confusing.

  19. I like the idea of bringing 1 “Wildcard” player: a young guy we could bring off the bench in the 75th to try and spark something. Villarreal looks like he could be that guy. Maybe even Cuevas or Gil if their development picks up.

    • The USMNT is not so deep that they can afford to have anyone on the 23 man WC roster, if they make it there, who is not a proven contributor to the senior team..

      Any of the guys you mentioned, they would have to prove they can contribute something.
      I like Villareal but he would have put in an amazing shift at the Gold Cup or maybe even in a late qualifier, if the US is lucky enough to qualify early with a game or two to go, before I would take him over Agudelo for example.

  20. This might be a little off-topic, but I am curious– does anybody know how many instances of the third goalkeeper actually playing in a World Cup are (for any country?). One would assume that with cards/injuries, it has happened a few times, but I can think of no examples. Would be interesting to see what the actual number/frequency is.

  21. Of all the players on this roster I think Williams is the most expandable. I would much rather see a more attack minded player like corona in his place. If he shows well at the gold cup this summer I would like to see this starting line up


    I think the would be a pretty tough offense for most teams to handle

  22. These projections are always a good read Ives. I’d live to see a similar one for the Gold Cup. The most discussion seems to be around the fringe guys and these are the guys who seem most likely to feature at the Gold Cup.

  23. It’s weird but Howard like Donovan before him is wandering towards not being a permanent fixture. Telling that I found myself saying, only if he gets healthy when I saw his name.

    I think Goodson is awful and the appearance of quality against CR was a figment of the field conditions. I also think Klinsi might well apply the Boca Diss if Dolo shows up unfit and off form.

    Williams is also often bad, and Zusi is overrated at a production spot. I think we have better young player options than Zusi who are more dangerous, and I don’t think Williams is good enough at what he does to push aside our talent pool. Gatt, Mixx, Agudelo.

    I think you have the Fs more or less right bearing in mind that Gomez can go back and Landon and Clint go forward. We’re really only playing with one true F so you can almost make it one big M pool with the only question being is the striker a physical guy like Jozy or Boyd or EJ, or would we be better off playing almost forwardless with a bunch of speedy, technical types, ie, Landon or Dempsey at striker. I’d be interested to see what we could do with one or two DMs and then a bunch of fast, skill guys from the pool, against some of these June teams. I think we’d clobber them and would be doing them a favor putting in a lumbering target guy to slow us down.

    • I agree with you on Howard moving toward not being a permanent fixture and that might extend his career through this world cup and maybe the next world cup. I think maybe he and Guzan share the next cycle with the guy in the best form leading the way.
      I think it will be Guzan because Howard has been slowing down a bit. Guzan has to be more positionally sound because he is not as athletic as Howard. Maybe Howard retires from the national team to concentrate on the club game(like Friedel) and the younger guys start breaking into the games. Makes sense the first couple of years into the new cycle to play around and see what Johnson, Hamid, Cropper, Hall are made of.

      Goodson was good because of his leadership and experience in Denver just as Gonzales was terrible in Honduras because of his lack of experience and poor communication with CB partnership. Goodson was filling in a spot like Beasley. If we have our first options, they don’t get called up but you have to respect their professionalism over their egos, to step up and do what is best for the team.

      I agree Williams has often times looked bad but I think he might have done very well with a two holding mid-fielder system played in the last two games. I am hopeful that he can replace Jones at some point but he is not at that level yet. Due to his inconsistent form I would place him on the level with Corona and maybe Mixx. Then Gatt and then Zusi… BUT of everybody mentioned. Williams can operate at a much faster rate because he the Bundesliga is far more technical and quick then MLS, Norway, or Liga MX.

      Actually Alfredo Morales is somebody I have my eyes on because in his short cameo’s you can see the speed at which his mind works and his technical skill.

      I totally agree with your last statement…two holding center mids and some speed and skill is the future….if we want to play the way Klinsi says he wants to play!!!!

      • I also regard Morales higher than most. He has been getting more minutes with Hertha first team. I hope he makes a big push during the GC games.

    • I kind of agree about goodson. I dont put to much value in the snow game performance, it was great but no game will ever be like that again. Goodson is either amazing or terrible. The inconsistancy rules him out in my opinion. Besler, Gonzo and Cameron are the first choice CB’s

  24. If your not gonna go with some youngsters, then this team will lose in the WC group play

    There is no creative midfielders

    • I only ask because, in my experience teaching English as foreign language, non-native English speakers are usually on top of their grammar when it comes to things like you/you’re and singular/plural; they grasp that kind of thing much more quickly than vocabulary and subtler aspects of English grammar. But in my experience with progressively-dumber native speakers of English, I have observed no such pattern. All bets are off.

      • “Okay, I know you’re anxious to jump right in and start speaking English, but there’s a couple of things I need to know first, because I’ve never done this before. So, how many of you would say you speak English fairly well, but with some difficulties? A little English.”

        Russell Ziskey. From “Stripes”

      • Why are you trying to put someone down just because their grasp of the English language is not up to your standards? This is a soccer forum, stick with it.

  25. I’d take Agudelo over Johnson, Boca over Dolo, and drop Goodson for Corona.

    – Agudelo has started this season strongly. He offers speed like Johnson, but also offers actual skill on the ball.

    – If we are going on the basis of leadership in the locker room, Boca wins out. Plus, in a pickle, he can play as a CB and (God forbid) a RB.

    – I don’t think we need that many defenders. I’d much rather see more attacking options in midfield because that’s our weakness. Corona has played a stellar season so far and he’s right on the cusp of getting playing time. Klinsi believes in him enough to drag him around the world. Sooner or later, he’ll get the chance to show he adds a new dimension.

    Ives – Interesting you list DeLeon as a midfielder and not Pontius. As a United fan, DeLeon has done nothing for me this season, and while Pontius hasn’t been much better, he’s more consistent and has played out wide so far. I would think they are competing for the same spot.

    I’m not sure how you define a forward vs. a winger under Klinsi’s system. I.e. Gomez plays out wide under Klinsi, like Zusi and Shea (and Donovan), so why isn’t he listed as a midfielder when they are?

    • A- Cherundolo is a better player than Bocanegra right now and there are better centerback options than right back options. They aren’t really battling for the same spot but even if they were, Cherundolo has played at a higher level more recently than Bocanegra.

      B- “We don’t need that many defenders” is silly and misguided. The World Cup schedule is tight and defensive depth can sometimes be VERY key to a team’s ability to remain competitive through a tournament. Anyone who has followed the U.S. at the past 3-4 World Cups knows how important having a strong and deep pool of defenders is.

      C- Don’t think either DeLeon or Pontius is really that close to the team, but Pontius is closer. I should have left out DeLeon from last month to be honest. Just an oversight on my part. And it really isn’t an either or proposition. Not like Klinsmann is only allowed one player from D.C. And as for where he’s listed, Pontius would play as a wide forward under Klinsmann, not as a midfielder.

      D- Gomez is a forward. He’s played as a wide forward far more than he’s played as a pure winger. The Mexico game was unique in that regard, but doesn’t mean Gomez is suddenly classified as a winger based on one game. Based on your Pontius and Gomez comments I think you’re a little too hung up on the Mexico strategy and formation suddenly becoming the standard for the USMNT going forward. Even if Klinsmann does start gravitating toward a 4-2-3-1, those wide players in the three will likely be mostly the same candidates who would be battling for wide spots in a 4-3-3. Not really that tough to figure out.

      • Good reply.

        A – If Dolo goes, he’ll be a third stringer (based on this projection Chandler=Cameron>Dolo). I’ve never seen a WC team have to use their third stringers. In my opinion, from what I’ve read, Boca’s locker room present is felt more than Dolo’s. So if we’re bringing one senior defender for his presence (as you mentioned), Boca’s leadership and flexibility gets him the final spot – in my opinion.

        B – How is that misguided? You are bringing eight defenders plus Edu, Williams, and Shea, all of whom have played defense before (so has Jones) if we’re that desperate. We have flexible players in midfield who can play those positions. I’ve never seen a third stringer used (except maybe in keep, once). Corona offers creativity as a central player and as a wide player. I don’t see Dempsey as the middle man in a 4-2-3-1 nor the tip in a 4-3-3. He’s too useful in the 18 and is the only one scoring, and it’s just not his strong suite. None of the midfielders you’re bringing except Zusi can make those connections as an attacking “tip”. Corona is my Feilhaber for 2014 – someone who comes in at wing or center to finish off a game or bring that forward momentum.

        C – Again, and this goes to “D” – what’s the difference between a wide forward or a midfielder in Klinsi’s system? Since qualifying, those that play out wide as forwards have been the exact same as those who play in the winged position. So DeLeon and Pontius would be competing for the same position, opposite side.

        D – I guess see above for my answer here. I’m not hung up on any formation because even when we play 4-3-3, it devolves into a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-2-1. I was just asking how you differentiated Gomez, Zusi, and Shea. They should all be in the same group, whichever group you see fit. They all play wide forward or wing in Klinsi’s system – Donovan too when he gets back.

        But a wide forward vs. winger doesn’t really matter. I just think if we really looked closer at who would play where and the depth, we could add two more attack-minded players. And for a team scoring as little as we are, we’ll need them off the bench.

      • You have your equation reversed:

        Dolo > Chandler = Cameron when it comes to RB

        Cameron is much better as a CB, and an emergency RB.

        The equation is dependent on Dolo getting back to health and form of course, which we will know in the next month or so. Dolo is also the captain of Hannover 96 so I don’t think there should be any questions about his leadership qualities.

      • + 1 and more. Although I like Chandler, he hasn’t been strong this year and it is not because he hasn’t committed to the team. He is just struggling for a club team in a relegation battle.

        I agree that Cameron is going to be the next center back with Gonzales…they just have to build chemistry. Otherwise Besler made a nice first statement into the mix.

        Dolo is a better crosser then Chandler and Cameron.

        Chandler is the future Dolo is the present….Unless Dolo get get back to form. Then Chandler is the new number one. Cameron, Parkhurst, Spector in that order…with Spector being the “Beasely call in”

        I would love to see Lichaj start for a premier league side…because then he would be in this discussion based on previous MNT call ups.

        I will say that Corona is my pick also to be the next big contributor to this team…but I am not sure at what roll right now. He seems more suited at center but we need wide help

        I would also say that Williams could be a smarter Jones but he isn’t there yet.

      • Agreed with everything though not as sure re: A. I am incredibly impressed by OG and the Bees, but it’s only a game or two. I need to see a few more games from them at this level before all my doubts are extinguished. They could still have holes that haven’t been exploited yet.

    • dolo, in my view, is still the best right back in the pool by a long shot. you’ve got to inlcude him if healthy (unless his play drops considerably).

      • Disagree. Next year Dolo will be even slower while Cameron’s athleticism will be peaking and Chandler will still be improving. Dolo is better because he’s smarter, but based on his small injuries this season, I just don’t see him starting for club on a consistent basis and thus I see him losing his position.

      • Each has there pros and cons at this point. I guess we’ll have to see how Dolo looks in his return. His ability to get give the team width and make great passes off the touch line is something we could really use right now.

      • JoshD

        If you are comparing Cameron to Dolo at the right back position,then yes Geoff is the superior athlete but Dolo is the far superior soccer player, assuming he gets back to fitness.
        There is a significant difference. Plus when it comes to working with your winger defensively and then offensively and then putting in that final cross, Dolo is vastly superior.
        Unfortunately Cameron doesn’t get to do that a lot at Stoke when he is at right back.

      • +1. How quickly people forget that he was playing extremely well for the USMNT before he got injured and was probably the class of the back line.

        I don’t see Hannover dropping him just because he got injured, why would the USMNT?

        Besides, for everyone who says “he’s too old” – van Bronckhurst was 35 when he played RB and captained Holland in South Africa. Same age as Dolo.

      • Boca over Dolo when the reasoning is this: “Klinsmann could have the freedom to spend a roster spot on a veteran who is not only good enough to start when healthy, but who helps bring some experience and maturity to the locker room.”

        We’re not talking a starter, and we’re barely talking a probable player on the field, we’re talking someone to bring experience to a squad that will consist of a lot of virgin World Cup players.

        Next year, Dolo will be even more injury prone and slower. As a RB, he is going to find it tough to get consistent playing time. He’ll be like Neville was coming into the last season or two at United: Earning some playing time as they transition him out and bring in a younger player. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. At his age, he’ll expect it.

        Boca will arrive at a new team and earn far more playing time. He’ll probably end up in MLS. He’ll be in form. He’s slow, but he’s smart and he offers an aerial presence. He has enough in him to kill off games which is what you want from a third stringer, if you ever use him.

      • You have to remember Dolo has also often acted as a bridge between the German born players and the rest of the team. That could be an important role regarding the team on and off the field.

      • You are saying “good enough to start when healthy” is BOCA injured? I didn’t think he was injured when he lost his spot at club level of a second division team, that should tell you something. DOLO is back healthy and we should see if he is still has it.

    • Nothing against Boca, but a guy who captains a Bundesliga side, nicknamed ‘Mayor of Hannover’, on a US side full of Germericans, sounds like a decent locker room addition too.

      And CB seems less the problem. And I can’t see Boca at RB.

  26. Just because Beasley was put into LB service does not mean he is a LB. Beasley is a LM. Beasley should be included in the group of Midfielders. Same reason F Johnson was put into LB service (the US was short handed at LB). F Johnson brings an offensive upside to the LB position from playing as a RM in Germany. JK and F Johnson know the best position for F Johnson is RM.

    • Hmm, but he never plays RM. Fabain Johnson never had a set position. The reason why he was never consistent as a player, and why Germany stopped looking at him past his U-21 days.

      When Johnson settled on LB he became a better and more consistent player. His position is LB from here on out.

    • Except that Fabian Johnson actually is a LB, where DMB is not. Johnson plays almost exclusively LB for Hoffenheim these days. He is absolutely a LB.

    • MikeG

      If DMB continues to capped and placed at left back then he is a left back. He is a smart player and you could actually see him getting smarter in the second half figuring out where the ball was going to be and intercepting it

      Cameron is a right back for Stoke and a center half for the USMNT unless they line him up at right back in which case he is a right back.

      This is soccer, you play where the team needs you and you do the best you can.Recently, Real Madrid played Man U. in the Champions League. When Modric came on in the second half Kedira a midfielder moved to right back for a while until Pepe took over later when he finally came on. The point is midfielders move to fullback all the time. Many top class fullbacks began as midfielders or move back and forth between the positions. Guys like, Ashley Cole, Roberto Carlos, Gianluca Zambrotta, Patrice Evra, Fabio Grosso and Fabio Coentrao, just to name a few, have done this.

      By definition midfielders are the most versatile players on the field so moving to fullback should be no big deal. And DMB was thrown into the deep end Tuesday but Mexico was shut out and DMB ended the game better than he started so he’s picking it up again. He said JK’s conversation with him about playing left back lasted 10 seconds tops. DMB is a sharp guy and a quick study.

      If he has no problem with it neither should you.

  27. i still have my doubts about Chandler. I know he is probably the best cap tied RB but i still doubt that he is 100% committed for the US. His play vs. Honduras was pitiful and he seems like a drag on the locker room.. I would love to see everything i said contradicted but for now Cameron and Dolo are the best RB’s and I would add another CB.

    the rest of the team looks good. Id pick Hamid over S. Johnson, right now, but its kind of a irrelevant toss up.

    • totally agree. chandler needs to win us over. willing to give him a pass on his awful showing against honduras, but his next outing in the shirt better be all out.

    • To be fair, most everyone on the US was pitiful in Honduras. I see very few mentions of the fact that most of our European players played a game on Saturday, then took two flights totaling approximately 11 hours over 10 time zones (or whatever it is). They then played in a game where the weather was 50 degrees higher then were they played 3 days prior.

      All “this player sucked in Honduras” talks should be cooled because of this.

      • Some great comments here. The honduras game was brutal for most but chandler and johnson were the worst. I know both have had other good games however niether have performed in meaningful games yet, especially chandler who has turned us down when we need him most; gold cup and the past two wcq. Only so many more opportunities to impress us before the world cup; time to shine

    • Cut Chandler some slack, he was jetlagged, playing in oppressive heat in his first Hex game with very little time for the team to train together.

      • the problem with a player only showing up for one meaningful game is that he’ll be judged on that one meaningful game, where he was awful.

      • you missed the point, which was that for most of the other players, we have more than one point of reference to judge their play in international games.

        if you only show up for one game, it’s your fault that you’re only judged by that one game.

      • You really don’t get how a coach selects a team then do you? Have you seen his play for club and friendlies? 1 game does not a player make.

      • wasn’t talking about the coach–was talking about fans, which was what the original poster was referring to.

        and I have seen his play for his club, where he’s been poor. so if we’re talking about klinsmann specifically, no, I don’t get how he selects his team.

    • He is only 23, I see him right now as a 3rd option at right back. Its still Cherundolo’s job this cycle. I think its good to start working him into the team but more of an option after Brazil.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if Cherundolo’s injury is the beginning of his transition to ‘veteran reserve.’ But I’m also a HUGE fan of his, so I hope he can hold on to the job.
        F. Johnson – Gonzalez – Besler/Cameron – Cameron/Cherundolo would be my guess to start in 2014.

    • He has good work ethic, I think most had to do with the climate. I wouldn’t be surprise if this was the first time in his life that he played under those conditions.

  28. unless DMB is getting reg minutes at LB, it’s hard to see him making the squad there. Castillo and Parkhurst are more realistic options.

    agree with the rest. actually excited to see who steps up in the next year to make the jump from fringe player to mnt regular.

    • Castillo will likely be, but for right now I’m putting Beasley there. As for Parkhurst, he has to start getting minutes again to even be considered for this conversation.

    • If Beasley continues his form in Liga MX through next year, he’s a great option for Klinsmann to take as a LW who can slide back to LB in emergencies. He makes our depth much better. I’d love to see him at LW interchanging with FabJo offensively & defensively.

      • The same can be say for Castillo too, who plays both for club and can offer that for country in a bind. They are essentially the same player: tricky and fast, but weak when it comes to defending.

        Beasley gave his heart and soul the last two games. But let’s not forget that prior to that he has bombed as a LB. It’ll be interesting to track them over the next year as I’m sure they’ll battle for the same position.

        I think Shea misses out on that battle as he’s seen a pure offensive player these days.

      • I take it back — it’s fine as predictions go.

        But the unequivocal assertion that “it’s hard to see him making the squad” leaves USSoccerHomer seeming utterly tone deaf.

    • yeah, i would’ve liked to read ives’ explanation for dropping castillo in favor of beasely or chandler; not that i necessarily disagree–i just think that’s a tough decision.

      obviously, form will change by next year, but recently, with the exception of a couple moments, chandler’s been awful this year, while castillo has really come into his own.

    • Beasley is perhaps the only player who could play anywhere on the left side and do it passably well. He has the speed and touch to get behind defenses, he has the stamina to play both ways and as he demonstrated against Mexico, he has the toughness to take a beating and keep on running. If he were being considered only as a left back, he is likely 3rd on the list, but he can do that and fill in at left mid or attacker as well. Few players have shown the ability and willingness to help the team at multiple positions as he has.

    • +1 forgot about him.. big summer in Norway, maybe a transfer to a bigger league.. I could see him going either way; either a prospect for the next cycle or a breakout in the last year.

    • Gatt needs to get out of Norway and start playing against a proper defense before he gets to Brazil. He has speed and skill on the ball, but as was apparent in his US appearances, his time in Norway has made him a bit naive.

    • I’d prefer to see him over a Jones Edu or Williams. Having those 3 players seems a bit redundant, as they provide about the same thing to the national team. Gatt is no doubt raw but still gives you a speed and width the team could use.

    • Jozy & Boyd are the top prospects for the 2014 WC.
      EJ is the one most likely to be dropped for another option (Agudelo or Pontius)
      Gomez is a good vet who has shown over time he is good off the bench if not a starter. There is still possible concern that his form will slump as he continues to age….but until it actually happens he’s the #2 striker in the US Team.

    • Why would you possible do that? Agudelo has never had a good run of form at his club and despite his story book introduction to the NT has been meddling at best since then.
      Boyd on the other hand is tearing up his league. Yes, its a worse (or at best, equal to) league than the MLS, but he is also on track for an upward transfer to a better league.
      Agudelo still needs to prove he can actually do anything with his club. I have no idea why people love him.

      • Agudelo is a 20 year old with potential coming out of every pore in his body. He’s the most exciting young prospect we’ve seen since Jozy and Adu were tearing it up in U-20 divisions.

        Boyd is around the same age as Jozy (22) and hasn’t shown quite the same level of form that Jozy has at the club level.

        Not saying Boyd can’t still turn it on and turn into a stellar player, just justifying why people are still excited about Agudelo.

    • Boyd is still really raw. His touch is heavy and his off the ball movement is nothing special. In his time with the NT, his play hasnt merited a lock on the world cup team. I know he has 11 goals this season but this is the same league where Hamid Salihi was able to score 19 in one season.

      Agudelo imo is a more well rounded player and a better asset to the team. He has shown the ability to poach, create his own opportunities and provide for others (something lacking in this team). His technique is very good. Seeing him train live made me a believer. He can play on either wings and as a false 9 if need be. His hold up play and areial game is underrated. Yes his club form isnt consistant but he has performed when on the field with the NT. I bet he makes a move before Boyd does


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