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

Herculez Gomez Clarence Goodson

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The month of April has been a relatively quiet one on the U.S. Men’s National Team front, with no matches on the schedule. What the month has been is a chance for players on the team, and on the radar, to try and strengthen their places heading into an extremely busy summer.

From Landon Donovan returning to action, and players like George John boosting their stock with outstanding play to start the MLS season, there is plenty for Jurgen Klinsmann to chew on as he formulates his depth chart and puts together his potential rosters for this summer’s World Cup qualifying and Gold Cup.

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 March in bold, new additions to the Missed the Cut list are in bold italics)

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

Outlook– Tim Howard has returned from his back injury in strong fashion, returning to form and looking every bit like the U.S. No. 1 for a long time. The third goalkeeper spot continues to be a position in flux, and as much as one of the younger prospect look like a good bet, Nick Rimando’s form in April has been outstanding and reminded us just how strong a goalkeeper he is.

Missed the cut– Sean Johnson, Hamid.


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

Outlook– No changes to this group, but there are definitely some players gaining ground on the lead pack. George John is off to an outstanding start and looking like a real strong candidate for a summer call-up. Edgar Castillo is also on the fringes, and is the leading candidate to step in if Cherundolo or Beasley begin to fade.

Beasley isn’t showing signs of slowing down. He followed up his breakout March with a solid April with Mexican club Puebla. Cherundolo’s return to action has been positive and he looks ready to resume his key role for June’s qualifiers.

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


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

Outlook– Donovan is back and rounding into form, and if his time off really did help him recharge his batteries then it’s really difficult to see him not being part of the 2014 World Cup team.

Brek Shea has fallen off the squad, and his move to Stoke City has soured as he is no longer making the team’s game-day rosters. Whether it is foot injury issues, or him simply not being a part of the team’s plans, the fact that he isn’t playing makes it that much tougher to project him being a part of the World Cup mix.

That opens the door for Joe Corona, who is playing regularly for Club Tijuana and is a promising attacking player who could provide a good option off the bench.

One player quietly picking up some steam is Alejandro Bedoya. He is playing well in Sweden and could make his way into the Gold Cup mix. That’s still a few steps from a World Cup place, but he’s moving in the right direction.

Missed the cut– Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Josh Gatt, Kyle Beckerman, Stuart Holden, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Villarreal, Brad DavisMike Magee


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

Outlook– When we added Jack McInerney to our list of players who missed the cut last month, some folks considered it a bit premature, but as he continues to score goals he is starting to look like someone you have to have on the roster radar even though he is just 20.

Eddie Johnson has been hampered by injury, but we’re not ready to drop him just yet. He showed enough last year to give him some cushion, and it isn’t clear that there are other options ready to leapfrog past him just yet.

Altidore and Boyd keep on scoring and Gomez continues to play a key role for Santos so those three continue to look like locks.

Missed the cut– Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, 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. There isn’t likely to be too much overlap between the WCQ players and the GC squad, but the one place/position I’d like to really see the same players is at CB. Besler & Gonzalez need games together and experience at the international level…so I’ve put them in both groups even though I don’t think it’ll happen. Otherwise below is what I’d like to think we’ll see (at least player wise).

    Starting XI for WCQ in June
    Subs: Boyd, Zusi, Donovan, Beasley, Edu, Castillo, Boca, Chandler

    Starting XI Gold Cup:
    Subs: Agudelo, McInerney, Holden, Gyau, Gatt, Williams, Torres, Morrow, John, Lichaj,

  2. Jack Mac is the best forward in MLS at the moment. If we are going to constantly consider recent form, which I dont agree with, I put Jack in there above Boyd. Also if you look at recent form, at what point is Josh Williams going to get a mention.

  3. Alot of good players missed the cut. Shows how much depth we have compared to the past. Tough choices for Klinnsmann, however, there’s always some injuries so the choices become a little easier.

  4. +1 for anyone that mentioned Klejstan or Diskerud. Both of those players play regularly for their clubs and therefore have the rhythm JK likes to see.

    +1 for anyone that understands Beasley is on the roster for versatility, experience and leadership not because he is expected to be the #1 option at LB.

    +1 for anyone that has followed football long enough to know Freddy Adu (at 23 years old) has a huge opportunity to reclaim his career and help to add creativity to Brazil 2014 version of the USMNT.

    • you realize the issue is Beasley being brought in at LB over Castillo, right? THAT’S the issue, not that he is listed in the defense. especially when Williams is included in a narrow midfield. i think people are more than right for asking why the projection has Williams on and Castillo out with Beasley filling in at LB since there is “no room” for Castillo.

      everyone is well aware of his versatility, that’s obviously not the issue here…the issue is he should be the #1 left mid/winger. and as such, there is no reason to list him in defense… especially with Castillo and Johnson healthy.

  5. Ugh. Why does Benny Feilhaber not even get an honorable mention? We are SO low on creativity in the midfield, especially if Donovan doesn’t show up exactly how we need him.

      • Sasha’s probably even a bit more forward thinking than B-Feib, IMO. Vermes has Benny playing a box-to-box role and thinks he is best suited to this.

      • disagree. Kljestan played deep in a 4-2-3-1 for awhile. now it seems he’s more of a regista type player. regista and box-to-box are essentially the same position.

  6. As of today, I think this is pretty close. I still think Mixx gets a Gold Cup chance and turns that into a regular spot on the national team. Obviously, something went wrong when he was left out of the Canada friendly, but he adds something to the team every time he plays.

  7. Ives, no love for Diskerud??? Hasn’t he earned at least a spot on “Missed The Cut”? Seems like scoring a goal against Russia has been his curse for some strange reason…

    • I was just about to mention the same thing. He at least deserves to be on “Missed the Cut”, he is the best player in the entire Norwegian League so far this season and he doesn’t even get a mention?

    • Still afraid he’s going to commit to Norway if he keeps getting left off. Something the MNT lacks? Play makers and goal scorers. Diskerud does both. Maybe it is a little premature to say he’s going to be in the starting XI for the World Cup sure, but I’m going to feel really surprised and disappointed if he doesn’t get called in for the Gold Cup

    • Absolutely! Mix > Sascha, who has had far too many chances with nothing to show. Mix and Corona are the attacking players we need. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get a look this summer.

  8. Since we don’t have any strikers scoring anytime soon, why not let Boyd get a start and see what the kid can do. Seems to have a nose for goal that Jozy lacks on our side.

    • This statement is curious to me, since Boyd obviously hasn’t scored for the national team, so you must mean in his club situation, and he certainly isn’t scoring anywhere near the level Jozy is. So how would you define this nose for goal that Jozy doesn’t have?

  9. Aside from Landon Donovan, Damarcus Beasley is still our best wing option. He has speed, savvy and heart. Damarcus is a winner!.
    Too many central mids on this roster. This results in slow, predictable play and lack of dangerous possession. I’ve already seen too much of that. Good article though!

  10. Really hoping someone like Adu or Gatt step it up in the next year. We have neither creativity or speed in the midfield and without either one I don’t see us having a successful WC

      • Gatt has speed, but playing for the MNT exposed that he needs to work on his other foot. Adu looks like his agent hit him with a shovel and is starting to understand that he’s running out of countries to screw up in..hope his attitude gets fixed (or at least better than in Philly) or he’ll be dropped from the game #overhyped-underachiever

  11. I guess I’ll keep asking for Sasha not just on the roster, but in the starting 11. I mean, why not? We have no one else generating any offense in the middle of the field.

    Also – what does Dan Kennedy have to do to get USMNT consideration? He seems stronger than Hamid or Johnson week after week after week.

  12. In related news, Freddy Adu played last five minutes of the last Bahia game, and is on the game day roster for today’s game. Until someone vaguely creative emerges besides him, some of us (including myself) will continue to look at Bahia’s website with misguided hope for an entertaining national team future… (sigh)

    • I too hope Freddy Adu gets better before he turns 33 next year. He’s getting kinda old to keep producing mediocre results.

      • Dude, at least get creative-how many times do people have to post this asanine line of speculation before thrynfind a better use of their time? (Big sigh)

  13. What the heck is Van Persie doing scoring these insane volleys against U.S. goalies in BPL? I guess you could say it makes Howard and Guzan look good, in that it takes an insane shot to beat them. But, I would rather see us in different highlight films.

  14. I can’t see DMB making it all the way to the WC. I hope we can see some drastic improvement from our fullbacks and wingers. The width is not quite what it should be.

  15. I’d put Beasley as a wing and send home Edu or Williams, calling Castillo instead – too much duplication of talent for a bench player. If EJ doesn’t pick up his form, I might drop him for Shea or Gatt, though it seems unlikely Brek will get in form with his lack of time.

  16. Its tough to see how this roster (and maybe he entire pool) allows us to successfully possess the ball enough to transition from defense to offense…OR…to play the counterattacking style that we’ve used against bigger teams in the past. Maybe Donovan on one wing and Beasley or Fabian Johnson on the other could give us the requisite speed to hit on the break, but I don’t see it. I certainly don’t see us creating chances through midfield build up. I like Bradley and he’s the best we’ve got, but as a creative force he’s not going to get us past the group stage of the World Cup.
    As Hobo Mike pointed out, this is kind of obvious at this point.

  17. I was jonsin’ for MNT news… so thanks, Ives!

    as good as Beez did in the March qualifiers, does anyone think he’s a real option at FB if others are healthy? And as much as I love to say, “gooch,” Onyewu still hasn’t found his form from prior to his injury. He also doesn’t play. I can’t see him ahead of guys like Jon Spector at this point.

    Ditto the concerns about a lack of wing play. Maybe if Holden gets back to form and Donovan can commit to actually staying wide. Sadly, not many options at this point other than to basically play 4 central mids bc they are the 4 best guys on the squad.

    • i’m with you. Beasley was a stopgap LB. we need him at LM/LW. i don’t even understand how it’s a conversation. i don’t care that he did well enough to be considered. we have no width in the midfield and we are talking about putting Beasley at LB?!?! especially with Johnson and Castillo back from injury. makes. no. sense.

    • I think you guys are reading into the Beasley as a defender thing too much. Just because he’s listed there it doesn’t mean he has to exclusively play there. With that being said, I think versatility is a definite plus. I would place him as the last option at LB in case of extreme emergency. Johnson is the starter with Chandler backing him up (If Chandler is the starting RB just plug in Dolo/Cameron and move Timmy to LB). Taking Beaz gives Klinsy the ability to carry an extra midfielder.

      • by leaving off Castillo for Beasley, it is implying Beasley is the better option at LB…which is not true. Castillo and Beasley should be there, but in different positions. he should be listed as a midfielder with the option to be a defender, not the other way around.

      • Either guy has the ability to play LW– Castillo has lots of game experience on the wing (which was one of the problems when he made the move to FB for the MNT, he was too ‘forward’ thinking). Either way, Beaz is an option on the wing now, and the last resort as LB. That said, what will his form be in a year? The second he loses a step, JK is going to cut him out…

  18. This is a tough time to assess because the June camp and Gold Cup are going to alter some peoples’ trajectories significantly, I think.

    I think the GKs are right. I think Johnson has been elevated based on perceived promise above what his overall play would justify.

    Gooch is off the table, Goodson stinks, Brooks and John are uncommitted.

    I’d drop Zusi (mediocre) and Williams (bad), in favor of Holden, Shea, and/or Gatt.

    Since we are past the first qualifying group, I think EJ is over his head and I foresee Dempsey and/or Donovan stepping into his role, where they would be superior in every way. You can then call in more mids.

    • dude, you want Shea over Zusi? as of right now, NOT A CHANCE. granted, you did say much can change, but seriously, Shea over Zusi as things stand currently? Holden should not be a part of the conversation. he’s just now starting to play, and still not 90 minutes. he needs more time.

      • Agreed. Hard to justify a leaving out Zusi, who is destroying MLS this year and has been pretty solid in his USMNT starts, for somebody that hasn’t played in about two years (Holden) or has seemed to digressed in the last year or two in more competitive environments (Shea).

        Not to mention, Zusi is almost always put on the right side. Gatt and Shea have continually been left side mids. From what I remember of Holden, he played more in the middle the same way every other mid on the roster does.

      • Zusi is like the Wondo of the midfield, both him and Davis. I really don’t care what his MLS form is, he shows no goals or assists for the US this year. I think Shea, Holden, and Gatt can play the same spot with more danger at the international level.

        Holden played RM for the Dynamo and Bradley (including at the World Cup). I see him as a mediocre, Torres- or McCarty type tiki-taka CM, prone to injuries there. But he can hit a cross very well and it might be a healthier long term spot for him to play, since he’s fragile. The wing mid spots are up for competition and if he could hold up I think he’s superior to many of the options, including 3 DMs.

      • “Zusi is like the Wondo of the midfield” – 100% disagree.

        “…and Davis” – 100% agree

        “I think Shea, Holden, and Gatt can play the same spot with more danger at the international level.” – where is that proof?! Shea has 0 goals in 3 years. Holden, again, isn’t ready…as of now. also, 2 goals in 17 caps (Zusi 1 in 10). and while i love Gatt, i don’t think he should replace Zusi at the moment and only has 2 caps. so again, i’m not seeing proof.

        granted, I do agree that Holden is more than international quality. but i don’t see how you can make an argument for him quite yet. and to be honest, i want him in the middle. the wings should be LD and Beasley.

    • In his current form, no chance. I agree re: Williams. If he (ever again) plays like he did against Jamaica at home, he’s in the discussion.

      And, yes, Villarreal is misplaced.

      • Agreed. Beasley playing two games well as a LB doesn’t mean he’s a LB, especially as he doesn’t play there for club. Ream had a few good games, surrounded by horrible games. Castillo is the better choice in my mind.

      • Beasily played the position a lot in his career and he knows how to work on the left side of the pitch. The chemistry is their and the speed at LB is highly recommended.

        I think castillo should make it as well.

        Eddie Johnson is listed as F but he can play on the wing which might be needed.

    • yeah, Williams hasn’t even made the bench recently. to me, he’s off the radar until he figures it out. with Edu starting (other than when he has a knock), he can provide adequate cover.

      drop Williams, move Beasley to the midfield list, which he should be to begin with, and Castillo added to the defender list.

    • I am pretty sure for U20s Villarreal has played midfield. Galaxy primarily he plays as a forward.

      So…either way. He good.

  19. I agree with it overall but I can’t help but be concerned by the midfield group. That group is devoid of pace on the wings, with Donovan being the exception to that. I think ultimately we will see a Gatt/Bedoya/Shea type player make it. Love these projections though, keep them up

    • I guess the dilemma is: do you leave off stronger players for wingers that are either in poor form or not quite at international level or do you call up your best 23 and build your lineup and strategy around that approach?


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