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USMNT Daily Update: A closer look at the Gold Cup roster

Jack McInerney


Landon Donovan is back, Jack McInerney has arrived and Carlos Bocanegra may never come back.

Those are just some of the things that stood out from Thursday’s U.S. Men’s National Team Gold Cup roster announcement.

There weren’t expected to be many surprised in the group, but there were a few that could selections and omissions that could qualify as such. The exclusion of Bocanegra caught many by surprise, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s explanation that Bocanegra is in the process of deciding his next career move as the reason for his absence seemed to satisfy the curiosity of his absence (even if it didn’t quite questions about whether we might have seen the last of Bocanegra with the national team).

In terms of new blood, McInerney’s inclusion was probably the most exciting development for USMNT fans wanting to see some new faces. McInerney is tied for the MLS lead in goals, and by the time the U.S. roster was selected, it didn’t seem like much of a surprise that he was included.

One player who seemed like a little bit of a surprise, if only because of his heavy involvement in the May-June matches was DaMarcus Beasley, who is on the team despite the presence of other left back options like Edgar Castillo and Corey Ashe.

Here is a closer look at the USMNT Gold Cup roster selections (and omissions):

GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando.

No surprises among the three players selected, though some will continue to ask why a veteran like Hall is passed over for a younger player like Hamid. It’s pretty simple. Hamid has more upside, and better tools and a brighter national team future, and when you have Tim Howard and Brad Guzan looking like the top two for the next few years, grooming the next generation makes more sense.

So who starts? Nick Rimando is the veteran who has been the go-to starter when healthy. Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid will be able to challenge him for minutes, but it’s tough to see Rimando not getting the nod as the No. 1 in this group.


DEFENDERS: Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Edgar Castillo, Michael Parkhurst, Corey Ashe, Tony Beltran, Michael Orozco, DaMarcus Beasley.

Onyewu hasn’t played much on the club level in recent years, making this Gold Cup a golden opportunity for the veteran centerback to push his way back up the USMNT depth chart. He should be able to start alongside Goodson. Orozco serves as the third centerback in this group, while Parkhurst can also provide cover there.

The fullback spots should belong to Beasley and Parkhurst, but you have to wonder if Klinsmann won’t see this tournament as his chance to take a long look at Edgar Castillo in a starting role. It could come down to Parkhurst having to beat out Beasley for the right back spot (no, Beasley hasn’t played right back for the USMNT before, but Klinsmann has mentioned it as an option before).

Ashe and Beltran may not get a chance to play, but how they perform in camp and in training could determine if they receive looks in the future (like in January).

So who missed out that should have, or could have earned a look? Bocanegra is the obvious answer, but Klinsmann insisted his exclusion was down to him moving clubs. George John


MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman, Joe Corona, Stuart Holden, Alejandro Bedoya, Mikkel Diskerud, Josh Gatt, Jose Torres.

Beckerman will serve as the anchor in defensive midfield, and while he may be the only pure d-mid in the group, Holden and Torres can also play in a deeper role. You don’t need a pure ball-winner in the deep-lying midfield role, particularly against some of the weaker competition, and the reality is both Torres and Holden are capable of playing deeper if needed. Torres pretty much plays all his club soccer in a deep-lying role, not the attacking midfield role some seem to think is his usual position (it’s not).

On the wings, Bedoya has been lighting up the Swedish league, and you have to think that, on form, he should be able to find a starting role. Joe Corona seems destined to start as well.

As for Diskerud and Gatt? They are two young players who will have a chance to impress Klinsmann, but they could find the going tough to earn starting roles. That said, The reality is that all seven midfielders should see playing time in the group stage.

FORWARDS: Will Bruin, Herculez Gomez, Landon Donovan, Chris Wondolowski, Jack McInerney.

Donovan and Gomez have a history together, having been teammates on the 2005 MLS Cup-winning Los Angeles Galaxy side, and their matches together on the U.S. team last summer. Seeing the two partnered up in a 4-4-2, or with Donovan behind him in a 4-2-3-1, is very likely.

Jack McInerney has been tearing up MLS, and captured the imagination of USMNT fans hoping to find the next young star, but securing a starting role won’t be easy. He can definitely do it, particularly if Klinsmann decides to deploy Donovan on the flank in a 4-4-2, but there is a good chance we will see a 4-3-3, which would limit McInerney’s opportunities unless he could show a real willingness to work defensively from a wide forward spot. Don’t rule McInerney out as a wide forward though. I can remember seeing him deployed there with the U.S. Under-23s and seeing him look pretty comfortable there.

Where Will Bruin could struggle is if Klinsmann does decide to stick to a 4-3-3. Bruin isn’t really suited to be a wide forward, and his style isn’t that of a traditional target man. When Caleb Porter brought him in to the U-23s in December of 2011, he used Bruin out wide. He could make some things happen there, but asking him to cover that much ground in a 4-3-3 is probably not the best idea. Bruin’s hope will likely be that Klinsmann uses some 4-4-2 in this tournament, which is entirely possible given the lack of true target forward options on the roster. Fact is there isn’t a pure target in the pool, with Chris Wondolowski probably the player Klinsmann most rates as a target forward (Klinsmann has used him there before).

Gomez can play as a false nine, which seems like a safe bet for the first-choice starting lineup if Klinsmann sticks with a 4-3-3.








In this lineup, we’d give the nod to Bedoya over McInerney at right forward due to his superior service and ability to cover the wing (though McInerney can play as a wide forward even if he doesn’t have a ton of experience there). Josh Gatt is another option on the right wing, having played right forward in a 4-3-3 against Russia last year.

And if Klinsmann decided to use a 4-4-2? He could go with this lineup:






And what about that young lineup you’d love to see, perhaps against Costa Rica after the group is already clinched? How about this lineup:





———————-S. Johnson———————–


What do you think of the squad? Which projected lineup do you like the most? Think this U.S. team can win the Gold Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Bedoya doesn’t play on the wings for club, he’s a #10.

    Corona has stated he’s more comfortable inside.

    No mention of Feilhaber being cut?

    I’d think one of Castillo or Beasley at LM is much more likely than DMB at RB. One reason for DMBs inclusion may be the simple fact that he is learning a new position and JK wants him to get all the reps he can there.






  2. In reality, this tournament is really nothing more than a tryout for Brazil. I’m less interested in whether we win the Cup as opposed to seeing breakout performances from a few players who can add depth to our WC roster. You never know who we will draw in the 1st round, assuming we’re in. Who to watch in my eyes:

    Onyewu – poses matchup problems for opponents with size and strength. An in-form Onyewu is a better option than Goodson or Parkhurst.

    Donovan – he’s a competitor. No question he’s motivated for another WC run. I see him in a pairing up top.

    Holden – a certain contributor to WC at MF if he’s back in form. Probably play in the middle.

    Bedoya – more mature and experienced than last Gold Cup. Good, versatile 2-way MF with speed.

    Diskerud – can he contribute better on defense? Lots of competition in the MF.

    JMac – let’s see if he can step up to the next level

    The rest…

    GK – irrelevant. Fighting for 3rd spot on bench in WC

    Beasley – book your flight to Brazil. Injury insurance. Good to have you back.

    Gatt – can he show more than speed? Passing, defense?

    Beckerman – prefer Jones, Cameron, Edu and maybe another after this tournament.

    Others – Seen them enough to decide, or don’t see them making WC cut.

  3. Not a bad roster. I like the mix of the vets and new guys. Who do you start in defense? Have two strong CB’s in Goodson and Gooch, but they lack mobility and passing out of the back. At LB I’d take Castillo, CB Gooch and Fiscal, and right back Parkhurst. In a 4-2-3-1, Beckerman and Diskerud, CAM/CF Donovan, right side Corona, Left I’d take Gatt and McInerney at ST.

  4. I just do not understand the continued call-ups for beckerman. He is underskilled and undersized, and has consistently shown that he cannot swim in the international depths. For the most part I agree with JK’s call-ups but I will never understand beckerman, does he light it up in the MLS? Whats the deal?

    • I think that’s the biggest reason why Beasley was brought in

      That’s why I also think we will see Donovan line up on both sides the next few weeks…., assuming LD regains his form….if he’s on the left with the A squad then Fabian is at LB, (DMB shows that role as of now) if ultimately JK thinks DMB is good enough to start in Brazil and wants to play LD on the right he’s got the fastest flanks we’ve ever had

      I think that’s why Beasley was brought in instead of getting a break like everyone else

  5. I see the 3 potential lineups Ives listed, and I know everyone on here loves to draw up their own formation/starting 11… and they mostly look like lineups to suit Beckerman sitting in front of the back line… I don’t see that being JKs plans…

    I think he lines up his 4-2-3-1 period. You can call it a 4-4-1-1 if you like, but I don’t see him using any hint of a 4-3-3, or just a pure 6 just because Beckerman is on the squad.

    I think every move we will see is in the context of who and how a few of these guys fit in with the A squad… that’s why Beasley was brought back see as many looks as possible on that left side

    I think he has 3 basic goals

    – where does Donovan fit into his plans

    – what are his left side options

    – how ready are Stu, Bedoya, and (maybe Gatt Mixx or Corona) ready to fight for a spot as a sub against Brad or Sasha….

    Everything else is window dressing

  6. I’d like to see the USMNT use Gatt and Bedoya or any other winger with speed. The USMNT really has no speed on the wings and this would be a good tournament to do so. Speed on the wing will make the fullbacks pay attention to them and open space for a forward who makes good runs into space ( McInerney and Gomez). Speed on the wings would also make good use of a two forward system. Also, a counter attack will be more versatile with speed on the wings (also another reason why I have been screaming for Beasley to be played as a LW).

  7. It is hard to not be excited about this gold cup! I’m a fan of every possible 6 and 8 there, plus it is great too se ld, gatt, bedoya, and corona get some big usmnt minutes. My only hopes missing would be adu/feilhaber and a possibility of seeing lichaj.

    Granted I understand their exclusions, and you can call me a dreamer…

  8. Id like this lineup






    Key subs being jack mac, gatt, bedoya and holden

  9. after going thru the other teams’ rosters i have to say USA defiantly looks the strongest and most experienced.

    we should easily finish first, although Costa Rica is close to their full A squad. finishing second will likely mean a game vs. Honduras; not desirable.

    other than the US, i would say Honduras and Costa Rica are the strongest teams.. take a look at Mexico’s roster!?! — el tri’s version of a january camp lineup — i actually canada or panama can give them a run for group A.

  10. Everyone always seems to think Holden is a creative, attacking midfielder, but for Bolton he’s always been a ball-winning, box-to-box player, not Iniesta.

    • hustler, hard working, hyper responsible and versatile with some speed and quickness (looking forward to seeing this part of his recovery from injury) and skills (composed on the ball for the most part, hope to see this return too), good passer and crosser, a big favorite, but not Iniesta

    • hustler, hard working, hyper responsible and versatile with some speed and quickness (looking forward to seeing this part of his recovery from injury) and skills (composed on the ball for the most part, hope to see this return too), good pa$$er and crosser, a big favorite, but not Iniesta

  11. First, Ives is spot on in his analysis, as usual. I like his lineup #2, the middle one. In general, while we want to win, it is essential to give certain players a lot of minutes–MacInerny to see if he is ready for the next level, Gooch to see if he can still play at a high level, Hamid and Johnson to see who can be the next heir apparent, Holden to see if he is recovered and back in form or can get back in form, and Castillo to see if his play in Lega MX can translate to the national team. Since Orozco-Fiscal was playing regularly for Puebla in the last half of the season, he should also get a couple of run outs to see if he has improved from his really poor performances earlier for the national team.

  12. Beckerman, Rimando, and Beltran start first game. They are all in exceptional form. Why the hate on Beckerwrecker? Dude gets and keeps possession for the most possession oriented team in MLS.

  13. Is anyone else on the east coast irritated that they’re doing the games at 8pm PT? That just strikes me as an inordinately late hour. No thought that there are tons of people in ET wishing that the game wouldn’t START at 11pm?

    • That’s always the battle with the time zone difference. I love the 8 PM start time if it is true. I finally get to see a game live as opposed to every other game we play I have to watch off the DVR. I’ve watched every game this year, but all on delay. I guess it’s the EC turn to do the same.

  14. I would like the two guys who have torn up the MLS in scoring and (I think) the leading MLS midfield scorer of all time to get the start. For them to prosper, they need to be in positions that complement their strengths and they need good service. Also, it seems the “A” team has settled on a 4-4-2, with 2 deep lying midfielders, at least for all practical purposes. For me that means:






    With Torres a possible replacement for Beckerman or Holden and Gomez a sub for either forward.

    Also, Castillo, Beltran and Orosco should see some time for Beasley, Parkhurst and Beltran

    Will Shea play vs Guatemala? Donavon could move to the right in that case.

    • Nice to see someone on this board who appreciates Wondo. His supposed “not getting it done” at the international level is way overblown. Small sample size, and only great saves kept him off of the score sheet after the 2012 January camp. Amazing how Jozy has a very very long cold streak for the Nats, but now all is forgotten. With good service Wondo will score as well. Not saying he’s Jozy, but the inconsistency applied to how fans rate strikers is amazing. Aside from that, I’ve watched hm play live a few times this year, and if not for some amazing saves (at least two in the Vancouver game) he’d be on 7-9 goals right now. And he’s quite a good passer, which he’s demonstrated both for the Nats and esp. for San Jose. He should get the starts with Jack McInerney if Herc can’t go. Just sayin…

  15. Is anybody else concerned we’ve only got 3 CB’s on the initial roster? Parkhurst can play there, and someone said we can add players after the group stage, but we havent seen Gooch in so long..

  16. I basically love this roster (although a bit uncertain about the CBs) and am eager–no, totally frickin’ excited–to see how team does as a whole and the guys individually, which players break out and show they deserve a spot on the A team. As for the mystery surrounding Beasley’s inclusion, I am hoping that Klinsmann will give both Beasley and Castillo chances to show what they can do at left wing. I think both of them now are higher on the left wing depth chart than Brek Shea and both of them are lower on the left back depth chart than Fabian Johnson, who is simply too good at left back not play there for the USMNT. Parkhurt’s preferred position is RB and he no doubt will get a chance to shine there, especially after the bad news on Cherundolo.

  17. If the Nats come out in the 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 hybrid this would be an interesting look bc LD Gomez and Corona can interchange quite well and could really keep a team off balance. Also bringing in Bedoya or Gatt and Mixx can can also be dangerous.

    As much as I would like to say no to Beckerman I know that he will be on the field bc of Klinsi’s tenancy to always want that pure 6. Would love for Torres to fill that role and allow Holden or Mixx to be the box to box CM.

    Team has lots of options and should be fun to watch!!





  18. Hall has gotten called to two camps now and not made the team so Klinsi must feel where he sits in the pecking order. But the repeated picks of Hamid and Johnson feel like inertia to me, they were part of the U23 debacle and to me are inconsistent, can look outright skittish under pressure when used. We are a GK producer in bulk so you don’t have to settle. Howard may or may not have another cycle in him, Rimando is the same age, Guzan will be over 30 next cycle.

    I’ve already commented on the Ds and Fs at length so I’ll just leave it at that.

    • I’m with you on this. Make Johnson and Hamid pay their dues. They should have to prove that they can consistently play at a high level in MLS before they are just handed the keys to the kingdom. Especially Hamid. I know DC is in shambles all over the park right now, but the fact is he’s GK for the 2nd worst defense in the league. If anything Klinsmann should be leaving Bill at home this month to try and sort out that mess.

      • guzan was keeper last year for the 3rd-worst defense in the epl; should he stay home and try to sort out that mess?

        hamid has been consistent, and his defense (and midfield, and attack) has been godawful. it’s olsen’s job to sort out the mess; hamid’s already doing all he can.

      • That’s a valid point about Guzan, but he is a much more experienced player than Hamid. My point is that Hamid and Johnson are not anywhere near being complete goalkeepers. At the professional level everyone is a good shot-stopper and decently athletic. Those are pre-requisite for the job. What have those two done to separate themselves from the rest? You have to be able to read the game and direct the defense in front of you. I don’t think either of them do that particularly well.

        I want the best, most complete GKs AT THIS MOMENT in the pool. So what Johnson and Hamid have the “most” potential? I want them to realize it before they are anointed as the GKs of the future for USMNT. I also don’t trust either of them on the international stage. Case in point, the Olympic qualifying debacle.

        And it’s not completely Olsen’s job to fix the defensive problems at DC. Ultimately, it comes down to the players on the field. The coach can give them as much direction as he likes, doesn’t mean the players will always follow it. As a USMNT pool member, I expect Hamid to take it upon himself to elevate his play and his team’s to the next level. He should be the leader of that defense and be working overtime to get and keep them organized throughout the course of 90 mins.

      • It is not JK’s job to develop players, at least not the level of development we are talking about with this set of younger keepers.

        JK has already three keepers, Howard, Guzan and Rimando that will do for the next few years. If Guzan remains as good as I think he is the US could be more or less set for 2018.

        Keepers are very different because you can only play one, they take a while to develop and they play much longer than outfield players. Really good keepers rarely get alternated.

        So realistically, if not for the injury possibility, JK need not even mess with Hamid, Johnson, et. al.

        It is on those guys to get themselves to the required standard not the USMNT.

    • I agree with you that I don’t think either of those guys are lights out right now, but they’re still really young. With the thought that Howard is the 2014 keeper and Guzan is about as much of a lock for the 2018 spot as you can have 5 years out, I’m ok with continuing to try and develop those two with an eye on the 2022 cycle.

      That said, I could be convinced otherwise. Who else would you bring in instead of those two?

      • Tally Hall seems the logical choice. Steve Clark had a very impressive season in Norway last year.

  19. This I what I want to see but know its not happening…

    Jack Mac/ Herc




    Now it may not be the best idea to start two very similar center backs like Gooch and Goodson so maybe drop one for Parkhurst or Orozco. While both are primarily right backs at club they have both played in the center…

    • I think Bruin has the potential to be good at an international level, he’s just not there yet. He is very streaky and is not at his best when he is alone up top. I think if he can fix these areas he will very good.

  20. Couple thoughts:

    – Not to question you here Ives, but the last time I remember Klinsi going with a true 4-3-3 was the February match in Honduras. I guess a 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 are somewhat interchangeable, but even then I think he’s been going with more of a 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 hybrid. But whatever, formations are fluid and I could be (and most likely am) wrong.

    – If you pair up Gooch and Goodson in the middle, I’m almost positive you’ll see Beckerman in front of them. Those two are somewhat slow and lumbering CB’s and I’d imagine Klinsmann would want some cover for them, as well as someone who will stay home and provide an outlet to avoid those guys booting the ball out of the back. Don’t think we’d have too many worries on set pieces though.

    – The 4-4-2 line-up is definitely what I’d like to see. If Holden isn’t 100%, then you can either put Mixx in that spot, or slide Corona in there and put Bedoya out wide.

    Looking forward to seeing this group in action.

    • I am glad you brought this up. It seemed to me that Klinsmann in the recent WCQ games finally switched to a 4-2-3-1, which I think is the best formation for the team.

      • Not sure how that is different that a 4-4-2 with 2 deep lying mids, except in how the 2 forwards play, and that detail probably depends as much on the particular players you put there and how the defense tries to deal with them as it does on how you choose to describe it. Altidore and Dempsey seldom play even with one another. Of course most teams that use a 4-4-2 have the 2 forwards staggered and interchange who is most advanced, at least some of the time. Starting lineup formations are seldom realized in the game, soccer, played well, is too fluid for that not to be true.

      • i think biff is agreeing with thebums. yes, klinsmann uses a 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 hybrid now. although i think it looks more like a 4-4-1-1. : P

      • but defensively it’s shaped 4-4-2 so Jozy isn’t the lone ranger up top looked like. whatever it’s called, Clint was up there with Jozy and the bank of 4 behind them. anyone think we went 4-1-3-2 once JJ got hurt and Cameron came in in that destroyer role?

      • nailed it.

        yes, attacking: deuce slots behind jozy–defending: deuce and jozy side-by-side–and cameron played as a lone d-mid.

      • Ha, well, whatever it is, I hope we stay with it. Whether you want to call it a 4-4-2, a 4-5-1, a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-1-1, I like it a hell of a lot better than the unbalanced 4-3-3 set up we saw in Honduras back in February.

        When we use the formation we’ve seen recently, we have width, we provide service and we play much more fluidly (in my opinion at least). I’ve yet to see us deploy a traditional 4-3-3 and really make it work, as it usually just ends up being a clogged mess in the middle with no width, and our offense is 100% dependent on Deuce to create some magic.

        All that said, I do agree with beachbum that when Cameron entered the Panama game for JJ, we pretty clearly went to a 4-1-3-2 with Cameron playing the #6 role. Against CONCACAF opposition, even Mexico, I really feel like that’s our best formation (@ssuming whoever is playing the #6 stays home).

  21. I want to see a Torres-Bradley partnership in the deep lying midfield spots at some point. I am not saying start them together in meaningful games (not until Torres proves himself over Jones or Cameron, which is a tall task) but I see this partnerships as a great @sset if we ever need to score a goal and need a little offense. Bring Torres in during the 70th or 80th minute as an attacking spark. he is one of the most technically gifted players on the team and I could see him complementing Bradley well. No one on the team can p@ss like Bradley, and the closest player to being as composed as Bradley is Torres IMO. Only worry is whether both could understand when one attacks the other drops back.

  22. I want to see a Torres-Bradley partnership in the deep lying midfield spots at some point. I am not saying start them together in meaningful games (not until Torres proves himself over Jones or Cameron, which is a tall task) but I see this partnerships as a great asset if we ever need to score a goal and need a little offense. Bring Torres in during the 70th or 80th minute as an attacking spark. he is one of the most technically gifted players on the team and I could see him complementing Bradley well. No one on the team can pass like Bradley, and the closest player to being as composed as Bradley is Torres IMO. Only worry is whether both could understand when one attacks the other drops back.

    • Yes I understand Bradley did not make the Gold Cup. I hope Torres proves himself this tournament so we can see this potential combo

    • I got my fingers crossed that Torres can get it together and show well and earn a spot on the WC 2014 roster. I hope Klinsmann plays him as a Six.

    • ‘Bring Torres in during the 70th or 80th minute as an attacking spark.’

      i agree with most of what you said, but torres isn’t that kind of a player. he’s more of a metronome-type, like what bradley’s playing as, not the type to conjure up some magic in limited minutes.

      this is why i think torres should be getting lots of minutes in the gold cup: he may be the best replacement for if/when bradley gets injured or suspended. i would love to see him paired up with jones, not bradley, in some friendlies.

  23. Why don’t we use the same 4-2-3-1 formation? Maybe…




    Castillo-Onyewu- Goodson-Parkhurst


    I figure all/most of the guys that were brought into WC qualifiers and didn’t play should be starting in this team.

    • My possible selection for our 4-2-3-1






  24. i also hope we see Castillo at LB. lets see how he does.

    the great thing about this roster, just about every combination you could make, i would be interested in seeing.

    • fair enough. Time to see the kid perform. I’ve been pretty down on him. I keep remembering, the first time I saw Charlie Davies, I thought he was awful. He had a really bad first cap. a few games later he was one of our most important players. So I’m ready to give Castillo another shot. He’s got to make this opportunity count or he likely won’t make the World Cup squad.

  25. and yeah, i think you pretty much have to include a standard disclaimer (NOT AN ATTACKING MID) whenever you mention torres in a post. people think, ‘short? tan-skinned? push him up!!’

  26. you really think he’s going to start goodson and gooch together in central defense? that seems like a bad idea. haven’t seen orozco play in a while; any chance he starts?

      • didn’t watch the antigua game, huh?

        seriously, i’ve seen gooch play horrendously against pretty poor teams, and i’ve seen orozco play well against some pretty good teams. while i’m not saying orozco should absolutely start, what you’re saying sounds dumb.

      • I’ve seen Gooch play some very good games in the World Cup. Just last season I saw him play a great game in the Champions League. How soon some are to forget.

      • read it again–we’re not disagreeing.

        i didn’t say he’s never played well, i took issue with don’t care’s statement that he would take a ‘hobbled Gooch over Orozco any given day’.

      • Really? Agree to disagree then.

        Gooch is not only slower than Orozco, but he simply does not fit JK’s system (read: p@ssing out of the back)

      • the P@ssing out of the back is a bit overblown in my opinion. Defending well is 1000x more important. Yes, we need to pass out of the back better. However, Gonzo and Evans haven’t exactly been passing it out of the back incredibly well. Evans likes to dump the ball into the corner if he is under pressure and Gonzo’s passing has been hit or miss (along with his defending). Generally our CBs have just been handing the ball off to Jones or Bradley to let them dictate the attack anyway. Surely Onyewu is capable of that.

        He played really poorly in his last outing for us but its clear that Gonzales has left the door open for someone to overtake him. The same can’t be said for Besler who really grabbed his spot with both hands. If Onyewu or Orozco have a great tournament, we could see one of them starting in Costa Rica.

      • in general, this defense scares me, excluding beasley. although i don’t think much of beckerman, he should prove very useful. i am excited to see how our midfield plays together. i am not as excited about seeing bruin or wondo, though they are both solid players and good finishers. if we keep to the same form and style as the usmnt, i suspect one of them will start and play altidore’s role. i don’t know what to expect from this group, but i think anything less than semi’s will make me question some roster choices, especially on d.

      • Gooch passes the ball out of the back better than goodson, I can tell you that much! Goodson has penchant like gonzalez for booting the ball up field when under duress! Goochs’ passing out of the back has gotten much better since he been with Milan and def Malaga!

      • and I was starting to take you seriously until you said his “passing out of the back has gotten much better since he been with Milan” that is not true at all, Goodson was a better passer back then, I haven’t see GOOCH play after Malaga. We will find out out soon enough.

    • CB is definitely the glaring concern. If they intend to play a high line and pressure up field, which is a fair assumption, Gooch and Goodson together would seem to be disastrous. Both are slow afoot, atrocious the second you turn them toward goal and not so good with distribution out of the back.

  27. Can’t wait for this Gold Cup. Although our A team I think is a little better, this B team will play more attractive soccer in my opinion.

  28. Gatt over Bedoya, please. McInerney over Gomez, who isn’t in form having just come off an injury. Otherwise I love that lineup.

    I’m not sold on Holden starting anymore. After Klinsi’s talk, while he sounded optimistic, it didn’t come across as Holden is 100% ready. I expect him to get a ton of minutes, but I think Mix can snake that spot if he comes in firing during the camp.

    • Bedoya is currently a much better player and in much better form than Gatt right now. Gatt should be a sub to tire the opponents with his speed.

    • “I’m not sold on Holden starting anymore. After Klinsi’s talk, while he sounded optimistic, it didn’t come across as Holden is 100% ready. I expect him to get a ton of minutes, but I think Mix can snake that spot if he comes in firing during the camp.”

      Did you think that even if Holden was 100% physically that he could be back in his best Bolton form even though he has not actually played in a run of serious matches?

      It seems to me people forget Holden wasn’t a regular USMNT starter before he got hurt.

    • 4-2-3-1






      I personally don’t like Parkhurst and Orozco has been playing RB for his club.

      I don’t care for Beckerman either….but if Holen is 100% to start put Beckerman there.

      Subs: Beasley for Donovan or Castillo, Mixx for Donovan or Torres, Gatt for Corona, Bruin or McIn for Gomez, Hamid or Johnson for Nick.

    • is that what’s going on? looked pretty clear defensively the shape has recently been 4-4- 2 taking Jozy out of the lone chaser role up top, one he’s not best suited for and perhaps the biggest benefit of going away from the lone striker model for this team imo

      • Beach,

        not sure if JK will switch to a 4-4-2, he probably would like to keep it consistent with his preferred 4-2-3-1. But I guess it will depend how they do during training.

      • gotcha. you think that’s what we’ve been -playing? what about with Jozy no longer alone defensively up top, you know? that’s no 4-2-3-1 right?

      • yeah, I think we been doing a 4-2-3-1 but as we all know is not an uniform formation, it pretty much varies based on the circumstance of the game.

    • looks like he had written something but then deleted it…..almost. Wish we had someone in the press that would just ask Klinnsman why John has not been called in recently.

      First we need someone to ask the PRESS why they didn’t even include John on the all-star ballot.

      At least EA sports gets it right…he’s on the current ultimate team of the week

  29. Is Klinsmann open to new formations at the “A-Team” level? I would think he would stick with his WC formation.

    Also, has a captain been named yet?

  30. The question I have is: If the US is trying to groom a young keeper behind Howard and Guzan, why doesn’t MacMath get a look too? Not saying he got snubbed or anything, just wondering what the reasoning was behind Johnson and Hamid but not MacMath.

    • They are better prospects than MacMath — better now and likely way better down the line.

      On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cropper leapfrog over all the MLS goalies in a few years to back-up Guzan.

    • I used to want to see MacMath given a shot, but after watching him play in MLS I don’t think he is an option for the senior team.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think he is a talented keeper with some potential, but he lacks the physical abilities that Johnson and Hamid possess. He is in the unlucky position of being behind Johnson, Hamid and probably Cody Cropper as well.

      • MacMath is only 21 years old. Plenty of time to improve and get stronger. Especially as a GK. Don’t forget about that. DOOP

      • And Hamid is 22, Johnson is 24. Remember, MacMath was the u-17 keeper, then got beat out in the u-20s by Johnson and Hamid. He’s a good player, but barring something seriously unforeseen, he’s not likely to ever be the US’s number 1, there’s too much talent his own age.

      • +1 from a Union fan here. McMath will always be mediocre at best. He can make ok-to-good saves, but you will never see him fly across the goal.

        His positioning is woeful, as is his decision making…McMath won’t even be the Unions goalie for the long future. They have Zach Steffen in their youth set-up, who has twice the raw talent.

        Not trying to hate on McMath. He’s just young and scared and he doesn’t make up for those qualities with enough ability.

  31. the proposed B lineup v Costa Rica looks awesome, i hope Klinsi makes that happen.

    Jack Mac and Gatt flying up and down the wings, gonna be awesome….

    Really looking forward to this GC, more than recent years.

  32. Befits has been playing 2nd striker role as well as attacking mid, that’s why he has been so productive. He is not a winger. Play Gatt on the wing, drop Holden or Torres with beckerman, and slot him behind the forward. Same place corona or mix should play.

    • In a lot of ways I see this team as being more attack oriented. Gatt, Donovan, and Bedoya are true wingers that the A team did not have with Brek Shea absent (Eddie Johnson is a converted forward and Zusi, while an outside midfielder, is not a “winger”). Both Mix and Donovan can play as second strikers. Corona and Holden can both push forward and while Torres may be a number 8, he is more of a deep lying playmaker or holding midfielder than your typical DM. Not saying that this team is more talented and would beat the A team, but I see them as more attacking oriented.

  33. I do not see a good defensive midfielder in the bunch. Once you have had the luxury of Schalke’s Jones or AS-Roma’s Bradley and their ball-winning, passing and overall midfield play, you start playing with that in mind. I hope JK remembers he doesn’t have these players present and adjusts accordingly. While I like Beckermans aggressive play, he has a tendency to make errant passes, and can be muscled off the ball too easy for one whose role is to win balls Should JK use the type of offense that pushes up, it could leave big holes in front of the backline to exploit.

    On the other hand, I think the level of competition in the first two matches shoule be open to experimentation.

    Donovaan and Gomez play well together and am looking forward to that pairing, or if JK want to go with a more attacking formation, Have, Mac, Donovan and Gomez up front

    • I think Torres is much better defensively than a lot of USMNT fans give him credit for. It’s just that Klinsmann always plays him more as an attacker. I hope we see him as a Number 6 in the Gold Cup.

      • wow, no he is NOT. do you even watch Tigres games? he is a CLEAR #8 and JK has said as much in the past. SBI has said that. SI has said. has said that. has said that.

        he is a regista, a deep lying midfielder. a #8. that’s where Tigres play him. Dueñas and Salcido play that #6.

    • Beckerman. For a B team, he’s solid. He wouldn’t be quite enough for the A team, but should be fine in this tournament.

    • Beckerman doesn’t get muscled off the ball very easily. His passing is as good as jones who makes too many errant passes but not as good as Bradley’s. he should be fine in this tournament.

    • Back when Stu Holden was playing regularly in the EPL for Bolton, he pointed out in an interview that he was among the top players in the league in making successful tackles.

      • You mean getting his leg broke by Nigel de Haack and the tackle by Johnny Evans for which Evans was red carded?

        Or did Holden injure random players indiscriminately that I don’t know about?

      • obviously he has no idea what he is talking about. Holden was injured because of two dirty tackles.

      • well colin, you really should say two dirty tackles and a bunch of Newcastle fans, but in either case, holden could have shown better judgment. I don’t know if it is instinct, or just plain dumb luck.

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