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USMNT Daily Update: Projecting the Gold Cup roster

Carlos Bocanegra


With the June World Cup qualifiers in the rearview mirror, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup on the horizon, the U.S. Men’s National Team will unveil a new squad on Thursday as Jurgen Klinsmann tries to win back the CONCACAF Gold Cup from Mexico while also giving some familiar face a chance to state their case for places on the full U.S. team.

Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra and Stuart Holden are just some of the players who will be looking to make the Gold Cup their personal springboard to boosting their standing in Klinsmann’s pecking order and all three could still be key figures in World Cup qualifying any beyond.

The Gold Cup has traditionally been a launching pad for younger players to make their moves, but with Klinsmann using so many new faces on the full squad, this installment of the Gold Cup will have more of a veteran feel to it than past Gold Cup B teams.

So who will Klinsmann call up for the Gold Cup? Here is SBI’s 23-player projection for the squad that will be announced on Thursday:


GOALKEEPERS– Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Clarence Goodson, Edgar Castillo, Michael Parkhurst, Corey Ashe, Tony Beltran, Michael Orozco

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

FORWARDS– Will Bruin, Herculez Gomez, Landon Donovan, Jack McInerney, Bobby Wood


Some thoughts:

Players named to the final Gold Cup roster had to be a part of the preliminary roster. Wondering which players from the preliminary roster that didn’t make the cut? Here they are:


DEFENDERS– Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley

MIDFIELDERS– Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Brad Evans, Brad Davis, Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Johnson

FORWARDS– Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski


Don’t expect anybody who played heavy minutes in the June World Cup qualifiers to be called up for the Gold Cup.


The goalkeeper slots seem easy enough to figure out.


Defensively, Bocanegra and Onyewu return from USMNT asylum and could reunite and look to repeat the success they enjoyed when they helped lead the U.S. to the 2007 Gold Cup Final victory. Clarence Goodson will have something to say about that as he is still ahead of them on the depth chart.

Michael Parkhurst didn’t play in June qualifiers, but the Gold Cup should be his chance to not only show Klinsmann he’s still worth keeping in the mix at right back when Steve Cherundolo and Timmy Chandler return. If Edgar Castillo is selected, you have to figure he will start at left back.


The glaring omission from the list of midfielders is Brek Shea, but don’t be surprised if he’s left out. Why? Consider his situation. He’s had some injury issues since joining Stoke City, and now he will be playing for a new manager in Mark Hughes. Jurgen Klinsmann has already shown an affinity for Shea as a player, but getting in the good graces of his new club manager is probably more important right now than proving something in the Gold Cup.

Joe Corona, much like Castillo, could probably use a break, but this Gold Cup should be his chance to shine in the U.S. attack.

Brad Davis didn’t play a ton of minutes in the June qualifiers, so he’s someone who could be called on, but Klinsmann might choose to leave him with Houston after Davis already missed a month of MLS action.

(UPDATE– Made one change to the initial projected squad. Going with young forward Bobby Wood over Benny Feilhaber, who hasn’t been getting regular minutes for Sporting KC lately. Thought he could get a look after his showing vs. Canada in January, but given his lack of minutes lately, and the fact Landon Donovan will probably play in midfield, Wood seems like the safer bet. And let’s face it, Wood would qualify as a true wild card, which the roster probably needs.)


At forward, the above quartet is the safe combination, especially with Chris Wondolowski dealing with injuries. Jack McInerney is a lock, and while he may not wind up starting as a forward, Donovan should serve as captain of the team (unless Bocanegra does).


So what might a starting lineup look like vs. Belize in the Gold Cup opener?

Here is a potential lineup:







Clarence Goodson and Alejandro Bedoya are both good candidates to break into this starting lineup.


What do you think of the squad? Who was left out that you feel should be on the squad? Who are you happy to see included? Think that starting lineup could do some damage and win the Gold Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Since I think there’s a very small gap between all the 4 candidate keepers and we rarely get to see them, I would actually like to see all 3 that our called up get a group stage match. Best performer can play in the knockout stage

    • Yeah, I was surprised too. It would’ve been such a statement! Who cares if he can’t play — that’s not important.

    • Me too because Bruin is not his class and Wood and McInerney would be total dicerolls, we don’t know if they’re players on the make or the next Wondo or Twellman. Boyd is in a similar spot of not really getting a chance to make his own case. I know Landon and Gomez need to make cases for the final 23, but in terms of development we really need to know if these guys are keepers or not.

      I think Klinsi is doing a decent job with the known first team roster, and he had an initial burst of talent infusion from the Germans, but long term the question will be whether he can identify useful additions and integrate them, and he can’t raid Germany every year for that. I’m less sold that he’s good at development because he consistently overlooks certain interesting players like Lichaj in favor of some rote callup like Parkhurst, and you have a lot of players like Mixx or Corona or the like whom he can’t seem to bridge from friendly performance to quali supplements. So we’re playing EJ and Zusi.

      • who is Corona and Mix going to replace? JJ? Dempsey? I don’t think so, I can see Dempsey after the world cup but I think he is not going to give up his captain arm band that easy.

        I think JK’s transition to the next squad for 2018 is going to be a slow one, I just don’t see him doing a fire sale after the WC. By then, players that we thought where next in line for the next opening may get bumped off by the next class of players. Each class is getting better and sooner or later you will get players overlapping previous class because they will get that much better earlier.

      • “ in terms of development we really need to know if these guys are keepers or not.”

        Why do we “really need to know” at this time?

        You are talking about guys, Jack Mac, Woods, Boyd and Bruin, that barring some unusual development, will not figure significantly in the 2014 World Cup. Boyd is clearly a talent but in his few opportunities he has consistently been unimpressive.

        You speak about Corona and Mixx as if it is JK’s fault they are not good enough to either get called in or get on the field once called in. If these guys have something special to offer it is up to them to force JK to take notice.

        JK’s contract is up just after the World Cup and I doubt he comes back regardless of how they do. So the next guy will have just have to do with a 25 year old Jozy at forward, who I know you despise, and whoever else is left standing.

        As best as I can tell, he is completely focused on fielding the best and most competitive team he possibly can for Brazil, which is how it should be. I realize you and other fans have their pet projects but this edition of the USMNT cannot afford to have anyone on the 23 man WC roster who will be there just to sit on the bench and learn. You can do that in a qualifier but not in the World Cup.

        Corona has a chance but unless there is dramatic improvement I see no reason why any of these guys, Mixx, Jack Mac, Bruin, Boyd or Wood, should be in Brazil with the USMNT.

  2. I don’t care:

    Altidore – Dempsey

    FabianJohnson – Donovan – Zusi


    Beasley – Besler – Omar – Evans


    Like I said, I don’t care.

    • Beasley – Besler – Omar – Evans

      This will not work in the world cup. Neither Beasley or Evans should start, though both will be excellent versatile bench pieces.

      FJ at LB. RB remains a mystery… T. Chandler or Cherundolo most likely.

  3. I don’t see Gooch making it. Sadly, I think the train has left the station. There are too many younger, talanted guys that JK will want to consider.


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