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Brooks, Donovan and Johannsson among players called up to USMNT World Cup qualifying squad

USMNT starting eleven


U.S. Men’s National Team newcomers John Brooks and Aron Johannsson headline a strong squad called in for the team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers vs. Costa Rica and Mexico.

U.S. stars Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore lead the squad as it attempts to secure qualification to the 2014 World Cup.

The Americans are riding a 12-match winning streak into the upcoming qualifiers, and several of the key contributors during that winning streak headline the group called in.

Clarence Goodson, Sacha Kljestan, Michael Parkhurst, Jose Torres, Terrence Boyd and Joe Corona were among the players left out of the squad for September’s qualifiers.

Here is the full squad:


GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

DEFENDER– DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Edgar Castillo, Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco

MIDFELDERS– Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi

FORWARDS– Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Aron Johannsson, Eddie Johnson


The U.S. travel to San Jose, Costa Rica to face the ‘Ticos’ on Sept. 6th before returning to the United States to face Mexico in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 10th.

What do you think of the roster? Who are you happy to see make the team? Who are you disappointed to see miss the cut?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives – please help! how is sacha kljestan not (at least) #3 CM with USMNT?

    for those who say kljestan does not bring anything to the table… what are you basing this on? his 1 start in 2 years under JK? (after starting 18 games under BB)

    roster seems to suggest following order at CM after bradley, jones

    3) cameron (i mean, if he is not playing RB… or CB…) – played some CM several years ago in MLS, before dom kinnear decided he was better off at CB… and way before stoke decided his best position was RB. if cameron is our #3 CM based on 1 home game v panama – id say were F’d.

    4) beckerman – aging MLS journeyman who no one ever seems to want to see on roster

    5) diskerud – guy who has trouble making an impact in a semi-pro league in norway. (relax, i am being sarcastic – but we really should not have any players on USMNT who play at a lower level than austria / MLS / bund. 2 / championship (however you rank those leagues) unless you are absolutely tearing them apart (as chuck davies was doing in sweden when he got his call). mix has not demonstrated an ability to directly impact the offense and the fact that he has averaged 55 minutes for rosenborg over last 16 appearances seems to indicate limited value at this point)

    meanwhile kljestan continues to be ignored. there is ONE US player that plays on a euro team ranked higher than sacha’s anderlecht (39) – jones with schalke (14).

    dont care for the belgian league? why? while anderlecht will play UCL, 3 other belgian squads won play-offs to advance to europa
    – zulte-waragem – pressed anderlecht for crown last season and saw off 11-12 UCL quarterfinalists APOEL to advance to group stage
    – standard liege – perennially strong team that leads league through 5 games – has yet to concede a goal. won europa play-off 5-1 on aggregate
    – genk – another strong side who breezed through play-off 7-2 on aggregate

    the kljestan story becomes more and more disappointing with every camp. at some point between now and our 3rd, 4th and 5th game in brazil we will need a reliable CM besides bradley or jones… given the weakness of our CM depth (sorry folks, this is a very thin position, not deep whatsoever) the fact that sacha has never been given a full opportunity to demonstrate his ability with full team in meaningful games is truly perplexing

    • I like Kljestan, but your argument for him suffers in major ways.

      3) CM, CB, RB. Exactly: Cameron can play—and play well—at multiple positions where we lack depth. That makes him extremely valuable. (He’d probably make an admirable RM as well!)

      4) “journeyman.” I’m not sure you know what that word means. Beckerman is the CAPTAIN of one of the best MLS teams. Over 300 appearances. MLS Cup winner. Beckerman is by any measure a “veteran.”

      “no one wants to see.” I guess that means Klinsmann and Kreis are “someones.”

      5) Meh. Who cares what league a guy plays in? The question is how he plays for the national team. He could play rec soccer at the local YMCA for all anyone should care. Mix played well for the most part in his USMNT appearances. Your complaints against him are not at all based on his performance with the national team. But is Mix better than Kljestan? Well, that’s the question you should have been trying to address.

      In sum: go ahead and root for Sacha. Just use logical arguments when you do.

      • logical argument, huh. lets see if i can learn from your “logic”

        3) cameron can essentially play any position better than klestan because… you say so. got it

        4) beckerman being captain of his MLS team is evidence that he is a better CM option than kljestan. k

        5) even if diskerud were playing YMCA soccer, you think his stellar play for USMNT in the ultra-competetive gold cup gives him an edge of sacha.

        good luck rooting for those guys to play CM at world cup, but maybe use some logic when you do. or not

      • Oh, poor rainORshine. So sad. You totally misunderstood everything I wrote. Try again—maybe with a reading tutor to guide you.

        3) I never said Cameron can play any position better than Kljestan. Read it again.

        What I did point out is Cameron’s value to the team. You originally questioned his inclusion by musing, “if cameron is our #3 CM….” The point is: Cameron is not *only* a #3 (or #4) CM. He is also a #2/3 RB, #3/4 CB, and quite possibly a #3/4 RM.

        None of that has anything to do with Kljestan’s value. It has to do with you completely missing the value of Cameron—which explains why you would be so quick to make the mistake of dismissing him.

        4) Again, I said nothing about Kljestan versus Beckerman. What I pointed out is that you clearly have no idea what the “journeyman” means. Or, if you do know, then you are either so biased against Beckerman or so biased for Kljestan that you ignored the actual meaning of the word. It hurts the credibility of your argument when it is so misinformed.

        5) Another reading comprehension failure. Yet again, I said nothing about Sacha. I pointed out that there are good reasons to include Mix—just like I believe there are good reasons to include Kljestan (as I alluded at the very beginning of my comment). And whenever there are good reasons to include two players who may be competing for the same spot, you have to ask the question I said you should have asked: “But is Mix better than Kljestan? Well, that’s the question you should have been trying to address.” Sadly, your ignorance continues to prevent you from asking or answering that question.

        Lastly, you made a fool of yourself when you wrote “good luck rooting for those guys to play CM at world cup.” Did I ever say I was rooting for any of those guys—Sacha, Kyle, Mix, or Geoff? No, I did not. They each bring something of value to the team; there are good reasons to bring any one (or two) of them.

    • I know I am not Ives, but Goodson should’ve been in the team over Brooks even for the CRI match. However, I am not the coach and before you try to assassinate my comment, neither are you.

  2. Brooks over Goodson seems like a stretch, but i presume Klinsmann is going to 89th minute sub in Aron and John to cap-tie them right? What do you guys think of Bedoya over Corona? Not so stoked on that selection, I feel like Corona is the better player. But what do I know?

    • Agree 100% except your wacky comment on Brooks over Goodson being a stretch. Brooks over Good-for-nothing-but-own-goals-son all day every day.

      • I agree with both of you on Goodson over Brooks, but cordially disagree on Corona over Bedoya. To me Bedoya showed vs. CRI, Honduras and Panama that he is top international quality.

    • Aron is already capped tied and Brooks will either start OR only see the field IF we are ahead. There is no way JK is going to use up a sub if we are losing.

  3. This looks pretty close to what we will see in Brazil. Some very good, deserving players will be left at home. The players wth the most t prove on this squad:
    A.J.- He looks like the real deal. Let’s see what familiarity with the other nationals breeds.
    J.A.B. – See above.
    Bedoya – He is a work horse. Can he improve his attacking in the last third.
    Mixx- Can he be physical and find a rhythm with his teammates.
    E.J. – Can he keep the pride of Iceland from overtaking him. He needs to show consistent effort.
    Zusi- He hasn’t been with the nations for a long stretch. Donovan has surged back into the fold. Will Zusi prove that he is the best option at RW?

  4. In my humble opinion, Orozco and Castillo are not top-quality USMNT material. Parkhurst and Goodson have proven they are more reliable. However, I think Klinsmann is bringing the Mexican League duo in because of their experience against Mexican competition. Otherwise, I am baffled why they were called in over Goodson/Parkhurst. That sounds like dumb reasoning after I typed it, but it’s all I have to grasp. Everywhere else I am happy with the selections.

    I was always critical of Klinsmann’s approach: he leaned on Jogi Low & home-field advantage in Germany 2006, and was horrible at Bayern. But, Klinsi has done amazing things to build the player pool for this World Cup cycle. I cannot remember a deeper pool of players.

  5. Gotta love our depth at this point in time. Credit to Klinsi for an excellent job managing team dynamics while insisting that the team buy into his style. I am excited about the mix of young talent (Aron, John Anthony), the old reliable stars in form (Landon, DeMarcus), the German-Americans who have fully committed (Jones), and the MLSers (Zusi, Omar). I love our side!

  6. Its too bad the 3-5-2 doesnt typically work and/or get used in the international game. This lineup would get our best on the field in at least fairly natural positions


    • I suppose the area we would be weakest at is in the air. Besler isnt a beast in the air like Gonzo is, and neither are Jones or Bradley which would make that a fairly big hole. Donovan and Johnson put in enough work to cover the wing spots but it would wear them out and take them out of the attack having to track back

  7. ZUSI right back!! Because, why the hell not?

    If Evans who’s best position is cm and Beasley a lm can play lb and rb respectively, why not Graham? I think a right side with Zusi and Donovan would work beautifully. They both track back, both have pace, can cross and zusi hustles.

    In my dreams…..


    • More likely to see Donovan at RB than Zusi, I think (which has been previously suggested on this site). On current form and recovery from injury, Zusi’s not likely to get any minutes in these two matches.

      • I didn’t say it’ll happen, I said it’s more likely than the US playing Zusi at RB. And I believe it was Ives who suggested playing Donovan at RB – on the basis that he’s the best player the US has at any given field position, so why not use him where we’re weakest and get another excellent player on the pitch?

    • I agree we should get Johannsson in at 2nd striker. But I would push Clint out to his old spot at left mid and keep Bradley in the middle as the playmaker and bossing the midfield like this:

      Deuce— Bradley– Donovan
      DMB –Besler –Gonzo–Cameron

  8. Johannsson over Wondolowski? Unbelievable. He was the top goal scorer in the Gold Cup, but I guess that doesn’t count for JK.

      • Wondo also has more international experience already. You and I know this is a reward for him deciding to betray Iceland and play with us.

      • Wrong. Y’all need to check yourselves.
        AJ and Jozy are the future of US soccer — hands down.
        If you do not know who AJ is, please do some research. This kid is the real deal. He will be swooped up within the couple years by a big club. Wondo will be….well…he will be on the bench.

      • To begin, Wondo was always going to be on the bench; I think I know that. Finally, you all took my bait, hook and sinker. Have a great night.

      • ChuckinB, stop looking up Aaron Bacon highlights and google sarcasm. Johonson is twice the player Wondolowski is, it was obvious from the moment he stepped on the field in Bosnia.

      • On recent form, Wondo is luke-warm at best, and AJ is blistering hot. He’s been scoring goals like his life depends on it for AZ Alkmaar in Eredivisie and Europa League matches over the past month. As for Wondo’s “international experience,” he’s shown one thing: he can score goals against week CONCACAF opponents. Johansson is getting it done week in and week out against European, African and South American players at his club, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that experience isn’t applicable when he faces off against those players for the USMNT in a situation like the World Cup.

        I’m also glad to see Brooks called in. They should start him (instead of Gonzo) and cap tie him against Costa Rica, or if not then, against Mexico. Gonzo’s shown himself to be unreliable for the USMNT, despite his clear talent, and I’d prefer getting a few looks at a Brooks/Besler pairing to see if that may be a better option for us.

      • I like your portrayed knowledge. However, you fail to realize that we qualify for the world cup in the weak CONCACAF region where Wondo has started to score goals. Now for AJ he is the future, not the present.

      • I don’t “fail to realize” anything of the kind – but Wondo’s never scored international goals against the likes of Costa Rica or Mexico, arguably the two strongest teams in CONCACAF after USMNT and Honduras. AND he’s out of form at the club level.

        AJ is in scalding form for his club, and while I agree he is the future, I disagree that you can claim he is not the present. We’ve only seen him once for the USMNT (and he looked incredible), so how can you say he’s not the present? I say give him minutes and see what he can do, so when all of us are discussing the October qualifiers we’ll be able to factor in how he looked with the USMNT against CONCACAF competition. Anyone who honestly believes Wondo is a better call-up must be a Quakes fan (in which case, you should be glad he’s not leaving for the national team because the Quakes need all the help they can get over the rest of the season to have a prayer of making the playoffs).

      • Now, be fair, Wondo has not scored against other than CONCACAF competition because no national team coach has played him in those games for more than a half. It is largely the judgement of coaches (both Bradley and Klinsmann) that kept Wondo from scoring against european teams, the same judgement that kept all the posters on Ives from scoring. But be fair, Wondo can only score against the teams he actually plays against.

    • Wondow sucks. He was scoring against weak Caribbean teams. Plus if I’m not mistaken be might be in his 30s. Time to look forward with our new generation of strikers .

    • Aron Johannsson hasn’t scored yet in his short stint with the USMNT. He hasn’t scored against Cuba, Guatemala, or Belize but if you think that Chris Wondolowski has made a single run as impressive as the two runs directly at Bosnian defenders that Johannsson made in his one match than you simply haven’t watched.

  9. Dempsey and Donovan have something to prove. They need to prove they can work on the field together under Klinsmann. They both excel for the Nats when the other is out of the lineup. There is minimal evidence that shows these two can play together under Klinsmann. Both of them are better suited for a supporting attacker roll. Donovan has more experience playing wing. With both of them next to each other, we haven’t had the greatest results. Dempsey is still coming into form. I have 100 percent confidence that Donovan and Dempsey will excel. They don’t call him Big Game Deuce for nothing. Landon doesn’t hold the U.S. record for points and assists because he can’t score and can’t dish out assists. That doesn’t change the fact that they still need to prove it.

    That’s why I think we’ll see this eleven, mentioned earlier on this board by a very astute man:


    Johnson Dempsey Donovan


    Beasley Brooks Besler Evans


    I like the versatility it leaves us for making changes. I think Cameron brings more to the table then Evans, but he’s more valuable off the bench. He can sub for Jones, either of our starting center backs, and our right back. You keep him on the bench because he subs in strongly at four different positions.

    I think Johannsson gives us that versatility on offense. He can sub on at striker, support, as an extra attacker in the 4-4-2, and I’m betting winger. Hopefully we’ll find out about winger because he’s fast and dangerous. If we qualify early I expect him to get a look at wing.

    That versatility contributes to Klinsmann’s ability to make genious tactical changes. He might be the best half time adjuster in the world futbol game right now. That’s not an accident.

    This squad leaves motivation for positions that still have an available seat on the plane to Brazil. If this doesn’t light a fire under Timothy Chandler we can forget about him until 2018.

    We’ve had some big wins under Jurgen. That win in Italy was historic. The win at Azteca was historic. We beat Germany. We beat Bosnia on the road. We won the Gold Cup. We’re on a twelve game winning streak. We sit atop the Concacaf charts comfortably.

    Now we have a chance to break our losing streak in Costa Rica.

    Give em hell U.S.A.

    We haven’t proven anything yet.

    • Spot on about the CD/LD dynamic. I’ve always thought their combo play left a lot to be desired. To the point that CD’s on field personality was so strong that it minimized LD’s time on the ball and lessened the impact he could have on the game… especially when CD was at drop forward dropping deep into the midfield and LD was out wide. I think it is less crucial now than it was in the past, since we have FJ, Jozy and Johannsson poised to step up as attackers. It will be interesting to see if the CD/LD combo play improves due to the increased competition and quality of players in camp…specifically the inclusion of Johannsson.

  10. I like the roster a lot. As far as a lineup that I’d like to see…


    This would force Bradley to play the #6 and ask FJ and Zusi to take on some significant defensive cover.

      • thats actually a pretty good lineup, but I would switch out zusi, move donovan back to zusi’s spot and put Johannson up top….or maybe that would be a second half subbing move…

      • Johannsson looked good against Bosnia, but he’s not quite unseating Zusi after one appearance. Zusi’s established himself as a key part of this team. Donovan might push him around a little, but Aron isn’t just yet.

      • Johannsson isn’t in competition with Zusi for a spot, as they play different positions. If Klinsmann wants Donovan at striker, he’ll be a striker, but if he wants him as a midfielder, he’ll be playing at RW where Zusi typically plays for the USMNT. Regardless, Zusi isn’t likely to see any time in these games, as he’s just barely started playing again after being out 3 weeks injured. Even if he were fit and in the kind of form he was in the first half of the MLS season, with Landon in HIS current form, Landon’s the better option.

      • I think IcedBacon will play if we need a goal in the second half, bringing him on for Dempsey in the 60th minute or so. Sadly for my lineup, I don’t see JJ not getting the start, although I think MB at dmid allows our 3 offensive power houses to work it out up top in their ideal positions with great service providers in Zeus and FJ.

        Keller commented on espnfc that he didn’t think Donovan will start, I think that since he helps Klinsi part time, that he has inside information that will probably prove true.

      • An American, an American, an American, and an American walk into a bar. 50 years later, we still got to do this. Also, a Texan is a state in America.

      • it’s still a state…

        California is a republic. Virginia is a Commonwealth. but they are both still states within the United States of America.

  11. I’m coming a little late to the party, but here is my lineup:


      • The team did just score 4 against B&H without Dempsey and Donovan so it shouldn’t be much of a worry. Donovan might still be the best player player on the USMNT, but he is longer the best player at every position. For me FJ and Bedoya are better wingers where Donovan is more of a withdrawn forward like he played in the Gold Cup and plays for the Galaxy.

        For me Dempsey and Donovan play the same position for us, and I doubt Donovan has done enough to jump over Dempsey. That can change, but not likely in the next 2 weeks.

      • If you look at castrol rankings JJ, MB, and CD tend to have the highest rankings in the pool. (Surprisingly, JJ was the highest American over last year’s club season.)

  12. Have we ever tried Ld and clint together up top? I dont remember a time but i think it might work as a backup plan if jozy gets a dry spell

  13. Can we please, please, please just pair Jozy & AJ up top? The rest can be sorted out as Brasìl approaches. I just hope everyone stays healthy.

    On another note….who would rather see Cameron over JJ in the destroyer role? Watching JJ make careless mistakes and errant passes so often is beginning to irritate me. However, he can also offer up moments of sheer brilliance, which was well on display this week in Champions League qualifying versus PAOK.

    • Here, here. JJ’s cons are starting to outweigh his pros, and that doesn’t even include his knack for yellow cards. I would like to see what Cameron has to offer, even on a trial basis.

      Glad to see Mix on the roster.

      • not sure the costa rica and Mexico qualifiers are the best times to be running “trials”. Has Cameron played this position more than once?

      • Cameron has played as a defensive midfielder frequently at Stoke City in the Premier League over the past season.

      • I wouldn’t mind one bit if JJ accumulated enough yellow cards for a one-match ban at this point. It would certainly open up the door for Cameron to slide in & give Evans a chance to prove something at RB. I don’t think we lose anything defensively with Cameron as the 6 either. Maybe we even keep better possession? My opinion is that Cameron is less willing to make the risky pass that JJ has a penchant for, often losing possession in the middle of the pitch. And Shalke wouldn’t mind if he sat one out either!

      • The real benefit to Cameron in place of Jones at DM is that Jones thinks he can float all over the pitch, which forces Bradley to cover for him. Cameron tends to play his position, freeing Bradley to get into the attack and create.

  14. Is it not safe to say that Klinsmann called up JAB for these qualifiers not only to introduce him to the full first team squad but also to CAP tie him to the USMNT? JAB is pretty good for his age but I think his inclusion is more about getting him cap tied ASAP.

  15. Great lineup. Only addition I would make would be Corona. Klinsy’s got a soft spot for Zusi. I like his work rate, but I don’t see him on the plane to Brazil.

    • If they lose to CRI and MEX then they have to beat JAM at home and have the game of their lives in Panama City… just how quickly your luck can change. However possible, I am not expecting that.

  16. If Klinsmann planned on using Donovan as a winger, why didn’t he use him there the entire Gold Cup? Since he doesn’t play the position really for his club wouldn’t you think Klinsmann would have wanted to give him some time there?

    • If you remember, LD started out on the wing with Joe Benny inside playing the “Clint” position. That did not work so well with Corona and when Joe B and LD switched the team really took off, so JK, sensibly left it like that..

      You make it sound like LD has forgotten how to play right wing which is ridiculous.

      • It’s just the difference in class and experience. corona is a good player, but nowhere near LD…in either position.

  17. Won’t happen, but I’d like to see it look like this:


      • Nope. Replace Zusi with EJ to partner further up with Jozy. Altidore’s game tends to suffer when on an island by himself up top.

    • Johnson’s looked so much better at wing than back that I can’t see him playing there beyond an emergency. It makes sense, and it’s hard to keep him Zusi and Donovan all on the field, but that’s the problem we have.

    • this formation will never happen. 1) jk already said in an interview that FJ does better in the wing. 2) Dempsey is not fast enough or defensive enough to the likes of JK.

  18. Zusi is done with the Nats……he should politely withdraw his name…
    Johannsson is a destroyer of defenses and must start….

  19. The front 4 has scored like 125 goals for the MNT. If things stagnate, go 4-4-2 without using a sub.


    –——Eddie Johnson—————-Dempsey—————————Donovan–


    —Fabian J.——————-Gonzo——–Besler—————-Cameron–


  20. ——————————————Altidore—————————————

    –Fabian J.———————-Dempsey—————————Donovan–


    Lando and Dempsey interchanging


      • If I remember correctly they combined against Antigua and Barbuda. They exchanged passes, Donovan drew a penalty, and Dempsey scored off the penalty.

      • You’re right. They played together for 3 games in June of 2012. I had forgotten that. Still it’s crazy that in the 38 (I think) games Klinsmann has coached for the US, Donovan and Dempsey have only been on the field together for 3 of those.

    • My money is that it won’t happen in this game.

      Dempsey will probably start but not Donovan. Bedoya will be RW starter. If we are still 0-0 at half time we will see Donovan for Bedoya and Johannsson for Dempsey. You heard it here first 🙂

  21. With so many “why Castillo?” posts on here, I have to assume that many of you never see any of his games at Tijuana. This year he mainly plays at left-mid. So as far as left-back for the Nats, he is just extra cover (3rd choice after Beasley and F. Johnson).

    As a midfielder he is extremely talented/skilled/technical on the ball. Sure he has his weaknesses such as: he is thin so he can get knocked off the ball easily, and he doesn’t have a powerful shot from distance. I’d say he is in the top 5 of all USMNT players as far as dribbling and skill on the ball, and that’s not hyperbole. I’d put him up there with the Freddy Adu’s, Juan Agudelo’s and other top juke-maestros of the USMNT world.

    As far as true-left wingers, he’s definitely top 3 for USMNT. I’d say F. Johnson and potentially a healthy/in-form Brek Shea are better. Castillo is a better left-winger than Beasley though.

  22. I wish we would stop using midfielders/wingers as fullbacks. We have a fairly deep pool of guys that are either actual fullbacks or who play that position regularly in good leagues. (And who would certainly be better than Evans.)

      • Lichaj and Spector to begin w/ 2 that are not injured and have plenty of experience and play weekly. After them, Cameron starts there in the EPL and can play several positions (as can Spector). Though he doesn’t play, Parkhurst is an actual fullback. And then there are better options at fullback in MLS. Some of the young kids should get a chance over a right middie there, like Yedlin, Morales, and some of the actual fullbacks who JK has called in previously from MLS. Chandler is superior to Evans, even in his present form. Eventually well get back Dolo I think, but we have a number of competent fullbacks w/ out having to resort to mid-level MLS players playing out of position.

      • He’s just not a fullback and he wouldn’t make the team in his real position. Nothing person, just not much quality there.

      • I have to disagree with this. He’s not playing at his club position for the exact reason you stated. That does not however mean that his play at RB merits he shouldn’t be playing, or starting for that matter. Outside Dolo, I can’t think of anyone who has played with such consistency in that position for a while. While he started as a stop gap, his consistency in positional awareness, soccer IQ, and ability to get forward and contribute is why has taken over the starting role there. If you honestly think players like Yedlin or Morales are ready to be fill in at this point, it would seem you’re focusing on potential rather than current ability. However, I do agree with you Lichaj should have at least gotten a sniff, but that should have come in the Gold Cup. It makes no sense to take Evans out with the chemistry he’s built with the team and insert him or Spector at this point.

      • my concern is Gonzo…I just don’t think he is international level. He has gotten beaten from behind, he has no lateral speed (like covering speedy attacking players who are good at dribbling one-on one). The only thing he stops are aerial balls and most CONCACAF teams play work the ball up and keep it on the ground.

  23. —————Howard——————

    Subs: Johansen for Johnson

      • I assume that’s what he wants, not what he thinks Klinsmann will do. Don’t see Cameron starting in CM either, other than that this lineup is spot on. I think Zusi has to sit. Zusi, E. Johnson and Johansson are great subs to have, and great depth.

      • I could see Cameron or even Beckerman starting against CR to remove the possibility of going into the Mexico game without MB90 and JJ due to card accumulation.

      • John: This seems to imply that winning the CR match is less important than winning the Mexico match. Is that your belief?

        If the point is to vanquish rivals then I guess that’s the right strategy, but I don’t believe that is what WCQing is all about—and I think JK feels likewise.

        If a win against Mexico is the top priority, then sure reserve your best* team, etc. for that all-important match. But if qualifying as early as possible is most important, then you play your best* team against CR—damn the consequences as they relate to Mexico. Some would point to the tried-and-true “draw on the road, win at home” hexagonal strategy, but there is every reason for the USMNT to believe they can win in Costa Rica.

        I think JK plays for a win in CR.

        * I know many will argue that Jones et al do not comprise our best team. My comments here have nothing to do with that question. “Best” means “the team the coach thinks is his best.”

      • will not happen. JK categorically denied he would do that and Besler even said he highly doubts the coach would use that strategy.

  24. I wonder if Beckerman’s inclusion means that we see Cameron Starting. I’d think if he was on the bench, another backup dmid would be redundant.

    • I think you’re reaching with this.We will only see Cameron start with Bradley in a friendly to compare with JJ and Mike.

    • Think Cameron’s most likely the starting RB for these qualifiers. However, Beckerman’s presence leads me to believe Klinsmann has concerns about Jermaine Jones’ fitness after his recent injury.

    • I’m with biff, and TomG I think you’re saying you see him starting at right back. I can definitely see Cameron there during qualifiers. It allows a lot of interchanging on the fly out there.

      • Meaning Cameron has experience playing in multiple spots. So he can slide into central midfield or over to centerback as we apply and absorb pressure.

  25. If JAB is planning on leaving after the Costa Rica game, that makes the decision to only bring 3 true CB’s more surprising.

  26. We are going to have some QUALITY players left on the bench. I see us going 4-2-3-1 still and only switching to a 4-4-2 if necessary.


    –Fabian J.———————-Dempsey—————————Donovan–




    • Why do you wanna play club left back Fabian Johnson at left mid and club left winger DaMarcus Beasley at left back? I thought only Klinsman the Tinkerer would do that.

      • I think he’s dangerous when he’s up in attack, cutting in from the left. Isn’t Evans a midfield for too for Seattle?

        I’m just trying to make my optimal lineup while also keeping what JK has done in the past. If it were up to me completely? The team would look like this….






      • As long as we’re getting weird:

        ———————Dempsey—–altidore ——————–
        F Johnson———————————————Donovan

    • I agree with the above for the most part, though I would sub in Cameron over Evans. With subs like AJ ready to come in to offer pressure, this midfield is what I hope to see next summer. Hope Chandler, Beasley / Cameron, Lichaj! and Evans all go at it for the top LB/RB spots for Brazil. JK was right and has clearly proven that competition for every spot is vital to national team success.

      • Coaches hardly will sub defenders for defenders, unless they are just not with the program.

        You may see a minute 91+ sub to kill time or to protect a lead which is a different animal. see USA vs Panama final, Gonz coming in just to clear long passes.

  27. I would sit Altidore, Bessler, Dempsey and save them for Mex.
    They are playing AWAY at Costa Rica so we will get no calls and definitely pick up a few fouls. Also, the ref is MEXICAN!!!!! So the odds of one or all of those players picking up a yellow is 100%.

    We will lose anyway might as well be full strength at Mexico.
    Don’t want Mex getting the psychological advantage of winning in Columbus

  28. JK said in the intreview on ESPN that the Costa Rica game is the most important of the year so far.He also said that “they’re professional enough no to pick up yellow cards.All that being said I think he plays the strongest lineup possible, regardless of yellow cards.

    • JK is taking the correct approach on the card business.

      You have to play your game and besides you can get a card for no good reason these days so the only way to truly avoid getting another yellow card is to not play. If you get that yellow and are out so be it, deal with it afterwards..

  29. hope we see LD and Jozy paired up top in 4 2 2 0r some hybrid of such, or maybe in a 4-3-3, after the obligatory 10-15 minutes of 4 2 3 1 🙂

    LD’s vision and touch might really unlock Jozy who loves a good partner. Not saying Clint can’t do it, but for me he’s the one to move to the midfield, perhaps out left in any of the formations or in the triangle in the 4-3-3. He’s going to have to hoof it on D wherever he’s deployed

    LD can play in all of these positions but what a chance to pair him with Jozy. I really hope we see it

    • yeah, this is gonna be great to see Landy-Cakes and Dempsey-Cakes together again at long last, with an in-shape and in-form Jozy backed by a solid group of mostly young and dynamic players. And I agree, Donovan is the straw that stirs the drink and he definitely has something to prove in these next two games, while pressure is on Clint to perform.

      • let Costa Rica eat cake baby!

        so where would you play Clint and LD? is there the chance one comes off the bench even? probably not but if Clint plays in the hole or further up, LD gets pushed to the outside with those defensive responsibilities instead of just popping up there while reading the run of play…it’s different as you know

        LD and Jozy seems like the partnership to develop going forward, but I have faith in Clint there too. we’ll see

      • With FJ as the left wing providing defensive discipline and a stay at home right back. Put either Landon or Clint at RM, the other one in the hole and Jozy up top, and just let the attacking 3 go wherever they want.

      • I like it. Clint in the hole is different than LD; Clint sort of stays in there whereas LD roams the entire field. still prefer 2 outright strikers pushing the seams up top, creating space for others underbneath

      • Yeah, Klinsmann is gonna have some tough decisions. But I think there no getting around the fact that if Donovan and Clint are on the field at the same time, then Donovan would be the preferred winger over Clint. But even as a winger, you just know Donovan will be visiting the box often with shots on target.

      • When’s the last time Donovan really played as a winger? The last 2 times he played on the wing for the national team I can think of he was either pulled at half or moved to underneath the striker.

      • It’s a good question. I have no idea how everyone is so certain LD will be on the wing. JK started him in exactly that spot in the pre-GC Guatemala game and he switched with Corona 20 minutes in. In my opinion the ideal formation to suit their talents is the 4-4-2 diamond with LD at the top of the diamond and Jozy and Clint as forwards. I don’t think it provides enough defensive cover though. I’m curious to see what happens on the 6th.

      • for LA and USMNT Lando has been a striker/second striker for some time now. he still would be our best RW/RM too but i would keep him up top.

    • Jozy just scored in five games in a row for the US,something no one has ever done, without LD in the lineup.

      LD is a wonderful asset but Jozy, and the US have shown they can live and can achieve record breaking scores without LD to help.

  30. Big question is will JK take the yellow cards into consideration.Does he sit some starters because they’re o. yellows? Maybe he goes all out to win the game in Costa Rica considering we only need 1 point after that to qualify?Questions questions…

    • sounds like he isnt going to sit anyone because of yellows.. I really hope we are not facing Mexico w/o Dempsey, Altidore or Bradley! we all know how things can get out of hand in Central America and a yellow card can come out of nowhere..risky move.

      personally i wouldn’t run the risk of Jones playing at all in CRC. Beckerman and Cameron can certainly pair with Bradley to do the dirty work and leave him to the attacking. as for Dempsey, Howard, FJ, Besler and Jozy, they have to play and just have to be on their best behavior..

    • I’m not really sure about the technicalities, Kapper, how the whole roster thing works. But I think Klinsmann has to fill out a list with the names of the 23 players for the roster and then send it in to Concacaf officials. I assume that this time Klinsmann typed in Beckerman’s name on the list but did not type in Kljestan’s name. But that is pure speculation on my part. I could be wrong.

      • Totally agree…Sacha is good but he doesn’t give the team anything..He’s had many many opportunities to solidify himself with the national team all the way back to Bradley’s days and we haven’t seen anything from him thats made me believe he can impact games…i agree Mike, everytime he plays, 95% of his passes are back or to the side..just a plain keep possession midfielder..

      • Beckerman at least has an identity to his game and did well in the gold cup. Sacha needs to hit the freaking gym if he wnts to play in midifield and boss ppl around, get over your scrawny emo look, put some muscle on you and play the ball forward!

      • Sure Beckerman looked fine against Cuba and some Concacaf B teams but when against any real competition Beckerman plays it back more then anyone.

  31. _____________Jozy___________johansson

    Jozy does not play well up top alone. Pair him with someone he has played with before, fellow teammate Johannson for AZ.

    Dempsey on the Left is a bit off, but he has played here before. Donovan on the other wing, or bring him up top and play johannson on the wing..goodness either way.
    Bradley and Jones are both good box-to-box mids, but Bradley has this great passing thing going and links up well with the forwards and wingers. Jones is hard-nose hard-working defensive and enforcer mid, but can be reckless.

    Has anyone played better than Beasley on the left back position. I would say no, BUT Castillo was pretty respectable against a talented BH team. Gonzo and Beiler, why break up a combo that is GOOD! Brooks on as a sub to cap him. Fabian Johnson and his runs up the wings and his absolutely spot-on crossing is really needed.

    I picked Howard, just because he is the man for so long. Guzan is nipping on his heels though,

    • Like the idea of Dempsey and Donovan on the wings… like the old days with Bob. Only downside is Dempsey doesn’t like to track back to help on D while Donovan usually will.

      Johnson would never play RB. Beasley would sit for him.

      And of course Altidore+Johansson= tons of goals!

  32. Surprised to see Goodson off of the lineup. After the Gold Cup everybody seemed to view him as the flavor of the month. Has he been in poor form or injured? Has Orozco been tearing up the league? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Some posters preferred Goodson over Gonzo.I guess the addition of Brooks and his potential have left Goodson the odd man out.

    • I would think it’s just a adgjustment period for his club combined with the desire to tie Brooks before he changes his mind

    • Lichaj gets munson’ed yet again.If he wasn’t called up for a friendly in Europe the odds that he gets called up to this camp were even less.Nevertheless; munson’ed

      • Lichaj has… Oh yeah doesn’t matter. JK makes his expectations clear and a player can meet and surpass them. But he better start making novenas cause at the end of the day the coach that loves to project an aura of objectivity is just as subjective as the next. When Evans get fried or Cameron makes a bunker by the corner flag the wailing and gnashing of teeth will start.

  33. ——————Jozy——————

    I think Cameron can give a little more defensive cover to allow Johnson to press forward on the other side. Donovan is best used in the middle. He has most creative vision on the team and can bring everyone else into the match. Dempsey will still find his shot and have space to get on the end service from Zusi and Donovan.

    • Would like to see bedoya in for zusi, that game against psg was solid. And switch dempsey and Donavan, dempsey is better suited in the center and Donovan on the wing using his speed.

      • Dempsey too often looking for someone to create something for him while Donovan looks to create for others. The last 2 times I can recall Donovan on the wing for the national team he was pretty much invisible and either was pulled or changed positions by halftime.

    • I don’t think you’re going to see this unless calling Beasley and Castillo and listing FJ as a midfielder are diversionary tactics.


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