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

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After a month of July that saw the U.S. Men’s National Team impressively dominate the field at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the competition for places on the U.S. World Cup team is only getting stronger.

The impressive showings by players such as Joe Corona, Alejandro Bedoya, Clarence Goodson, Kyle Beckerman and Mix Diskerud have shaken up the USMNT depth chart, while the recent developments surrounding Aron Johannsson and John Anthony Brooks has them looking like potential challengers for World Cup places.

In case you are wondering why this is our July projection, we had to push it back with the Gold Cup and MLS All-Star Week overlapping, so you can consider this the July Edition, with an August edition set to drop in the last week of the new month.

Here is our latest projection for the USMNT World Cup roster, and the 23 players who missed the cut to make up the USMNT World Cup B team. We also include a 23-player roster of young American prospects who just might yield a surprising option for the 2014 World Cup squad:


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

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

Outlook– This trio stays the same from last month, with Nick Rimando having a firmer hold on the No. 3 spot, and with Sean Johnson looking like the clear-cut No. 4.

Missed the cut– Johnson, Bill  Hamid, Tally Hall

Youngsters to Watch– Cody Cropper, Zac MacMath


DEFENDERS– Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, Steve Cherundolo, Michael Parkhurst.

Outlook– One change to this group sees Michael Parkhurst replace Chandler. We know Chandler is the more talented player, but concerns about his commitment to the United States persist and Parkhurst’s solid showing at the Gold Cup makes him a clear-cut option.

Cherundolo’s inclusion might surprise some, but by all indications, Klinsmann plans on giving him every chance to be on the World Cup team. If Cherundolo is healthy next May, he will be on the squad.

Some players who could be making noise to push into this list in the coming months include John Anthony Brooks, who is looking like a more likely option to play for the U.S. rather than Germany.

Missed the cut– Timmy Chandler, Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco, Brad Evans, John Anthony Brooks, Oguchi Onyewu, Corey Ashe, Eric Lichaj.

Youngster to watch: DeAndre Yedlin, Shane O’Neill, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Andrew Farrell, Greg Garza.


MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones,  Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan, Joe Corona, Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud.

Outlook– Some serious shake-up with this group after the torn ACL suffered by Stuart Holden, and injury layoff by Maurice Edu. Bedoya did very well to boost his stock as another good wing option, though his club situation will tell the tale on whether he holds on to this spot.

In central midfield, Beckerman and Diskerud stand to benefit from the summer injury maladies of players like Holden, Edu and Danny Williams, though there is still time for Edu and Williams to fight for their places in the group.

Brek Shea avoided a major knee injury last Tuesday after a horror challenge took him out, but even without the injury he stays off the list until he establishes himself with some regular playing time at Stoke City.

Sacha Kljestan is a player who figures to mount a serious challenge to these spots, and will put Diskerud and Bedoya to the test.

Missed the cut– Sacha Kljestan, Maurice Edu, Danny Williams, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden.

Youngsters to watch: Luis Gil, Jose Villarreal, Sebastian Lletget, Joe Gyau, Paul Arriola.


FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd

Outlook– All four forwards listed here were in the June projection, but we move Johnson to this list and drop Gomez out for now. It isn’t a serious injury that sidelined Gomez, but he did miss out on the past two months of game and lost ground in the process. He has battled back before, but for now we see this quartet going.

Terrence Boyd is an interesting case. He didn’t feature in the June qualifiers, and was left out of the Gold Cup squad to focus on his pending club season. He stays on our projection because he has the qualities to keep improving and shining in the Austrian League, and he offers a physical presence up top that no one short of Altidore really does.

Missed the cut– Herculez Gomez, Chris Wondolowski, Aron Johannsson, Juan Agudelo, Jack McInerney.

Youngsters to watch– Julian Green, Alonso Hernandez, Gyasi Zardes, Mario Rodriguez, Daniel Cuevas, Bobby Wood.



GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS– Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, Steve Cherundolo, Michael Parkhurst.

MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones,  Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan, Joe Corona, Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud.

FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd

USMNT WORLD CUP B TEAM (July 2013 Edition)

GOALKEEPERS– Johnson, Bill  Hamid, Tally Hall.

DEFENDERS– Timmy Chandler, Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco, Brad Evans, John Anthony Brooks, Oguchi Onyewu, Corey Ashe.

MIDFIELDERS– Sacha Kljestan, Maurice Edu, Danny Williams, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden.

FORWARD– Herculez Gomez, Chris Wondolowski, Aron Johannsson, Juan Agudelo, Jack McInerney.


GOALKEEES– Cody Cropper, Zac MacMath

DEFENDERS- Amobi Okugo, DeAndre Yedlin, Shane O’Neill, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Andrew Farrell, Greg Garza, Ethan White.

MIDFIELDERS- Luis Gil, Jose Villarreal, Sebastian Lletget, Joe Gyau, Paul Arriola, Perry Kitchen, Kelyn Rowe, Dillon Powers

FORWARDS– Bobby Wood, Julian Green, Alonso Hernandez, Gyasi Zardes, Mario Rodriguez, Daniel Cuevas

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. Anyone putting Boyd over EJ for this WC is nuts. He is not perfect but he is playing the best ball of his career. That play against Honduras alone illustrates the quality he brings. How many of our other forwards would have been able to pull off that play?

  2. BTW… Diskerud takes on the number one player in the world.

    In chess…

    Youtube – Mikkel “Mix” Diskerud vs GM Magnus Carlsen

    Carlsen only uses 28 seconds of his minute.

  3. I really enjoyed watching everybody do well in the GC, but the truth is the WC is at least 2-3 levels above the competition that we played against in the GC. Concacaf qualies would be one level up, then the next level would be playing top 20 ranked teams away…and up from that would be the WC, where we would see a seeded team and probably 1-2 top 20 teams playing for blood, for nation pride. It is impossible to duplicate the level of intensity that the WC brings. So some of the guys that looked pretty good at the GC might not be able to even function against WC competition.

    Too many questions marks all over the field, but my gut says the forwards will be Jozy, Johannsson, Deuce and Boyd…with LD available to slot in if needed

    • You are right. Clearly the speed of play was not there in the GC. Some games were better than others, but even Honduras who took it upon themselves to try to close the US down as quickly and as hard as they could were not all that quick at applying pressure. Every US player had time for 2 touches and only Torres who insisted on 3 or 5 was actually getting pounded. Many players who look great with a bit of time look pretty pedestrian when the opponents do not allow that time.

    • Agree. Only a fantastic run at the GC (see Donovan, L.) can be seen as a real predictor of success at a higher level. Conversely, struggling or middling performances at the GC do not bode well. Not saying that you can’t make the leap from GC to WC level, but looking just pretty good at the WC (see Wondo, Torres) can’t be over-interpreted as some sort of transformation.

    • Also have to take into account the style of play we were facing. Everyone was lining up defensively and playing for the counter. Needless to say I don’t think we will be pinning back the majority of WC quality teams the way we did in the Gold Cup. Those games allowed players to step up and show they deserved a look with the A team, but not much else. Their play over the next 10 months will determine their fate. Not the 2013 Gold Cup.

    • My sentiments exactly. Everyone just tuning into the USMNT today who cannot remember (or never watched) the US in World Cups 1994-2010 needs to calm down about some of the players who the talking heads want to book for Brasil already, based on their fricking Gold Cup performance!

      I said it before and I will say it again, the only true measure of a player’s ability in a World Cup is his performance in a previous WC.

      Now before you all go and say, “Euro players play in Euro and top players who play well in Champions League Finals… blah blah blah…” no… Anyone who pays attention to this sport has seen MANY a top player (Ballon d’Or winners, CL Champions, et al) never fully play up to his potential when it matters most in the WC. Don’t believe me? How many WC Finals Championship games have Messi and CR7 played in? Does anyone remember 2002?Argentina (a favorite to win the tournament) France (previous champions + Zidane) Portugal (the ‘golden generation’ in their prime) all eliminated in the GROUP STAGE! Italy lost to the South Koreans in the round of 16!

      There is no other adequate measurement, it is just another level altogether. This isn’t the NBA.

  4. I normally agree with you ives, but diskerud is terrible. One descent game againt terrible competition is poor reasoning to move him up to a team. Brek shea has more potential againt good teams. ACTUALLY watch him play the whole game and you will see he is flat footed, ball watching, sloppy on tackles, and slow.

      • Well, I have an A Coaching License, several European Coaching Licenses and played for over 28 years. Id say I know football pretty well. Unlike most people who watch a game, I evaluate players while watching games. Diskerud is terrible compared to most international players. Mark my words, he will contribute to goals for the other team if he plays against quality competition. He is not physical enough, nor is he good enough. Remember, even bad players can score a goal, especially when you play such poor competition.

      • lol, this guy sounds like an amalgam of all the worst coaches i had.

        ‘Unlike most people who watch a game, I evaluate players while watching games.’

        what a prick.

      • I gave my opinion. Thats not being a prick. Not giving a reason why I am wrong is just poor on your part. Calling me a prick on a website…well thats just pathetic.

      • Whatever crackerjack sporting bodies granted you anything with the words “coaching” and “license” printed together should have their credentials revoked on principle.

  5. As mentioned earlier, it is true that our ability to dictate games will be situational. However, there are players that will remain in the XI regardless of what team comes to us. For me, Howard, FJ, Besler, Bradley, Jones, Donovan, Dempsey, and Altidore all start the first group stage game in Brasil and our last game there as well. Omar is interesting, because we’ve noticed his tendency to piss the ball away at least two times a game, thereby leading to a dangerous counter attack. That should not cut it for JK; however, if in the next several games he proves to all of us that that part of his game has toned down (by a fair margin) I think he’ll be the locked partner beside Besler. Beasley at LB is fun to watch, and I really really hope that continues to be a part of the plan for Klinsmann. To end this off nicely, I will politely smash into every reader’s cerebral a warning that Boyd will undoubtedly make this roster. Eddie Johnson will fall off the radar, and a Jozy-Boyd partnership will soon arise.

    • Disagree wholeheartedly. EJ will make the final 23, save for an injury or a precipitous drop in form for Seattle. I cannot say the same for Boyd. EJ has spent the last two months cementing a spot, Boyd is still very much on the bubble, especially with Johannsson making the striker race even more interesting.

      Furthermore, I do not see EJ and Boyd competing directly. JK has shown a confidence in playing EJ out wide (for good reason, as the Grown Ass Man has rewarded his faith more than once there.) This versatility has only furthered EJ’s case and Boyd does not offer the same versatility.

      If Boyd is taking anyone’s spot it will be Herc Gomez or edging out Johannsson (I will see your cerebral smash and raise you one: Aron Johannsson will likely make this roster.)

  6. I like Evans ability to read the game and would pick him over Parkhurst. Other than that: There any number of defenders who are a couple mistakes from being off the list and the new additions at midfield are tenuous at best and continued improvement is required for any of them to stick.

  7. What’s crazy about this mix of players is the flexibility of roles. We have 6 players on Ives’s roster up there who have been deployed successfully at more than one position for the Nats: Beasley (LB,LM), FJ (LB,LM), Cameron (CDM, CB), Dempsey (F, CAM, RM, LM), Donovan (RM, F, CAM), and EJ (LM,F).

    What this means is that if anyone on the roster is injured, the hole can effectively be filled by JK’s next favorite player regardless of position. For example, say Altidore gets hurt, but JK wants to bring JAB- Donovan’s listed as forward, Cameron’s listed midfield now, and poof you get your wish. It makes the pool really interesting I think.

    • I agree. There are many different ways Klinsmann can make up his 23. So many versatile players will allow us to bring an interesting group.

  8. The only changes i would make is replacing either corona or bedoya with torres, and then having comez instead of boyd, for now

  9. Klinsmann is almost going to have to include players like Johannsson and Brooks. If they show good form and he leaves them off, what do you think that will do to prospects to recruit talented bi-nationals in the future?

    • That is not JK’s concern. His concern is getting the US as far as possible in the next W.C. In any case, encouraging bi-nationals to join the US is not a long term growth plan for US soccer, no matter how we make nice to good players are welcomed.

    • Bradley didn’t include Castillo and Jones last time. Didn’t hurt this cycle’s recruiting.

      I think what helps is JK plus getting results. Bandwagonning.

      Now if the team stunk and he wasn’t actually playing switches, you’d think twice.

  10. Lets face it….the US is not one of the top teams in the world right now so we are not likely to dictate the style of play against every team we could potentially face in a WC. Therefore, one of the most important things that JK and his staff will have to do (after qualification) is break down our group opponents and potential knockout round opponents. Analyze what each opponent’s strenght and weaknesses are, and then devise a strategy to put the US in a position to defeat them. This process will bein in December once WC groups are drawn.

    The Coaches task then becomes choosing players from the pool who can exicute the desired game plan.
    Against some teams…the physical presense and/or speed of players like Boyd, Edu, Lichaj, Chandler, & Gonzalez will outweigh the technical abilities of players like Johannsson, Torres, Corona, Castillo, Beasley, Orozco, Goodson, Mix, etc… Other opponents it will be the opposite.
    The make-up of the Squad (the more fringe players) will really depend more on who our opposition is in some cases than who may be the best player. This was something that BB either forgot to do, or didn’t have the depth to do in 2010….Example: when he started Torres against Slovenia rather Edu. Outcome….Torres was manhandled in the 1st half, and the US was put in a hole.
    With the depth and variation of players we’ve seen over the last 18 months (and will hopefully refine over the next 10) will give JK and his staff ample opportunity to select a range of players to better enable him to select 14 for each game that gives us the best chance of winning.

  11. I am still not excited about Eddie Johnson. Sometimes he does well, and sometimes he folds up. I still like Chris Wondolowski in there. Seeing today’s Audi Cup winnings team, I am wondering how our National team is going to compete against the best of the best.

    • EJ is a maddening player who can be incredibly sloppy but he has an ability to poach goals against decent teams which makes him relevant. I’d like to see better soccer players squeeze him out but Boyd didn’t play Gold Cup, etc. So he hangs on.

    • You dislike EJ because sometimes he plays well and sometimes he folds up but then you propose Wondo? The just doesn’t add up. EJ has been a very valuable player for us in the last 9 months and I think he will continue to be so. 1st attacking option off the bench IMO.

  12. Don’t get me wrong. I know that Josh Gatt is injured and I hope that he has a full recovery, but it wasn’t hard to see it coming that he would eventually become “out of sight – out of mind”. Josh is a very fast guy who took advantage of his role player status for a hot club in a decent league, but he is not a well rounded player and that was always going to be exposed at the international level anyway. Hopefully he can get healthy and have a long, solid career, but it is nice that people are no longer heaping out of touch with reality expectations on him.

      • Do you consider watching a youtube highlight to be “watching him play”? We go through this hype with so many young players and it doesn’t help their careers when people eventually realize that they aren’t the second coming. Let’s let the poor kid develop in peace. The best progress that he has made in his career has been when he has gone off the radar and just focused on getting better. I say that we let him.

  13. Altidore-Dempsey


    • agreed, 100%… it is curious how far Spector has fallen off the radar as of late. Has Klinsmann ever called him up?

      I mean it is not as if he is wasting away not getting PT in some Scandinavian 2nd Tier league…

  14. I’d like to see Sarkodie, and Yedlin start to be given small roles at RB in the near future. Both are good attacking fullbacks.

    • Sarkodie is a no-mark hustle player like Ashe except he can hit a cross. He has interesting speed and crossing ability which will only be useful to a senior side if he can effectively mark someone.

  15. Still think Agudelo beats out Boyd. The Austrian league is so bad that i take anything from that league with a grain of salt

  16. Picking Beckerman over Kljestan is a hard one for me. Beckerman played well in the Gold Cup but I don’t know if you can say Kljestan wouldn’t have done just as well. I’d like to see Kljestan get one chance playing beside Bradley in a friendly .

    • I think the choice was Beckerman over Edu at this point and Mix over Kljestan. They are competing for different roles in the team. I agree I’d like to see Kljestan with Bradley.

      • True but you also, already have Cameron in the team who can also play the Beckerman Edu role. I don’t know so many different things can play out in a year.

      • Cameron could potentially be tied up playing in the back line though. There will be a number of ways Klinsmann can make up his roster. Like you said, so many different things can and will change by May.

    • Gatt and Holden sustained injuries which will have them sidelined for the next 9 months. That leaves them too little time to round into the form they’d need to break into the 23.

  17. Question for the SBIers… I never myself played CB in a 3-back set, but occasionally dabble with it in FIFA.. is it ridiculous to think that we might have the athleticism to use it ourselves with the USMNT? I don’t really trust Gonzo or GeoCamo to not have at least one horrendous mistake while playing CB, but with the possession game it seems we’re proving we can play with and the hard back-tracking efforts Jones and Bradley have shown they can make, is that too far out of the question?

    Juve and Italy backlines (same thing?) seem to use this to great effect – using the man, Pirlo, to control possession and hard work on the wings to provide width. I would put the line up as below if I were to try it out:


      • I think it would be much more likely to move to a 4-3-3 with donavan and dempsey part of the trio up top and GC, JJ, and MB in midfield.

      • 4-2-3-1.. Same idea. I’d like to see it tried.
        Your line-up would expose the wings too much. You’d basically be conceding them and getting stretched.. unless you dropped them back to wing backs and ur MF were true box to box.. For that you’d have to have the personnel.

    • Three in the back? The only way to pull it off is if you have smart fast defenders that read the game at a high level and communicate and cover for each very well…basically three sweeper quality defenders…and you need a tireless vicious Dmid…and two flank mids with freakish workrates that will continually get up and back all game long. Omar in the middle of a three man back line would not be the best way to go…he’s a quiet player on the field…he heads the ball out and the other CB sets the line and communicates…Besler for the nats, AJ now and before him it was Berhalter calling the shots with LA

      • Actually, I think the US used a 3-5-2 vs Mexico and Germany in the 2002 WC to pretty good effect. I think against Germany, it was Reyna and Hejyuk at outside mids, but the formation often looked a lot more like a 5-4-1 in actual play with the outside mids dropping back a lot and one of the forwards helping out defensively. The US had 58% of the possession vs Germany, so it was not all about defending, but about bossing the midfield. Berhalter, Sanneh and Pope were the three backs.

    • I played 3 backs in club and college and every single one has to be pretty mobile. Like FJ type players. Even Beasley with the speed would be questionable because people in a 3 back line can’t be physically soft.

      I think we have 4 back personnel, central oafs and a mix of small wings and some guys who are either technical or a little bigger. To play 3 you really need like Boca/Balboa/Pope types. The wings need to be physical, able to win air balls, speedy, and also good defensively, the central guy needs sweeper speed, CB physical presence, and composure.

      Personally I think we don’t have the personnel and are doing fine going forward with the wing mids and wing backs combining.

  18. Glad you gave Andrew Farrell some love. With all of the hype around Yedlin, he has been overlooked a little bit. He is a freak of nature!

    • Farrell’s a sleeper, I hope he is brought in to the January camp. I saw him play in SJ and his overall game is further along than Yedlin. I also saw Yedlin play and he is very good going forward, almost to the point where you could play him at mid as a flank attacker… but he is noticeably behind on the defensive side of the ball, especially the high stuff.

  19. What…no Gatt?! Went from Gold Cup squad (and bounced due to injury) to not even an honorable mention!? 😀

    I think John Anthony Brooks will go, Parkhurst has some work to do…I could see him or one of the last MF additions being left off given the versatility of other players (i.e. Cameron). This USMNT team needs all the competition it can muster in terms of finding that right central defense magical pairing so have Omar, Clarence, & JA on the team would not be surprising to me at all.

    • Gatt like Boyd is in a tough spot because he’s a peripheral player who was trying to establish his bona fides who got hurt right before the tournament that might have been his springboard. So you have some of those wildly uneven performances like Russia where it’s like Yes No Yes No. I think his speed will earn him another chance if/when he heals up but he’s going to have a small window and either keep himself in play or be Next Cycle.

      FWIW, he did hurt his knee so there are elements of Holden wishfulness in wanting him in the list. Until he’s rehabbed you can really just cross him off. He earns his way back in.

  20. I understand your inclusions of Parkhurst, Goodson, Beckerman and Bedoya at this point based on their Gold Cup form… but it has to be said, if the likes of these guys (or the Jose Torres’s or Edgar Castillo’s of the world) are representing us in Brazil (even if only from the sidelines) we should be worried. Let’s hope Chandler comes around, that perhaps someone like John Anthony Brooks or Aron Johannsson appear for the US and impress, that Stuart Holden makes a full recovery, Brek Shea sees meaningful minutes at Stoke, that Carlos Bocanegra turns his career around in MLS, and that Danny Williams and Maurice Edu get healthy and back to contributing to the MNT. All that said, one thing I would like to see in addition to some of these outcomes is some younger players really standing out and shining, making a case for inclusion. Guys like Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Juan Agudelo, Terrence Boyd should have a good chance to make a case for Brazil in friendlies like next week in Bosnia and it is important that they have a good showing.

    As everyone knows, injuries and current form dictate who makes it on that plane to Brazil, but out of that entire afforementioned group of B-teamers (I’ll even include Herculez Gomez and Chris Wondolowski here) the only one I wouldn’t see as a liability in Brazil would be Kyle Beckerman. I still don’t think he SHOULD be on the plane, but he is the only one I won’t cringe at if his name is called.

    For me it is a question of current form against CONCACAF opponents clouding our judgement of a players UPSIDE, or more importantly the lack thereof. For when we arrive in Brazil and the games start, regardless of who we are drawn with, a players UPSIDE will matter tremendously, as it never has (outside of previous WC Finals) before. In preparation for this reality, obviously we can’t play an in-form A-squad Germany AWAY every month (or even once a YEAR) to truly assess how these guys will fair against real WC calibre opponents. For a true test of WC calibre opposition, I believe one can only measure a player by his performance in a previous WC. With nearly all of these cringe-inducing B-Teamers with a chance of getting on the plane to Brazil: (Wondolowski, Gomez, Torres, Beckerman, Bedoya, Parkhurst, Castillo, Goodson) although we may not have film of all of their previous WC exploits (only Goodson, Gomez and Torres were on the squad in 2010 and thus have ‘WC experience’ per se) we have seen all of them in the US kit over a long enough timeline to know what they are capable of at peak form and to know painfully well what they CANNOT do.

    Scoring only 1 goal in WC 2006 always resurfaces in my mind and that nagging feeling I had (even when we fielded our “best XI” at the time) that there was just precious few athletes on the pitch that could elevate their play high enough to compete at the level required. The World Cup Final can be a bitter reality when it is upon us and when that feeling arrives that “the cupboard is bare”… boy will it rattle you down to the core. (Please take note, I am not trying to say that the boys did not absolutely earn that 1-1 draw with the eventual team that would draw the WC Final, Italy, or that we did not muster a defensible effort at that tournament–only that my perception was that we were an even better soccer nation at that point in time then our MNT’s effort at that World Cup suggested–and I firmly believe that statement was never made because certain HIGHER CEILING players were left home or under-utilized on the bench in favor of stalwarts or “in-form” players that never had the potential to make an impact in a WC group match vs. the likes of the Czech’s, Italy or Ghana.)

    I guess one of my main points here is that a player’s youth, inexperience at the major international level, or perceived RAW-ness, should not wholly influence Jurgen’s selections when it comes to filling those last roster spots for Brazil. He needs to take one or two chances, and it needs to be with some players that have the highest upside. A good example of this would be Mesut Ozil at the 2010 World Cup. Before the tournament he was a player who had only debuted for the senior German squad the year before. He had enjoyed moderate success with Werder Bremen over the past two seasons, helping them to near the top of the table of the Bundesliga and scoring ~ 13 goals, even helping them to the final of the UEFA cup one year. Not exactly a household name outside of Germany or Europe. Then comes World Cup 2010. He blazes out of the gate, becomes the talk of the tournament and is on the shortlist for the Golden Ball. The next season he is the prize of Real Madrid and has been playing top football ever since.

    One needs to look no further then our own national team for similar examples (albeit examples with a slightly less prestigious outcome of course!) Clint Dempsey in 2006 is a great example. IIRC Dempsey played little part in the actual qualifying for WC 2006, (I remember seeing him in person at Soldier Field in May 2005 for his first international goal vs England) but came on strong afterwards. At the WC Final, Dempsey was frequently one of the few players we fielded that looked able to elevate his game to the necessary level in order to make a difference, and Deuce would eventually bag the only tally the Americans would make at that tournament (the Italy own-goal notwithstanding.)

    Or look no further than the impact DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan had at WC 2002. Although these two had both contributed more than Dempsey to the US qualifying run, they were both merely 20 and by inexperience and youth alone could have been kept watching from the sidelines by Bruce Arena when the group games begun against world power Portugal. Beasley played the full 90 that match and Donovan started and was only subbed out by Arena in the 75th minute after the US was ahead 3-2.

    In a nutshell. Lets not waste roster spots on the likes of Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst and Kyle Beckerman. This is not 2006 or 2010, or even 2002. Journalists and fans alike have been buzzing more and more about the “depth” the wealth of options at Jurgen’s disposal all of a sudden. I believe this is true to an extent but it is a trap. We do have more depth than previous cycles based on a standard of player ability set by those previous WC teams. But the standard has been raised, so to speak. Watching the first team USMNT over the course of the first few games of this win streak, one thing sticks out like a sore thumb. Our ability to create, to retain possession and the sophistication in attack are one better the years past. We have a handful of some of the top players to ever wear the US kit in that first team and they are capable of playing a brand of attractive, attacking football the likes of which US fans and journalists have never seen a US team play. The difference this year is that our first team is better than the first teams of years past, so the standard is higher and I believe this allows Jurgen–as it allowed Arena in 2002–the maneuverability to take a few chances. Count me as one fan who hopes he does.

    • Amen re Parkhurst, Goodson, Castillo, and Torres. The first three defenders have shown themselves repeatedly vulnerable and if anyone’s paying attention that should be all she wrote.

      However, I think Beckerman has value as a substitute stopper, and Bedoya should still be in the attacking mix. I know Gold Cup games come stamped with Consider The Source but if Beckerman looks better than Williams or Edu have, or Bedoya looks like he can work well with people like Landon who will make the team, that matters.

    • If you actually knew the game you wouldn’t have so much time to write all of this dribble but fortunately I didn’t waste much time trying to make sense of it. Ive’s list is correct so let’s move along.

      • LOL, if you actually knew English you wouldn’t have confused drivel with the act of moving a ball by repeated touches. Unfortunately (for us) you didn’t waste too much time trying to make sense of all that mind-boggling stuff they tried to teach in you school. Thanks for the laughs.

        And in response to your other points, not everyone types 12 words per minute with their index fingers, writing complete paragraphs doesn’t always entail hours of head scratching and gratuitous use of the backspace as it just may in your case.

        Moreover, I was not disagreeing with the veracity of Ive’s list; on the contrary, I admired it’s thoroughness. I was merely adding my two (thousand word) cents, which according to your ADHD-hindered appraisal was so much time waste you couldn’t be bothered. I care not.

    • I think a summary of what you are saying is that in order to make a break at a WC you need some x-factor. You need one or more who can hit that higher gear. I think brek Shea might be an example.. Chandler in those early glimpses we saw in the friendlies.

      I agree with most of what you said and I think it’s worth the critical thinking read.

      For me saying it a different way it goes to speed of play. Beckerman played well in the GC and earned more looks but his biggest knock continues to be speed and speed of play. Did you see the different times his pocket was picked because he was standing on the ball? Against world class MF he runs around like a chicken playing catch up and too slow to get rid of the ball. We’ve seen it. So to your point don’t bring him. I disagree with Bedoya because I think his hustle is a commodity. It wears down defenses to play against that..

      One last thing re 2006.. Remember it was Koller who beat up on the US then injured himself out the tournement. only the US felt his presence. And Ghana scored on a Reyna give away probably past his sell date playing RB. Switch it up a little and 06 goes a little different. Lastly in the Italy game I kept hoping for a late Johnson sub to get behind the tiring defense. yea yea Johnson in 06 but his element of speed was a go big option I thought coulda worked.

      • Thanks for the sentiment, I didn’t mean to write another article altogether with that post, LOL, just got going and apparently there’s no word limit so now I’m breaking Brain Guys iPhone.

        Glad you mentioned Eddie Johnson in 2006 because that is precisely one of the cases I had in mind while I was writing the above post. Johnson was on a tear that cycle and had Arena used him more effectively it was clear to me he could have helped the US more in attack, as he looked dangerous often when he did see the field. Should be said Dempsey didn’t see the field against the Czechs and that was maddening for me as well at the time. Not saying it would have changed the outcome but these are examples of the kind of tentativeness with younger unproven talents that have the technical ability (i.e. a higher ceiling) to play up to the opponents when the stakes are raised as they are in these games.

        Lastly, I do remember that game against the Czech’s all too well. Koller did score that 1st goal and it really stunned us, we had no answer for him. But to me, it was Tomas Rosicky (and not just his two fantastic goals) that terrorized the US that day. Even Bruce Arena has said we likely would have lost to the Czech’s 8 times in 10. They were a stacked team with many great players in their prime (and Nedved coming out of intl. retirement to wax us) and we were not ready for them. They are a perfect example of the type of team we will likely face in 2014 and that is the fear.

    • I agree with what the message but you propose no solutions. Who are the high ceiling guys we can bring in their places? Those are few and far between in the US player pool. There is also something to said about consistency and trust from the manager. How many players can Klinsmann bring along that he doesn’t fully trust? I’m not the biggest fan of Bedoya, Parkhurst, Goodson ect but they have done the job that was asked of them when they got their opportunity. Contrary to Gonzalez who, for all his talent, committed a myriad of mistakes. There is a balance to be had in this regard.

      • Yes, you are right… Trust is very important, indeed. But we are not talking about the starting 11 or even the rotation 16 here. We are talking the last 4-5 roster spots. JK doesn’t need to trust these guys to go the full 90 in three straight group matches, he needs 3-5 guys he trusts enough, but that offer that next level… Shea is good example, especially if we are considering JK’s own words with regard to him. He is an unknown commodity at this level still and he is unpredictable. JK has said even Brek doesn’t know what he is going to do. It could be argued JK has less “trust” in Brek than other midfielders in the pool. But I think he is on the plane to Brasil because JK recognizes his x-factor may make the difference for the US at times.

        I am not advocating booking someone like Johannsson or John Anthony Brooks without even a look at them on the pitch for the Yanks!

        The Wondo’s, Goodson’s, Gomez’s and Jose Torres’s frighten me. They are the Ching, Albright, Conrad, Bornstein’s of this cycle and I would like to see JK look to some other players who may be raw but have more upside.

        Instead of Wondo/Gomez: Johannsson, Agudelo or Boyd
        Instead of Torres: Diskerud, Shea, Corona, Klejsten, even Adu
        Instead of Goodson: John Anthony Brooks, Amobi Okugo
        Instead of Parkhurst: Timmy Chandler, Deandre Yedlin

        What I am also saying is that besides taking chances on guys that are unproven but have tremendous upside, I would also take chances on a few guys that are vets but who have dipped in recent years, based on their proven ability to play at the WC level.

        Steve Cherundolo, Maurice Edu, Danny Williams, Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra, Benny Feilhaber (WTF happened to Benny for the USMNT?) Even Oguchi Onyewu if it meant no Goodson.

        I would even take Bedoya (who I previously singled out) over Torres. I would take ADU over Torres. Okay now I am getting crazy, but the point is there is precious room for error here, and there are guys who have upside (whether it be untested at the highest level yet, or in the past) and there are guys who do not have said upside and WILL NOT help us in any possible scenario in Brazil. Torres, Goodson, Parkhurst, Wondo, Gomez and Beckerman unfortunately are no-upside guys for me.

    • He pairs well with Besler, has some offense to his game including scoring goals on set pieces, and is pretty solid defensively. I would put Gonzalez behind him on the pecking order too.

    • I’ve never been much of a fan, but he has done really well lately. He has earned his spot along side Besler for the time being IMO. Lets see how he handles it. For all Gonzalez’s talent, he didn’t grab the spot and make it his own. He was given many opportunities to do so. Besler and Goodson have done that. CB is a worry for me as we just don’t seem to have great talent there.

  21. Interesting push for Parkhurst over Chandler..

    Probably the right choice at the moment.

    If there is any motivation needed for Mr. Chandler, ideas like this are probably it.

    Parkhurst is solid. Carries a lot of what makes Cherundolo an impact player. Probably slightly less skilled on the ball but a great position guy who seems to love to mix it up.

    More than likely, he’ll break through at Augsburg (dont know the coaching/management situation)

    But as SBI said, his Gold Cup was superb.

    Of course, Chandler can easily change the tone of this conversation by forcing another look with his play…

    More European friendlies means more Chandler.

    • Sarajevo is within a one day train ride from Nuremberg so I’m guessing Chandler won’t be too scared to accept a call up.

    • Parkhurst will not get major minutes this year (he plays behind the team captain), so I’m guessing He’ll fall off this roster.

    • The knock on parkhurst is he doesn’t have intl speed. He gets beat off the dribble. Really Cameron is the same. We need Stevie or Chandler to step up or else we have a hole there against top teams.

      On the flip I think we see a real push for Cameron at defensive mid. H e doesn’t have the bite jones does but he has more of the calm.

  22. ives, i don’t agree with your rationale for bringing terrence boyd: “he offers a physical presence up top that no one short of Altidore really does.”

    first of all, i think altidore’s ‘physical presence’ is a bit overrated; yes, he’s strong, but he doesn’t really play that ‘big’. he doesn’t win many headers, and he’s more of a run-and-gun guy than your typical target forward.

    second, if i concede that altidore does have that physical presence that we need a backup for, i think eddie johnson fills that role just fine.

    i think boyd is competing for a spot with eddie, not gomez (who provides us with the pure poacher role).

    • I dont know if you’ve watched him play in person but from the training sessions and games ive seen up close he definitely plays with a physical presence. He was tossing Baloy around with minimal effort last Gold Cup. Di Canio sees him more then you do and talks about the physicality that he brings to the field

      • yeah, i may have misinterpreted.

        so as to my second point, does eddie johnson not bring a physical presence?

        which is to say, the last forward spot would be between eddie and boyd, not gomez.

      • I think they’re all in competition. No one truly knows how Klinsmann wants to construct his 23 man roster so. There are probably only 3 striker spots up for grabs since Dempsey and Donovan can both play there as well. 1. Jozy. 2.? 3.? Ej has the upper hand at this point and his ability to play across the front 3 has been very valuable. I think Gomez and Boyd are in competition for possibly 1 spot with Johannsson as a dark horse.

        We could end up bringing 4 if possibly Corona, Bedoya, Shea fail to lock down a role off the bench. Gomez has shown he can play there as well and that will really help his chances. Form over the next 10 months is crucial to these bubble players

      • Got it. I think we should move Deuce into the midfield pool, take out corona (he is a similar player but currently below Bedoya on depth chart) and bring one more forward, say Herc or Johannsson.

  23. More depth than I can ever remember fighting for the 23 spots.

    If the tournament were right now, I don’t see how you can bring Terrence Boyd. I guess Ives is projecting a big club year for him, but when he plays for the U.S. he has looked way too raw.

    My other quarrel is that I want Jose Torres on the squad. He brings a different skill set than our other midfielders and could be useful in different situations. Remember that we’re not trying to bring the 23 best players, we’re trying to bring the best team. I think Torres fits in their because he can give the midfield a completely different look if need be.

    • Boyd has barely played for the US. Aside from some subpar play (~15 minutes) against Germany, he’s played well in that limited time.

      Dude has 2 assists in 8 caps w/ zero starts.

      • I don’t know. I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see “it” with Boyd. He is definitely a physical presence, and I love his determination and heart when he plays, but I don’t think he has the technical ability or tactical understanding for the international level. The tactical part can come around for younger players, but a player’s technical ability doesn’t seem to jump significantly once they hit their early 20s.

      • I don’t know, I think Jozy and even Bradley’s technical ability has taken a monumental leap over the last couple years.

      • Monumental.
        One play in the all star game exemplified this for me. Bradley calmly elegantly brought a corner kicked ball down to his feet, basically within his own 6 yard box. Then played a well measured ball 15 yards up field.

        Two years ago he doesn’t have that class and dare I say no one on the Mls side had it last night.

      • …in a Europa League game. In his first game of the Austrian season, he drew a red card and scored two goals.

      • Boyd’s gonna explode? Must be those Pop Rocks and Cokes!!!

        Best of luck to the guy. I do hope he has a great year!!!

  24. I have a feeling Johanssen makes the roster. Not sure who’s spot he will take but we still have a full season to see who is scoring and who isn’t.

  25. Shea will be on the roster, barring major injury or a complete lack of playing time, because of the threat he brings off the bench, which is much different than any other player in our pool in recent memory.

    JK joked that Shea doesn’t even know what Shea is going to do. That is an invaluable @sset to have as a change-of-pace sub.

  26. ————-—Altidore————–

      • I started out liking yours above, but I am hoping that JK plays Cam at RB after (hopefully) a good season there with Stoke. Plus FJ and Landy on the left sounds pretty awesome.

      • This!
        FJ & LD played close together on the wings is an interesting option, be it on the left or the right.

    • Rightfully so. Neither should crack the starting lineup so take the player that is a better situational sub. Bedoya’s probably better all around, but Shea is able to change a game with speed and ability to go at players.

      • +1 Can’t agree more. That is Shea and EJ’s job in the team right now. Come in and make a difference. Simple as that.

      • Yeah, if you need someone to come into a game late, completely confuse the defense and scrap out some nice crosses and a goal, Shea is your guy! Just don’t ask him to start against a fresh Cuban defense.

    • There is obviously plenty of time for change. I’d say 15/16 spots are basically set in stone so long as the players are healthy. The rest will depend on form over the next 10 months. Shea and Bedoya are certainly in that group that needs to be playing well to make the roster.

  27. Not sure I understand how one could say at this point in time (emphasis) that Parkhurst would beat out Evans for a spot. Evans started ahead of him in June and looked … OK against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras’ A-squads, whereas Parkhurst looked just OK against lesser talent.


    • And furthermore the lack of PT excuse is used on Shea…why isn’t it used on Parkhurst? Guy got essentially no playing time at a relegated Augsburg. Judging from Hughes’ comments yesterday, I think Shea is gonna have a nice role upon his arrival. He certainly wont be a starter come the WC, but I think he can play an effective role as a super-sub as you saw in the GC.

      • I think the excuse would be used on Parkhurst if it wasn’t for the lack of depth at that position. Assuming Cherundolo and Chandler are fit and in form, they are the preferred options, but they haven’t been in the picture in a while, so there aren’t a lot of choices left.

    • I looked into a magic 8 ball after asking if chandler will get over his unwillingness to fly over to the North America for WCQ and friendlies. And it said Hell YES.

      In other words he’s going to quit waffling so he can play in a WC.

      • Yep, I think this will happen. Candler is suddenly going to be more than willing/happy to fly across the ocean for a game in the next year. He wants to go to the WC so I am sure we’ll see a change in attitude.

  28. ———Altidore——————–

    • Unless we get another right back option other than Parkhurst, which would mean either DMB or Zusi gets bumped, and LD and Fabian are shuffled around respectively.

      • FJ and Beasley will handle the LM/LB spots. There is no need to tear that back down, it was effective. Ain’t broke don’t fix it.

        I thought Dolo was hurt — and that’s happening enough where that alone is a roster consideration — in which case I’d say Chandler with Parkhurst as backup. However, Parkhurst at Chandler’s exclusion, meh, I think people are overrating athleticism vs. finesse. You can’t stop an attacker you can’t stay with and I don’t think Parkhurst has the speed for serious international play. Plus, I think a form Chandler is on another planet going both ways from Parkhurst.

      • I’d be interested if Yedlin was better than Parkhurst but the combination of U20 and the safe picks for Gold Cup makes it hard to know if players like Yedlin or Lichaj are better than what we have. I personally felt like tossing away a goal every other game in Gold Cup was not impressive defense.

      • Parkhurst was not at fault on any of the 4 goals the US conceded in the GC.

        He wasn’t even on the pitch for the one goal the US conceded from open play.

        It is worrisome to give up goals on set pieces, but let’s attribute some of that to a variety of unfamiliar CB pairings.

      • Maybe Lichaj gets a lot of 1st team minutes at RB this year. Maybe JK will bring him in for some of the late qualifiers. Maybe maybe mayb…

      • The reason to tear down Fabian/DMB on the left is a potential hole at RB. If Chandler or Dolo are available and in form, then I agree that I would prefer FJ/DMB on the left and then bumping Zusi. However, I was vague with my “shuffling LD and Fabian around” comment because I could see DMB getting bumped instead of Graham. I think Fabian at LB with Landon manning the left flank would be ridiculously awesome, and I’m sure klins would too.

      • There is still time to experiment with how we will line up though. right back is a major question mark in our starting 11 at the moment considering Cherundolo’s age/injuries and Chandler’s Chandlerness. You said it yourself that you wouldn’t like to see Parkhurst as our starting RB. Neither would I.

        We need to evaluate our options at RB including Fabian. I love the DMB/FJ combo on the left as much as anyone but DMB/LD would be just as good. They have proven to work well together in the past. We need to see if Fabian could play right back for us if/when the time comes otherwise you’re relying on Parkhurst.

      • Beasley has done admirably, and actually has improved a lot since his first outing, but he plays defense like a midfielder and compensates for positioning errors with speed and hustle. I’d rather see FJ stay left, and let Cameron go back outside right if Besler and Gonzalez can find some rhythm in the middle….that is if StevieC is injured. If he’s moderately healthy he gets the start (I’ll admit I’m biased- he’s kinda my hero).

      • I agree that a healthy Cherundolo is the starter. We need to have a plan b though. I want to see more of Beasley at LB vs higher level competition before making a judgement on him. I just want us to evaluate all of our options instead of placing our hopes on Cherundolo’s knees.

      • That is why I’m an advocate of testing Herr Fabian at right back. Cherundolo and Chandler can’t be trusted at this point. That leaves us with Cameron, Parkhurst and Evans. None have been too convincing to date. Obviously, it is a potential weak spot for us. We need to give Fabian a chance there to see if he could hold it down if need be. Beas has proven to be a competent LB and Fabian a quite good one. We need to establish that Plan B on the right if there are issues with Cherundolo/Chandler.

    • Yup thats the best xi. God bless Fabian Johnson – he plays where ever we need him and plays very well anywhere; no doubt rb will work for him

  29. Not sure how Terrence Boyd ends up on this list since he has barely played. Think it is more likely that Klinsmann brings Torres and counts Donovan as a forward.

    • Yeah I thought Boyd’s stock plummeted over the summer because he wasn’t getting quali time — he only played in friendlies — and then he wasn’t with the Gold Cup team. You can’t impress or integrate if you’re not playing. It has to be taken as at least a critique of him when the coach doesn’t use him…..just like Jack I, Bruin, etc.

      Maybe he gets a look vs. Bosnia but that would be high stakes for him, one shot to look good, and not the cremepuffs the Gold Cup guys got to shine against.

      • Boyd’s not in the starting 11. Why would we give him significant qualifying minutes with so many points on the line? That doesn’t mean he’s not a valuable asset. Just because only 14 players can see the pitch doesn’t mean you only dress that many.

        The fact is, Boyd has spent many camps (including the entire month of June) with the first team. Of all the Germericans, he’s ‘bought in’ the most to the idea of being an American (in addition to a German).

        Boyd wasn’t kept for the Gold Cup because he would have missed the entire preseason and the actual start of the season with Rapid Wien. Rapid’s already played 2 league matches and a Cup match. He had also been with the team all of June. Very few preseason European players were on the GC roster… really only Parkhurst and Shea (who was an emergency sub).

        Compare Boyd’s NT career with Corona and Diskerud. You can be d@mn sure T. Boyd would have been starting for the GC team, and probably would have banged in at least 4 goals.

        You’re probably correct that he sees minutes against Bosnia. Only makes sense because the trip’s so short.

        Plus, Boyd’s the only one of the depth forwards you listed who has made actual contributions to the team (2 assists in limited minutes, no starts).

      • He was already sitting behind Jozy and EJ and don’t think the coach has missed EJ scoring header goals and playing both striker and wing. While I think Boyd has much more touch and potential, he’s fighting uphill in a situation where he has little senior production and is all potential upside. In our quali context the coach is not trying him out, he has to trust him. I actually like the guy but if you play 30 minutes in 2 tough friendlies and your memorable effort is refusing to kill the clock, you might not be solidly in the 18/23.

        The Austrian season might have complicated Gold Cup, but let’s be real, you can only state your case when they call you in and you play.

        I also don’t think you’re factoring in Landon as “slash” player, Gomez, the Icelander.

        I know you’re saying he was in the 18, dressed but didn’t play, but I think that’s a particularly precarious spot and can reflect some criticism. You believe he’d have scored x goals in Gold Cup but that’s counterfactual, Landon, Wondo, and EJ did the impressing. And Jozy and EJ did well in the qualis. The whole thing is he’s passive while the rest of them are making a case. I can’t believe that’s a strong sales position or any assurance of being called in to sit again, sitting and watching.

      • I like Boyd, I think JK is taking a slow methodical approach with him just as he has with Corona. I think the WC forwards will be Jozy, Boyd, Deuce and Johannsson with LD also capable of playing at drop forward if needed.

    • People are so frickin’ short-sighted here. One poor showing in like 15 minutes against Germany and they forget all the other FACTS about Boyd.

      He would have been starting in this tournament if he hadn’t been a European-based player in preseason. He’s frequently a starter for Rapid Wien and would have missed all of their preseason. Very few European players were brought in for this tourney… Parkhurst wasn’t playing for Augsburg and needed the profile boost, Diskerud’s in midseason since he plays in Norway, and Shea was an emergency call up.

      Boyd had played more significant minutes than Corona prior to the Gold Cup, and has two assists (including on the game winner in Mexico), which is 2 more than Corona prior to the GC. Boyd has also never started a match for the US, making his 2 assists that much more impressive since he has had relatively much less time to contribute than other players. Before the “he hasn’t started” is taken as a negative, not that Corona and Diskerud had never started prior to this tournament.

      • You make good points but IMO Boyd’s had a few poor showings and a few mediocre ones since his good game against Mexico.

      • The whole Jozy affair underlines that JK is paying attention to whether his forwards produce. I can’t believe it helps him to be goalless then. Meanwhile there were several forwards scoring goals in the qualis and the Gold Cup. I’m not saying he’s a lesser player or that it’s fair….I personally wanted to see him play this tournament so he could break his duck and show where he belonged in the pecking order. But he didn’t so that leaves him as Mr. Potential with a nice Mexico assist, which depending how much faith the coach has, earns him maybe one or two more looks before Brazil, against difficult teams, where he either breaks out and has a chance, or goes scoreless and becomes a Next Cycle guy.

      • Hogatroge,

        Everything you say about Boyd only tells us what we already know… that JK rates him highly.

        Of course JK rates all of these guys highly.

        Boyd is a bubble guy, He has performed well for his club but whether
        he goes Brazil will depend on the form of others and injuries. Corona and Mix were lucky they got to go to the Gold Cup. Boyd did not.

        He’s more likely to miss out than them simply because his competition is greater.

      • I don’t disagree with you, GW. I’m not saying Boyd’s a lock, or anything…I’m just tired of seeing people talk about how Boyd’s had sooo many chances to impress and hasn’t done anything.

        The facts are that all his appearances for the USMNT sum to less than 180 minutes, and in that time he’s bagged 2 assists. That’s not “nothing” and a time period less than two full matches (sum total) is certainly not an excessive amount of time to impress. How many chances did Wondo get, again, before he scored?

        I also think it’s misguided for people to read into his absence at the Gold Cup. Players based outside North America were the exception, not the rule, when it came to this roster.

      • Get off Boyd’s nuts, stop talkin “if’s”…”If he would have played in the GC he would have scored”…if my grandmother had balls she’d be my grandfather. Like it or not, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to press and when he has had a chance he hasn’t been close to making a case to push for big time minutes. No one said we didn’t like him going forward but other guys have shown better recently, yes against weaker competition but since we have no way f knowin what Boyd would have done at the GC all we can do is judge those who we saw last.

      • So are you taking Wondo over Boyd?

        Its true that Boyd is still kind of a mystery to most US fans. Seems like he had a good domestic season and is starting off well again this year but hasn’t gotten the chances with the US. He’s clearly got some talent but that alone wont get him to Brazil. He will have to prove himself sometime in the next 10 months. Klinsmann has done a good job getting young guys some minutes so I fully expect us to see Boyd get quality time in the very near future (august 14 perhaps). Its time to see what Boyd is all about with the US. Hopefully we can lock up qualification in September and use our last 2 matches to see who steps up.

    • Boyd is poised to light it up for his club team in Europe. I agree with Ives that he offers the physicality that all the others save Jozy do not.

      • Boyd, Gomez, Wondo, some young whippersnapper, that will come down to which one comes closest to the style of play JK wants out of that spot. It used to be the US had to simply choose the “best” players, now there are so many so close to each other that it comes down to choosing based upon things like: do you want a player who is good in the air, one that scores counter-attacking goals, a hold-up kind of forward, a guy who is always working to be open and pounce on goal scoring chances. Sure every player in this group is good enough at most of that, but when JK makes a choice, it will be based on what sort of vision he has for the team and he will pick the guy he thinks fits that vision best.

      • I agree with this. JK will have his ideas and select accordingly. If JK’s magic touch hasn’t worn off then he’ll choose someone random (like Alan Gordon) and that player will score the goal that gets us to the knockout rounds!!

      • Wondo won’t make it to Brazil with out injuries taking some one out in forward pool, I like Wondo and he is a great MLS player but her has consistently demonstrated he can’t hack it against better concacaf teams so there is no way klinsman burns a roster spot on him.

        As of right now I think Jozy, Landon, Dempsey, and EJ are safe bets, that leaves 1-2 more spots for forwards as Dempsey and Donovan are combi-forwards and midfielders.

        The contenders for those spots are Boyd, the new American, and Gomez. At the end of the day this spot is going to go to the player in the best form. Because it will go to the player in the best form it could also be possible for a player like aguedelo tore it up for the rest of they year and start of next year.

      • Pretty much spot on there. I think we will bring 3 strikers and allow Dempsey/Donovan to be those flex players who can play all over. The versatility of so many of our guys will allow us to bring an interesting group. Jozy is a lock, EJ seems like a safe bet at this point. Gomez, Boyd and possibly Johannsson (if he is the great talent everyone seems to think he is) will be competing for 1-2 spots depending on how Klinsmann wants to make up his final 23.

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