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Bradley, Brooks, and Lichaj return in latest USMNT roster for November friendlies

Michael Bradley

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Ahead of friendly matches against Scotland (Friday) and Austria (Nov. 19), U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected a mixed squad of European-based and Major League Soccer-based players, with a few familiar faces back in the team.

U.S. Soccer announced the 23-man roster for the two friendlies on Monday, which includes AS Roma’s Michael Bradley, Hertha Berlin center back John Brooks, and Nottingham Forest wing back Eric Lichaj returning to the USMNT setup. Bradley and Brooks have been out with injuries, while the 24-year-old Lichaj could make his first appearance since the 2011 Gold Cup final.

With their teams out of the MLS Cup playoffs, Klinsmann selected seven MLS-based players and two more based in Mexico (DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco with Puebla) who’s season is over as well. One glaring omission though is Landon Donovan, who along with Clarence Goodson, Brad Guzan, and Edgar Castillo, are all recovering from various injuries.

Another player returning after some time out due to injuries is Fabian Johnson, who missed the October World Cup qualifiers, and Brek Shea, who hasn’t played for the USMNT since scoring in the 2013 Gold Cup final. Shea hasn’t been able to find regular playing time at Stoke City and is reportedly looking to move out on loan in January.

Despite MLS taking a break in action during the international break, Klinsmann chose to leave Sporting Kansas City duo Matt Besler and Graham Zusi behind, as well as the Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis and Will Bruin. All four have been in USMNT squads in the last five months.

Here’s a closer look at the full USMNT roster for the November camp:


GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City)

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


What do you think of this squad? Happy to see Lichaj, Brooks, and Bradley back? Do you expect to see Brooks start in central defense? Do you feel confident that this squad can defeat Scotland and Austria?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I find it odd people are responding to the Lichaj call so defensively. The team is giving up goals every game. The most consistent defender, to me, is Beasley, who’s converted. Then the relatively anonymous Besler. Some of the bigger names like Goodson, Gonzo, Castillo are GA-machines. Cameron plays different every appearance. Evans? Parkhurst? Seriously? Chandler can’t commit, FJ plays better at mid. I’d be looking for replacements or at least pressuring incumbents at every opportunity.

    I mean, to me, it’s like I’m watching the U23s. Or maybe the forward situation last cycle (except switching lines). I know they can score but can a defense hold up enough to work on the big stage? Some will depend on the draw. But I’d prefer to avoid Porter-esque inertia where we just go with certain favorites and ignore the problem and then get slammed in a key situation. Klinsi has no reason to publicly panic, but with the exception of perhaps Shea and Kljestan, his offensive fiddling suggests an abundance of riches he is playing with whereas the defense seems like he is still shopping.

    • Put differently, there seems to be an attacking core who plays when healthy, but is there any one defender you’d write in the XI lineup card in pen?

    • Agreed. I have no idea why people are so resistant to pushing the players we made it through WCQ with. If they’re the best, they’ll still play.

      Brad Evans was badly exposure during the last 2 WCQs, and it only proved that his play over the summer was basically him at his peak… a Herculean effort that probably isn’t sustainable. Maybe Evans does start in Brazil, if he can continue to prove himself. Signs point to no.

      It doesn’t hurt to look at other options. Especially when a very good seeming one has been continually overlooked 10-15 times in a row.

      • Something everyone seems to be forgetting. Evans played well a few games, but the last 2 WCQ he was not good… at all.
        Privately JK is probably thinking about that which is why Lichaj finally got a call.

    • After the the 2010 WC, it was clear the back line was aging and would need to be, at least mostly, replaced. Less than a year from the next WC, there is no clear starting 4 for the back line. That is a serious problem, it takes time both to identify players who have the talent and mindset to be good international defenders and longer to mold them into a cohesive defensive unit. Time is very short.

    • i think it comes down to linking pro-klinsmann/anti-lichaj bias. certainly not everyone does this, but lichaj’s procrastinated call-up became so polarizing, that you had klinsmann apologists needing to defend his ‘no-lichaj’ policy with their dying breaths.

      now they’re predicting (hoping?) lichaj will fail, so that klinsmann will look like he was right all along.

      • Really?

        JK has a particular way he wants his teams to play. I’m not convinced he has finished assembling all the components of his favored style yet.
        But whenever that time comes it is clear he will have a group of players 100% committed to how he wants to do things.

        JK has made it clear just about every time he speaks, which is a lot, that competition for everyone’s spot will continue until the last minute.
        I see no one, not Dempsey or Donovan or even Bradley who is 100% safe. There are still quite a few games between today and when the rosters for Brazil have to be set. Lots of time to get hurt, get healthy or lose form, or regain form.

        Most of you laugh at JK’s continuing public interest in Gooch but that lets all the center backs know they are not yet “safe”.

        JK’s” unpredictable selection policy” intentionally or not keeps all the players from getting complacent. So I would expect a few more roster surprises before the World Cup team is finalized.

  2. Honesly I think the plane for Brazil is “almost” full. Can’t see Lichaj or Chandler making a txt @ this late stage. Ditto for Shea or Juan, JK is just weighing some depth options. My guess we will see Brooks for some min along with Boyd as possible depth but I do not expect major changes from the (almost) selected group. Our main weekness is still not having Dolo back so Evans get’s the nod and with Cameron as a back up, we will survive. The only old face to get another look is probably Sasha but @ the end of the day my bet he gets passed on as does Wondo. Bedoya Mix and Beckerman I think will eek Brazil

    • Klinsmann’s 23 for Brazil-

      Goalkeepers (3): Howard, Guzan, Rimando

      Defenders (8): Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley, Evans, Goodson, Brooks, Castillo

      Midfielders (8): Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, F.Johnson, Donovan, Zusi, Beckerman, Kljestan

      Forwards (4): Altidore, Dempsey, Johannsson, E.Johnson

      Final cuts: Mix, Fiscal, Shea, Gomez, Corona

      • I don’t think you take Gonzalez, Brooks, AND Goodson. One of them misses the boat (or plane in this instance). And, I think The Fiscal (credit: TSG) fills that spot.

        Also, I see Mix making the roster over Beckerman. You don’t need Jones, Bradley, Cameron and Beckerman….I think you need Mix for a spark.

        Finally, one of the final cuts is also probably Boyd. Tough break for him, but he has time.

      • In other words, I see this 23:

        Goalkeepers (3): Howard, Guzan, Rimando

        Defenders (8): Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley, Evans, Goodson, Fiscal, Castillo

        Midfielders (8): Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, F.Johnson, Donovan, Zusi, Diskerud, Kljestan

        Forwards (4): Altidore, Dempsey, Johannsson, E.Johnson

      • I see your point about not taking OG, Goodson, AND Brooks… Personally I’d rather take a natural RB ie Chandler/Lichaj/Dolo.

        And I think Beckerman is like Klinsi’s adopted son, so I see Kljestan as more likely to lose out if Mix makes the squad…

        Definitely agree Boyd would be a tough final cut also. Honestly if he keeps up his current form all season, I could see Jurgen taking him and possibly leaving EJ or Zusi behind.

        Shea I see as more of a final cut in the sense that Klinsmann will give him every last look because of his fascination with Brek’s raw talent. Herc and Joe Corona just appear unlucky with their timing, because they both would’ve been in a potential 23 for much of the cycle but now see themselves on the outside looking in.

        I actually see things a little differently than this if I were picking my 23, but that’s my $.02 on how I think it’ll pan out in the end.

      • Got it. I understand what you mean with Beckerman.

        And, if Dolo is healthy and playing well, I definitely take him to Brazil. Fiscal is nice because he can play the CB position as well.

        I’m curious. What would your 23 be?

      • Oh, and I’m sorry, but I don’t get the Shea fascination. Never have. He is big and fast. That’s it.

        He has ZERO soccer brain. And, I mean ZERO.

      • Brek might not have any “soccer brains”. But he doesn’t have to be particularly savvy or smart to do what he does best.

        When he is in form, give him the ball and he will go directly at goal and terrorize defenders relentlessly. He is big, fast and strong and can switch wings. I see defenses getting disorganized when he is in form.
        The US does not have anyone else who can do what he does when he is on form.

      • I haven’t watched Shea except for USMNT and a bit of MLS. (Then again, has he even played elsewhere? I kid.)

        So my question is: have you seen him terrorize defenses that included fast wingbacks? i.e., the kind of competition he’ll see outside of CONCACAF and, to some extent, MLS?

        I’m not opposed to Shea on the team, but I do have questions about his “soccer brains.” Guys who don’t know how to play the game usually stink when put up against opponents who understand “the soccer part of soccer.” From what I’ve seen of Shea, he’ll only be useful in the WC as a late sub who terrorizes opponents who have tired legs. (Which, incidentally, was his main contribution in the Gold Cup.)

        Would I leave him off my roster? If it’s a choice between someone who can *test* defenses for 90 minutes versus Shea who can *terrorize* for only the last 15 minutes, I’d take the former.

      • Something like this as of now-

        Goalkeepers (3): Howard, Guzan, Rimando

        Defenders (7): Cameron, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley, Evans, Goodson, Cherundolo*

        Midfielders (9): Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, F.Johnson, Donovan, Bedoya, Zusi, Kljestan, Diskerud

        Forwards (4): Altidore, Johannsson, E.Johnson, Agudelo

        *If Dolo isn’t fit, I’d take Lichaj right now but I’d like Chandler to get another look before Brazil.

        I suspect most people wouldn’t put Agudelo in the team, but I feel like if EJ/Jozy/Aron went down and we needed another forward to step in and get into dangerous spaces, I like Agudelo as an option.

      • I actually like it a lot. I would waiver between Goodson and Brooks… and needing cover for Besler, but I guess Cameron can provide that.

      • Yeah, Cameron has the flexibility of maybe being the starting RB while also being the 4th CB with Lichaj or Evans (or even F.Johnson) coming in at RB. Beasley is entrenched as 1st choice LB but would be covered by Lichaj or F.Johnson.

        Also, by saving the extra fullback spot, it allows us to carry LD/Deuce/FJ/Bedoya/Zusi/EJ (and even DMB) all available to play wide midfield–or in the hole–AND still have the chance to mix&match center mids with MB90/JJ/SK/Mix (w/ Cameron and Evans as cover).

        Basically this all stems from the idea that I’m just as comfortable, if not more comfortable, w/ F.Johnson at LB and Donovan/Bedoya/Deuce at LM as I would be w/ Castillo at LB and F.Johnson at LM, so why not take advantage of that positional versatility to load the roster?

  3. All you people who have negatives to say about certain players should first check who likes him and who doesn’t. Wondo is listed as number 5 in the Castrol Index, just behind Roby Keane. And who knows what prompted Dempsey to make it back into the MLS? He hasn’t had a bona fide goal for Seattle. Just fast isn’t good enough. It also takes brains, and Wondo will surprise you if the team plays like a team.

      • You sir, are wrong. I was right about AJ before everyone else, and even I know that Wondolowski is completely superior in every single way to every other option we have at striker. He is simply a beautiful man.

      • Thanks! There is no reason to take anything away from anyone. And who says anyone is taking any one’s place. Situations demand certain players. Whom Klinsmann chooses is his business. I am just glad he chose Wondo because he is a player the US can be proud of, especially today on Veterans Day. You should have seen it when he scored one of his goals, and the first thing he did was go to the place in the stands where the soldiers were and honored them last year.

  4. Does Lichaj deserve to be called up ahead of Chandler based on talent? Chandler continues to excel as a Bundesliga starter, whereas Lichaj is battling to see minutes in the Championship. Surely, Chandler was omitted because of questionable commitment to the team. If so, Klinsmann should state that to be the case instead of basing it on form and depth. Otherwise he can’t evaluate talent well and would explain why Agudelo was left behind for Wondolowski.

    • Are you watching Nurnberg and Nottingham Forrest matches or are you only evaluating talent based on the league they happen to be in? If so, I hope Klinsmann is doing alittle more work then that.

  5. Whats with the MB90 stuff? I cannot stand the modernization of the English language in which abbreviations of a player’s name involves numbers to convey further meaning. MB90? Does this imply that Bradley is the only player that goes 90 minutes? Metaphorically, it means little. I have a theory that our diction and syntax are reverting along the same lines as our social skills.

    • relax. the reason that nickname came up was because Bob use to play him for 90 minutes for the USA despite him not playing (at the time) for his club team, Aston Villa. so the haters just started calling him “MB90” when he played with the US, generally in the same sentence they said he only plays for the US because his dad is the coach.

  6. I knew a couple of folks would be giddy about Lichaj. I’m happy now if only the conspiracy theories can be put to bed. I know his contributions will be minimal, but perhaps he can at least put an end to the Brad Evans experiment.

  7. I’d love to see this trotted out:

    Deuce ————— Bedoya
    ————MB90————-} Or Sacha somewhere in here.

    I think we often forget how effective the GC-MB90 combination was against… (Insert correct opponent here, I forget). Cameron destroyed in deep midfield, freeing Bradley to attack more and distribute from the front of the midfield. GC also provides cover for Brooks’s first USMNT game.

    I also think that Aron & Jozy could be magic with each other up top….like Semi-finalist WC2014 magic.

  8. The next cycle of talent is looking good for the U-23 and senior team as long as they are not playing english cross the ball style of soccer. Better to go right down the middle with one touch, give and go, through ball’s, and one vs one. Going down the middle opens more options on the attack.

  9. Count me among the Guzan over Howard argument.. Howard has become very timid on crosses and is a liability. He is always glued to his line. You gotta be fearless back there! That’s why the first thing a goalie coach will teach you is to come out with your knee up on crosses.

      • I’ve seen him play a few games.. and watched all his games with the Nats. He relies on his reflexes too much rather than reading the play and being aggressive. Gotta have balls when you strap the gloves on. Guzan has also been very good too.

    • Sometimes you can come off that line and end up looking rather foolish too. Both are great keepers many national teams would love to have such a choice. 3 clean sheets in a row with PK saves among some of his stops, Howard is in great form.

    • Yes, former manchester united and current everton goalkeeper tim howard needs to be reminded to keep his knee up on crosses.

      Also timmy: pinkies together for shots below the waist, thumbs together for anything higher.

  10. next WC cycle will be interesting for the AMC spots
    – julian green
    – luis gil
    – paul arriola
    – duane holmes
    – junior flores
    – maybe kyle scott
    – corona
    – emerson hydnman

    Scary good pool next WC cycle despite most will be 20-24

  11. Not having Chandler on this team worries me big time the USMNT are officially preparing for the World Cup now if Klinsmann had called Chandler he would have been as good as in the final 23 IMO I still have high hope he’s clearly the best RB in our pool behind Lichaj hopefully everything works out!

    Please Klinsmann get the defenders right for the World Cup it’s really simple!
    FullBack: Chandler; Johnson; Lichaj; Castillo
    CenterBack: Gonzalez; Besler; Cameron; Brooks
    Get it Done JK!!!

  12. During PSG’s 1-1 draw with Anderlecht on Tuesday in the Champions League, he (Zlatan Ibra) took issue with Sacha Kljestan’s moustache. “After a perfectly normal challenge, Ibra turned to me and provoked me, making a joke about my moustache, saying: ‘That really is terrible,'” Kljestan said. “I responded by saying that he should think about his nose.” <– from ASN LOL Sasha Kljestan just got some points in my book.. red card forgiven!

  13. 4-2-3-1. I am not liking this formation for the US. It is like putting square pegs into round holes. I would like to take a look at what Mexico is doing with a 5-3-2 on defense and a 3-5-2 on offense. 5 defenders being 3 center backs and 2 wing backs. We have more decent CB than wing backs in the player pool. Makes sense at the moment. A 3 man midfield could make up Bradley as a Box to Box central midfielder, F Johnson on LW, Bedoya on RW. Two forwards: Altidore and Johannsson. for the 3-5-2 the wing backs would have to get into the attacking half and support width play.

    • ————-Johannson—————-Altidore———-
      —-F. Johnson—Jones—–Bradley——Bedoya–

      interesting, we certainly have the pieces for it right now..

      –> don’t use El Tri as a reference as what we should be doing right now, lol!

      • ————-Johannsson—————–Altidore

        F Johnson—————-Bradley———————-Bedoya



        This is from the current roster selected and against Scotland. A test game, but I am sure JK is looking at implementing ideas for the WC. This is the system Mexico used in Germany in 2006 when they were playing at there best. It’s good balance, but requires high pressure on defense and possession. It’s a formation that allows it to happen, but only with possession minded players.

      • I actually like the formation & player positions…but gets difficult to select once the full team is healthy and available…
        Maybe something like this……


        F. Johnson————————————————–Lichaj


  14. I don’t see why you need to bring Johnson and Hamid halfway around the world to sit on the bench. Yeah, Guzan may have a slight injury, but he looked good on Saturday. I think he needs more games for the USMNT and I would think Austria would be a good choice. And why not bring in Cody Cropper from Southhampton to “sit on the bench”

      • Yarborogh is starting for Leon these days right?.. he is an interesting case, pretty sure he wants to rep Mexico.

        Cropper looks like another great US keeper but Sean Johnson is certainly above him right now.. Checkout the USxCRC goal cup game! and countless others for Chicago. Hamid is hit or miss..

    • My take is Hamid and Johnson are competing to try and take the 3rd GK slot for WC 2014 away from Rimando – hence no Guzan.

      Howard plays all 180 game minutes of the friendlies, but there are probably 10x / 2000 other minutes of training/practice/scrimmage time with the squad to evaluate Hamid and Johnson, hence the call ups.

  15. I am extremely excited Lichaj got the call. I don’t know if Lichaj is better than Cameron, Dolo, Chandler, or even Evans at RB, but I’m taking some comfort in knowing that Klinsy is actually gonna take the time to get an up close and personal look at him. I’m even OK with him not playing a minute in the friendlies because that means Klinsy just doesn’t rate him after all. Just wanted him to get the opportunity to prove himself at a position that is far from locked down for the WC.

    • Lichaj has decent speed from what I saw last time. I also saw 50 yard MLS and EPL style kicks up field to hopefully somebody on our side. I saw that too much in the last game I saw. Keep the passes short and combine with others would be a upgrade from the last time I saw him play.

  16. quality side.. id go
    at Escotia
    –F. Johnson–Cameron—-Gonzalez———–Evans—-

    maybe switch Dempsey and Bedoya from time to time or put them both wide in a 442. Beasley, hard to sit him but i think this is camp where F. Johnson takes the LB role where he will start at the WC.

    vs. Austria
    -F. Johnson—-Brooks——Cameron—Lichaj-

    have some fun and let Boyd, Mix, Sasha, Lichaj get some minutes. This will be their opportunity to impress Jurgen.

  17. It is good to see a left-footed centre back in John Anthony Brooks in camp while Besler (also left-footed) is missing.

    I feel that people under value that trait when a team is built on playing out of the back. Besler is perfect for this US WC14 squad, but Brooks is a happy addition, imo.

    I’d be interested in seeing a Brooks-Cameron pairing and/or Brooks-Gonzalez in both games.

  18. Remember when Chandler was going to save the US?
    He was going to be the US’ first world class player.
    Don’t worry, we have Julian Green. He’ll save the US

      • Agreed. When he chose us, rumors had it that Germany was watching him. Sony, you also have to remember that was three years ago. Someone that young playing in such a difficult league was an anomaly for us.

        Unfortunately, he seems to be a bit mentally weak. A year ago, he fell into a slump and hasn’t found his way out of it yet. Though recent outings suggest it’s only a matter of time before he finds his form and confidence again.

      • Live and learn.
        People going crazy about Green need to go back and look at what was said about Chandler three years ago.
        Green could very easily be in the same boat in a coupleof years.

  19. Hmmm so many questions…

    -Will the center back pairing be Brooks/Gonzalez or Cameron/Brooks or Gonzalez/Cameron? Probably a combo of all three.

    -Does Lichaj see the field at all? Or do Orozco (vomit in my mouth), Brad Evans, and Cameron keep tabs on the right back spot?

    -Is Beasley really our World Cup left back? Now is the time to get that starter playing every game at left back, and I don’t think it is Beas.

    -Will Wondo even dress for a game? I sincerely hope he isn’t on the World Cup radar. Maybe he took Donovan’s spot on the roster, or he tells really funny jokes…

    -Will Sean Johnson start Tuesday’s game, giving Tim rest before heading back to Everton?

    -WIll Brek Shea make an impact, jump-starting his confidence that will propel him back to the form he was in last year?

    • mmmhmm..

      – any of those 3 could work. Probably won’t see Brooks in Scotland.

      – Jurgen often gives guys a first camp or at least first game before he plays them. I see Lichaj playing, possibly starting in the Austria game, Evans in the Scotland game.

      – tough call; I agree F. Johnson should take that spot but i wouldn’t consider that a lock..

      – Wondo, I wouldn’t expect him to take any minutes from EJ, Boyd, Jozy, Dempsey, etc

      – Sean Johnson getting a start vs. Austria! I like it, but if Jurgen starts other backups like Brooks, Lichaj, Sasha, Mix or Boyd it might be a good idea to keep the keeper with the captain.

    • Magee’s form is far better. However, he just hasn’t been with the squad and playing in the system like Wondo. Klinsi values consistency. Magee’s best chance is in January with Camp Cupcake. Then he has to pray that the seven strikers in front of him all come down with an illness a week before the World Cup.

      • Hey, Josh D. I guess that could be one argument, but Klinsmann has been calling in some new faces, Johannson and Brooks in August and now Lichaj. I have not seen Magee play for the Fire, so cannot can’t judge. But his stats are good and he does have a vocal support group of Galaxy fans who were sad to see him go.

    • I really enjoy watching Magee play. He is smart, works hard and does all the things you want. The only issue I have is I wonder if he is not quite quick enough and not quite athletic enough for international play. While, he seems to be willing to fight, he is sometimes too easy for opponents to out-muscle.

    • As a Chicago Fire fan and someone who bought MLS Live for the first time this season (O/T but it was worth every penny of the $40 I paid and gave me an entirely new appreciation for MLS), I really don’t understand how guys like Wondo/Davis/Evans/Gordon/Beckerman/Beltran/Zusi etc have been called in and given a chance with the Nats over the past 24 months yet Mike Magee hasn’t gotten a sniff. That isn’t to say I think the MLS players I mentioned haven’t been deserving, but Magee as much as any MLSer has done absolutely everything in his power to earn a call up. He is an extremely smart player who always pops up in dangerous areas, knows how to link play and get on the end of attacks, and is the definition of Klinsi’s “giver” mentality. He can play wide or up top with a partner to play off and always finds a way to make an impact on a game. Honestly, I’d absolutely love to see him included in this roster, probably at the expense of Wondo. Unfortunately, it seems like his time to work his way into the 2014 pool has probably passed (maybe impressing at January camp could be his only chance) and, at 29, he is a longshot to be involved in 2018 although anything is possible. The biggest thing I can say about Mike Magee is that he finds a way to make any team he’s apart of better.

      • You have convinced me, David JS. Seems that Magee should have been picked for this roster, especially over Brek Shea, who does not deserve to be on this roster at all. For all of Klinsmann’s “correct call-ups,” I think it is fair to say he has been guilty of some real bloopers–unfair and unjust call-ups of players not even dressing for their teams who don’t deserve to be called up, such as Brek Shea, Alfredo Morales, Michael Parkhurst, and for not calling up players like Magee and (until now) Lichaj.

        I would bet that Caleb Porter or Jason Kreis USMNT rosters would have some key differences over Klinsmann’s rosters.

      • “Why has he [Magee] never played for America? Has he been overlooked? Has he been considered? Have people mentioned him? Has the press mentioned him?” -Robbie Keane, January 2013

        Here’s a highlight video of some of his goals (mostly from the 2012 MLS playoffs and early 2013 regular season):

        I guess 24 goals and 6 assists in 35 games this year for LA/Chicago wasn’t enough to impress Klinsmann.

      • Would you takes Magee over Landon?
        Over Dempsey?

        Because those two are going and are his most obvious competition.

        Would you take Magee over AJ?

        I would say AJ has killed Gomez’s and Magee’s chances.

      • would take him over Shea and Wondo myself. Magee more versatile than both of them and in the form of his life. perhaps in January

      • Right now I would take Magee over Wondo, Gomez, Davis, or Shea in a heartbeat. I also think he would have a chance to unseat EJ/Zusi/Bedoya/Corona on the wide midfield depth chart and could be a catalyst in a situation where Deuce or Donovan is struggling to make things happen playing off the striker. Would you rather have Boyd coming off the bench in a situation where we need a goal or Mike Magee? I’m not saying he should be starting ahead of Donovan or Dempsey or Johannsson, I’m just saying he’d be an invaluable guy to have come on in any number of different roles and actually make an impact in a situation where we need something different off the bench.

  20. I’m really hoping to see Kliestjan and Bradley paired up in the middle, at least for a half. I just have a feeling that would be an extremely potent lineup. And Kliestjan is arguably our most in form player right now.

  21. The fact that Wondo still has a broken foot (ostensibly) is both a reason to exclude him (so he doesn’t aggravate the injury and get surgery asap) and to include him (he has proven to Klinsi he will give everything to help the team).

    • And maybe we’re just getting a bit of JK’s superstitious side. A lot of folks buy a lottery ticket now and again, and Wondo’s got himself some w’s on him, for sure. Seeing a lot of what everybody calls dumb luck makes you think that just maybe there’s something behind it.

    • Fractured toe, and he played the entire Gold Cup with it, so it obviously isn’t causing him a huge amount of pain. As a Quakes fan, I’d rather he got it taken care of now if he’s only going to sit on the bench.

  22. Now that I got the Chandler rant out of the way, will say that generally like the roster, including the inclusion of Wondo. The two invitees I absolutely cannot agree with are Brek Shea and John Anthony Brooks. I like Shea and he has got potential, but I don’t thnk a player who has not even regularly warmed the bench for his club since last year season should be getting called up. Sends the wrong message.

    • As for Brooks, after his elbow injury, he was back in training for Hertha Berlin in mid October and, according to news reports, apparently was not showing well. Before the elbow injury, he had made several major mistakes in late September, including the foul that gave Wolfsburg a penalty and a bad pass that gave Freiburg a goal. His coach, Josh Luhukay was quoted saying that Brooks made more mistakes in those few weeks that he had all of last season. Apparently, according to Luhhkay, Brooks confidence was in tatters. Did the premature call-up from Klinsmann in August for the USMNT have an effect? It certainly denied Brooks the chance to develop at a slower pace with the German U-21 team?

      In any case, as noted, after Brooks came back to training in mid October, he dressed for the Oct 26 game against FC Bayern, but remained on the bench. After that, in an effort to try to get him going again, Brooks has played in two games for Hertha Berlin’s reserve squad. Is that grounds for a call-up from Klinsmann, who is claiming he made the decision not to call up Julian Green in order to give him “an opportunity to breathe…to take the foot off the pedal…”

      I think it is wrong to call up a 20-year-old kid in bad form for the USMNT. I think chances of Brooks developing enough in coming months to be ready for WC 2014 are low and that Klinsmann should be focusing on integrating a more experienced center back into the USMNT.

      • With all due respect, Shawn, disagree. The focus should be going as deep at WC 2014 as possible, not jumping the gun to try to win the heart of a 20-year-old player who has done absolutely nothing yet to deserve a call-up to the USMNT. If he truly in his heart wants to wear the US shirt, then he would understand and he would wait until he has proven that he merits a call-up from Klinsmann. As Klinsmann said recently, there are very few games between now and Brazil and those games should not be wasted trying to win over a dual national, but preparing for next summer. Just my 2 cents.

      • Which CB would you have called in instead.

        Besler is out because of the playoffs. Goodson is hurt. The only other CBs not with the squad that have even been called up in the last 6 months is Onyewu, who was out of work until about 10 days ago, and Ream, who (and correct me if I am wrong) is not playing CB for club.

        Even if you don’t rate Brooks, hard to argue him over any other option that is around, unless you are going to argue that we should have called in a player at a different position and gone in with only Gonzo, Cameron, and Orozco for CBs.

      • Ream and Mills have been Bolton’s CB pair for the past 7 games – they’ve gone undefeated in that time and he’s played every minute. In the 3 matches before that he played every minute at DM.

      • Biff – suggesting that Brooks be left off the squad due to proposed poor performances or allowing him to adjust more to Bundasliga is all fine. My question to you is if not Brooks than who?
        Besler is in a playoff race with SKC….
        Ream & Orozco are not as good as Brooks.
        Cannot think of a worthy 4th CB who is above Brooks….but if you have someone in mind please advise.

      • Biff, by getting brooks to join the team it will help us go further into the world cup. 1. If one of our CB’s gets hurt you will have Bundesliga quality CB to fill the role if he is not already starting. 2. HE IS A BUNDESLIGA CB. Yes just because you are in the bundesliga does not make you better than someone in MLS, but there is a good chance he is. 3. It doesn’t matter if he is 20 years old, if he is good enough it shouldn’t matter (Raphael Varene).

      • JK has only one job now, get the best healthy players to Brazil. Any thoughts of who might contribute in 2018 are so far down the line in priority to be absolutely meaningless. If you cannot do it for the US now, then wait!

    • While I disagree on your points about Brooks, the questions about “if not him, who else” got me thinking…what about Chris Schuler of RSL? As a Galaxy fan it pains me to say that he has looked incredible over the last few months. I would argue he outplayed gonzo in this most recent series, is a huge threat on set pieces, and looked like a beast on his half of the field.


  23. Dempsey does not deserve a start in these games. His on field performance, his body language, etc….suck. Unless of course he remembers how to play the game since he will be back on European soil.
    At least Sasha is producing, let him have that role.

  24. More than ever, I think this is a huge opportunity for Klejstan to have impact on USMNT. This guy is hot right now – arguably best form of his career. As mentioned, the center midfield is lacking in depth. he needs to give everything he has got to prove to JK that there is no doubt he should be included going forward.

    Surprised JJ is still getting the calls due to the injury concern and apparent surgery on the horizon. You would think that rest would be preferred. I am also surprised Schalke doesnt put their foot down.

    • Agree on both counts. Maybe JK wants the USA staff to evaluate Jones’ knee? Really the only reason I can think to call Jones given what we’ve heard. I also would like for Klejstan to get an extended look in CM paired with Bradley. Seems like the perfect time to give him a real chance.

    • Problem with klejstan is he is just not quite good enough for the international level. He is a good player but he is not quite skillful enough to make up for his lack on pace at the international level. I’m not knocking the guy because he is a great player at the level he plays at (best team in a mediocre to poor league and cannon fodder for the champions league). Corona and Torres give you more at that position then Klejstan.

      I think the roster is appropriate for a seris of friendlies that involves a big amount of travel and comes at the end of a long MLS season. The roster has some WC locks(barring injury), players that have a chance to make the roster if they show well because they fit a specific role that the team is thin on/needs (Shae, Lichjai), and has some people who are there to fill the 23 but I don’t think really have a chance for the world cup (Wondo, Klejstan, hamdid).

      I would make the following substitutions and be good with it as the WC Roster assuming every one is healthy, Besler for Orozco, Donovan for Wondo, Zusi for klejstan, and Rimando for Hamdid.

      • After your first sentence, I thought I would give you a chance to explain why Sacha isn’t good enough for the international level even though I disagree with that statement. It wasn’t until you said that Corona and Torres give more at that position that I realized you have no clue what you’re talking about.

      • Agreed. I think the reason why people think that Klejstan is “not good enough for the international level” is because we have not seen him consistently in one position and he has not stood out.

        Unfortunately, this is a result of the center being highly competitive within the pool. He is a guy whose ideal position is a controlling midfielder however he does not have the defensive presence as MB or JJ. And offensively, he is not as creative as a Diskerud. And he is not an effective winger.

        He is a solid player – good enough for the international scene. I see him and Cameron almost being in the same predicament . Very solid players but not enough to standout. Good utility players to have on the roster.

        My point above is that this is a better time than ever for Klejstan to rise to that next level.

  25. Would Like to see this for first game


    2nd Match


  26. Lichaj- jaw drops…. April Fool’s in November

    I’m not going to overreact to this roster’s headscratching inclusions on the margins, because this is still a tinkering list-lots of questions going into Brazil, some of which Klinsmannis trying to answer here and some fringe guys like Shea, Orozco and Wondo which are 4th-5th-6th best at their spots-I see them as competing for emergency reserves rather than roster spots.

    The lingering questions are:
    CB-young and relatively untested MLS CB’s were good enough for CONCACAF, but are Besler/OG the best pairing for Brazil? Brooks is given a shot (hope he starts both games) to prove himself ,given that he plays when healthy, in the best or 2nd/3rd best league in the world-he won’t be fazed by a world-class attack…
    RB- surprised not to see Chandler, when is he going to sneak onto a roster, play well and turn USMNT fans and some teammates back in his favor? time is running out… Lichaj is an option, but as a person clamoring for Lichaj’s inclusion, I’d say Dolo and Chandler are better RBs when healthy
    CM- who plays next to and who backs up Bradley? Klestjan’s club form gives him a chance to impress- 5 players (Bradley, JJ, Mixx, Beckerman, Sacha) playing for 4 spots…since Cameron can fill in as well.

    Wondo, Shea and Orozco are more of the 5th-6th best options and i don’t see them on USMNT roster barring a spate of injuries (which certainly has happened this cycle)

      • I believe he has received high praise in recent weeks and even MOTM in one of his games…so in the eyes of you he has been bad?

      • All hail Biff! He watches the games! Huzzah! He’s the best! Bif Bif Bif! Heeee is the Champion, my friends! Tell us more! Please! No, not more about Chandler or Cameron, tell us how you watched the games! Were you nude or clothed? On TV or on your laptop? We need to know about our hero!

      • Not to mention, watching when you already have a bias is vastly overrated (by Biff). You can always find flaws when you have it out for them. Just like people can only focus on Lichaj’s gold cup form. Personally, I’m glad Lichaj is included. But when we have a personal bias, for whatever reason (sometimes deserved), they can cloud judgment. Biff, I think what many are trying to communicate is…. take a breath. We all know your stand on Chandler. And in some ways we might agree with you, if you didn’t use a sledge hammer to present your points. Just one less than expert view of things.

      • I’m going to say that Shea has worked his way out of the US picture by not working his way into the Stoke picture.

        As for Orozco, I don’t think it’s fair to say he sucks at the international level. I would say he’s very inconsistent but does, in fact, have some good games here and there. That is often the most frustrating player to have to coach, you know what he can do for you and what he can do to you.

  27. LA and Seattle going out of the playoffs made Klinsmann’s selections a bit easier. It could be open auditions at right back with Evans, Cameron, Lichaj, and Orozco all having taken up the position at one time or another. Chandler’s absence is interesting. Klinsmann and his coaches must have decided that he just doesn’t fit in with the team. His club team is dead last in the Bundesliga, so he could be lumped in as not playing well enough, too.

    What has Shea done to get a call? 45 minutes in a League Cup game? Is he cover for the absence of Castillo through injury? Not sure about that one.

    I’ve seen a lot of people who want Agudelo, too. When he was fit, he played well for New England, but we have a lot of forwards in better overall form like Johannsson, Boyd, and even EJ (who did score for Seattle in the playoffs at least). Agudelo should focus on his move to Stoke and preparing for that. At 20, he has lots of time. But, all it takes is an injury between now and May and he’s in the reckoning.

    I’m not a Wondolowski fan at all. I just don’t see him having any shot at being in the final 23 for Brazil. Instead of flying him over to sit in his tracksuit during the two games, they could have saved some money and had Tim Ream take a short ride from Bolton to trial as a central defender/cover at left back.

    • I expect Klinsmann doesn’t want to distract Agudelo (who can get a bit overzealous) with a call up right now, just ahead of his important move.

      Still, Juan can play out wide, striker, or withdrawn forward, so there would have been plenty of justification had he been brought in.

  28. I wouldn’t mind seeing a diamond 4-4-2 against Scotland:


    • I would like to either see Brooks replace Gonzo, or I would like to see Brooks replace Cameron and put Cameron in place of beasley. The rest of it looks good to me.

    • Yes!! I would like to see a 4-4-2 run out too. I’d really like to see it with the full squad in a friendly. Full squad, I think it could be something like:


      • He mentioned that’s what it would look like with a full squad.

        That being said, I want to point something out about these diamond formations. This isn’t FIFA 14. You don’t play out and out wingers on the sides of a diamond. You play “shuttling” central midfielders who pull a bit wider than the CAM and CDM and play a box to box role. Bradley’s great but do you think it’s a good idea to leave him all alone to defend against international level central midfielders? Especially when most modern sides are playing 1 guy behind the striker and two holders? Dempsey may apply some pressure further up the pitch but isn’t the guy who’s going to be busting his gut to get behind the ball on every defensive play or making tackles at the top of his 18 – and if he was, or you played someone who would do that in place of Dempsey, you’re no longer playing in the diamond formation.

        Rant over, sorry. I just get so tired of seeing nonsensical formations thrown out there.

      • Bedoya is an attacking midfielder who made his name playing centrally for Orebro in Sweden.

        He ranged all over but , he will tell you his preferred position is centrally behind the striker.

        It was Bradley who put him on the wing during the 2011 Gold Cup as a Donovan replacement.
        When Bedoya was resurrecting his career in Sweden at Helsingborg he also preferred playing centrally. He is not what you would call a “natural” winger.

  29. Wondolowski, America’s Greatest Soccer Player, better start in all of the games. He is our only hope for a Gold Medal at the World Cup.

  30. Why is Shea on the roster? Hasn’t Klinsmann always said that you need to play first-team football to get a callup? Guzan looked pretty good on Saturday against Cardiff — when did he get injured? And is Donovan really injured — don’t remember seeing anything about it.

      • I thought the objective of friendlies was to take a look at the US national team candidates, not help them audition.

      • 1. The US National Team coach decides what the goal of the friendlies is.

        2. Shea is a candidate for the NT, and has 5+ months to get PT in. He was getting first team minutes in preseason before he was injured against Philadelphia at the very end of the summer.

      • The coach might believe that he is someone who if playing would contribute and who can be helped on the winter market by a de facto audition. Which might round him back into candidate. Since the alternate tape would be stuff like that awful Gold Cup game.

        It’s debatable….you could as easily leave him out based on demonstrated quality.

      • +1. I like JK, but you can’t trust a single word out of his mouth. He’s the anti Bob Bradley who measures every word. JK just says whatever happens to be flitting through his brain at that moment without any filter or caveats. Just accept it and move on.

    • Klinsi has said that for qualifiers/tournament, but he’s shown repeatedly that he’s happy to help guys get rehabilitated, get back their confidence, or get a chance to shine when they’re riding the bench for their club.

      Brek has been a game changer for us in the past. He’s also admitted to feeling a bit glum and/or depressed. He’s been injured or out of the 18 for most of his stay in England. Klinsi is giving him a chance to chat with old friends and feel important. That’s good man-managing. That’s the type of manager who players respect and play for.

      • Agreed.

        The reason someone’s on the bench also has a big impact. Shea was getting first team minutes before an injury at the most inconvenient time possible. It’s not like he lost a spot due to form.

    • Shea and Brad Davis are probably the only real left-footed wide midfield options. With Davis in the playoffs, it is probably good to see Shea because the two could very easily be fighting for a spot behind Fabian.

  31. Biggest surprise: Players still playing in the MLS playoffs aren’t on this list, meaning we miss out on Besler and Zusi, at least. Guess MLS and Klinsi had a last minute conversation after all the “Thank you MLS for this break” talk…

    Wondo is a band-your-head-against-the-desk decision. With so many power forwards (EJ, Jozy, Boyd, Aron), why waste a spot on him? CM seems like our weakest position with this roster, in terms of depth.

    Chandler not making this roster probably means he’s out of Brazil. A bold move by Klinsi considering our RB depth. Was hoping Dolo would come in just to train.

    Lichaj is back in so the anti-Klinsi mob can finally lower their torches.

    Brek needs this camp. He needs a loan move soon.

    Dempsey makes the roster, but I don’t see him starting.

    I’d love to see:


    • Jeez, I was trying to find something I agree with on your post @Josh D. I couldn’t. Leaving Zusi and Besler back did them a favor. These are friendlies, remember? CM the weakest? Really? Bradley, Jones, Mix, Sascha and Cameron (in a pinch) doesn’t sound to shabby for a couple of friendlies to me at that position….I did find myself agreeing with you in regards to Wondo, however……

      • +1 Divers.

        Other than the Wondo thing this was hard to find anything to agree with.

        I can’t imagine the upside of Klinsy taking players from MLS on the verge of the Championship game to play in a meaningless friendly. The players you name are not newcomers to the team or even lesser known when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses. Why risk getting one hurt and creating stress between MLS and the USMNT offices?

      • Despite falling off this year, Wondo still leads the MLS in goals scored over the last 4 years, Not sure being against the most prolific goal-scorer in the domestic league is something to agree with. Sure, there are younger and faster players, but they have not been able to score goals at even close to the same rate.

      • Why do I always agree with you, Dennis? But seriously…

        If the USMNT needs a late goal next summer in Brazil to either tie a game or go up a goal and a fresh striker is needed with only Terrence Boyd and Wondow to choose from off the bench, I darn sure want Wondow to be the man subbed into the game.

    • Why is it a bold move leaving a prima donna off the roster who for the past 24 months had turned down a dozen invitations, including WCQ games? Klinsmann said last week he wants players “1,000 percent dedicated to everything we do” and Timothy Chandler has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he is not even 10% dedicated. If I remember correctly, Josh D, you were among the most critical of the sabbatical of Landon Donovan, arguably the USMNT’s most important player the past decade who gave time and time again for the shirt. And yet you and others were ready to ban him from the team while at the same time ready to welcome Chandler he turned down more than a dozen WCQ games.

      Unlike Chandler, Donovan was not playing for his club and turning down USMNT call-ups. Donovan was on a full sabbatical. Chandler was playing club but turning down Klinsmann’s call-ups. And when Donovan rejoined his club he had no qualms about joining the “b-team” squad to play in the Gold Cup. It is well documented that Klinsmann wanted Chandler to join the Gold Cup squad and Chandler squirmed out of it. Can you imagine how you and other would have responded had Donovan declined the Gold Cup invitation. Chandler’s bad chemistry is not needed in the USMNT locker room.

      • For a second, I thought the answer to the question was Donovan. Outside the sabbatical he did seem to miss a lot if not all of the USMNT’s games in Europe under Klinsmann.

      • I was, and continue to remain, critical of Donovan’s decision to play barefoot soccer in Cambodia with kids for a couple of weeks. I also still see his decision and Chandler’s decision as being completely different.

        I wrote a long list, but decided no one would read it so here it is simply: my expectations for Donovan are far higher than Chandler. Donovan is a sometimes US captain and a veteran of this team. He not only left behind the US, but he left behind his club team. My criticism of him was leveled at him as a person, more so than him as a US player.

        Chandler apologized for his actions a couple months ago, saying he knows he let the team down. If Klinsi could forgive Donovan, I thought he would forgive Chandler, too.

      • okay. thanks for the response. but i do believe that Chandler as a soccer player is grossly overrated by some USMNT fans and it keeps getting larger through the snowball effect and I believe, although I could be wrong, that there would be major locker room chemistry issues (and risks) involved in a decision to bring Chandler back. I will say that I think the door to the USMNT should be reopened to Timothy after WC 2014 and, if he is able to develop and improve as a player, that he should be given a chance with the USMNT to see whether he has what it takes to play the international game in fun places like Panama and Mexico City etc.

      • Chandler did look great in a US game vs Argentina in 2011 or so, but he has looked less impressive since. It is hard to know why, could be that defenders are impossible to judge on a single half-game, it is their performance over several games against quality competition that is the real test. Attackers can have off games, but when defenders do, you lose.

      • You are nuts dude. Simply nuts. Donovan has given 40x more then more than half the players to ever pull on a USA jersey. And far more then that crap Chandler, whose actions are basically a big middle finger to us.

        I can’t believe you can even write the words on the page and call yourself an American soccer fan, making excuses for Chandler and ragging on Donovan. I think I’ll just skip over any post I see of yours again.

      • LD returned a rejuvenated player. he could have just retired, which I think some wished he had done. any comparisons between Chandler’s situation and LD’s seem off target too

    • And, by the way, have you watched Cameron play right back for Stoke this season? I have, and I can say that Cameron has been rock-solid with excellent one-touch passing and charging forward and playing gritty defense. Have you or other Chandler apologists actually watched Chandler this season? Well I have and he does not come close to the level of Cameron.

      • This is a big deal coming from Biff. He usually doesn’t resort to the “I bet you haven’t watched. . .” argument.

      • lol. I would bet big money on it, say 50 cents, that a lot of the people whining for Chandler have never watched him play for Nurnberg and the guys who want Geoff playing D-mid have not yet seen him play right back…

      • Biff I have watched Chandler play and outside of the match a couple weeks ago when he got an assist (though the striker was offside, but the LJ missed it) he has looked horrible. Indecisive and poor service, his confidence just looks ragged. I agree he shouldn’t be called up. I also agree with leaving Dolo out at this point, he just made the gameday roster and is getting back into his club, let him get rested and healed up. Also having watch Agudelo in his last few matches I am surprised he was not called in, he looked good. Creative and playing strong.

      • His form now is better than last season, when he was verging on awful, but there is nothing special there anymore and apparently the USMNT scout who watched the game last weekend agrees. Cameron, who I am watching regularly now, has truly jumped way beyond the level of Chandler.

      • @biff, Cameron has been brilliant at RB and been a fixture there since he got to Stoke. For some reason it hasn’t (yet) translated to the USMNT. His ability (and Evans somewhat) to play different positions is where his real strength lies for the NATS. Puzzling, really. Thankfully Brad Evans, while admittedly a lesser player, has stepped up to the plate and done fantastic. Now it’s Eric Lichaj’s chance to prove himself and Dolo’s time to get better. I would take all 4 of them ahead of a bad attitude Chandler any/every day!

      • Ask and ye (maybe) will receive. We need to keep in mind thta Lichaj’s competition at Nottingham Forrest is Chile international Gonzalo Jara and Lichaj beat him out earlier this season for the starting right back slot. Two weeks ago Lichaj had to sit out a game, giving Jara a chance. And then this past weekend, the coach said:

        “I switched (Gonzalo) Jara to right back because (Eric) Lichaj had missed three days of training with a virus. He came back on Thursday morning and he had lost a couple of pounds. I looked at the pace of this game and questioned whether he would be ready for this type of match.

      • I’m so glad this conversation about Cameron at RB has taken roots. I’ve watched every single game he’s played at Stoke (not to mention, of course, each call to the USMNT) and I think there’s a great way to get him involved at RB. But interestingly, it comes down to LB.

        Here’s what I see. Cameron has been a ROCK at RB on the defensive side, I would put him up there with at least the top half of RBs in the EPL. Not saying he’s one of the top 3 guys, he’s not Sagna or even Ivanovic, but he’s at least middle of the pack, which is tremendous.

        On the “going forward” side he’s much better than many of us give credit to. Sure, he’s still a bit, shall we say, awkward, he’s not blazing fast in the least and he’s not going to go EJ stepover on you, but he’s got great service and just looks a ton more comfortable on the ball. Having said that, since he’s no speedster he won’t light the world on fire like a Beasly or even Fabian…

        ….which is my point. Our LB situation looks almost certain to be leaning towards a foward-slanting player, and if you watched FJ in his latest call-ups, he is almost non-existent in the back line. So let’s let him push and rely on 3 fantastic options to effectively hold down the entire backline with besler, gonzo & Cameron. We’ll still have a 4-man line on paper, but it’ll play a lot more like a 3-man line and on the occasions when Cameron moves forward we still get great service from him.

        All that being said, if Klinsi is deadset on him not playing RB, I’m excited to see what Lichaj can do. Sure we should all be skeptical until he can prove himself, but this is the ideal time to give him a look.

        Ok, enough from me, can’t wait for Friday!

      • It seems to me that Cameron’s touch has improved tremendously since last year. Many of his passes are quick one-touches and most of the time — but not always — right on target.

      • The difficulty in slanting the field to one side over another is that things become predictable. If you know that 80% of the time the LB is going to overlap it is easier to defend the movement of the attack.
        What we need to strive for is a balanced back line; one where the opponents cannot determine where the attack is coming from.
        IMO a healthy Dolo, a driven Chandler, or an in form Lichaj are best suited to balance a back line with Beasley or FJ as the LB. They have speed, technical ability, and a willingness to get forward.
        Another thing to note is that Lichaj can also play LB…..this gives JK another option over Castillo.

      • USA tried to do something just like that last game with LD and Zusi both playing from the LW spot but actually playing tucked in underneath. cool idea potentially, did not work tho

      • @divers suck: I am not an Eric Lichaj fanboy. I just think he deserves a chance to show what he can do. I think Cameron is now Number One on the right back depth chart and it would be hard for me to imagine that Brad Evans is Number Two ahead of Lichaj, who plays full back in England. But there is no denying that Evans has a winning personality and great chemistry for the USMNT. What that will allow him to make the 23-man WC roster we shall see.

        The big question for these friendlies is who Klinsmann starts at right back against Austria. Whoever it is will have to contend with FC Bayern left back David Alaba, who is aweseome, IMO one of the top three or four left backs in the world. He is incredible and has made a lot of defenders look bad.

      • @biff, I never said you were a Lichaj fanboy and neither am I. I hope Dolo gets match fit for 1 last WC. That would make the RB issue moot. My point, and I’m surmising is JK’s thought process also, is that Cameron has played a few games at RB for the NATS and got burned and was quite frankly awful against the lesser competition of CONCACAF, which was very puzzling to me. Enter Brad Evans and he plays well, including a cheeky game winner at the death vs Trinidad(?). Since then he’s been somewhat a regular and Cameron hasn’t played there at all. Is Evans better than Cameron? Absolutely not. Cameron is a Brazil 14 given. Evans is not. However, for me, he’s higher up the depth chart as RB with a healthy Dolo the top. That’s why I want to see Lichaj play. I think we both agree that Timmy Chandler, with his attitude, should never be called….

      • Cameron if I remember correctly has played 2 games at right back for the Nat’s and in only one of those matches did he look overwhelmed but so did the rest of the team! If you are going to give an analysis consider the whole picture instead of trying to pigeon hole a single player because you dont project him to play where you see fit! Clearly you haven’t watched Stoke play because Geoff is more than capable of getting forward and playing attractive soccer evidenced by his goal against arsenal!

      • What the hell are you talking about? Pigeon holes? Where I see fit?…I’m as puzzled as everyone that Geoff Cameron can’t match his form at Stoke wit the NATS at RB. Jurgen Klinsmann is the one making this call, not me! At the moment JK sees Cameron better as a CB/CM than a RB and has proved it by continually calling in a fringe player like Evans. It’s not where I “see fit”. It’s where JK sees fit…I’m not even questioning Cameron’s form at Stoke! Quit jumping to such idiotic conclusions, or at the very least, learn some reading comprehension!

    • How many CMs do you want exactly?!? We have 3 straight up CMs (Bradley, Jones, Kljestan), 2 CAMs (Mix, Dempsey), a CB/CDM/RB (Cameron), and a RB/CM (Evans). Oh and I think Bedoya can play centrally too? At most you’re only going to have 3 players centrally at a time (the 4-5-1 you posted like you posted) so I’m a little curious why you think we’re lacking depth in that department.

      • I wanted one more in exchange for the five/six power strikers we brought, which to me is overkill. I’d have tossed Wondo by the wayside, and brought in Corona or Torres.

      • I’ll agree with you on that. I have zero desire to see Wondow. I also agree that Corona and/or Torres would be better than him.

    • ‘Lichaj is back in so the anti-Klinsi mob can finally lower their torches.’

      because, of course, if you thought lichaj merited a call-up, you obviously hate klinsmann.

    • Yeah he doesn’t seem to be into it and honestly if he’s not 100% committed I don’t want him. There are rumors that he’s afraid of flying.

      • Then if he deserves to go to Brazil we need to get him on a boat.

        While we don’t know if the flying rumor is true or not, let’s assume it is. Have you ever flown with someone who was terrified of flying? I have, it ruined their entire vacation and they were a nervous wreck about having to fly back home.

      • From the interview he did, he isn’t “afraid” of flying. He doesn’t like to fly, which is something very different.

      • “Yeah, that’s why it was hard. You fly all the time for 12 hours. I’m a guy that I can’t sleep on the airplanes. It’s a big problem for me,” Chandler stated.

      • I’ve never understood this line from Chandler. Aren’t there, like, things you can take to knock yourself out for the duration of a flight?

      • I can’t sleep on a regular basis. I have ambien prescribed to me. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I am up all night. Even medication isn’t guaranteed to work.

      • Not just that. If Chandler wants to be there badly enough, he sucks it up for the flight. FIND A WAY. Don’t sleep. Watch movies. Wear eye covers and earplugs. Find a drug that works and doesn’t disqualify him.

        If I had his talent, I’d put up with the flight and play. He doesn’t want it enough.

        If he doesn’t want it badly enough, there are other players who do. Nothing personal, just move on.

      • Who knows and who cares. If he can’t fly on a play then just don’t play for us. We aren’t go to ship/drive him everywhere or only use him at games in europe where he can take a train to. Just give it up if that’s the case.

      • As a Rockets fan who had to watch the whole Royce White debacle, the fear of flying thing can be a massive headache.

    • Dont think it has sailed, as US team staffers went to scout him at his game in the last few weeks. Guess they just didnt like what they saw? Maybe Jurgen wants to make his next callup be one he has to fly overseas for.

      • Maybe Klinsi thinks Chandler should focus on keeping Nuremberg in the Bundesliga1. Right now, Chandler’s squad is in last place with ZERO wins in 12-games!! Nuremberg coach probably doesn’t want to risk Chandler in a friendly.

      • It is more likely that he would not be called based on perceived performance than that he would be omitted because the team stinks. In fact, from personal experience I’d reconclile the two arguments and say that if your team is bad enough (no wins) it may be hard for you to do your job and play well, to look good for the scouts.

        FWIW, Chandler has placed himself in this show me position, so if the team does not provide the stage for doing so, he’s made his own bed.

    • It will be interesting to see if he gets a call for January camp. He’ll have to travel, but not really have to worry about a game a few days later.

      I just want to field the best team available for Brazil–meaning it may not be the “best” 23 players, but the best 23 players who form the best team.

      • You do recall that until Bornstein was brough into that match that the US had a clean-sheet. Bornstein was the catalist that turned the game around for Mexico in the final.

      • Actually, it was Cherundolo leaving that was the catalyst. JB for all the whipping boy action he gets here is really a retreaded midfielder (Bradley, it seems like Klinsmann, likes backs who can join the attack) Defense is where Bradley moved him at Chivas and where he was mostly used for the USMNT. I think that move hurt JB as much or more than it hurt the national team.

      • Mr. Space,

        The USMNT had won a lot of games with Dolo and JB as full backs. Those guys knew how to play with Jonny Boy.
        In fact they have a winning record in friendlies and competitive games with JB at fullback.

        It was Lichaj’s inability to replicate Dolo’s contributions to their possession game that allowed the Mexicans to dominate possession and eventually swamp the US.

        He also gave the ball away cheaply to Guardado in the US penalty box leading directly to the second and tying Mexican goal.

      • What kind of sense does that make? Lichaj was on the field when you say the USA was holding the ball well. If Bornstein was replicating Cherundelo’s qualities, and Lichaj was still being Lichaj, what difference would it make?

        I don’t hate Bornstein like some do, but I don’t see how you can’t say his entry into the game was a game killer. As some people before said correctly, he grew up a forward. Coaches tried to make him a left back. He did have some decent performances but it was never going to have a beautiful ending.

      • Lorenzo,

        All I can tell you is watch the replay.

        In the 2011 Gold Cup final the US scored in the 8th minute
        Dolo went off at the 11th minute.
        Donovan scored on the 20th minute.
        Mexico then scored 4 straight.

        The US would have done much better had Dolo stayed on because once Mexico adjusted to his absence they took over possession and swamped the US.

        I regard that as more Lichaj’s failure not JB’s.

        In words while JB was no great shakes and is always the lazy convenient excuse, the US loss was not due so much to his
        presence as it was to Dolo’s absence. Dolo and JB had won a lot of games together.

        Lichaj was not able to replicate Dolo’s positive affect on possession. Eric is a solid one on one defender but he has issues going forward.

        And he was directly responsible for Mexico’s tying goal (watch the replay).

        With perfect 20/20 hindsight it might have been interesting to see what either Spector or Edu would have done as replacements for Dolo rather than sliding Lichaj there. If you put it that way then you see why perhaps BB preferred to give Eric a shot at the “Dolo role” while playing his natural position right back in a clutch situation.

        Unfortunately Eric did not come through.

      • I suggest you rewatch the 2011 Gold Cup. Lichaj didn’t start the first 2 group games where the team struggled. After the Panama game Lichaj was incerted as the LB and helped shore up the defense. Made good overlapping runs, etc….
        In the Final when Dolo got injured BB moved Lichaj to the RB and brought Bornstein in as the LB. Mexico attacked down the US left side and scored (2-1). Then got a goal off the right side to tie the match. The remaining goals (3 & 4) came off attacking the Left side of the field.
        While not a Bornstein hater (he did a decent to good job in 2010) he was indirectly responsible for 3 of the 4 goals scored by Mexico in the 2011 final. The bulk of the fault falls to BB for mismanagement of the team IMO, as he didn’t have any other defenders to incert into the game (Spector was not in the 18). Which is ultimately what got BB fired.

      • Mr Space,

        You should get your facts straight:

        From US soccer:
        USA – Michael Bradley (Freddy Adu) 8th minute
        USA – Landon Donovan (Clint Dempsey) 23
        MEX – Pablo Barrera (Javier Hernández) 29
        MEX – Andrés Guardado 36
        MEX – Pablo Barrera (Andrés Guardado) 50
        MEX – Giovani dos Santos 76
        USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (12-Jonathan Bornstein, 11), 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Eric Lichaj; 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 22-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Juan Agudelo, 63), 20-Freddy Adu (16-Sacha Kljestan, 86), 8-Clint Dempsey; 10-Landon Donovan
        Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 7-Maurice Edu, 15-Tim Ream, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
        Head Coach: Bob Bradley
        – See more at:
        Spector and Edu were available

        I’ve watched replays of the game several times. You seem to have forgotten Lichaj’s clearance straight to Guardado in the US penalty area leading directly to the second Mexico goal.

        I wasn’t talking about Lichaj’s performance in any of the previous games but they were against CONCACAF opponents weren’t they, so they can be dismissed as irrelevant.

      • didn’t Eric start on the left then get switched to the right after the injury? then didn’t Mexico attack JB mercilessly with their two best 1v1 players, dos Santos and Barrera together on JB’s side? that’s what I recall. I’m not going to rewatch that game either 🙂

      • beachbum,

        Since you don’t have access to replay, then I’ll say this, both US fullbacks sucked after Dolo left. Both could be held directly responsible for Mexican goals.
        Those goals all happened though in great part because without Dolo the US could not maintain possession as well. And this allowed the Mexicans to attack in waves not a good idea with those guys.
        So as far as I’m concerned Lichaj did nothing of merit in that game. Hopefully, he has improved in the two years since.

      • Lost in Space is correct… thats how I remember the game unfolded after JB came in and with Lichaj they did the switcharoo…. JB was just plain terrible…

      • -7

        Just where exactly did you see him bleed goals? In the 2011 Gold Cup, he was brought on to shore up the defense after Tim Ream was poor against Panama.

        The US went on win the next 3 games by shutout, and were up 2-0 against Mexico in the Final before Lichaj was switched to the right side and Jonathan “Achilles Heel” Bornstein was brought on.

      • The last time we saw Lichaj was against Mexico in the Gold Cup Final. He started at LB, he played well. At least until the 11th minute when Cherundolo went off with injury. Guess who replaced Chandler? Bornstein, yes the last time he suited up for the USA he was responsible for all for almost all goals. Bob Bradley lost that game due to his poor choices, not Lichaj’s ability.

        Regardless Lichaj has been playing well for Nottingham who sit at 5th in the Championship, 3 points from 2nd place. He’s gone the full 90 in almost all his games except for a suspension for yellow card accumulation hes been a key in their defense and offense with 1 assist.

        He deserves a chance in the lineup.

      • I’m with you on the small sample size, but, uh, NY just won the SS with a team composed of two stars surrounded by unknown foreigners and castoffs from other MLS teams. So I think their scouting is doing just fine.

      • NYRB won the SS because they are in the east and played DCU & TFC three times each. Don’t forget they just absolutely crashed (& burned) out of the playoffs.

      • Ha! I love my NYRB, but history might argue with you, Joamiq. Theyve made so many awful signings that had nothing at all to do with the players’ actual current ability. Even this season, they absolutely screwed the pooch with Juninho. Don’t even remind me about Kaka’s brother.

    • I hope Lichaj gets at least one start. I want to see how he copes for some good long minutes, with time to settle into a game. He as great offensive tools, and if he can prove himself defensively, he could be the one. It’s been so long, we really don’t know where he’s at as an international-level player.

      • He may need some time in camp to get up to speed since he’s I think the only one there who has never been in a Klinsi camp before and doesn’t know the system at all. It’s good that JK has the chance to give him a look and see what he can do.

  32. Is Wondo rated above Herc (or Agudelo)? I really want good things to happen for this guy and all, but sometimes I wonder about Jurgi playing favorites. He must be a good guy to have on the training ground or something.

    • I too thought Agudelo was a better choice. Maybe Klinsi doesn’t want to risk injuring him?

      Wondo is as stiff of a forward as you can get. At least Agudelo moves around and connects outside of the 18 yard box. Saying that, we don’t need yet another striker. We need more CM depth in this roster.

      • Who do you want…Beckerman? We have Bradley, Jones, Mix…Cameron as a backup and even Evans(plays midfield I think on club team.) I am thinking maybe Brooks/Cameron second game not sure if he would put out Brooks/Gonzales. The game should be fun and we should win both. Scotland and Austria have nothing to play for so they will likely play youth. This US players have another opportunity to make a case for themselves so I imagine they will go hard. Excited to see Lichaj but he didn’t see much of the field this weekend(saw the Championship league on BEin sports.) I guess we will see if he can be a viable player for the Nats.

      • Cameron is already backup to 3-positions. If Jones is in a slump of form, then cameron might be needed as starting DM to pair with Bradley, which then knocks our depth chart off for RB and CB.

      • True but I left off Sasha. So the back up pair would be Cameron & Sasha/Mix with Cameron staying home. Sasha seems to fit this roll better and Mix seems better further up field. In the end these are his guys. So let’s see what they can do. Lichaj is the only one trying to make a first impression. These games are more likely going to tell who is not going rather than who is….yes I realize it is the same effect.

      • I think Scotland is still piss off about getting hammered the last time they played us in the US. They will bring a good team.

      • they couldn’t care less. their coach apologized to JK about his players not really caring. they were on vacation.

    • Fuzzy word, rated. Herc briefly started ahead of Jozy and Co. so he was once the highest rated of the bunch, and he can be a clinical finisher. But with the injury problems and limited PT since he moved to Tijuana, he’s ironically cycled back to the spot in his career when he was off the map and first moved to Mexico.

      As of 2010 Agudelo and Shea were the next big thing and then they never really took off. Agudelo is even about to repeat Shea’s Stoke mistake. In theory he’d be a better player than EJ or a list of people, such an interesting talent with a decent cross, but in practice…..? Not so much. And at some point the real games count against you, you can’t just get by on potential.

      Wondo is mainly just a workhorse, and his production at Gold Cup came on the soft end of the schedule, but vis a vis his cohort including Boyd that I like, he can at least point to a tangible something that shows he will convert at this level.

      This is the part of the cycle where the proven players take over. This is not usually the part where you giver faltering veterans or interesting young talents their chance (Lichaj is probably benefitting from the defensive ups and downs). As much as the arguments you make, make sense, this is “what have you done for me lately” time. You don’t go into Brazil hoping someone turns the corner. You go with the people already around the corner… an ideal world, your best talents have been the ones to make the corner…..but sometimes it’s Robbie Findley et al like last time.

    • There was a lot of talk that he is a leader of the team and really keeps the players positive. NO question he has talent but he might be there for who he is more then what he can provide on the pitch.

    • My only quibble is Wondo and Shea. I think Aguedelo merits more of a look and I would replace Shea with maybe Tim Ream who has started to look good. We are stronger in the midfield than the backline, so it’s time to give Ream another chance. We don’t really need Shea. BTW, I don’t like this return to the old format. I would much rather read the newer comments first and when there are so many comments, it takes forever to get to the end.

      • Well yes and no…Wondo or Aguedelo…neither one makes the team. Shea is a good late game sub for the left side(at this point in his career)…relatively quick and has good size for set pieces. Problem is that he doesn’t play first team minutes and U-23 isn’t good enough. I would think about Ream if he were going to play right back. Gonzo, Besler, Cameron, Brooks…what do all those lack? Experience…and thus Goodson. An argument is that Klinsi doesn’t play Cameron at center back. And then Ream could be considered. If Klinsi had his way Cameron would be playing CB for Stoke but Klinsi doen’t always get what he wants.

      • Ream is left footed and has played left back for Bolton before so it makes no sense to put him at right back. Unless Brooks just doesn’t commit to the US or one of our other cwnterbacks gets injured, I just dont see TR getting the call regardless of his current form!

      • Juan is going from a full season of MLS to Stoke in midseason with little rest. He’s also very injury prone. We’ve seen Players in the past get overloaded in situations like that so I think it’s for the best. Let him concentrate on impressing Hughes. If he can find a way to earn pt at Stoke, that will mean a lot more for his chances than a few minutes in these friendlies, IMO.

      • The defender in me is befuddled that people are suggesting Goodson and Ream. Goodson leaks goals every appearance and Ream couldn’t catch a cold on defense. The defense needs to be athletic and mobile for the most part, and needs to be capable of the prime defensive directive. I really don’t care if Ream is supposedly composed on the ball going forward if he can’t stop high level players on defense when he has to. Ditto Goodson’s occasional poaches. Games like 3-2 vs. Panama make people somehow forget teams like Panama are getting those 2. Repeated pattern, Russia, Bosnia, etc. Honduras earlier in the Hex shows you won’t always win leaking goals. Ghana last cycle shows how definitive single mistakes can be… the top levels it’s likely over.

      • Replace “Goodson” and insert “Omar Gonzales” and you have the same argument.

        In my eyes, the biggest difference between Goodson and Omar is Goodson scores goals. Both have their fair share of glaring weaknesses.

      • Yes, there is a reason Evans and Beasley were not defenders at club level.

        When you look at the holdovers Klinsmann was working with from day 1, Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore, Bradley, Jones, it was pretty obvious that priority number one was a back line to replace aging Demerit, Boca, Gooch, Cherundolo + Bornstein. It doesnt seem to me like he has come very far in 2 years and dozens of games.

      • Yes, the US is missing a few really solid defenders in the back line. There will not be many 4-3 games in Brazil, probably a lot more 1-0 or 2.1 wins, if your team is giving up goals, good luck.

    • Agreed. On a side note does Lichaj deserve to be called up ahead of Chandler based on talent? Chandler continues to excel as a Bundesliga starter, whereas Lichaj is battling to see minutes (recently off the bench) in the Championship. Surely, Chandler was omitted because of questionable commitment to the team. If so, Klinsmann should state that to be the case instead of basing it on form and depth. Otherwise he can’t evaluate talent well and would explain why Agudelo was left behind for Wondolowski.

      • Lichaj has been consistently going for 90min, hes played in all games except for 1 for yellow card accumulation. He has had assists and has been a factor in his games. Saying his call up is unwarranted is a little false.

      • Please re-read the post. I did not state that Lichaj’s call up was unwarranted, but highlighted that Chandler’s omission could not be performance-based when he continues to outplay his RB competition.

      • Managing a national side requires some semblance of political savvy. Only a complete moron would state that he is taking one player over another because of lack of commitment to the team unless they are willing to entirely cross that player off their list forever, you are denigrating the one player and completely alienating the other from the US fan base such that it would haunt him forever if JK decides to call him in at a later date.

      • I can understand the requirement for political savviness in any professional position. However, Klinsmann has clarified that Chandler stated, “I’m not sure yet about this whole thing,” in regards to his commitment in August 2012. Apparently, Chandler has already alienated himself from most USMNT supporters. The same honesty should be reciprocated by the manager. Managers regularly select one player ahead of another based on off-the-field matters only to recall them. This doesn’t denigrate an athlete, but in fact does the opposite by judging where a player stands based on overall talent. This should motivate the strong willed.

      • Sorry, but you’re not being realistic. Managers are not paid to be honest and straightforward. They are paid to win matches and typically make statements for effect not to convey factual information.

      • Yet several coaches/managers and athletes, whether professional or at the collegiate level, among different clubs and sports regularly do. Particularly in this country.

      • I don’t think Klinsmann has any obligation to come out and say to the media exactly what he’s thinking on every given subject. Obviously as a fan and supporter, I’d love to hear and know exactly why certain players are picked and others are not, but he doesn’t have to tell us. So when people criticize Klinsmann for inconsistent selection tendencies, remember that.

      • He has no obligation, but when he is quoted by SBI for questioning Chandler’s commitment he indirectly presented Chandler in a negative tone to the team’s supporters. Basically, I am asking him to own up to it. He is politically correct when explaining his decisions, but airs out the brutal truth and quotes Chandler in SBI’s articles in 2012.

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