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23 for 2015: Projecting the USMNT Gold Cup roster (November 2014 Edition)

USMNT vs Colombia starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com
 

By IVES GALARCEP

It’s okay to admit it. If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan, you probably came away from the November friendlies feeling down about the state of the team. A pair of losses, including a blowout against an Ireland B team has been enough to shake the confidence of even the most ardent U.S. fan.

What is easily forgotten in the wake of those losses was the number of players missing from that November roster. Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd were all left out of that camp while Jermaine Jones, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Lee Nguyen missed the Ireland loss.

While those friendly losses didn’t do much to instill confidence in the state of the team, what it did do is give U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann some information to process about his team, including veterans and newcomers. In my latest Goal.com piece, I broke down the players who boosted their stock the most in the November friendlies, and those who saw their stock drop.

With that in mind, here is a look at the group of players I currently see making up the 2015 Gold Cup roster. Yes, plenty can still happen between now and then, but this is how I see things shaking out based on where players stand now, and how things should go in the coming months.

Here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:

Projected USMNT Gold Cup Roster (November 2014 Edition)

(New additions in BOLD)

GOALKEEPERS

Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Bill Hamid

Outlook- Guzan has edged away from Rimando and is now the clear-cut number one, and  now the question is whether Hamid is ready to leapfrog Rimando on the depth chart. It might be a bit early for that, even with Hamid getting the nod against Ireland, but Hamid is definitely putting pressure on the RSL veteran.

Missed the Cut– Sean Johnson, Steve Clark, Cody Cropper

——————
DEFENDERS

Jermaine Jones, Greg Garza, Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, DeAndre Yedlin, Timmy Chandler

Outlook- After dropping out of the mix last month, Brooks is back after a solid showing against Colombia and subsequent return to the Hertha Berlin starting lineup. His good showings, coupled with Besler’s shakiness, has him back firmly in the picture.

One player who we have moved off this list onto the midfield list is Geoff Cameron. It’s tough to see Klinsmann leaving behind either Gonzalez, Brooks or Besler (with Jones looking like a very safe bet), and with more than five central defenders unlikely, Cameron could stay in the picture as a defensive midfield option/versatile roster option.

The January camp should offer some players a chance to move up the charts, with Hedges a player who should earn a look despite reports that he has yet to be contacted.

Missed the Cut– Tim Ream, Matt Hedges, Michael Orozco, Chris Schuler, Eric Lichaj, Robbie Rogers, Will Packwood, DaMarcus Beasley

——————–
MIDFIELDERS

Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Kyle Beckerman,  Graham Zusi, Lee Nguyen, Geoff Cameron, Joe Gyau

Outlook- Look who is back in the conversation. Beckerman’s good showing against Colombia has him back in the picture, and the lack of clear defensive midfield options makes him a Gold Cup candidate despite his age. Klinsmann has never been afraid to drop an older player once a younger option has emerged, so Beckerman still has work to do, but the fact he is back in the picture is a testament to his hard work.

Joe Gyau is back after making a quick recovery from the meniscus injury that threatened to keep him out until January. His speed on the flanks makes him a tough option to pass up, though Klinsmann’s recent experiments with DeAndre Yedlin on the right wing could keep Gyau off the roster.

Nguyen was already on our projected 23 last month, but has an even stronger hold after his impressive cameo against Colombia. He should receive more opportunities come January, and with Diskerud struggling to impress as a playmaker, Nguyen is very much a player who is quickly moving up the charts.

Alfredo Morales has dropped off the list after failing to impress against Ireland. Playing wide in a 4-4-2 doesn’t really suit his strengths (he plays on the left side of midfield in a 4-3-3 with Ingolstadt). It would be interesting to see Morales in a defensive midfield role, but he is going to have to wait a while before he gets that chance, and may never get that chance of Danny Williams works his way back into the picture for the March full-team friendly.

One player missing from the 23 is  Julian Green, who was limited to just four minutes over the course of two matches. His loan to Hamburg isn’t going well, and Klinsmann no longer has a need to make him a part of the Gold Cup squad if he’s not in form given the fact he’s already cap-tied. Perhaps Green can break through at Hamburg in the spring, but for right now it’s just tough to justify giving him a roster spot.

Missed the Cut– Julian Green, Alfredo Morales, Wil Trapp, Danny Williams, Perry Kitchen, Harrison Shipp, Luis Gil, Miguel Ibarra, Brek Shea, Emerson Hyndman.

——————
FORWARDS

Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd

Outlook- Not much changed on this front, even with three of the four incumbents left out of the November friendlies. Rubio Rubin boosted his stock, and is looking more and more like a possible option to track the top four if any the others are injured or fall out of favor, but beyond that there isn’t much movement.

Bobby Wood put himself in good spots, but couldn’t finish any of them. Chris Wondolowski set up a goal against Ireland but didn’t really show much otherwise and Jordan Morris is still too young.

The January camp should offer someone like Gyasi Zardes a chance to shine, but with Boyd and Johannsson back in form since returning from injuries, it could be hard to crack this top four any time soon.

Missed the Cut– Rubio Rubin, Chris Wondolowski, Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes, Jordan Morris, Andrew Wooten.

—–

What do you think of this group of 23 players? Who are you happy to see included in the squad? Who is missing that you feel should have made the cut?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Beasley should be on this list despite his age. He is a reliable defender with speed as demonstrated in Brazil. Timothy Chandler keeps getting the benefit of the doubt, why not DMB? His time may be short but he can help us win the Gold Cup and I don’t know if the younger Chandler has proven anything in a USMNT kit. Beasley looked good in his brief appearance this last go around in Europe too.

    Reply
    • Agreed, Beasley seems to have another year or so in him and the GC is for winning, not for bringing along new players. Right now, Garza seems a bit ahead of Beasley, but Chandler not so much.

      Reply
  2. There’s a big part of me that thinks these lineups don’t matter much until we can find a couple of young, creative attacking mids to put in there. I am not expecting Pirlo or Sjneider or Xavi. More like Valeri, Higuain, Or Morales. We just don’t have players who can produce those magical moments that create goals out of nothing. We have enough other things to be a Top 25 in the world club, but to truly compete we need creative playmakers. If Nguyen were 23 I would be really excited, but we would still need another couple of them. There s a reason why Freddy Adu’s name still gets hits on soccer websites–he is a not good enough version of exactly what we need. So who is in the pipeline for this spot? Hyndman? Thompson? Flores? Rowe? To me, who is in the other positions makes a difference as to whether we are 15th in the world or 25th. No higher than that, though. I am almost past reading these lineup projections altogether,,, (but not quite!)

    Reply
    • We have the opposite problem, the defense needs to do their job and keep us in games where the attacking talent can produce. I think we have plenty of offense, the issue is DM and the backline. Remember the U-23s a couple years back.

      Reply
      • I totally disagree. The defense is doing it’s job again, and again, and again. If it weren’t, we’d be giving up 4+ goals every game. It’s the midfield that can’t hold onto a ball long enough to transition to attack. Or, if the defense goes for a long-ball clearance straight to the forwards, then it’s the midfield that can’t move the ball around to probe different angles of attack.

      • JK absolutely needs to put Gonzo and Brooks out there as many times as possible, because, given their age, they are the highest probability CB pairing and it would be good to give them every opportunity to gel.

      • Having a 6’4 and 6’5 CBs manned your defense sounds like an excellent idea, especially for crosses. However they may not as mobile to handle the quick pass and go plays of smaller forwards.

  3. Anyone think Zusi would do well centrally? He has vision, covers a lot of ground, and a decent long shot. He just is too slow go play on the wings.

    Reply
  4. I think as more “players who missed :the cut” are brought into the team for a cap ( ie Gyassi Zardes), you will see the dynamics of the team change. Some of the best in-form US players from the MLS were left off the team for the obvious reasons. But Klinsmann will have to leave off some of his favorites who showed poor form in last month friendlies to leave room for the up-an- comers.

    If JK challenged the players to get out of the comfort zone and challenge themselves, he too, will have to chant the same mantra and bring in some fresh faces and leave some of his poor performing favorites behind

    Reply
    • If JK challenged the players to get out of the comfort zone and challenge themselves, he too, will have to chant the same mantra and bring in some fresh faces and leave some of his poor performing favorites behind

      LMAO…You can never expect JK to follow anything like that. He will come up with a new plan that somehow includes non performers and yesterdays aging players

      Reply
    • “If JK challenged the players to get out of the comfort zone and challenge themselves, he too, will have to chant the same mantra and bring in some fresh faces and leave some of his poor performing favorites behind”

      Explain what one has to do with the other.

      Reply
  5. I’d like to see Robbie Rogers make the team and battle for LB with Garza. To make room, bump Yedlin up to midfield (and make him work on his crosses) and drop Graham Zusi. I like Zusi, but he seems more spent than Besler and not as reliable as Beckerman.

    Reply
  6. I think we need to try out some younger CB. Omar and Brooks will be under 30 in 2018 but the rest of our regular CB will be over 30 by the time the WC rolls around. That’s not to say that they won’t be able to contribute at a high level but we should have a backup plan our older players aren’t going to get any better.

    Reply
    • Give Steve Birnbuam two more years starting game in game out for DCU, and he might be pushing for a spot. Probably not as soon as the Summer’s Gold Cup, but if he continues to develop like he showed this season, he’ll be in the conversation and still under 27.

      Reply
    • Well, JK is betting that you are wrong by putting JJ there. Not sure how long that experiment will last but I wish JJ would remain at DM position as long as he can, once he slows down, we should see if he should retire or be part of our bench rotation at that position. I guess, I’m afraid that we may see a JJ and Besler as our CBs, two 6 footers to hold off taller forwards.

      Reply
  7. For whatever reason Klinsi doesn’t rate Zardes.
    If he wants to get noticed he needs to go to become a bench player on a mediocre Mex side. Maybe team with Blanco. Then he will get a nat start

    Reply
  8. A pretty good projection IMO for a 23, with a couple of changes I would make though.

    I would bring Green and Williams and drop Zusi and Beckerman.

    Reply
    • I disagree on Green… He’s shown little to deserve a call. Zusi & Beckerman…. I can see Bradley at DM (bye bye Beckerman) and Zusi… drop him, Any number of players are better than him at this point

      Reply
    • You almost have to take Zusi just because apparently no one else can take a corner. I’ll lose my mind if I have to watch them take anymore of those short corners like against Ireland.

      Reply
      • Jack,

        Ireland are full of big, tall strong players who are very good in the air.

        Any aerial threats the USMNT has would, at best, break even vs. the Irish.

        Why beat your head against that wall?

        It’s an exhibition game. Use it to practice drawing all those tall trees out of the area with short corners.

      • Amen. I think the deadballs were horrendous lately. I don’t like Zusi much but someone has to take them, and do it better. It’s like a whole portion of our traditional game that’s just defunct.

    • After we’ve qualified for the confederations cup. Or better yet, ocne the younger players become better than them. Not before.

      Reply
    • That would be a recipe for disaster. There simply in no substitute for experience, especially in defense and maybe more so in the center of the midfield. Some flashy young thing might make nice eye-candy running around, but most often will be eaten alive by experienced defenders. The Gold Cup with its potential for a spot in the Confederation Cup is not a time to bring in players who are naive. The January camp and maybe some late summer or fall friendlies are better times to sprinkle in more fresh meat to see how tough it is, but even then not for wholesale changes.

      Reply
    • And with this, I am pretty sure I have now heard every imaginable gripe.

      If nothing else, I would think the last couple of years have shown you that JK is not gun-shy when it comes to euthanizing established veterans once he believes they are no longer adding value, or when it comes to giving big opportunities to young players.

      Reply
  9. “What is easily forgotten in the wake of those losses was the number of players missing from that November roster.”

    Can’t talk about this without mentioning the number of players missing from the opponents’ rosters too. Shows the US’s extreme lack of skilled depth. Our B team can’t beat Ireland’s B team? Yuck.

    Reply
  10. Since the 2015 Gold Cup is scheduled from 06 to 26 July, more than 7 months from now, maybe not only should we be predicting the players, we should also predict who will be the coach.

    Reply
  11. I really hope your picks are WAY off base. Jan camp is a time to try upcoming players, not the same ole same ole. How many more times do we need to see Dempsey, Bradley, Zusi blah blah blah to know what they bring?

    Reply
    • Can you not even read the title of the article?!?!? How do you even come to the conclusion this is about the January camp? Literally every single aspect of this article is about the Gold Cup!

      Reply
      • Except the team just played so poorly I would not presume upon the status quo tracking forward. I would expect some turnover. I would expect a couple January players to surprise people and be around for Gold Cup.

        If we were playing well, yeah, I’d expect us to call in winter campers who got a look but then disappeared again when we reverted to the winning team. But it’s actually on a losing streak so I don’t expect JK to be crazy and run out the same bunch of losers to see if they get better results if given game after game.

  12. the January camp should be a good chance for Perry Kitchen to demonstrate he is the Defensive Midfield option to replace Kyle Beckerman. I’m not saying it’s a lock, but Kitchen covers as much or more ground with better pace, tackles as well or better, and has not hit his ceiling yet. To me the biggest question is if he reads the game well enough at his age. If he doesn’t blow it in January and stays healthy for DC next season (where he is a lock to start every game he is healthy for), I think he makes the Gold Cup roster.

    Reply
    • Can’t wait for Kitchen or Trapp to get their shot. Would really like to see Edu get another shot as well. Question is whether Klinsmann will give the young MLS prospects an opportunity before he’s finished with all the European based prospects at like positions.

      Reply
    • I think Beckerman and Mixx played such poor defense in the midfield I expect plenty of people to get their chance in CM this spring.

      Kitchen might be a stretch based on callups but if he gets a January call I think JK will judge him by how he shows, and like Garza he could surprise and stick beyond what people might expect.

      Reply
      • “Garza he could surprise and stick beyond what people might expect.”

        What do you think people expect?.

        Garza looks like #1 at left back right now or at least #1A if you have DMB as #1.

  13. Has the ship really sailed that far for the Liga mx contingent? Both Jose Torres and Castillo have been playing excellent in starting roles for 2 very good teams and Michael Orozco has been solid as well. Except for Orozco, Torres and Castillo are in their prime years. I get that they’ve haven’t been lights out during their call ups but they seem to possess the skills needed for the possession with purpose oriented style of play jk has been harping on for so long. I don’t know, just a question for y’all.

    Reply
    • I can’t for the life of me figure out why we haven’t seen Castillo played as a winger. Maybe he doesn’t have the work rate Klinsmann wants, I don’t know. I think Orozco has done well also and is probably battling Omar for that spot.

      Reply
    • Castillo can’t play defense at an international level, including as a wing M. Which makes him a liability.

      I’d expect some MX guys to get a look in the spring and their chance for Gold Cup but I don’t think JK rates anyone but Orozco based on callups.

      Reply
    • I would think Rubio is competing with Aron, while Jozy is Boyd’s competition…hopefully Jurgen has learned from not taking a backup for Jozy.

      Reply
      • I would agree with your statement, RR is going against AJ. The question is RR better at ACM? LeeN is playing out of his mind but I don’t think he is a 90 minute player, RR may be an excellent reliever for him, at least for the immediate future.

    • You might have a point and only one of a few guys including Wood may join Jozy, Dempsey, and AJ up top.

      But since no one was perfect and Boyd was hurt I expect people to get tried out in the Spring and whoever emerges gets the role. Rubio has a leg up by starting and playing recently. But he didn’t score so it’s going to be what have you done for me lately.

      Reply
  14. I find it goofy that we are playing Jones as a Centerback given a) he is playing so well in the midfield for his club, b) we’ve got lots of center back options (including Cameron, who is inexplicably listed here as a midfielder) and c) we have a “lack of clear defensive midfield options” (as Ives put it).

    The push to convert him to center back is just strange.

    Reply
    • Just looking at the last 2 friendlies where Jones and Cameron played at center back. No question I’d trust Jones more in the spot right now. Cameron couldn’t have been much worse.

      Reply
      • Cameron was actually really good in the first half against Ireland ad faded in the second but I’m guessing that’s down to him not getting the games at CB for Stoke! Now, if there is someone to worry about in the back it’d be Besler who was awful at best to me except for one potential goal scoring clearance.

      • At one point Cameron poorly handles a clearness and plays it right to an Irish player in on goal. He was just lucky the shot was right at Hamid. Cameron was awful and unless he starts playing the position for Stoke shouldn’t be in the center back pool.

      • If you just reviewed Cameron’s USMNT games at center back I think you will find long stretches of very good to outstanding play occasionally interrupted by a stupid, sometimes costly mistake.

        For most of that stretch he has not played center back for his club.

        It is tempting to think that if he was Stoke’s regular center half the mistakes would go away but I don’t know if that would happen or not. Gonzo plays only center back for LA and he has the something of the same problem with the USMNT.

        Maybe Jones won’t be the same way.

      • Mr Gw, you hit a good point.
        Cameron doesn’t play CB for club, yet JK puts him there. Ream doesn’t play CB yet, JK puts him there. You see a pattern here?

      • Mr. Z,

        The pattern I see is that JK does not have very talented options in terms of permanent long term solutions so he makes the best of the situation by moving players around as necessary.

        Gonzo plays nothing but center back but like Cameron he is prone to playing well for periods and then making stupid errors So you can’t use the out of position excuse for Gonzo.

        I’m not convinced Cameron’s errors are due to that lame out of position excuse. I think he makes them because he’s not paying attention.

        Cameron has spent his entire career moving back and forth. Scan any number of top European teams and you will find more than a few centerbacks/fullbacks/midfielders who shift around on a regular to semi regular basis.

        He gets paid a lot of money to get comfortable quickly and perform even when shifting between positions.And many of his errors strike me as having very little to do with the position he is playing. If he can’t handle that then he’s not a very focused footballer. He can do better.

        And JK should keep running him out there like that because his primary value to the US is due to his versatility. That’s why Hughes keeps him around at Stoke.

        For the USMNT he is not the best long term solution for any one position.

        Overall I’d say he has been a net positive for the US but blaming his errors on the out of position excuse sounds like the dog ate his homework excuse. It’s very lame.

        Ream does not play left back for the USMNT because JK has a lot better options at the moment.

        As far as I can tell he is being evaluated as possibly the new Parkhurst but the jury is still out..

    • Jones at CB is a long term play. For the short term, DM is his best spot where he has shown well for us. Long term, he likely won’t have the legs to cover enough ground come 2018. Klinsmann is giving Jones his best shot to improve the team for the next World Cup which is what this is all about.

      Reply
      • The error, to me, was playing Beckerman in his spot. Beckerman is already fading and has the same age issue Jones does. So they should really be looking younger at DM since Beckerman can’t fill that role over 4 years if Jones moves back.

    • Klinsy loves Jones.
      Jones, while ballin’ in the middle for MLS, will be too slow for int’l game as he gets older.
      Klinsy wants Jones on the field.
      Klinsy loves to play people out of position to show his tactical genius.
      Thus…JJ is your starting CB for the next four years.

      Reply
      • Shouldn’t we wait until he actually start to slow down. His midfield game is currently the best in USMNT. How quickly we forget he got beat bad in the air in the Ecuador game when playing CB.

      • Jones was not beat bad in the air against Ecuador. Please go back and look at the tape. He was left defending two players.

      • Let’s rule out anybody who’s ever been beaten in the air from playing center back for us.

        Okay looks like we’re playing a 2-4-4.

      • right on. JK loves to make the simple complicated-how else could he justify his job and salary- by always moving the pieces around, a narrative can be created and sold to the public about how tough the players must get and how they need to be ready for everything, blah, blah…learning…MLS…blah, blah

        If a consistent starting 11 were trotted out and it did not perform there would be a clear line of fault running to the top, but this way, through obscurity, fans and media get lots in the forest or arguing about the minutae…

      • JK doesn’t have to sell his narrative to the public. Just the USSF, and he’s doing just fine. Golden, in fact. There is a zero percent chance of him being fired for results rght now. Zero. Your hypothesis just doesn’t hold water.

        For much more sensible reasons, JK would indeed be a fool to trot out our WC first choice XI for these friendlies. The November friendlies of a World Cup year are the absolute best opportunity in the entire 4 year cycle to try new things and bleed new potential talent. For CONCACAF teams, these results are as meaningless as they come and have had no historical bearing on or correlation to competive results the following summer… They are best for learning, and that is how we used them.

        You should be more rational.

      • blokhin,

        Look up a guy named Vincent Kompany before you think there is some sinister conspiracy behind moving JJ to CB.

      • Also, one of the reasons Jones gets so many yellows (or at least did in Germany) is that he is a defensive mid and his job is to be sure no one gets a free run at the back 4. When a DM is caught chasing a play, it is gonna be bad for his team and a tactical foul is called for.

        As a DM ages and gets slower, the frequency of ocasions when a tactical foul is called for increases to the point of diminishing returns. A CB can mostly keep the play in front of him and not have to chase back so often. This is clearly a way to keep Jones in the picture and deal with what many consider a weak set of international CBs. for the US.

      • This is why Michael Bradley will never be a good defensive center mid. He will never play defensive and make sure no ne gets a free run at the back four. He is too soft.

      • Playing as a pure defensive/holding mid is pretty much all he did in Italy. His performances as a DM for Chievo more or less revived his career, earning praise inthe press and a move to Roma,where he was also deployed as a DM.

      • Actually, Bradley seems to prefer to drop back and play defense. JK has consistently tried to employ him in a more attacking role, I think because he values Bradley’s ability to provide good service. Bradley, however, seems unable to play the more attacking role for the USMNT, preferring, or doing as the play demands, to help out defensively. MB has plenty of bite defensively and is as likely as any other player to commit a tactical foul when it is called for.

      • “Klinsy wants Jones on the field.”

        That’s because Jones bosses the team and pushes it to play better.

        And he is currently the only guy in the pool who can do that. They would not have lost so badly to Ireland had Jones played.

      • He’s playing in the back, not the midfield. He may still break down too much by 2018 but it is not as fitness demanding and right now he is mobile and crunching people.

    • He’s the best playing back right now. He is filling a need area. That’s not goofy.

      By 2018 Jones is too old to play DM and JK is looking at the big picture. It’s immaterial that he can still play M now if he’d be 30-whatever in 4 years.

      They do need to find mobile DMs now to fill his role, but that needs to happen anyway. Either now looking forward or you could wait two years til he can’t run enough and do it in the heat of battle in games that count.

      I do think where-ever you move Jones it causes a problem where he leaves. But that doesn’t mean you leave him in a spot he probably can’t fill in 4 years based on age.

      Reply
  15. Why no Julian Green? Because of his form? I think Juergen has too much invested in him not to bring him. It’s not like this is a World Cup. Oh snap!

    Oh and Jozy? I just don’t get it. 3 goals in a year and a half now and he still gets starts? I know, I know, he’s wonderful at hold up play. Oh please, I’d much rather give a young forward a chance to break through. Just saying.

    Reply
      • Unroll eyes, he has scored 12 goals in his last 23 USMNT appearances (25 in 75 total) and 4, not 3 this year. Maybe not fantastic, but it is similar to Robby Keane who has scored 65 goals in 135 appearances for Ireland.

        It is clear the move to Sunderland was not a good one but it is likely that will end soon enough.

    • Truth is Gyau hasn’t really done much more then Green to this point either. He’s made Dortmund’s bench a few more times but he’s actually only played 16 minutes in total to this point.

      Reply
    • Klinsmann has nothing invested in Green, (in fact it is just the opposite). U.S. Soccer and the Bundesliga does. Klinsmann proved that by playing him as a sub in only one of the 3 send off friendlies, playing him as a sub in only one of the 4 games in Brazil, and that in the last 15 minutes of extra time when we were down 0:2, then subbing him at the 86th min. in the Colombia friendly and not playing him at all in Dublin.

      Where do almost all of you think that Klinsmann likes Green. Besides, Klinsi had nothing to do with Julian Green opting for the USMNT.

      Reply
      • Well, I hate to smack Hornets’ nests with a stick, but . . .

        The best evidence that JK likes Green is that he put him on the WC roster in lieu of , ahem, more experienced options.

      • I am trying to show that Klinsmann does do some things that he is told to do by other management types in U.S. Soccer.

        However, he really hates it when that happens so he, how shall I put it………seeks his revenge and shows that it is really him who is boss of it all.

      • Are you trying to absolve Klinsmann from the Julian Green courtship? There is absolutely no evidence to support your assertion that it was USSF and not Klinsmann that recruited and created the Julian Green aura.

      • There is a ton of evidence that Klinsmann did no recruitment of Green. It was Andreas Herzog that handled all contact with Julian Green and Bayern Munich.

        It was Bayern and the Bundesliga that first posed the possibility of Green’s playing for the USMNT to U.S. Soccer.

        The agreement was made and Klinsmann did not have a vote. That is why he is so angry about it. He will never give Green a chance.

      • It would be fascinating to see your evidence of any of this. Seriously if there is a “ton” I can’t wait!.

        I’m holding my breath!

      • Ronald,

        How would you know what the USSF tells JK to do or not do?

        Is there a web site where these orders are available so we can see them too?

        Are you friends with someone who works with JK?

        Are you married to one of the 15 or so voting members of the USSF?

        I’d really like to know.

      • GW. No, it is only that after reading what a poster said here before Green made his switch to the U.S., he predicted it, said it was a marketing decision by Bayern and German soccer, he even predicted a coaching change, it made sense to me.

        So I did a lot of research. I started with the assumption that there had to be a reason that Green played for all the German national unders and Pep stopped his planned loan to Hamburg last season. Then they made the loan this season with the restriction that it was for a single season.

      • Where did you read that Green was supposed to go on loan last season instead of playing on Bayern Munich’s reserve team? Never read anything to that effect.

        You are suggesting that Hamburg wanted to take on an 18 year old 4th division player for it’s first team last season as it was fighting for relegation?

      • Ronald,

        In the course of your research do you have any documentation or anything that says the USSF told JK “Put Green on the World Cup team even if you don’t want to”?

        One reason for Green playing for all those German Under teams might be that he was good enough to warrant such attention.

        And maybe Pep stopped a planned loan to Hamburg last season because he thought he might need the cover. That sort of thing is a common occurance.

        You may have a lot of data compiled and you may have a lot of suspicions but that is a long way from having actual evidence that proves anything. Likelihood is not certainty.

        I always thought JK wanted Green in the World Cup primarily because he wanted a speedy late game scoring threat. And Green proved to be exactly that when it really counted. So JK was right.

      • GW. No, I do not have any documentation that states USSF told JK to do anything. I only have a lot of facts that logically point to, or excludes, only one conclusion (person). For instance, do the known facts of Donovan playing in the Ecuador friendly all point to Klinsmann’s being the one to take that decision or to someone else?

        I think it could be safely stated that the only reason Green played in (did not sit the bench) in all those German unders games was due to his talent at the time.

        It was quoted in the Süddeutsche Zeittung by Sammer that Pep nixed the loan because he thought Greens development would be better staying at Bayern, practicing with the first team and playing for the reserves.

        If JK wanted Green in the WC primarily because he wanted a speedy late game scoring threat he would not have waited until he did. He would have put him in before the 2nd half of extra time when we were down 0:2. Nothing points to your thought.

        Also, contrary to your “…..when it really counted so JK was right” it most certainly did not really count. We were out of the match,
        (the only thing was, Green did something Klinmann knew he couldn’t. Green scored and energized the team.

        You know, kind of the same thing when, against Klinsmann’s wishes, he played Donovan against Ecuador. That didn’t look so good for Klinsi (as he knew would happen) because the 30 some minutes Donovan was on the field it was obvious to all watching that Landon was the best player on the field.

        Logic and enough circumstantial evidence can lead to a single conclusion, excluding all other possibilities. It happens in criminal trials a lot.

      • Ronald,
        ,
        You are misinformed. Watch a replay of the end of the Belgium game sometime.

        The Belgium game was 0-0 at 90 minutes. JK had to be careful about subs because had to put Yedlin in for the injured Johnson early and had already subbed in Wondo at about 72 minutes. He had extra time looming, and had only one sub left .

        DeBruyne scored at 93 minutes . Some minutes after that Green had warmed up and was on the sidelines waiting to report in when Lukaku scored at 105 minutes . Green came on immediately after that goal and scored at 107 minutes.

        Which means the score was 2-1 with 13 minutes left to take the game to penalties . That is not my idea of being out of a game.

        Some time after Green’s goal the US had a free kick near the Belgium penalty box that wound up with Dempsey with the ball at his feet in on goal. Unfortunately he failed to score.

        “You know, kind of the same thing when, against Klinsmann’s wishes, he played Donovan against Ecuador. That didn’t look so good for Klinsi (as he knew would happen) because the 30 some minutes Donovan was on the field it was obvious to all watching that Landon was the best player on the field.”

        What does an exhibition game months after the end of the World Cup have to do with the legitimacy of a World Cup roster? The fact that Donovan played well vs Ecuador does not mean he should have been in Brazil any more than the fact that some of our best players like Fabian Johnson or Matt Besler, have been playing poorly since the World Cup should not have been in Brazil.

        It makes no sense to me that you evaluate a World Cup roster by how well the players or the potential players play AFTER the tournament is over. Care to explain that?.

        “Logic and enough circumstantial evidence can lead to a single conclusion, excluding all other possibilities. It happens in criminal trials a lot.”

        Sure, but ONLY if you have all the facts. Are you so sure you have all the facts? It’s nice that you have confidence in your deductions and assumptions but that does not mean they are true.

      • I recall when the World Cup roster was named, Klinsmann was quoted something to the effect of “We have been scouting him for a while”, “We are excited to bring him in”, “We can make him special”. I remember it distinctly, “We”, “We”, “We”.

        Klinsmann basically tied his own coaching reputation on Green’s development it seems to me.

      • Well, of course. Player selection and management of the available pool are certainly factors that influence a coach’s reputation. This would seem fairly obvious. An international head coach makes dozens of these decisions during the course of a cycle. Some of them work, some of them do not– good coaches tend to get the important ones right more than they miss, particularly those that affect competetive results and tournament performance..

      • Would love to read that article. Seems unfathomable that a 1st division Bundesliga team would want a 17-18 year old 4th division player on it’s squad as it fights relegation.

        And why would Bayern Munich let one of it’s top academy prospects develop under anyone but it’s own trainers?

      • They did not want Green “as they were fighting relegation”. They wanted him, or agreed to take him, on loan from Bayern before the season started. They had no idea at that time that they would be “fighting relegation” late in season. The deal was made before Pep Gaurdolia came to Bayern.

        When Pep got there and saw Green play on the practice field he nixed the loan. All of this was reported in the main Munich newspaper, the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

      • Also, Bayern has done this many times before. For instance, Philip Lahm, who grew up in Munich, was loaned to Stuttgart. Lahm will go down as one of the very best Bayern Munich academy youngsters of all time.

      • How many of those were penalty kicks? Pretty sure it’s 3. His goals from run of play aren’t there. Look, I love the guy. Hell, I have his autographed NYRB jersey but he can’t be the best our pool has and if he is we need to develop others by giving them looks at his expense. Yes the move to Sunderland was a bad move. But maybe his top level is the erdivisive. He was better for the Nats when he was scoring there. And there’s no shame in that in my book. But get back to a league where you can score.

      • So what?

        They still count. At that level you are a little misguided if you think a penalty is easy. Ask Cint Dempsey.. And if you have watched the USMNT Jozy played well for the USMNT.

        And most important of all none of his suggested replacements have done anything to merit any confidence that they can do any better. At least not yet

    • Jozy will be on the team because no one else has stepped up.

      I keep wanting Boyd to get the job because I think he has a similar big body with softer feet and some technicality, but other than a back heel he’s not done anything when given the chance. Jozy has, much as I grumble about his play.

      If you want Jozy out — and he’s not playing or scoring and is vulnerable — find a target striker who can score internationally. Until then Jozy wins his spot, for which he is arguably ill suited, by default.

      Reply
      • For forwards to step up they need to have a chance to have meaningful minutes which I don’t think that has happened, unlike his club situation where he was given a chance, didn’t performed, someone else was tried. For our MNT it is Jozy, period.

      • He is doing everything that Klinsmann wants players to do, so why not ask the question. Truth be told, he might be better than Besler and other options at CB or even left back, but it’s hard to say since I haven’t really seen him play over the last couple of years. Funny though that he and Lichaj are doing EXACTLY what Klinsmann says he wants players to do, but are not shown any love.

      • Mr. lamb,

        If you haven’t seen Ream play in a while then why would you question the USMNT’s judgment of him?

        They most certainly have seen him play more recently than you have as well as having him in camp several times. That constitutes a show of “love” for Ream that is certainly not felt for Lichaj.

        It seems they think Ream is worth considering but has yet to show enough to them to merit more time. And maybe he never will. Ream also may be suffering from Cameron disease as he is also played as a holding midfielder by Bolton and this may complicate his case. Whether that is good or bad I don’t know.

        Lichaj , who also has been in camp with the USMNT has a less ambiguous case. It should be obvious that the USMNT feel he is currently not that good and he is not better than the options the US are currently considering.

        Both Ream and Lichaj are, from all accounts, average to good ( in Ream’s case) Championship players.

        In an era where SBI fans think the Championship is inferior to MLS that doesn’t exactly scream gross injustice for Ream and Lichaj not getting much USMNT “love”.

        Just because you do everything the manager and the team asks you to do it doesn’t mean that when the USMNT evaluate what you have done it will be good enough to guarantee that they will rule in your favor.

        And in Lichaj’s case, his status at Forest recently is not what it was.

        In every sport managers and coaching staffs, if they are lucky, will have more players available than they have spots open and consequently will have to leave out players that maybe fans think can do better. But that is why you have a manager and his staff, because presumably they have a more realistic and informed assessment of the worth of a player to the USMNT than do the SBI posters.

    • I get the idea on some of these picks people either didn’t watch Ireland or really don’t care about its implications. I would not assume that Hamid, some of the backliners, and some of the midfielders are brought back after that game.

      Reply
    • How about this kid does something to merit his inclusion? Other than the fifteen minutes against Belgium, I’ve never seen him play well. And even his goal against Belgium was a fluke, seeing as he shanked that volley. Bayern will probably dump him in the next year or two.

      Reply
      • While he did miss-hit the ball, to say his Belgium goal was a fluke is pretty silly. 90% of that goal was executed to perfection, and the fact that he didn’t hit it cleanly and still scored is testament to that.

        I’m no J.G. fanboy, at this point he doesn’t merit inclusion on the roster, but you’re holding a strange grudge if you’re knocking his goal against Belgium.

      • Not holding a grudge. Just saying this kid has been overhyped to an absurd degree. He’s looked pretty poor every time I’ve seen him, other than the fifteen minutes against Belgium. He played really well then and you’re right that he did a good job to get in position to hit that volley but, let’s be honest, he still didn’t hit it properly. Regardless, he doesn’t merit inclusion at the moment.

      • I tend to concur. I think there is really nothing wrong with dropping him at the moment. In the bigger picture, this may very well be good for him. He needs to be thinking about getting club minutes at the moment and very little else– he still actually has more senior minutes with the US team than he does in his first team career at the club level. This can’t persist forever.

        Putting the kid back in the oven for a while need not be an indictment of his potential. He’s still 18, cap-tied, and we have every reason to believe he will become the player we hope.

      • +1. until we start giving style points, a goal is a goal is a goal, and at the end of the day he’s on a very short list of US players that have scored in a World Cup Finals match, let alone as a sub, let alone with his first touch.

        That said, the leading horizon of our Senior men’s national team has a ton of BABIES. PUPS. KIDDOS. INSERT CHEEKY DESCRIPTOR MEANING REALLY REALLY YOUNG PLAYERS. They will go up and down and make lots of underwhelming moves for awhile. That’s life.

        Personally, the context of timing means everything with these results. If this weren’t the afterbirth of the previous word cup/the beginning-est beginning of the new cycle, I’d be a little more worried.

      • Happy Thanksgiving. You all can say what you like but here are some facts.

        1. The degree of difficulty of Green’s volley against Belgium was as high as it gets He had to play it coming over his right shoulder, waist high with a big defender that had closed in.
        2. .Klinsmann subbed him in for 30 minutes for only 1 of the 3 send-off friendlies.
        3. Klinsmann did not play him at all in the first 3 games in Brazil and subbed him in for the last 15 minutes of extra time when all hope was lost, the U.S. being down 0:2
        4. The team played those 15 minutes the best that they played during all 4 games in Brazil.
        5. He was subbed in at the 86th minute in the Colombia friendly and didn’t play at all in Dublin.
        6. Hamburger got a new coach and subbed Green in late in a game against Bayern. In injury time with the score 0:0 Neuer was making a run (he is an attacking fullback sometimes) and Julian made a great play taking the ball away and as Neuer was making a tackle on him Julian toe flipped it over Neuer and continued his fast movement leaping over Neuer to control the ball, it would have been almost sure goal for Hamburg. However, Neuer made a great reaction and hit the ball out of play with his left hand and drew a yellow. Later Neuer said of course he did it deliberately, said it was his best save of the game.
        7. Since then Zinnbauer has not played Green. Who knows why?

      • Poor analogy…try caught what should of been an alley oop but he ended up tipping in. Dont disregard though that he put himself in that position by making a smart run and beating his man.

      • Not holding a grudge. Just saying this kid has been overhyped to an absurd degree. He’s looked pretty poor every time I’ve seen him, other than the fifteen minutes against Belgium. He played really well then and you’re right that he did a good job to get in position to hit that volley but, let’s be honest, he still mishit it. Regardless, he doesn’t merit inclusion at the moment.

      • To dismiss JG’s goal as a fluke simply b/c he didn’t hit the ball perfectly is simply idiotic. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the ball past the GK into the back of the net.
        If you’re going to use that standard, then Jozy’s goal against Spain was a fluke b/c he hit it at Casillas, or Dempsey’s goal against Portugal, b/c he awkwardly knocked the ball in with his stomach.

      • It’s an absolute shame that Klinsmann was able to negotiate a World Cup roster spot in exchange for a USMNT commitment from, as it turns out, is a talented but over matched prospect. Yes, I know that all the evidence is circumstantial, but how in the world can Klinsmann claim that Green was “a little bit ahead” of a more experienced player that was left off the team (?).

        I surely hope that Green turns out to be every bit the prospect that Klinsmann sold the USMNT faithful.

      • “Yes, I know that all the evidence is circumstantial,”

        What evidence? There is none. There are opinions, suppositions, projections, etc., etc., , a whole lot of nothing.

        Here is what we do know about Green; he came on and scored to a goal giving the US a chance to tie Belgium which they should have if Clint does anything with his last minute “open look”..

        IF Clint does his bit then maybe that game goes to penalties and maybe the US advances. So as far as I’m concerned Green was there to provide instant offense and he did his part.

      • One good run has overshadowed his inability to impress 4 managers/coaches and earn any worthwhile minutes with 3 different teams since that goal.

        It was a very nice goal, no doubt. Earning minutes for a national team and/or a 1st division team in the Bundesliga is about sustained excellence. Green has not shown an ability to do that…yet.

        How long will that be the only highlight of his young career? Everyone is waiting for what ever comes next, not what happened once before.

      • Manuel,

        I was referring to his place on the 2014 World Cup team which Green justified with that goal.

        Going forward, is another story. He is a little young for you all to be discarding him but that is typical of SBI fans.

        If Green does not make the next Gold Cup team so what ? He’ll still have the Olympics, Copa America and maybe the Confederations Cup to make an impression for 2018.

        Or maybe he is out of football in the next year. It does not matter, there will be others.If Green fails to make the 2018 World Cup team it does not invalidate the good he did for the 2014 team.

      • I would say that Green’s place on the 2014 World Cup is a completely separate discussion (which I would gladly debate on a separate forum).

        The discussion here is on his current form and possible place on the 2015 Gold Cup team.

        I am not discarding Green. Just arguing that his current form does not merit consideration for the 2015 Gold Cup.

      • Manuel,

        You are changing the rules in the middle of the game so to speak.

        This is what you wrote and what I originally responded to:

        “It’s an absolute shame that Klinsmann was able to negotiate a World Cup roster spot in exchange for a USMNT commitment from, as it turns out, is a talented but over matched prospect. Yes, I know that all the evidence is circumstantial, but how in the world can Klinsmann claim that Green was “a little bit ahead” of a more experienced player that was left off the team (?).”

        As for Green not being on the 2015 Gold Cup, he’d be better off being left off it if it helps him get his act together

        He’s not in form right now which is something he shares with Fabian, Bradley, Besler, Cameron, Zusi and possibly other World Cup vets.

      • Comparing Green’s 2014 form to Bradley, Besler, Cameron, Zusi or any other 2014 World Cup vets is ridiculous. In 2014, Green is about 2 levels below those players.

        Better comparison’s should be Juan Aguedelo, Brek Shea, Joe Corona, . That is the level that Green is at in 2014.

        It isn’t a matter of Green being left off the 2015 Gold Cup team. He shouldn’t even be considered right now, unless other players of his caliber are being considered as well (Aguedelo, Shea, Corona) .

      • Manuel.

        It isn’t ridiculous.

        All those guys were at Brazil; all them did not play well after they came back and are, for the most part still not playing well.

        This post World Cup phenomenon is well established and has been observed with other teams over the years and that is what the USMNT players I named share in common.

        Shea, Agudelo and Corona did not make the World Cup team and so I am not comparing them to Green.

      • Well, Green is nowhere near the level of player that the other World Cup players are right now. Even in bad form, those players are far more effective than Green.

        His level of play right now merits comparison to Shea, Aguedelo, Corona and Zardes. Any comparison to any level of player above that is only a dream right now.

      • He scored in the World Cup, he is not overmatched, he is just not playing and raw, Long term get his Mr. 10% looking. Short term for something like Gold Cup you put him on some huge 30 man roster and see whether you can whip him into shape in a long camp that supplies the fitness and touches he’s not been getting.

        If you’re being honest, his “evidence” can only be “mixed” because he scored in Brazil.

      • Well, we will have to agree to disagree. The Klinsmann -Green loyalists will always to point to the World Cup goal as validation of his quality and selection.

        Being desperately inserted, to solely make runs into the box and do nothing else on the pitch is no validation. A very nice goal, but not validation.

        Green’s entire body of work in 2014 tells a much different story than the one run in the World Cup. There is no other way to describe it, other than he’s looked over matched in virtually every other minute that he has been on the pitch. When Green’s biggest supporter (Klinsmann) cannot trust to give him minutes in a 4-1 loss to a 2nd choice Ireland squad, that sounds the alarm bells.

        Really, where is he on the depth list right now? 4th or 5th choice at L Midfield?

      • The complication on the “body of work” argument is that he did well in Brazil when given the chance, which is like much more important a stage than what people want to hold against him.

        And it can all be reconciled, He didn’t really play much club before or since. But when we had him in camp a while…….

        He didn’t play against Ireland — when we were bleeding goals and might have had other concerns than an attacking sub — he only played in the more serious Colombia game. So obviously you are right.

        I’m not saying he’s a lock, but he has speed, technique, finishing. I don’t buy he’s not even in a 30 man roster.

        I’ll wait to see in A team games this spring where he is shaking out.

      • “Except for that time he scored our only goal in a world cup knockout game against Belgium…..”

        I swear people should listen to themselves.

      • He played 20 minutes over the course of four games. And the tournament was basically over for the US when he was put in. Put some context around that goal (regardless of how he struck it)…

        I have high hopes for the kid, but using that goal to justify him as a player is just not very significant when you compare that to everything else.

      • “Everything else?” Who else is scoring? It’s a production spot. You play forwards who score in the shirt and he has.

        Unless someone else steps up internationally and scores goals too, his club issues are like Jozy’s. It’s not good for the US he’s not playing, but you leave out him for who? Wondo, who blew a goal in the same game? Boyd, who’s never scored for us? Rubin, who largely disappeared? Wood, who is a hard luck case? You give me a better choice and I’ll listen, but the point is that “scored on Belgium but is adrift at club” is actually better than most of our forward options, sad to say.

        It’s less than ideal but the idea you leave out someone who has produced in a big game recently, and is talented, in favor of people who have done even less, is tabloid-think.

      • You are putting too much weight on scoring one single goal. You have to look at how well players are playing on the whole because that, not stats, tell you how he can fit in on the team. If he is no history of playing professionally, it becomes hard to justify national team appearances. He has simply not shown that he is ready to play at the international level when you consider the entire picture.

      • I think he will have to keep scoring in the future to keep his job. Like Agudelo disappeared when he quit producing.

        But scoring in the World Cup and looking decent is plenty to get you invited back for a while, whatever your club situation.

        He can’t dine out on it forever — at some point he’ll have to follow up with more production — but I haven’t seen anyone grab the job recently, and for probably through next summer he can live off that goal.

        I get you think it’s exaggerated but it’s also his job and he’s done it where several haven’t in games of that level.

      • I agree it is way premature to think Greene is done with the USMNT. He is a teenager who clearly needs more experience, but he does make good attacking runs (the reason he got the Belgium goal) and he has the quickest feet in the pool.

        That quickness is something that cannot be taught or learned, of course its success does require some judicial use. There does not seem to be anything wrong with Greene other than he is small and inexperienced. Spending some time on the best club team than will actually play him and some physical maturation will likely keep him around for quite a while.

    • I fully expect him to make the team inasmuch as he’s a talented kid and for a tournament with a long camp — like Brazil — we can whip him into shape and form. In these one offs I think it matters more if you are already playing, tired, fresh, out of shape.

      Long term he needs to find someplace to actually play. But short term he can dine out on that Belgium goal for a long time. I mean, who are you going to take instead. Wondo? Boyd?

      Reply
      • “dine out on that Belgium goal for a long time”

        There are other factors much more relevant to the discussion than that goal.

      • Do you realize what attackers are hired to do. Score. Just like much as we hate Jozy as long as he occasionally scores that puts him head and shoulders above the more technical players who might replace him but don’t score in the shirt.

        My point is that he will dine out on that goal and make the team regardless of club form and usage, because you don’t leave him sitting in favor of people who can’t score in our shirt (even if they score domestically). If someone wants his job, his benching opens it up, but they need to score in a friendly to prove they are as viable as his one goal is.

      • No, at forward the combination of speed, some danger, and an actual goal in a big game is by itself enough to get you invited back.

        Our forward coach surely understands that the primary task of forwards is to score.

        I also don’t really hear substantive critique — like he played bad in the shirt — I hear, he’s sitting domestically. So what. He sat before the World Cup and scored. We will have several weeks of camp and games with a 30 man roster he should make, at which point if he rounds into form, great.

        In this specific context I think a US camp can supply the touches and fitness he might not be getting in Germany. If it was a one off game, maybe you are right, I should be concerned he’s not playing. But in this context JK can whoop his tail into shape and my two cents when there he is a superior player.

      • Mr. lamb,

        Chicharito had a big breakout season for Man U in 2010-11 scoring 20 goals across all competitions. since then his goal totals have dropped for any number of reasons and so Man U.shipped him off to Real Madrid where he started out okay.

        As a football player if he was not such a gifted goal scorer he would not be remarkable and almost certainly would not have been bought by two such prestigious clubs. If he was a non scoring midfielder he would be back in Mexico and maybe not even there.

        He scores goals they buy him. He stops scoring goals they ship him out.

        It is a matter of production.

        Sometimes it is that simple.

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