By IVES GALARCEP
The two October friendlies played by the U.S. Men’s National Team didn’t really reveal any truly new national team prospects, but did help some relatively new prospects boost their stock in the latest SBI projection for the 2015 Gold Cup roster.
Greg Garza was already part of the SBI 23 for 2015 back in September, but his strong outings in October have only served to solidify his place. Garza and Mix Diskerud were the stars of the October friendlies and are looking more and more like viable starters next summer when the Americans look to defend their Gold Cup title.
The latest SBI 23 for 2015 has two changes, one which came about in the wake of Joe Gyau’s knee injury, which will sideline him for the rest of the year. Another potential replacement for Gyau on the list, Joe Corona, also suffered an injury that will likely rule him out for the rest of 2014.
That has made room for New England Revolution star and MLS MVP candidate Lee Nguyen to make the latest cut. He has yet to be called in by Jurgen Klinsmann, and may not be an ideal fit since he’s not really a winger at this point and may not be what Klinsmann is looking for as a playmaker, but Nguyen’s MLS form makes him hard to ignore at this point. Gyau and Corona will also return in early 2015, so Nguyen’s spot on our 23 could be very temporary if Nguyen doesn’t get a national team look between now and then.
Here is a look at the latest SBI 23 for 2015:
Projected USMNT Gold Cup Roster (October 2014 Edition)
(New additions in BOLD)
Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Bill Hamid
Outlook- Guzan is leading the race to replace Tim Howard as the starter in 2015, but Rimando continues to put pressure on. Hamid is capping off a career year in MLS, but remains a distant third for now.
Missed the Cut– Sean Johnson, Steve Clark, Cody Cropper
Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin, Omar Gonzalez, Jermaine Jones, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Greg Garza, Timmy Chandler
Outlook- The Jermaine Jones Experiment was a success and it looks more and more likely that he will be a central defender come the 2015 Gold Cup. That will put pressure on the likes of John Brooks and Geoff Cameron for their places on this squad. For now, Brooks loses out while he works to get back into the playing rotation at Hertha.
Missed the Cut– John Brooks, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Matt Hedges, Chris Schuler, Eric Lichaj, Robbie Rogers, Will Packwood, DaMarcus Beasley
Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya, Julian Green, Wil Trapp, Graham Zusi, Alfredo Morales, Lee Nguyen
Outlook– Jones’ move to central defense opens the door for another defensive midfielder to jump into the picture, and Morales fits the bill. He is starting for the top team in Bundesliga 2 and showed well in the October friendly in limited minutes. Danny Williams is back from injury and should challenge for a spot in the coming months. Gyau’s injury drops him for now, but if he can come back and play the way he was playing before the injury, he will be back on the list shortly. The same can be said for Corona.
Missed the Cut– Joe Corona, Danny Williams, Perry Kitchen, Harrison Shipp, Joe Gyau, Luis Gil, Miguel Ibarra, Brek Shea, Emerson Hyndman.
Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd
Outlook- Both Johannsson and Boyd have returned from injuries and retain their spots on the 23. Wood had his chance to impress and had mixed results, and now with playing time at 1860 Munich up in the air, Wood failed to close the gap on Johannsson and Boyd.
Missed the Cut– Gyasi Zardes, Rubio Rubin, Chris Wondolowski, Bobby Wood, 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.