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Who should the USMNT call up for the November friendlies?

USMNT XI vs. Honduras

Photo by USA TODAY Sports

 By IVES GALARCEP

The final U.S. Men’s National Team matches of 2014 are just around the corner, and Jurgen Klinsmann will find himself with some interesting decisions to make about the roster he chooses to call in.

The upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Ireland will be some of the toughest tests the U.S. has faced this year outside of the World Cup, with Colombia arguably the best opponent the Americans will have faced in the calendar year.

What will the team look like that Klinsmann calls in? There will be some players missing through injury, such as Michael Bradley, Joe Corona and Joe Gyau, as well as some others who seem good bets to be rested after long years, like Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

Those absences should pave the way for some new faces to get minutes in the friendlies, and could allow some players to earn their first call-ups under Klinsmann.

In my recent Goal USA piece, I broke down what the USMNT roster could look like for the November friendlies, and there are some new faces in the mixes, as well as the return of some players who have been out of action.

Give my Goal USA story a read, and then go to the jump for a closer look at some positional options Klinsmann could consider for his call-ups.

GOALKEEPER

If Klinsmann doesn’t want to bring in both Hamid and Rimando, he might just call in one and have Cody Cropper be the third goalkeeper. The goalkeeper pickings are slim in Europe beyond Guzan and Cropper with Howard on his one-year break. David Yelldell anybody?

DEFENDERS

Eric Lichaj is someone who has continued to earn regular starters for Nottingham Forest, at both right back and left back. Klinsmann has only called him in once before, but could be hard pressed to pass on him this time around.

Michael Orozco is someone Klinsmann rates for his technical ability, and his consistent role as a starter for Puebla, but will Klinsmann call him in ahead of some European-based options? It is entirely possible, though might require Jermaine Jones to be called into this camp as a defensive midfielder rather than central defender. That’s possible given the relative lack of defensive midfielder options available, unless Danny Williams really is healthy enough to play some national team minutes this month.

Someone else who is looking like a lock for a January call-up, if not sooner is Matt Hedges, and Klinsmann could want to get an earlier look at the left-footed central defender, especially with Besler out and John Brooks not playing at Hertha Berlin.

MIDFIELDERS

With the U.S. playing at Fulham, it would seem that Emerson Hyndman makes too much sense as a call-up not to include in the camp. My initial projection had some MLS call-ins in Lee Nguyen and Perry Kitchen. I still think Nguyen is a possibility, but am not as sure about Kitchen, and with Hyndman someone who should be included in the camp, Kitchen might have to wait until January for a look from Klinsmann.

What about Tesho Akindele? News broke on Wednesday that he was  turning down a Canadian national team call-up and considering playing for the U.S. If Klinsmann calls him up for the November friendlies will he come in? Akindele is an ideal fit as a wide forward in a 4-3-3, an area of need for the current U.S. pool, so it’s easy to see why Klinsmann has been recruiting him heavily.

FORWARDS

Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd only just recently returned from injury, but given the fact this is Klinsmann’s last chance to see either until March, we can see him bringing both in. If Klinsmann does that, then that will likely eliminate the chances we see Gyasi Zardes in a U.S. camp in November.

Someone who might merit a look is Andrew Wooten, who has been enjoying a good season in Germany and hasn’t been called in by Klinsmann. Bobby Wood’s struggles at 1860 Munich will probably cost him a chance at this camp, and if it does, Wootten is someone who could merit a look.

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What do you think of the roster I projected on Goal USA? Who are you hoping earns a rare look from Klinsmann?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Give his history of calling in European-based Americans who aren’t getting playing time, here’s hoping Klinsmann brings in Freddy Adu to get some game time on the international stage.

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  2. Any way Agudelo gets called in?

    I’d love to see him called up, show well in practice, come on as a sub late in the game and create a few chances. Hopefully catching a scout’s eye.

    Highly unlikely but you never know.

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  3. Anyone else worried about the lack of playing time our boys are getting? Things need to improve for us to think about building on the last WC…

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    • You have answererd the collective reluctancy as to why American players do not want to play in Europe. And it’s valid. But it’s good that Americans in Europe have to push themselves to maintain a starting spot and I like that Klinsmann keeps them on their toes as to say, just because a player has been called up before does not mean his spot is guaranteed. I know his darling is now Julian Green, but that honeymoon can end very soon.

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      • What makes you think American players don’t want to play in Europe?

        It seems a lot of SBI fans don’t want them to even try but that does not mean the players themselves aren’t interested. Unless, of course you have a survey or some other data indicating the majority of American soccer players do not want to play in Europe.

      • A lot more could play in Europe at mid level teams in Europe but its hard. I’m not saying they can’t as Geoff Cameron is a example of this. It’s just hard to tell who can and its risky. I personally think we need more players in Europe or we won’t be doing much in 2018. It’s where the best are and the only way to pick up experience like that. There is no way around it.

        Donovan is the exception in my mind. It hasn’t worked for anyone else.

      • disagree that a lot of SBI fans don’t even want them to try…you have some survey indicating such things? 🙂

        but as I think you well know, each case is different, and just going over there guaranties nothing; it could be good or other options could be better…it depends. the evidence seems pretty clear that it depends on each case imo

        all that said, I think both Hyndman and Kitchen get called and play well

  4. What do yall think about maurice edu being called up? No playoff commitments. Good form. Experienced player. Mostly would be called up as cover at defensive mid.

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  5. “Colombia arguably the best opponent the Americans will have faced in the calendar year”

    Gonna go ahead and give Germany this distinction. Just sayin

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    • come on, the context is pretty clear this is regarding teams outside of who we played in the WC:

      “The upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Ireland will be some of the toughest tests the U.S. has faced this year outside of the World Cup, with Colombia arguably the best opponent the Americans will have faced in the calendar year.”

      wordy a bit strange? sure. but come on.

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    • It’s premature for the national team, but I saw an article linked at SBI a week or so ago that Marc Pelosi has started training with the Liverpool first team. He was a possible future star a few years ago then had a horrible injury that basically took him out for a whole year. I wonder if he will get back into the picture.

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      • both Zelalem and Pelosi are tantalizing prospects. Getting healthy and getting legal are essential for those prospects to come to fruition. Will be fun to see what happens.

  6. In addition I think Cameron’s a lock for these friendlies. I would like to see Lichaj as well. I’m expecting Diskerud Bedoya Morales Green will most likely be there. I’m not sure how it’s gonna work with the MLS guys exactly.

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      • not really disagreeing with you on hyndman, but he went 90 in at least one of the last couple games (against wolves, maybe?). looked pretty good.

  7. It’s a joke that Hyndman gets call ups to the national team. He is not ready and should be playing with the U20 U23 teams. He is taking call ups away from players far more deserving first because Klinsmann was doing a favor for Magath and now because they will be at Craven Cottage. It is not about earning a spot with Klinsmann, it is about politics, and whether you will feed his ego.

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    • You have to take into account MLS has played through the last couple FIFA dates since the World Cup and there’s just not many Americans in Europe right now.

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    • You’re nuts. Hyndman is an 18 year old who until a few games ago was starting for a Championship team. Name me another US bred player playing outfield for such a quality team at that age. You can’t.

      Hyndman has received praise for years and during his short stint on the pitch, looked handy for us. He’s exactly the kind of player we need to bring in and keep with the team.

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      • Fulham is also one point above the relegation zone. I think he’s a great prospect but I can also can see some reservations about rushing him into the full national team. However the MLS schedule also makes it difficult for Klinsmann to call in a good number of players, so I can see where he’s almost forced to.

      • In part because he hasn’t been playing or hasn’t started. Their midfield is a mess. If watched them on beIN and he has been pretty calm and passes well. I’d like to see him shoot more, but he certainly has potential.

      • It is more than a few games ago since Hyndman hasn’t been starting and the only reason he was starting is because Fulham had a madman for a manager who drove almost all their players away. The young players at Fulham like Hyndman were the only ones who could put up with him because they were hoping for their break as a pro. When Hyndman was starting for Fulham they didn’t win a single game and were in last place behind Blackpool who is a mess as a club at moment and only had 8 players two WEEKS before the season started. So at most Hyndman was starting for a League 1 side. He has shown he can’t make an impact in a Championship game, not YET. So he certainly can’t make an impact in a full national team game. He has lots of promise but is better served playing entire games in tournaments for the U20s and U23s.

      • Yes Fulham are poor, however, he was not playing against Fulham. He was playing their opponent and had an extremely high pass completion %, was very calm on the ball and was getting good reviews by people other that his coach, without having the support of a good team around him. As far as not making an impact, well that rules out any # of players that start routinely for the USMNT.

      • agreed. I’ve followed fulham for decades and while he’s raw, who isn’t in younger years, the potential is great. but we all know about potential vs. results.

    • Dude, I disagree with you regarding Hyndman. It’s not like our team has a glut of playmakers. Here’s what Fulham’s website says about Hyndman:

      Fulham beat a number of Europe’s top clubs to Emerson Hyndman’s signature and the youngster has consistently turned heads as a result of his cultured play and sublime range of passing. Hyndman is a player that sees the game differently to most.

      Despite his natural ability, the USA youth international has a great attitude and is always amongst the hardest working out on the pitch. In constantly keeping the ball moving, he has quickly become a chief midfield orchestrator.

      On the back of a string of impressive performances, Hyndman was rewarded with his first professional contract at Fulham in April 2013 and signed an extension until 2016.

      An ever-present in Fulham’s run to the FA Youth Cup Final in 2013/14, scoring three times. He also notched four goals in 16 league appearances.

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      • Championship = Youth Level? Or did you mean that his level of play was like a youth’s and that is why he performed so well starting for a crap side in the Championship?

  8. Would like to see Adam Henley, plays in England for Blackburn wouldn’t be hard travel to see him in a friendly even kno he’s still eligible for wales

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  9. “with Colombia arguably the best opponent the Americans will have faced in the calendar year.”

    Germany in the World Cup, a tournament they won, has to be the most difficult game we played all year. We could argue about Belgium and Columbia, but certainly not Germany.

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  10. If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that Eric Lichaj will not be called up. I don’t know if he ran over JK’s dog or something but JK is not interested!

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    • no way of proving this, but my theory is that perhaps Lichaj was the US player that spoke to the media about conflicts in the locker room regarding Jurgen Klinsmann during the qualifying cycle.

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      • For my money, it was Bocanegra.

        He was the captain, so he should be most in tune with the pulse of the locker room.

        And went from captain to never seeing the field again after the Brian Straus article.

      • Really the article wasn’t a big deal and didn’t say that much other then Vasquez didn’t know what he was doing. Something that Klinsmann appears to have ended up agreeing with.

      • Boca was not getting any PT BEFORE the article either on a Spanish 2nd division side. He might be the source. It might be Donovan. I suspect Klinsi thought he was too old and too one dimensional to play for him. Source for the quote or not that was basically a done deal by the Honduras game. FYI: the Sporting News article came out about a week before the Snow Bowl game against Costa Rica.

      • That would be kind of difficult considering Lichaj wasn’t really apart of any of those locker rooms. He wasn’t getting any minutes for Villa and Klinsmann hadn’t called him in at all until late last year.

        If I had to say a name I’d go with Kljestan being one. He spoke out a few times publicly he was being played out of position.

      • Never saw that….interesting. However on the other hand there just some depth at fullback right now. I wouldn’t say he’s clearly better then Garza, Yedlin or Chandler. Certainly not as good as Fabian. I don’t know.

    • Have you been impressed with Lichaj’s play recently ?

      Is there anything to indicate he is a better fullback or wingback prospect than Yedlin, Chandler, DMB, Garza, Fabian or any of the others on that long list?

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  11. Yes to Johannsson, Boyd, Fabian Johnson, Lichaj and Hyndman. Lichaj clearly deserves it but I won’t be surprised if Klinsmann omits him as usual.

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  12. I think Brooks gets called in and Omar stays at home. It’s not like he hasn’t seen the field in months and a few others on this list have struggled for minutes as well.

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  13. If Dallas can’t pull out the upset at CenturyLink, I want to see Hedges called in. The guy has been our rock in defense since Ugo had to bow out and George has been sidelined for what feels like years…plus his killer Napoleon Dynamite skills.

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    • Hedges has definitely played well enough to get a call-up, but a first-time call-up seems more likely in January for him than now. That said, Besler’s likely absence and Brooks not playing at Hertha could open the door for an earlier look.

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      • Yes please. Hedges has been fantastic. Would like to see Hedges, Tesho, and Loyd get a look for the January camp. I think Victor Ulloa could be there also in 2016 – his distribution and vision has steadily improved this year, and he’s still only 22.

      • Sorry, but Tesho still has a long way to go before he gets a look-in for the US. We’re already 4 deep at ST (in no particular order Jozy, Aron, Terrence, Wondo) and with the exception of Wondo are still just as young as Tesho. If we didn’t have the attacking talent coming up at the younger levels it may be feasible, but I just don’t see it happening for the foreseeable future.

        As for Loyd, I agree that he should get a look in but the Jan camp is his best hope for that chance. With Garza having seemingly locked down that starting LB spot and our RB options quite deep, I think Loyd is going to be overlooked. That being said, I don’t think there are many better utility defender options available in MLS…he’s played every spot in our back 4 over the past couple of years and has acquitted himself well (IMO).

      • Your argument sounds logical –EXCEPTING–the fact that nONE of the four you named has proven that they CAN score even an infrequent basis in club play in a top-flight league. Aaron & Boyd score regularly, but play (or were) in lower tier leagues. Boyd will have his chance now in the Bund; we will see. As for Jozy, I hope for the best but, it looks as if he can’t create and thus can’t score. If you are one-deminsional in the EPL — you won’t get far. That he needs better support around him is certanly a factor, but not the only one.
        Bring the guy in !! (Notice — I did not even mention Wondo….adn I AM a Wondo and MLS fan too.)

      • I didn’t say that was my depth chart, but the one that JK seems to be stuck on for now. Jozy is a proven scorer in the Eredivisie and at the national team level. No one can say his current situation is anything close to ideal. Terrence and Aron are both young and Klinsy faves, and Aron is (or was before injury) doing well in the Eredivisie and Terrence is getting first team minutes (though not a lot) for a team that looks like they’re going to be promoted…their 5th promotion since the rebrand and takeover in ’09.

        I really don’t want to make it sound like I’m getting down on Tesho, cuz I like the kid a lot. I don’t think we could have picked a better forward in the draft, he’s a younger Blas which is awesome. My main point is that I think he and his development would be better served by aligning himself with Canada. Lots more games against up and coming CONCACAF competition and working much more with national team level coaching than he’d be afforded with picking the US.

      • I was thinking the same (re: Jan camp) but since we seem to be shuffling people around at CB, why not bring him in to a nothing friendly and see if he can gel with the team quickly.

        My thought is to capitalize on his good form now, rather than bringing him in after his winter break just to shake the rust off.

    • I don’t think an MLS CB could play better than Hedges is right now. Can he deal with a higher level? Who knows but its worth the call up to find out if he can.

      Reply

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