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

USMNT vs. Panama 2015 (USA TODAY Sports)

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports


The month of February featured just one U.S. Men’s National Team match, but that 2-0 win against Panama was enough to help offer some more information on an ever-evolving player pool four months before the Gold Cup.

Gyasi Zardes and Miguel Ibarra were the players who saw their stock rise the most in February. Zardes stood out in the win against Panama, while Ibarra earned praise from Jurgen Klinsmann for his showing in the same match.

There wasn’t a ton of movement in our projected U.S. Gold Cup squad, though there were a few changes. Among them is Graham Zusi, who has come back from a lingering foot injury and should be back with the national team for the March friendlies.

Here is the February edition of SBI’s projected U.S. Gold Cup roster:

Projected USMNT Gold Cup Roster (February 2015 Edition)

(New additions in BOLD)


Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Bill Hamid

Outlook-  Sean Johnson continues to present another viable option in goal, and Hamid’s toughest competition for a top three spot on this list. Hamid has been recovering from surgery this winter, so he missed out in the recent USMNT camp, and has yet to get going for D.C. United. Even with that, we still see Hamid regaining his regular place upon his return.

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


Jermaine Jones, Greg Garza, Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, Timmy Chandler, Steve Birnbaum

Outlook- Not much change to talk about at this position, but it’s safe to say the coming months will leave us with the possibility of plenty of changes. With players like Brek Shea and DeAndre Yedlin being fullback options as well as several central defenders vying for a handful of spots, Klinsmann will have some tough cuts to make here.

Tim Ream continues to be on the periphery, but with Besler and Brooks continuing to be the preferred left centerback options, Ream stays on the fringes. Hedges made his national team debut in February, but remains low on the depth chart in central defense.

One interesting development is Robbie Rogers being on speaking terms with Klinsmann again. It’s tough not to see him as a better left back option that Shea, but Klinsmann’s affinity for Shea will likely keep him in the picture somewhere. That is assuming he can have a strong first season in Orlando, where Adrian Heath has plans to play Shea as a left back.

Missed the Cut– Tim Ream, Matt Hedges, Michael Orozco, Chris Schuler, Eric Lichaj, Perry Kitchen, Robbie Rogers.


Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Geoff Cameron, DeAndre Yedlin, Kyle Beckerman, Brek Shea, Graham Zusi

Outlook– The biggest development in midfield involved Miguel Ibarra’s continued inclusion in the conversation, and the growing sense that Klinsmann sees him as one his best left wing options. Ibarra had a passable showing against Panama, but doubts persist about him being a viable option against top-level competition.

The other interesting development was Klinsmann’s seeming lack of interest in giving Lee Nguyen a serious look. Nguyen failed to make the starting lineup for either of the recent friendlies, and as much as that can be chalked up to Klinsmann’s preference for Clint Dempsey as a starting playmaker, it was still odd to see Nguyen not be given more of a chance after such an outstanding season in MLS.

Zusi wasted no time showing what he can do after returning from injury, scoring in his first preseason appearance for Sporting KC. It will be interesting to see if Klinsmann calls Zusi right back in for the March friendlies, because it can be argued he’s the best wing option in the pool when healthy.

The March friendlies should give us a clearer picture of the pecking order in central midfield, with someone like Danny Williams potentially ready to be called back into the fray.

Missed the Cut– Miguel Ibarra, Lee Nguyen, Alfredo Morales, Wil Trapp, Joe Corona, Danny Williams, Luis Gil, Harrison Shipp, Joe Gyau, Teal Bunbury.


Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Gyasi Zardes.

Outlook- Nobody boosted their stock more in February than Zardes, who impressed in the Panama friendly with his speed and improved skill set. Though the level of opponent should temper enthusiasm, Zardes has pushed himself into the Gold Cup conversation.

So why does Rubio Rubin fall out when he’s still playing regularly in the Eredivisie? The Under-20 World Cup takes place in late May and June, and Rubin should be a key figure on that team. With Altidore, Johannsson and Zardes as his forwards, and Dempsey as an option, Klinsmann can make due without Rubin at the Gold Cup.

The options on the deeper end of the forward pool are slowly growing thin. Terrence Boyd and Bobby Wood have suffered knee injuries while Chris Wondolowski looked terrible against Panama, making him seem less like a viable option.

Who might those latest developments help? Juan Agudelo returning to MLS makes him a viable option if he can hit the ground running in New England.

Missed the Cut– Rubio Rubin, Chris Wondolowski, Juan Agudelo, Jordan Morris, Charlie Davies, Bobby Wood.


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.


  1. ………………Altidore……………



    I certainly wouldn’t mind either of these two XI depending on which direction we decide to go. I know Jurgy is set on Jones at CB but I’d rather explore Brooks, Birnabaum, and Cameron there. If it’s clear that the CB pool can’t hack it against the big boys you move Jones down the line but seeing how good he was at the WC I would hate to move him. I also wouldn’t mind a 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 set up after integrating the Euro-based guys. I think was scrapped too fast by Jurgy.

  2. What about a 4 3 3. Guzan Yedlin Alvarado brooks Garza. Bedoya Bradley johnson Zardes altidore green I think we need more attacking and its good mixture of old and young. Then we can have Hamid and rimando then have chandler besler Gonzalez with mix and hyndman zeleham gyua if healthy and an and rubio. Young mixed with vets

  3. Still projecting Fabian Johnson in defense? Yeah I wouldn’t be.

    My 23:

    GK: Rimando, Hamid, Guzan

    Defense: Chandler, Yedlin, Garza, Shea, Alvarado, Jones, Brooks, Besler

    CM/DM: Bradley, Mix, Williams, Morales, Bedoya

    Attackers: Deuce, Altidore, Agudelo, AJ, Fabian, Zardes, Ibarra

    PLAYER ONE – 32 years
    2000–2001 Miami Fusion 3 appearances
    2000 → MLS Pro-40 (loan) 7 appearances
    2002–2007 Colorado Rapids 145 appearances
    2007– Real Salt Lake 205 appearances
    National team
    1999 United States U17 6 appearances
    2007– United States 42 appearances

    Mid Fielder

    PLAYER TWO – 29 years old
    2003–2006 Manchester United 3 appearances
    2005–2006 → Charlton Athletic (loan) 20 appearances
    2006–2011 West Ham United 101 appearances
    2011– Birmingham City 98 appearances
    National team
    2003 United States U17 19 appearances
    2005 United States U20 2 appearances
    2004– United States 34 appearances

    Striker / Mid Fielder (EPL, Championship) / Right Back/ Center Back

    Who would you choose?

      • you have a point that Spector is good player that has completely fallen out of the national team radar; mostly due to injury. Jurgen certainly doesn’t call in English Championship players very often. id like to see someone look into this..

        Good to see him back playing 90’s for Birmingham. where is he playing these days? #6, RB? If so he is pretty deep on those depth charts

        At this point in the cycle can’t blame JK for trying to work in as many younger players as possible, but at some point in the cycle we might need a vet like Spector to step up.

    • Spector lost a race with molasses.

      Did you see what Brazil and such did to him Confed Cup? Like he was standing still (hard to tell).

  5. You are actually form a more Dynamic team with players left off the roster……..
    ————————————-HERC. GOMEZ—————————-
    ————————-JONATHAN SPECTOR———– ——————–
    Subs: Corona, Lichaj, Guil, Kitchen, Agudelo, Rubin,

    Bradley – should be called BACK-PASS BRADLEY, broke up plays in the middle but couldn’t do anything offensively against a costa Rica U23 that looked like U17
    Altidore – no quickness on the ball, seems to rely only on physical strength, no dribbling skills, can’t create his own changes.
    Ibarra- full of skill and speed, torn thru Sounders defense with good individual and combination plays
    Beckerman – with Bradley and Cameron as part of the MF selection, including him means we have no offense going forward .
    Zusi –hasn’t been effective ever since he signed a DP contract. Bunbury has been way more active and effective on the wing for his team than Graham.
    Lee Nyugen is the only offensive play maker that the US has on the roster right now, with the exception of Clint. His goal tally last season shows how effective he is up front.
    Championship league – The leagues that sends teams up to the EPL, that effectively competes in the FA Cup and we have players that make the starting 11 and play for 90 mins week after week, in a more technical environment and better league than MLS – With that experience Ream, Danny Williams, Lichaj, Spector should ALWAYS be in camp….selected or not is a different issue.
    Spector – started off as a striker, got converted to a defender by Sir Alex, played midfield effectively for West Ham (scored twice against Manchester United), gets regular play time at LB and CB in the championship league (after coming back from injury) – why are we even taking about a Beckerman?

      • Also, extolling the technical nature of the Championship makes me think you’ve never watched a game from that league.

      • if you doubt the technical nature of the championship league or think MLS is better (which I gather from your comment) then you are clueless or have no idea about the league. Secondly those players are leftovers, so its theoretically speaking……

      • Never said MLS is better technically but the Championship is not exactly a technically excellent league.

      • Championship league is better than MLS….where 90% of our players come from, so no argument there, and if so why the comment?

      • Just a little recap of whats going on in the FA Cup:
        Bradford City 4 chelsea (EPL) 2
        Middlesbrough 2 Manchestercity(EPL) 0
        Blackburn 4 Stoke City(EPL) 1
        Blackburn 3 Swansea(EPL) 1

        Bradford City is league one by the way
        So please lets not compare TECHNICAL league structures

      • Well, we will compare “technical league structures” because you raised the issue. Also, you must be new to the game. Lower division teams beat PL teams every year in the FA cup.

        Blackburn are my English team btw, so I don’t need reminders about their results. However, if you think their players are technically excellent, I can assure you you are mistaken.

      • Then you should know that if Championship League teams can convincingly beat in season EPL teams then they are better from a technical stand point than MLS teams (again where more of our current players on the USMNT roster come from)…..and the reminder is just because you appear new / clueless

      • Spector was playing in the MF…..can you ever fathom Beckerman doing the same??….lol, yet he is a regular:

        If we can try Shea at left back, Yedlin at LM, Jermaine Jones at CB, Bradley at CAM …then why not Spector at DCM (where he has played at the highest level), Danny williams at CM and Nyugen (closest thing) in Dempsey’s role up top

      • Can I fathom Beckerman playing midfield? Yes, since he’s a midfielder and plays there every game.

  6. I don’t see Perry Kitchen as a “defender” who misses the cut. He is a defensive mid, and I think he makes the cut as a player JK wants to see more of headed into this cycle.

    • I watched him play several times with his new club, and he looked like a new player. When they put him out on the left wing, he looked like a different guy. I believe he was named MOTM a few times, it’s the best I’ve ever seen him look. They also played him some at right mid, but he looked strong out on the left. I was very hopeful he’d get another shot, but this injury may have put the dagger into any more chances.

  7. Anyone else think that we should be done with the Altidore experiment???
    Let’s try moving him to the back row of the pre-game pics from now on. He looks like an adult sitting at the kids table during Thanksgiving!

    • People have very short memories don’t they? Altidore isn’t what we hoped for, but he’s our best out and out striker and it’s reality. Who do we replace him with? People call for AJ but in all honesty it’s easy when he’s lighting up the same league that Jozy tore up better than he did. We want to see more options sure, but the fact is Jozy can play in a USMNT uniform.

    • He is at TFC, when in a good home he produces.

      And beyond that, it’s like, where is the replacement? Boyd can’t get healthy or break his international duck. We need a big body guy and he’s kind of all there is. On that basis alone he gets calls until we can find an alternative.

  8. I would like to see Danny Williams, Tim Ream, and Eric Lichaj get looks. All are getting regular minutes and aside from Williams never seem to be serious prospects under Klinsi.

    • I haven’t seen enough of Ream and Lichaj to say, but I’ve seen more than enough of Williams. If you remember the soup Nazi from Seinfeld: No more looks for you, Danny!

      • The only time he played his natural position of defensive mid, he looked like he belonged. Not fair to judge him by him playing on the wing. He can take Beckerman’s spot.

      • you have seen enough of Williams?! stick him in as a #6 instead of playing him out right in a box midfield and you’ll see he is a great option.

  9. Are you talking about yesterdays pre-season game?

    That was Bradford Jamison IV, not Zardes.

    I don’t even think Zardes made the trip!

  10. Watching the Earthquakes play against the Galaxy, I was not that impressed by Zardes. He looked a bit lost, and the passes did not come to him as expected. Was that his fault? I don’t know. But there was something missing.

    • As I said with Green, one thing worth considering is any player out of shape or form would probably get some camp time to get it together. It’s not an isolated friendly where you show up do two days of kick arounds then play, it’s more like the World Cup. Even if he’s off boil for the Galaxy you could call him in and see if you can find his form for him.

  11. This roster projection is way off!

    Gedion Zelalam
    Ventura Alvarado
    Ashton Gotz

    Since Rubin has regressed a bit and Wood in out injured, Andrew Wooten might be in the picture.
    You also might finally see Shawn Parker as well. He is way out of favor with Germany.

  12. i would really like to see a different line up without dempsey. he doesnt do it for me. hes not really a number 10 playmaker and doesnt offer many creative options. and hes closer to a striker but is not an out and out striker.




    A JO—————————-ALTIDORE( or another striker someone more dynamic and more pace like agudelo rubin davies or even zardes)

    • Amazing that after scoring twice in the WC (the Ghana goal being world class) and numerous times in the qualifiers, is the second leading scorer all time with the USMNT, the only US player to score in 3 WC’s, there are still people doubting Dempsey. I can only surmise that you know little to nothing about the game.

      • I agree, Dempsey is still better then Johannsson. The only argument is perhaps if your looking ahead to the building a partnership between Altidore and Johannsson for the next World Cup.

      • Altidore and Johannsson partnership? Sorry man, altidore is not the starter for me. A better combo would be Johansson and Terrance Boyd

      • Even at his peak Clint was never popular with many SBI USMNT fans.

        They preferred clean cut poster boy LD.

        Deuce is too trailer park, too thuggish, too adapted to the Euro way of playing( all that whining and diving and the chippy behavior). Plus he is a tweener, not really a midfielder and not really a striker.

        You’ll find most here probably would prefer Nguyen in his spot even though there is a massive disparity in their resumes and Clint has said he wants to play until at least Copa America. Lee is a fine player but remains unproven as an international.

        Not to mention the fact that Clint remains the US’ most dangerous legitimate scoring threat.

      • Clint was also a late bloomer, as compared to Donovan and Beasley, who are both only one year older (and retired). Dempsey really didnt get the chance to shine until the 2010 World Cup, and even then, he was eclipsed by Donovan. Plus, Dempsey lacked the speed to really run at defenders and create opportunities for himself and others, like LD. Deuce was more of a poacher, relying on service (his excellent 2014 goal v. Ghana notwithstanding). Just compare their assist totals, and you can see that LD was far more central to the US offense than Dempsey. Its really not even close.

        That being said, Deuce remains the most dangerous US Attacker at this point.

      • perhaps a late bloomer for the NT, he was a highly touted college player 1st round pick i believe for the Revs in the draft and did well early in his MLS career– which led to his chance overseas at fulham etc…

      • I checked his career stats once in the EPL. About half his goals came from outside the 18 yard box and only about 5% came from within the 6 yard box. He is not a poacher, but a lethal striker of the ball, even from distance.People get these opinions without really knowing. I saw him so many times with Fulham where he would get the ball on the left (for those who don’t know, he played about 80% of the time in midfield, usually on the left), drag it inside and then score from about 20 yards out.

      • All Dempsey does is score, fight hard, and win. Personally, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the player, whatever the sport, who isn’t as athletically gifted, but through hard work and determination turns himself into a valuable asset who is vital to a team’s success. I think that pretty much sums up Clint Dempsey who had to fight just to get on the pitch the first 3 years at Fulham and ended up being their all time leading scorer in the EPL, despite playing midfield the vast majority of the time.

      • You’re bring in the past like if it was yesterday. No question he had nice goal in the opening minutes of the Ghana game but did he do much after that? he was kept in check. His goal vs. Portugal was a bit of luck, his man fell down and he had an uncontested body push on the ball. He is an opportunist, no question about it but let’s face it, he is slow and defense is not his strength.

      • Clint had his nose broken midway through the first half of the Ghana games. Yet he still scored against Portugal. .

        And that lucky or not a his goal vs. Portugal counted.

        The thing about Deuce is he gets too many “lucky” goals for them to be all about luck.

        If you think the USMNT can do without someone who is as reliable a scorer as he has been and still seems to be then by all means dump him..

      • kind of hard when no one else gets a crack at his spot. But I can tell you this, anyone else given the chance will probably make the team better simply by helping out on defense and linking from defense to offense. Dempsey has a bad habit of holding on the ball too long and looking for the call, and if he doesn’t get the call, he puts the defense in a bad situation.

      • “anyone else given the chance will probably make the team better simply by helping out on defense and linking from defense to offense.”

        What offense? It is hard to win a game if you don’t score a goal.

        As for getting a crack at his spot, all they have to do is score consistently in the EPL which is how Clint kept his spot for much of his time..

      • Again you’re going back to history to make your point for today. Has he done anything worthwhile after the WC?

      • Louis,

        ”back to history…… Has he done anything worthwhile after the WC?”

        You’re kidding right? The World Cup was 7-8 months ago.

        The only games the USMNT has played since then have been 7 experimental friendlies where JK made a point of saying he was giving most of the veterans time off because he was interested in finding out about the younger players such as the Olympic hopefuls.

        These games amount to the equivalent of MLB spring training, or the NFL’s I don’t understand why you make them the equivalent of a World Cup tournament in terms of judging players but hey, this is SBI. .

        Before the January camp Dempsey played in only the Honduras game. He was then brought into the January camp as part of the veteran core to work with the newer younger guys.
        In the 7 games since the WC,

        Clint played in three games. In those games the US went 1-1-1 and he scored a goal vs Panama..

        There were 4 games where he was not there to mess up his potential successors with his lousy defense.
        In those four games , a win, a tie and two losses, the US scored 4 goals, one goal in each game ( Mix 2, Bedoya, Jozy.).

        Don’t worry Louis, your boys, whoever they are, will get their shots at Clint’s job..

      • GW, since I we can’t continue or talk under your last post, I’m doing it here. When I said what has he done since the WC I was giving you the MLS second half and playoffs. And to answer your comment about “you can’t win without scoring”, I would rebuttal with “You can’t lose if you don’t allow to be scored on”.

      • Louis,

        I don’t know what Clint did with the Sounders after the World Cup but it is more or less irrelevant.

        Clint has performed well for the USMNT in his three games since the World Cup and has earned the benefit of the doubt. And unlike Howard, he has also said he is interested in continuing to play for the team until at least Copa America.

        Clint has never been a great defender and will never be one.
        There are very few players who are at the elite level in all phases of their game. Clint is the closest thing the US has to an elite level scorer by a very long way. And he is not as bad defensively as you suggest.

        You are being very negative. You look at Deuce and whine about what he can’t do instead of taking advantage of what he can do.

        Many teams would gladly work a little harder on defense to make up for Clint because he is so reliable a scorer.

        Defense is just hard work, brains and commitment.

        Consistent goal scoring is the single hardest thing to achieve in soccer.

        Are you telling me Messi and Cristiano make all that money because they track back well?

        It’s not that hard to find a better defender than Clint to play his position. But let me know when you find a better defender who is also as good a scorer and then you will have something.

      • I have to admit that I am a bit shocked to read the Dempsey critique.

        We cannot ignore the fact he is one of the few attacking players for the USMNT that remained effective after the World Cup (for Seattle).

        You write that “no one else gets a crack at his spot”. I disagree. Dempsey missed 4 of the last 5 matches for the USMNT in 2014. Who during those matches showed well enough to push Dempsey for playing time? Seems to me that 4 matches would be ample opportunity for someone to show well, no?

        Let’s be grateful that Dempsey still has enough quality to bridge at least most of this World Cup cycle giving some of the touted prospects time to develop their play to a consistent international level.

    • Don’t get me wrong I’m not faulting Dempsey and his accomplishments, he is a great player and has done a lot for the sport and the USA. But going forward klinsman has to get rid of the old guard after this summers gold cup. Find players that work and a system that works and just stick with it and build on it. Changing formations, tactics , players, is one reason the USA is not getting good results and makes klinsman lolo like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

      • Oh yeah I like wood. He’s very raw. But has a bright future if he can develop. Also Terrance Boyd when healthy > jozy

      • “But going forward klinsman has to get rid of the old guard after this summers gold cup..”

        This is nonsense. All of those potential Dempsey replacements? They haven’t proved a thing yet and may never.

        The US player pool is not so good it can afford to discard anyone who does not play himself off the team particularly someone like Dempsey who is still producing and, having always been slow, has no speed to lose to age.

        Dempsey will be 35-36 in 2018 which is as old as Miro Klose was in Brazil. The same Klose who scored two goals in Brazil, one quite important one.

        Clint is not in Klose’s class but you never know. Clint may well make you happy and play himself out of contention before too long. Or he could remain relevant until 2018.

        As for Boyd, he has looked terrible every single time he has put on a senior USMNT shirt. There is a reason he was left off the Brazil squad.

      • Actually, Terrence Boyd didn’t make it because he was recovering from a torn ACL. Although, I wouldn’t say he’s been terrible everytime he’s played, I would agree that his ability is being quite overhyped for how good he actually is.

      • Troll,

        “I wouldn’t say he’s been terrible everytime he’s played,”

        You would not but I would.

        Actually, when he hasn’t been terrible he has been anonymous. Boyd is popular with SBI because when everyone was complaining about non english speaking German American mercenaries destroying the very fabric of American society and all that it means to be a real American, he was tattoiing American eagles on himself.

        That’s wonderful but it doesn’t mean he can play.

        The other thing is he wasn’t Jozy when being Jozy was about the most disgusting thing you possibly be on SBI.

      • This roster is for the Gold Cup and Klinsmann has made it clear that he is putting a lot of emphasis on winning. Hence, Dempsey, barring injury, is almost certain to be a starter. A lot can happen between now and 2018. JK won’t start worrying about the 2018 roster until 2016. He will continue to test new players, but as for getting a roster ready for the next WC,, that won’t even begin until the next round of qualifiers starts.

  13. Lots of picks seem slightly off the mark. For instance, Fabian Johnson plays in the midfield for Borussia Monchengladbach and even scored today. If Garza’s good enough at LB, I can’t see why Fabian shouldn’t be used at LM. Johnson is better than Ibarra, Green or Shea at LM. Shea at LB
    is a stretch BTW. Yedlin at RB is also a stretch, maybe RM. But is he any better than Bedoya or others who’ve been used there? Cameron’s getting no playing time recently–why is that? Zusi is
    a definite downgrade at this point (doesn’t matter if he scores for RSL in preseason). I expect Bradley and Diskerud to make him expendable.

    • Garza is good enough at LB and I agree about FJ at LW. Think the 2 could form a very complimentary, solid left flank. Garza’s game going forward is quite solid, as is his defense. We simply don’t have another LW option in the pool that offers the threat FJ does.

    • Agreed. We have a variety of European/Mexico based players with USMNT track records who can play fullback (Garza, Chandler, Yedlin), a few others who could be in the mix by summer (Alvarado, Gotz), and others who should be (Lichaj, Rogers).

      I would much rather see Johnson and Zardes starting at the outside midfield positions than Zusi & Bedoya. Bedoya always seems to put in his best performances for the US when he’s more central. I highly doubt he would displace Dempsey or Diskerud, though, so this is all wishful thinking.

  14. if he is anything close to last year’s MLS form you got to get Nguyen into the squad. id take him over Shea, already have enough at LB with Johnson Chandler Garza. Id also argue that Sean Johnson is better than Hamid, 3rd keeper is irrelevant tho.

    Should be a strong squad. without injuries I don’t see too many changes. still hope for Alvardo, S. Johnson, Agudelo others to play themselves on.

    • I think we have to accept the idea that Shea is one of JK’s favorites, and he will be called up whenever he is available. I’m not saying Shea is deserving, just that JK thinks he is.

      I agree with you that Nguyen needs additional call-ups.

  15. My optimistic prediction is that Klinsmann has concluded that Zusi can’t cut it against top international competition. Klinsmann has clearly been searching for wing options post world cup (Gyau, Ibarra, Zardes, Yedlin) and I think he is hoping that he can find superior options to Zusi. I think Zusi was in way over his head at the World Cup and wouldn’t be shocked to see him dropped from the squad entirely from here on out.

    • I don’t get why Zusi gets so much hate while Bedoya gets a pass. Sure he works hard on both sides of the ball but he decision making in the final third is pretty poor.

    • This is not about the WC roster, but the Gold Cup. Zusi showed during the qualifiers that he can do very well against CONCACAF competition. He looks like a better option that Yedlin or some others, it seems to me.

      • I don’t think Zusi gets enough credit for the cut back on the second goal against Portugal. That was a pretty smart composed play, to draw the defender in and play the cross. Other players might of just had a go and blasted it out, as Bedoya did in a similar situation against Germany.

      • Zusi is all right. But definately not a winger I rather have him as a central midfielder or attacking mid.

      • Agreed. Not a winger. And I just don’t think he’s skilled enough to be a CAM at the international level.

        Bedoya is much faster than Zus. Makes him a more effective winger.

      • Zusi is a much better crosser of the ball and makes good entry passes. He is better at those things than Bedoya, Shea, Yedlin, or any number of other national team players. That is probably why he gets to play so much.

      • hes a better winger than he is a central midfielder. I watch every game he plays and Peter Vermes agrees as well

    • Zusi will be 32 next tournament and JK is likely hedging his bets on how well he holds up.

      He can’t play CB.

      • No he cannot play CB but I have had talks with him about moving to GK due to his lack of pace. Since he has not agreed I have left him off the squad, for now.

    • Somewhere along the way people concluded that Bedoya was faster then Zusi, I don’t see it. Also, Zusi played box to box better then anyone on the pitch for USA during the WC. Oh and he also led the team with assists.

    • Exactamundo. Having Cameron, Bedoya and Beckerman all on the roster is overkill with offensively limited players. The US should be able to buzz through until the semis, but when they line up against Meh he co, or Costa Rica, they’re need some offensive spunk. Nguyen offered that more than any other central player in the pool right now.

      • Bedoya and Beckerman are more than competent offensively. As is Cameron.
        Beckerman was one of our best offensive players in Brazil IMO

      • “Beckerman was one of our best offensive players in Brazil IMO”

        How did you come with that conclusion.

        He hardly makes a forward pass.

      • “Beckerman was one of our best offensive players in Brazil IMO”

        I’m not sure you know what “offensive” means; unless you’re saying he offending opposing attackers with his tackling……..

      • you can guarantee that Bedoya and Cameron will be on the squad. and if it’s not Beckerman, it will be Williams.

    • (a) he has to play both ways
      (b) I think he has been anonymous when used by the US
      (c) if you can’t translate the club form to country contribution, in terms of the NT, so what

      • (a) he is an attacking midfielder by trade; he doesn’t have to play both ways. But when he did sub in, he tracked back soundly from what I saw.

        (b) disagree. His touches showed creativity and generally moved the ball to more opportunistic positions

        (c) Nguyen has had what, 2 or 3 sub appearances for the NT? Give him a start to see what he can do, and the chances are he’ll show his club form for you.

      • At the international level we do not have any players standing around waiting for offense, everyone has to pull their weight, and I think he’s soft at it. Not Adu soft but still needs to win more balls.

        I think you need to be pretty special to be NT valuable and I didn’t see that. You don’t give endless appearances with our talent level. He either shows some wow or he gets dropped in favor of a list of players who can really play……Bradley, AJ, Mixx, Zardes, etc.

        A lot of the people advocating players don’t seem clear on, this is like an American all star team, is this particular guy who you’d really pick for it? You might pick them on a cap in MLS but unless they produce goals and assists regularly for the Nats, we need quality.

      • I agree with you, of course the NT needs quality. What I am saying is it’s short-sighted to consider Nguyen’s brief NT cameos and then dismiss Nguyen as not NT quality.

  16. The real question here is just how many favorite sons JK will actually call up. Shea? Wondo, Wood…all of his aging “spine” Will MLS play leading up to the GC get any credit? Im sure there will be a good number of people called that shouldnt be while others that should be called, won’t.

    • Aren’t “favorite” sons usually called in for the World Cup? I don’t remember seeing Wood or Shea there. Wondo, on the other hand, earned his spot there.

      Oops. I guess we’ll have to try the JK hate act from another angle.

  17. Shea didn’t deserve to get called into Jan camp, and of course, did just enough to keep himself in consideration. I don’t think he can defend well enough to play left back nor keep his head in the game consistently. Keep giving him chances at friendlies, sure, but not for the gold cup. Also, not sure if SBI failed to mention Green mistakenly or on purpose, but I doubt he has fallen that far off of JK’s depth chart. Surely he’s ahead of Trapp, Shipp, Gil, and Morales at this point, not to mention Davies and Agudelo, at least in JK’s mind.

    • Green can’t really be an option at this point, can he?

      Not that he cares, but Klinsmann would really catch heat for giving Green another spot to a major tournament without merit.

    • amishman- ” [re: Shea] Keep giving him chances at friendlies, sure, but not for the gold cup. ”

      you must not recall him scoring the winning goal in the last Gold Cup, after having scored in the semis or quarters (can’t remember which but he had a goal prior to the final)… Sure, he can be a baby deer sometimes but he can also be a game changer. He’s a wildcard for sure but until we have a solidly spectacular roster with no holes (like a recent Germany or Spain from a few years back) he’s gonna have a case to be included.

      • The case for Shea and Green are roughly similar. Both promising attackers whose club careers have stalled but who have produced highlights for the usmnt at crucial points. I think converting Shea to LWB in a 2-5-3 is his last real chance. Green is much younger, much more technically gifted but seems to be delicate. Overall though, Shea has had plenty of chances but rarely delivers.

      • Really? The guy who becomes anonymous or cracks in NT games is the same as the talented fast kid who scored on Belgium in the World Cup?

        I don’t even care how what their club situations are because one has shown he can contribute as a supersub at the highest level while the other is skittish when used.

      • “one has shown he can contribute as a supersub at the highest level”

        I am as hopeful as anyone that Green will develop into a deserving USMNT player, but that one run/goal in the WC has overshadowed an inability to show any sustained quality above the 4th division of the Bundesliga. Was hopeful that a year after his debut there would be more than one moment to build on.

      • No, that play shows he can get the job done for the very team we are concerned with, at which point I don’t care what his problems are elsewhere as long as he’s sharp and fit this summer…which he will be with a long camp.

        Being like, “well he doesn’t do it for BM or Hamburg”……so what? That’s like, we know he does it in actuality but does he do it in theory also? He did do well for BM2 when settled and he is the anti-Wondo, he can score in a big game he just needs a league nest.

      • The issue is that he hasn’t done it anywhere in the past year, except for the one run/goal in the WC. Seems like the exception rather than the rule so far.

        All evidence suggests that the kid is working hard so, although not earning playing time for club or country right now, hopefully he is still developing and will earn his place back onto the field for the USMNT.

      • Also, the last gold cup was a b/c team affair. The competition this year will be much tougher as teams look for a chance to get to the confed cup play in match.

  18. My 23:




    Agudelo (big year ahead with the Revs)

    *Anyone know if/when Dom Dwyer becomes eligible to play for the US? If he’s becomes eligible through his recent marriage, swap him for Agudelo.

    • 6 strikers might be 2 too many. Especially considering the Green and Agudelo are far too under developed at this point. Would rather have 1 additional defender and midfielder instead. Love the Alvarado pick if he shows well in the upcoming friendlies.

      The Dwyer situation is mighty interesting. Would be a major coup..

    • Dwyer i believe has started his process but he has to wait until 2017 to finalize per current rules

    • Yeah, I was also thinking that Alvarado should probably be on the “missed the cut” list given his form and Mexico’s apparent lack of interest. I would potentially put Gotz there too, since it’s clear they’re working to get him eligible, but I don’t know the criteria for this exercise. Does a player have to be currently US-eligible to make the list?

      • Yeah I would be surprised if Alvarado doesn’t get the call. They could wait till April though to call him up.

      • Todd, Gotz can go to camp and train with the team but until he has a US passport he can’t play in a game

    • if he accepts a call in March, April or June he could defiantly jump over Birnbaum, right now nobody knows where he stands.

      Mexico has a crazy schedule this year with Copa America and Gold Cup I would bet on them reaching out to him soon.

      • Herrera already said that he has no intention of calling him because there are many CBs better than him

      • While relieving to hear, that’s also comical. Herrera’s not calling him because Alvarado has seemed at least equally open to a USMNT call up rather than going all in for El Tri.

        Let’s not forget that CB was Mexico’s major weak point throughout WC qualification roughly a year ago. They had to use a 34 y/o Rafa Marquez through the WC because their other options couldn’t cut it.

      • No, it more like prove that you’re better than those CBs and you’ll earn a call up, if not there’s the US as your back up.

  19. Interesting. I see no reason to carry 5 center backs, though. I’d be surprised to see Birnbaum. I think the core 4 CB’s are solid. I think we’ll see Joe Gyau in the roster for Birnbaum if he’s healthy as he adds a wide element that we don’t really have otherwise.

    • I’d think Gyau’s own injury history would argue against a callup when he’s been hurt and not playing much. With the growing paper in his medical file we’re nearing Holden or O’Brien territory where I think you err on the side of caution lest you get the career ender. Did Holden really need to come back and play a bunch of summer games?

  20. Well the majority of the picks are obvious however, JK likes to make some strange picks just so that people won’t think they know what he’ll do.

    Lee Nguyen was injured in camp with a groin issue and has not played for the Revs since NAT camp so making a statement that he “failed to start” in either game isn’t really fair when there very well was a reason. He’s still in the top two or thee of the names you picked and if JK doesnt see it then he’s a bigger fool than I think.

    Also, Ill believe Wondo stays home when the roster comes out. He should… but JK picks his favs

    • What about Kelyn Rowe? He can play a variety of positions out wide or in the middle and he’s only 23.

      • I can’t see Rowe as a NAT. He stands a good chance of being beat out as a starter by Diego Fagundez. Rowe not that sharp this Spring, DIego is very sharp after being called up by Uruguay.

  21. It would really be something if Charlie Davies actually did find his way back into the side. He’s not there yet… but he is not as impossibly far off as he seemed just a year ago. Would be nice to see one of our reclamation projects pan out for a change…

    • That would be something. Great a story as it’d be…. I just don’t see it. Which of course is why it would be such a great story.


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