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For Klinsmann, preparation for Gold Cup roster selections well under way


Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports


With the summer rapidly approaching, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has some choices on his hands when it comes to selecting those involved with this summer’s Gold Cup roster.

Klinsmann says that process is already beginning following the most recent string of friendlies, a series of games that offered Klinsmann one of his last chances to experiment. As the USMNT approaches a summer full of meaningful contests, Klinsmann knows that he has some difficult decisions upcoming, but the German-born head coach says that the previous experimentation will lead to those choices being well-informed.

“I will start then with naming, in the weeks before the Gold Cup, a 35-man roster, which we are very comfortable to have coming together and then obviously to bring in a group of 23 players,” Klinsmann said. “Also, we have the chance to switch six players after the group stage, so that makes it a lot of work for us coaches, but exciting work, because we can kind of schedule things maybe a bit differently.

“We can stagger players to a later stage if we want to or we can decide to, especially European-based players, from the beginning of the tournament right away into it. That gives us more options and after the performance for many players against Mexico, it’s going to be exciting for us to calculate, hopefully, the right way.”

Those calculations have been ongoing for Klinsmann ever since the U.S. returned home from Brazil and last year’s World Cup.

Since that day, the Gold Cup has been seen as a major target, one that will help bridge that gap into the next World Cup through qualification for the Confederations’ Cup in 2017.

In the lead up to this summer’s tournament, many questions arose on just what path Klinsmann and the U.S. would take throughout the cycle, and Klinsmann believes some of the early questions have been answered, although there are plenty more left to piece together.

“Definitely we got a lot of answers to many, many little questions that we have. We coaches want to see a lot of little pieces in the game,” Klinsmann said. “This game (against Mexico) gave us a lot of good stuff toward individual performances. Players are kind of knocking at the door, they’re pushing, because it’s going to be a very tricky situation with the Gold Cup.

“With our European-based players, they will already be done with their season at the end of May. How do we bridge them into the Gold Cup, which is in July? It’s not after their season right away. At the same time we have MLS in full swing. Mexican-based players have a different schedule as well, so it was important to us to see how eager everybody is to get into that Gold Cup roster, and they’re all hungry.”

For Klinsmann, that hunger remains a key message, one that he hopes comes to define the upcoming cycle.

Following this period of transition, Klinsmann believes it is time to demonstrate consistency, both on the club and international level. With major tournaments occurring in every summer leading up to the 2018 World Cup, the Gold Cup is set to serve as a launching point, making the next few months vital as the team looks to continue to improve.

“The message to our players, now that we are in April with the Gold Cup in July, is pretty clear,” Klinsmann said. “We had a transition phase from the World Cup in 2015, many friendly games that we tried out a lot of different stuff. We broadened our player pool. We found new players that we are really excited about, but now it goes actually to the real deal, and the real deal is winning the Gold Cup. The message to the players is to now become consistent. Prove your point, week in, week out, in your club environment.

“For the European players, finish your season on the highest note possible and you might have a shorter vacation this summer because we need you as part of that Gold Cup team as well. We are asking now, from them, to prove to us that they are spot on, that they are leaders in their club teams and stand out in their club environments and are not taking things easy and to make sure that they keep their performance going into July and then get to show it, most excitingly, in the Gold Cup itself.”


  1. So I just had a thought… what if Cameron is the new JJ? We haven’t seen him yet, but he is younger, has top flight experience… and can play that Gattuso role well behind bradley? I was just thinking about it and it makes sense based on the lineups JK has been trotting out. We know he wants to play a diamond… and he has been checking out back 4s all year… and Cameron was never there. We also know JK doesn’t want JJ in that role anymore… so I see Cameron as his replacement.

  2. If I were to select 35 players right now I’d have to go with the following:

    Goal Keeper: 1) Guzan, 2) Yarbrough, 3) Hamid, [24) Rimando, 25) S. Johnson ]
    Outside Back: 4) Chandler, 5) Shea, 6) Garza, 7) Yedlin [26) Lichaj, 27) Ream)
    Center Back: 8) Brooks, 9) Gonzalez, 10) Besler, 11) Alvarado, [28) Orozco, 29) Cameron]
    Center Mid: 12) Bradley, 13) Jones, 14) Diskerud, 15) Williams [30) Beckerman 31) Morales, 32) Kitchen]
    Outside Mid: 16) Fabian, 17) Bedoya, 18) Zardes, 19) Corona [33) Zusi,
    Forwards: 20) Dempsey, 21) Jozy, 22) Johannsson, 23) Agudelo [34) Rubin, 35) Morris]

      • Ya, no Green or Ibarra. This isn’t a friendly, this is a Tournament to secure entry into the Confederations Cup. Considering Green hasn’t seen the field in any of the experimental friendlies I can’t see JK wasting a roster spot on him. Ibarra I guess could have a chance of making the squad, but I’ve been less than impressed with his performances. I believe that he falls short of making the squad when comparing the other options out there for a wide midfield players.

  3. Let’s be honest here, JK will not solve the centerback’s problems by moving Jones there. We have like four to five mediocre ones (Besler Brooks Cameron Gonzalez Alvarado) right now that can alternate and maybe the right formula is found so that we don’t give up late goals as often. Jones belongs in the midfield behind Mr. Bradley, or along Mr. Bradley depending on the formation used. This team must play Jones Bradley and Dempsey all the minutes of this GC. Mexican team, if A team, will be scary.

  4. I wanna see this lineup:

    ———— Jozy ————-
    —- Dempsey — Mix ——–
    Fabian —————- Yedlin
    —– Brooks – Cameron —–
    ———– Guzan ————-

    And here’s the rest of my 35:

    12. Agudelo
    13. Johannsson
    14. Morris
    15. Rubin
    16. Boyd
    17. Ibarra
    18. Shea
    19. Nguyen
    20. Green
    21. D. Williams
    22. Zelalem
    23. Beckerman
    24. Shipp
    25. Corona
    26. Gil
    27. Garza
    28. Chandler
    29. Besler
    30. Gonzales
    31. Alvarado
    32. Orozco
    33. Ream
    34. Rimando
    35. Yarbrough

    • That is a 4-3-3 correct? I don’t think we would want to see Mix as one of the Forward 3 in that line-up. He would have to be in the midfield 3.

      • As much as I hate to say it, we must start Antigol. This should be his final opportunity to really prove his worth. One more hamstring injury and he should never be considered again. Also, I like 442, Jones behind Bradley and NOOOOOOOOOO Yedlin. Other than that I can live with the rest of this line-up. Although one of our Mexicans will replace Cameron, that’s for sure.

      • By calling me troll, are you complimenting me brother? Because yours is the mother troll. I am not jealous of Yedlin; why would I be?

  5. Slightly off topic, but does anyone know anything about the Suriname situation? That is going to add a whole new dynamic to all of them, and I’m interested if there is as much backlash about Germaricans once we have to compete against a Netherlands B team on a regular basis.

  6. This tournament will be no gimmy for the USA. On paper we have the hardest group since we have both Honduras and Panama. Then assuming we win our group and so does Costa Rica, we would have to play them in a semi-final, just to get to probably Mexico in the final.

    That likely path guarantees us playing 4 of the 5 Hexagonal teams from last qualifying cycle.

    Hopefully JK’s big three of Ibarra, Morris, and Green can lead us to victory. 😉

  7. I’m a little nervous about Herrera and Klinsmann both pre-assuming a Mexico/U.S. final.

    Funny that the USMNT can name a preliminary 35-man roster just weeks before a regional tournament, while the USWNT trims a 25-woman roster to 23 two months before the World Cup….*eyeroll*

      • Except the USWNT calls in the same 25 every friendly/camp….consider yourself lucky if you’re under 25 and have more than 10 caps!

      • LOL. The only place to find a reasonable comment on the USWNT is in a discussion about the USMNT. DB is so right. USWNT coaches make you appreciate Klinnsman and his wacky ways. At least he’s looking for young new talent. USWNT roster includes a midfielder who will turn 38 and a defender who will turn 40 during the world cup. US probably has the largest pool of women’s players in the world, and this is the best we can do? Ok, let’s go back to talkling about the USMNT.

  8. 35 man roster; alright!

    took me a while to put together that many deserving names, but we do have the depth these day. Interested to see how the U-23’s play into this group and what their summer plans are.

    • the usual tired suspects… Rimando, Wowndow, Orozco, Evans, Beckerman, Goodson, Gooch, Jozy Antigol, Gringo Torres, Benny.

    • um, only 20 spots available. Jordan Morris is also on Klinsy’s “I don’t give a …. I like these guys” list. Pencil him in.

    • Well, no chance that JK calls in Morris, Ibarra, AND Green, right? There has to be room for only 1.

      JK has used the first half of the year to bring on all 3 players to see them firsthand. Given players opportunities to showcase their form for the Gold Cup. Spent hours analyzing film of games and training sessions.

      So the obvious choice among the 3 to be on the Gold Cup roster has to be Julian Green surely because Ibarra and Morris are “a step behind the guys they are competing against” (including Green of coarse).

      Just using JK logic…

    • This is my Klinsmann WTF!?? Gold Cup lineup (Diamond):

      J Green———————————-Ibarra
      Shea——–Besler—–J Jones—-B Evans

      I think all of our heads would explode!!! Well not all of us, there would still be some here that would bow-down in front of their Klinsmann altar and say “We are not worthy!”. We all know who they are.

      • dude… I love what JK has done… but if he trotted that lineup out to start, even just a friendly, I would say he has totally lost it. Though, in the 80th minute of a friendly… I could see it.

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