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Jurgen Klinsmann looking to lean on USMNT players’ experience during Gold Cup title defense

Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT 58


The time to experiment and introduce new talent into the U.S. Men’s National Team is not over. It has just been put on pause.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to defend its CONCACAF Gold Cup title in two weeks, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Tuesday named a veteran-laden, 23-man squad that includes 17 players that were at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Klinsmann had long stressed that he would bring the best team available to the regional tournament, but some fans and observers were still taken by surprise to see so few promising youngsters on the squad. The U.S. head coach had introduced a number of talented prospects into the team since the end of last summer’s World Cup, and even the majority of them that found ways to make an impact in recent friendlies were left off.

Klinsmann instead went with a more seasoned group, one that surprisingly includes the likes of Brad Davis and Brad Evans but that the U.S. head coach believes will give his side the best shot at winning the CONCACAF competition and securing automatic entry into the 2017 Confederations Cup.

“Going into a Gold Cup, especially in our region here, experience means a lot,” said Klinsmann. “You need players that stay calm in very emotional and very difficult and very tough battles. It can get nasty, things might not go your way in some moments, so you have to stay cool and you have to always be on top of things.

“I think the experience that players like Brad Guzan, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski, Nick Rimando have – just to name a few of them – those guys bring the experience with them to stay calm and get the job done. The Gold Cup really is about getting the job done and winning it and qualifying us for the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017. That’s why it’s really crucial for us to have players on the roster that have tremendous experience.”

The admitted “tricky part” for Klinsmann is that this year’s Gold Cup is not being played in June, as is customary, but rather in July. As a result, Klinsmann now has a bevy of European- and Mexican-based players who are coming off vacations instead of their seasons, and has to find a way to round them into peak form and fitness.

To help mitigate how much they lost in terms of game-shape and sharpness over the break, Klinsmann gave his foreign-based players training and work out plans. If the Americans followed them, there should not be too big of a drop-off in their levels.

Still, the U.S. manager is now focusing on building them up during the week that he has them prior to the start of the Gold Cup on July 7. Klinsmann even has a friendly against Guatemala scheduled four days earlier to help his players get back to their best ahead of Group A games against Honduras, Haiti, and Panama.

“We’ll take it from there in Nashville in preparation for the friendly with Guatemala, and get them one step at a time into the Gold Cup because we want to have the strongest team possible with us,” said Klinsmann. “Our biggest rival Mexico will come with their strongest group also with European-based players, so we want to meet them face to face and make sure that they stay behind us.

“I’m sure our players were conscientious in their vacation periods. They are conscious that there is a lot at stake and they’re going to be well prepared.”

If they aren’t, Klinsmann – like the other CONCACAF coaches – has the luxury of making as many as six changes to his roster after the group stage. Klinsmann took advantage of that rule two years ago when the Americans went unbeaten en route to claiming the 2013 Gold Cup, so he is fully aware of the importance of that option.

How many changes Klinsmann ultimately makes, if any, will be up to the 23 players that he selected on Tuesday. Strong performances all around through the group games and a clean bill of health could see the entire unit stick together for the knock-out rounds, and Klinsmann plans to stress that message to the Americans.

“It’s also important to tell the initial group, ‘Hey, you’re in the driver’s seat here, you set the tone,'” said Klinsmann. “Then depending on what happens – if it’s suspensions, if it’s, god forbid, injuries or whatever – we have the chance to make high-quality subs. We will definitely have that in the back of our minds.

“But first and foremost comes the group stage, and that is a very difficult group that we have – as I mentioned with Panama, Honduras, and Haiti – so first we have to go through there and then we can think about maybe making some changes after the group phase.”

Regardless of the amount of changes that are made to the squad, Klinsmann is planning to count on all of his players’ experiences in order to successfully navigate through the Gold Cup. Lifting the trophy at the end of the month is the goal for the Americans, and Klinsmann is plenty confident that this bunch has what it takes to accomplish that goal.

“We believe we have a very, very strong group that can win this prestigious tournament,” said Klinsmann.


  1. I was advocating back in late winter for more consistency in the defense and JK has delivered that, not in the exact way I thought, but in a way that has allowed the back 4 to develop some cohesiveness.

    At midfield, I (and a whole lot of people) was surprised when Jones was left off the roster, but otherwise not much to argue about, most of the players people are wishing would be on the 23 would not play much of a role.

    In attack, speed is not that much use if the defense already has 10 behind the ball when you get it. What is needed is some strength to withstand multiple players and the ability to get free to find some attacking space when there are 15 players in the box. Agudelo has not shown he has that kind of strength or soccer brain, neither has Morris. Altidore has the strength to over power defenses (if the referees let him), Johannsson has the ability to dribble in tight spaces, Dempsey is a guy who will battle, occupy more than one defender and score goals in a crowd while Wondo is superb at finding open spots and he puts over 40% of his shots on goal.

    While I am not a JK supporter, I find it hard to fault much fault with his selections.

      • i have always believed there are streaks of xenophobia re player selection and coaches on this and other soccer boards. if JK’s name was johnson and he was born in southern california, i’m convinced these threads would read very differently.

      • Jurgen is not the first foreign coach. I remember the beloved Bora and I don’t think anyone objected to him because he was not 100% American.
        For my money, Jurgen is just an average soccer coach and we could have gotten much the same here at home and, at the risk of inflaming some, we have had better American coaches. And, also for my money, Jurgen is given to clownish commentary which I find annoying at best. But some really good coaches say silly things. See Mourinho for example.
        Jurgen allegedly is more than the national team coach and in that role, his obvious ignorance of the US and US soccer is a handicap. See his recent comments about academies, for example.
        The real villain in this not Jurgen but Gulati who suffers, it would appear, from the misapprehension that any foreigner is better than the best American. He is not alone in this among American soccer officials but it is an attitude we need to discard if we are really going to make progress. Over the past three or four decades, US soccer has had the benefit of nearly everything to be learned in Europe — training techniques, formations, and all the rest. What the US lacks is a huge pool of wonderful athletes working to become superior soccer players and only changes within the US is going to create one.

      • basically, what you seem to be saying is that JK is no better than the best american coaches and arguably has some cultural handicaps. better or worse, any foreign coach is going to bring his life experience and perspective. i’d present that your gulati argument is your own in reverse.

  2. I have no big issues with this team. The one thing that I would like to see is Klinsmann giving the armband to Bradley. As far as I’m concerned this is Bradley’s team now and dictates how the team does. While Dempsey is still a solid player, I see him as a sub in 2018 compared to Bradley who will be the heart and soul of the team.

  3. Brad Guzan; 21-Timmy Chandler, 19-Ventura Alvarado, 6-John Brooks, 11-Brek Shea, 23-Fabian Johnson (3-Brad Evans, 46); 14-Danny Williams (5-Kyle Beckerman, 46), 20-Gyasi Zardes (18-Bobby Wood, 74), 10-Mix Diskerud (7-Alfredo Morales, 74) 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 9-Aron Johannsson (8-Jordan Morris, 74), 13-Juan Agudelo (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 46) …….are good enough to beat the Netherlands and Germany but lets not include the threats and people who scored goals. Instead lets substitute and include, people we haven’t tried out against top opponents, and a striker that can’t score….but is strong on the ball with good hold up play.
    With everything that has happened with Klinsmann and the way he has handled business so far I should have no reason to doubt him…..but why break apart the team that excelled in Europe??

    • Because it’s too early on in the cycle to ditch the veterans in favor of the kids. What happens if we completely shake up the team and then in 2016 or 2017 these kids see a drop in form? Then who do we turn to? Klinsmann is trying to maintain an extremely competitive atmosphere in the locker room, where you’re rewarded a place through hard work and dedication rather than sheer talent (eg, a good performance in a friendly). The young guys aren’t going anywhere, if they continue to show they have the guts and the right attitude, they will be brought into the fold for competitive matches. But this is a Gold Cup that can qualify us for a Confederations Cup. The idea is to bring our A team and fill the bench spots with players who embody the character deserving of the stars and stripes. That way the team spirit will be perfect this tournament and the next.

  4. Someone mentioned yesterday that Wondo is exactly what you need against the bunkering teams. A guy who finds himself in the right place for garbage goals alot! I mean alot! Early on the teams except maybe Panama, will lay back and bunker. Morris’s speed wont help much. After what we saw in Europe, after winning qualifying with the right guy in the right place time and time again(Evans vs Jamaica, EJ against Antigua, Gordon against somebody, everybody against Germany, etc) after finishing second in the group with Ghana, Portugal, and Germany; maybe its time to trust him a little bit. He has been right a lot! I know we all hated the 4 dmids we played in 2012, and there are times we dont see what he does, and certainly there was the Donovan thing. But he is right alot!

    • Yep, I think that was me that said it, and Klinsmanns comments kinda prove it. People are asking about Morris and Shea, but Shea has done some very erratic things recently to be sent off, and Morris has shown really well but is still pretty young to risk him. These players will be getting hacked all game, they will be flopping everywhere, you need guys that know how to handle that, and to grind out a result I think this is the right roster for this tournament, as much as I want to see the younger players prove themselves.

    • Early on I criticized JK for a number of the moves he made and he proved to be right about 80 to 90% of the time. I learned from my experience that maybe he knows what he is doing and deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt until we learn differently. Except for the Donovan snub of course–worst decision ever.

  5. So will he leave out all the young guys during qualifying? That will be infinitely harder than the officiating and play they see at the Gold Cup. He should have included Morris at a minimum. Also, Klinsmann is punishing Matt Besler for his comments; the guy has never put a foot wrong and our defense was not good against either Netherlands or Germany.

    • It should be clear. If JK thinks a player has a decent chance of making the WC roster, he will play at some point during qualifying.However, he showed during the last round that he is not adverse to experimenting in the qualifying rounds, especially against lesser teams. Eddie Johnson played a lot in the first round, but was left off the WC roster, for example.

  6. I hate passing up an opportunity to poke fun at Jurgen, but overall I think the lesson here is that a national team coach counts for only so much. The player pool is what it is, especially for a country like the USA. I suspect that most coaches would have picked more or less the team that Jurgen has picked. Starting lineups might vary a bit more but again you have only so many options and, provided you are smart enough to fit your “system” to your players, the approach on the field is not likely to differ all that much. Witness the fact that on more than a few occasions in games that mattered Jurgen’s teams have looked remarkably like Bob’s teams.

      • So, you are agreeing with me! And in any case it’s not a criticism of the great Jurgen, just a further recognition that coaches can only do so much. You can’t simply will your team to play a way that is beyond their abilities.

      • Fair enough. I’d agree with pretty much the rest.

        I remember some famous quote from a soccer coach saying that a great coach can only make his team 10% better, while a bad coach can make it 90% worse.

        Soccer isn’t like gridiron football. It doesn’t matter how genius a coach is, he won’t win trophies with mediocre players.

        I don’t think there’s anyone else that could squeeze any more out of this team than Jurgen has (since the Snow Bowl, before that he was very clearly still figuring things out). Sure, maybe Guus Hiddink, but he’d probably stay for a year or so and then ditch us when the next offer came. I do think though that we would be surprised though at how much poorly the team would play if Sigi Schmid took over.

      • Oops, don’t mistake me for a Jurgen fan. So far, he is just a common, garden variety soccer coach, who talks far too much.
        If it is true that the US player pool has steadily improved (an analysis to back that up would help), you have to consider that both Bruce and Bob over-achieved as coaches — less to work with and similar if not superior results.

      • The US player pool under JK was deeper, but not better, than it was under Coach Bob. Back then we had Landon, Clint, Davies, and Bocanegra in their primes. The results, however, under Klinsmann were better (objectively) and the team played much, much better. Under Arena we had some really good players as well and it was clear that the team outgrew him. 2002 was an absolute disaster. Sure, none of those guys are world class managers, but only one gets job offers for elite teams. And we certainly wouldn’t be able to find anyone better. At least not someone who lives in the US and considered the USNT as his first choice before the German NT and Bayern Munich.

        The “talks too much” comment is just plain silly. This is our national team manager.

      • If you want to believe that Jurgen is God’s gift to US soccer, be my guest. You are entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Under Bob and Jurgen, the US finished in the group of 16. In fact, Bob’s team finished 12th and Jurgen’s 15th. So how are Jurgen’s results better?

      • and everyone, including yourself, need to include context around facts/stats. a group of Algeria, Slovenia, and England vs. Germany, Portugal, and Ghana needs to be accounted for. then, of course, Ghana vs. Belgium.

        also, in 2012, JK set a record for the US record in a year. he’s also tied Arena’s record for points in the Hex. and of course, he has more wins against European competition, in Europe, then everyone else combined. that’s a bit of a cherry picked stat, but it’s true nonetheless. all that said, Bob got us to the Confeds Cup final after beating a Spain team that was maybe the best international team the world had seen in a LONG time.

        point is, the whole “who has a bigger D” argument can go on forever.

      • What Bryan said.

        Not only was our schedule much rougher (tougher European opponents and a much improved CONCACAF), Klinsmann had the best record of any USNT manager in history last cycle. Oh, and last World Cup’s performance was amazing. We made it out of the group of depth and were a Wondo away from the quarterfinals. But the key here is that we play much, much better under Klinsmann than we used to. We can actually string together more than two passes in a row, for example.

      • Results in the World Cup and regional championships are the test of national teams and their managers. And their all wins count the same, context or no context. And by those standards, both of Jurgen’s predecessors have done quite well and he has some way to go to equal their results.

      • An anecdote that can not be retold too often:
        When Bill Russell was asked which was the better team: his Celtics or the Lakers of the same era, he said: “That’s why they keep score.”
        Devotees of “better” soccer please take note.

      • This is a terrible argument. Did you honestly think before the tournament that we had a chance at making it to the quarterfinals? No one did.

        By your metric, a US manager is not better than Bradley and Arena unless we make it to the semi finals. That is ridiculous. We probably won’t make it that for for decades.

        You can’t judge a manager based entirely on three to five games. There are years of work put in that you can’t ignore. Over the course of three years, JK did an excellent job. He got us to play better than we ever have (on the pitch and in terms of results). And then we had an excellent World Cup performance, our second best in history. There is no logic behind your arguments, your “he only got us to the round of 16” trope that you constantly repeat on these articles is ridiculous. No one takes it seriously. We had the strongest group we’ve ever had as well as the strongest Round of 16 opponent. This World Cup was a huge success, and we played much better than we did in the last one. You’re the only one that doesn’t see this. The real question is why, and why is it that you feel the need to lead this crusade of yours on the SBI comments section?

      • Thanks for the vote of confidence. Competitive sports are all about results, wins and losses. Looking pretty doesn’t matter unless it gets you to a win.
        Facts are facts. Getting to the round of 16 is the same as getting to the round of 16.
        Will any US coach do better than Bruce did any time soon? I doubt it, but that merely suggests that folks should get less excited about the national team because it has already done about as well as it will ever do. Perhaps if the USSF types understood this, they would concentrate on building other parts of US soccer.

      • The US played much better at this last World Cup than the last, and it was a tremendous performance. Fact.

        The US was better this past cycle than in any cycle in history. Fact.

        Since early 2013, the USNT has been playing better quality soccer than at any point in its history. While impossible to objectively measure, any informed viewer would agree.

        The result is not the only thing that matters. Fact according to anyone familiar with the game.

        You can’t expect people to take your argument that “we only got to the round of 16, Klinsmann isn’t a good coach” or “no coach is better than Arena unless we make it to the semi-finals” seriously. Fact.

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you. The next time I explain the difference between “fans” (derived from “fanatic”) and analysts, I will use your post

      • And the next time I need an example of one of the many intelligent, knowledgeable sports fans who just started watching soccer last summer, I’ll use yours.

    • I can’t recall if it was John Wooden or Pete Carril who said it, but “If you want to win get good horses and don’t hurt them.” Though it was in a different sport, both of those guys were masters at getting the best out of their players. Coaches do matter, but even Carril could not consistently beat teams that had better talent, but he never stopped trying.
      Wooden had great talent on his teams and deployed that talent very well. I think JK is not quite the level of either of those coaches in player management, but he is not doing a bad job of it. Both Bob Bradley and JK are more like Carril in their situations with good, but not really great players than like Wooden who had a lot more talent at his disposal.

  7. What stats? Like winning 5 of 15 matches last year? The team looks good recently, but I suspect it is more in spite of him than because. For every “brilliant” roster and result, there are just as many that leave is wondering…WTF??

    • Repeat after me–“Friendlies don’t count for anything.” The point of friendlies is to discover new talent or to get ready for games that do count. Games that do count are the World Cup and qualifying for the World Cup. The only reason the Gold Cup counts is that it will qualify the US for the Confed3erations Cup. The only reason the Confederations Cup is important is because it is good practice for the World Cup the next year.

  8. It’s hard to understand JK most of the time. Some of his selections/omissions are crazy. Did he forget about some of the players that just gave him big wins in Europe as he reverts to the same old, same old that have done little? Seriously, Brad Davis, Wondo … what are they going to do. Bacon…did nothing in the last Euro games. Jozy…. please.. never does much. JK is crazy. This is not really a strong team but is certainly a typical JK team

    • Jozy doesn’t do much? Look at stats dude. Some other players didn’t get released like Cameron and Williams who would have been on the roster.

    • Strong by whose standards?

      You can build teams two ways – you can basically build up like it’s a game of FIFA ’15, and take your highest numerically-rated players (which is how most fanboys and unfortunately even too many coaches and program directors think), or you can build a team – and pay attention to things like coachability, attitude, chemistry, work ethic, and a dozen other intangibles that may not show up to the outside observer but jump out at you on both the practice field and the actual pitch.

      If you ignore the intangibles, you’re going to have a bunch that doesn’t equal the sum of its parts, or even close.

      One of the intangibles is loyalty. Loyalty’s a tricky thing for a coach. Too much is a coach-killer; you get a rep for having “favorites” and younger fringe players figure it’s a closed club and they tank. On the other hand, if you go too far the opposite direction, and constantly cycle players in knee-jerk fashion, the older players figure you’re always chasing the newest and shiniest and will be displaced the second they have a bad day or a bad run of form…and they tank.

      Klinsmann is a masterful players’ coach. In particular he’s an expert out of squeezing every last drop of talent there is to get out of a player…and making them play without fear.

      Klinsmann has refused, for instance, to dispose of Wondo even after that World Cup miss. A lot of outsiders don’t understand why. To a coach, it’s kinda easy…if you just drop a guy for a miss, they start playing fearfully, worrying about blowing it…and instead of going for it, they get tense…or worse, actively avoid putting themselves in situations where they might miss. Klinsmann obviously owned the Wondo thing; he was the one who rated Wondo, put Wondo in that situation at the World Cup; it didn’t work out…and hey, it was what it was, and he still calls him up. Good move on Klinsmann’s part, and it takes the fear-factor of failure out of the player pool. Show me something, seems to be his motto, and if you make a mistake, make it…just make it at 110mph, while you are going for it.

      This Gold Cup roster strikes me as a bit of a counter-balance; he’s been putting a boatload of youngsters out for disproportionate minutes against top Euro competition; it would be easy for a lot of the older players to start thinking they’d been dropped. In calling the vets up for a must-win tournament (at least if we want the Confeds Cup), he re-affirms his faith in the established vets…while calling up just enough youngsters to show it’s possible to break into the “first” team.

      I think it’s a good move. I’m even more interested to see what in-tournament subs he makes; he’s allowed to replace as many as six guys and I suspect we’ll see close to that. It’ll be interesting to see who those six are; that might tell us…a lot, actually, about which way the wind is blowing.

      • “Klinsmann has refused, for instance, to dispose of Wondo even after that World Cup miss. A lot of outsiders don’t understand why. To a coach, it’s kinda easy…if you just drop a guy for a miss, they start playing fearfully, worrying about blowing it…and instead of going for it, they get tense…or worse, actively avoid putting themselves in situations where they might miss.”

        Unfortunately, this didn’t work for Cameron after the WC.

      • This…… x 1,000 Fanboys, FIFA ’15 well said.

        Sadly though, most won’t get this! When you have 11 people on the field plus another 7 on the bench. you kinda want to have some cohesion and unity. One primadona can spoil the whole bunch

      • I gotta saw quozzel, I don’t always agree with your take on things, you walk a fine line between optimism and hyperbole sometimes for my tastes, but you clearly understand the game and the politics involved in it. You should be writing for this site not posting on it.

      • “If you ignore the intangibles, you’re going to have a bunch that doesn’t equal the sum of its parts, or even close.” That made me think of England which has had so many talented players, yet does relatively poorly in the WC, perhaps because of all the egos. I sometimes wonder if people who write some of these posts have ever played a team game, much less played soccer. We know now that one of the reasons for the dismal performance of the US in the 1998 WC was because Harkes was screwing Wynalda’s wife. You can’t have a good team if the players don’t get along and/or if they don’t respect the coach and want to give their all. Lute Olsen, when he was BB coach at Arizona, before he would sign a recruit, he would have him meet all the team and interact with them and then have the team vote on whether they approved of the guy. Considering how well Olsen’s teams played, it worked out very well.

      • quozzel,

        great points all around. Especially about the idea of team building which as fans we often forget about when it comes to a national team. you certainly think about it in relation to a club team but sometimes we all fall victim to the idea that our national team should be an all star squad of the best 23 americans in the world.

        Also, interesting theory about some of the mind games and motivational tactics Klinsmann could be deploying here. In the end, I want to see Morris on this team, not just because he currently holds the title of next big thing, but because his speed could help us win this tournament. But I’ll give Klinsy the benefit of the doubt after the last two performances he got out of his squad. Maybe we see Morris in the knockout rounds.

    • Rickster, having been around a while its reassuring to see that we are now arguing over Brad Davis, Wondo, Shea, and Morris types rather than watching the likes of Jonathon Bornstein, Robbie Findley, and Ricardo Clark in our starting lineup at a WC. We’ve come a long way in just five years with the depth of our player pool. Can’t wait to see what our pool looks like in another five.

      • And was subbed in the first half after basically giving up goal and picking up a caution. Thanks for reminding us…

      • sorry to stir up painful memories. But it does lend further support to the point about the improvement of the pool.

    • I think he was being 100% honest when saying what he felt is most important for a tournament (where every stadium is likely to be filled with the opposing teams and every team is trying to embarrass you any way they can), that character and composure are the top priority. He has the depth to do that. 2 or 4 years ago he did not have the depth to do that.

      This behavior is the way soccer at the national level should evolve and is evolving in my opinion.

  9. The only issues I have with the players selected were Wondo & Davis. Neither player is worth a damn outside of MLS. These 2 spots should have been used for on players that can actually contribute to the team rather than these 2 POSs.

    • i think everyone would agree that Morris & Shea over Wondo & Davis would have been better.. i see the value in Wondo; crazy good movement within the box and usually a good finished in late game situations (except vs Belgium!!!) good guy to have on the bench and in training. Davis don’t really see the value of. Shea is a better left footed fk taker and a better player at multiple positions. id even argue that Bradley, Altidore or Zusi are better at FK’s. so why is he here? pretty sure Shea-Davis will be the first of the changes made after the group stages

      • Why is Shea an improvement over anyone? His first touch is horrible and he hasn’t yet demonstrated that he can make good decisions when pressure is applied to him on the pitch.

        I’d be willing to bet Morris gets a call up after the group stage. Probably at the expense of Wondo or Johannson

      • Apparently neither I nor JK are among your everyone.
        Shea I agree, can be a formidable weapon, but he can be an equally formidable mistake waiting to happen. In games that are high stakes, Shea is not really quite there yet.
        Morris has shown the ability to use his quickness to get defenders and has made the most of his limited minutes. I am not sure his tactical sense is quite there yet or that his talent would be all that useful against packed defenses as it is when the opponents are actually playing soccer and allowing for the possibility of transition,attacking play.

    • While I agree with your basic point and agree with beto that Morris and Shea would be better picks, do you have to insult them by calling them POS’s? They are both excellent in MLS, better than 95% of all American soccer players and they perform well for the clubs. Wondo did very well in the last GC. They don’t deserve that kind of insult.

    • i’m with you. and i’m not saying no Wondo because of his miss at the WC. i’m saying no Wondo because i see no point. with Jozy and Dempsey, plus AJ, Wondo doesn’t bring anything…he has less quality experience then all of them. seems to be a guy like Agudelo would have been the smarter decision. but maybe that’s the plan come KO rounds. last GC Wondo was benched for EJ once the big game came around.

      as for Davis…makes no sense. Davis has MLS experience, but only 17 caps. so he’s not bringing any experience in that regard. a guy like Shea has almost twice as much experience in a US jersey. but again, i’m sure Shea is being left out until the KO rounds to do Orlando a solid. so to me, you bring in Beasley over Davis. the guy came out of retirement for the GC and then doesn’t get called in over Davis? even if Beasley is a LB in JK’s eyes, he is MORE than capable of providing an option at LM.

      • I believe everybody is missing the point on Wondo and Davis. First, Klinsmann has said he values experience and leadership. Both of these guys have the experience to help younger players, understand the vagaries of CONCACAF referees and know how to have success in this tournament. Davis actually converted the final penalty that won the Gold Cup 10 years ago. They also are still playing pretty well by the way. Second, there are 23 players on the roster to play three group games with the opportunity to replace 6 of them before the knockout rounds. It is unlikely that these two will start or even play significant minutes, and probably just as unlikely that any replacements for them would play significant minutes either. Third, the two players everybody is clamoring for…Wood and Morris are not options. Morris has already played a tournament this summer and Wood is focusing on securing a place at his new club. Finally, Klinsmann just won 2 games in Europe in countries where we have never won in history. as far as I am concerned, this has earned him the right to do what he pleases.

      • Good points, Sd, though I think Wondo can be a bit of a hothead when pestered, and I’m guessing teams we’ll play will think so also, so I’m not sure about the one advantage you mentioned about vagaries of CONCACAF referees. But like you said, he might not see time unless it’s against minnows.

        I saw a comment the other day that seemed pretty insightful. Forget who wrote it, but it was making the point that Wondo’s poaching skills may be a better fit against teams that try to bunker against us. Later when we play (hopefully) the teams that won’t bunker, allowing our attacking third to open more, Wondo will probably be gone and we’ll go with more speed.

      • Thanks, I think I am the first to say that on SBI, well before JK selected his final 23. Several others have agreed that sounded like a reasonable idea.

      • im absolutely not missing the point. i’m saying i disagree with it. Davis has 17 caps…he is not bringing US experience in CONCACAF in the way people are making it out to be. he does not have much experience on the international level. i don’t care if he converted a PK 10 years ago. Shea scored the tap-in that won the Gold Cup TWO years ago…so where is he using the same logic?

        as for Wondo, i think that argument holds up better. but i still don’t like it when we have experienced players like Dempsey, Jozy, and AJ also listed as forwards.

        and yes, everyone is well aware there will be up to 6 changes. i think we all know some of these more questionable call ups are only for the group stage.

        as for Wood and Morris, i didn’t clamor for them. JK made it clear, Wood is being left off so he can settle his club situation. i support that. as for Morris, i’m fine with him not coming in. i said i’d prefer to see Agudelo over Wondo.

      • I believe you are seriously underestimating Brad Davis’s experience against CONCACAF opponents. First, if delivering a pressure PK to secure a Gold Cup isn’t good enough for you, consider that the late San Zuzi goal in Panama in 2013 was created by Davis. The Dynamo have played bucketfuls of games against CONCACAF opponents in the Champions Cup, Superliga and CCL. These are exactly the types of players, if not the same ones, that we will see in the group stage. Again if Klinsmann believes Davis is the kind of player he wants in the camp, I suspect he has more of a clue as to why he belongs there than you do.

      • i think you are counting his experience for much more than it’s worth.

        CCL: 13 apps
        Superliga: 8 apps
        USMNT: 17 apps

        that is nothing in terms of experience over a career as long as his. i like Davis, i just don’t get his inclusion. yes, he had a PK 10 years ago and did very well to set up Zusi in 2013. that is two examples…I want to see a lot much production than that. that’s my point.

        and trust me, i understand that JK knows MUCH more than me…and I trust JK. but out of his roster, Davis, IMO, is a questionable selection. that’s one player out of 23. it’s not like i’m questioning JK on all 23 selections.

        all i’m saying, while Davis is a solid MLS player with a fantastic left foot, he doesn’t provide enough to warrant a callup in my opinion. i would take Beasley over Davis any day of the week. especially considering Davis is likely there as depth, and nothing else. to me, having Beasley on the bench would have been much more valuable since Beasley could fill in at LM or LB.

  10. Surprised by Besler’s omission. Has he had a noticeable dip in form? I know he hasn’t been playing for USMNT, but neither has Zusi. Alvarado seems to be fairly gaffe prone at this stage, although I do see his ceiling being higher.

  11. I wish the guys well, but sorry to see a few that have history of looking very average against international competition, and yet keep getting looks.


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