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USMNT veterans focused on Mexico, and not on the potential end of their national team careers


Photo by Jason Miller/USA TODAY Sports


USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought a veteran-heavy lineup to camp ahead of Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup against Mexico. Looking to lean on big-game experience, Klinsmann is fully aware now isn’t the time to try new faces.

That time is fast approaching though, and Klinsmann has already made it clear that Saturday’s match could be the national team swan song for several of the team’s older players.

Does that mean veterans are treating this camp, and Saturday’s match differently? Not quite.

“That’s always the case with the national team. It’s always a tryout,” said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. “Every game, every call-up, it’s always about getting to the next one.

“It feels like a normal camp,” Beckerman added. “We’re coming in and we know there’s a lot riding on the game. It’s not a friendly, but that’s been the case before. I think we’re just excited to be in camp. When you come in, of course its an honor and we’re just wanting to put in the work so we’re ready for Saturday.”The rivalry between the two has taken many twists and turns in recent seasons, with players like Beckerman and DaMarcus Beasley each playing their part.

There was the 2011 Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl, Saturday’s site, in what was an emphatic Mexico victory. There was World Cup qualifying in Columbus, as well as the USMNT’s first win at the Estadio Azteca, in 2012.

Saturday’s final carries special significance for DaMarcus Beasley, who has been a regular fixture in the U.S.- Mexico rivalry since the Americans began turning the tide and taking away Mexico’s dominant hold on the series.

“Even since I started in 2000, 2001, our national team has gotten better,” Beasley said. “You look at how our pool was in the last World Cup. There could have been 35 players on that roster. Before in other World Cups it wasn’t like that. You kind of knew who your 23 or 25 players were. Now, our player pool is a lot bigger, a lot better.

“Some guys have played Mexico in friendlies,” Beasley added, “but this game means a lot more. It’s not just a friendly. You want to win something at the end of the day, so that makes it even more important and more fun for some of the younger guys who may be going into their first time playing against Mexico.”

Young or old, rookie or veteran, the mood remains the same in U.S. camp. The task at hand is a great one, especially given the team’s recent struggles.

For many, that leaves little time for reflection and admiration of past achievements. Whether Saturday’s clash with El Tri is a player’s first or last, the goal remains the same: to book a spot in the Confederations Cup.

“Maybe this is our last opportunity or guys might think that, but these are cycles,” defender Geoff Cameron said. “Gold Cup, World Cup, Confederations Cup. These are all cycles. Two years, four years, all that kind of stuff. This might be the last kind of go around for guys to play Mexico or in a Gold Cup playoff game or whatever. You never know when it’s going to be your last game, so you just have to leave it all on the field, so that’s the mentality that we have.

“We want to enjoy it. We want to have fun and we want to wear the national team jersey with pride. We do that every time we come to camp. Nothing has changed. It’s a different game, a massive game for the U.S., and for Mexico, but we have a frame of mind that we’re going to win.”


  1. Should be an interesting game from the US perspective. How many times can we get blood from some of the old stones we’ve got on this roster. I have to say as usual not worried in goal whether it is Brad or Timmy-in my estimation we are going to need 3 great saves because the 4 in front of the GK terrify me…a Cameron-Besler pairing would be my best go to and that does not instill much confidence in me with Beasley on the left and Ream outside right. Mexico traditionally plays a possession oriented game so I’d expect 5 mids to counter that…the USA still has no #10 and really the best option for a guy to play through is Bradley so I’d expect him and Jones to be next to each other centrally with Bradley playing deeper so he is on the ball more…Zardes out wide right and Fabian out left…I would rather have Clint as the out and out striker as I don’t feel he works hard enough to get the ball back in midfield which leaves a gaping hole at the top of the midfield if you play him and Jozy at the same time…this leaves Bedoya as the attacking mid simply because the guy works hard and really I don’t see any better options.

    • Be careful what you say, you gonna piss some people off around here by stating the truth about certain players and coaches in USMNT.

    • A guy that averaged over a goal a game in the Eredivise, and just under a goal in game in MLS, sucks???? In context to what? A coed u12 player? Jozy has his faults, and his doubters as he should (even I doubt him at times), but some generalized broad sweeping statement like that is frankly…. stupid.

      • Don’t over think it. Dan’s only comment (over and over and over again on thread after thread) is “Altidore sux,” He’s a one trick pony.

      • and what was Soldado’s scoring rate in the EPL? is Soldado a terrible player?…

        what if Jozy had 5 goals in 32 games? you’d say thats bad right and he must be terrible right? Falcao has 5 goals in 32 games? is he terrible then by the same standards?

        my point is not every player does well in every league, they are all different. so making rash generalizations based on one league and discard his record setting performance in another one is pretty much tunnel-vision at its finest…

    • I think we all can agree that if Jozy wasn’t American, he would be further down in the pecking order of forwards, if not off the US team entirely. And that is a system wide problem that we lack depth up top.

      • “I think we all can agree that if Jozy wasn’t American, he would be further down in the pecking order of forwards, if not off the US team entirely.”

        How exactly would Jozy be in any sort of consideration for the US team if he were NOT American?

      • LOL +1

        perhaps he’s trying to say if he were a dual-national or something (even though i believe he had the option to play for Haiti but that was never really what he wanted; obviously he felt more American living here his whole life but with his haitian roots i believe he had that option thus could be seen as a ‘dual-national’)

        either way, Mike’s point is comically ludicrous.

    • Thank Klinsmann for that. His performances proved it was the right decision. I can’t imagine him being given the opportunity under a Bradley or Arena regime. Despite his rhetoric, I think Klinsmann has been fairer to career MLS players, giving them more opportunities than BB or Arena would have. So who’s the real Eurosnob?

    • He was our second best player after Jones. People around the world were abuzz over this dreadlocked white guy they’d never heard of before.

  2. I was at the Rose Bowl to see DMB score his first USMNT goal 13 years ago. Wouldn’t mind an encore if he has one left in him.


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