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Klinsmann monitoring form, injuries before naming WCQ roster

Jurgen Klinsmann USMN 82

World Cup qualifying is less than two weeks away, and Jurgen Klinsmann says that there will be several factors determining who will be a part of the U.S. Men’s National Team roster.

The USMNT is set to take on St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 13 in St. Louis before traveling to Trinidad & Tobago for a game to be held four days later. Klinsmann expects his group to convene Nov. 8 before kickstarting the team’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Heading into that Nov. 8 meetup, Klinsmann has some major decisions to make as players continue to either impress or falter at the club level. For one, Klinsmann will have to make several key decisions at the centerback position. With Omar Gonzalez out of form and both Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks failing to find major minutes, Klinsmann will assess all of his options ahead of the opening qualifiers.

“Well, on one side you have obviously the injured issue or players that are out of MLS competition,” Klinsmann said, “and then you have some players that are just not making their starting lineup right now. John Brooks is one of them and Ventura Alvarado is another one, so it’s tough for some of our players to get regular playing time and that influences our situation prior to the World Cup Qualifiers.

“That’s just normal, but it’s sad to see because you want the youngsters to come through and to put a stamp on the team but they cannot do it if they sit basically on the bench in their club teams.”

While Klinsmann continues to keep his eye on European-based players, the USMNT head coach will have a separate set of issues when it comes to his domestic-based players.

The team’s qualifying run will fall right in the middle of the MLS Cup Playoffs, although games will not be held during the international break. Still, with most of the league’s teams now in the offseason, Klinsmann is already working to make sure several players remain fit heading into the winter months.

“Looking at our November World Cup Qualifiers, obviously we monitor all our players in the different leagues in the different environments,” Klinsmann said, “and one challenge for us certainly is that for some of them their MLS season is already over. Either they didn’t make the playoffs or they just lost now in the playoffs in the first round, so that makes it tricky for us to keep them going until we meet up on November 8 for the St. Louis game against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“To give them training plans, to make sure that they keep going for players like a Jermaine Jones, a Kyle Beckerman, a Chris Wondolowski, a Mix Diskerud, a Lee Nguyen, and others is now really, really crucial because they are not playing games anymore prior to the World Cup Qualifiers.”

While several MLS players remain sidelined in the offseason, Klinsmann says another issue will be the players sidelined due to different reasons.

Injuries have taken out a number of U.S. regulars, most notably Aron Johannsson, who is set to be sidelined until the new year due to hip surgery. In addition, Rubio Rubin looks set to miss out due to injury, limiting the forward pool available. Geoff Cameron, on the other hand, should be OK after missing some time, while Brad Evans remains questionable for both club and country.

Klinsmann will now have the chance the integrate new blood ahead of qualifiers, even if it will be difficult to push on without several of the team’s more consistent options.

“Obviously in our roster towards the World Cup Qualifiers there are players who are injured unfortunately right now,” Klinsmann said. “We have Geoff Cameron coming out in the last game of Stoke, but he should be okay. We had Brad Evans get a hamstring issue, so that will be tricky for him to catch up. Rubio Rubin, our youngest striker, is injured. Aron Johannsson is not playing because of injury right now.

“So we have all over the place some issues, and we need to find solutions for that. Hopefully they get back as quickly as possible, and if they can’t make it than other ones will have to step in and get the job done.”


  1. Is Klinnsman seriously trying to suggest that the two week layoff since the end of the MLS season will cause players to lack fitness? I think he focuses on the wrong problems.

  2. With the limited prep time for these two matches I wouldn’t expect much change this time around. No Lletget Finlay Miazga or Nagbe.

  3. I thought Klinsmann might actually be ready to make the changes in the roster pool needed but after these quotes he sounds as clueless as ever.

    Even you thought Brad Evans wasn’t good enough to take to the last World Cup but now you’re worried about his injury status? Wondo hasn’t scored for the US since before the World Cup.

    Every Klinsmann defender just says the same thing. “What do you expect the US doesn’t have good enough players. That’s fine but it’s not about results. It’s that he clearly just spinning in circles at this point and not building anything towards the future.

    • I agree, we’re going in circles with no clear plan on place. Those quotes are definitely headscatchers after he made it point to say the roster would be overhauled with youth and you get the sense that even after the veterans came up lame in the gold Cup and Concacaf Cup, he will continue to rely on them to start the WCQ’S which with what we’ve seen is bafoonish

    • Of course it is about results, now and in the future. And as a soccer nation, we are what we are.

      And I know this is a generalization, but it seems like every Klinsmann critic overgeneralizes Klinsmann defenders. I’d say a lot of us don’t mind being given that title, but if he were fired tomorrow it personally wouldn’t bother me at all. So I’m not pro-Klinsmann, but rather pro-continuity, pro-respect, pro-realism, pro-informing myself as much as possible about both sides of an issue. And anti-angrymob, anti-negativity, anti-impatience. Easy here to paint the picture very black and white, but I think there is room for a nuanced argument too.

      • I was for keeping Klinsmann if he could take a fresh look at the player pool. Jones is 34, Beckerman 33, Wondo will be 33 in a couple months, and these are MLS players not much better then other younger options. If you want guys going to Europe then give someone like Trapp the National team platform. So now we’re not getting results and not building a team that could be in Russia.

        If I were Brad Evans I’d tell JK to go to hell anyway. You cut me from the WC team for Chandler who had disappeared for a year. Now you want me to help you in qualifying again? Moves like that is how you lose a locker room.

  4. Wow. No more 30 + MLS players. I understand his logic of guidance for younger players but that is why we hired Jurgen. How can we develop a new style with a better team if you rely in wondolowski. Are we serious? That call up alone should be a reason for firing.

  5. So much for a youth movement. News flash Klinsmann, did you happen to see the over the head bicycle Juan A scored against DC in the opening round of the playoffs? There is nobody in yur forward player pool that could score that goal, certainly not Jozy or Wondo. If he does not call in Juan he is an idiot

  6. This is the most disheartening part of the article:
    “To give them training plans, to make sure that they keep going for players like a Jermaine Jones, a Kyle Beckerman, a Chris Wondolowski, a Mix Diskerud…”

    Outside of Jones, I hope none of these players have training plans. I typically do like Mix, but his form has been pretty awful. Glad to hear Nguyen will have one though.

      • a league suspension would not impact an international game. he is fine to play in every game in November, January, March, whatever. regardless if MLS gives him a 5-8 game suspension.

        that said – he should take a break, figure out his contract and/or MLS situation. We don’t need any over 30 players in their offseasons playing vs. SVG and TT.

      • Not true… if they tag one of the more serious categories of ref abuse on Jones, it can ripple into international play. They should suspend Geiger for incompetence

  7. If Besler-Cameron are good to go there is no question that’s the cb pair.

    The only questions about Alvarado or Brooks is if Klinnsmann can actually justify selecting them for the senior team.

  8. “players like a Jermaine Jones, a Kyle Beckerman, a Chris Wondolowski, a Mix Diskerud”

    Wow – he’s serious too, huh. Mix and Jones over Benny? Wondo still??

    JK is lost in the sauce


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