Top Stories

Miazga, Nagbe, Johnson headline USMNT WCQ roster

Photo by Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Gary Rohman/MLS/USA TODAY Sports

As the U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off its latest World Cup qualifying run, Jurgen Klinsmann has taken the opportunity to introduce several unfamiliar faces.

Newcomers Darlington Nagbe and Matt Miazga headline the USMNT roster for the upcoming qualifiers. The U.S. is set to kickoff qualifying on Nov. 13 in St. Louis against the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines before visiting Trinidad & Tobago four days later.

“We’re all excited about starting World Cup qualifying toward Russia 2018. Every time you say the words ‘World Cup’ it means so much to everyone involved that it gets you pumped up and energetic,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “The players realize it’s going to be a long marathon toward Russia 2018, but we have to start it on the right foot.

“With St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, they’re two nations that are not taken lightly. They are good teams. T&T proved it in the previous Gold Cup. With St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we have a team that is an unknown, but we watch their previous games and make ourselves familiar with their players. At the end of the day you still don’t really know what to expect, so it’s going to be very interesting.”

Liberian-born, Nagbe’s inclusion represents his introduction to the U.S. Soccer system after recently being declared eligible after receiving U.S. citizenship. The Portland Timbers midfielder has scored 23 goals and provided 20 assists in five professional seasons.

Miazga, meanwhile, is a familiar face to the U.S. Soccer system, but could make his first senior appearance. The New York Red Bulls centerback was a key part of the U.S. team in the recent U-20 World Cup as well as Olympic qualifying.

Also included on the roster is Fabian Johnson, who was dismissed from the USMNT prior to the team’s most recent friendly against Costa Rica. Since departing the team, though, Johnson has been in spectacular form with Borussia Monchengladbach, scoring a goal in the team’s most recent UEFA Champions League clash.

Here’s a closer look at the USMNT roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)

DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

What do you think of the roster? Any surprises? How do you expect the USMNT to lineup in the two qualifiers?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Good God, why can’t we have a normal, decent manager?
    Brek Shea- sucks, poor form
    Michael Orozco- not good enough to ever start
    Fabian Johnson- not a fullback
    Ventura Alvarado- WHY FFS WHY

    Meanwhile, Jonathan Bornstein and Eric Lichaj are playing excellently at LB and RB, but why would we ever call them up? And Yedlin is playing RB consistently at Sunderland and is playing well? Bah! Right wing he goes!

    Kyle Beckerman- too old, not good enough anymore
    Jermaine Jones- I love him, but he’s too old, we have to inject fresh blood
    Mix Diskerud- seriously? The very incarnation of “Klinsmann bias-effect”
    Miguel Ibarra- not good enough to be chosen over the following players–

    So everyone in the USA sees an old and increasingly inept midfield, so what does Klinsmann do when he sees Ethan Finlay, Lee Nguyen, Dax McCarty, and Will Trapp having great seasons and are all under 30? Obviously! He ignores them! Congrats on bringing in Nagbe, you’re 1 for 5 Jurgen. And I’ll bet that Fabian Johnson, the LW who is playing week in and week out for CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SIDE Monchengladbach and is in great form, will go back to RB. (I’ve learned to let go of calling for Benny. Sadly, he’s 30, and the Klinsmann bias against him is too much. We have to let go, people)

    Jozy Altidore- sucks
    Alan Gordon- old and sucks

    If you’re not gonna call up Dempsey in order to inject fresh blood and change things up, how could you ever justify calling up Alan Gordon?!?! You want a target striker? How about Juan Agudelo or Charlie Davies? Nah, let’s call up a bench player that is closer to 35 than 30 and is going to take up space, instead of continuing to work with Andrew Wooten or Rubio Rubin, who are actually mobile, young, and playing well.

    Klinsmann is an idiot.

      • First of all, in what way is having an idea that you disagree with known as idiocy? Be respectful. They’re opinions, and not ridiculous ones, either. Unless you somehow believe that Shea and Alvarado are playing well and deserve a cap, or that the center midfield doesn’t need to replace the aging Beckerman and Jones, or that Johnson should be a full-back while our left wing continues to suffer, or that Jozy Altidore is a good striker. The players I said that should be playing are all in fine form, consistently playing, and aren’t old. You kind of need that in order to see out the transition that’s desperately needed in this USMNT side. Don’t see how you can disagree with anything I just said, unless you’re actually Jurgen Klinsmann or you haven’t been watching the USMNT for the past year and a half.

  2. Kinda surprised at a name like ibarra over Nguyen. Ibarra has a good workrate but someone like Nguyen has the creativity that can unlock bunkering defenses.

    • A bit surprised too. But
      So many central mids to pick from and much less wingers; that’s why ibarra made it. I can see him being useful vs a depleted TT or SVG defense. Finlay would have been better but ya..

      Also Nagbe is playing central attack you don’t need Nguyen.

  3. Even though I don’t play the game anymore, I want to do a FIFA line-up for this roster for some reason. This is not a serious suggestion, mind you.

    –Zardes–Wood (or Wooten, as The Imperative Voice calls him)–Morris–



  4. When was the last time Johnson played Midfield for Nats? I was thinking Bosnia he played there in the 2nd half when Castillo was brought on for Mix. Anyone think of a time since then?

  5. A 5-3-2 will put wide players in positions to attack and defend, something Johnson and Yedlin have the engines to do. And it allows you to play 3 CBs.

    • I don’t think that’s a bad idea, but I don’t think it will happen. Haven’t seen it since the failed Jones CB games, which didn’t work because Jones wasn’t disciplined enough to stay on his side of the field.

  6. I totally hate Klinsmann and his stupid rosters. Fabian friggin quit on him during his last game but does that matter? Nope … hes back. Beckerman, Jones, Gordon, and wheres Wondo? McBride?

    Where are the skill players? No Nguyen, Juan Agudelo, Benny might as well forget it.

    And what if we look like crap? Can’t possess the ball, create NO shots with Bradley and Jones trying to do what they don’t have the skill to do. They will bunker for sure. Who’s going to crack the bunker? No dribblers or passers. Will JK be help responsible for another bad outing? Nope

  7. I don’t get Morris. He’s a kid with potential. Key word, ‘kid’. How is someone playing college ball better than numerous MLS, NASL, USL american’s. Who? Don’t follow the leagues close enough to know, but there’s gotta be someone worth giving a shot.

    • So I guess you haven’t watched him consistently produce for the full national team? We’re supposed to call in guys who come in and are dead weight because they are professionals or something?

    • What can you say- put him in the game- Stanford, U-23s, USMNT… kid gets it done. Some players defy stereotypes and have “it”. Morris sure seeeeems to be one of those. So far he has rewarded the faith placed in him. Makes a coach want to keep going there rather than to an unknown. But… getting to be about time for him to up ante and meet demands/responsibility placed on him by JK and step-it-up into a pro career. Don’t begrudge him the personal choice of an education, but it is a compromise w/ consequences.

      “…but there’s gotta be someone worth giving a shot.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard or thought that refrain. Unfortunately…… the answer has too often been… nnnnnot so much.

  8. First impressions: Happy to see Nagbe, Miazga, Morris… Zardes listed at forward. Miazga- uber-young- but by all accounts/per coaches club and country is smart, composed and a born leader- was rock solid at quals when I watched- and for NYRB. And yeah- Poland is on the hunt.

    I’m a big Rimando fan but- Hamid’s time has come and he needs time under Howard’s tutelage.

    1 of the 2 seems a good idea to help integrate new blood, but dismayed to see both JJ and Beckman. It leads me to believe Bradley will stay at CAM and push Nagbe to wing. Would love to see Nagbe, his speed, passing as head of spear, striking fear central. We’ve had little threat for speed/penetration there at all.

    Not at all surprised to see Johnson. Based on pure speculation/rumor/innuendo- a talking to and early sending home to think- miss 1 meaningless friendly seems about appropriate to circumstances. Even if the worse were true- we’ve ALL had a weak moment. As they say in the fight game- fatigue makes cowards. A good teaching moment.

  9. Gordon and Beckerman are no longer useful for USNT and also both them are old.

    Orozco sucks!

    Johnson is far better playing in the midfield than playing RB.

  10. My five initial reactions to the roster…followed by my more measured thoughts in each instance:

    1. Why Gordon?…. well, against bunkering CONCACAF opponents, having a true #9 in the box isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plus he’s a great veteran/team-first presence.

    2. Yes, Nagbe! … but JK will probably put him out on the wing instead of in the #8 role Nagbe has been flourishing in for a month now.

    3. No true RBs on the roster … so maybe Yedlin will finally get a meaningful start there.

    4. Beckerman, still?!!! … but then I noticed no Kitchen, Morales, Williams, Trapp, etc. on the roster. Maybe this means Klinsmann is at least going to explore having Beckerman’s replacement at the #6 be none other than …. Bradley. If so, I actually like it. MB90 is not the best tackler in the pool but he can cover ground like no one else, which means he can cover the back 4 and make late runs to join the attack on occasion. Plus, with 5 attackers in front of him instead of the usual 1 or 2, he has a lot more options for his great diagonal/through/chipped balls. Maybe MB won’t be great there, but I’d love to find out.

    5. No Dempsey?!!! … at first I thought it was because the Sounders are still in the playoffs, but then so are Miazga and Nagbe. And the more I think about it, as much as I love Deuce, we need an answer as to where the scoring will come from when he retires from international duty. (I think Deuce may be waiting to hang ’em up until he gets this answer, too…)

    Anyway, would love to see this:

    ————- Altidore ————— Wood —————–
    Johnson —————- Nagbe —————– Zardes
    —————————–Bradley —————————
    Shea ————- Besler —– Cameron ——— Yedlin
    —————————- Howard —————————-

    Morris, Mix offensive bench options; Jones, Ream for defensive options.

  11. I’m just going to focus on the positive of this roster and there’s a lot to be excited about:

    -Miaza. As a RBNY fan, i still don’t think he’s ready, but with the news this week that Poland was recruiting him heavily and he was considering it, i think this is move was a MUST. Sub him in at the end of the St. Vincent game and cap tie him!

    -Fabian is back. Whew. (now please play him at midfield)

    -Nagbe. No point in waiting till January’s Camp Cupcake, he can help us NOW.

    -Hamid. it may look minor, but glad we have finally turned the page on Rimando and let’s commit to him as our third (especially since Yarborough is now on the outs at his club). I’d love to turn the page on many other guys on the USMNT (Gordon, Beckerman, etc) but this is a good start!

    • I also think it’s a bit soon for Miazga but playing SVG is a good chance to give him some international minutes and ensure he doesn’t flirt with Poland. I only saw the Honduras game in the U-23 tournament but he was fine in that game. Both goals were down to CCV, which is understandable given that he’s 17 and was playing against 23 year olds.

    • Rimando just had meniscus surgery. In a World Cup, the 3rd GK on any roster is there to be the “keep it loose” guy/locker room guy. He’s the one called if someone wants extra shooting practice or PK reps. Rimando is the epitome of that role–Hamid really doesn’t fit that role quite yet.

      So, tell Hamid to not get too comfortable with the roster spot, or aim to take Guzan’s or Timmy’s place.

  12. Remember that you also have to field a “scout” team during the practices, some of the more questionable choices fit well into those roles, Beckerman can play a great CONCACAF DM bunkering in, Ibarra can run with the pace of TnT wings and Gordon is a big physical Kenwyne Jones type player.

    Only Nagbe and Miazga are still in the playoffs, might explain Dempsey. Nagbe and Miazga are young and can recover more quickly, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them sit or even miss the second leg to TnT. Is this roster binding or can changes be made before the second leg.

    • See my comment below, old legs, still in the playoffs, long travel to TnT. JK is respecting MLS’s schedule. Can you see Demps playing in Trinidad on the 17th and being in any shape after the travel all the way back to Seattle and be able to put in a good shift in a Conference Final? There’s a reason MLS teams don’t take their stars to the Caribbean and Central America for CCL, midweek games.

  13. i’m going with:


    maybe it’s a bit crazy to start Nagbe right away…but it’s St. Vincent. with Ream more than capable at LB, free FJ to move into the midfield. we need his creativity. i like the idea of him and Nagbe playing off each other. also, i say Yedlin at RB.

    Bradley as the #8, Beckerman as the #6.

  14. Alvarado and Mix just straight up haven’t earned the call up. Beckerman AND Jones take up too much space with old guys, Kyle probably needed to stay home. I think its a big risk leaving our only proven finisher in Dempsey home, especially considering we have donkeys like Gordon and Jozy called in his place.

  15. Again calling in the older players. Gordon, Beckerman, Jones. And that lazy, worthless striker Jozy Altidore, again?. Haven’t we had enough of this guy yet? Klinsmann needs to be fired.!!!

  16. I no longer attempt to predict what JK will actually field, so based on this roster, this is what I would personally like to see:


  17. Man, we need wingers, all those mids play centrally. Its The only calk up I question is Mix I can name 5 guys who deserve it over him.

    • True, I guess there is Ibarra, and Yedlin, however I’d still rather see Yedlin play right back even if he makes some defensive mistakes. I don’t like Zardes in the midfield either, I think this season for LA has showed he’s needs to continue playing striker. Finlay and probably Letget should have been in the team. Hell McNamara had a better season then Mix, call him in.

  18. Klinsmann has given Lee Nguyen the shaft again. He showed a lot of composure last time out and his tech ability really stood out amongst everyone else on our team. I would have really liked to see he, Nagbe and Mix all together at once. Then maybe we could of played some actual football.

  19. I understand the desire to have veterans on a team that will go to T&T for an away game qualifier. This is a short round, and a bad loss can really set a team back.

    However, I am not sure that I understand the need for Beckerman and Jones. JK was quick to clear out older leaders like Bocanegra in the last cycle. I don’t understand JK’s need to keep his guys – which would include Shea.

    Do we really have no one better than Gordon? Maybe this round with St Vincent’s and an away game at T&T suit a battering ram style like his.

      • I would hope that we see a different 11 – and even a different 18 (or 23) – for the away game. I guess that JK was experimenting with the Gold Cup and the friendlies, and then brought in the old best XI for the playoff loss to Mexico. However, there was never any rhythm to any of the games. but I don’t see that this squad carried over any of the lessons learned from those games

        If we don’t win in St. Louis by 4-0 or a similar score line, we are in trouble. I would accept a tie or a low scoring win at T&T.

    • In the case of JJ. He is, right now one of our best 2 or 3 outfield players. We can’t afford to leave him off… we don’t have that much depth amongst our top players.
      Beckerman is a little more iffy, but he plays a position where experience and chemistry is crucial, so it might not be the time in a qualifier to bring in a fresh face. And let’s face it, he’s performed much better than Danny Williams in this role. But, I do expect and hope he get’s fazed out slowly for younger blood- I would love to see Kitchen get a fair shot at the position.

    • Gordon is sadly our best/most proven offensive aerial threat. If we can’t break a bunkering team with creativity and skill, we’ll probably put him on late and send the ball in as much as possible.

    • Whats bizarre about these choices? We can certainly argue over the merits and form of certain players, but I don’t see any odd choices here.

      • The extent of the defensive carryover is bizarre in light of recent results. The same defensive midfielders, bizarre. Wooten and Ibarra, bizarre.

  20. I don’t really agree with calling up Miazga. He is so young for a center defender and was part of what I thought was a shaky center defensive pair in Olympic Qualifying. I know he is very talented and I’ve been impressed with his play in MLS, but he needs more time to develop. Calling him and playing him in friendlies is the way to bring him along as a full senior international, not World Cup qualifiers Big thumbs up to the Nagbe call up, I just hope he doesn’t pull his hammy from over training. And btw Nagbe was a part of the US Soccer system as a youth.

    • Actually Miazga was solid in the olympics though his other defenders were atrocious, especially in th ebox. Also need to relaize he is going to receive a call up from Poland shortly and appearing in WCQ would cap tie him to the USA. I am thrilled about the Nagbe call and can’t wait to witness his impeding conversion to dmid so that JK can continue to insist MB is a 10.

      • I’m a pretty big JK supporter, but if he plays Bradley over Nagbe in the CAM role then I’ll be pretty pissed. Personally, these roster choices scream a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a Bradley/Beckerman double pivot, and Nagbe in the hole. Although with the absence of younger DM options, I’d like to see Cameron play alongside Bradley as the holding DM, and Miazga at CB. If Miazga isn’t up to it, sub him out for Beckerman and switch with Cameron.

      • Anthony (For some reason it won’t let me reply directly to you) Cameron plays RCB for USMNT (Not sure about Stoke, but I think RCB as well) and I would like to see him play there long-term for the USMNT, and not at DM. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can pass, which would only help our ability to play out of the back, and play that proactive attacking style Klinsmann wants.

        Cameron can play DM and has in the past, very well (I think prior to signing a contract extension, he just wanted to play more centrally for Stoke, either CB or DM, and not RB). He has good defensive qualities (obviously), but more important he can dribble decently and has a good range of passing; capable of short passes to maintain possession and and an accurate long ball upfield. See the Eddie Johnson’s goal against I believe Panama, during the last WCQ.

        Like Beckerman, Cameron is defense first, which allows Bradley to push forward. Pretty much he IS Beckerman, but with a more dangerous passing ability.

        But Miazga also I think plays RCB. So to make room for both players, push Cameron up for these qualifiers, and slot Miazga into the RCB. Being his first time, Miazga may not be able to handle a WCQ (I think he can especially at this stage), and so you have an easy substitution just in case he plays poorly.

      • Since this format limits who/when you reply, I’m addressing the Cameron position issue. The first two seasons at Stoke Cameron played RB almost exclusively. The next year they brought in Phil Bardsley and he started the year at RB. Cameron didn’t start at first as I remember, then started playing a fair amount at defensive mid. Then Bardsley got hurt and Cameron went back to RB. Then he got shifted around depending on injuries, form to other players, etc. Prior to the start of this season Cameron signed a 3 year contract, so Mark Hughes obviously values him. During pre-season Ryan Shawcross who has been Stoke’s long time starter at CB, had a serious injury, so Cameron has played CB in Shawcross’ place. So, Mark Hughes, who has a pretty good record, values Cameron at all three positions.

    • I think the Miazga call up has to do with Klinsmann the recruiter. There was an article out this past week about MM where he mentioned that the Poland team was mulling calling him up for the Euros, and that MM was “leaning towards the US but keeping his options open”. I think this has more to do with subbing in against SVG in the 90th minute to cap tie him.

    • Cap tie. It is a little fast but I am not sure we can persist with the status quo and expect results. And if we wait maybe he’s a Poland player by the time we work him through normal channels.

  21. Off subject but I wonder if NYCFC try to off load Diskerud this off season. I don’t see any of the DPs going and he’s taking up a lot of cap space. While you’re getting more production out of McNamara and Poku for like league minimum, I can see them trying to deal him else where for a CB.

  22. Anyone know of a good resource where I can learn about the different basic tactical formations and their theoretical pros/cons?

  23. Interesting to hear about Fabian’s return. I like Nagbe and Miazga included in the fold, excited to see them blossom.

    Don’t really understand listing FJ as a defender and Yedlin as a midfielder. It seems that they should just switch spots and play to their strengths, but obviously JK.

    JK spoke of Lee Nguyen in his last comments, but didn’t involve him. Instead we see Ibarra after scoring his first MX goal. I was kinda hoping they’d moved on from him, but who knows.

    • Like it or not, Johnson is our best RB though. Yedlin is getting there though, and I would like to see him in the RB role against some of these minnows. Plus, with the inclusion of Nagbe(I think thats where JK will play him or Ibarra), Johnson would be SOOOO deadly with his overlaps. Imagine those 2 combining down the right hand side.

      • I would love to see Nagbe in a CAM role, with Fab on the right and Yedlin behind as FB. I still think JK should try a 4231 for a bit. I don’t necessarily like a lone forward, but the wings can certainly work dynamically up and down the sideline and provide dangerous runs up front. It also puts 2 defensive mids that can work together as an 8 and 6 (Bradley and ??). Just a thought.

    • It’s odd to me to make a big deal out of that sub, after the game, when it wasn’t really his fault we lost, then right back into the lineup. Granted, people are saying he is playing well in club, but it now feels like he was using him as a criticism shield because there is no actual accountability to the big scene he threw.

      • Well, JK might have considered sending FabJo home and calling him out in public the punishment for the perceived lack of dedication from him. I hope they’ve had a longer, calmer talk since then, one where they both said they’re sorry because why not squash the beef and smooth it out.

        OT mini-rant:

        I am replying to something IV said, but if I don’t have his every word memorized, I have to continually scroll up or search function to find his comment. I imagine this would be worse on posts with more comments, and if I was responding to a longer series of thoughts. I know it’s not a huge inconvenience, but it only recently used to function better, so I think I am still aloud to be mildly frustrated with the extra time it takes.

        And now something positive? The in-site alert feature is wonderful!

      • Or it could’ve just ended up in a mutual agreement. Johnson pondered and agreed with JK’s statement, JK apologized. Case closed.

        Not everything is a malicious cover-up.

  24. I could be onboard here, despite the obvious exclusions, if he would actually throw some of the new guys out there. However, I fear we’re going to see:


    Can’t wait to beat St. Vincent 1-0 on a late Bobby Wood goal.

  25. I love Gordo, Berkerman, & JJ but it’s realistically, they old and should be left off in favor of bleeding-in young players. Especially against minnows like SV&T and TT. Maybe they were brought in to help the younger players along with experience but is it worth keeping others off the roster? BTW Doing SS a favor by leaving Clint off the roster or is he being snubbed?

  26. this is a strange roster but i don’t hate it. i’m surprised by no Dempsey. i’d like to hear what’s up with that. no Brooks makes sense because he is just getting back from injury and has not played…but then why Alvarado?

    i also do not get, at all, why Beckerman is there. i like the guy, but i thought we were moving on. no Williams or Morales or Trapp or Kitchen is so strange to me. and of course, Mix once again lucky to get the call. not really deserving but he does usually play well for the US.

    as for the forwards…Gordon? really? would have preferred Agudelo.

    i love that Hamid, Miazga, FJ, Nagbe, etc. are on this roster.

    • “Three players on the roster have played in 20-plus World Cup Qualifying games (Howard, Bradley, Altidore), while 10 players have the chance to play in their first Qualifying game (Ventura Alvarado, Matt Miazga, Bill Hamid, Tim Ream, Miguel Ibarra, Darlington Nagbe, Yedlin, Jordan Morris, Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes).”

      that list of 10 is a bit surprising.

    • Exactly Morales, Trapp (even though he is in the MLS playoffs)…also would have liked to see Lee Nyguen…kind of a head scratcher…but for the most part i like the Morris, Nagbe, and Miazga call

      • All these guys who are 29 or 30 yr olds (Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber) who have not already established themselves have seen there windows close. You cannot start a 33 yr old outfield player in 2018.

      • 33 is still a good age if you’re a central midfielder. There were plenty of players in that age playing for the big national teams in the World Cup.

      • Jaime,

        I just checked the rosters of all squads at the 2014 World Cup. There were only a handful 33 (or older) midfield year players. Xavi, Greece (Karagounis, Katsouranis), Japan (Yasuhito Endō – barely played), England (Gerrard, Lampard), Italy (Pirlo, Barzagli), Uruguay Perez – barely played), Argentina (Maxi Rodriguez – only played 60min), Iran (Javad Nekounam).

        That 8 out of the over 100 midfielders were 33 or older. Only 2 were starters (Greece and Iran) and most barely played. Those who did not start, but were regular players were on teams that did not do well.

    • I don’t think Mix has played well for the US in a long time, since at least June. I still have faith he can turn it around for club and country, but as of right now I worry he’s simply a mediocre player with the rare moment of brilliance here and there. Definitely lucky to get called up, as you say.

    • I like Miazga but am befuddled there was not more turnover in a poor defense.

      I like Nagbe at M. I don’t think Ibarra earned a qualifier appearance. I don’t think bringing back Beckerman and Bradley and Jones feels like he grasps what has happened lately.

      I don’t understand Wooten over Dempsey. I assume some combination of avoiding him while in a playoff game and maybe looking to the future, but we have a right to demand him, he remains our most productive forward, and in this kind of game you don’t take chances.

      • Actually Miazga is more likely to be in a playoff game than Dempsey. It would take a major collaps for NY Red Bull to not advance. Further Miazga is a starter for NY with no replacement (maybe Miller, but he is coming off a knee injury).

        Maybe JK wants to insert Miazga for a minute to tie him to the US and keep Poland away from him, then send him back to NY fresh and able to start for NY.

    • Subtle thing but the official text of the roster release refers to this as the callups for the first game. That could imply potential for change for T&T.

    • Gordan is important to have against bad teams that ‘ll bunker against us. You need a big target in the box if you’re having trouble scoring.

      • Isn’t Will Bruin kind of a younger Alan Gordon at this point? Not that I love either option, you have to think Bruin has more years in him.

      • Don’t like Gordon’s inclusion, unless as a veteran(?) presence at camp. We gotta learn to breakdown defenses, especially against the minnows of CONCACAF.

      • Jack: run the numbers, Gordon has a better strike rate per MLS minute played than Bruin, for either this year or career. Gordon has been capped and had an important assist in a similar fixture last qualifying cycle.

        I would personally like to see Dempsey and don’t see the justification for Wooten in a game that counts, but Gordon to me is a reasonable back up target striker for late game use. I expect St. V. to bunker and a tall striker to be potentially useful. I like us being a little more aware of “role” players as opposed to calling in a star list that doesn’t cover tactical variety. [Against Mexico it looked like we had little of a bench plan.]

    • I think the Gordon call probably has more to do with the away game. He’s made a career of playing the super-sub role and some of these “fields” these smaller nations play on are too crappy to string more than a couple of passes together. If we’re forced to go to route 1 soccer in an effort to get a result he is – like it or not – one of the best forwards we have in the pool to fit that game plan.

    • If you think Gordon is needed because of St. Vincent bunkering against us, then we have bigger problems. T&T are not going to bunker, they will come right at us.


Leave a Comment