USMNT Daily Update: Klinsmann will have forward options galore heading into 2013

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

To give you an idea of how times are changing when it comes to U.S. national team forwards and forward prospects, the past weekend barely seemed to register a ripple despite being the kind of weekend that would have had U.S. fans crying tears of joys just a few years ago.

Three different U.S. national team pool forwards (Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Terrence Boyd) scored goals in foreign leagues, and a fourth (Jozy Altidore) delivered a game-winning assist in the Eredivisie. In that same weekend, U.S. national team pool forward Chris Wondolowski was busy tying the MLS record for goals in a season.

No, the U.S. strike force isn’t going to be confused with Argentina’s or the Netherlands’, but considering some of the lean years of the past decade, when looking for useful forwards was an exercise in futility, the U.S. national team is enjoying what has to be described as a bountiful era for forwards.

You need only look at 2012, and see that of the 21 goals scored by the national team, 14 have been scored by forwards. Those may not be record-breaking totals, but compared to years past, forwards are carrying a bigger role in the U.S. than in years past.

Here is a closer look at the U.S. national team forward options as Jurgen Klinsmann heads into 2013 and the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying:

THE STARTERS

Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez emerged as tandem of choice for Klinsmann during qualifying, with both riding club success to a good level with the national team. Dempsey’s nose for goal and Gomez’s smart runs and tireless work rate make them an effective tandem, either in  4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

THE COMEBACK KID

Eddie Johnson is a riding a wave of confidence, and has combined his athleticism with an increased intelligence that has made him a more effective player. Strong in the air, and willing to take on defenders, Johnson will remain in the mix for starts as long as he is healthy and playing with confidence.

THE OUTCAST

Jozy Altidore may be on the outside looking in at the moment, but he is far too talented to not work his way back into the mix. His skills are improving and he is gaining confidence as he tears up the Dutch League. Being snubbed by Klinsmann should only serve to motivate him and he could still emerge as the team’s leading score in the Hexagonal.

THE YOUNG GUN

Terrence Boyd is still settling in with Rapid Vienna, but when he has played he has scored goals. The 21-year old is an impressive combination of power, size and speed. If he can continue to play and score regularly for Rapid, it won’t be long before he starts drawing interest from bigger leagues, the German Bundesliga among them.

THE FRINGE VETERANS

Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon may not be considered long term options, but their form in MLS makes them players who Klinsmann can call on to fill needs. Gordon did just that in a key win vs. Antigua & Barbuda. Wondolowski has struggled to to get minutes with the national team, but as long as he continues scoring goals in bunches, he will remain on the radar.

THE FORGOTTEN ONES

Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo came into 2012 with high hopes for the year and national team aspirations, but injuries and other setbacks kept both from reaching their full potential this year. Bunbury suffered a torn ACL, and his recovery from that will go into 2013, but he remains a forward to keep an eye on once he returns.

Agudelo also endured an early-year knee injury, but his bigger issue was falling out of favor with the New York Red Bulls before winding up at Chivas USA. He fell off the radar, but came on strong later in the year and started showing glimpses of the player who was once considered a future star forward for the USMNT. It is easy to forget that Agudelo isn’t even 20 yet (he turns 20 in November), but it would be foolish not to think of his a player who could force his way back into the national team mix in 2013.

THE MLS RISING STARS

Chris Pontius and C.J. Sapong head into the MLS as key figures in the attacks of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, and both should be watched by Klinsmann. Pontius is perfectly suited to play in a wide forward role in Klinsmann’s 4-3-3 and should merit a look come January while Sapong is the kind of physical target forward who could develop into a good option for depth behind the likes of Gomez, Altidore and Johnson.

THE ENIGMA

Landon Donovan may be pondering retirement, and may be struggling to find motivation to continue the best career in U.S. national team history, but as long as he still laces up boots, he remains an option for the national team. He is still too good to ignore when he’s on his game, and he’s perfectly-suited to fill multiple roles in Klinsmann’s 4-3-3. He might seem like a better option in midfield, but whether he plays there or in one of the forward slots, he remains the kind of player who makes the national team better when he’s on it.

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Klinsmann will have plenty of forward options at his disposal when World Cup qualifying begins, and when the Gold Cup kicks off in June, arguably more than any U.S. coach has ever had. As centerback becomes the new cause for concern for the national team because of the lack of viable options, forward has rapidly become a new strength.

That would have been difficult to imagine even five years ago, but now instead of struggling to find two forwards to fill out the starting lineup who actually play regularly for their club teams, the U.S. national team could have the kind of forward stable that could turn the United States into an attacking force.

Now it’s just up to Klinsmann to pick the right forwards from that ever-improving stable. That won’t be easy, but it beats the more familiar alternative for U.S. national team coaches, which is not having many forward options to choose from.

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97 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: Klinsmann will have forward options galore heading into 2013

  1. Sam says:

    Awesome post. Keep it up, Ives!

  2. Karl Schneider says:

    I still think Altidore has the potential, just needs to put in the extra effort. I would love to see Boyd in the Bundesliga. Aguedelo could get up there by 2014 also. I think in the end if Altidore sorts out his beef, and one of the developing forwards (Aguedelo, Bunbury, Saopong, Boyd) develops, suddenly Gomez is without a starting job, and E. Johnson without a roster spot. However, for the time being, they probably are two of the three best motivated forwards in the pool.

    • Elite Hunting says:

      What Altiodore “beef” are you referring to?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think Altidore was sent a message about his indispensibility and attitude and will likely get a callup to prove himself soon. He will either demonstrate his bona fides or he will be passed by those who are producing. That simple.

      Boyd was with a B.1 team and its reserve squad and barely dressed. For all the comments re his Austrian appearance record he’s actually playing and scoring some. Why move him back now? What he needs is PT.

      Agudelo is a dark horse because he can in fact hit a cross, and has some nimbleness for forward too. I think he could be a useful utility attacker if he gets his head right, and it sounded like he finished MLS that direction.

      Bunbury and Sapong is KC-fetishism. I put them in a Zusi overrated category.

      I’m glad EJ had a renaissance and contributed to another qualifying campaign but I think that was roughly his “level” — the same level he produced at in 2006 campaign — and there is serious risk in building him into the Hex and beyond. Players like him and Gordon deserve some sort of Conor Casey Honduras thank you and then back to the periphery where they belong. We have actual attacking talent use it.

      • Jamie Z. says:

        “Overrated” or not, putting Sapong and Bunbury in the same category as Zusi is testament to their potential value to the national team, yeah?

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Actually, it would reflect my discounting of Zusi’s performance. I think Zusi shows some promise but is not one of our better attackers when we have a full compliment. You could say the same of Sapong and Bunbury, who in theory could be interesting and might show a flash here or there, but haven’t done anything much for the senior side. The whole lot of them together have 1 USA goal. To me indicative of the fact that players on competitive teams may get calls before players on more disfunctional sides. I don’t think Zusi is better than Agudelo or even Shea on the overall assessment.

  3. Jason says:

    Great summary of our options up top. Or almost all of them.

    Speaking of forgotten ones, what does Kenny Cooper have to do to get back in the picture. Though based on JK’s callups, he isn’t on the radar. But based on his play, should he be?

    • az says:

      I think Kenny Cooper benefits from the play around him, but he could fall into the veteran role player category. HCJC would have to be very specific about his role however because he seems to struggle unless its explicitly clear what his task is during a match. In other words it almost seems like unless you tell him “hang around the net” hell wander a bit

    • Pete says:

      Please no. The Kenny Cooper talk has started again? Is this 2010 again? Guys, let this talk please go away. He has had a nice year but he will never be at the level of the USMNT again. His dad may think he should be there but realisticly, his time has passed. Let’s move on, PLEASE!!!!!

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Kenny Cooper is less than the sum of his parts. He likes to play with the ball at his feet but is not particularly fast or incredibly technical. He is a big tall guy who nonetheless does not win headers a lot. Kind of like Jozy, good in a league but less than the sum of the parts internationally.

      • Tim M. says:

        This last week thiery henry mentioned to the press that kenny needs to hold up the ball better and increase his passing. If he takes head of this sort of adive from a ultra influential figure like henry, maybe he’ll try to make these improvements after all these years. If cooper added these extra dimensions to his game, maybe he could become a semblence of the player we all imagined he would be 5 yrs ago.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          He looks like a target player but does not play one. I think most people have thoughts like Henry looking at his frame — hence ManU’s one time interest — but then he goes wide rather than posting up and holding the ball, rarely scores headers, etc.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            By interest I mean they signed the dude and then farmed him out on loans most of the time….

            • Tim M. says:

              And i agree hes always been a face up player, who only has the height of a target foward. But if given the proper support by the coaching staff and if theres continued pressure to improve his game from his WC teammates, like henry, then maybe he can make those simple improvements, to better his all around game.

  4. Cooper says:

    Not to even to mention Aron Johannsson. News is he will probably move to Holland in January. He also ‘Chandlered’ Iceland. Wouldn’t be surprised if came to November camp to train but not play.

    • Eric W says:

      “Chandlered” Lol

    • Elite Hunting says:

      I’d be stunned if he was anywhere near November’s very brief camp. Especially if he wasn’t training.

      • Josh D says:

        Why? It’s a perfect time to bring him. We won’t bring any MLS or Mexican-based players except maybe Corona. This is a perfect friendly to bleed in new European-based talent. Plus, I think he’ll be available for January which would give him even more time – I always get confused which countries have the winter off. With a player like that, like we’ve done in the past, you have to give them a boost by bringing them in and showing them what we offer.

        I expect to see Gatt, Lichaj, and Mix. I hope to see Aron because he has the talent and his snub of Iceland only gives me further hope.

        In keeping with Ives, let’s call him The Foreigner as he’s still Icelandic.

        • Joe+G says:

          Johansson wouldn’t be eligible to play, though he could be called in to practice, but that’s not likely. To play, he would need to have an approved one time switch from FIFA. That’s why his decision is that much tougher — he doesn’t have much chance to get involved with the team. He could come into January camp, but wouldn’t have a switch approved in time for the February WCQ games. It usually takes 2 months to get approved.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Until he sends in paperwork and buys American permanently I think this is Rossi-lust. Particularly with the Chandler mess, let him commit to us.

    • SD says:

      how do we know he ‘chandlered’ them? It’s quite common for players to claim injury only to play for their club team next day….johannsson hasn’t come right out to say he would play for us so I don’t see why we should spend so much time talking about him or including him….

  5. Old School says:

    Hey Ives.

    Great work man…love this style of post.

  6. Liga says:

    It’s funny that you mention Jozy being too talented to be left off the team despite his poor effort and lack of production, yet you and most of this site have called Adu a waste despite having MORE talent and a similar lack of effort (for club at least).

    • Arsynic says:

      You stand alone as someone who believes that Adu has “MORE” talent than Jozy.

    • Camjam says:

      There is also the little matter of RESULTS e.g. Adu has never had a consistent season of impressing, while Jozy has had one in MLS, one last year in the Netherlands and is working his way towards an epic season this year.

    • bizzy says:

      I’m with you on that Liga. You don’t get to play for all these teams without having the talent for them to see you and pick you (lack of effort is the reason maybe he doesn’t stay)

      2004–2006 D.C. United appearances 87
      2007 Real Salt Lake appearances 11
      2007–2011 Benfica appearances 11
      2008–2009 → AS Monaco (loan) appearances 9
      2009 → Belenenses (loan) appearances 3
      2010 → Aris (loan) appearances 9
      2011 → Çaykur Rizespor (loan) appearances 11
      2011 – Union
      or internationally:

      2002–2003 United States U17 appearances 15
      2003–2009 United States U20 appearances 33
      2008–2012 United States U23 appearances 11
      2006 United states appearances 17

      at 23 he’s got a long way to go

      • Ben says:

        Bizzy, that seems to be a long list of teams that could not find a use for Adu. Look at all of those low appearance totals. 3 games in an entire season? 9 games in two seasons? Bench-riding in the MLS? By your figures, the guy has failed to be a consistent performer for at least the last seven years. Dude was a wash-out by age 18.

        One of my favorite youtube videos is him and Michael Bradley as teens, trying to hit the bar from about 40 yards. Adu misses, MB hits first try. Adu laughs but takes it rather poorly, finishing with, “I hate that kid.” Even back then, one of the them was gonna be a star and one was not — and I think Adu knew well before the press and public did that he wasn’t gonna be the chosen one.

        • bizzy says:

          Being you refered to a joking moment between bradley and Adu makes me know you are bias. He was paid 2 million dollars by Benfica…..received endorsements for example with sprite based on his skill and talent. Riding the bench and training regularly on teams like that or the likes of AS Monaco or Belenenses means you have what it takes to break into the first team, and you are receiving better technical training than any team in MLS (which the USMNT is relying heavily on at the moment).
          People on this blog can dog Adu all they want but he is only 22. One of the best and most prolific forwards in MLS Dwayne de Rosario, playing unbelieveable soccer at age 34…..do you know what he was doing or where he was playing at age 22/23? He was playing for the Richmond Kickers. Now look him now.
          Another prolific forward Landon Donovan….where was he at 22? Struggling with Bayer 04 Leverkusen. He left for germany at age 17 and in 5 to 6 years only played 28 games for team 2 and 7 games (in 4 years) for the first division team (being loaned out to SJ). Look at him now, the savior of the USMNT.
          Write him off toward the end of his career not at the beginning

          • GW says:

            LD might have been struggling at Leverkusen at 22 but by then he had already starred in the 2002 World Cup.

            He had already accomplished quite a bit by that point. Freddy had and still hasn’t done anything remotely equivalent to what LD had already done by the time Landon was 22

            He is 23 but he has a ton of baggage , very high salary demands and very specific needs as a player.

            There was a good reason to given Landon another shot when he was struggling. There is a lot less reason for the powers that be to keep giving Freddy a shot, especially at his the level of his salary demands.

    • Al says:

      I’m with you also Liga, the people on this post love using the word consistent, when I guess they truly do not know the meaning of the word, because when has the USMNT every been considered consistent? Are we consistent in creativity from the MF players? Is our back 4 consistent? How about the idiot coach hackworth, who’s team has a much higher winning percentage with Adu playing 70+min vs being withheld from the team. How how about the moment Adu left the pitch, suddenly the 23-U team give up that miracle goal…or how about if Adu was not on the pitch vs Panama, we would not have even gone further in the Gold Cup. So you see, you people with your consistency theories need to shut the hell up. Because in all honesty, he’s been very consistent when playing for the National Squad. The fact you cannot see that shows your only novice at best when judging talent.

      • DCP says:

        Why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

        I for one really want to see him get a nice long run with the Nats so that all of you begging for him to get called in can be pacified. I’d be perfectly happy to see him succeed and become an integral part of our attack, but I suspect he would still be the same frustrating player that he has been for the last 5 years and that he will still be on the outside looking in. Of course time is still on his side, but I doubt he will be able to work his issues out in time for Brazil.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      In their club situations Jozy produces and Adu doesn’t do much, peeves his teammates. That and some history of NT production puts Jozy further down the curve than Adu in terms of potential becoming production. It’s why even a disdained Jozy should be in a 23 but Adu should not.

      • bizzy says:

        Adu produces for the Nats anytime he’s on the field, more than he does for his club….and isn’t that what we want at this period of time…lol. Just saying…

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Freddy Adu has 2 all time USA senior team goals, one against Guatemala in 2008, one against Granada in Gold Cup in 2009. The latter effort was his last goal in the colors.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Grenada.

            • Cairo says:

              There are very few players in the pool who have been more consistent than freddy adu WHEN wearing a US kit. He gets up for these games, and puts in an effort every time. He does not do that for club, but until he plays for the club I support, I could care less. In my opinion he should be called every time he is healthy, as he can play multiple positions, including on the left…

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                I think Landon- or Dempsey-style versatility, ie, I will produce tangible goals and assists where you put me, is the only versatility worth discussing. It reflects the fact that both players have true forward finishing as well as wing speed and crossing.

                You compare that to Freddy Adu, and he hasn’t produced goals and assists much for us, and his versatility is more like, “you could use him anywhere,” which arguably reflects he’s jack of all trades master of none. He’s OK on a deadball but not that great, a little slow for a winger, not necessarily work rate or skill for a central player. What is he?

                Personally I think players like Jones and Bradley and even Edu can offer his level of passing or better for the senior team, and they work harder and more effectively on defense. I am at a loss for what Adu brings to the table.

    • Gnarls says:

      I think it’s a different skill set that Adu presents, but I completely agree. He deserves another shot.

  7. ACS says:

    Is Wooten still considered a forward even though he is starting as a winger in 2. Bundesliga?

  8. Mike Gray says:

    All the forwards should take notice. Do not take national team duty for granted whether veteran or prospect. Lots of replacements for ANYONE. Going into the Hexagonal Mexico is the standard of our region. We not only have to meet the standard, but write a new standard.

  9. 2tone says:

    Actually Cb should be a lot stronger in 2013 as well.

    Vets: Goodson, Boca
    Starters: Cameron, ?
    Rising stars: Brooks, Hedges, Berry, Okugo
    Fringe: Ream, John, Besler, Gonzo
    Forgottens: Gooch, Whitbread
    On the fence: Hines
    Hybrids: Edu, Parkhurst

    • Good Jeremy says:

      I see their potential and hope you’re right, but I don’t know if they’ll be ready by 2014

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      Good summation.

      I like Parkhurst, but he should stick to right back. His distribution is better than his marking, although he continues to improve in all areas. If that Nordsjallen (sp?) team added a good forward they’d be scary.

      BTW Whitbread is back playing again with Leicester City, so if he stays healthy (a HUGE if with him) and doesn’t wrap his Audi around a poll on the A14, he might get remembered again. His size, ability in the air and distribution make him a compelling story to me. Norwich always did better with him than without him in the lineup.

      Ream needs to improve a lot. He is getting regularly torched by CL foes from what I’ve read.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I disagree, who on that list is a no-doubt dominator a la Pope or Old Boca? I’m not sure the people you are listing would compose a dominant MLS backfield much less international.

      • Tim M. says:

        Gooch, imo, is the only i currently see becoming anything close to a dominating cb like pope or boca was. That is of course if only he gets back to 100 match sharpness, which means seeing time on the field with regularity.

        And god do i hope boca is nothing more then a depth player for us come 2014, which would hopefully mean one of our young cbs emerges as a force in the near future

        • whoop-whoop says:

          What has truly amazed me is how quickly Gonzalez hit the ground running. He looked somewhat tentative but effective his first few games and then simply seems to have picked up where he left off. Certainly he would be further along in his progression had he stayed healthy, but he doesn’t appear to have lost a bit of ground which is stunning considering the injury.

  10. Roger says:

    Its a bit depressing knowing they are the top options… Clint possibly Donovan will be the only forward in the top ten for Concacaf forwards. Clint can probably crack top 40 in the world… We need a miracle in order to have 3 caliber forwards that can compete with any defense come 2014… We might need to convert some of our midfielders into forwards

    • Francois says:

      Are you serious? What about Jozy? Top scorer in the Everdise? You might have heard of him. Not to mention that Boyd, Agudelo, and Bunbury are all 21 and under. They have plenty of time to develop into top class forwards. To say only Clint and possibly Landon are the only forwards in the top 10 of Concacaf is ridiculous.

      • Ben says:

        Do y’all remember how many goals Michael Bradley scored his last season in the Eriedvisie? Joke league when it comes to goal totals

        • whoop-whoop says:

          That joke league has spawned pure class. If you consider it a league that emphasizes and produces offensive talent (which is hard to argue) and doesn’t play much defense, than a players production needs to be considered and graded on a curve measured against those playing under the same conditions vs the same opponents. Jozy is excelling in comparison to others who have the same opportunity to take advantage of the open style of play in the Eredivisie… pretty sure they’re all trying to score so… if it was no big deal, everyone would be doing it, right?

        • GW says:

          Joke league?

          They produced most if not all of the Dutch players that just featured in the last World Cup final.

    • THomas says:

      In Concacaf? I would say the US has the best depth of any nation. Who’s pushing Gomez out of the top 10? Add in Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, Chicarito, Bryan Ruiz…there’s still four spots up for grabs.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think ideally we’d get some of these forwards humming and could then move Clint and Landon back wide to start with the option of moving them forward late. Far as I am concerned problem is those two are both your best Fs and your best wings and can’t use em both spots.

  11. Lost in Space says:

    While I like the trend of improving depth at the forward position….I think there are a handful of players who will be dropping off in the near future. Wondo – never accomplished anything with the national team….Gomez – while doing great right now, he’s losing ground/PT at the club level. How much longer can we really expect him to remain a starter with the national team. Gordon – gave a good performance but has limited upside beyond the short term.
    As for the CB problem tZone above gives a good view of where we stand. Now its up to JK to find 3 sets that can work together and push each other.
    My greatest concern is wingers….we’re very thin at wing back these days and if Gatt/Gyau/Shea don’t all make the leap to constent contributor within the next 12 months we could find ourselves snake bit (a-la Davies/Gooch in 2010)

  12. uDaMan says:

    Excellent Post. Very few fringe players could possibly join the list. Though there’s time till things gear up. So here’s hoping for more scoring fwds. In each world cup. You need the best ones possible.

  13. Jason B says:

    Next summer’s Gold Cup will be an opportunity for guys like CJ Sapong, Chris Pontius, Juan Agudelo, and maybe Terrence Boyd, to show something both in terms of their club career trajectory and value to the national team.

  14. lloris says:

    Bunbury and Agudelo have years to go before they move to above the ConCaCaf level

  15. lloris says:

    Wondo needs to go to Europe. Netherlands, Turkey, Austria or Denmark

    • Noah says:

      Why on earth would he go to Austria? It’s not any better than MLS.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Didn’t Wondo just sign a contract with SJ? 2012, $300K this year. This is the problem with players like Landon and Wondo, they have strong years, re-up with MLS, and THEN the Europe move talk begins…..backwards.

      • Tim M. says:

        U have think somebody in a decent league in europe is watching and would pay a couple mil (or maybe a loan) to see if this guy can do what he does here in europe

  16. biff says:

    If it were not for the upcoming playoffs in MLS and the Mexican League, I would put Jozy’s chances of getting called up for Russia at zero. I like Jozy a lot, but his tweet (“Love when people try to blame others for their own short comings and incompetence…”) was not smart and I would bet that Klinsmann would prefer not to bring him back into the team so soon after that. But if both Eddie Johnson and Herculez Gomez are involved in playoffs with their clubs, then Klinsmann will have a big decision to make. If either Eddie or Herc are not involved in club playoffs and available for Russia, I would not be surprised to see Klinsmann call up one of them along with Terrence Boyd, while leaving Jozy at AZ. We shall see.

    • Alex says:

      To be fair, Klinsmann publicly railed on him to ESPN when the USMNT was struggling. It is not good coaching just to absolutely destroy an individual player because the team is not getting the desired results.

      Altidore reacted like any human being would. Klinsmann needs to grow up a bit as a coach just as Altidore does as a professional soccer player.

      • Josh D says:

        Klinsi answered a question and did not rail at him. He was being honest and said what most of us have been thinking. The way Jozy came on in the 80th minute and walked around while his comrades who had started were busting their arses off was shameful.

  17. Shane says:

    Yes, the US has more exciting options than in the past. Therefore, NO excuses for not scoring the goals we did in the past.

  18. THomas says:

    Only issue I have is that we’re lining up Donovan and Dempsey as forwards now. Five years ago we needed them in the midfield. I think the midfield depth has pushed them up further (where they belong) resulting in more depth at forward.

    Regardless of how it happened, we have a rock solid team in goal, midfield, and attack. Parts of the back line are there and we have a year to figure that out and make a serious run at a world cup semi-final (especially if the path opens up like in 2010).

    • biff says:

      But we aren’t rock solid yet on the wings. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but Joe Gyau does have potential. He looked very good Sunday for St. Pauli on the right wing and word is that he will start today against Stuttgart in a DFB Pokal game (begins in 2 hours and 10 minutes). And it could be left wing today. Stuggart has played well the past couple of games and would be a big test for Gyau. But every time I have seem him in a game he is always pumped up and shows no fear…

  19. mungus says:

    Clint is without a doubt a top 3 Concacaf striker. Donovan/Jozy would be top10. Id rate a retire McBride over Sapong or Bunbury

  20. The Imperative Voice says:

    One name I will toss out: Davies. Even the post-accident Davies is better than many players on this list. EJ? Wondo? The KC guys? Better than him? I don’t think so…..he scored about a dozen for DC hardly trying.

    • HoboMike says:

      Of the dozen he scored, how many were PKs? He is nowhere near the dynamic player he once was.

      • TomG says:

        Agreed. Not sure if he’ll ever recover enough physically to be an effective striker at a high level. We certainly haven’t seen any evidence that he has. He was a bench player for most of his time in DC and now in Europe, as well. It’s pretty clear that, to his managers, he doesn’t have it right now.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I’m not the one making the argument, you are, you tell me. Wondo had a PK goal to tie Lassiter the other night, does that not count?

        FWIW, Bunbury had 5 MLS goals this year, Sapong 9, Agudelo 3. Davies had 11 in league play on his way out the door in 2011. At what point should rational people be thinking, hmmm, I may not be getting what I used to get, but if I am calling in Alan Gordon……?

        Far as I am concerned, “How dare he be a reliable enough skill player to take PKs…..” Really?

        • Tim M. says:

          Its never gonna happen dude. The charlie davies we’d all come to love from the ’08-’09 years doesn’t look to be ever coming back. He hardly gets off the bench at randers and it doesnt look like he’ll ever be close to the player he was which is a damn shame. He should’ve stayed in MLS where he would of continued to be a cult figure.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            I think he’s good enough (still) to be spoken of in the same breath as the more iffy players at the end of Ives’ analysis. Like I said, if we’re calling in Gordon and EJ and talking Sapong and Wondo and Bunbury….I think he’s still that league.

            But I do agree that whatever was between him and DC, he was producing well enough to have a cult following calling for his return to the Nats. Now, this Randers business, lot harder of a sell. He’d have been better off once the Sochaux gig finally imploded, after DC spurned a loan extension, just doing a U-turn back here and playing elsewhere. Cause ain’t many of us talking about him anymore.

            That being said, you’re talking about a kid who could combine athleticism with skill on the ball and even some competent holdup play. Like Holden, he’s one of those projects you’d like to see work out.

    • MemRook says:

      Where IS Charlie Davies??? Every once Ina while I hear someone calling for CD9 on this site, but is he even playing right now?

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        He is at Randers in Denmark. He is playing some but scoring nada. But I’m just amazed he’s completely disappeared, if EJ gets a second act, Davies is the guy who scored on Mexico in Azteca in a qualifier.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          EJ was called in as a situational plug in because he was in form, scoring some nice goals at a good clip in the present tense in a manner (in the air) that fit a team need. Had he fell flat, it would have been the last we’d have seen of him, but it just so happens he made the most of his opportunity in hard work and results and will get a longer look. I’d love to see Davies back to his old form and doing the work in training and producing at a level meriting a call up. Well… all we have to go by is the assessment of managers and his results… over the last long while, he has done little to nothing to get even a sniff. I wish CD the very best, but sports at the top is brutal, cut-throat business… unfortunately, at the moment, the player who scored that goal in Azteca doesn’t exist.

  21. TomG says:

    BTW, heckuva a creepy Halloween Deuce face, there.

  22. Hey Ives,

    What about really young players, like Jack McInerney. Even as a DC United fan, I have been impressed with McInerney’s hold up play and nose for the goal. Do you see McInerney getting a January camp call up?

    Love this post by the way.

  23. mungus says:

    If Wondo wants to get more PT with the Nats, he needs to move to Europe asap

  24. SegaGenesis says:

    Lets be realistic. Jozy and Boyd are the only strikdr options who will be at the next WC. No Ej, No Wondo, no Gomez. Maybe Agudelo will step up

    • THomas says:

      They could all still be in play. It’s only about 20 months away at this point. The thing that bothers me is we all seem to want this great team that will be comprised entirely of young players who will dominate without change for 20 years.

      The World Cup is all about being good for one month every four years. Who cares if every player starting is 36 if they get the job done? It all builds to one point in time and whoever is best at that point is all that matters.

  25. Angelof LA says:

    I think what klissman should do is get ready with the young players use them for the the friendly and introduce them in to the bigger stage sooner than later. We need guys in the wing that can created havoc to the opponents defense. Gatt, Gyua, Wooten, Taylor, Agudelo, Shea and other that has the speed and technical to take on defense from the side and look for the Center Striker a #9 like Altidore, Boyd, Sapong, etc. Not only we have young players that can play now and have speed, technical and control movement that are coming up from the U17 and U20 we have to believe and them and give the chance Mr. JK. But thats what I think the USA is lacking it that true winger.

  26. beto says:

    a good mix of center forwards and wing forwards here, and even better forwards who can play both. sooo key to running a 4-3-3.

    Altidore-Dempsey-Gomez
    -Bradley—-Zusi/Donovan-
    —–Williams/Jones———

    ready for the HEX!!!

    • Jeremy says:

      I think we play best with a 4-4-2. I would like to see something like this:

      Parkhurst-Cameron-Onyewu-Johnson
      Williams
      Zusi-Bradley-Pontius
      Dempsey-Gomez

  27. Jeremy says:

    I think for the upcoming WC qualifying and Gold Cup 2013, the best forward options would be Gomez, Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore, Boyd, and Johnson. Gomez, Dempsey, and Donovan are very versatile; those three play more like withdrawn forwards. And I think Altidore, Boyd, and Johnson play like No.9s. Pontius should really be included as a forward or midfielder too. He would play great in 4-4-2. As far as center-backs, I think further on we will see Onyewu (if he can get playing time at Malaga), Cameron, Gonzalez, and Besler. I think Onyewu and Cameron would make a great center-back pairing, as long as Onyewu stays behind and marks his men, while Cameron makes key passes while keeping the defense alive.