USMNT Daily Update: SBI’s 23 for 2014 (November 2012 edition)

 Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The final U.S. Men’s National Team match of 2012 allowed some players to boost their national team stock, and also hurt the standing of some others. In the process, it helped us get a better grasp on the state of the national team pool and which players are helping their chances of being part of the U.S. World Cup team in 2014.

There are still 19 months to go before the World Cup, plenty of time for players to rise and fall, excel and fade away, shine and struggle. We watched Josh Gatt make his national team debut, and captain Carlos Bocanegra suffer an injury that raised questions about just who will replace him when the time comes for Bocanegra to step aside.

The newest SBI 23 for 2014 doesn’t feature wholesale changes, but we do see two new names on the list, while one player finds himself listed at a new position.

PROJECTED USMNT WORLD CUP 2014 ROSTER (November 2012)

GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson

Outlook- Brad Guzan continues to enjoy a strong run as Aston Villa’s starter (though his team isn’t offering much support). The third goalkeeper slot remains Johnson’s though Nick Rimando remains No. 3 on the depth chart at the moment. Bill Hamid definitely did enough late in the MLS season to keep himself squarely in the conversation and should probably considered a 3A at this point as he and Johnson jockey for position on the USMNT depth chart.

Missed the cut- Bill Hamid, Nick Rimando.

———————-

DEFENDERS- Steve Cherundolo, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Maurice Edu, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler, Edgar Castillo

Outlook- Timmy Chandler’s return to the national team fold means he makes this team easily, replacing Eric Lichaj, who is having a rough time at Aston Villa. Besler just won MLS Defender of the Year and figures to earn some caps in 2013, with the Gold Cup a safe bet for him. Omar Gonzalez hasn’t found his top form lately, but the off-season and a chance to fully rest up after a tough year should only serve to help him return to a top level in 2013.

Maurice Edu is listed here as a centerback. So why does he make the team at all considering he’s not even dressing for Stoke City? He showed in his cameo against Russia that he can still bring something to the table, and his versatility would make him a valuable option on a World Cup roster. That said, if he spends the next two years not seeing first-team minutes he would obviously fall off this list. For now though, we see him eventually finding a more regular role somewhere.

Missed the cut- Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Oguchi Onyewu, A.J. Soares, Eric Lichaj, Michael Parkhurst.

———————–

MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Danny Williams, Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Josh Gatt, Brek Shea, Jermaine Jones.

Outlook-  Josh Gatt earned his first cap, making his inclusion in the first 23 for 2014 appear much less of a long shot. He still has maturing to do, and sharpening of his game, but he clearly has potential and transfer move from Molde should be coming soon for him. Jermaine Jones makes the list this time around as Maurice Edu moves to centerback on our projection.

Jones keeps playing at a high level for Schalke, and while he is a lightning rod for criticism from USMNT fans, he still stands a good chance of being on the World Cup team if healthy.

Shea recently had foot surgery that highlighted the kind of health issues he was dealing with in 2012. Klinsmann would surely give a healthy Shea every chance to regain his regular role on the USMNT, and for now we will keep projecting him on the final 23. If Shea doesn’t maintain a regular role, it could open the door for someone like Joe Gyau, assuming Gyau can score a more regular role on the club level in the next two years.

Someone asked about Stuart Holden. He still has to make a full recovery from his injuries, and when he finally does we will be able to see where he stands. If he returns to his pre-injury form then he makes this squad easily. He still has to get back to that point though.

Missed the cut- Mix Diskerud, Sacha Kljestan, Joe Gyau, Joe Corona, Alejandro Bedoya, Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen.

———————–

FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez, Terrence Boyd

Outlook- No changes to this group. Boyd and Altidore keep scoring for their club teams while Eddie Johnson finished the MLS season with a strong showing in the playoffs. Dempsey may be struggling with Tottenham, but he remains a clear-cut first-choice starter.

Altidore has returned to the fold, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. He continues to be one of the key forwards in the system, and while players like Johnson and Boyd figure to post stiff challenges in 2013, Altidore is playing with serious confidence on the club side and should have a big year next year.

Juan Agudelo made an impressive return to the national team fold and has to be considered back on the radar, especially if he has a strong 2013, which should offer him plenty of chances to impress.

Missed the cut- Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Chris Pontius.

——–

What do you think of this group? Which player are you happy to see make our projected 23-man roster? Who didn’t make the squadd that you think should have?

Share your thoughts below.

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171 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: SBI’s 23 for 2014 (November 2012 edition)

  1. Wess says:

    Mix Diskerud?

    • Josh D says:

      I like Mix and think he has what it takes to make the final roster.

      This roster has a lot of holes in the middle with only three true CM players named if we assume Edu plays defense.

      Klinsi still plays a 4-3-3 so why bring 5 strikers, 3 CM players and 4 wingers (based on the above projections).

      Yes the likes of Johnson, Gomez and Dempsey can play out wide, but that’s where GATT, Donovan, Shea and Zusi shine. And when we play 3 central midfielders as we have the past two years, who do we sub in?

      I can’t see Gomez going due to age and his inability to play consistently now. In two years he’ll be slower and seeing less time. Johnson while in good form will get found out at a poor striker against proper defenders.

      In their place I see Mix and Corona making it. I also think Gyau is further along mentally than Shea who needs a big 2013 to get back in.

      Donovan can play in the top of the three man midfield, it’s just his defense in the middle of the park is poor whereas Klinsi likes warriors there. Same with Dempsey.

    • bjelks says:

      1) Steve Clark should be in the the GK conversation.

      2) Until Besler moves to a better league, I take Seb Hines and J.A. Brooks over him any day. Castillo is not better than Lichaj at any facet of the game. Maurice Edu needs consistent playing time and now for any consideration.

      3) Donovan is out of the picture right now, so lets move forward. Zusi does not have the talent to make a difference at a high level. He’s not technicallly good enough to play in the middle and he doesnt have the pace to play the wing. Replace them with Adu and Gyau. I’d like to see Gatt stay healthy and prove his worth in a better league, befoe I’m convinced. I’m praying for Holden’s recovery. He’s quite possibly the best box to box we’ve ever had. Finally, we dont need 5 forwards. Add another mid the likes of Mix or Kljestan for good measure.

      4) As aforementioned, we dont need 5 forwards. Jk plays 1 forward and even if we played 2, 5 is still a waste. Drop EJ and Gomez. Play Demps as a high RM. Call Altidore, Boyd, maybe Wooten, Aduedelo if he can settle in a solid club.

  2. Tim Meyer says:

    Your roster has no creative Central Midfield players…(Dempsey is not a playmaker)…. Freddy Adu has the ability to make a big difference on the international level still…. Stuart Holden and Mixx will make it over Edgar Castillo. You have to many Defenders on this roster and I don’t see Maurice Edu making the squad if Williams and Jones are on it.

    • elgringorico says:

      Zusi/Donovan?

      • Tim Meyer says:

        Neither is a natural in the middle of the park.

        • DJ says:

          Not exactly. Zusi played CAM his entire career at SKC until Jurgen tried him out on the wings earlier this year. He splits time between CAM and RW/LW virtually every match SKC plays. Only on USMNT does he play almost exclusively on the wings. Though I admire his wing play, I prefer him at CAM myself.

          • Tim Meyer says:

            Let’s be realistic he is not good enough to make a difference in that spot in a World Cup…. while he is sill playing in KC and that is a fact.

            • DJ says:

              Don’t watch many SKC or MLS matches, I take it…? Check the OPTA chalkboard on MLS website, or hell, watch a highlight vid or two. Even if he’s listed a RW/LW to start a match, that dude runs all over the field. Landon tends to do the same—I’m not worried about the creative midfield at all.

              • RichieJ says:

                You should be worried since we consistently struggle to score goals.

              • Tim Meyer says:

                Yes, I watch all the MLS matches but I watch more International matches. Zusi is a solid player but he would not do well against the John Obi Mikel, Jack Wilshere’s and for the matter Michael Bradleys of the world……another clueless post by another clueless MLS bobo

              • byrdman says:

                @Tim Meyer I don’t understand why you have to act like you are THE final say on all things football/soccer, and fail to treat people with common decency and respect. I refrained from calling you a donkey to avoid this same failure.

            • MLSsnob says:

              @byrdman +1

        • fischy says:

          Blame Klinsmann for his choices, since he’s not picking a real CAM.. Or, blame the USA for not being able to produce a decent, capable, creative center mid.

          It’s a weakness to be sure, but I defy you to name one who should be on this list.

    • az says:

      edgar castillo has actually been playing really really well for his team in Mexico right now. no reason to think he wont make the team if he keeps it up. Although i agree and think both Mix and Holden will make the team, i just can’t picture over who. Cherundolo seems ageless now, but its not 2014 just yet

    • steveo says:

      fair point, but… Klinsmann doesn’t seem to want to play any to begin with-why assume they’re needed in his line-up? How many more times will he trot out two purely defensive mids (Williams+Jones) and Bradley before we finally assume that’s the way he wants to play?

      if he was forcing a creative mid in there often enough, you could think he is clearly trying to find a solution, but he seemed to have given up after Torres flamed out….

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      If Holden returns to full health, and regain his pre-injury form, then he’s definitely good enough to be on the team. As for the roster having no creative players, Klinsmann hasn’t had the team using that kind of player, in part because he doesn’t feel he has a pure playmaker worthy of starting. Could Diskerud develop into an option? Possibly. Freddy Adu? Klinsmann has repeatedly shown an aversion to having anything to do with Adu so until that changes it’s pointless to project him on a Klinsmann team. As for Edu, the lack of reliable centerback options, and Edu’s versatility are why he’s on the team for now.

      • Tim Meyer says:

        He needs to try an attacking midfielder…. Jozy cannot be effective without a possession minded attacking threat in the middle of the park….and answer me this question. When was the last time Freddy Adu truly failed to be a threat on the international level? I just don’t get it, so what the guy is inconsistent at the club level but he steps up to the plate when he puts on the US shirt.

        • GW says:

          Mr. Meyer,

          “the guy is inconsistent at the club level but he steps up to the plate when he puts on the US shirt.”

          That is highly debatable.

          Adu has 17 caps for the senior team and two goals, one against Guatemala in WC qualifying in 2008 and one against Grenada in the 2009 Gold Cup. He got 9 of his caps in 2008 but otherwise gets only a cap or two or three every year and none since the 2011 Gold Cup.

          He certainly did well in his two 2011 Gold Cup appearances but when you look at his overall US career I would not say he has proven that he can help the US win when it matters.

          Bradley certainly hoped Freddy could and gave him lots of chances but had to wait until the last two games of his tenure to get a hint of it. Bradley put him on the roster and took him to South Africa for the 2009 Confederations Cup. He also put him on the 2009 Gold Cup roster. This after Adu played very few games for Monaco. Adu wound up not getting off the bench in South Africa and then left the Gold Cup early, supposedly to train back in Europe.

          It seems JK took note and he probably also noted Freddy, in his current tenure at Philly, seems to be back to the same old bench warming, manager clashing ways. Everyone has seen this movie already.

          Maybe JK feels that whatever Adu has to offer, it isn’t worth the drama.

        • louis z says:

          if he is not doing well at club level why would JK gives him a try at the national level?

          • GW says:

            Mr.z,

            The evidence so far is JK won’t give Adu a try.

            Watch the recent performances by JK faves like MB90, Zusi, Boyd , EJ or most obviously, Gomez and what do you see?

            A lot of effort, tracking back, playing both ways , leaving it all out on the field from these guys.

            Why did JK drop Jozy recently?

            Because he wasn’t playing like that. You may have noticed increased effort from Jozy in the Russia game. JK certainly did and singled Jozy out for praise.

            Does Freddy play like that? If he does, he doesn’t do it well enough for JK.

            Freddy needs to pay attention to the message JK sent to Jozy and Freddy which was:

            “ Jozy was far more consistently productive at a higher level of play than you have ever been and I still was not afraid to drop him if he wasn’t willing to play the way I need him to. I’m not impressed by your reputation and hype. All the US fans thought EJ was garbage and looked how, with hard work and commitment, he worked out for me.

            Show me that you are willing to leave it all out on the field playing both ways for your club and then maybe I’ll believe you will do it for the US.
            Until that happens, have a nice life.”

            When managers send public messages to players like JK did to Jozy, they are often meant for other players (Adu, Donovan, and Torres, for example) as well.

    • Riggis says:

      I agree. The characteristics of this group would amount to going back to the same 4-4-2 bunker ball that Bradley played and got criticized for. Wasn’t Klinzman supposed to bring in something new? We need a creative piece that makes the game easier with the simple pass, doesn’t lose possession of the ball and can unlock a defense with their vision. It seems Klinsman wanted Torres to play that role but it just hasn’t worked. Why not give Adu that chance?

    • danny says:

      Waiting to see how long it took for someone to mention Freddy Adu. While it would be great to have a Xavi in the center, we don’t so I don’t see the point in you complaining that we don’t have a truly creative center-mid. BUT, we have seen that Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and even Jones or potentially Zusi, can create and make plays to spark the attack…. we also have players that can make stuff have happen offensively at other positions such as Johnson coming out of the back… Demspey making something out of nothing. Honestly, if everyone is healthy, I’m less worried about creating offense and more worried about our team defense, and our finishing.

  3. Big Chil says:

    First! Is it just me, or are these guys just the worst pre-game photo takers?

  4. James says:

    Also, the Gatt love is becoming weird. More and more I am hearing he is basically the american Dan Richards. As for how he played agaisnt russia, he was MUCH better when he realized all he was capable of was running fast towards the endline.
    IS that a player we need?

    • ChiTim says:

      I believe it is. This American team desperately lacks speed all over the field. You could say the same thing about Beasley in 2002 and we all saw how that turned out. If he can develop a little better touch he will create space on his side of the field which opens up runs out of the back and creativity up top.

      • MLSsnob says:

        I think his touch is solid, not spectacular. That moment where he heel flicked the long ball to himself around the defender and was only stopped by an elbow to the mouth was pure magic and not capable by alomost every US player on the field.

    • cooper says:

      Nice opinion you appropriated from Matthew Wagner. Puhlease.

    • GW says:

      James,

      Gatt’s appearance was too short to draw the sort of definitve, long term conclusions about his future that you are drawing.

      You are reading far too much into it.

    • Wimsherfan says:

      Sometimes I get the feeling that soccer reporters take their cues from the running of the bulls at Pamplona. Jump in and go with the flow.

  5. Freddie F. says:

    If you could list names of players who just missed the cut, that would be great. Thanks.

    • steveo says:

      Bocanegra, Onyewu, Ream, Fiscal, John, Lichaj, Parkhurst

      Gyau, Torres, Mixx, Beckerman, O’Brien, Klestjan, Beasley, Corona

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Done. Thanks for the reminder.

      • az says:

        I assume you left Holden out because of all the time he missed he wont have time to gel with the team? He will certainly be healthy for the Cup, whether he will be back in form is another question. I like him for the team but he admittedly has a lot of question marks.

      • jon says:

        Great post. FYI, Kjestan is still not listed as someone who even missed the cut. guessing that’s a small oversight. as he made the last couple of call ups, i would think he still has a legit shot at one of the midfielder spots. I wouldn’t project him making the team either, with zuzi, shea, bradley, donovan more likley to take the offensive minded midfielder slots..but he’s got a solid shot of making the squad.

  6. Al DiFranco says:

    It’s hard to project Holden given he has yet to take the field, but I have to think he will at least be in consideration if he returns anywhere close to the level he was playing at Bolton a couple years ago.

  7. Big Chil says:

    No Bocanegra? No way.

    • Big Chil says:

      You obviously forgot about him, since you didn’t even address his exclusion. There’s no way Carlos is not playing in the Hex, except for injuries.

      • Joe says:

        I wouldn’t ask about Holden. Ives seems to get pissed when you do. ;) I am with you on this one though. A healthy Stuart Holden is a more secure lock than a healthy Brek Shea.

        The only difference is that Stewie has been injured for a longer period of time and will take longer to regain his match fitness and sharpness. Stuart Holden in form is better than most of our MF options, with the exception of Bradley and Donovan.

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          Haha. I don’t get pissed at it. I just think people need to be realistic about continuing to throw him in the conversation when we don’t know what his future holds just yet. It’s not like he missed a 2-3 months. He’s had limited playing time for the better part of three years. Obviously it’s down to a pair of bad injuries, the second morphing into something much worse. I’d love to see Holden back at his best, and I hope he gets there, but I just think some people bring him up like he’s never stopped playing and like there’s zero doubt he’ll be the same player.

    • Jon says:

      Yes way.

      I think Ives is making a bold, but correct assumption that Omar Gonzalez could take his spot.

      We do lose an emergency LB option with no Boca, but I think his lessening pace would not really make him an option at LB anymore, especially against WC squads.

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        Bocanegra’s lack of pace is already an issue right now. It will only be more of an issue in 2014. That’s why I’m not projecting him on the team, because he is on the downward slope of his career while the next generation of young centerbacks is on the rise. Just don’t see Bocanegra holding off the next crop for that long. He might for a good part of the Hex, but at a certain point age catches up to you.

  8. Tim Meyer says:

    Look for a strong push from Gil, Pelosi, or Junior Flores… we have to remember this will be two years from now…..Eddie Johnson?

    • Jim says:

      Flores won’t even be training with Dortmund until after the WC I think…has a player ever made a WC roster without ever appearing in a professional league game? No chance for him unless he can land a loan or something in MLS before he turns 18, but even that would be a big stretch

    • Bobb says:

      LOL this is for 2014 not 2018/2022

      • Tim Meyer says:

        View Landon Donovan you rubes.

        • bthoma says:

          Gil is so young that it’s tough to predict his trajectory at this point. It’s very possible that Javi Morales won’t be at RSL next year, so Gil could be the starting CAM. If this happens, he will be racking up tons of minutes at his strongest position. And a position that is sorely lacking in depth on USMNT rosters right now. I don’t think there’s any way he becomes a viable starter by 2014, but I could see him making the roster if everything plays out in his favor. The kid has tons of potential.

  9. az says:

    I think that within a couple of Months Holden will regain his health and will at least earn a roster spot. He won’t get a spot in the starting lineup, but he had so much talent before injury that i think when he regains health he will have something to add to the US roster. I also think Mix Diskerud has a very real chance to make the squad. He has been playing really well for Rosenberg. I think he has a lot to offer.

    • GW says:

      AZ

      Your position , that Holden’s performance for Bolton in 28 games should guarantee him a spot after missing nearly two years seems long on sentiment and short on logic.

      I have no doubt that the “28 game Bolton version” of Holden would start for the US.
      But that version of Holden never played for the US. If you are honest with yourself and examine the record of Holden’s US appearances you will find it long on promise and potential but short on actual production.

      Stu never proved and would still have to prove, that his “28 game Bolton” form could be reproduced for the USMNT.

      Everyone wants him back but at this writing it is still not known if he will ever play pro soccer again let alone at a high level.

      And if even if he comes back it’s a big ask to think he can immediately regain his best form for 2014..

  10. RJ says:

    Lettuce not forget about Stu Holden.

  11. ChichaROTO says:

    I have Mix Diskerud or Joe Corona making it over Hercules Gomez. Gomez is a tireless worker and brings much leadership to the national team, I just think his form is dropping and he will be 32 by the next World Cup. I think the team will be fine with Dempsey, Boyd, Johnson as strikers. What they need are more creative, attacking types like Diskerud or Corona. If Adu comes around, he could be considered as well.

  12. Stephen says:

    I just have to say, it so really refreshing to have the “problem” of having talented guys that won’t make the roster. I remember the days when it was an issue to field a whole team of guys who could really compete at the international level. I love that the US has got young guys all over that are talented and can really push each other for playing time with the Nat’s.

  13. MLSsnob says:

    Am I the only person who thinks that Josh Gatt on the right and Brek Shea on the left in a 4-3-3 would be dangerous?

    • beachbum says:

      on Shea, for the Nats he has shown to be a good option for 20 hard, fast attacking minutes late in the game against tired legs…an important role if he can solidify it. still looking for that consistent flank two-way player out there on the left. I’d like to see Castillo tried at it, in the spirit of playing guys out of position because the team has a need there. Why not try Edgar there? He’s always struck me as a midfielder anyway, and he likes to get forward

    • Wimsherfan says:

      The wings in a 433 should be goal scorers.

    • BigBirdLenny says:

      I would love to watch it (camp cupcake? Gold Cup?), but I can’t imagine seeing it with the full squad any time in the near future. It would leave you with three midfield spots to fill with the likes of Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Jones, & Williams. It’s foolish not to have the first three on the field if they’re all healthy, so now you’re missing a dedicated D-mid.

      Again, I’d LOVE to see this in a friendly or against a weaker team, but I can’t imagine JK doing it in a serious match. I think that lineup would score a few goals: Shea, Jozy, & Gatt up top and a midfield of Donovan, Bradley, & Dempsey. If you’re against a weaker team, maybe you go with 3 in the back and push someone like Edu or Williams into a D-mid/backline role? Would be tons of fun to watch. Offensively minded, lots of numbers forward, good width, but horribly vulnerable to the counterattack or a team that can out-possess us.

    • Tim Meyer says:

      The only way that formation would work is with an extremely productive #10 that controlled the game. Shea and Gatt are not proven scoring threats on the international level.

  14. WayDownInTexas says:

    Stu Holden has always been one of my favorite USMNT players. Especially since I’m a Dynamo fan, and Trust me I want nothing more than to see him in Brazil. But lets not get a head of ourselves, Stu hasn’t played a meaningful match in nearly two years now. Thats two years of sharpness, touch, strength, passing, speed, awareness, etc. that needs to make up in 19 months. The guy hasn’t suited up yet either. Again I want nothing more than to see Stuart make his come back. But WC2014 is a bit of a stretch. Lets not forget the injury lay-off Davies, the guy still can’t find his pre-accident form. LOVE USMNT.

  15. Stateside Supporter says:

    Ives…is it safe to assume Michael Bradley will assume the captain’s arm band? Would like for you to add commentary on who else, if not him, will assume the responsibility. Thanks!

  16. Rich says:

    How close to making the cut was Sacha?

  17. PBJOHN says:

    I predict Greg Garza finds a place somewhere on the roster. He has been on a tear recently and his career is on an upswing again. He’s still only 21 and could fit in as a defender or in the midfield.

  18. bizzy says:

    GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid
    *Hamid is a better goalkeeper than Johnson….that was evident in the U-23’s

    DEFENDERS- Steve Cherundolo, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Oguchi Onyewu, John Anthony brooks, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler, Edgar Castillo or Eric Lichaj
    *Omar Gonzalez is a good MLS defender but I don’t know if he can match up to John Anthony Brooks (Hertha Berlin, 2. Bundesliga) and a 100% Oguchi Onyewu (if you can make the first team with Malaga CF in La Liga, you are better than MLS standards) on an international level. Castillo is making a name for himself by playing full 90 with one of the best teams in Mexico but Lichaj is playing/training at a higher level. Parkhurst will be a an option for Dolo, who is like wine (the man gets better with age!!!!!)

    MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Danny Williams, Sasha Kljestan, Graham Zusi, Freddy Adu, Mix diskerud, Jermaine Jones or Maurce Edu
    *Adu brings to the table what no other USMNT midfielder has, Mix and Sasha have been in top form and playing full 90 mins for Rosenborg BK and RSC Anderlecht respectively, far better options than a struggling Brek Shea, and Mix always just seems to make things happen in our midfield. Edu and Jones both have similar attributes so we just need the one who is more in form at the moment. Wish we could squeeze a player maker like Lee Nguyen in there somewhere..lol

    FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Herculez Gomez, Terrence Boyd or Eddie Johnson
    *Altidore, Eddie Johnson and Boyd all have a very similar style of play, speed, strength and ability to pull the trigger….so we don’t need all of them (and Altidore is the best of the 3), especially after making room for more attacking midfielders and moving Landon up top.

  19. Colin in MT says:

    Ives,

    It drives me crazy that you’re projecting a squad based on reason and logic. How could you discount 2010 Bocanegra or pre-injury Holden? And you obviously don’t remember how poor Castillo was two years ago or that Eddie Johnson was out of soccer for almost a year before the start of last season. Have you completely forgotten how dominate Charlie Davies was at the ’09 Confederations Cup? Mixx played a few minutes against Russia and scored a goal, he’s obviously going to be there. Not to mention a bunch of young guys who are playing on top youth/reserve teams who I like to think are on an upward trajectory. No Freddy Adu!? He’s the next Pele. Where are all the dual nationals who have never played for us?

    When picking these squads Ives you’ve got to go with your gut and your memories. Stop focusing on present form and start projecting future form based of your emotions.

    • bizzy says:

      Colin in MT you said it yourself he is projecting a squad, based on analogy and metrics and what he feels fits the current situation….its not like Klinsmann uses this site to pick players for the national team (although maybe he does because Ives is always very close….hmm).

      • Colin in MT says:

        i think i’m missing your point bizzy.

        I understand how Ives is projecting his squad. my comment was made with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        And the “Completely Missed The Point” award goes to…

    • Fifawitz1313 says:

      Perfect Post

  20. jerrry says:

    The only issue i have here and it kills me, it literally bothers me so much!! Nick De Leon..dude, I’m calling it now, He had a solid year but it was a fluke!! I heard him on the podcast the other day and he said he’s lazy, he only turns it on when he’s gotta train or play which to me is a bad recipe for long term success!! Im also tired of reading how the latest hot streaking player is first team national team material…Last year all the hype de leon got was on CJ Sapong “His athletic ability can compete at the highest level…he’ll get a look…” Well, that never came and just by seeing De Leon play, He doesn’t have the technical ability to play at this level..please be realistic with this..Wheres Sacha Kljestan? in two years he’ll either be a captain at RSCA or at a bigger club..dont forget that.

    • beachbum says:

      CJ did get a look in Phoenix, I was at that game. In fact, when he finally entered for Bunbury, along Benny, the US finally played attacking soccer against a very pedestrian Venezuelan team. The way people on this site clamor for hustling forwards I’m surprised there isn’t more screams for CJ to be included. He would fit sooooooo well on the team with what Klinnsman has shown to value up top.

  21. mike says:

    I predict Lletget will make WH first team in 2013 and by 2014 will have a shot with the USMNT

  22. bizzy says:

    Colin in MT you said it yourself he is projecting a squad, based on analogy and metrics and what he feels fits the current situation….its not like Klinsmann uses this site to pick players for the national team (although maybe he does because Ives is always very close….hmm).

  23. Ed says:

    Sooo much time between now and then. Crazy how Robbie Findley and Herc Gomez were on the 2010 WC roster.. I bet absolutely no one had them in their projections late 2008. With that said, I predict that by summer 2014 Robbie Rogers will be an unquestioned starter for the nats.

  24. Jack says:

    Gooch is starting for Malaga tonight… How many other US defenders besides Parkhurst play in the Champions League?

    • RollTide says:

      I agree. I see Besler, Gonzo, or Edu dropping out in favor of one of the veteran CBs, and if Gooch continues to get significant minutes with a Champions League squad in Spain it’s hard to imagine him not getting the nod.

  25. owheezyo says:

    If Bocanegra makes the roster, he should grow out a ponytail and change his last name to Agoos.

  26. 2tone says:

    Pretty much what I would expect, but as always some players will fade and others will surge in the next 17 months. Players that will be in the equation:
    CB: Brooks, Hines, Berry, Hedges, John
    Rb: Lichaj
    LB: Morrow, Klute
    Cm: O’Brien, Kljestan, Diskerud, Holden
    Am: Pontius, Adu, Feilhaber, Gyau, De Leon, Duka, Gil
    FWDS: Bruin, Sapong, Salgado, Doyle

    I think there will be a few surprises, but there will be the core set of players.

    I also don’t think Gomez will be their.

    • 2tone says:

      Here is my 23 man roster:
      GK: S. Johnson, Guzan, Howard
      Defense: Dolo, Chandler, Fabian, Castillo, Boca, Gonzo, Cameron, Besler
      CM: Bradley, Jones, Williams
      AM: Donovan, Shea, Pontius, Zusi
      FWDS: EJ, Deuce, Altidore, Boyd, Agudelo

      EJ and Agudelo are more talented than Gomez, and EJ has shown that his work ethic has greatly improved, and I forsee Gomez losing more and more minutes the next couple of seasons in Mexico. I wouldn’t be surprised if EJ and Deuce are the starting tandem going into WC qualifying and then into the WC. Those two have really good chemistry together on the field, and I am sure that did not go unnoticed by Klinsmann.

      Boca actually plays Cb while Edu does not, and continues to not see minutes for Stoke City. His fortunes will have to turn in order for him to make the WC team in my opinion.

      If Holden comes back then yes I would replace either Williams or Zusi with Holden.

    • Tim Meyer says:

      I think you are extremely accurate on this list.

  27. Wimsherfan says:

    I’m no expert on goal keeping but at some stage I will need an explanation of why a young, mistake prone keeper like Johnson is on everybody’s list. What am I missing? Howard pulls a muscle and Guzan gets the flu so Johnson starts against Italy? Sounds like suicide.

  28. skyman says:

    I have a hard time accepting Juan Agudelo not making the team. His touches, albeit quick and not attention getting, are ingenious. My prediction is he’ll make the team for 2014.

  29. Zac Mac says:

    Beckerman??

  30. Dennis says:

    The soccer brains of Cherundolo and Bocanegra will keep them in this mix a lot longer than their legs might lead one to believe. The speed of Shea and Gatt are nice weapons, but each of them needs to get better tactically.

    On current form, I don’t think Williams is the leading candidate he was only a month ago, recent stinkers for club and country give me pause. Of course, few of us get to see all the young players frequently enough so, aside from Altidore and Adu, young guys like Agudelo, Diskerud, Boyd, Gatt, Williams, Chandler and Shea look fantastic or so-so based on only a single game or even on only a few minutes. That is unfair to them whether their last appearance was great or forgettable, but it is all we have.

  31. Adam says:

    Ives,

    I don’t get to watch many Liga MX games, so haven’t seen him play much, but what about Beasley? I know he’s a little older, but he seems like the perfect super sub. An experienced smart player that can bring the offensive spark, or play more defensively to grind out a win. Has he fallen off so much that he doesn’t even get considered?

  32. THomas says:

    Our central defense leaves me scared to death.

  33. eric says:

    What about Torres? Is he completely off the radar now/again?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      He’s been given chances and just hasn’t really done much with them, so for now he’s off the radar. He still has time to change that.

      • Karl says:

        +1 Would rather see Mixx and other players over Toress.

      • PD says:

        In fairness to him he has never played his natural position wearing the RW&B. Williams underwhelmed under the same circumstances.

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          Torres has played a variety of different roles in midfield and has never really impressed. He has definitely had games at his more natural position and not impressed. I do agree that he should still get some looks in 2013, but at this point it’s tough to project him on the team considering he hasn’t impressed all that much when given chances. Plenty of time to change that though.

          • Tab says:

            Torres has played left back. Torres has played advanced left midfield. Maybe — arguably — Torres played something like his preferred position against Mexico.

            But overwhelmingly — the vast majority of the time — Torres has been played out of position.

            Torres played well against Jamaica at home. He can keep the ball moving very nicely.

            Everyone thought Danny Williams was a bust when he was played out of position. So to Torres.

            I would like to see a game where we had Danny Williams, Michael Bradley, and Torres together in the midfield.

  34. dan says:

    SBI’s prediction is as accurate and realistic of a guess as anyone can make at this point. That said, I really think the 23 look radically different from these 23

  35. AZ says:

    THomas is right: that central defense is a World Cup horror story. Ives is right that Bocanegra is done. I am praying for someone unexpected to emerge. Right now John Anthony Brooks is the only guy that has all of the requisite talent and skills, and can realistically get the requisite experience in the next 2 years.

    My bold predictions:

    1) Altidore won’t be on the team. And no one will complain about it (Also, he gets sold in the next transfer window for a surprisingly low sum and struggles to get meaningful minutes while AZ plays a good deal better without him).

    2) Donovan won’t be on the team. Combination of injuries and uncertainty about a more limited role.

    3) Jermaine Jones will continue to have his mindless detractors (including often times you, Ives), but he will get penciled in to nearly every lineup, and never fail to earn it on the pitch. In a game where you are only allowed 3 subs, 7 outfield players have to go the full 90, and it is invaluable having two guys–Bradley and Jone–who are both just as strong and fast and eager in the second half injury time as in the first minute of the game.

    4) Terrence Boyd will be the third most valuable attacking player (after Bradley and Dempsey).

    5) Chandler will sometimes displace Cherundolo at right back, but Cherundolo will still play. E.g., against top teams that like to attack down the left, Chandler will sometimes line up at right midfield and slide back in the second half when another attacking option is needed in the midfield.

    • Karl says:

      1. No. Altidore is still our most promising attacker– he will be sold for a decent sum to a better team in a better league. He will not only be on the 23, but likely in the XI.
      2. Hope not, if he moves to Europe he will be, however, I wouldn’t be suprised to see a USMNT without Landon.
      3. I still think Danny Williams is going to be better by 2014….. I personally like JJ, just needs to limit cards.
      4. Bold, and I disagree. Boyd has great potential, but will not be a starter by 2014.
      5. Concur.

    • 2tone says:

      Lol. Altidore is the reason why AZ isn’t at the bottom of the table. Seriously your assessment is down right criminal.

      • AZ says:

        You can believe this only because you don’t actually watch the games. Jozy either scores or brings the entire attack to a shuddering halt. Last week they were lucky to tie an exceedingly weak Gronenburg team, and only because not Altidore but their backup striker, Falkenburg, put one in the net. For the past three weeks he has been repeatedly singled out by the announcers as a serious detriment to AZ’s attack, and rightly so. Meanwhile the club is actively shopping him. Why?

        Jozy is incredibly talented in the ways that he is talented: tremendously powerful shot, a nose for goal inside the box, a decent finisher, a physical challenge for defenders. But he is also limited in ways that are almost impossible to fix in a player that is already 23 years old: unreliable first touch–sometimes deft but just as often wooden, a lack of vision, a seeming inability or animadversion to doing the dirty work of hold up play, a propensity for mental lapses.

        I’d love to see Jozy take a big leap forward but I think AZ are trying to cash out for a reason.

        • 2tone says:

          Lol. I have watched plenty of games. Jozy has 9 league goals and like 4 assists. He is responsible for like 75 percent of AZ’s offensive output.

          AZ is a small club that thrives on transfer money. Of course they are going to be shopping Altidore. Who is their best player.

          Uhm he is 23 you can definitely fix the things you say that he can’t. Seriously man you are stretching quite a bit. And it’s laughable.

          • AZ says:

            Jozy scored 7 of his 9 goals in three games early in the season. He has scored twice since Sept. 16. Starting all but one game and as the focus of AZ’s attack he has scored TWICE in over two months. In that time AZ has not won a game and has dropped points to horrible teams like VVV Venlo and FC Groningen.

            You can tell yourselves that AZ is cashing out because they are a selling club if you want to, and that Altidore’s season has been a smashing success, but you are kidding yourselves. AZ sees a player that is unlikely to ever again duplicate for them that form that he showed in three games in August and early September and they are desperate to sell him while they still can.

        • GW says:

          “AZ are trying to cash out for a reason.”

          Of course they are.

          You make it sound like Jozy is failing. AZ were never going to keep Jozy long term. Earnie Stewart clearly stated when he bought Jozy that he felt Jozy was a cheap project he could rebuild, develop and turn over for a profit.

          AZ are a selling club.

          Jozy may not be doing well right at the moment but he is in the midst of a second straight very prolific season.

          AZ are looking to offload him now because January is coming up and that window is more of a seller’s market ( more desperation from teams looking to save their seasons) so they should get a better price than if they wait for the off season.

          And if you are interpreting this as a negative about Jozy, other than Dempsey, when was the last time an attacking US player was sold by a European club to another European club for what I suspect will be a big profit?

          • AZ says:

            I think that the 6 to 8 million dollar figure that Stewart was floating is a wishing price that isn’t going to materialize. I suspect Jozy will be sold for at most half that. Still a tidy profit, but partly because he was picked up on a free.

            • GW says:

              “For the past three weeks he has been repeatedly singled out by the announcers as a serious detriment to AZ’s attack, and rightly so”

              So Jozy is entirely responsible for AZ’s position in the standings?

              Aren’t there 10 other guys on the field? If Jozy is solely responsible for screwing up AZ’s attack is he also to blame for their defense?

              Why haven’t Jozy’s backups scored or have they? Verbeek has never been shy about sitting Jozy.

              AZ are #12 out of 18 teams in the standings, and have played 13 games meaning they have 23 games left in the season. And you have already given up on their season with 23 games left?

              As for their commentators blaming Jozy, or not rating him, I don’t know those guys but I’d be a little careful about basing any evaluation of Jozy’s play on commentators. I’ve know quite few who broadcast very different games from the ones that were actually occurring on the field.

              You have this theory that that AZ are trying to dump Jozy because they suddenly realize that your theory about him is correct.

              I find that a hysterical reaction on your part and illogical as well.

              In the first place, Jozy’s potential buyers will likely buy him based on the body of his work at AZ and that is much bigger than three down weeks. Most players go through peaks and valleys in a season.although I recognize that SBI posters don’t believe that.

              In the second place, if your theory is correct then any selling attempts in the January window will be a panic move and I’m pretty sure any potential buyers for Jozy are much more savvy than you and me and will have figured that out as will have Earnie Stewart. This will of course bring down the price.

              So put yourself in Earnie’s shoes.
              If your theory is correct, don’t you think Earnie will get together with Verbeek and figure out what is going on with Jozy and see what they can do to right the ship, improve the team’s position and maybe help Jozy improve his value a bit?

              Now if Earnie agrees with you that Jozy is beyond redemption, then look for them to dump him like studios are dumping Lindsey Lohan. Otherwise, given Jozy’s accomplishments it makes more sense to me that AZ will try to get him sorted if not in time for January then certainly for the summer transfer window. Regardless, they will make a profit on him, I’m sure. I’m actually surprised they did not sell him at the end of last year.

              I find it telling that you criticize Jozy for arriving on a free transfer and are unwilling to give him any credit for improving himself and going on what has been a pretty exceptional run for an American player regardless of how it ends.

  36. Andy says:

    Good stuff! I’d take off one forward though, and slot in a Mix Diskerud type midfielder. Dempsey can play up top if there are freak injuries. I don’t see Gomez making it to 2014 personally, but Klinsmann seems to really like him so who knows.

  37. fischy says:

    Sorry, what? Gatt? Castillo? Besler???????????

    You are aiming at predicting the 2014 squad, yes? Not 2018?

    Will Gatt be better than Mix or Kljestan? Probably. Will he be on the roster in Brazil? No. I suppose Castillo is a possibility, but Klinsi’s recent lineups suggest otherwise.

    The biggest laugh here is Besler. OK — he had a good year and got the MLS Defender of the Year award. You know who have gotten that before? Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, and Michael Parkhurst. I think their years of experience in Europe and with the national team have them far ahead of Besler right now. Not to mention Gooch and Lichaj, who are probably better than Besler at this juncture, I would be stunned to see Besler make it, I’m also a bit surprised to see Gonzalez listed ahead of those other guys. He may have potential when and if he’s fully recovered, but….please!!! You don’t go into the World Cup with a bunch of inexperienced kid defenders, if you can help it.

    • Hogatroge says:

      How ignorant/naive can you be?

      The WC doesn’t start tomorrow, and it’s clear our current CB crop, Geoff Cameron aside, aren’t cutting it. Gonzalez & Besler have plenty of time to garner experience before the summer of 2014. Hopefully some other talents emerge as well.

      “Inexperienced kid” defenders are surely better than broken-down mid-30s defenders who are a step slower and more mistake-happy than in their primes.

      • fischy says:

        How ignorant can you be?

        Gonzalez and Besler could have the time — if they started in all the qualifiers and moved to other clubs to play at a higher level. That’s an awful lot to happen in the next 18 months — and none of it is likely to happen. Have Gonzo and Besler been called into action lately? Do you really think Klinsi is suddenly going to run them out as starters during WC qualifying? They’ll be lucky to get some starts in friendlies and the Gold Cup.

        They’re not better than those other guys now, so they won’t get to play ahead of them in meaningful games…which means your dreams of having them get all that experience won’t be realized. And, if they’re not in the team in the run up to the Cup, there’s not much likelihood of their making the team when it flies to Brazil.

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          Eric, was Geoff Cameron a lockdown starter a year ago? No, so why on earth do you think that players like Gonzalez and Besler can’t work their way into the mix in the next TWO years? It’s a gradual process, but both defenders have been identified by Klinsmann as being talented young centerbacks. Bocanegra is highly unlikely to be at a good enough level two years from now to be a starter. Could he make the team? Possible, but the reality is he’s on the downward slide of his career. As for Goodson, has he really done anything to be considered too far ahead of players like Gonzalez and Besler? The answer is no. Goodson MAY be better right now but he’s not getting any better. Meanwhile there is a crop of talented young centerbacks who are only getting better.

          There WILL be two younger centerbacks on the team come 2014. The only question is which ones will they be. The notion that Klinsmann would head to Brazil with a centerback crop of all guys 30 and older is hilarious and absurd.

          We’ll see how things play out. I’m much more confident in new faces emerging and playing at centerback than I am in your “Stick with guys on the way down and guys who have never really excelled” theory.

          • Matt says:

            Couldn’t agree more. We had 2 American coaches in a row who tended to depend on older and dependable, “known comodity” player’s and this was especialy true when it came to the defensive corps. These guys ALWAYS were injured ….couldn’t train regularly, and Arena even took a few of them to the World Cup because he hadn’t screened and evaluated enough young talent! (I was a HUGE fan of most of those long-time national team players, but taking older, out of shape, injured guys to the WC is screwed up.) Nice to finally have some depth.

            • GW says:

              “We had 2 American coaches in a row who tended to depend on older and dependable, “known comodity” player’s and this was especialy true when it came to the defensive corps. These guys ALWAYS were injured ….couldn’t train regularly, and Arena even took a few of them to the World Cup”

              There was a reason for that.

              You are saying Arena and Bradley failed to develop young defenders.

              Leaving aside the fact that national team managers can only pick players who are available and out there, not develop them, can you tell me who were the outstanding young players that Arena and BB left behind? The ones that went on to outstanding careers, proving Bruce and Bob wrong?

              My recollection is that the US talent pool for Arena and BB was much leaner than it is for JK. I’m sure both Arena and even Bradley would have killed to have had the kind of options JK has today. It’s a different world now.

          • boosted335 says:

            yet you don’t think George John (who was called into 2 successive Jan camps: had more rumored euro interest than any US CB in recent memory: who has done nothing on the field but improve his stock) could work his way into the mix?

            strange stuff…your smoking

            • Ives Galarcep says:

              Listen, I get that you’re president of the George John fan club, and have been for a long time, but not everybody shares your belief. He’s a solid centerback, but the fact is he took a step back in 2012. And as for your rumored Euro interest, the fact that he couldn’t secure a deal last winter despite the fact he has a Euro passport AND MLS/FC Dallas were ready to let him go suggests the interest in him isn’t as strong as you think. Him not being on this list does NOT mean he can’t work his way into the mix. If he finds a club in January in Europe that can give him regular playing time, and he keeps progressing, then sure, he can definitely be in the mix, but the reality is he had a down year.

    • GW says:

      fischy,

      You have a point but it only goes so far.

      JK is in an bad spot. His current centerbacks have tons of great experience but their form seems unlikely to hold up until the WC.

      The replacement candidates have tons of skill, talent and potential but are mostly green and unproven at the WC level and are unlikely to be able to get anywhere near to matching the experience of the men they are trying to replace in time for 2014.

      But this is why they pay JK the big bucks.

  38. atd says:

    I like it. Two quibbles and a hunch: (1) I think Sacha Kljestan will not only make the team, but might actually force his way into the starting lineup. He’s starting to do big things for Anderlecht, plus he fits a need — that advanced 8 role that JK has been shoehorning Jermaine Jones into. (2) Sean Johnson is/will be nowhere near good enough to be even the third-string GK on a World Cup team. (3) Something out of the blue is going to happen at the CB position. Maybe Gooch revives, or maybe JAB or Amobi Okugo goes hockey-stick development-wise in the next twelve months.

  39. Karl says:

    Where’s Freddy Adu? He’s really good I hear. Once made a good pass in a game.
    Kyle Beckerman doesn’t ever make mistakes. Where is he?
    Jose Torres is also amazing…. where is he?
    Robbie Findley once played soccer, why is he not on here?
    Robbie Rodgers is really good too!!!!
    Brad Davis isn’t old— he’s just experienced!!!
    Clarence Goodsen should also start!!! He’s strong.

  40. Msb says:

    Get Castillo off this list. He is awful at this level. Turnstile defensively

  41. wilyboy says:

    Can we stop talking about Sean Johnson over Bill Hamid? Hamid hands down dominated Chicago and DC’s most important match up, and he continues to be by far the most talented young goalkeeper in America.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Klinsmann doesn’t necessarily agree with you at the moment. Johnson has been getting the recent calls. I happen to agree on Hamid having a better overall full season than Johnson thanks to his strong finish, but right now Hamid’s on the outside looking in. At least at the moment.

    • beachbum says:

      I’ll take Rimando or Kennedy over both of them

    • GW says:

      Such passion over the third keeper.

      If things go even moderately well the third keeper won’t get anywhere near to seeing the field in either WC qualfiying or the WC itself. JK is just giving the other young options a chance to develop.

      If the World Cup was next week the third best keeper for the USMNT would be Nicky Rimando.

  42. Gary Page says:

    Onyewu looked real good today for Malage in the CL so he could get in the mix again. Parkhurst has really played well in the CL, too, so I would pick him and Boca ahead of Edu and Besler who has no international experience. Don’t see how you can include Shea when he hasn’t even been playing for his club and wasn’t playing that well before his injury anyway. I would put Kljestan ahead of him. I also want to continue my campaign for Dax McCarty to be given a call up in the midfield.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Gary, you’re clearly trying to pick a team to play in the immediate future. The World Cup is 19 months away. That’s a season and a half for players to improve (and for established players to diminish with age). Is Bocanegra ahead of guys like Edu and Besler right now? Sure, that’s safe to say, but at his age it is a safe bet we will start seeing him fade between now and the World Cup. That’s just the reality of life and aging.

  43. primoone says:

    i find it funny that while this is just a projection…there are many players who will miss the cut that havn’t even been looked at seriously.

    I guess you can call it a SWAG.

  44. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Lots of twists and turns ahead. It will be interesting to see over the next year who emerges for the ACM. I think Mix has a chance…I like Zusi in the middle instead of the flank. I like Corona’s game a lot…maybe even try Agudelo there. LD could do it, but I like him out wide with more space. Bottom line, JK will eventually put attacking players on the field that read each other well, have vision and keep the ball moving quickly…some players that are individually talented but can’t get on the same page with others will not make it. A player like Zusi who isn’t that fast by international standards but has vision and moves the ball quickly could be more valuable than someone like Shea, or even a better option at ACM than Dempsey.

    • GW says:

      “A player like Zusi who isn’t that fast by international standards but has vision and moves the ball quickly could be more valuable than someone like Shea, or even a better option at ACM than Dempsey.”

      What is your rationale for that? Shea and dempsey play very different roles than Zusi. And what is your reason for rating Zusi more valuable than Deuce?

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        I like Dempsey up top on the receiving end of the ball. As a distributing ACM he hangs on to the ball too long, that’s his style, he usually looks to beat the first defender or make a defender commit before he does anything with the ball. That takes time, it’s much more deliberate and potentially slows the attack. Demps is good, but there are only a handful of players at the international level that can walk by guys off the dribble and dominate the attack. We don’t have anyone like that , so to be successful we need to move the ball as quickly as possible. Zusi, although not as talented or fast is similar to LD in that regard, getting the ball where it needs to go quickly. Shea is physically fast but reads the game and plays very slow. For what its worth I’d rather see Shea higher up field. So I guess my rambling rationale for mids on the nats would be regardless of what position they play in midfield, the faster they move the ball, the more successful our attack will be. As a goal scorer, Demps is more valuable to the nats than Zusi. I just don’t like the attack running through Dempsey.

        • GW says:

          You are correct about Deuce.

          Running the offense through him has always been Donovan’s strength not Deuce’s. I think JK ran the attack through Dempsey for a while largely because Donovan was AWOL.

          It’s not clear to me how much of Shea’s recent fall from grace was due to a sophomore slump, his broken foot or some combination thereof. Regardless, if he can get back to his best he has a role, out wide, on this team.

          Zusi, Shea, and Dempsey, at their best play entirely separate roles for the USMNT

  45. Mark says:

    I like Josh Gatt a lot but it seems like his biggest strength right now is perceived potential. I would like for him to be more than a part time starter in Norway before I pencil him in for the World Cup. In addition, he needs to prove that he can stay healthy. There are still a lot of problems that could develop to limit his career as is the case with any prospect. Certain players just take off in the minds of fans and Josh is one of those players. I have high hopes for him, but let’s wait and see what actually happens in his career before we assume him into the World Cup.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      He’s a full-time starter in Norway. When he’s healthy he starts. And projecting him onto the World Cup roster is just that, a PROJECTION. It isn’t an assumption. There’s a big difference. Nobody in their right mind would say Josh Gatt is a lock for the roster because, as you say, he needs to develop some more as a player, but given his qualities, position, age and career track, it is HARDLY a stretch to project him on the squad. Even less so after Klinsmann handed him a start against a tough Russia side in his national team debut. Klinsmann obviously saw enough in him to put him in the starting lineup in his debut, and against a top team no less.

      When projecting a World Cup team it can’t just be “pick the best 23 players at the moment” because there is too much time between now and the World Cup. EVERY cycle we have players emerge in the two years before the World Cup, and even in the last year before the World Cup. People need to realize this is an inevitable part of the process. What we can do is look at the young players who seem like good options to develop in the next two years. It might be Gatt, it might be Diskerud, it might be Gyau. What we do know is that a few young players are bound to emerge. For now, I’m projecting Gatt to be one of those players.

  46. JJ says:

    I love it when Ives explaines the Holden situation and people want to act like its a horrible idea not to include him in anything. I mean I love the guy, but shouldn’t we already be used to life without him? I mean we had a great World Cup Qualification campaign thus far.

  47. PD says:

    I’m all for being sympathetic to a player that needs to get his groove back, and I do not discount what an asset he is, but if LD skips the hex and bumps someone who earned the spot… That would be beyond sh*tty.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      PD, “earned” has nothing to do with anything. When it’s time to pick the World Cup team you pick the best 23 players. Players don’t earn their places because of time served. They earn places by being the best options at that moment. I highly doubt he “skips the hex” but even if he doesn’t play a minute, he should still be picked if he is the best option.

  48. Cairo says:

    Adding to another poster’s bold predictions for 2014:

    1. After trying everyone else out, Mo Edu becomes Cameron’s center back partner

    2. Baca from San Jose gets called in and becomes the Stabilizing force that we all thought Torres would be

    3. Landon takes 2013 off but comes back in 2014 and starts on left in WC

    4. EJ becomes the unquestioned starter with Dempsey tucked behind him

  49. bottlcaps says:

    I think there should be a “Fifth” position. That of Utility player. This player would not necessarily be a top choice for a particular position,. But a Utility player can play more than one position adequately and competently. Maurice Edu is a good example for a defender/midfielder. What you need to look into is a player who can play winger/midfielder along with a corner back position. A field player who can play Goalkeeper (or at least trained) aka Mike Magee. We see a lot of interchanging among winger and forwards or midfielders and forward like Dempsey and Donovan. But in a tournament like the WC and unlike the WCQ, you are set with a fixed number of players for a minimum of three and possibly 7 games. Along the way you will have yellow card accumulation, red cards injuries and sickness.

    At this time you need to build into the team a possibility that you will have players play out of position. Doing it at a WC level is difficult, you need to focus on that now. And more importantly you need to develop/convert players who can do that now.

    A player who might not make the SBI list in any of the regular positions of GK, defender, Mids of forwards, might be able to play several positions and therefore increase his usefulness and value to the team.

    • GW says:

      You are approaching the SBI list a little too rigidly.

      This versatility approach has been happening all along, not only with the USMNT but with many other national teams over the years. It is not new.

      It just has not been as formally recognized as you might have done.

      National teams are more prone to shifting players around because their player pool is more rigid than a club’s player pool.

      At any given time a country, no matter how good , may not have an eligible, international quality center back or striker. The US had to wait for Fabian Johnsson to emerge rather than going out and buying him.

      England went through a long period when they had no one of the desired quality to play on the left side of midfield in their preferred 4-4-2 for example.

      They went through a long period of trying to play Lampard and Gerrard together in the midfield even though it seemed to many that the combination did not work as well as it should.

  50. troy says:

    not a single mention of flash gordon? how are people talking endlessly about strikers who barely even know they are american when we have a veteran target man who recently came off the bench and played well for the nats? and is also coming off the healthiest and most successful year of his career?

  51. louis z says:

    a good list for the time being. There is a couple of prospect that may sneak in the next 6 months, like, Brooks for a CB spot if he continues his speedy development and Aron Johannsson if he makes a switch during the winter break, also let’s not forget A. Wooten who is really starting to look good at his new position of RW instead of CF.

    • GW says:

      The guys you mentioned are all just beginning their careers as regulars. They all play in lower level leagues.

      It seems like a lot to ask these guys to be WC ready in one and a half years when they have yet to show they can even be starters or regulars for the USMNT. Or that they even really want to play for the US.

      Now if one of them gets bought by a top flight team in the January window and has a dynamite second half to the 2012-13 season then okay, now you are talking.
      Otherwise, putting them in the USMNT mix is premature, especially in Brook’s case. Center back is a tough place to put a player as young and inexperienced as Brooks. Especially in a World Cup, unless he is the new version of Nesta, Cannavaro or Baresi.

      And as far as I know, no one is saying that about the kid.

      Have you actually seen any of these guys play?

  52. cj says:

    While I think this projection is correct a lot can change between now and 2014. Somebody can come out of nowhere like Gomez and Buddle did in 2010. Somebody can do something stupid ala Davis, or somebody can get hurt like gooch on the pitch.

    With that being said, with this group it seems more of the same in that there is not a creative force or hold up option to control the attack through. I see Landon in a spot were Bradley used him at in the 2011 gold cup an attacking veteran presence off the bench, almost similar to Blanco for Mexico in 2010. Dolo while I can see him in Brazil at some point will be replaced by a younger player on his club team, which will affect his national team status.

    If I were to put together a starting eleven it would loom like this
    Howard
    Chandler. Brooks. Cameron. Johnson
    Bradley
    Gatt. Adu Dempsey
    Agudelo. Altidore

    Bench
    Dolo, Gonzalez, Gyau, Corona, Boyd, Jones, Williams, Lichaj, Diskerudd, Donovan
    Guzan, Hall

    I like the speed on this team and Hall is quietly becoming a top fixture between the pipes