USMNT Daily Update: 23 for 2014 (December 2012 Edition)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

In just a few days we will be hitting 2013, the year before the World Cup in Brazil, and all of a sudden it will feel like the tournament soccer fans spend four years waiting for will be just around the corner.

There is still plenty of time though, plenty of days and weeks and months until 23 American players will be chosen to represent the United States at the 2014 World Cup (yes, assuming the USMNT qualifies). There are position battles that haven’t even begun yet, and young players who could still emerge from obscurity and become breakout stars.

As we wrap up the final month of 2012, we can see some players who have already begun to make their hard pushes to climb the USMNT depth chart, and solidify their places in Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans. Brad Guzan has gone from perennial back-up to standout starter at Aston Villa. Michael Parkhurst parlayed a strong showing in the UEFA Champions League into a contract with German Bundesliga side Augsburg. Oguchi Onyewu has begun the climb back onto the national team radar as he takes advantage of playing time for Spanish Champions League side Malaga.

There are also players who have seen their stock dip considerably in recent months. Maurice Edu, Jose Torres and Brek Shea have all gone from regular fixtures in the conversation to fringe options who will need to rebound in 2013 to re-assert themselves as World Cup candidates.

Something to keep in mind when thinking about what a U.S. World Cup roster will look like is Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments about the structure of a World Cup roster. For Klinsmann, a World Cup team isn’t necessarily the best 23 players, but rather the best 23-man team. Klinsmann will select some players who are better locker room personalities in order to provide balanced to the squad, which means a more talented player could miss out in favor of a player who is a better teammate and locker room personality.

With all that in mind, here is a look at the 23 players we project making up the U.S. World Cup roster in 18 months:

PROJECTED USMNT WORLD CUP 2014 ROSTER (December 2012)

(Changes from November in bold)

GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

Outlook- Guzan has a hammerlock on the second goalkeeper spot, but the third goalkeeper remains a position in flux. Rimando might be a surprise to some, but with Guzan looking like such a strong No. 2, Klinsmann could be tempted to bring along a good locker room presence like Rimando rather than one of the pool’s younger options.  There is no guarantee Klinsmann will use the third goalkeeper slot on a young goalkeeper, and his recent comments about the important of balance of personalities in a World Cup roster sure bodes well for Rimando’s chances.

Missed the cut- Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid.

———————-

DEFENDERS- Steve Cherundolo, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler, Eric Lichaj

Outlook- Maurice Edu’s absence from Stoke City’s plans has dropped him off the projection here, and while Edgar Castillo is fresh of winning a Mexican League title, he gets edged out here by an improving Lichaj.

No, Klinsmann hasn’t called in Lichaj yet, but the fact that he has become a regular starter in a top league makes him the choice. Another player who drew strong consideration is Michael Parkhurst, who just completed a move to Bundesliga side Augsburg. He is fresh of a strong run in UEFA Champions League and could be in our projection by January if he transitions well to the Bundesliga.

Centerback remains an interesting position. Carlos Bocanegra is still the U.S. captain, and just might keep himself on a high enough level to be a part of the team, but for now we will project Cherundolo to make the team and Bocanegra to just miss out. Having both would seem like a stretch given their ages. That being said, Klinsmann still needs some other centerbacks to develop and Gonzalez and Besler look like the best candidates to do that. We can’t forget about Oguchi Onyewu, who has played himself back onto the radar by showing well in spot duty for Malaga.

Missed the cut- Bocanegra, Parkhurst, Oguchi Onyewu, Edgar Castillo, A.J. Soares, Amobi Okugo, Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow

———————–

MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Josh Gatt, Sacha Kljestan.

Outlook- It was a toss-up between Kljestan and Diskerud for the final spot and right now the edge goes to Kljestan, who is enjoying an outstanding run with Belgian side Anderlecht. Klinsmann may prefer Diskerud, but right now Kljestan is peaking and should be forcing his way into the conversation.

Yes, Landon Donovan is still on the list, and while we don’t know for sure just what his national team plans are, we will project him on the team until he officially retires, either from the national team or from soccer altogether.

Gatt provides some speed on the flanks, and gives the team some youth in midfield. There are other players who could provide that, like Gyau and Shea, but for now we’ll give Gatt the nod. Shea is a player who figures to stay on the fringes until he returns to action in March and re-asserts his place as a key member of the 2014 plans.

Joe Corona is another player who could be in for a big 2013. He just helped lead Club Tijuana to the Mexican league title, and should have an opportunity in the Gold Cup to make his mark on the national team.

Missed the cut- Diskerud, Edu, Shea, Corona, Joe Gyau, Alejandro Bedoya, Nick DeLeon, Jose Torres.

———————–

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

Outlook- There is a tough decision coming between an older player like Gomez and a younger player like Juan Agudelo. With the World Cup still a year and a half away that is plenty of time for Agudelo to hit his stride, and time for Gomez to start showing signs of slowing down. That very well may happen, but until we see some serious signs of that it will be tough to omit a player like Gomez, who brings so many intangibles and a good locker room presence.

The top three of Altidore, Johnson and Boyd feels like a lock at this point, even if Boyd is still developing as a pro. He just has the look of a breakout star in 2013.

Missed the cut- Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Chris Pontius, Will Bruin.

——–

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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134 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: 23 for 2014 (December 2012 Edition)

  1. Stephen says:

    It is so awesome having so many good options at all these positions. Not too long ago it was clear to even the most uneducated soccer fan, like myself, who should be starting and who should not. Now we’ve got all these great options most of whom are pushing to start and play. It is an exciting time to be a fan of the USMNT.

    • Servando Carrasco says:

      ‘It is an exciting time to be a fan of the USMNT.’ is the most generic and frequent comment I see on any soccer by ives’s posts about the USMNT potential lineups or any posts about the youth national teams.

    • Lorenzo says:

      We have inched forward. I’m not sure if we have a better team then 4-6 years ago, but we are seeing more numbers in europe, MLS, and Mexico. Bradley oversaw an era when that number was increasing, and it is clear today that we have more european players starting and MLS players showing consistent play and promise. I don’t see us as good as the 2002 World Cup team or the 2009 Confederations Cup team yet, I hope we really some how come together.

      • AMPhibian says:

        i think you got it spot on, lorenzo. this team still has some figuring out to do.

      • Since 82 says:

        I have been watching this team for 25 plus years. There is no question in my mind, that our depth and overall talent is considerably better and growing each year. Soccer is a bit of a symphony however and we have yet to pull it all together. Good thing that we have a year to figure it out … while qualifying of course.

        • marden08 says:

          I have been watching the national teams for 25+ years I agree the talent and the depth continue to get bether. We don
          t have a golden generation currently and unless you are dominant you need good luck, including injuries and a team at the top of their collective and individual games when it counts. I think our current team can consistently play top European teams and be competitive. This was not the case for the 2002 team. They flowed better than any other US team but as I recall we needed somebody else to lose to get into the second round.

      • Josh D says:

        That Confederation Cup team was a miracle away from utter embarrassment. What that generation will be remembered for is their never say die attitude. They pulled so many wins and draws at the last second – really the funnest team to watch since 2002. In terms of ability, this team crushes that one in my opinion.

        • SuperChivo says:

          I agree about the more ability in this group part if you consider where the players are playing for their club sides. However, they really haven’t connected yet to be a team that can rival 2009 or even 2010. Hopefully, that will come together in qualifying.

        • Nate says:

          This team beats the 2009 team despite Dempsey and Davies crazy form because the 2009 team started JOHNATHAN BORNSTEIN at left back.

          The End.

        • GW says:

          Based on how they played in the 2002 World Cup, the 2002 team had Reyna and O’Brien two midfielders that none of the current bunch, not even Mikey, can match.

          They had McBride who none of our current strikers can hold a candle to.

          They had Friedel who makes Howard look shaky ( he still does actually)

          They had Tony Sanneh who had a tournament as an attacking fullback like no one on the current team has ever had.

          They had Eddie Pope who is preferable to any current US
          centerback.

          They had Clint Mathis who was at least as dangerous as the current Clint if somewhat more unpredictable.

          They had a pretty solid supporting cast in guys like a young DMB, Josh Wolff , Cobi Jones, and Greg Berhalter.

          And most of all they had a young Landon Donovan who was more talented and more dynamic than any player in the current US pool. The current team has no one like that guy. Not even close.

          I watched both teams pretty closely.

          The main reason I think you are wrong is the 2002 guys proved their worth by taking the US as far as they have ever gone in the World Cup and were unlucky to not beat Germany.

          The current team have not proved a thing yet. Compare them once the 2014 Cup is over, if they qualify.

          I expect them to qualify but don’t think for a second it is guaranteed or will be easy. The overall talent level of the US is higher than it used to be but that is true for everyone else in the Hex as well.

          • josh mcgillacutty says:

            bahahaha! your insane. I’ll give you reyna and young donovan but the rest of those guys are garbage…they played a simple and ugly style and none of them would play in any meaningful european league today. They mostly were lucky in any success they had. I’d play Zusi over o’brien, he’s much better on the ball and far more creative and he might not even play in 14. this is why americans have trouble earning credibility in the soccer world cause guys like you think pope and mcbride were world class. cobi jones wouldnt make my younger brothers high school team.

        • jim morrison says:

          Those teams had chemistry. I just don’t see it happening with a lot of guys who didn’t grow up through the system and who probably won’t be willing to leave everything out on the field for the USA shirt.
          Nothing against them personally but it is impossible to care that much for a country that you have no connection to.

  2. Servando Carrasco says:

    where’s alex morgan?

    Zinnngggg!

  3. Grubbsbl says:

    Overall I think Ives is spot on (and I love the projection, thanks for posting it). I do think your right in that the final midfield spot at the moment is between Corona, Mixx and Sasha. However I find it interesting Perry Kitchen wasnt mentioned. Danny Williams certainly has the holding mid locked down currently but Kitchen is probably the holding mid with the highest ceiling. 2014 may be too soon for him but I can see him making a move to Europe and making a big name for himself. He has too many attributes to not succeeded: range in passing, composure and willingness to drive the team forward. Plus he isn’t shy of a tackle. Kitchen isn’t better than Jones at the moment, but I thought his play at the end of the yr was at another level than mls mids like Beckerman and Clark (both players Klinsi has given a look in the past).

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      “2014 may be too soon for him.” You said it yourself. And for the record, he was on the “Missed the Cut” list last month so it’s not like he’s not on my radar. Just don’t see him catching the current field at the D-Mid spot in 18 months. Definitely can see him being a part of the 2018 squad.

      • Grubbsbl says:

        Thanks Ives.

      • bottlcaps says:

        I always feel you should include a “utility” position. This position would include players who could play, in a pinch, another position. in previous WC’s several wingers, were thrown in to play backs, midfielders to forwards, and central defenders to midfielders. It may still be early to consider players for this position, but still, the next time a USMNT player, plays out of his regular position (for club or country) and performs well, it should be noted. A tournament like the WC freezes your player pool and injuries and yellow card accumulation are all part of refining your strategies. Having a player who has experience playing well out of position may well be the key to advancing.

        • Philly U says:

          I think Jonathan Spector fits this role perfectly. He can play on the back line or in mid. Akogu is also a possibility. Since he is quite composed for his age, he may be ready by 2014.

        • GW says:

          You don’t designate a utility position per se.

          What you do is have guys who are versatile, guys who have played other positions for their club or national team.

          It is necessary when you have a 23 man roster for the World Cup. That roster can get really tight, really fast with a few injuries and a red card or two.

          That’s why specialists, guys who can really only do one thing, are extreme luxuries that World Cup managers often do without. It’s also why durability and fitness are such a big deal. Someone recently posted that Mix needed 5 days of rest between games. If that is true the only way he will make the World Cup team is if he can guarantee the games he does play in are wins.

          In this respect the US are okay. Just looking at guys who have recently started for the US:

          Cameron can play any position on the back line and holding midfielder.
          Edu can play center back and holding midfielder.
          Fabian can play leftback, right back, and anywhere in midfield
          Mikey can play anywhere in midfield
          Jones can play anywhere in midfield and probably center back in a pinch.
          Danny Williams can play all across the back line, mostly right back and pretty much anywhere in midfield.
          Donovan and Dempsey can play anywhere in midfield and forward.
          Gomez and EJ can play forward and midfield.
          Gatt has been used on the wing and at fullback.

          This is not ideal of course but that is just part of the deal.

  4. Josh D says:

    I think Boca has to make the squad.

    As mentioned, Klinsi is looking for the best 23 team, not individuals. The projected CB roster is stack full of players who either haven’t played for the NT (Besler) or in a World Cup (Cameron & Gonzalez) or any significant international tournament for that matter. I can’t imagine we don’t rely on Boca for his experience and guidance for these young CBs.

    And in my opinion, Boca still bests Goodson, especially if we’re talking off the bench for 15 minutes to shut out a game.

    • AMPhibian says:

      you make a solid point, but i think defensive experience and guidance can be gained from boca before the WC, and you still have dolo in the back, who can captain with the best of them, and has been in major tournaments. that said, i’m not taking goodson over boca anytime soon either.

  5. Pedro (Formerly FulhamPete) says:

    Captain Michael “Boss” Bradley

    • Philbin says:

      +1… Gotta admit, I wasn’t a fan of Bradley in the Bob days (I kinda saw it as an AYSO relationship.) But the man is a beast and definitely deserves the armband for the next 5 – 10 years.

      Klinsmann should make this transition soon. I love Tim Howard, but this one is for the long haul.

  6. Colin in MT says:

    Just to get it out of the way early. Here’s a list of players who absolutely NEED to be in this roster if the US is to have any chance in 2014. I don’t care about “current form” or “nationality”. If these guys aren’t there, we’re doomed

    Freddy adu
    Benny feilhaber
    John Anthony brooks
    Aron johanssen
    ’09 Charlie Davies
    George John
    Andrew Wooten
    Ozzie Alonso
    That goalie who plays in Norway
    Any teenager currently on a youth/reserve team in a European league

    • KG says:

      The only person on that list who should be on the WC roster in 14 is Brooks (maybe Steve Clark “that goalie that plays in Norway”, but the 3rd keeper spot is irrellevant). Other than that on current form, your list is a completely laughable fringe/fan boy list.

      • Colin in MT says:

        KG, I’m offended that you’re implying any list with ’09 Charlie Davies would be a laughable fanboy list

    • lachaise says:

      ha. add Holden.

    • ed - houston says:

      lol, we are doomed? your suggestion(s) is/are DOOMED… lol

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      It isn’t really fair to group Feilhaber in with these other guys. He played well, if sparingly, in the last World Cup. Not that he belongs on the team right now, but he has proven himself in the past.

    • GW says:

      I guess we’re doomed

    • Nate says:

      Ya! I want 2009 Stu Holden and Charlie Davies too!

    • Todd says:

      “If these guys aren’t there, we’re doomed”….seriously???? Are you a distant relation to the Mayans? You know they screwed up the calculations…the Mayans are like Casio watches in a Rolex world.

      That is quite a list…I would make a few addendums to it:

      Freddy Adu(but only the Adu we thought he was going to become…because the one he is isn’t good enough)

      Benny Fallfromgracehaber….how about the guy who played in Hamburg and scored that volley against Mexico…because see above.

      Brooks: No argument about…but probably too soon for him though.

      Aron Jo-never-played-for-the-US…call him in for a look-see and then make a decision…better yet call him in for a cap tying game and see if he shows up.

      09′ Davies…really….I mean I love the guy as much or more than the next guy but have you been following his post accident career….barring a miracle he is done. While we are at it…why not go big and call in the 02′ John O’Brien.

      John and Wooten…you make the banners and I will come and hold one up with you.

      As for that guy in Norway(Steve Clark), if you are a real US fan and you don’t know his name then he doesn’t get a call.

      Did I miss anything…haven’t followed Alonso..so I could care less either way. Maybe you should have two glasses of wine, a soak in a hot tub and relax a bit. If you think we are going to make a statement at the 2014 World Cup then you are further along then your list suggests. We will be lucky to make it out of the group again.

      • Nate says:

        Ha! This was the tool reply of the year! Snuck it in just in time.

        • Todd says:

          Actually I thought it was witty and snarky….but tool of the year is a bit much….ouch that hurts.(Did you catch my sarcasm?)

      • Colin in MT says:

        Relax Todd, it was sarcasm

        • Todd says:

          Sorry Colin…totally missed it…my bad…never mind then. I will be sure to read all previous thread before I make future comments.

          I was writing my reply when you wrote “Thank you lachaise for knowing sarcasm when you see it” So it didn’t refresh until after I posted. Nice Job about keep Borenstein or Fiscal off your list…otherwise it would have been too obvious. I guess I should have picked it up at the 09′ Davies but there are some really silly posts on here sometimes. Once again…sorry. Cheers!!

      • Al says:

        I find it so funny that you talk about Mayan predictions like you are so smart, clever, and funny, then have the audacity to sit there and talk about

        “Freddy Adu(but only the Adu we thought he was going to become…because the one he is isn’t good enough)” as if that isnt some sort of Mayan prediction that you believed in and fell through. What a lame idiot.

        • Todd says:

          Al…..once again trying to be funny, Freddy Adu is a slightly better than average player. Too small, not fast enough and a tremendous liability on defense. As for the dramatic comparison to the Mayan appocolypse to the second coming of Pele…it works because they were both hyped beyond belief. It isn’t that Adu didn’t live up to my expectations but rather the people who think he is a great player when all evidence is to the contrary. And no I’d do not count MLS or age leveled national teams like U-20 or U 23. As for me being a “lame idiot” I want to speak to your on your level when I say…”Am not!!!”

    • louis z says:

      some of your pics are from the heart rather than your brain.

    • Thomas says:

      Rossi
      Subotic
      Everton Donovan
      Pele Adu
      Columbus crew Robbie Rodgers
      Any active player who has scored against Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Argentina, Brazil
      Any Mexican-Americans and German-Americans
      Demarcus Bealsey Brother
      The Starting XI in 2012 Olympics
      Any American player Jonathan or Ricardo

  7. Nate says:

    If Boca makes the team and plays significant minutes, we’re screwed. His best days are behind him.

    • ed - houston says:

      agreed

      • GW says:

        “His best days are behind him.”

        Going into 2014 you could say that about Howard, Dolo, Onyewu, Donovan, Jones, Dempsey,Gomez , Rimando and Boca.

        Which would leave you with a very inexperienced team.

  8. dikranovich says:

    jack mcinerney!!!

    • ed - houston says:

      seriously? not a chance.

      • dikranovich says:

        ed, im going to throw some numbers at you, then you can admit you might be wrong, or you can stick to your guns. .27, .45, and .56, these are the numbers for herc, ej, and jozy, and they are the number of goals these guys scored in the MLS per 90 minutes. brian mcbride is at .39, j wolff is at .37, landon sits at .46. freddy is at .20, eric wynalda is at .43, and yura movsisyan is also at .43, and one jack mcinerney, he scores at a rate of .43 goals for every 90 minutes.

  9. Sandy says:

    It was already mentioned, but does Holden have enough time to make it bavk into the picture? When he’s healthy, he’s one of our best midfielders.

    • AMPhibian says:

      when he was healthy he was one of our best midfielders. who can say he will get back there physically or form wise? i love holden and his style of play, and think it would be nice to see him at his tops for us again, next to bradley and in front of jones, but there is no certainty that holden reaches that level in time to solidify himself a role. he may not reach that level ever again, but i know he’s doing everything in his power to get there, and i wish him the very best.

  10. wilyboy says:

    Willing to bet that Diskerud beats out Klejstan. Sacha just isn’t that special of a player, he’s not fast enough to counterattack on the wings, and not creative enough to challenge Dempsey for the creator role. Diskerud showed against Russia that he can have an instant impact on the attack; his technique is exceptional for an American.

    I honestly hope Boca doesn’t make it, he’s been murdered on speed to often in the past games. He simply doesn’t have the legs anymore. Gonzalez and Cameron as a pairing is going to happen soon, and it will stick.

    Also wouldn’t be surprised to see Pontius make it as a midfielder. He’s got the speed and the skill the US needs on the wings to survive, and is of the finest goal scorers in MLS. Top it off with his laudable defensive work this year, he’s the complete package.

    • GW says:

      Mix hasn’t proved anything above the level of the Norwegian league, the 27th ranked league in Europe, which is arguably a lower or equivalent competitive level with MLS.

      • Josh D says:

        Mix has played twice for the full national team and twice provided magic with a goal and assist. Klejstan has done nothing of note for the national team in four years.

        For that backup to the benchwamer spot, you bring confident youth who makes things happen with no time left on the clock. Mix is one of our next big players. I just hope he doesn’t mess it up by going to MLS.

        • GW says:

          Mix did have two brief appearances that were characterized by a bit of magic from him and more than a little luck. And they were in friendlies while his much less impressive work with the Under 23’s was produced under competitive pressure where he seemed to wilt.

          I like Mix but any serious evaluation of him will be done on more than half an hour’s worth of magical appearances in friendlies and a couple of unimpressive Under 23 games.

          • louis z says:

            I like Mix’s game but he can not play with 2-3 days rest, he needs a full 5 days and also the support which he didn’t have after Agudelo got injured during the olys qualifiers.

        • Rs says:

          You hope he doesn’t mess it up by going to mls? He’s playing in the f’ing Norwegian league, not for Barcelona. This sounds like a casof eurosnob douchebaggery.

    • chris says:

      I would take that bet if JK wasnt the coach. Mix hasnt shown anything remotely close to what you describe. He failed to make it off the bench in Belgium playing for a weaker team while Sacha has performed for the top team in Belgium for a couple seasons. Mix is not this Xavi like player people portray him as. His technique is above average at best and his defense is a liability. Hes way too soft to compete in the midfield. Messi could muscle him off the ball. I would rather give Connor O’Brien a shot. Hes performed better in a better league (Denmark) and is only two years older than Mix

      • wilyboy says:

        Are we really saying that we judge players based on their center of gravity relative to Messi? Yikes.

        He’s a very gifted player, Klejstan didn’t do anything of note with the chances handed to him on the national team level. Since his hattrick against the Swedish B team, he’s been anonymous. Mix is clearly one of the finest young talents we have, regardless of the quality of his league. In fact, he probably only needs more time with the senior team to latch on somewhere better than Belgium.

        • chris says:

          No im saying Mixx is so weak Messi could push him up the field like a football sled. Mix will get ripped apart if he plays against competent midfielders. He might have shown well against a weak domestic Chile team, South Africa and a Russian B team in friendlies but WCQ is much different. In actual competition he was nonexistent against Canada and El Salvador

        • beachbum says:

          the most recent time into the USMNT mix Sacha didn’t suck. He’s improved a lot whether you can see it or not. Judging him solely on his USMNT form before his run at Anderlecht doesn’t make sense since he’s not that player anymore and his last stint with the nats weren’t as you describe as he was not anonymous even in limited minutes

          not taking anything away from Diskerud either, just from your analysis of Sacha

  11. Micah King says:

    I think Donovan is done.

  12. Micah King says:

    Also, no way Besler is beating out Bocanegra I do not care how old he is.

  13. 2tone says:

    I will add 4 names that will figure in as well. Bobby wood, Anthony Brooks, Seb Hines, and gyasi
    Zardes. That’s all. For the most part I agree with Ives except for Goodson. I dont see him making the squad. Oh and I also see pontius making the 23.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I hear Zardes is good, but the probability of a player who has yet to play a single professional minute making the US WC squad based off a single season’s worth of work is zero.

    • Hogatroge says:

      OK, maybe that’s harsh. Practically zero.

  14. Brett says:

    Ives – you listed AJ Soares as missing the cut for defenders twice now (which I love as it gives us Revs fans a small glimmer of hope) yet he wasn’t included in your potential January Camp call-ups – what gives?

    If he’s worth mentioning here, doesn’t he at least get a look come Camp Cupcake/this summer’s Gold Cup?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Just an oversight. Pretty sure I’ve mentioned Soares for the Janaury camp before.

      • Brett says:

        Appreciate the reply – even more so considering A) I’m sure you have a ton on your plate and B) it’s Christmas Eve. Just one of the countless reasons I enjoying coming to this site so much.

        Happy Holidays!

    • slimkid32 says:

      I was happy to see Soares included as well. He doesn’t get a whole lotta love, but I have been impressed everytime I have seen him. I absolutely feel he is a dark horse in the CB race.

  15. Anton says:

    Goodson is (I hope) off the team now, he makes Boca look like Vidic. I don’t see any way he makes it to 2014.

  16. Mark says:

    I think that 2014 is too soon for Gatt. He is a role player with a very limitted ability to read the game who played in a weak league. Having said that, he did well in the weak league, but certainly no better than Mix who can play several positions and fit into a team structure more easily – because of his superior knowledge of the game. I think that it is time that Josh moved to a harder league and be forced to learn more about the game. He has a bright future, but 2014 is way too soon for a guy who, by his own admission, didn’t even know how to shoot the ball properly three years ago. He has come a long way, and has a lot further to go.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I doubt you have much of a sample size to go off of, unless you have a habit of watching crappy streams of Tippeligaen games.

      I’m just curious if you can name any attacking USMNT players in recent history who absolutely impressed more against top competition in their first senior team cap than Gatt did.

      Bonus points if said player did so without spending time in the US youth team setup.

      • chris says:

        Gatt played for the U20’s

      • GW says:

        As you said, there isn’t much of a sample size for Gatt period.

        Gatt did okay in his debut but he is certainly no Landon, the man he is being looked at to help replace. At the same age Donovan was having a very impressive 2002 World Cup.

        The Norwegian league is very weak, ranked 27th in Europe. Molde did play in the Champion’s League and the Europa League but, playing in the qualifying rounds they never got to face anyone tougher than Stuttgart.

        Gatt may well break out, have a great Hex,become indispensable and transfer to Man. U., but if he doesn’t that’s okay as well.

  17. AMPhibian says:

    great article, ives. i was worried this morning when neither you or ToW dropped anything, that i’d have to resort to something drastic to get my soccer fix on christmas eve. thank you, for saving the world from “soccer by AMP”.

  18. 2tone says:

    Here is my projected 23:

    GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando
    Defense: Lichaj, Dolo, Fabian, Chandler, Brooks, Cam, Gonzo, Besler
    CM: Bradley, Jones, Williams
    AM: Lando, Zusi, Pontius, Gatt, Shea
    FWD: Deuce, Jozy, Boyd, Wood

  19. Beto says:

    Did sbi write this article before or after lichaj and guzan got steamrolled by chelsea?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Did you actually watch that game? Guzan was outstanding (as much as he could in the onslaught) and Lichaj was hardly the weak link in that defense. If anything things got worse when he came off.

      • Sonny says:

        Guzan had a great game. Very impressed with his intensity for the full 90 despite how terrible things looked.

    • AMPhibian says:

      i’m pretty sure, even if they did play poorly (they didn’t), it’s one game.

  20. Red Card says:

    Nick Rimando gives the option of being used as a substitute gk if the game goes to penalty kicks and we still have a sub left. TH won’t like it, but Nick is our best at defending pks.

  21. The only choice that I don’t see as credible is Clarence Goodson.

  22. GCScots says:

    Where is Matty Horth in this list? He should be a lock for Forwards. Dude killed it in the NASL this year for the Atlanta Silverbacks. He should already be in MLS, let alone the national team picture.

    • GW says:

      With Wynalda behind him, the sky’s the limit for Horth.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or not, but unless he signs in MLS and then leads the league in scoring, a current unknown is not gonna get a sniff of the national team in time for the 2014 Cup.

      • GW says:

        Would you call him up for the January camp? He is 23, just a bit older than Boyd, Jozy, Wooten, Bruin and about three years older than Juan and two years older than Gyasi Zardes.

        All these guys, except for Zardes, play in leagues rated more competitive than the NASL.

        Which of them would you leave out for him bearing in mind that this camp maybe a little “tighter” given the upcoming qualifier?

        If the Galaxy chose to sign Zardes, a college kid, instead of pursuing Horth then should I assume they thought Gyasi was a better player?

  23. Good Jeremy says:

    I still see Boca making it. He’s slow as lead but if we are talking about locker room guys and the best “team” instead of best players, Captain America the veteran of two world cups has to get a nod. He’s still getting regular calls from Klinsy and is proven in the air and in pressure situations.

    I don’t have an opinion on Party Boy not making the (projected) roster, but I find it astounding that Klinsy won’t even look Pontius’ way as Donovan threatens retirement and Dempsey moved inside.

  24. D-Real says:

    I realize the argument for our third keeper is really splitting hairs, but I just wish Dan Kennedy would get some consideration. I have nothing against Rimando, and I totally agree with the aforementioned insane ability he has to stop pks. I like Hamid and Johnson, the guys have huge raw talent and upside, but I think they’re both several years away from being the kind of well rounded keeper I’m used to seeing suiting up on the regular for the USMNT.

    To me, Kennedy was one of the only things keeping Chivas in a lot of their games last season, and I think if we’re going to take a keeper over 30, Rimando shouldn’t be the only guy on consideration. Rimando has the experience, sure, but it’s not going I kill us to give Kennedy and maybe Tally Hall a shout and see what they’re made of.

    • GW says:

      Is Kennedy a quantum leap better than Nicky?

      If not why change?

      • D-Real says:

        I honestly couldn’t tell you if one’s better than the other, I just think Kennedy did enough spectacular stuff last season to earn some consideration.

        And I’d change just to push the guys in the player pool at that position, which to me makes him a prime candidate for the January camp. I’d like to see if the guy can step up if/when he’s called on.

        • GW says:

          Right now Kennedy is no threat to Howard, Guzan or Nicky.

          Kennedy may well be as talented as any of them but Howard has light years more experience and he is an established team leader.

          With keepers those factors can matter more than they might with outfield players.

          The only guy who can threaten Howard and he is doing it, is Guzan. And that is a good thing for the USMNT.

          I doubt Nicky needs any pushing. JK has already taken care of threatening Nicky with his ongoing interest in Johnson and Hamid. In an emergency I, and more importantly, the USMNT starters would feel a lot better about Nicky going in rather than Kennedy who they would not know from a hole in the ground. It takes a while to get comfortable with a new keeper and vice versa and in the World Cup the third keeper won’t have the luxury of a break in period.

          So again unless Kennedy is a Bentley and Nicky is a 1988 Ford Escort, I wouldn’t switch them out.

          The only way Kennedy seriously gets into the picture is if he moves to a top league ( it won’t be the EPL since he would never get a permit) and becomes dominant.

        • GW says:

          Right now Kennedy is no threat to Howard, Guzan or Nicky.

          Kennedy may well be as talented as any of them but Howard has light years more experience and he is an established team leader.

          With keepers those factors can matter more than they might with outfield players.

          The only guy who can threaten Howard and he is doing it, is Guzan. And that is a good thing for the USMNT.

          I doubt Nicky needs any pushing. JK has already taken care of threatening Nicky with his ongoing interest in Johnson and Hamid. In an emergency I, and more importantly, the USMNT starters would feel a lot better about Nicky going in rather than Kennedy who they would not know from a hole in the ground. It takes a while to get comfortable with a new keeper and vice versa and in the World Cup the third keeper won’t have the luxury of a break in period.

          So again unless Kennedy is a Bentley and Nicky is a 1988 Ford Escort, I wouldn’t switch them out.

          The only way Kennedy seriously gets into the picture is if he moves to a top league ( it won’t be the EPL since he would never get a permit) and becomes dominant.

  25. Lost in Space says:

    While I think SBI has compiled a very credible 23 man roster…I like many others question Goodson’s inclusion. I may also be in the minority….but I don’t know if Dolo can keep things rolling at the level needed to remain in the 23. I could see both both Dolo & Goodson fall to the wayside for younger players (Brooks/Packwood & Castillo).
    Other than CB the midfield is where there are the greatest chance for someone to jump into the 23. Gatt, Kljestan, Mix, Bedoya, Shea, Corona, Gyau, and Pontious are all in the running for the 2 or 3 spots not locked in by (Bradley, Williams, Donovan, Jones, Dempsey). It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out and who can keep up the form needed to hold onto their spots.

  26. Dudester says:

    Have Besler or Brooks replace Goodson and add Parkhurst.He can play all across the backline.Thinking maybe Besler gets beat out by Brooks, both are on equal footing with zero caps one year out from the cup.Would like to see Zusi replaced by a true winger in Shea or Gyau put prob won’t happen, Klinsmann likes alot of cmids on his roster.

  27. Branden says:

    Kyle beckerman didn’t even make the misses out list. Is he that far out of the USMNT picture? Is it an age thing?

  28. Jeremy says:

    My 23-team selection:
    Howard, Guzan, Rimando

    Parkhurst, Cherundolo, Gonzalez, Goodson, Bocanegra, Cameron, Johnson, Castillo

    Bradley, Kljestan, Jones, Williams, Beckerman, Zusi, Pontius

    Donovan, Dempsey, Gomez, Boyd, Altidore

  29. packy says:

    Seems that several commenters agree, Pontius deserves a good look in at least some friendlies.

  30. Dudester says:

    In the pic above there are 4 mids, Jones Williams Torres Zusi not one is a true wide player.Sums up Klinsmanns approach

    • GW says:

      It would be more accurate to say the wide players currently available to the US are either too raw or not very good.

    • slimkid32 says:

      He prefers width come from his fullbacks and forwards and his midfield form a central triangle.

      • Kevin_H says:

        Which leads me to wonder how a 5-3-2 formation would pan out for the nat’s, with Johnson as the LWB and Chandler as the RWB.

        • GW says:

          3-5-2 or a 5-3-2 are hard for national teams to play if you don’t play it a lot.

          Arena famously shifted to it in the 2002 World Cup for the Mexico game but I believe they had done it earlier that year.

          You need really good wingbacks and a good centerback threesome. Fabian, Chandler, Dolo and domestically, this guy Sinisovic (sp?) would seem to be good candidates.

          I think sorting out your centerback trio would be the issue.

  31. leobriseno says:

    The only thing I see wrong is Brek Shea. I think he is a lock for 2014 im not sayin this cause I think he is great. I just see him as a Jurgen favorite but seeing how he broke down Mexico I wouldnt have any complaints.

    • Since 82 says:

      I find it hard to believe that Shea won’t be there either. He did take a step back last season, but I think he will have a strong rebound in 2013.

  32. Oranje Mike says:

    I’m really hoping that Feilhaber’s move to KC kick starts his USMNT career again. He was one of my favorites. Like Torres too and hope he makes his way back into the mix.

  33. Mike R says:

    No way he picks Omar over Boca. Despite Boca being much older, he’s just about as fast as Omar. I doubt Klinsi rates Omar as highly as Ives does.

  34. Dennis says:

    Age is a concern for several players: Dolo, Boca, Gomez, Goodson, Dempsey, Donavon, Jones Onweyu, of those 8, I suspect 3 or 4 will be injured on and off leading up to Brazil and probably suffering declining performance as a result. It is not so much that they will get a whole lot slower in 18 months, but the frequency of injuries and the increased time it takes to recover will have an effect on some of these guys.
    That definitely will make room for players not on the present radar.

    Also, I don’t get the lack of time Wondo has seen for the USMNT. No player has scored as consistently as he has in the MLS. None of the forwards Ives lists could score as consistently as Wondo when they played in MLS. Twellman had a similar lack of love from the USMNT, but he was injured frequently enough to chalk up some of that to “coming off injuries”. Wondo has played only 300 minutes over 8 games for the USMNT, the equivalent of 3.3 games, hardly enough time to claim a forward is not going to score. True he is not as physically imposing as Altidore or as fast as Johnson, but he consistently finds a way to score, something all the other forwards have struggled to do (Altidore is, it seems, finally changing that, but he is a long way from the 3 year tear that Wondo is on).

  35. baropbop says:

    By my count, not a single mention of Holden

  36. Good Jeremy says:

    Does Guzan take over for Howard by 2014? He doesn’t have as much raw athleticism but his positioning is great and he isn’t as gaff-prone as Howard.

  37. Brad C says:

    Before I split hairs over the players Jurgen picks I want to see some sort of identity and style of play from the USMNT. The players he picks depends on who executes his system the best as a team. We aren’t sneaking up on teams anymore with our counter but we aren’t quite technically skilled enough for possession.

  38. AMPhibian says:

    as we move forward this year, this is the team i would like to try and build some chemistry with:

    altidore-demps-johnson
    lando/?
    bradley
    jones
    fabjo-gonzo-cameron-dolo/chandler

    if lando isn’t available, we could bring boyd in up top and move demps down to the top of the triangle. honestly, i think the best thing we could do is get chandler ready to play on the right side of the midfield. i think boyd and besler both have the quality to beat out their respective spot holders: johnson and gonzo/cameron. i think boyd should be ahead of johnson, honestly, but i just love the way eddie and demps work together.

  39. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I think Brooks comes through at CB to partner with Cameron. I’d rather not see Goodson in the mix at all. At midfield, I’m not crazy about Kljestan and Williams needs to show improvement to cement his place. I’d rather see Deuce listed as a forward. I also think Pelosi makes the team. Hopefully Corona comes on strong to join the conversation at ACM. Up top, Boyd with Deuce underneath…I think Agudelo makes it over Gomez and EJ…I can’t put Jozy’s name down until he consistently gets something done while playing for the nats. I still think somebody new will emerge at forward.

  40. Pete says:

    GK- Howard, Guzan, Hamid (I think he takes Hamid for experience factor)
    D- Johnson, Lichaj, Chandler, Dolo, Gonzalez, Cameron, Brooks, Onyewu
    M- Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, Williams, Zusi, Donovon, Edu (he will be playing somewhere in ’14), Bedoya, Gatt
    F- Jozy, Boyd, Agudelo

  41. Bryan V says:

    At the Goal we easily know Howard is number 1 and Guzan is number 2 but who’s number 3? Rimando? Johnson? Hamid? Clark? Honestly it doesn’t even matter.

    Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Onyewu, are done in my opinion. They were all great but they aren’t getting younger. Do you really think they can handle 21-28 year young world class strikers? Cameron has be nothing but brillent so he’s looking like he will be our starter CB and Gonzalez maybe standing right next to him. So who will be backing them up? We all heard of Brooks, Hines who in my opinion have a great chance of making this team. What happen to Ream and John? People are still considering Goodson, but honestly I would rather have Whitbread over Goodson. Everyone is hyping this Beasler kid but to me he’s just another MLS player like Wondoloski.
    Chandler, Johnson are locked up so who’s there back up? What comes up to my mind is Lichaj, Castillo who are leading canidates. Parkhurst has grown devolping his game also Spector has never been forgotten but I doubt they’ll make the team over Lichaj and Castillo.

    I like Zusi more than the next guy but if it’s between him or Gatt I choose Gatt. If Donovan is done then we can add both Gatt and Zusi since they both play RM. Seems to me Dempsey will have one more go at it for the WC ’14 at LM so who’s going to be his back up? If Joe Gyau starts devoloping at LM with a 1st team in the Bundesliga he can easily be backing up Dempsey at LM. At the middle it’s Bradley, Jones, and Williams are locked up in my opinion so who’s the 4th one? Edu has fall off of the radar so has Torres. Seems to me Diskerud has a good chance to squeez in their or even Kljestan however, Jurgen isn’t too crazy about him. Holden could be that guy since he has been playing LCM his enitre career with Bolton but his injuries may have ended his days with the USMNT.

    At Striker clearly Altidore is our number 1 striker, Gomez has been doing well but can he continue to play at that performance for the next 2 years? Terrence Boyd seems to me like a great club player now he needs to transfer that the national side. We all heard of him Aron Johannsson he even had interest from Arsenal but will JK really call him up? Johnson, Agudelo, etc.. are looking like the 4th striker for the national team.

  42. Todd says:

    Hey I agree with most of this, seems like more questions than answers. I do think Boca and Dolo will be there for the Cup…starters unless somethings change. There is benfit to having them for back ups because of their experience and locker room presence. To me the real head scratcher is Jones…tireless work rate and very good technical ability and adds some real bite. Gets a lot of yellows and suspensions. He is a smart players doing the dirty work and seems to be all about the business.(He doesn’t seem to hard foul out of anger…it isn’t personal) The problem is that he gets caught a lot and misses a good number of games. In a tournament format that is a liability. Who else besides Bradley has Jones’ skill set.

  43. Al says:

    Keepers: Howard, Guzan, Hamid

    Defense: F. Johnson, Cameron, Gonzalez, Chandler, John, Besler, Lichaj, Castillo

    Midfield: Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Adu, Diskerud, Corona, Jones, Feilhaber

    Forward: Boyd, Agudelo, Gomez, Johnson