By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team will gather in Miami on Sunday to start preparations for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras, and after a three-week January camp for MLS and Scandinavian-based players, we will finally see a full-strength U.S. team on display.
Just who will be on that team remains to be seen. Jurgen Klinsmann will announce his roster on Monday, and the team’s disappointing showing against Canada just might mean that fewer members of the January camp will be making the trip than expected.
Just how many January camp participants should we expected to see? Klinsmann’s projection of around eight still sounds likely, with some new faces doing well to stand out in camp.
So who is going to make the cut? Here is our projection for the 23-man roster Klinsmann will call on:
PROJECTED USMNT ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan
DEFENDERS- Geoff Cameron, Carlos Bocanegra, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Johnson, Tim Chandler, Brad Evans, Edgar Castillo
MIDFIELDERS- Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Josh Gatt, Benny Feilhaber
FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez, Terrence Boyd, Juan Agudelo
Steve Cherundolo is injured and slated to miss this match, which likely means Timmy Chandler starts. Brad Evans gets the nod here for his work as a right back, not as a central midfielder, which we saw against Canada isn’t really a great spot for him on the international level. Part of the reason for Evans’ inclusion is the fact that Michael Parkhurst has yet to play for his new Bundesliga team, Augsburg, so Klinsmann could decide Evans is more ready to play if needed.
We only include two goalkeepers in this group, but if Klinsmann brings three expect Sean Johnson to get the nod.
Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler both showed well in camp, and against Canada, but it’s tough to see Klinsmann bringing two inexperienced centerbacks to a tough road qualifier. We give the nod to Gonzalez, but it wouldn’t be totally shocking to see Besler join him.
Juan Agudelo makes the group as a potential change-of-pace off the bench. He’s the perfect type of player to bring on late to help shake things up (as we saw against Russia).
Benny Feilhaber gets the nod based on his strong form against Canada and his big-game experience. Klinsmann could also turn to young playmaker Joe Corona as well. As for Mix Diskerud? It doesn’t look like he’s in the, well, you know, mix.
As far as we can tell both Geoff Cameron and Fabian Johnson are good to go for the Honduras match. Both had been recently dealing with knocks. If Johnson can’t go, Klinsmann might have to call in Justin Morrow, or do what he should do, which is finally call in Eric Lichaj.
What do you think of the squad? Who would you add to the team? Who would you remove from this squad? Which area of the team are you most concerned about? Who are you most excited to see in action against Honduras?
Share your thoughts below.