USMNT adds four to Gold Cup roster, including centerbacks Besler and Gonzalez

GonzalezBesler (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he would make some changes to his Gold Cup roster and on Wednesday night we learned that he made more changes to his roster than any other team left in the Gold Cup. More, in fact, than all other seven Gold Cup quarterfinalists combined..

Klinsmann has called in Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Alan Gordon and Eddie Johnson, who will replace Corey Ashe, Herculez Gomez, Oguchi Onyewu and Jack McInerney on the U.S. Gold Cup roster.

The decision to call in both first-team centerbacks might come as a bit of a surprise considering the U.S. only allowed two goals in three matches in the Gold Cup group stage, but Klinsmann has stated his desire to win the Gold Cup, and now he has a chance to do that as well as gain more games for his first-choice centerback pairing.

(UPDATE) U.S. Soccer has announced that Gonzalez will not join the U.S. until the semifinal round.

Johnson’s inclusion is no surprise either, as his versatility makes him a perfect fit for the knockout rounds. Gordon had also been considered a likely possibility.

Onyewu’s departure means he won’t have a chance to start in a third Gold Cup final, and sees him leave after playing just one of three group stage matches. It is believed he picked up a knock in his lone appearance.

Gomez made just one start for the U.S., and has now been sent home so he can prepare to adjust to his new move to Mexican side Club Tijuana.

Neither McInerney or Ashe saw any playing time during the group stage, leaving Bill Hamid as the lone remaining player on the original roster who has yet to play in the 2013 Gold Cup.

One three other Gold Cup quarterfinalists made changes to their rosters, and none added more than one player. Mexico replaced Darvin Chavez with Jose Maria Cardenas, Trinidad & Tobago replaced Khaleem Hyland with Columbus Crew midfielder Kevean George, and Honduras replaced Johnny Palacios with Erick Norales.

Overall thoughts on the call-ups? There were no major surprises in the mix, though I did think Graham Zusi would be someone Klinsmann would consider, but with Johnson called in, and with Besler already coming, you could see why Klinsmann wouldn’t want to call in two Sporting KC players, especially after both already missed a chunk of time for June’s World Cup qualifiers.

The U.S. will take on El Salvador on Sunday night in the Gold Cup quarterfinals.

What do you think of the changes? Surprised to see Klinsmann call in four new players? See the U.S. winning the Gold Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

127 Responses to USMNT adds four to Gold Cup roster, including centerbacks Besler and Gonzalez

  1. ex_sweeper says:

    As a Quakes fan, I’d be ticked off that both Wondo and Gordon are called up, except that Alan is suspended for yellow-card accumulation and can’t play next game anyway. Good for him – I hope he gets on the field!

    • Old School says:

      “As a Quakes fan, I’d be ticked off that both Wondo and Gordon are called up”

      Country > Club

      • Falsify says:

        Something that Timbers fans and San Jose fans apparently have trouble understanding.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        His club pays his salary, covers any medical expenses, and loses its investment if he can’t play for any reason. Club > Country. These are businesses—MLS and US soccer—not the army reserves.

        • EspinDOHla says:

          Well then you gotta blame MLS. They schedule games during our confederation’s championship tournament. They should at least take a couple of weeks off when this goes on.

          • slowleftarm says:

            Well they stopped during the HEX too. This is not a legit international tournament, it’s an unnecessary distraction with a bunch of B teams and having MLS stop for three more weeks to accomodate is not realistic or desirable.

        • CroCajun1003 says:

          In the last round of qualifiers Besler went from depth at CB to the #1 guy for the US. That did more for the club’s investment than a full MLS season ever could have done. Next summer, the USMNT will display the club’s investment in front of all of world soccer.

          Same thing happened for Zusi. Same thing happened for OG.

          International play turns good investments into great investments.

          Don’t pity the club.

          • froboy says:

            +1

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            No one is pitying the club. Whether losing a player to national team “duty” improves that player is not the issue. The issue is that it is the club’s decision to make how they want to try (risk) improving their investments.

            Certainly club level businesses benefit from national team level businesses in terms of bringing in fans, providing experience for players, etc. My point is to point out how ridiculous it is to say that country comes before club.

            “Don’t pity the country.”

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          The FIFA rules are the struck balance between your argument that the clubs have the business investment and the country argument that NTs should be able to play their chosen roster representing their country. Go too far with the wage slave arguments and it’s baseball or basketball where the best do not show up for the big tournaments, and the US will be Gold this Olympics but 8th that World finals, and meanwhile some player is on vacation between seasons….not actually playing.

          Injury is a general risk of sports and I think the pro clubs use it to double book the sporting/investment arguments. I’ve seen players stay with their clubs in various sports and get hurt too. They can also get back from country a player significantly sharpened technically and physically. Bolton is benefitting from Holden’s lengthy USMNT “rehab.”

          Coaches may want to control exactly how often players get called in, strike some balance, but if no one’s interested in your players that does not speak well of your roster. SJ could probably use its Fs but their problems this season pre-date Gordon and Wondo being in camp this week.

        • M.Rizza says:

          US Soccer pays its national players too, I am pretty sure they would cover medical expenses too, As for the investment, it is a cost-benefit thing. If your player is good enough to represent at the international level you are probably okay with trading a few games yearly for that level of talent

          • GW says:

            Gooch blew out his knee in World Cup qualifying..

            That injury effectively ruined his time at Milan. Then he plays in South Africa when he was half way fit and very likely set back his recovery. I remain unconvinced he has ever fully recovered..

            In a financial terms playing for the US cost Gooch a lot.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            USMNT pays players, but does not recompense the club for the salary it still pays. Long-term injury rehab is not taken on by national teams either.

            As for being happy just to have a high talent on the team: imagine you are fortunate enough to own a Ferrari; you gonna be happy every time the mayor demands to borrow it because you are just glad to have such a nice car? No, you would be annoyed—even if he does bring it back with a full tank of gas.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      I’m happy they’re both there. It’s more important they have the opportunity to help the nats.

    • Troy says:

      From my understanding getting called up for your club will not offset the match he has to miss. So when he returns to San Jose he will have to miss that match. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that is what I was told (though it could be wrong).

  2. Glenn says:

    pretty much as many of you predicted. News from El Tri?

  3. Ben says:

    I like it. Give the first choice CBs a run of meaningful knockout games to get more comfortable with the partnership. Also, the opportunity for Wire references has never been better now that Omar has been called in for a game in Baltimore. That’s a plus.

  4. 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

    So I guess Shea is not joining Stoke just yet? I think this is the biggest surprise..

    • Not really because Brek did great while he was on the pitch last game

      • Snaves says:

        Really good three touches of the ball.

        • Artie says:

          One goal on three touches–pretty good scoring rate…

          • Troy says:

            Does that really undo the debacle he was against Cuba. No harm no foul since we won pretty convincingly but man that was bad. I guess I could say the silver lining was he made himself available to send failure after failure (crosses) into the box.

            • GW says:

              Troy,

              Are you going to hold Shea’s Cuba performance against him going forward?

              Why?

              He was bad and has followed it up by doing better. Does that not matter?

              Maybe he should just not ever get another chance?

              • MN Footie says:

                I agree with this, but I’d also like to add that I would have liked to see Shea go back to Stoke, for no other reason than to give him the best shot he can to win a spot in the first team. It’s only good for the WC if Shea plays often, and finds his form, because he’s a player that could be unlike any other we have.

              • Increase says:

                Yes…. I am….

                He should get better?

              • Jose from the Bay says:

                Everyone has a bad day but over several years Shea has shown he is up/down. And mostly down. I love the guy when he is on, he is a force but overall he is more liability than asset. He still has time to get better, i think he will but that is work with the club, not the national team.

          • DGH says:

            He’s really lucky the goalie dove out of the way of that shot. I’m a fan of Shea, but that touch and shot were nervous and awful. Glad he got the first one out of the way though.

      • Brett says:

        LOL

      • Ben says:

        Shea also put in a dangerous cross as well. He didn’t have a lot of opportunity but did well with what he had.

      • Dennis says:

        Shea did what he does well, When that works, he looks good. The difficulty is that he has always had problems figuring out how to play when his strength and speed are not enough to carry the day. He must learn how to contribute when his preferred option of touching the ball left and our running defenders isn’t working (and he must make better crosses when it does). Until he expands his game, he will forever be the guy with promise who disappoints too often.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think Shea was enough a mixed bag to prompt JK to want to see more. The CR goal was nice but he was just kind of there the rest of his stint, and Cuba was awful. I actually think there is a Holdenesque argument that training him up and playing these games might be useful for fitness and form over the long term.

      I also think people were way overstating the meaning to all concerned of returning him to Stoke, who is in early pre-season and playing MLS friendlies. If you look at it from Hughes’ perspective, while it might be good for him to be gelling with the team, few likely play more than 45 at a stretch in these games, there is at least some cash nexus to these tours, and he might see more value in leaving him in our equivalent of the Euros — if he trains and plays and doesn’t get hurt — than dragging him around for a friendly tour.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I think you’re underestimating the importance of Stoke’s preseason. The MLS friendlies matter very little. I agree with you there. There is something to be said for being there day in day out with your teammates and allowing the new manager to see you. Hughes is seeing what all his guys have to offer him now and its an opportunity to make a good impression on the new manager. Its definitely not the end of the world for Shea at Stoke but it means he will be behind the 8ball when he finally does return. He will be playing catch up and that just makes his club situation even more difficult.

  5. Twomilerule says:

    Wondo has his target guy to run off of if JK wants to go 4-4-2 in Gordon.
    Besler & Gonzo need as much time together as possible before next summer. Besler offers good play out of the back and Gonzo is pretty stellar in the air.
    EJ has some speed with and without the ball. Can take defenders one on one. Can finish going forward but I don’t think he is a winger. Lacking on his ability to cross.

  6. Travis says:

    I dont get sending Gomez out unless he has picked up a knock. If you were going to send home two strikers, Will Bruin should have been the choice I would think

    • John says:

      It is due to some form of injury

      • Troy says:

        Im guessing they wanted Gordon and Bruin because of wanting that size in the formation against Tico’s (likely semi’s opponent) and El Salvador (if need be) because those teams are gonna pack it in on defense.

        I wonder if Jurgen is going to go full on attack with Besler and Gonzalez to control the back against counters. Maybe put Beckerman back there to help slow up counters and put a high octane attack with a next wave ready. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. I was surprised that Shea stayed with Johnson coming in.

        I thought Gomez left because he wanted to go deal with his contract situation first hand. Will be fun to see the formations they put out. I guess having Johnson and Shea helps if we play Mexico in the final cause I doubt we would have Gordon out there then to spray headers up front.

      • bryan says:

        injury is irrelevant. Xolos and USSF agreed before the Gold Cup that he would play the group stage and return to Xolos after that.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Gomez has been diminished by an injury. After a couple months of dragging him around with the USMNT waiting for him to turn the corner, it’s probably time for vacation and club rehab.

    • bryan says:

      it was already agreed upon with Xolos before the tourny he would go back after the group stage. according to i think Wahl.

  7. 2tone says:

    Pretty much what I expected. Though I would have liked to have seen Pontius brought in, but he may be to important for DC right now( the only player that is producing on a regular basis).

  8. KJ says:

    US Soccer’s facebook page just said it’s Zusi in, not Gonzalez.

    • bryan says:

      Vermes essentially said Zusi wasn’t getting the call. he was at the ESPY’s and was booked to fly out to meet up with KC afterwards. Zusi was never coming. but that is an interesting typo…or were they all lying?!

  9. Gary Page says:

    Don’t understand Gordon being called in. The other moves make sense and look okay. Pontius would be better than Gordon as would be Zusi. Wonder about Boyd since he didn’t play in qualifiers; he is another i would prefer over Gordon.

    • Jason says:

      Have you even seen Gordon play? Dang quakes hater. He’s a target man. He probably won’t play until late in matches and will play as a 9. Winning headers trying o feed Donovan late.

      • Gary Page says:

        I’m a Galaxy fan and there’s a good reason why they gave up on Gordon. He’s not that good. Wondo is good around the box, EJ has shown he’s good in the air and I think the team needs speed more than size up front.

  10. Left Wing says:

    Won’t it be interesting if Orozco gets minutes with Besler.

    • Old School says:

      He’s certainly earned the right to battle for that spot, if I had a say.

      Gonzalez may project a higher ceiling due to his physical tools, but he’s the weaker link of the Besler/Gonzalez pairing. He consistently has one “Oh s**t” moment each match that either gives up a goal or at least a goal scoring chance. These are purely the fault of his own positioning or lack of concentration/understanding.

      Orozco continues to look more comfortable and full of confidence with each cap (and is surprisingly good/is a nice threat on set pieces).

      On the ball/athleticism: Orozco > Gonzalez

      …but then again, I’ve never been a huge fan of Gonzalez, so take my assessment with a grain of salt.

      • ATX_Colin says:

        I agree, Besler and Orozco combo may lack a bit of bite but I sure would like to see how it could work.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        a couple questions for me are:

        How much slack do we give Gonzalez?
        - He has made far far too many major mistakes this season with club and country. We have allowed his inconsistency because of his high ceiling as a player but where do we draw the line? If there is another mistake in the semis do we drop him or give him yet another chance?

        Also, Has Orozco jumped Goodson on the depth chart?
        -Both have been solid but Orozco has been the more impressive of the 2 in my opinion. Will be interesting to see which one of them starts the quarters.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      I think CB competition is going to be fierce. A lot of people expect Omar and Besler to waltz in and start, but Orozco has been sharp, and Goodson is fighting for his life to stay in consideration. I would hope Besler would be a starter, but the other spot is going to be a dogfight…exactly what JK is striving for, cutthroat competition… this is going to be interesting.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I don’t think Gonzo would have been called in if he wasn’t going to start the semi final game (and finals bar another ‘moment’). I’m more interested in who will start the quarters with Besler. I’ve been impressed with Orozco..

        • chris thebassplayer says:

          I wouldn’t bet against Orozco right now. He looks intense and dialed in. Omar’s mental lapses gnaw at me, we need to see some improvement soon. The games against better competition are decided on a handful of plays…one mental lapse can send you packing.

  11. Old School says:

    “It is believed he (Onyewu) picked up a knock in his lone appearance.”

    i.e. Onyewu proved what many of us have been saying consistently for the past few years: His national career is unofficially over, and has been for quite some time.

    Even slower than before. Even less athletic than before. As bad service/ability on the ball as before.

    Respect his service. Wish him well, but I don’t want him suiting up again for the Nats.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      I’ve been possibly Onyewu’s staunchest supporter on here and I have to agree. Maybe with injuries and good run with a new club he could get back (I still haven’t fully let go), but it just doesn’t look like he has it anymore. Just before his injury he was our best defender but he has never really recovered from it. Looks like he has fallen to 6th/7th on our CB depth chart.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I felt like he was more like his old strong physical presence but as with Boca and Dolo who cares if you can’t deal with the speed and have the durability we need. It’s a running, athletic game.

    • GW says:

      There is a long club season ahead for most players in this pool. Plenty of time to get hurt, lose form or get tackled by Mullan.

      It is too early and there is no reason to give up on anyone, especially a center back.

      • beachbum says:

        +1

      • bryan says:

        i’m hoping Gooch find his form this season and has a healthy season. i hope Sporting want him back. i don’t see Málaga using the buy option and he likely wouldn’t get to play there anyway.

        would love to get a status update on his club situation.

    • bryan says:

      it hurts to agree with you. i love Gooch. this really bums me out.

    • Dennis says:

      Onyewu suffered a crippling injury before the last wc and has battled over 3 years to recover. He is better now than he was at the 2010 WC, better than in 2011 and better than in 2012. It is unknown if he will be quite as good in the future as he once was, but you have to admire his hard work and tenacity. I respect him and find it really hard to be negative about him even while admitting that the USMNT pool is now so much stronger than it was a few years ago that he may no longer fit in.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      Old School, I agree. I thought he was done a couple years ago. He hasn’t moved well for a long time. He’s had some shining moments in bunker D situations (Confed cup against Spain), and for those I’m thankful, but I’ve never been a fan of his open field play or decision making…he pretty much drove he nuts.

  12. Eric says:

    US Soccee has conflicting information. They show Zusi in and not Gonzo. That would seem to make more sense anyways.

  13. Jason says:

    US Soccer does indeed have Zusi inserted rather than Gonzo. It’s the Internet, so I don’t know what to believe.

  14. The Other Jeff says:

    Concacaf website says Omar not Zusi

  15. The Other Jeff says:

    For the curious, here are the changes made by other sides, from concacaf.com:
    HONDURAS
    IN: Erick Norales (DOB: 11-Feb-85; Pos.: Defender; Club: Marathon; Jersey No.: 24)
    OUT: Johnny Palacios (DOB: 20-Dec-86; Pos.: Defender; Club: Olimpia; Jersey No.: 4)

    MEXICO
    IN: Jose Maria Cardenas (DOB: 2-Apr-85; Pos.: Midfielder; Club: Morelia; Jersey No.: 24)
    OUT: Darvin Chavez (DOB: 21-Nov-89; Pos.: Midfielder; Club: Monterrey; Jersey No.: 5)

    TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
    IN: Kevan George (DOB: 30-Jan-90; Pos.: Midfielder; Club: Columbus Crew; Jersey No.: 27)
    OUT: Khaleem Hyland (DOB: 6-May-89; Pos.: Midfielder; Club: Racing Genk; Jersey No.: 8)

  16. Joamiq says:

    The four departures are fairly straightforward, though one wonders if Gooch just played his last national team game (unless he starts off very strong next season). That would be sad. I’m assuming Gomez’s spot on the 23 for ’14 is still secure.

    As for the arrivals, great to have Besler back; I hope it’s Zusi instead of Gonzalez, as Gonzo still needs to work on his mental errors; Gordon is basically a nonfactor; and I’m fine with EJ as a forward – I don’t like him as a left “winger”, because even though he can be dangerous, his lack of defensive awareness leaves his fullback with far too much to do, preventing him from getting forward – which really reduces the potential impact of Beasley, Fabian, and Castillo, whoever’s back there.

    • Jesse D says:

      I totally agree with you, on the arrivals and departures. You are right on. The only thing I’m not sure of is Gomez’s place on the 23 being a sure thing. He hasn’t shown for the US in quite awhile and there will be a lot of competition for those final few spots. We all thought that Brian Ching was going to South Africa, Gomez could be in the same situation.

  17. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Love the Gordo call up. Dominant presence in the box. A nightmare match up on crosses for most concacaf defenders…LD knows him well and Wondow probably can’t stop smiling….more good chemistry.

  18. Jesse D says:

    I really hope that Zusi is coming not Gonzo. I feel like between Orosco, Goodson and Besler we can find a descent center back set. Our weakness all tournament has been at winger. Right now we have a CDM (Torres) playing Left Wing and CAM (Corona) playing right wing. Neither has pace, flair or enough crossing ability to make opposing defenses worry.

    • Left Wing says:

      Bedoya as well no? He’s been playing CM for his club if I recall.

      All that CM at the wing stuff makes me wonder if we see Holden doing it in an A game at some point.

    • Bosingwa's Unibrow says:

      Corona has been delivering some tasty crosses thus far in this tournament. Zusi is a welcome addition if that’s the case, but I don’t mind having Corona on the RW, he’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. Agree that Omar isn’t a necessity but I’m a fan of getting Besler/Omar as many games together as possible.

    • Ben says:

      Torres and Corona both have skill to be dangerous out wide. Torres’s problem is he plays to slow and clearly is used to playing in the middle, notice how he always cuts inside instead of ever trying to beat a defender to the end line. Corona I think just needs to keep getting experience but is a good player.

  19. The Big O says:

    Guessing it’s about time Gooch called it a career.

  20. Mug says:

    Would like to see Landon deployed on the left. EJ and Wondo paired up top.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      I’m all for LD at left mid, but EJ and Wondow would have zero chemistry…I think it would be horrific.

  21. Ryan nanez says:

    I’ve finally figured it out. Living in LA jurgen probably has a soft spot for homeless looking people hence the constant call ups of Gordon and beckerman.

  22. DC Josh says:

    Someone explain to me the reasoning behind calling in Gordon and dropping Jack Mac. I don’t get it.

    -Jack Mac is a better player.
    -Jack Mac has more potential than Gordon.
    -Gordon is not good enough for this level.
    -Klinsmann doesn’t play with a target forward.
    -Jack Mac was “impressive” in training.

    This rule was a great addition in case players are injured during the group matches, but for me—the way Klinsmann used the rule—it interrupts the continuity and chemistry that the original squad had.

    • Lost in Space says:

      I have to disagree on the disrupt the continuity part of your comment. JK brought in the 2 “A” Team starting CB’s….who have played regularly with Beasley…and spent the previous month training with Parkhurst. This actually gives both DMB & Parkhurst players they are more familiar with.
      The Addition of Gordon (while I don’t agree with it) basically gives Wondo a partner that he’s very familiar with. Gordon inserted late in match where we need a goal….the chemistry developed at the club level between Wondo & Gordon could help.
      This team has been lacking speed….so in comes EJ. Again not a player I would have looked to add myself, but an understandable call up.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      Jack wasn’t going to be getting any minutes in the knockout rounds so they let him go back to his club so he can keep playing. He got his taste of national team training.

      If Gordon ever plays, it will be as that ‘Plan B’ option against a bunkering team. We have faced a lot of that this tournament and have struggled to break it down at times (early vs Cuba and entire game vs Costa Rica). A big body to disrupt things in the box would be helpful in those situations.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The premise is win now. Wondo, Gordon, etc. are recent callins who to JK may pose less risk. I agree that that may be a flawed premise because Jack may be superior, have more potential, and might even be more useful in an actual quali based on talent. But this roster was picked on pecking order and Gordon is obviously higher on that based on being part of the rotation. Wisdom of that is another issue.

  23. the original jb says:

    I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the roster changes. I guess I understand if JK wants to get Besler/Gonzales more important games, and this definitely means he’s sold on them as first choice. But, with the chemistry this group has attained I really wish he would have left them alone to finish the tournament. I feel like Goodson and Orozco looked very good and earned the right to play in the knockout rounds.

    • biff says:

      @the original jb: I share a bit of your concern. Bringing in new players has the potential to be very unfair to some members of this fantastic group of guys who have been providing us a thrill a minute. The chemistry is a real treat to behold. That said, my ultimate concern was that Klinsmann would bring in one or more wingers/midfielders, such as Zeus, which would be totally disruptive to the midfield. I am a big fan of Zeus, but I did not want to see him brought in for these next games. The current midfield has earned the honor of playing out this tournament.

      As for Besler and Gonzo, I am a little more open to that move. This will be great experience for them before WC 2014. They need tournament playing time more than Goodson. I will be unhappy if Orozco is sent to the bench. It is possible Klinsmann will try him at right back, which would be interesting to see.

      And with Herc going back (to his new) home, makes sense to bring in a an experienced striker. Pressure is now really on Wondow, who needs to calm down. He was wound way too tight against Costa Rica, trying way too hard.

      • Ben says:

        Wondo’s problem wasn’t that he was wound to tight it’s that he just doesn’t really have the skill to play at this level.

        Wondo is a pure poacher. He is good at getting into small spaces where balls can fall to his feet and he can score. However against better Concacaf teams they will do a better job marking him, playing with a higher line, and disrupting services from the midfield. To break down and score against a team playing a high line and pressing in the midfield the forwards needs to be able to receive and distribute service from the top of the box, Wondo does not have the touch to do this. In the first 20 minutes of the Cosarica game Wondo had 4 or five passes played to his feet at the top of the box and he either muffed the trap or was completely unable to link up with any other player.

      • the original jb says:

        biff,
        I guess my complaint was more philosophical really. The reality is that the world cup and qualifiers mean more, and if the players who give us the best chance to do well in those games need these games for experience, then its wise to play them.

        I do like the idea of giving Orozco a shot at RB, a position in flux. He has the tools to play there, and has played there quite a bit at the club level I believe. And sure, Goodson is a vet and can probably fill in at a moments notice whenever needed.

      • GW says:

        biff,

        “unfair” Fairness is often trumped by the need for positive results.

        “bring in more wingers/midfielders, would be totally disruptive …”

        Unlikely. Zusi is as good or better than any of the guys in question. It should be as disruptive as subbing someone out in a game.

        What makes you think you have a better handle on team chemistry than JK does?

        Zusi’s insertion would hardly have been “unfair”. Holden is still on rehab and is clearly wearing down. He may or may not get a second wind. That is positive from a fitness standpoint but he hasn’t exactly lit up the field the last two games. The others look a little tired as well. That is a lot of games in a short time, many of them hot and humid. Of course, Brazil may be like that as well.

        As for earning “the honor of playing out this tournament,” that is inaccurate. The guys who contributed the most to this tournament so far will stay.

  24. BrianK says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a pairing of Besler and Orozco at center back. Methinks they would have the right blend of athleticism and skill on the ball to be a strong pairing. Nevertheless,…its looking like Besler, Gonzales, Goodson and Orozco are our best options for Brazil.

    It would be nice to see the USA lift the Gold Cup and stretch the USMNT winning streak to 11 matches. Kudos to Klinsi! Things are coming into focus,…the team is building momentum and players are competing for spots on the team.

    • Lost in Space says:

      Agree with things coming into focus for the USNT. IMO we are close to the point where JK and his staff have finished experimenting with players and are now starting to narrow down the player pool for that final push towards the WC. I think that the friendly in Aug. will be the last truely experimental game until after the WC (excluding Camp Cup Cake).
      Primary (Core) Players – 14 – Will be called in whenever healthy
      Keepers: Howard, Guzan,
      Defense: Besler, Gonzalez, F. Johnson, Beasley, Chandler, Dolo,
      Midfield: Jones, Bradley, Zusi, Donovan
      Strikers: Dempsey, Jozy
      Alternates – 16 – Will be fillers around the core based on need & opponent
      Rimando, S. Johnson, Hamid, Evans, Goodson, Orozco, Castillo, Corona, Edu, Holden, Mixx, Torres, E. Johnson, Boyd, Gomez, Wondo
      Fringe – 7 – Players who will need exceptional club performances (and luck) to get a shot.
      Lichaj, Johannson, JAB, Agudelo, Bedoya, D. Williams, Morales
      Excited to see how this plays out as I think this is the deepest pool of players ever with a ligitimate shot at making the US WC Team.

      • biff says:

        @Lost in Space: I generally agree with your post so don’t get all sensitive on me. But I find it absolutely amazing that someone who obviously knows the game and loves the team would list Timothy Chandler on a list of 14 Primary (Core) Players and fail to mention Geoff Cameron. I am assuming you also feel Geoff is core member and simply forgot him. But, again, this fascination with Chandler boggles my mind. Timothy was a flop at the club level last year who by the end of the season was sitting on the bench. And for the USMNT he has played a grand total of two games during the past 20 months, yet some fans already have handed him a free ticket to WC 2014 in Brazil.

        My feeling is that just like any other player Timothy would have to prove he deserves to be on the team by some good performances and showing true committment, and he hasn’t shown either for nearly two years. But my bigger concern is something called chemistry, which we know is important to Jurgen after his comments indicating that Landon’s much needed lay-off had destroyed Donovan’s chemistry with the team. Does anyone on this board really think that Timothy Chandler’s presence on the team will help chemistry? Or is it possible that Timothy now would be poison in the locker room? I don’t know. I guess we will see in September, because we know that Timothy with his total commitment to the team will not miss two crucial WCQ games in September.

      • M. Bean says:

        No Cameron? I think his versatility brings a lot to this national team.

        • BrianK says:

          Agreed,… on Cameron. Thinking that Rimando, Cameron, Goodson, Orozco, Holden, Diskerud, Torres and Johnson are on the inside looking out now. Evans may be in this group because of his versatility.

          The following may be looking at “alternate” roles – Gomez, Wondo, Edu and Castillo will have to really impress the rest of the way to book their tickets.

  25. Trey says:

    With a more solid defense and the attacking already in place, I really like our chances of winning this thing.

  26. curva sud says:

    Move Orozco to RB maybe?

  27. Paul says:

    - It was reported Onyewu is out due to an undisclosed injury. Gomez had club commitments. It seems on the surface that neither dismissal was due to performance.
    - I sense Gordon’s inclusion is to force a change in defensive tactics from our opponents. Gordon will serve as more of a target man for distribution over the defensive wall.
    - Johnson subs in for Gomez. Good inclusion.
    - There is no guarantee in my eyes that Gonzales and Besler are starters in the GC knockout round. I think JK may be starting the evaluations for the CBs for the upcoming WCQs. He also may be looking for a place for Orozco, who has made a good impression.
    - With Shea staying, there really isn’t a need to bring in Zuzi, The team had a good core of MFs who have played well.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      I think its pretty much set in stone that Besler/Gonzo will start the Semi final and final game (assuming we get there and no Gonzo major gaffe). They need as much experience playing together in pressure situations as possible if we are looking to move forward with those two. More curious to see if Orozco has jumped Goodson and could start the quarters alongside Besler.

  28. David M says:

    I don’t like the very idea of making changes mid-way through the tournament. Why disrupt the team, especially the one that’s been successful? Why bring in first choice center backs if one of the objectives was to take a look at other players? It’s not like the likes of Belize and Cuba provided much of a test for the defense. Why not give some playing time to McInerney?

    • Steve says:

      I understand your position, but I think there is a larger picture at play.

      First, more games for the first team defense.

      Second, 2009 Gold Cup Final – Mexico v. USA, 5 – 0. That loss marked the beginning of a period of ascendancy for the Mexican national team and a period of disarray for the US national team.

      Mexico is in disarray right now, we need to be ruthless if we meet them in the final, as this tournament looks like it may be setting the tone for the rest of world cup qualifying (i.e See Costa Rica).

      • beachbum says:

        disarray, as in the US sent their A team to South Africa for the Confed Cup while Mexico sent it’s A team to the Gold Cup 2009? Disarray as in winning their group stage at the WC 2010?

        I get what you’re trying to say but it’s not quite accurate imo. I think we all know that Bob Bradley should not have been rehired for a second cycle…that’s when the ‘disarray’ began

    • GW says:

      David M.

      Others have made good cases for the changes, basically that they make this team better and give them a better shot at winning the Cup.

      The other thing is that this tournament is preparation for the World Cup. And in the World Cup teams often have to change their style depending on the opponents. JK is teaching this bunch how to deal with changes and still get the job done.

      JK wants to have as large a group of versatile, flexible, hungry players as he can possibly engineer. I don’t believe for a second that anyone on the USMNT roster is 100% guaranteed for Brazil at this date.

      Donovan? Can he keep this up? Dempsey? What if he sits all season at Spurs? Bradley? Same thing. And of course, any of them could get hurt. Unlikely, yes but still possible.

      As far as I’m concerned the center back pecking order could well be , in order, Besler, Orozco, Goodson, Gonzales at this point. Next thing you know JK will bring in Whitbread and Ream.

      • Fan Futbol says:

        David M. — I understand where you’re coming from. Klinsi doesn’t like anyone getting too comfortable in their spot, and right now we’ve got a pretty deep pool, so no one should rest easy.

        But…there is not one chance in a zillion that Dempsey & Bradley will not be on the team. Zero. Unless they get hurt.

        • Fan Futbol says:

          Sorry, I meant “GW” not “David M.”

        • GW says:

          I said it was unlikely but zero chance?

          JK is preparing for just that possibility. There is no such thing as zero chance.

          Clint and Mikey have been pretty durable for a long time.

          That just means they are probably due.

          Donovan was bullet proof before 2011 then he had a quad and a number of other injuries that took a lot out of him.
          I think they contributed to his wanting to take a hiatus.

          As for the increased competition at their clubs, we all know about Clint’s situation and Roma just bought a new box to box kind of guy, Who knows if De Rossi gets sold or not? I guess we’ll see.

  29. bryan says:

    ok, so i want to see this for the next game:

    ———-Wondo———-LD————
    Torres—-Mix—-Holden—-Corona
    Beas—-Besler—Orozco—-Parky
    —————–Rimando—————–

    i’d be comfortable with Beckerman and Goodson in there too. this is just what i would like to see.

  30. bryan says:

    Gooch, man, i really hope he can get some playing time this season and get back to the form that had Malaga want him on loan. he was looking good for Sporting and then gets sent to Malaga against his will and sits on the bench the entire season.

    Zusi was at the ESPY’s and has a ticket to meet up with KC according to Vermes, so I think USSF just made a typo. but we’ll see.

    Gomez/Xolos and USSF agreed prior to the Gold Cup that Gomez would come back to Xolos after the group stage. no surprise there.

  31. Bac says:

    Does Orozco have experience at right back? I have no idea if he can play outside back. I’m looking forward to Besler coming in, but you can’t discount Goodsons play last game either….

    • bryan says:

      yeah, he can play RB. i’d be great to see him there and Besler/Goodson at CB. but not sure JK will do that.

  32. brad says:

    this is the stupidest thing i ever heard. in the world cup, euro, copa america, or any other major international tournaments do you see rules saying you can add and remove players from your squad if you reach the knockout stage? how do you start a tournament with 18 or 23 so guys and just say sorry you guys are going to be replaced once the knockout stage starts. the players you start with are the players you end with

    • GW says:

      The replacement provision makes it easier on MLS teams.

      If MLS played the same season as the EPL then you would not have this.

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