SBI 23 for 2014 (February 2014 Edition)

USA goalkeeper Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

We are just three months away from Jurgen Klinsmann selecting his 23-man roster for the World Cup, and as much as the picture is a relatively clear one right now, plenty can change in the coming months.

Little has changed in the SBI projected U.S. World Cup roster from January, with just one new name cracking the 23 for 2014. What we do see this month is several new names on the radar. In total, we have four new faces in the second batch of names.

So which players made the cut in the latest SBI 23 for 2014? Here are this month’s selections:

PROJECTED USMNT WORLD CUP 2014 ROSTER (February 2014)

(Changes from January in bold, new additions to the Missed the Cut list are in bold italics)

GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

Outlook- No movement in this group, though things should change a month from now as the MLS contingent starts playing games.

Missed the cut- Sean Johnson, Bill  Hamid, Tally Hall

———————-

DEFENDERS- Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Evans, Michael Orozco

Outlook- Orozco replaces Parkhurst in the defender list as he continues to start and play well for Puebla. The balance of the defender group is a factor here, with Orozco being selected as a central defender, thus giving the group four central defenders and four fullbacks. Parkhurst will see his share of playing time as a central defender for the Columbus Crew, but it’s tough to see him as a viable centerback option on the international level.

Orozco is no lock to be the fourth central defender. Oguchi Onyewu and John Brooks could both make pushes for that spot now that they’re both back from injury. Tim Ream and Will Packwood are long shots, but but are starting regularly and stand a good chance of being called in for the March friendly against Ukraine.

Timmy Chandler stays on the radar despite the torn meniscus that will sideline him till April. He’s very much a long shot, but if he can regain his starting job right away at Nurnberg, and put in some strong performances, Chandler could earn a look in the pre-World Cup camp.

Missed the cut- Edgar Castillo,Michael Parkhurst, Oguchi Onyewu, John Brooks, Tim ReamWill Packwood, Eric Lichaj, Timmy Chandler.

———————–

MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones,  Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud

Outlook- He hasn’t quite broken through into the projected 23 yet, but Danny Williams is the midfielder who has made the biggest jump on the radar. His consistent play for Reading, and recent pair of goals, have him very much on the radar. He is very much a challenger to both Mix Diskerud and Kyle Beckerman for a central midfielder spot.

Two new names on the radar are Julian Green and Jonathan Spector. Green is not eligible for the USA yet, and must file a one-time switch in order to be eligible. Klinsmann could be tempted to give Green a place on the World Cup team in order to secure his national team services, but for now we’ll call that a long shot. Spector just returned from a four-month injury layoff, and will have a hard time closing ground on the other defensive midfield options. He doesn’t play fullback at Birmingham City so it’s tough to see Klinsmann looking at him for that spot either.

Missed the cut- Danny Williams, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Brad Davis, Maurice Edu, Joe Corona, Julian Green, Jonathan Spector.

———————–

FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd, Eddie Johnson

Outlook- It is a four-horse race for the fourth forward spot and we’ll give Johnson the slight edge for now, even though Agudelo has closed the gap with his string of starts for Dutch side FC Utrecht.

We have added Mike Magee as the fourth forward on the radar despite the fact he missed the South Korea friendly with food poisoning. If he starts the 2014 MLS season well, he should have another chance to make his first national team appearance in April against Mexico.

Missed the cut- Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Herculez Gomez, Mike Magee.

————

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 squad that you think should have?

Share your thoughts below.

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158 Responses to SBI 23 for 2014 (February 2014 Edition)

  1. THomas says:

    Win….

    ————————–Altidore——————————-
    -Bedoya———–Dempsey—————–Donovan-
    —————–Jones———–Bradley——————–
    -Johnson—–Gonzalez–Besler———Cameron–
    ———————-The One———————————

    • THomas says:

      If Julian Green progresses enough I’d love to move Dempsey out left to replace Bedoya and have Green supporting Jozy. Mix or Johannsson could probably accomplish that as well.

      • slowleftarm says:

        How about Green plays in a professional league match first before he’s handed a starting spot on the USMNT at the world cup?

          • THomas says:

            Think you missed my first word…’if’

            • Brian says:

              If I progress enough, enough I’d love to move Dempsey out left to replace Bedoya and have me supporting Jozy….

              I don’t think the previous poster missed your “if”, he was just stating it is a bit of a jump to make.

        • Darwin says:

          Green has scored 15 goals in 18 professional matches. The 3. Fußball-Liga is a professional league, and the highest level that a reserve team can achieve. Oh, and Gerd Müller is one of his coaches.

        • Darwin says:

          Though, I’m not saying that he has a spot on the USMNT.

        • beto says:

          +1000 im excited about him as much as anyone but lets be real here

        • Nate Dollars says:

          i like that you have to stipulate “league match”, given that he’s already played for bayern’s first team in the champions league.

          and, seeing as bayern will have the bundesliga sewn up fairly early, i think green will pretty easily have the all-important “professional league match” under his belt before the cup.

          and then you’ll have to find some other arbitrary reason for not calling him up.

          • Miley says:

            I also think Green will have his first professional league match before the WC but until then this argument is stupid.

          • slowleftarm says:

            Yes, I’m aware of his 2 minute appearance in a group stage match. Sorry, I just feel like a player needs to do a little more than that before he starts at the world cup.

            You’ve also forgotten that he hasn’t agreed to represent the US – I guess that’s just another “arbitrary” reason to you.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              nope, that’s a legitimate reason. see, by the rules, he can’t play for us in the world cup until he files a switch.

              arbitrary would be applying some meaningless target (“well, he’s not good enough to start for bayern, so he can’t be good enough to start for us!”), rather than, you know, bringing him in and seeing how well he plays.

      • Miley says:

        If Klinsmann is smart he’d let Green play wherever he wants.
        Maybe forward in the first half to score the goals and keeper in the second to protect the advantage?
        He should also let him coach at least one game and fly the plane to Brazil.

    • MC says:

      Besler is a left footed LCB. And he’s usually positioned left with Gonzalez at RCB on USMNT

    • Max says:

      Switch Bedoya for Zusi and Duece for Johannsson and I’m on board.

      • Dinho says:

        I should have read through the comments first before posting mine.

        Exactly my thoughts. You must be a smart man, Max.

    • JayAre says:

      I really want us to transition to an all out Attacking 4-3-3.

    • Dinho says:

      I think you switch Donovan and Bedoya and this is our starting XI (whether we like it or not).

      This also assumes that Bedoya has jumped ahead of Zusi in the pecking order. I could very easily see Zusi starting ahead of Bedoya.

      Personally, I’d rather see Johannsson in the “hole” behind Altidore and Dempsey off the bench (in current form). But, that’s not going to happen….

  2. Amru says:

    I really don’t believe Mix will be effective in the WC. We have yet to really see him take over a game, and I think he really struggles against tougher competition. I would rather have Kljestan

    • Lost in Space says:

      Mix is one of the guy’s that’ll be tossed on with 15-20 minutes to go in the match when we’re down a goal. He’s shown he can be a spark off the bench (Mexico, Russia, etc), but he’s not a player (yet) who’ll be a 90 minute player with the “A” squad.
      Kljestan, while he plays great with his club, hasn’t been able to replicate that with the national team in years. We’ll see how he does in March, but another poor performance will keep him out of the final 23.

      • John says:

        It always seems like Kljestan is held to this different standard then everyone else, as if he’s suppose to come in and score goals. How many goals are Jones or Beckerman scoring? I can’t think of a performance as bad as Jones in Costa Rica and how many chances does he get.

        • ATX_Colin says:

          But when Jones is on he provides qusality that Sasha could never provide. Simply but Jones best is far better then Sashas.

        • Dennis says:

          Yes, that is right, but it is hard to forgive that mustache.

        • GW says:

          John says:
          “It always seems like Kljestan is held to this different standard then everyone else, as if he’s suppose to come in and score goals. “

          Sacha is not being held to a different standard.

          He is not as good as MBtfc who plays where Sacha would probably best be used.

          If Mikey disappeared Sacha would be much better off. He’d probably get used more frequently and eventually do better. Sacha seems to be the kind of player who needs a routine more than others and therefore is not comfortable in jack of all trades master of none role.

          If he can’t master the utility guy role he won’t make it to Brazil.

    • user222 says:

      right on Mix… wrong on Sasha…

      sasha turned out to be another Gavin… at the international level against prime opponents he’s always lost, contributes little except for one or two passes here and there.

    • biff says:

      @Amru: Speaking as a fan of Mix, I also have grave doubts that he can contribute in Brazil. My vote for Mix’s slot is Joe Corona, assuming he can come back from his injury and play regularly for Tijuana.

    • Josh D says:

      Because Kljestan has bossed a US game? Maybe against Sweden’s C squad, but I’d take a dynamic, confident, technical Mix who’s always looking for the forward ball than safe, play sideways Kljestan who lost his starting role.

      Mix needs to move this summer. He’s too good to languish in Norway. I think Germany would be a good spot for him: still physical, but more technical than England, and faster than Italy and Spain.

      • Amru says:

        Kljestan has been given what, one opportunity to play in the middle in the past two years and that was against Belgium. He also seems to have won his starting job back and looked good the past two weeks. Mix has failed to impress against some very week opposition.

    • Micronesia Justin says:

      Yes reminds me of JF Torres 4 years ago…

  3. Lost in Space says:

    IMO the Keepers are locked in, barring injuries.
    Defense: Still holding out hope that either Lichaj or Chandler move into one of the Winger options.
    Midfield: Would take D. Williams over Beckerman, but closer than I would have thought it would be. I’m not writing off Edu for a late push either.
    Stiker: I don’t see EJ & Boyd both making the squad, as they are both Jozy’s backups (I don’t like EJ out wide). I would much rather see either Agudelo go or Green for their potential as impact subs.
    Overall a decient squad….If they play to their full potential they should have a shot at advancement.

    • Neruda says:

      EJ does one thing better than the rest of the forwards here and that is head the ball towards goal on set pieces. He’s big and strong and has good hops for it. With the ball at his feet he’s just ok but his ability in the air is not to be discounted by JK. I’m not an ej fan but I’m trying to predict what Klinsi would be thinking.

    • White Kix says:

      I Agree about the Forwards. I think EJ has that position, and Boyd is trying to steal it. The fourth spot is being battled for by the list of hopefuls. Boyd and EJ might both go, but I think EJ is the third, and Boyd is the player who will not being going to the World Cup. Especially since the only thing he has ever done for the nats was a hopeful flick in front of the goal that fell to Orozco. Other than that all he can do is give the ball away. EJ is a beast in the air. When we need a late goal, and start swing in cross after cross, he is our best hope.

      • Francois says:

        And his assist to Aron in Panama. 2 assists in 12 appearances isn’t too bad when you consider he’s been mainly a sub. EJ is horrible, other than being fast and heading the ball, Boyd and Juan can both head the ball and use their technical skills to set up others. EJ can’t compete, he’s not a complete enough player.

    • Josh D says:

      As a DC fan, EJ’s plane ticket is based on how well Olsen gets the team playing. If EJ has two goals on the season come May, Klinsi won’t take him if Agudelo is still scoring.

      Boyd is Jozy’s backup. Agudelo is competing for a spot with EJ: both are quick; both can play out wide.

      I also see Dempsey losing his position in the hole. I think Aron and Jozy end up starting come June, with Dempsey acting as a super sub.

    • Dennis says:

      Eight years ago, EJ had a great run in WC qualifiers. He was a good player then and he is the same good player now, not the much improved version people had hoped for. That said, he is still very capable of scoring goals and in the games I’ve seen, he seems to have a better sense of what is expected of him by his teammates than Boyd does. I think you cannot rule out Wondo and Magee, but I do not think either will start.

  4. iggy says:

    agree with pretty much everything here, though I think the last 2 forward spots should be up for grabs, between Boyd, Agudelo, Wondo, Herc, Magee.

    Put it this way, if we are down a goal with 10 mins to play I would 100% choose to throw Wondo in over Boyd, but I can also get how for a full tourney and the future boyd may be a better pick. Tough choices at forward.

    • Dave says:

      Up top is clearly the hardest group to project. This list could look a lot different just 4-5 weeks from now.

  5. James says:

    Surprised to see Spector as a midfielder here. I always thought he was a fullback?

    • Benjamin C. says:

      If he makes the squad, he would be one of the last guys named i.e. on the bubble and likely wouldn’t see much PT, if any, except in case of an emergency. The reason he would make it is because he can probably play five different spots effectively, though not expertly: all four backline positions and defensive midfielder.

    • arsenal says:

      The guy is a great midfield player, and showed in when given the chance during his time at West Ham. I believe he had a hat trick and went on a scoring streak until he was injured. He was a striker in his earlier days.

  6. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

    I think its more likely we bring only 3 strikers given the versatility of Donovan and Dempsey. That would allow Klinsmann to bring along a player like Shea as a wildcard.

    • Fair Observer says:

      not a bad idea, Shea over Boyd is a good choice. Boyd is soooooo immature as a player, Shea is just a goofball but he can do more good for the team than Boyd becuase he understands the team1st mentality

  7. The Imperative Voice says:

    GK has shaken out to form. Best 3.

    Defense, I’d take FJ as a utility player (LM also) and leave Goodson home, as he is glacial and while in theory a composed Old Hand he is actually a Gift (to the other team). I don’t quite know who to take instead because Ream and Brooks both share his traits, Ream is glacial and Brooks in his limited time allow goals. I still think if they don’t get the defense sorted we’re poorly prepared for Brazil with our draw.

    Midfield, like GK, has kind of shaken out to who has played well and who hasn’t. Not a Bedoya fan but he seemed to have a rapport with his teammates which is a valuable thing for a marginal player to offer.

    Forward, I think Jozy. Boyd, and EJ are similar players and I’d consider leaving the mercurial EJ out in favor of Agudelo, Wondo, or Herc, someone either more technical or harder working.

  8. reepicheep says:

    Is Terrence Boyd really a lock to make the roster? He played a total of 78 minutes for the US last year, and is yet to score a goal for the national team. I’d say the only strikers who have booked their tickets are Jozy and Johannsson. EJ, Boyd, Agudelo and Wondo are in a four-way battle for the remaining striker spot(s).

    • DanO says:

      EJ’s heading ability cannot be underestimated. I’d put him slightly ahead of Boyd and Boyd on par with Agudelo at this point.

      • quozzel says:

        Plus EJ has paid his dues for the team…and chipped in a bunch of big goals, in big games, at needful times.

        As a coach myself…coaches remember that stuff. Unless he punches a baby in the face or tears an ACL prior to the World Cup, Eddie Johnson almost certainly has a spot on the plane.

    • SBI TroII says:

      Agudelo > Boyd

    • Joe+G says:

      Lock? No. But he’ll be in consideration.

  9. Don the Jewler says:

    What does it really say when guys who play regularly in the Championship, Ream Lichaj, Packwood or Brooks who started on a bundesliga 2 team that was promoted will miss the cut and MLS guys will make it.

    Is it because they have not been vetted by Jurgen? If that’s the case then why would Jurgen entertain Julian Green?

    Or is it that each player will be judged individually regardless of league.

    • John says:

      Klinsmann might start an MLS midfielder over someone who played in the Premier league at right back all season. What would that say?…..yeah i have no idea either

    • Don the Jewler says:

      Ok I know Packwood does not play regularly, but now that he has recovered from a year long injury, he has begun to play every match and is getting rave reviews.

    • CoMo says:

      Yea, kinda see your point here, as for Ream and definitely Lichaj they have both been given their chance(s) in the past. Lichaj had plenty of chances under Bradley and Ream came on strong but dwindled off and hasn’t seen the USMNT in quite awhile.
      I am with you though that playing day in and day out with EPL/Championship caliber squads says a whole lot on a resume. Maybe its my old school train of thought that the MLS is or was not the best place for players to develop. I will say that my way of thinking is definitely starting to change in light of everything the MLS is doing, has done and so on.

      I was always glad to give the benefit of the doubt to those who applied their trade in other countries regardless: Eddie Lewis, McBride, Reyna (even though I hated him) Ernie Stewart, Berhalter, Cherundulo, Sanneh, Boca, Convey, Holden, DeMerit and I am sure their are others. Very few of these started and spent a majority of their careers in the MLS, they trained day after day with top level talent and I feel as if for each one of them it translated well to the USMNT.

      Like I said, the gap is closing and it is becoming more difficult but I still believe that when it comes down to it that someone like Tim Ream should get the advantage over a Yedlin, Beltran, or any other outside back no matter how great their play is against MLS opponents.

    • BB says:

      It says that MLS is better than second division European leagues. Or, you know, that it’s not necessarily strictly individual talent that determines what league a player plays in.

      Or maybe Michael Bradley got a lot worse the minute he signed the TFC contract. Who knows.

  10. Chicago Josh says:

    Edgar Castillo needs to be on this list. Yes, his defending is shaky, but he the best US player in the pool at beating someone with the ball at his feet.

    • biff says:

      +1, concerning his technical skills. Among the best in the USMNT player pool. But still too early to give him a ticket to Brazil. Let’s see if he keeps playing 90 per game. Would like to see him at the Ukraine game.

      • arsenal says:

        I have to agree with you on this. The guy has great technical ability, and I would love to see him in the Ukraine game. Him and FJ on the left side would be nice to see, as long as FJ is the LB.

  11. biff says:

    Concerning the backline, I watched Puebla a couple of weeks ago and Orozco looked very good, excellent pin-point passing and self-assured and calm on the ball. Exactly what Klinsmann wants. He played on the right side of a three-man backline, sort of mixture of full-back and central defender. I hope Klinsmann calls him up for the Ukraine game. If he keeps starting for Puebla, with his versatility and great scoring ability on set plays he will be a lock for the WC 2014 roster.

    I will be surprised to see Brad Evans on the plane to Brazil. I think he will be replaced with either Castillo or Parkhurst, possibly Ream or Lichaj.

    Apparently Timothy Chandler’s replacement at right back for Nurnberg, 20-year-old Swiss international Martin Angha is doing well. Nurnberg is winning without Chandler, who might come back from injury to find himself out of a starting job. It should be remembered that Chandler, despite all the hype of having played solidly for a string of — count ‘em, folks — two whole games after the winter break, had for the previous 18 months been mostly bad. Cameron and F. Johnson are both better fullbacks and no way is Klinsmann going to risk potential Chandler bad chemistry in Brazil. Chandler’s chance to atone for his lack of commitment during the WC 2014 cycle will begin in August, when he will have a clean slate for the WC 2018 cycle.

  12. biff says:

    As for midfielders, Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, and Mix Diskerud are all highly speculative at this point. Of the three, Beckerman probably has the best chance of going to Brazil. Am hoping that Joe Corona can come back from his injury and rise back to his Gold Cup 2013 form. An in-form Corona could be a big help in Brazil. Ditto with Daniel Williams, who on his good days can be as good as Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones on their off days.

    Wouldn’t Mike Magee be considered an attacking midfielder, like Donovan and Dempsey?

    • Dinho says:

      Disagree that Bedoya is speculative. I think he has a ticket, as he can play ion both wings (and our wing options are VERY limited)

  13. automata says:

    Boyd still has not scored a goal as a U.S. Senior player. Great upside for sure, but I’m okay with Altidore and Johannsson being our youth contingent at Forward in the WC. I would prefer bringing EJ as a late game sub, given he’s scored big goals for us in the past year and he’s great in the air, or even Wondo if in dire need of a goal when throwing everyone forward in front of the goal. Given LD & Dempsey’s versatility, I’d like to see the WC Forward pool as Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, Johannsson, Johnson…..and maybe Wondoloski.

  14. Fair Observer says:

    If it were up to me (which it’s not… haha) I’d bring:

    Gks: those top 3 are pretty much locked barring injury.

    Defenders:
    Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, John Brooks, and finally Chandler/Lichaj (depending on current momentum come June).

    Ideally I’d actually pick one out of the Brooks/Chandler/Lichaj group and bring another mid or fwd but I feel JK will bring 8 defenders.

    Mids:
    Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Mix Diskerud, Kyle Beckerman/Williams (depending on form come June), and Brek Shea.

    Beckerman will be the safer bet but Williams is the choice when looking towards the future WCs. when looking at the mids, there are no leftys, Brek brings that to the table and the element of super-sub more than any other mid. while he may fall flat on his face, he also may score a game changing goal. no other player has the style he does, for better or worse. Bedoya, to me, is a good player but not quite the speed to play vs the top international players, plus he plays on the right, we need a true lefty on the squad (sorry brad davis, you are not gonna make it…)

    FWDs:

    Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Eddie Johnson/Juan Agudelo/ JulianGreen (choice of 2)

    IMHO Boyd is talented but young, selfish and immature. give him another 4 years to understand the national team is about selfless play, not trying to make a name for yourself. too many times ive seen him act selfishly when getting subbed in the 85′ or later. I understand he wants to “show off” but showing off is not for the NT. showing off is for when you’re a young talent on a club team and you get put in late, THEN you play a little selfishly to show the coach what you can do. when you’re on a NT, your skill should be known already; you should do whatever helps the team. he takes too many pointless shots instead of helping the team find the extra pass to get a goal( evidence is on TV, you can clearly see his teammates frustratingly yelling at him after wild shots in most matches he’s played in). If Green decides to play for the US i believe you give HIM the young “experience” role to season him. If Green chooses Ze Germans, Johnson and Agudelo get the go. EJ is a great choice for sub (headers, speed, creativity) and Agudelo has the most upside for all of the US strikers, yet he is HUMBLE and a STUDENT of the game (neither can be said for Boyd).

    The mouth watering thing to think about is the ’18 WC…. potentially some form of

    Chandler, Brooks, Gonzales, F Johnson

    Bradley, Mix, Zusi, Green, Flores, Benji

    Boyd/Jozy/Agudelo/Johansson

    thats a strong backline; possession, talent and creativity in the middle; flair, speed and strength up front….. but mostly all young players….. can’t wait!

    • Fair Observer says:

      oh yea, i forgot D Williams in the mid for WC ’18 potentil line up,

    • DanO says:

      Take a look back at Ives’ original prediction for 2014 after the 2010 WC. A lot is gonna change in 4 years…

    • John says:

      Yeah that pass Boyd made to Johannsson against Panama was pretty selfish. You’re really just talking about the Germany friendly but trying to make it sound like it’s been a bunch of times.

      • Fair Observer says:

        he mad a pass to Aron… you’re right, it wasnt like he created the goal tho…. Aron did. Aron picked his spot and made the goal out of nothing, giving him a simple pass 40 yards out doesnt show anything. im talking about the number of 30 yard shots Boyd has taken in the games he played. listen, i a pro-boyd, i just think he has more to learn. He does play well here or there but you can just tell that he’s thinking “i gotta show the world im better than everyone!” haha. ive watched his vienna games, he does the same thing there. He can pass and does but he has an itchy trigger finger. just not the composed striker a team needs. willingness to shoot is a needed trait but in boyd’s case he just does it too much internationally, which is most likely because as a person he thinks he has to prove something when he gets subbed in past the 85′. ive watched every USMNT game for the past SEVERAL years. ive seen all of boyd’s games. im not hating on him, just sayin how he plays, he’s got all the talent in the world but needs a little more growth. Agudelo is still young to but you can see the desire to work with his team when he plays rather than the desire to be a hot young star. its all subtle stuff tho. we’re all “couch coaching” here anyways.. haha

        • Fair Observer says:

          link to youtube.com

          just sayin bro…… his teamates see it too. boyd’s selfish

          • John says:

            Yes like I said you’re taking that one time and making it out like its every match. Sure Boyd had a little something extra he wanted to prove against Germany.

          • John says:

            If Clint wanted to get mad at someone get mad at Bradley and Jones for just watching Germany pass in circles around them.

            • Fair Observer says:

              hmmmm US beat Germany that day, what’s to be mad at about the defense/mids?…. secondly please refer to my later comments below where i cite actual evidence backing up my point. the germany game, the austria game and the scotland game. actually plays that boyd is selfish on……. i beieve there are some moments in the belgium game as well, i will let you know, haha. to boyd’s credit, he had a nice heel flick to Orozco to beat german. again, im a fan of boyd i just think pertaining to this WC, he needs time to mature. dont act like im hanging Boyd up for his sins….. #TEAMBOYD haha

    • Fair Observer says:

      and i forgot about Yedlin, man!

      chandler, brooks, gonzo, yedlin

      Zusi, bradley, Mix, FJ, flores, benji, green

      boyd jozy agudelo AJ……

      talent!

  15. biff says:

    At this point, the only lock for forward is Jozy Altidore. Johannsson probably would be second on the depth chart, but let’s not forget that up to this point he has not yet proved himself on the international stage. I still see him as a big risk and a potential dud in Brazil. Eddie Johnson and Herc Gomez both have proved themselves internationally. Not saying that they now should be rated higher than Bacon, especially Herc who apparently is now showing well at Tijuana. But Eddie and Herc have both been there and done that, whereas Bacon has not yet done stuff. And to a certain extend, you could say Wondow has finally shown what he can do in the international game.

    And Terrence Boyd, I will be surprised to see him Brazil. Just don’t see it. Would anyone here in a late-game must score situation in order to move beyond the group stage truly want to see Boyd entering the game over either Eddie, Wondow, or Magee? I shudder just thinking about it, can just see Boyd either losing his temper or being too exuberant running around all crazy and getting a red card.

    Juan Agudelo for Brazil? No thanks. His time will come in WC 2018.

    • Fair Observer says:

      i obviously agree with you on Boyd, he plays like a spoiled prince ready to take his spot on a throne that he doesnt deserve yet. (like a young Thor, hahaha)

      Bacon, however, has proved himself. scores more than the others (EJ, Boyd, agudelo), in a better league. scored internationally with a great strike vs panama (opponent aside it was a great, quick, poised strike). and he works well with Jozy in a 4-4-2, not to mention as a sub for Jozy in a 4231 he has the speed to get in on goal late in the game. Bacon is clearly going to Brazil.

      • John says:

        Who brought down the ball and found Johannsson to then set up that “great, quick, poised strike”?

        • Fair Observer says:

          bro, im not saying Boyd DOESN’T pass, im just saying over all he is a hair away from understanding the team 1st mentality. I want boyd to do well for USMNT, im just calling it how it is….. you cant glorify Boyd for making a pass to an open man….. seriously your point is Boyd isnt selfish because he made one pass? L…..O…..L………

        • Fair Observer says:

          USMNT vs Austria Nov 19th 2013 71′ — Boyd receives pass top of box with two teamates open near him, he turns opposite way and shoots to row Z….

          other options would have been to lay off for man directly behind him, or thru ball to other ST waiting on sides

          link to youtube.com

          pause the highlight at 4:39 and tell me the best decision is to spin and shoot immediately….. seriously…………….

          • John says:

            Neither teammate is any more open then he is because they are all standing on top of each other.

            • Fair Observer says:

              Boyd’s optoins:
              A) layoff a simple 2ft slow back pass, essentially teeing up a shot for the man 4 ft in front (behind) him

              B) possess ball by facing goal and hitting other ST with a thru ball

              C) turn away from teamates (selfish) and unleash a spinning off balance shot into row Z……

              the best option will always be to get the ball to a player facing the goal already, which are both of his teamates, once Boyd turns around he’s still marked and thus should have either given it up before turning, or turned and played his other ST, how can you really not see this?…

              • BB says:

                Option A would leave him and the defender covering him in front of the shot.

                Option B presumes the defender would let him turn and possess the ball, and that the other striker wouldn’t wander offside.

                Option C got him a clean shot from the edge of the 18. Yeah, he didn’t get it on target, and that’s an issue, but the issue isn’t that he’s selfish.

            • Fair Observer says:

              sorry BB, you’re blind. in A) a one touch pass would have allowed EJ to take a simple step left and shoot at the goal. the defender would have been behind Boyd thus still leaving the space.

              in B) theres on defender on Boyd leaving the other ST unmarked, if boyd turns to his left, the striker would simply have to stay even with boyd as he plays a light thru ball to other ST for an open shot.

              C) well you see what C got….

              actually WATCH the replay, pause it to process it and notice the options again. when there’s one defender marking 3 attackers there’s always a better option than C)

              • Fair Observer says:

                all boyd has to do right when he receives the ball is pass it to his right to either player at the top of the circle for an open shot. couldnt be more obvious

        • Fair Observer says:

          link to youtube.com

          USMNT vs Scotland 92′ (3:49 mark)

          watch Aron play a pass to Boyd at the top of box then Aron makes a run by him expecting a flick back to him, instead, Boyd take a couple touches trying to get away from 3 defenders and takes yet another spinning shot……
          these are examples of a player trying to show off for the coach in garbage time. however, a simple pass to the open man was the best option. you can see his team frustrated again……

          should i keep going john?…..

          again im a fan of boyd, he has great talent, but he’s a selfish player for the NT…. give him some time to mature and he’ll be great.

          • John says:

            You could do this to any player if you wanted to. At 3:20 Johannsson has Wondo alone at the far post but Aron never even picks up his head just takes his man on and has a shot.

            • Fair Observer says:

              silly john, the difference is Aron had a good shot at goal that swerved wide by about a foot. Boyd’s occasions were plays where he wasnt facing goal, overlooked any option to pass and visibly tried to beat more than one defender and took a wild shot where he was still marked. please understand the game before you try to comment.

              im not saying all players should choose to make every pass but knowing when you’re marked and not in a postion to shoot is what he needs to learn. if you get the ball with your back to goal, look for options, dont just turn and shoot. if you get the ball facing the goal in the flow of the game, you have the option to pass, which arguably aron could have done. he decided to take a shot and narrowly missed. again, boyd’s mishaps were all when he definitively chose to not look for an open man and tried to create something for himself, hence the selfish title. its all very simple my friend

              • John says:

                In the clip against Austria all 3 players are standing on top of each other. None are in any space to give Boyd an option. I’m not even that big of Boyd supporter I just don’t see him as any more selfish then other strikers like Johannsson. It’s kind of there job to create space and have a go from time to time.

              • John says:

                Lets just say he is selfish then how much is it to do with Boyd as a player and how much is it because the only chances he is getting is the last couple minutes of friendly matches. I think you’d have to look at him at Rapid to really answer that.

              • Fair Observer says:

                the reason he gets garbage time is because he’s the third/fourth best striker for USMNT (not including dempsey and donovan as a ST here). Jozy has more goals, Aron has more skill currently and plays team ball, EJ has more experience and scored more goals. one day, Boyd will surpass most of these if not all but right now he’s where he desreves to be, a backup gaining experience. He’s not that much worse than the others but he still needs some maturing. Jozy went through the same thing when he was 16 play for RBNY, he had to go to europe, get put through the ringer and develop his passing, vision, and selflessness etc. patience. Boyd, Jozy, Aron, Agudelo and even Green would make an amazing talent pool for ’18. thats undeniable. by then all will have more experience together and have chemistry with the rest of the team. Boyd isnt far from a breakout USMNT year, just not the best choice for this WC with others more ready to make an impact now (EJ, Aron, Wondo –he’s older and mature but maybe not more talented thus id rather have him in brazil than boyd)

              • Fair Observer says:

                and btw john, in the austria clip, yes all 3 US players are near each other but in freezing the frame, boyd gets ball with back to the goal and a defender on his back, the player in front of him (relative to him) would be in a better position to shoot, if boyd had simple rolled the ball towards him teeing him for a shot, thats better than a spinning shot with a defender on your back right? that’s just simple soccer. usually anything is better than a spinning shot when there’s an unmarked teammate (or two) near you. his options were to play a 2 yd pass teeing up a shot for teammate or to turn and face goal, pulling his defender closer to him and playing a through ball for the other ST to his (would be) left. at that moment he received the ball there were only 3 austrian defenders, one on boyd, one not marking anyone on the austrian right side, and one marking another midfielder making a run in on the austiran left, the two us players i reffered to were unmarked, thus in a better position than boyd’s spinning shot…… simple buddy. any player would watch that bit of film and agree

              • Fair Observer says:

                “Lets just say he is selfish then how much is it to do with Boyd as a player and how much is it because the only chances he is getting is the last couple minutes of friendly matches.”

                thats exactly my point, Boyd plays like he’s thinking “wtf, coach, u should be starting me! and here’s why– watch me do this!!!” thats the selfish immature mentality i speak of. he’s getting garbage time until he learns to value EVEN the garbage time he gets. when he shows he can play garbage time correctly his coach will reward him with more valuable minutes…… you proved my point for me, john, thanks

              • John says:

                If the shot doesn’t serve wide then the keeper saves it. It was a poor decision and you can tell by Jozy and Wondo’s reaction they weren’t happy about it. It’s like Johannsson can do no wrong to some people though.

              • John says:

                At 1:26 in the Austria match is shooting from 30 yards out really Johannsson’s best option when he could have spent Bedoya free on the wing? I don’t even want to turn this against Aron, my point is striker create for themselves and have a go. I don’t hold it against Aron or Boyd.

              • Fair Observer says:

                silly john…. “If the shot doesn’t serve wide then the keeper saves it” FALSE, he’s facing the goal when he receives ball (1st difference from Boyd’s shot), he has a good angle and takes a shot that CLEARLY has the GK beat and barely curves wide, you are blind if you think the GK would get that.

                secondly, “At 1:26 in the Austria match is shooting from 30 yards out really Johannsson’s best option when he could have spent Bedoya free on the wing?” Aron is again facing the goal already with space to move, he dribbles by one player and has an open shot at goal that is ON TARGET (differeing from Boyd’s sky rocket). your logic is way off, both these shots by Aron are good shots in the flow of the game. Boyd’s were shots where he was already being defended, received the ball with his back to goal and selfishly had to try too hard to turn and shoot. Im seriously laughing that you can’t see the difference in a good open shot and a spinning selfish shot. God bless you sir….. i wish you the best in the future. Boyd is not a complete, mature player yet.

                not to mention, Aron has a goal for the USMNT from outside the box, Boyd has zero goals for USMNT………. Aron takes shots when he’s facing the goal and has a clear path, Boyd tries to take 2 defenders in my examples while not even facing the goal…. definition of bad shots…. plain and simple, BRO…..

          • biff says:

            @Fair Observer: That is a great example of why Boyd should not be gifted a ticket to Brazil. And there was the Italy friendly when he came in late and ran around like a mixture between a chicken with his head cut off and a bull in China shop. And who can forget the stupid shot he took against Germany, when Clint had to give Terrence a talkin’ to…

            link to youtube.com

            Boyd is a loose cannon and a red card waiting to happen who is not needed in Brazil. Like other younger players, he has the chance to improve his game and develop and fight for and show commitment for a spot in WC 2018.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              they give red cards for “stupid shots” now?

              honestly, why do you think boyd’s “a red card waiting to happen”?

              • Fair Observer says:

                yea he’s not really a red card waiting to happen, he’s just immature in terms of team play

              • biff says:

                They do give red cards for head-butts, and Terrence was given one for a head- butt in December.

              • away goals says:

                Remember how poorly he reacted to getting punched in the face in the olympics?

                Guy is v immature and can’t control his temper at all.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                +1 to away goals.

                biff, just because someone’s gotten a red card doesn’t mean they’re now a red card waiting to happen.

                if you recall jozy’s last game at hull city (god help us all), he was sent off for a head-butt. jozy’s never been “a red card waiting to happen”.

                i haven’t caught much of boyd’s club games, so i really wasn’t sure what you were referring to.

  16. CoMo says:

    Also I still don’t get why everyone is so hard for Omar. In the long term he has never done anything for me on the MNT to get me to say “yea Omar is without a doubt the man” For me, and I don’t watch many LAGalaxy matches, he just doesn’t stand out as the type of player who’s position is untouchable by others in or around the squad. Matt Besler in the short time he has been with the MNT, IMO has come in and laid claim to the starting CB role for the US for many years to come. He seems way ahead of Omar in soccer intelligence, he can pick out 30-40yds passes on the ground, is a humble work horse and seems to have fallen in favor with JK as well.

    Anyone else with me on this Omar thing or am I really that off?? I cannot wait to see Ream play this coming spring however two left footed CBs will never happen, but Ream possessed that calmness and real understanding of wanting to keep the ball that JK likes. Also always been a fan of Goodson though I am not sure his recent run of play has helped his cause much……..

    • Fair Observer says:

      i dont think Gonzo is the savior at CB but he pairs well with Besler. yes Besler has the higher soccer IQ, so to speak, but Gonzo’s aerial ability is better than besler (somewhat naturally, he’s taller). besler will cut out a pass while gonzo will win a physical duel more often. they make a great pair. next cycle, besler will be 31, while gonzo will be 29, id say brooks and gonzo makes a better pair for ’18 than besler brooks. but who really knows…. but i also think goodson is a good player, maybe just doesnt have the strength, he’s like a taller besler, smart player that positions well.

    • Dinho says:

      As a LA Galaxy fan, I actually agree with you. Omar is serviceable, but certainly not as technical or “soccer smart” as Besler. To be honest, Omar scares the hell out of me (and not in a good way). For me, he is certainly not irreplaceable.

      Who replaces him at this point? That is the problem/question. Goodson is like for like, and does not offer anything different to Omar. Brooks has not been consistently healthy to make any showing to challenge Omar. Gooch is a shadow of his former self. And, Cameron needs to be at right back (unless/until Lichaj, Dolo or Chandler are healthy and can play there). Evans is not the answer at RB.

      I believe that Ream is competing with Besler and Orozco for a spot. JK likes to have at least one tall/ball-winner type as a CB and these guys are not in competition for that role.

    • Weston John says:

      Omar is a beast. LA Galaxy with Gonzo and LA Galaxy without Gonzo are two very different teams. Remember in 2012 when Omar was out because of the ACL? The Galaxy were terrible in the beginning and when Omar comes back, they dominated and won the MLS Cup. That was no coincidence. He has made some mental mistakes here and there with the USMNT, but overall, I definitely want him in the starting XI.

  17. colinATX2 says:

    So Ives since Felihaber is missing from your list, klinsmann isn’t rating him?

    • rainORshine says:

      benny deserves to mentioned… he is easily better than diskerud at this point

      WC 2010
      with benny on field: 4 scored; 1 conceded
      without benny : 1 scored; 4 conceded

      2013 MLS champ

      what, exactly, is diskerud’s body of work? not really doing anything special in norway? couple of nice sub apps over the last 3 years for USMNT?

      his sudden promotion over guys who are far more accomplished is a farce

      • GW says:

        You don’t know Benny very well do you?

        He and Mix are the same player at this point, very talented but there is no guarantee who would show up in Brazil or how long they would play before disappearing.

        Neither of them really deserves to go but Mix probably has a better shot.

        • rainORshine says:

          i do know benny… and i agree that neither deserve to go. just pointing out that his body of work, up through 2013, is superior to diskerud… and he deserves to be in the conversation

  18. Chris2 says:

    3rd Keeper should be Magee.

    • Don the Jewler says:

      If he is listed as a keeper he can only play Keeper.. I think teams have tried that before

      • Dennis says:

        I suspect JK will have a pre WC camp with about 30 players. He will decide based on their performance there which will be the final 23. I also suspect that none of the players people think of as starters will be at risk of not making the squad (barring injury). (So Jozy, Aron, MB, Jones, Dempsey, Donavon, Besler, Gonzales, Cameron, Beasley, FJ, Zusi,probably Goodson and the keepers are in.) Most of the players people here are arguing for will be in the 30. If I had to guess, it would be the 23 Ives named plus Magee, Wondo, Ream, Feilhaber, Kljestan, Williams, and Castillo maybe Shea. Which actually go to Brazil will be determined by their performance in the next 3 months and the camp.

  19. franzhistory says:

    I think Omar is one brain slip away from costing the US the opportunity to move ahead in the WC. If you watched him against South Korea and how he had to make choices with his feet he was not very strong. He is tall and strong and wins balls in the air but his mental lapses are horrible. If he starts for the US in the WC we have issues.

    • BB says:

      That’s what defense is about, mistakes usually end up in the back of the net. On the other hand, distribution mistakes usually give you a chance to recover, whereas losing a header on a corner, for example, is a free shot on goal. I’d rather pick defenders, center-backs especially, on their ability to prevent goals rather than their ability to set them up.

      Also, IMO, Omar was the best defender on the field against Korea. Had a fantastic sliding cut-out of a cross after Evans gave the ball away about 30 yards from goal, in particular.

      • GW says:

        “I’d rather pick defenders, center-backs especially, on their ability to prevent goals rather than their ability to set them up.”

        Then they better be 100% guaranteed lock down defenders, something Gonzo is not. No US player is.

        Your choice means you want the USMNT playing the way Bradley did.
        And JK has just spent two years having this team playing in a different way.

        The US should play the way they play best, taking the initiative and attacking not waiting to be attacked.

        I’ve heard all this crap about how the qualifiers are easier. That may or may not be true but it would be a mistake for the USMNT to go into these games scared, like you and most USMNT fans are.

        There is no reason for the US to make the mistake of giving too much respect to their death group buddies. If they play their very best they could well get through the group.

        Besides, this could be the last World Cup for most of these guys so there is no reason to hold anything back.

  20. al says:

    What if someone on here is really Klinsmann posting his random thoughts

    • Ali Dia says:

      I’m pretty sure he’s the one usually setting off fires about Freddy Adu and Wondolowski to see what happens.

  21. chris says:

    Id take Agudelo over Boyd. Juan is a lot more versatile. He can play up top, in the hole and outside if need be

  22. Kyle says:

    I’m leaving one of the centerbacks home because Geoff can play there and bringing another midfielder or creative forward/wing like Shea or Agudelo. 8 defenders seems like a waste, I’m much more in favor of aggressive bench options because I don’t see us running away with any of the games and having people on the bench who are capable of coming in and providing a spark might end up being crucial. For me, a “spark” almost always implies either pace or next level creativity. For example, Zusi for Bedoya is not a spark because Zusi brings pretty similar qualities to the position, but Shea or Agudelo for Bedoya brings more pace and power in Shea’s case and more individual “beat my man” ability in Agudelo. When legs are tired after 75 minutes, I like seeing pace and creativity brought on to test the legs and minds of weary defenders.

  23. Cabrito says:

    Is Dempsey really considered a “lock”?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yes

    • BB says:

      Yes. Klinsmann picked him as captain. And before anyone says “But Bocanegra…”, Klinsmann inherited Bocanegra as captain, he chose Dempsey. Not to mention he’s clearly a better striker than Altidore (maybe) and Johannson (very maybe).

    • Dave says:

      I’m with Cabrito here, a little. Dempsey is going to go but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him getting splinters in his backside.

  24. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    Prediction: Edu over Beckerman, Agudelo bumps Boyd. It’s gonna happen.

  25. rainORshine says:

    drop:
    - evans
    - beckerman
    - diskerud
    - boyd
    - EJ

    add:
    - chandler
    - williams
    - kljestan
    - edu
    - agudelo

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Agudelo hasnt done enough to trump what EJ did in the WCQ’s. 1 goal in Holland. Lets not get carried away here.

      • rainORshine says:

        EJ had every opportunity to be an impact player for this program… but it never happened. he turns 30 in march and is clearly not one of the 2 best striker options (jozy, johannsson). EJ is a joke on a wing

        agudelo is 21 y/o and starts in holland

        in 2013 agudelo had almost identical prduction in MLS (9 goals, 3 assists) as EJ (11 goals, 2 assists) in about 400 fewer minutes

        not bringing agudelo to brazil would be a massively short-sighted move. agudelo already more dangerous player than EJ and is just getting started

        time to turn the page on EJ

  26. Advocate says:

    Dempsey should have been a lock, but certainly isn’t one as of now. He was out of form when he returned to MLS. He was still out of form when he recently played with Fulham. Sure, If he can get it back together he’ll go and he’ll start against Ghana. But if he continues to play the way he has been playing these many months, I don’t think he even gets on the plane. As matters now stand, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Magee playing against Ghana where Dempsey used to be.

    • Fair Observer says:

      Player A- 0 Int’l caps…..
      – 29 years old

      Player B- second on all-time USMNT goal scoring list behind Landon Donovan
      – averaged 5.67 goals per year THE PAST 3 YEARS internationally (33 games, 17 goals, 0.52 goals per game)
      – Captain of USMNT
      – 30 years old

      which player do you take to Brazil?….. I’d find it hard to argue for Magee going to Brazil AND Clint not going at all. please realize how irrational this sounds….. just sayin

      • Fair Observer says:

        to put it differently, Clint’s current form (or lack thereof) makes for the argument that he should maybe not start, but leaving him off the roster completely? especially for a player with no caps? that’s irrational. you’d be better off saying to bring Agudelo or Wondo than Magee…. sure magee may be talented but you dont leave the captain off the roster all together…..

        • Advocate says:

          I get your point about Magee. It’s not very persuasive to argue in favor of a guy with no caps at 29 years of age. Again, if that’s all the information I had, my suggestion would indeed seem foolish. But I saw him play with the Galaxy and with Donovan for a couple of years before he had his breakout season with Chicago. In my opinion, he should have been capped long ago. And if Dempsey can’t perform in Brazil, I think Magee would be better suited than anyone else to fill the attacking-midfielder gap Dempsey will leave in our attack.

          • GW says:

            Advocate,

            Here’s the argument for Dempsey.
            1. 2011 5 goals for the US
            2. 2012 6 goals for the US
            3. 2013 6 goals for the US
            4. Played well for the US in two World Cups and this would be his third.
            5. Clint is a highly experienced international used to the competition at the highest levels.

            Magee:

            1. No caps
            2. No significant international experience
            3. Not demonstrably more talented than Dempsey in any particular way.

            You could argue that Magee has been red hot for his club in the latter half of 2013 while Clint has been in a slump.

            I would then argue that the Altidore corollary tells us that club success is no guarantee of international success.

            I would have no problem giving Magee Johannsson’s presumed spot on the team but not Dempsey’s, unless Demspey continues to play like crap for the Sounders and then shows up for the WC camp looking awful. Then cut him.

            In fact I think JK should list three forwards Jozy, Landon and Clint and three center halves Cameron, Besler and Orozco.

            That way he would have room for the plethora of talented but incomplete and flawed midfielders.

            • Fair Observer says:

              your dempsey/magee comparision is funy and spot on bro. “no caps, no experience, not more talented” haha exactly right. as for not bringing Aron, meh… not sure thats the best. Aron clearly as the natural talent you look for, he is fast, plays team ball and can score as good as the rest. I believe he was thrown in this year and expected to be the best ever already when he’s needed this past year to gain chemistry. you could easily see his first few games he was still reading his teamates. Jozy played best with him because they both played the AZ style but JK oftern subbed Aron in for Jozy, the few times they were paired they did well, then Boyd would come in and ruin it all. haha. But Aron will turn into a great player for US, he’s only played with the team since August 2013….. let him build chemistry before judging him. only fair right? , he’s already scored a goal and he’s usually a sub. patience, my friends, patience

              • GW says:

                Mr. Observer,

                “Jozy played best with him because they both played the AZ style but JK oftern subbed Aron in for Jozy, the few times they were paired they did well, then Boyd would come in and ruin it all. haha. But Aron will turn into a great player for US, he’s only played with the team since August 2013….. let him build chemistry before judging him. only fair right? , he’s already scored a goal and he’s usually a sub. patience, my friends, patience”

                If you believe in patience, then why rush AJ by throwing him into the pressure cooker of the DEATH GROUP?

                Aron is extremely promising but when I read the comments on him y’all speak as if he is a lock to succeed in Brazil and that is not the case. The World Cup is a completely different animal from the Eredivisie. AJ and Jozy have not had time to build up a partnership yet and Jozy , barring some unforeseen circumstance will start up top for the US in Brazil. We don’t know what kind of partnership he will have with Jozy. They barely played together at AZ and that was a very long time ago.

                Yes AJ has one USMNT goal, a goal AJ himself said he scored after the Panamanians had given up and had stopped playing. That‘s like putting the ball in the net after the offside whistle and having it count. AJ said he could not believe it but hey he will take it.

                And then there is the old reliable double standard. For AJ’s US fans a goal by AJ in Holland is worth more than a goal by Jozy in Holland.

                When Jozy did his thing in Holland, what we all heard was they don’t play defense there and Jozy will have trouble translating to a tougher league.

                When AJ does pretty much the same thing, the word is AJ is a lock for Brazil. One wonders what the word would have been if Jozy had followed AJ at AZ.

                I would not be surprised to see him left behind but AJ will probably go to Brazil.

                What would make it interesting is suppose Green, in the next two months, breaks into Bayern’s first team? Suppose he goes on a tear in the BL and the Champion’s league? What if he suddenly becomes Bayern’s version of Januzaj?

                How will you feel about dropping AJ for Green then?

                AJ agrees with me. He is not taking his place in the USMNT for granted and is planning on punishing every defender around for the next three months.

      • Advocate says:

        Very persuasive — if that’s all the information you have. The choice would be clear. No argument. But suppose, in addition, that you know your Player B has a broken leg? Who, then, would you take to Brazil? Or perhaps he is just too sick to play or, for some other reason, isn’t able to play remotely as well as he has as recently as a year ago? And maybe, based on current condition and form, there are a couple of dozen other guys who, right now, are playing a lot better than he is. There are only 23 slots. If you bring Player B, who is no longer playing very well, based on nothing more than his glorious history, who do you leave behind? And how do you benefit the team by doing so? Don’t get me wrong. I like Dempsey and I really, really, really hope he gets his act together and shows that he can make the kind of contribution he has made in the past. If he can regain his historical quality, he would surely be no lower than the third or fourth guy on the plane. But, in my view, that seems less likely with each passing day.

        • Fair Observer says:

          fair enough, BUT i chose not too look at his entire history and focus more on his recent history. he’s had 5< goals each year in just the past 3 for the NT. which is during his strech of being out of form at the club level. but when it comes to the USMNT he has continued his good play. I do think its his last WC (more of a reason to give him a spot on the plane, simple respect) but the fact that he's scored in every other game over just the last 3 years for the NT shows me that regardless of his club form (good for Fulham a few years ago, decent for Tottenham but pushed out of lineup, and not great for SEA after coming in mid season, and a pretty bad Fulham loan again) he has still played well for the US team, he has chemistry with his teamates (Jozy, Landon, EJ, Bradley, even Zusi) so why penalize him for shaky club form when on the international level he plays well. That's my main point. his NT form has NOT dipped. facts are facts right. yes he's not great club level currently but, again, he has chemistry with the NT core and plays well.

          I do think people thought he would elevate himself the past couple of years (he was approaching 30 so not really realistic) but he's at the very least held his par in the last 3 years– 10 games 5 goals, 9 games 6 goals, 14 games 6 goals. a slight dip numbers wise in that final year but he's still scoring internationally and was captain within the last year. to me, he's gotta be on the plane in the least. Im a believer he'd be better coming off the bench in the 55-65' range.

          • Fair Observer says:

            excuse me, my numbers were backwards:
            2011 14 games 5 goals
            2012 9 games 6 goals
            2013 10 games 6 goals

            before that he had no more than 4 goals in a year for NT. see what i mean? his NT form has gotten better since 2010 WC (8 games 2 goals that year). people read too much into his club form. his chemistry with the other NT players is strong. theres no justification for him not even going to Brazil. there’s no player that would justly replace him, NO PLAYER. Yes, maybe he doesnt start but this man is going to brazil.

            again, i believe Wondo has a better chance of making it than magee but even wondo would never REPLACE dempsey on the roster

          • Advocate says:

            At least in the upcoming game against Mexico, Dempsey will have a chance to show whether your faith in him is justified. I hope he does. And if he does, he’ll be on the plane. But I think you are very much mistaken to believe that sentiment will — or should — play any role in Klinsmann’s decision. The fact that Dempsey has served as captain, that he ranks high among all-time US goal scorers, that this will likely be “his last WC” or “simple respect” are all irrelevant. Klinsmann must — and surely will — set such considerations aside and focus entirely upon what Dempsey (and everyone else) can and likely will bring to the team in June and July if selected. If Klinsmann believes that Dempsey, on apparent current condition and form, and considering his experience and chemistry with other players, is among the best attacking options he has, then Dempsey will be on the plane. If Klinsmann believes that there are now better alternatives than Dempsey, he won’t be on the plane.

          • Advocate says:

            GW and Fair Observer — I get your point. And there’s certainly strength to your arguments. But I continue to be very troubled by the nosedive in Dempsey’s performance and have to believe Klinsmann is too. I also have read that Klinsmann was favorably impressed by Magee during the January camp. From his time with the Galaxy, it’s clear that he has a very accurate shot and a talent for being in the right place at the right time. He’s also a team player, which is why he deferred to Keane and Donovan while in LA and then did so well in Chicago. It’s too bad he was sick and couldn’t play against Korea. But I expect Klinsmann to give him another shot. And if he does as well as I expect (perhaps “hope”), he’ll be on the plane. No use in debating it further. We’ll see in the not-too-distant future. In any event, thanks for an entertaining debate.

            • GW says:

              Mr. Advocate,

              Magee could get there.

              I have yet to see a USMNT World Cup roster that was not affected by an unexpected injury late in the process.

              This is the most competitive situation for places on the final 23 I’ve ever seen. I expect all of the 30-40 players who are in contention to keep pushing even after the 23 are named as there are provisions for injury alternates.

              That is how Gregg Berhalter got on the 2006 World Cup squad when Cory Gibbs broke down after he made the final 23.

              The roster Ives put out is, as they say, more of a guideline.

              I want AJ in Brazil because it would make a politically good statement to dual nationals ; getting their pound of flesh, their 30 pieces of silver, for stabbing their country in the back..

              However, I want Magee and Wondo in Brazil because I like what both players might do for the US. For a run of three to seven games I think those two would be on fire and surprise a lot of people.

              Unfortunately, Magee and Wondo would be direct replacements for Donovan and Dempsey so I don’t see that happening

              But you could hope for a major injury to one of those two

              What I really would like is for FIFA to expand the WC roster limit to 28 and all of this would be academic.

              But you never know.

              • Advocate says:

                I can’t believe that any USMNT supporter would “hope for a major injury” to either Donovan or Dempsey. I’m sorry that my remarks could have been misconstrued to suggest otherwise. For me, we have two indispensable players — Donovan and Bradley. (Indispensable in the sense that the team is quite noticeably weaker without either or both). It is also a better team with an in-form Dempsey — but not so much. I’ve mentioned Magee, not because I’m such a fan of his that I would wish ill for others, but because if Dempsey can’t do the job (as increasingly seems likely), Magee is a reasonable if not superior replacement in terms vision, skill and team-oriented temperament. I’m not so much a fan of Wondo, although I must admit that Donovan tends to make him look good when they are on the field together. And that’s what you’re talking about, isn’t it. In any event, the question of including Magee is not simply an either/or with Dempsey. While I’m sure many will disagree, I wouldn’t be surprised in Klinsmann decides to take him ahead of any one or another of Eddie Johnson, Boyd, Zusi or Bedoya as well as an out-of-form Dempsey (if he doesn’t get his act together).

              • GW says:

                Advocate

                “I can’t believe that any USMNT supporter would “hope for a major injury” to either Donovan or Dempsey”

                You clearly have not been reading SBI very long have you?

                There are lots of people on this site who claim to be USMNT fans and wish injury to any number of USMNT players, including the DD twins.

                For example, many of them were happy that Chandler tore up his knee because they feel he should be “punished” for his so called “lack of commitment “ as well as for having an oddly shaped head.

                Besides that is one less “fake American” to worry about.

                I’m fairly certain that an in form, committed Chandler, which is what he looked like before he got hurt, would have been really useful in Brazil.

                If healthy and in form, he, Dolo (assuming he is healthy and fit) and Fabian are the most fundamentally sound and best all around soccer players amongst the US defenders.

                I like Magee but he certainly benefited from playing with Donovan and Keane, two guys who know how to make anyone look good. And that is probably why he wasn’t capped before now. That and the fact that he was pretty mediocre for some time. Then again, Magee did well in Chicago so it seems he learned his lessons well and that is what finally showed people that maybe he was worthwhile in his own write. It’s probably too late though .

                Still if Donovan did go down, Magee is a viable short term replacement, just like Wondo is a viable short term replacement for Deuce.

                However, as a USMNT fan, I’d prefer the original Dynamic Duo go to Brazil fit and healthy, dying to prove that everyone writing their obituaries is being premature.

  27. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    I know there are still a couple of months left until the WC starts. But i just dont see Shea making it. His play time improved with the loan; but still not enough for me thus far. Shame because he has shown to be good wildcard player in the pass. Oh well

    • Fair Observer says:

      he’s the only true lefty tho, he is the wildcard super sub i believe, JK has shown faith in him and it’s proven worthy (gold cup semi final and final goals). He’s probably the last man on the plane but he should still make it. he may bump, becks, bedoya or an 8th defender, I’d take him over Boyd tho……

  28. Birgit Calhoun says:

    To guess about who is going to be in the WC squad is a little premature. I am sure Klinsmann can make up his own mind without a everybody projecting who might be among the chosen. So I am going to keep my mouth shut for once about who I think should be going to Brazil. Klinsmann has players available who can win and even get out of the group stage. The most important players are the ones that can score goals and also defend. Wouldn’t it be advisable to choose players who have really shown their recent top level goal-scoring ability? How about waiting until the MLS season has gotten underway? We’ll see then whether our spine really measures up. Maybe Dempsey can show what he is made of in Seattle. Let’s see how Eddy Johnson does in D.C. I’d like to see Bradley perform in his new place in Toronto. And Boyd, can he and all those top players also help defend? There are too many questions in my mind to say that’s the team. Right now I would not bank on all the European players. We haven’t seen them play. It will be fun watching the USMNT play in Cyprus. Until then I withhold my opinion.

    • Fair Observer says:

      Quite a long statement from someone “withholding their opinion”

      I like how you elevate yourself above the people stating their opinion by….. stating ….your… opinion…… haha. Even though you use the Socratic Method, you’re still stating your opinion.

  29. Bac says:

    So if I understand some of the above statements:
    Boyd should go because he made one nice pass, Agudelo should go because he’s scored one goal, but Deuce shouldn’t even be on the plane….hhhmmmm… okkkaaayyy

    Since there is a plethora of speculation and everyone has their own respective views… I will not predict a 23, or a starting 11, or a preferred formation….
    But what I will predict is this:

    Based on 2 years of watching JK, I have come to expect the unexpected..so why should this be any different??
    Some of his selections have been puzzling, but in retrospect a lot of them had to do with player availability, commitment, and challenging a few guys out of place either to push their limits or out of necessity. And a lot worked out okay.

    With that being said, I think there will be 2 surprises, at least. Can’t predict exactly what, but expect something.
    A few possibilities?
    I don’t see 4 forwards, unless u consider Deuce as one-There will be an extra midfielder
    The comments about either Castillo or Shea being included are valid, only because they bring something different late in a game
    I think if he can get Green, he does it and doesn’t think twice.. why? Because there’s so many of our players that are essentially the same guy..too similar
    I think he makes selections based off one principle… who are my best options to beat Ghana & Portugal…style speed personnel match ups…whatever

    So in closing, two statements.
    Expect the unexpected..
    And DEUCE WILL be on the plane

  30. Joe A. says:

    Don’t really see boyd making the cut personally