A look at the USMNT World Cup team three months before the World Cup

USMNTLineupVsSoutKorea (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

The 2014 World Cup kicks off exactly three months from today, meaning the days are dwindling and time running out on players to round into form and make their pushes not only for a place on the U.S. World Cup team, but also the starting lineup.

In my latest Goal.com column, I look at the projected U.S. World Cup roster, which features several battles for starting roles and roster places just two months before Klinsmann will announce his final 23- man squad.

I touch on some of the roster battles, as well as discuss the struggles of Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey, which have U.S. fans rightfully concerned as the World Cup draws closer.

Give the column a read and then cast your vote here on some of the key roster and position battles still in play.

Cast your vote after the jump:

 

 

 

 

  • Mix Diskerud
  • Benny Feilhaber
  • Sacha Kljestan
  • Luis Gil

  • Mix Diskerud
  • Benny Feilhaber
  • Sacha Kljestan
  • Luis Gil
  • Joe Corona

—-

Who did you vote for? Which of the ballots was the toughest to vote on?

Share your thoughts below.

 

 

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152 Responses to A look at the USMNT World Cup team three months before the World Cup

  1. bryan says:

    i hate any 23 with Evans in it, sorry, but he is not good enough.

    • James says:

      That’s a great sentiment and all, but who would you have replace him at this point? If Chandler is healthy, that’s reasonable, but at this point you can’t plan on that.

      Evans is versatile, so if Cameron goes down he can play RB, or up into the midfield if needed. He’s not the most talented guy, but he’s definitely one of the smartest. I’m not saying I’m stoked to see him match-up against Ronaldo, but at this point, he’s the most viable backup to Cameron.

      • Fabian Johnson can play RB if Cameron can’t go… that is, in fact, where he is playing currently for Hoffenheim.

      • bryan says:

        Cameron…

        and if he isn’t healthy, Johnson who plays RB for Hoffenheim at the moment, will. let’s be real, Evans isn’t going to start ahead of either of them and i don’t think he’s worth wasting a spot on. if Parkhurst is there, he’s a capable 3rd option who actually knows the position well.

        • James says:

          Obviously Cameron starts over Evans, as I stated in my first post. Johnson is already on the roster. So again, the question remains, who replaces Evans on the roster? Parkhurst? If you’re that much comfortable with him than Evans, we’re watching different games, and he’s less versatile.

          • wandmdave says:

            I still wonder about Lichaj, too bad he hasn’t really gotten a shot except for one game. I would love to have more opportunity to judge his game.

          • bryan says:

            Parkhurst is absolutely a better player, give me a break. he’s also a fullback which gives him the edge since we are talking about RB. Evans is versatile but he’s a midfielder at heart.

            i also disagree Parkhurst is less versatile. dude can play LB, RB, or CB.

            point is, i don’t think you HAVE to replace Evans with another RB back-up. i’d be fine adding another midfielder or striker.

            • Rich D says:

              Parkhurst is a tweener. His best position is centerback (which he plays at Columbus) but he is too small to play the position internationally and he is too slow to play fullback.

              • bryan says:

                Parkhurst certainly does not give me total confidence, but I’d still take him over Evans. I’d take Ream over him too. And probably Spector.

                Ideally Chandler comes back in the next two weeks or so and can get back into good health and form.

              • Razak Pinpong says:

                If Parkhurst is to small to play cb internationally then so is starter Matt Besler.Both are the same height.

          • bryan says:

            i’d also prefer Ream or even Spector over Evans.

          • Ronniet says:

            It’s definitely Parkhurst! He can play any position on the backline, which makes him more versatile, played Champions league football at a high level mind you, and gives you in my opinion more going forward than Evans! Evans plays midfield for Seattle, so suffice it to say that Parky is a defender by nature and in talent than Evans will ever be!

      • Hogatroge says:

        Parkhurst should be the backup RB. Beasley can back up Fabian at LB.

  2. QuakerOtis says:

    Seems to be a solid consensus in the polling.

    Orozco – Just a little more mobile than the others, plays regularly, and scored in Meh-he-co.

    Johnson – Each brings something, but Johnson wins out with his set piece abilities.

    Beckerman – Solid for what JK would put him on the field to do, has shown better passing lately. Williams is a maybe, but too young and apparently injured again.

    Mix – Corona the runner up, but Mix has had to many solid minutes to ignore. He can provide a creative spark off the bench and has scored against decent competition. Corona may be a little better as a RM, but we have options there too (Donovan, Deuce, Bedoya… depending on the lineup).

  3. Joe A. says:

    How is Boyd “already in”? He’s barely seen the feild.

    • bryan says:

      because he is called up to every A team game. every single time. he’s clearly a depth option in case of injury. his lack of playing time is normal, that’s his role. i’m sure JK has made that clear.

    • biff says:

      Agreed, Joe A. Terrence Boyd is far getting his ticket from Brazil and he is certainly not above Eddie Johnson or Wondow on the depth chart. At this point, I don’t think Terrence goes unless one or two players higher on the depth chart end up injured or he plays world class in, ahem, Austria during the next two months.

      As for Juan Agudelo, why is he even in this discussion? No coach in his right mind is gonna trot Agudelo on the field in a World Cup game this summer, let alone waste a spot on him in the WC-23. Ain’t gonna happen.

      • HoboMike says:

        So if Boyd isn’t in, who are your third and fourth forwards? Seems to be if you believe Boyd isn’t a lock, Agudelo needs to be in there.

        The weird thing is that I still have never seen Boyd play more than 10 garbage minutes. Is the dude good?

        • Joe A. says:

          Eddie Johnson for starters.

        • Joe A. says:

          I for one don’t think we need a 4th forward when we have donovan and dempsey capable of playing up top.

        • Ali Dia says:

          Exactly. Can anybody really make a case either way? Pretty much everybody has the same limited data to work with…. Good pedigree with Dortmund reserves, respectable if not spectacular stats w Rapid Vienna, and whatever can be taken from a handful of generally brief substitute appearances for the USMNT. Olympics qualifying and Europa League have offered a couple of chances to see him play a full match. Hard to make a conclusion from any of these though.

          The selections over the past 18 months suggest JK really wants him training with the A group whenever available and on that basis I’d rate him 85-95% likely to be on the plane. Possible that he sees him as a candidate to lead the line in 2018. At this turn, I’d guess he’s a guy who will be used as a final toss of the dice if (when) we are chasing a goal… coming on for the last 10 mins in place of a defender.

          • The Garrincha says:

            Pretty much agree Ali Dia.
            I believe Boyd has the most goal/points out of anybody other than Iceman, at AZ,
            club wise to date.
            He is a solid backup option, and yes the squad could use at least 4 spots at forward. none of this fudging it with Deuce and Donovan being expected to cover those positions outright, all the time.
            What if one or two take a knock and are not match fit?, then there are few to no options remaining for any kind of system/formation/tactical change.
            Scoring over the past few friendlies has been an issue, best to afford themselves the most flexibility and depth of position as reasonably possible.

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          No, Wondolowski needs to be in there. And as far as I am concerned both Denpsey and Altidore better have something going for them this year to make it to Brazil.

          • bryan says:

            Wondo won’t be there while Dempsey and Jozy will be and will likely start.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            Birgit -everyone will be shocked when the forwards are announced for the WC – Altidore, Boyd, Johannsson and Wondolowski

            Boyd goes because he’s the back up for Jozy at target forward. Even though he’s more aggressive in the air and a better header than Jozy.

            AJ is a no brainer

            And Wondo has the best chemistry on the team with LD, our best playmaker. Which, to some degree, can be a compensator for Wondo’s lack of pace. Two players on the same page can set up/beat a WC quality defender…and if that opportunity happens in the box…it counts the same as an individual player creating that opportunity for himself. Chemistry in the attacking third is paramount, and there is none better on the nats than LD/Wondo. He’s a lot closer than many fans think.

            EJ will play himself right off the team at DC. At this point, I don’t think he makes it purely on heading ability. His ability to read the game and combine with other players is awful and it would be appalling at the WC level.

            Agudelo clearly has the talent but is not ready yet… time is running out for this cycle

            If a miracle happens and Green commits then Wondo is out in the cold.

        • White Kix says:

          Watch that game against Scotland where Donovan tore it up. Boyd made a mess of chance after chance. I few weeks later I saw him play the last few minutes against Antigua and Barbuda in person. He got the ball 7 times, that last time, and teh last play of the game, he did not lose the ball (It was a simple square pass). The other 6 times, he either took a shot (Which went no where near the goal), had teh ball taken off his foot, or had his pass intercepted. Considering that was against Antigua, no, he is not good.

          • bryan says:

            the Scotland game for November? Boyd played…1 minute. but im sure you are not referring to that one.

            the game from 2012 in Florida? Boyd played 64 minutes, his first start, and had three chances, one of which was a near miss in the 43rd. certainly not missing “chance after chance.” his other two shots? they were blocked shots. his chalkboard stats were fine, i think you are remembering it much worse than it was.

            as for A&B, he didn’t play in the away game. in the home game? he played 10 minutes and had one shot! and i know you are just making it up in your head, or maybe you were drinking and it’s fuzzy, but according to Chalkboard, he made TWO total passes. one successful, one not. that one successful pass? a “key pass.”

            don’t get my wrong, 2 unsuccessful dribbles and 4 tackled/possession lost are not great stats for a 10 minute cameo. but the hyperbole is what made me want to comment. for example:

            “he either took a shot (Which went no where near the goal)”

            his one shot was blocked…

      • wandmdave says:

        Boyd is Jozy’s understudy but even if he wasn’t Wondo is certainly not above him on the depth chart. Wondo shouldn’t even be on the list.

      • bryan says:

        yes, Biff, he is absolutely ahead of Wondo. who was called in for qualifiers and every A team game he was healthy for? Boyd was. Wondo was on B team squads.

      • Hogatroge says:

        I’m a big fan of Boyd, but I can’t see how Ives thinks he’s a lock when he hasn’t gotten any minutes for the team recently.

      • Bird says:

        Disagree here. I watch Rapid Vienna matches pretty frequently and have seen Boyd play quite a bit this season. He has improved his game tremendously and has a leg up on Wondo and Gomez for sure. His holdup play, decision making, touch and passing have all gotten better through the year and he is an absolute terror to defend in the box. The guy is similar to Jozy physical wise but is a better natural goal scorer. He is not just big and physical like Jozy, he is strong with his head and can create goals that way. He also has endless energy. He is bigger, faster and stronger than Wondo. Lastly IF wondo evergot into a WC match I dont think he has the physical capability to beat WC defenders. Boyd may not be a finished product, he does however possess the physical tools to beat WC defenders or give them problems at this point. As for Agudelo, I have also watched 2 or 3 of his games for Utrecht, he has technical ability and creativity that no other US forward possesses right now, and again he has the physical size, strength and speed. He is still a little inconsistent but he has moments of magic. Similar to Brek Shea, but actually good and much better soccer IQ. I think the last spot is between Agudelo and Johnson.

        • Louis Z says:

          I concur

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          I agree, especially the comments about Boyd, but I think it comes down to EJ v Wondo.

          With basically an equal chance between the two to grab an opportunistic goal in the box, I think JK will decide that overall Wondo brings a lot more positives to the team – work rate, chemistry, attitude and soccer IQ, than EJ.

          • bryan says:

            Wondo is #5 with Agudelo on his heels. It is not down to EJ v Wondo.

            • chris_thebassplayer says:

              Well, I offered an opinion. Unless JK told you personally that Wondo is indeed #5, we’ll just have to wait to find out.

              • bryan says:

                I dont have to talk to JK to know. When was Wondo called up for an A team game? Never.

                Wondo is a great dude but anyone who thinks he is any higher than #5 is not paying attention.

    • Chris H says:

      Good point.
      I haven’t seen anything from Boyd with the few USMNT minutes he has gotten that indicates he is a for sure in or even someone who will cause trouble at a world cup.
      IMO I’d rather see Gomez than Boyd, he brings tremendous hustle that keeps defenses honest, rather than the static Jozy.

      • wandmdave says:

        I thought the same thing about Gomez when voting but then I realized I haven’t seen him play since his injury. Is he the same Gomez?

        • Chris H says:

          I don’t know either wandmdave, I wouldn’t count him out, he’s always been a fighter.

    • Joe A. says:

      This not a knock on boyd but I just don’t see how he’s a safe bet to make this current roster. He could end up making it but its far from decided

  4. downintexas says:

    As for which forward would I bring in: I’d bring in who ever is in the best form.

  5. Adam M. says:

    JK needs to rethink the offense, which has been shut out by Scotland, Austria and Ukraine in the last few months. Ukraine featured Altidore, Dempsey, F. Johnson and Bedoya, all possible starters, as well as Jones, and still came up empty. My humble opinion is that the team needs to move a lot more. Donovan brings that, as does AJ and EJ (though I cringe at thinking EJ is a hope for this team). Altidore can be useful if he has runners to work with, but combining Jozy and Dempsey sometimes feels like someone keeps hitting a pause button instead of fast forward. I go back to when US looked its best in the Confed Cup. Altidore had speed next to him and Donovan was running all over also. We need to get back to that, pronto.

    • cps says:

      I agree. If we could get Donovan, AJ, FJ and Bedoya all on the field working with Jozy we’d have a very fast, dynamic offense to contend with. If that means sitting Dempsey, so be it.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Bradley makes a big difference here as well. He’s no Pirlo, but his motor and vision do add to our attack.

      • HoboMike says:

        This.

        Bradley is the most indispensable player in the pool. But he also needs solid offensive starters to play off of. Dempsey and Donovan both were missed against Scotland and Austria, and Bradley and Donovan missed Ukraine.

    • ryan says:

      Not starting 7 defensively-oriented players would be helpful.

    • away goals says:

      It’s not a coincidence that dempsey’s drop in form has coincided with his move to the center of the field.

      His unmatched success at fulham came from his off-the-ball ability to let play develop in front of him from the left wing, then be the late-arriver at the right time and place to be most dangerous.

      I know he played more centrally at spurs, but he was definitely not the focal point of the offense. And the usmnt doesn’t have a gareth bale equivalent.

      Dempsey may well be our best player, but he’s not the best choice to orchestrate the attack. Better to have donovan or johann play that role and let dempsey do what he’s does best.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i think you’re slightly wrong, in that his fall wasn’t due to him switching positions, but the usmnt switching schemes:

        dempsey’s best period for the usmnt, in my opinion, was 2012 to early-2013, while he was in the middle, but when we were playing a slow-building possession-based game in which he got lots of opportunities to crash the box (and pretty much no one else did well).

        when we switched to a quick attacking scheme, you saw jozy’s (and others’) production go up, but deuce stagnated, basically because the play passed him by. he was still able to contribute with his passing, but that’s not where he excels.

        the problem is–for him to move back to the outside, 1) klinsmann would have to admit he was wrong about dempsey, and 2) dempsey would have to admit he wasn’t up to it. that’s a lot, and that’s even assuming he’s still got the motor to chase up and down the lines.

        • away goals says:

          Totally agree that for better or worse, jk won’t move dempsey back to the wing.

          As for the cause of dempsey’s decline in production, you may be on to something.

          Do you think the change in style was a net benefit for the team? If so, does dempsey contribute as much in his current role as a potential replacement (johann/donovan)?

          • Nate Dollars says:

            yeah, i think it’s pretty clear that the style change was not only a ‘net benefit’, but necessary for the team. dempsey was really the only player that was playing well. (remember this was the time of the big ‘will we even qualify?’ debate before the sporting news article.)

            regarding your last question, i don’t know. i think aron/donovan would bring something *different*, but i don’t know about *better*, and it’s a little late to be experimenting. klinsmann kind of went all-in on dempsey early (making him the focal point and the captain), and, as i said, that’s a lot of backtracking and hurt feelings if he wants to change that. maybe that would just make dempsey play better, though?

            • away goals says:

              Of all the criticisms levelled at jk, his decision to make dempsey the hub is ultimately what will make or break our world cup (besides the ridiculous draw, obviously).

  6. JayAre says:

    Boyd won’t make the 23. He only gets called up to be a roster filler and he is never hurt thats why he’s always in camp

  7. fifawitz1313 says:

    The 24% of you who voted for Brooks, did you even watch the Ukraine game? He got BURNED! Some blame could be laid on Gooch, but IMHO most of the errors came from Brooks.

    • Well, Gooch sucks and Goodson sucks, so who are you going to pick? I usually go for youth.

      • fifawitz1313 says:

        For friendlies fine, but for the WC NO WAY. Experience over youth all day everyday.

        • Rory Miller says:

          That worked out so well for France and Italy last time around, didn’t it?

          • GW says:

            France and Italy are fundamentally very different from the USMNT.

            The US has a greater need for experienced players than those two countries do.

        • Increase0 says:

          Goodson has play rather well the last few times I have seen um. Unlike certain others….

          • SoB says:

            Yes but Goodson plays in MLS so he obviously must be garbage. (At least in the eyes of some of these idiots.)

    • wandmdave says:

      It was pretty much a wash because they all are a big drop off from our starters imho. While I didn’t pick him, I’m guessing Brooks got a few extra votes despite his struggles because there would be a chance to cap tie him.

      • away goals says:

        Can we just assign our fourth center back spot to “we’re completely and totally effed if we have to play our fourth center back”?

    • Tony says:

      I’m probably in the minority on this but let’s remember brooks is not cap tied to us. Say we don’t take him and he blows up after the work cup, Germany is still there. It does seem like I am just being paranoid, but hey I just have a feeling. Same reason I want Julian Green on a plane to Brazil. And from all accounts green is no slouch so you are not wasting a roster spot

      • Ali Dia says:

        I’m sorry. The notion of taking a guy to the World Cup to cap-tie him is flat-out absurd. Unless I am mistaken, this means he would have to PLAY. We need our best available on the field at all times to even get out of the group. Brooks ain’t close at the moment.

        And God help anyone who makes an argument about “what if we are already eliminated after two games?” because that is effing terrible. Sending a guy like Brooks or Green out there for a cap-tying purpose AGAINST GERMANY would be as pathetic and cynical is it gets. I wouldn’t blame them for refusing.

        • away goals says:

          I’m inclined to agree but if there is nothing else to separate brooks from say, gooch, then why not have that be the determining factor?

          Does appearing on a team’s final world cup roster cap tie him? Has any player ever been named to the roster for two different countries in different world cups?

          And not that it matters much, but green would be cap tied via paperwork. He wouldn’t actually have to play in a game for us.

          • Ali Dia says:

            In your scenario (which is very much hypothetical to me– I have about 6 guys in front of Brooks) I suppose you could use that as a determining factor. Can’t say I love the idea– in a sense you are rewarding a guy for his non-commitment at the expense of a guy who has shown it repeatedly… or to look at it another way, “a Brooks with no caps is more valuable in Brazil than Brooks with one cap”. It’s just too weird for me — I get the strategy of setting the pool up for the future but the World Cup is just not the place for cap-tying. There are better criteria to separate similar players, I am sure.

            To your question, Brooks would have to play based on my reading of the rules (which can change at a whim). A “cap” is an international appearance and this definition is not relaxed to a roster appearance for the purpose of the World Cup.

            I know of no precedent for the situation that truly fits the bill. There are a handful of murky examples such as Thiago Motta but not a direct comp, unless somebody else knows.

            • away goals says:

              On second thought I actually agree with you. If my absurd hypothetical came to pass and gooch and brooks were identically deserving of fourth string cb, take gooch based on his previous contributions to the program.

              I rate orozco ahead of both, for the record.

              • Ali Dia says:

                With you on that. He’s grown on me a lot in the past year. I’m good with him on the plane at this point.

  8. Excellency says:

    I voted for Mixx and Edu

    Did not vote for the forwards because the kool aid smelled bad – why would Boyd be “already in”?

    We dont owe him anything, do we?

  9. Luetchy says:

    Fourth CB? Parkhurst!

    Boyd is in? I’m not so sure. I think EJ might be ahead of him.

    Mix is a lock.

  10. I think this is a fair assessment from Ives.

    I think Dempsey’s form is attributable to age. He peaked with his performance for Fulham a couple of years ago. Let’s hope he can find a 2nd wind through this World Cup.

    If Agudelo starts scoring more goals, he gets his chance.

  11. John says:

    I saw in an interesting stat the other day. Boyd actually has a better goal to minute ratio then Johannsson at his club and had 5 goals in Europa where Aron only has one. Both are going to Brazil and will play an important part. Altidore, Johannsson, Boyd, and Johnson are the forwards and it’s going to take an injury or total drop in form to push one off.

  12. Expat4455 says:

    Is it 100% for sure that Timothy Chandler has no chance to make the squad?

    • HoboMike says:

      I don’t think it’s 100%, although it would be a tough sell.

      Fact is that he’s still probably the best RB in the pool (Cameron is better defensively but Chandler better going forward). With Cherundolo definitely out, I don’t think you can definitively rule out Chandler, although he’ll need to light the world on fire when he returns.

    • wandmdave says:

      Nothing is 100% until the squad is officially named but he hasn’t played with the team since the beginning of the hex if I’m not mistaken. I think its safe to say he’d be a surprise pick at this point. And that is leaving out all the rumors of him being in the dog house for not having the same commitment to the team as the rest of the players in the pool (I don’t know what is true or not on that topic anymore).

      • Expat4455 says:

        The way I understand it is over 2 years ago when Chandler was breaking into the starting line-up at Nürnberg, on the advice of his coaches(mgmt?), he turned down the invite. Then in the summer of 2012 he did announce in the German press that he was for the USMNT 100%.

        There is talk that he is in Klinsi’s doghouse however.

        • bryan says:

          Chandler did an interview with MLSsoccer in January 2014 confirming he is hoping to get back into the squad. went on that run of form, but then got injured.

          he was in the doghouse for sure, but that was 2013 when he was hardly playing for his club team in addition to some other reasons.

    • bryan says:

      if he gets healthy and in form in time, he goes.

  13. timothy says:

    I didnt vote for centerback, because I would put Cameron in as number 4. I’d rather he move over and we replace a right back if needed

  14. Dan says:

    I think the reality is the USMNT plays its best when Jozy has a true strike partner and not a guy playing underneath him. Playing a 4-4-2 is what needs to be done to see the best results.

    My XI

    —————Howard——————

    Cameron–Besler–Gonzalez–FJ

    Donovan–Bradley–Jones–Dempsey

    ———AJ————–Jozy————

    I know it was five years ago but this is the recipe that worked against Spain and to a certain extent against Brazil. You pair Jozy with a guy that has speed and can create mismatches. Let Donovan and Dempsey work the wings.

    • Rich says:

      What about Bedoya in place of Jones? He tracks back well when he plays on the right.

    • wandmdave says:

      That does seem to fit our personnel pretty well. I’d worry about Dempsey’s commitment to defense though. I could make an argument for Zusi or Bedoya to replace him due to the defensive work and work rate they put in especially against Portugal. Either way I think its a pipe dream. I don’t see JK abandoning his preferred formation right as the real games begin.

      • QuakerOtis says:

        Right, or perhaps have dempsey up top with Jozy, Bedoya for LM, and bring AJ off the bench.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          And herein lies the conundrum with Dempsey… where exactly does he fit… where to put him? He has neither the speed nor defensive ability on the wing and would leave FJ exposed and limit his use going forward. Both he and JA need/work much better paired with a speedy someone making runs/creating space for them to run into in the middle so they don’t really do so well paired together in a 442. Honestly, in a 442, both JA and Clint would be better served paired with AJ up top.

          Klinsman doesn’t like the 442 and therefore seems to favor CD as a CAM… definitely requires whoever is on the wings to interchange/ make diagonal runs across the middle and the FB to come forward and provide width.. I think this is what we’ll see… JA up top, FJ at left back, LD on the wing, Dempsey at CAM, Zusi/Bedoya on the right and Cameron at RB. We need a goal late you can sub AJ for JA, push clint up top with him.

  15. AcidBurn says:

    No mention of Julian Green?

  16. Jack says:

    Can AJ play an attacking mid role? We could have him in the CAM role and then Donovan on the right and Dempsey on the left in the 4-2-3-1 formation.

  17. wandmdave says:

    Where is Adu????????

  18. Joe A. says:

    I want to see castillo and f.johnson swap positions next game I think it would work out better

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yeah, it’s kind of funny that people say, well castillo sucked at LB, might as well cross him off the list, *when he’s not a goddam defender*. play him at LM/LW, juergen! you know, where he’s good!

  19. Lamar Logan says:

    I hope Josh Gatt can sneak onto the roster. He would be huge. He’s already back with molde after his injury.

    • Joe A. says:

      Is he back now?

      • Lamar Logan says:

        Yes sir. He’s in preseason training with his club and ready to start their preseason game. I’ve been watching his recovery training on YouTube and it was quite impressive.

        He would be a huge factor. People don’t know that he is is very versatile. He is actually a defender that got converted into a winger.

    • Ali Dia says:

      We could def use a guy with that kind of pace. I doubt he’s in the frame at all for this turn, but hopefully he can use that time to learn how to run with his head up. Could be weapon.

      • Lamar Logan says:

        I’m hoping that he can play the April 2nd game vs Mexico

        • Bird says:

          He hasnt played yet. Molde is playing a preseason match now and he is not on the roster. He didnt play in their friendly last week either. I have heard he is getting close though.

          • Lamar Logan says:

            Well lets only hope he plays. Im pretty sure if hes really fit as he claims then Im sure he has a shot for Brazil 2014

  20. Joe A. says:

    Ream could end up being a surprise pick

  21. Bac says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t quite get on board with this line of thinking for the 23.
    I’ve been predicting the following: ( I am NOT saying I agree..just what I predict)
    1. JK will only bring 3 pure forwards, Jozy, AJ, & a 3rd… Deuce will be considered the 4th
    2. This will allow an extra midfielder, possibly 2 depending on the backline.
    -If Julian Green declares, he’s on the plane
    - I still think Shea makes it for his late inning sub potential
    3. There will be one shocker/head scratcher of an inclusion or exclusion, if there’s one thing about roster selection we’ve seen under JK, is expect the unexpected
    4. I think Parkhurst becomes a legit option if he plays well the next few months
    5. I think as time gets closer, and Fabian continues to play in the back, JK builds the roster with the assumption that he starts him in the back
    6. Since we saw Cam play RB last week, and he’s played so well, I think he starts there… and without a viable 4th CB, he also becomes the backup there.. giving JK another spot to play with

    Or ….who the hell knows…..

    • Evan says:

      I tend to agree with your first point, which is why I voted for Herc just as WC experience and a good locker room guy. I think your more likely to see Landon up top before Deuce though. Regardless, that puts JK at 5 options up top without even bringing a 4th “pure striker.”

      • Bac says:

        Exactly.. six of one, have a dozen of the other… either way bringing a 4th pure striker does nothing, and we have several spots that are so hit and miss depending on what time of day it is.. too many spots where nobody has solidified themselves… that’s why I think we see an extra midfielder, and that’s why I think we’ve seen JK tinkering with some players.. to see who’s also versatile

        • shaggie96 says:

          I agree with your thoughts on the strikers. I can’t understand why we would bring Boyd or even EJ when Dempsey and Donovan would both be better options up top and we really need more flexibility in the midfield. Taking up two midfield spots so that we can take two forwards that almost certainly won’t see the pitch makes no sense.

          Honestly, if the argument is “Boyd is Jozy’s backup,” that seems absurd to me. Would you rather keep the same formation with Boyd up top, or change to a 4-4-2 with AJ and Donovan or Dempsey if something happens to Jozy? I know which option I’m choosing.

          • IndyElevenFan says:

            You bring EJ because of several reasons. As we’ve seen on the international stage, he’s clutch and has a nose for finding that special moment in the last 15-20. He’s reasonably fast on the wing – if need be for change of pace – and can out jump ANYONE in the box. Who else do we have who is big enough, strong enough, and has that leaping ability going to Brazil? At this point….no one comes to mind.

            • Bac says:

              And that’s probably why I think he gets the 3rd spot up top, unless he really melts down the next two months

  22. Evan says:

    I voted:

    Mix – way ahead of all challengers at this point

    Orozco – versatility to play CB or RB gives him the edge here

    Edu – this was tough; Beckerman certainly has the lead here, but Edu looked so good against Portland that if he keeps it up, I think he’s the better option.

    Hercules – for World Cup experience, work rate, and for Bradley’s sheer underuse of him in 2010; honestly, Landon is more likely to slot in at forward before any of the listed options.

    Granted, all is subject to change; I would have given Holden a solid shot at the WC just a few weeks ago.

  23. Jake says:

    I can’t believe I voted for Michael Freaking Orozco-Fiscal… but the other CBs made me do it. I’d actually rather take a player like Parkhurst who could backup Cameron at RB if Cameron needed to slide into the middle. Let’s face it, if we’re down to our fourth CB, we’re cooked anyway given our Group of Death.

  24. Hogatroge says:

    As far as the lineup goes, I think there’s at least one one fundamental flaw that really disrupts the roster…calling Boyd a lock.

    Move Clint into the forwards pool, and Boyd’s bumped into the “in contention” group along with EJ, Wondo, Agudelo, and Gomez. Boyd didn’t even get garbage minutes against Ukraine, and Wondo and EJ get another chance to impress against Mexico in April.

    Moving Clint also opens up another midfield spot, and I’d say the frontrunners right now are Shea and Davis. As crappy as Shea’s club situation has been, he showed well off the bench in Ukraine and JK consistently goes to him for a spark. I think that gives him a slight edge over Davis, whose case is helped by 3 assists in his last few USMNT matches.

    Also, Parkhurst will surely edge out Evans as the backup RB unless Timmy Chandler comes out of the gates hot after he recovers from injury.

  25. John says:

    I still would think about taking Yedlin and here is my reasoning. If you are down a goal or need a spark you can bring him on and not have to take off an attacking player. Just take off Jones move Cameron to the middle and let Yedlin use his speed up and down the flank. In the same idea of taking Shea but with Shea you have to ask who is coming off for him? Landon Zusi Dempsey?

    • Dinho says:

      Hows the weather in Seattle?

      • John says:

        haha well i’m on the other side of the country. he is completely untested at the level needed to be in a World Cup. I dont see it happening but thought id throw it out there as an idea

  26. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I would not have Boyd in there, and Eddiei Johnson is at this point an untested entity as far as his output at DC United is concerned. I would be very disappointed if Wondo didn’t get chosen for the lonely extra spot. Terence Boyd has not really shown anything as a forward recently. And Altidore has to show some actual goals this year for him to be at the top of the roster.

  27. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Ives, you apparently don’t like Wondolowski. I would like for you to not imply that anyone has missed the cut. You are not in the position to say who missed the cut. That is Klinsmann’s choice.

  28. Toe Ball says:

    This is kind of off-topic, but it seems like the USMNT peaks a year early. We had a great 2013–in both WC qualifying and the Gold Cup. We also had a great 2009 (including a great run at the Confederations Cup in South Africa). What’s up with that?

    • John says:

      1: we don’t actually know how 2014 will go yet
      2: the World Cup is alot harder then Qualifying, Gold Cup or Confederations cup
      3. 2010 wasn’t even all that bad of a World Cup run
      4. 2009 you’re kind of ignoring the US getting destroyed in the Gold Cup final

  29. AcidBurn says:

    Didn’t you see CCL last night? ALAN GORDON!

    He’s going to outmuscle Ronaldo in the 94th minute to tie the game and propel the US into the next round!

  30. John says:

    Dempsey with one goal from the run of play in the last 6 months for club or country
    Altidore with 2 goals in the same time period

    Pretty discouraging

  31. Murray Braun says:

    AJ’s scoring in Holland as a forward; I never see JK using him otherwise.
    If JK goes with his expected 4-2-3-1 in May, we will see it in June with the same roster.
    So, we should see Altidore, Bedoya, Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley and Jones.
    That means he has to start his fastest wing backs to create offense.
    For me: Fabian at LB, Orozco at RB. Cameron and Besler as CBs.
    I wish I could say I was inspired by these field players, but it is what it is. The only three subs who can create anything late in the match when the opponent is tired: Johannsson, Diskerud, Shea. Whether they can do it at the WC or even vs Turkey (verydefensive) and Nigeria, is un-certain.
    So that’s 14 of 20 field players. Kljestan and Castillo and Torres haven’t made their case.
    Corona remains a possibility as do EJ, Boyd, Gonzo and Williams. Then it gets murky who
    JK will choose. The Mexico friendly determines whether the last two are: Wondo, Gomez,
    Zusi, Davis, Goodson, Onyewu, Brooks, Evans, Parkhurst, Beasley or even Kljestan.
    If the MLS/MXL squad are duds next month, I think Julian Green makes the switch and plays
    in the matches leading up to the WC.

  32. dude1 says:

    Hardest for me: Edu vs. Beckerman. Beckerman has served well this cycle, as long as his role was limited, and his lack of athleticism wasn’t exposed. Edu is simply superior when in top form. I voted Edu, hope that his time in MLS will be a reawakening for his best play.

  33. Gratuitous Stepovers says:

    Mike Magee anyone?

  34. Cairo says:

    I wish I understood USMNT fans. Am both shocked and not surprised at the same time that Wondo finished third in the voting for striker. He would probably not finish in the top 20 of MLS strikers at a combine, but who the f… cares? He consistently finds space, puts shots on frame, and is a pretty good passer for a forward. He has 75 goals in the past four years for club, and another handful for the nats. I think he’s up to 8 goals in 18 appearances for the Nats, and several of those (probably four or five) were not starts. This past weekend against arguably the best team in Mexico he still found space and put the ball on frame. Only goalkeeping kept him off the score sheet. Agudelo and Boyd should be miles behind him in any poll for the 2014 World Cup. Herc hasn’t been a big contributor for club or country in a year. Jozy is not having a lot of success for club. How the heck does Wondo not finish in the top 3 of every poll for USMNT strikers?

    • Fair Observer says:

      not to sound rude but part of the reason Wondo most likely wont make the plane is his age (31) and his speed. both agudelo and boyd are younger and faster and have more technical skill. while wondo has succeded in “being in the right place at the right time” he doesnt offer much more than a tap in goal. There has been one goal out of his most recent 8 or so that has impressed (a volley off a beautiful beckerman lobbed pass), other than that it has been rebound goal, tap ins, and deflection goals. It sounds like a great MLS success story but to be fair in observing….. Boyd is stronger and faster with a better shot from distance, agudelo is quick with skilled dribbling in his arsenal, and even EJ has the set piece, quasi-speed guy argument going for him (not to mention the most experience out of all mentioned). so this is why wondo wont make it. he’s a fair passer, decently-ok dribbler in space (meh…) and has an average shot (compared to pros). he isnt fast, he isnt quick, he isnt going to create off the dribble, he isnt tall or strong. the only argument for him is “hey! he scored a bunch of goals!” …….. against Cuba (terrible) Belize( even worse) and S korea (… their B team not to mention). so as much as I love the MLS and want some MLS striker to come in and demand a spot in brazil, its not wondo, maybe if he had played better 4 years ago and bradley had given him a chance but i think the gold cup (like nick rimando) will be his glory moment.

      to be fair i think wondo’s a good player but not on the WC level that he needs to be. simply put, agudelo, Boyd, EJ are all better

  35. J. Thomas says:

    I think you’ll see the following surprise happen.

    Terrence Boyd will not make the team. The US will technically have 3 forwards on the roster, but will carry Donovan and Dempsey as forward attackers. The spot that would otherwise be filled by Boyd will be filled by a left wing player. It will either be Julian Green or Brek Shea.

    You heard it here first. Brek Shea is on the team unless Julian Green files his one-time switch with FIFA.

    Klinsmann makes great use of an explosive wing player. Shea has been quite useful for the USMNT. He always adds to the attack when he is subbed in. Shea will be on the plane.

    • bryan says:

      i’d hypothetically bet against that. i think if Dempsey is listed as a forward, then we will have 5 forwards. i think LD will be listed as a midfielder and will be playing LM for us. he’s obviously going to be playing that for LA and i think he’ll do the same for the US.

      i think the 4 forwards that Ives listed are spot on; Jozy, AJ, EJ, Boyd. you all can complain about Boyd all you want, but JK clearly likes him and has brought him into every single A team camp and qualifier he has been healthy for. it’s also obvious he is ok with being nothing more than depth and he is clearly a great locker room guy.

      with Shea going back to Stoke, i doubt he gets much, if any, playing time which seals his WC chances. if he gets a loan, then his chances increase. until then, i think LD, FJ, and Beasley provide more than enough cover at LM. in other words, highly doubt he replaces Boyd.

      as for Green, that’s a bit more tough. in that situation, i could see JK making the difficult decision to drop someone like Boyd to fit him in. but that is a big “if.”

  36. atleticodemadridfan says:

    What’s the word on Holden?
    Two weeks ago,he had apparently re-injured one of his surgically repaired knees, and was on his way back to the US to be evaluated by his orthopedic surgeon.

    • bryan says:

      i guess you missed the update yesterday that was widely reported, including on here. he’s out for 6-9 months.

  37. Jo Jo beans says:

    Dempsey sucks he is not that good. I would rather have Donovan in his place with Aaron johansen or Boyd someone who is more mobile and can score jozy is not doing it and his touch is dreadful.

    • John says:

      Personally I’m tired of Klinsmann talking in circles. One minute he is talking about creating an environment in the team where there is always someone pushing for your spot. Then 2 seconds later he’s named this “spine” of the team whose spots seem to be set in stone.

  38. 1st Time Caller says:

    I’m sorry Ives, but with all due respect, you are crazy if you think Boyd is “already in”

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Don’t think he’s a lock but I think he makes it. Not sure that’s crazy to think, but we can agree to disagree.