US Men’s Team Camp Roster Finalized
It’s been awhile since the US Men’s National Team used an excellent performance (and a bit of luck) to knock off Italy on their home soil, and a lot has happened since that breakthrough win. The U-23’s failed to qualify for the Olympics in heartbreaking fashion, shifting more focus towards the start of World Cup Qualifying. And several key members of the squad finished good seasons abroad, highlighted by Clint Dempsey’s magnificent goal scoring record at Fulham. Finally, Tim Chandler has informed us that he’s not so sure he wants to play international football – which sounds to most US fans like the still untied player is just working both sides of the fence in case Germany ever comes calling.
US Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 27 players to start a camp that will see the US cut their squad down to 23 before playing exciting friendlies against Brazil, Scotland, and Canada before heading to Florida for the start of Word Cup Qualifying at home against Antigua and Barbuda. The camp finishes with an important fixture away to Guatemala.
The roster (courtesy of US Soccer):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (7): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Dempsey and Donovan finally together. Gomez and Wondo rewarded for excellent seasons in FMF and MLS. Onyewu’s return to health and form. Parkhurst gets a deserved call (and the inclusion of ball-playing CB’s over some more physical options). Altidore’s maturation continues. Fabian Johnson’s performances in his first couple of caps excited me and has me ready to see more.
No wingers unless you count Landon who can certainly do that job – I think we could have used DaMarcus Beasley after a strong season in Mexican football. I don’t feel Agudelo has earned a spot. I don’t see how you look at Lichaj and Castillo and ever pick Castillo first.
Makes me ?
Boyd, Morales, Corona – you have to assume they’ve been called in because they are missing out on the Olympics and need the experience. Jurgen must not like Kljestan’s game, since he’s been passed in the pecking order by the relatively unproven Graham Zusi. How is playing time going to get distributed in that crowded central midfield? For that matter, how is the team going to stay properly spaced with so many center mids? How will Landon re-integrate himself into the team?
If I’m coach and this is my roster, here’s what we’d see in a must-win game against inferior competition.
…and against superior competition
This is Jurgen’s first set of competitive games – it will be worth following the entire camp to see how the team builds towards games that finally matter. We’ll have analysis of each match as we move through the camp and I hope you’ll engage us with your thoughts in the comments threads.