Photo by ISIPhotos.com
The U.S. Men's National Team will convene in Miami on Monday ahead of the crucial pair of World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala, and while we aren't going to find out the names of the 23 players Jurgen Klinsmann has selected until Monday, it isn't tough to figure out we'll be seeing many of the same faces.
Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley are expected to be back in the fold for the upcoming qualifiers so the U.S. team will be stronger than the squad that split games against Jamaica last month, but the rest of the team should be pretty much most of the same players.
Among those players is Graham Zusi, who is playing some of the best soccer in MLS at the moment, and who is riding the confidence gained from his outstanding performance against Jamaica last month. Another player enjoying a good run of form is Danny Williams, who is not only a lock to be on the squad, but will seriously challenge
PROJECTED USMNT WORLD CUP QUALIFYING ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson
DEFENDERS- Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson, Michael Parkhurst, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Edgar Castillo
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Danny Williams, Maurice Edu
FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd
If you were hoping to see some new faces, don't hold your breath. It's crunch time in qualifying and just not the time to bring in new faces. Klinsmann hs stated several times that he was unlikely to bring in players he hadn't had in before, so don't expect any surprises on Monday.
The third goalkeeper spot is an interesting one. Do you go with the youngsters in Sean Johnson or the veteran in Nick Rimando. With Real Salt Lake scheduled to play a game the day after the Guatemala qualifier in Kansas City, we see Johnson getting the nod (though you wonder if/when Bill Hamid gets another look).
No surprises among the defenders. Eric Lichaj wasn't a likely option even before his recent benching at Aston Villa, while the same centerback options are expected to return. Folks clamoring for the likes of Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez can think about January call-ups for both of them.
The midfield features three wide options in Donovan, Zusi and Shea, while five central midfield options battle it out for minutes. Kyle Beckerman is left off the list, but with the emergence of Williams, there is less of a need for Beckerman and Klinsmann can allow him to focus on the Real Salt Lake game on Oct. 17th (obviously if the USMNT needed Beckerman to play, he would be missing that RSL match, but since he's unlikely to see the field there is no point bringing him in this time.
The forwards stay the same, though you wonder if Chris Wondolowski gets a look.
What do you think of the squad? Which players are on the team that you are happy to see on it? Who is missing that you think deserves a place? Think this team is strong enough to secure the necessary results to qualify?
Share your thoughts below.