Photo by ISIPhotos.com
The final U.S. Men’s National Team match of 2012 is just over a week away and it’s time to start thinking about which players Jurgen Klinsmann will call on to take the trip to Krasnodar to take on Russia.
We shouldn’t expect a ton of new faces for the Russia friendly, but Klinsmann has made it a habit of sprinkling in some new players every chance he gets, so the most interesting aspect of this roster selection will be which newcomers get the call.
Players like Josh Gatt and Mix Diskerud are possibilities, as well as Alejandro Bedoya, who has yet to play for Klinsmann. Then you have a player like Timmy Chandler, who has yet to accept a call-up, but who could be tempted to take the short trip from Germany to re-acclimate himself to the team he hasn’t played with in almost two years.
So what will the roster look like that will face a strong Russian side? It will be light on MLS players, and should have some new faces. Here is one projected 21-player roster:
PROJECTED USMNT ROSTER vs. RUSSIA
GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan
DEFENDERS- Steve Cherundolo, Tim Chandler, Michael Parkhurst, Geoff Cameron, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Johnson, Eric Lichaj.
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Josh Gatt, Sacha Kljestan, Alejandro Bedoya, Joey Corona.
FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd.
Yes, Jozy Altidore is on the list. With Eddie Johnson recovering from a leg injury, and Alan Gordon and Chris Wondolowski good bets to still be in the MLS playoffs, it is tough to imagine that Klinsmann would still find a way to leave Altidore out. If he does, then we’ll know there’s a serious issue brewing.
Josh Gatt and Alejandro Bedoya are the new faces, though Graham Zusi could wind up getting the call ahead of one of them if Sporting Kansas City can’t turn things around in the MLS playoffs.
Don’t be surprised if Tim Ream gets a look. He’s been playing regularly for Bolton and Klinsmann has mentioned his name recently as someone on the radar.
Eric Lichaj is on this list, but it wouldn’t be a shock if Klinsmann decided to call in Edgar Castillo instead based on past preferences. That said, this friendly would be the perfect opportunity to take a look at Lichaj as a left back option (or right back option), especially if Timmy Chandler isn’t a part of the camp.
So where are Brek Shea and Landon Donovan? Shea needs a break, he is physically worn down and it doesn’t make much sense to call him in. Donovan could be finished with the MLS playoffs, but also needs a mental break and should probably start on that extended vacation he’s talked about needing.
Aron Johannsson is a name that has made the rounds, and you have to wonder whether Klinsmann might consider sending him an invitation, but it should be noted that there still hasn’t been anything concrete to suggest Johannsson wants to play for the U.S. ahead of his native Iceland.
What do you think of our projected roster? Who would you like to see on the roster? Which of the players listed are you NOT interested in seeing called in?
Share your thoughts below.