USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann call up for the March qualifiers?

Omar Gonzalez

Photo by


There are just two weeks until the U.S. Men’s National Team’s next qualifiers. Just two weeks for players to make their case for inclusion not only on the roster, but potentially into the starting lineup when the U.S. takes on Costa Rica in an all-important home qualifier.

When the Americans walked off the field in San Pedro Sula after a loss to Honduras last month, the sense was that Jurgen Klinsmann would have to make wholesale changes to the team that looked so flat against the Hondurans. As we stand here a month later, there is a sense that the lineup might not see that many changes.

Whether it’s a back-line that still feels like a work in progress, or a midfield that quite simply hasn’t been producing enough chances for the U.S. attack, there are plenty of decisions for Klinsmann to ponder.

For one, do you bring in Carlos Bocanegra because of his experience, or do you leave him home because he hasn’t been getting playing time for Spanish second-division side Racing Santander? Secondly, do you bring in Edgar Castillo, who will have to wear a protective mask to play by then, and who would likely head into qualifying not having played in almost a month?

So who will Klinsmann turn to? Here is a projected USMNT roster for the upcoming qualifiers:


GOALKEEPER– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS– Michael Parkhurst, Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo

MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Maurice Edu, Joe Corona, Danny Williams, Jose Torres

FORWARDS– Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd


Some thoughts:

Bocanegra hasn’t been playing, but his experience is invaluable and having him in camp wouldn’t be a bad thing, even if he isn’t expected to start.


Tim Howard is dealing with a back issue, but it isn’t expected to be out that long. Clint Dempsey has been sidelined with a minor injury but he too is expected to be back in time for the qualifiers.


Brek Shea makes the list and while he’s still settling in for Stoke City, it is clear that he has regained his fitness level. He’s getting regular sub’s minutes and it is very easy to see Klinsmann turning to Shea as a starting left wing option.


Edgar Castillo had surgery to repair facial fractures recently, but the injury wasn’t as bad as first thought, meaning Castillo could theoretically be back in action with a protective mask. Match sharpness could be a concern, but it can’t be ignored that Castillo hasd enjoyed career-best form before the injury.


Terrence Boyd hasn’t been getting call-ups lately, but with him continuing to score in Austria you wonder if Klinsmann will really ignore him again. We list 24 players in the camp, but that means at least one would be dropped. Boyd could be that player who earns a camp call-up but not a chance to be in uniform.


Joe Corona has continued to see regular starts for a strong Club Tijuana side, and is experience in the Mexican League, and more recently Copa Libertadores, should convince Klinsmann that Corona is worthy of a roster spot. If Corona does get the nod, that could cost Sacha Kljestan his place in the pecking order.


We will discuss projecting starting lineups next week, but for now let us know what you think of this projected 24- man roster. Do you think it’s a strong group? Who would you add to it? Which player would you leave home that we included?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, USMNT Daily Update. Bookmark the permalink.

191 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: Who should Klinsmann call up for the March qualifiers?

  1. Ben says:

    Looks like a good group to me. Maybe throw Kljestan in?

    • Josh D says:

      He’s had chance after chance. He didn’t produce under Bradley and he hasn’t impressed Klinsi. Corona deserves his shot now off the bench or even starting.

      I would rather see another midfielder for EJ, but I understand his inclusion.

      • A says:

        He’s like a magical unicorn elixir cat with 9 lives around here.

      • downintexas says:

        He did well enough with Bob, and Klinsman likes to play players out of position. Not SK fault.

        Agree with Corona bring him in, and bring on another non Dmid for midfield.

      • bryan says:

        I’d leave EJ. he hasn’t looked good recently. i’d rather have Beasley. no joke.

        • Brian S. says:

          I was thinking the same thing. It was proven in Honduras that we need a true left wing and I think Shea and Beasley should have a legitimate shot at competing for it. Beasley still has a lot to offer and his experience is invaluable. If nothing else, he could help lead the younger guys in training.

        • CplDaniel says:

          yep…bring in Beasley!! Him and Shea for Left AM!

    • RB says:

      For the most part, at least, I think we have to stop asking so much who should be called up and start just seeing better play under better coaching that will lead to better results.

      I’m not saying all the guys we saw in Honduras, for example, are perfect, nor am I calling for Klinsmann’s head or anything like that. I’m just saying there seems to be inordinate focus (at least among supporters) on searching around for some savior or saviors to come riding in and turn the team around sort of just by their sheer presence or magic or whatever, rather than better tactics or better positioning of the players we have or a better psychological atmosphere or more consistency in the selection or more edge in the players themselves or other things of that nature. Tired of such earnest, hand-wringing debates about this or that call-up. Just figure out why the players and the system you’ve got now haven’t been more successful and work on fixing that.

      • jon says:

        +1 That’s really true, I think. The guys we have are the guys we have. I don’t think bringing in the wrong players has been the problem. As much as I wish mix or joe gyau or gatt are ready to come in and take over this team, I think most of it comes from my own projections. I want a fast, dangerous winger and a young creative midfielder so i try to convince myself that those 3 (and others) can fill that role and make this team better. but in the end, klinsmann just needs to get this core group of guys to play better as a unit and not come out so consistently flat.

      • OPMG says:

        +1 with a caveat. You’re right that the players we have haven’t played well and that’s as much on them as it is on the coach playing them out of position. Swapping Klestjan for Corona is not a game changer to me. Edu for Williams, same thing. But at some level the players called in must match with their role and expectations. Don’t call in any wingers? Then don’t expect wide play. Don’t call in any attacking midfielders? Then don’t expect fluid, attacking soccer to take place in the final third. Those are the decisions that puzzle me. You can’t just call in anyone and expect it to work out because JK is coaching a philosophy and a system that works out on paper. His call-ups must become more aligned with his strategy or the team will continue to underperform IMO.

      • RB says:

        Appreciate the replies, and I don’t disagree for example that the call-ups should be appropriate in terms of getting the right distribution of positions covered, for example.

        I’m really not focusing on any one player or aspect of things, just as I say tired of what I sense to be a kind of messiah sort of complex (again at least among supporters), where instead of getting down to progress with what we have, we keep looking off into the distance for that hero figure or something that’s just going to kind of magically make it all work better.

        I know sometimes a key player is dropped in and everything then does seem to click, but nevertheless, how long are we going to keep waiting for this or that key new as yet untested player? They aren’t going to hold the qualifying schedule for us while we find him/them…

        • Dennis says:

          For example Modric for Real Madrid. He is not a star on that team, but without his play, they probably not have beaten Man. U. even up a player. Sometimes a player who can take on a certain role is a very important piece of the puzzle. So far, my impression is that Klinsmann has tended to do what Arena did, try to get the best 11 guys on the field with not so much regard as to whether they fit what was being asked of them. I think that Bradley did better at that, the reason Casey and Hedjuk performed such valuable service in the last Hex. So far for me, Klinsmann is better than Bradley at giving interviews that sound good to fans and Sunil, but with better players at his disposal (most of whom Bradley first capped as younger versions of themselves) he has had results roughly as good at the best and roughly as bad at the worst. I also worry that the players don’t seem to work quite so hard for each other under Klinsmann, that is a big issue when the games sometimes become more of a fight than a skill match like they can in the Hex.

          • MIKE says:

            i try not to pretend that i know better than klinsmann or whomever as the manager, but it is mind boggling that he cannot get more consistent results with the available players. going with the puzzle metaphor, he has the pieces he needs, but for whatever reason, he cannot (or is unwilling to) line up the pieces properly. it’s been said time and time again, but it’s just… puzzling.

  2. DB says:

    Sasha Klejstan perhaps?

    • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

      As long as Klinsmann doesn’t play him on the wing. Yuck. Also, would be nice to see Castillo playing LB while Johnson gets pushed up to wing.

  3. Rob Usry says:

    John Anthony Brooks time.

    • Tyler says:

      Good joke

      • Tommy says:

        Why is this a joke? I believe he’s starting in B2, right? How many CBs do we have starting at a higher level? I’m not saying he should start, but he should be considered for an invite if your league status really matters. Seb Hines also merits consideration as a championship starter (if he’s eligible).

        And, before you ask, no I have not seen these two play outside of highlights, but I think you have to treat them as real options since we have very few CBs who are playing anywhere.

        • Yusef says:

          What is the Seb Hines story anyway? He’s not on the Yanks Abroad list. Is he eligible?

          • Dudester says:

            Hines has said that he’s ready and willing to file a one time switch to play for us, if he ever gets a call up.I would def tell him to do the switch now as it takes a couple months to go through.Then give him a long look at the GC.

          • Lost in Space says:

            Hines isn’t eligible until he files his One-Time affiliation switch with FIFA.

          • Jamie says:

            His dad is an American citizen. I believe he would have to file a one time switch, but he has only appeared for England’s U-16, U-17, and U-19.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Has he decided if he’s in the German or American system yet? Believe he did their U20 camp as well as ours.

        • Weaksauce says:

          Hines is having an up and down season this year

  4. A says:

    “Bocanegra hasn’t been playing.”

    Then he shouldn’t be in camp. Period. If he can’t take the pitch to play, he’s taking up the spot of a player who can.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      the problem with your argument is that you’re equating “hasn’t been playing” with “he can’t take the pitch to play”. if he’s been injured (i honestly don’t know), and will still be injured for the qualifiers, well then, yeah, you have a point.

      it’s been demonstrated before that playing time for your club doesn’t always correlate to playing well for your country.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        hm…to clarify, i’m not arguing for boca to be called up, specifically. guess i’m just being contentious.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Except when we tried this in Russia he walked off hurt 15′ in.

    • Josh D says:

      Dempsey is yet again not included in Spurs’ lineup. However, if fit (please, please, please) I’d take him even without game time.

      It’s the same with Boca: They are smart enough and experienced enough to know the game without needing absolute game conditioning. Especially as a CB, it’s more discipline and concentration than athleticism.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        It is not the same. Dempsey is a younger guy who always shows up in form and fit and does not have a recurring injury problem. Boca is 30+, not playing for club, and not playing well for the NT.

        I think people need to start looking back at past cycles and what happens when you go with a player like Reyna or Lewis a couple years too long. There is a real danger with Dolo and Boca that they’ve crested the hill and you’re only setting yourself up for problems, or reducing the time to attempt a transition, by sticking with them past the sell-by date.

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          I think Cherundolo still has a lot to offer. He had still been playing at a high level before his injury and brings a lot in terms of his experience and leadership.
          The Bocanegra issue just shows our lack of CB options. He has been on the decline for years now, but we just haven’t found a suitable replacement yet. Time for a couple guys to step up and make the position their own.

    • Bob says:

      Cameron is not playing either…just say’in.

    • Dennis says:

      That is the kind of criticism Klinsmann put himself in line for when he made his “famous” statement about club form being the most important factor. Bocanegra is very important to the USMNT, whether he is to his club or not, expecially with Cherundolo unavailable due to injury. The problem with a coach being too forthcoming with his comments is that people will use his words to hang him if he is not consistent (stuck in a rut) when he makes more balanced and nuanced decisions on players.

  5. TheFrenchOne says:

    leave EJ home and add another creative midfielder. and i still think we’re pretty thin at CB. otherwise, i’m cool with that list.

    • jeff says:

      The problem is that we’d have to find one creative midfielder first.

      • TheFrenchOne says:

        I see what you did there. i would pitch Benny or Adu. in the last 15 minutes of a game, one flash of brilliance could unlock a defense

        • Dennis says:

          Really Adu? Philly is paying him $600k to stay away from the team. Does not sound like a natural fit to any team right now.

    • meowmix says:

      How can you say that? EJ has looked like one of our best players his last several outings with the team. And as far as creating opportunities, taking people one on one, and finishing the ball right now I’d say he’s about as good as anyone on our team.

      • bryan says:

        no he hasn’t. since the A&B game, he hasn’t looked good at all.

        • tedro star says:

          You’re not gonna give him Guatemala?

        • zztoppppp says:


          Since A&B every time he touches the ball it seems like it ends in a turnover. IT almost looks like he isn’t interested in making plays now that he’s on the field all the time.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        EJ is in over his head for this round. The problem I see is we now need some results but only so many of the options are tested. A lot of the people who I think could help have not played a lot for the NT in serious qualifying. Gold Cup is usually when you experiment. So I expect only limited turnover for the next two games, and significant turnover for June only if we’re in trouble.

        The only exception to this might be defense.

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          Agreed, once again highlighting the huge impact missing out on the Olympics had. That was supposed to be the coming out party for a lot of these young guys (Corona, Gatt, Gyau, Boyd, ect ect.) we now have to wait until the Gold Cup to get them some extended time internationally. Like you said, I’d only expect a few tweaks to the lineup for the next two games.

  6. Josh D says:

    Looks great! I have been hoping to see Corona for a couple months now. He’s slowly becoming the type of attacking midfielder we need and his growing responsibilities at the club level will translate nicely against Mexico.

    This lineup, while very similar to last month’s, excites me more. Everyone is a little bit sharper and, at the club level, most are producing.

  7. Matt says:

    Howard / Parkhurst – Gonzalez – Cameron – F. Johnson / Jones – Bradley – Zusi / Dempsey – Gomez / Altidore

    Replace Gomez with Shea if you’d rather have more width. Hope that Danny Williams stays far away from the starting lineup.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      Wouldn’t mid seeing that lineup or the one I posted below. Personally, I’d stick with Chandler though.

  8. Casey says:

    That pretty much looks like who I’d call up. Edu, Williams and Jones seems a bit excessive, but Torres is in there. I’d like to find a spot for Klejstan though, midfield has been lacking in creativity.

  9. Micah says:

    By all means call up Gonzalez, but do not start him he is too overrated. Wait until we are up then start him.

  10. krazymunky says:

    Just wondering if anyone knew why has Cameron not been starting for Stoke?

  11. Zac Mac says:

    If Feilhaber has a good couple of months with SKC, I would call him up to the next camp/qualifiers. This one is too soon, however. Still think he could contribute to the national team.

  12. Wess says:

    Steve Cherundolo?

  13. Abe says:

    What about Beasley? We need wingers.

    • downintexas says:

      winger? what are theses wingers you talk about?

    • Vic says:

      What about Bedoya or Castillo?

      • bryan says:

        Bedoya is an option. he scored last week actually.

        • Abe says:

          Well that was a cup game against a second division Swedish side. Not exactly top competition.

          • vic says:

            Bedoya had 3 goals and 6 assists in 17 games in the first half of the season. He is in good form.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Castillo might or might not be out, broken cheek. Plus his effectiveness has been spotty.

        • Edwin in LA says:

          But his play both in the Liga Mx and more so in the Libertadores has been great, assisted on the game winning goal (1-0) down in Colombia in Xolo’s Libertadores debut, scored the 1st on the 4-0 rout of San Jose from Bolivia and was involved in the build up for the 3rd that Joe Benny Corona scored (laid it off for the player who had the crossing assist to Corona)

  14. Travis in Miami says:

    Who should Klinsmann call up for the March qualifiers?

    A Tactician Assistant coach – does Joachin Loew have an American father?

  15. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:


    By all reports I have read, Shea hasn’t had a great start with Stoke. So, at this point, I’d leave him out of the starting lineup. Zusi can put in a good shift and help us with possession. No real qualms with the 24 guys Ives suggested.
    Klinsmann seems determined to use jones/bradley/dempsey all through the center so this is the best way to accommodate that I think.

    • bryan says:

      by all accounts? dafaq you talkin about? from what i’ve read he has done about as well as everyone figured he would coming back from surgery. guy drew a PK his first game. he’ll be just fine.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        All official accounts. I take the comments section with a grain of salt as most people wear rose tinted glasses with regards to American players. Everything I have seen has said he looked rusty. I saw his every touch video of his first appearance and that seemed to confirm it. His passing percentage was 56% in that game and the pk he “drew”…Cmon, blindly trying to hit a ball back into the mixer only for it to hit an opposing player’s hand isn’t really drawing a pk. I’m not saying its not expected due to his long layoff, but with that in mind, I like Zusi over Shea for now.

        • bryan says:

          i’m not basing it off of this. just the various websites i read on a daily basis, including english ones. they didn’t praise him, but they said he looked ok. like someone said, offense was good, defense was rusty. he was at fault for not closing down a cross that led to a goal. but overall, he’s gotten decent reviews for a guy who just got back from a lengthy time away.

          drawing a PK is drawing a PK! lol

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            Thats kind of my point. Expectations were so low for him due to his injury layoff that no one really expected him to do anything. Hence the “he was ok” reviews. He definitely is not playing well or making much of an impact. I just don’t trust him to start given his current form and probably lack of fitness too. I don’t mind us throwing him off the bench if we need a spark but asking him to start, at altitude, is a huge risk at this point. Maybe he can change my mind in their next 2 matches.

        • GW says:

          Shea and DMB should be considered for the second half offensive sparkplug role.

          Stoke has two games between now and the 22nd, Newcastle on the 10th and then WBA on the 16th.

          Assuming he can get a half or so in each game, and based on what I’ve seen that is possible, Shea could be fit enough to the US a good 45 minute second half appearance. The difference between DMB and Shea is Shea is more powerful, more direct. However, either one would be a good second half attacking sub.

          Zusi is a fine player but I’m not sure he is as direct or powerful as Shea or that he has DMB’s nose for goal.

    • WG says:

      He’s looked good going forward, shows rust going back to defend.

  16. Brendan says:

    I don’t think the timing will work in his favor, but I would love to see Gatt in the 24. I agree that Corona has played his way into the side, and I would have no qualms if EJ is left home for this one.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think the team needs more players like Gatt, Beasley, and Gyau (Donovan would fit the bill also FWIW) who can literally run right by someone. Possession is all well and good but what we need are goals, and more specifically someone who can get open in dangerous spaces through sheer speed to either create or finish. That is not Zusi or Kljestan or some of the other usual suspects, or even Davis, who relies on guile to get open. Too many touch players, and I don’t think finesse is our strength at the Hex level against the better sides.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        While I agree on paper that makes sense, the reality is just different. Gyau has 0 caps and hasn’t even gotten consistent pt yet at club level (for the record I love the kid’s potential). Gatt is a boom/bust option from what I’ve seen. He is an exciting player but loses the ball far too often. Can he be trusted with so much on the line here? I wouldn’t be against throwing him on late if we need a goal, but starting him is a big risk. Amazing what some time away from the national team has done for Beasley’s stock. People were calling for him to be retired for years. He was a sideways/backwards player who didn’t produce any attack. I’m not against putting him out there, but I don’t think he is the answer to all of our problems either. At this point I like Zusi. He puts in a good shift, has a decent shot on him, good set pieces, seems like an intelligent player. He’s a good baseline player to start with. If things call for it later in the game we can throw on a wildcard like Gatt.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I wonder what happened because you are talking about a player who used to be spoken of in the same breath with Donovan, had a goal at Germany 2006 which was generally awful, who had like one bad game at the end with the NT — that Costa Rica game last cycle where we came out in a 433 and got whalloped — at which point both he and Torres disappeared, only Torres eventually came back.

          I mean, if you start going down the list of people who have played out there, Kljestan, Agudelo, Shea, Rogers, et al., are they proven better than him, even if he’s lost a little? I could understand when we were playing Landon out there, but some of these yokels, they either need to develop more or they arguably aren’t even his equal.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            I say he had the goal but it was really he had the assist to Dempsey. But I’m just amazed someone once so integral is now just about not even in the pool, even though he draws a paycheck in Mexico. Was something said or done? Davies has similarly disappeared and I don’t believe he is inferior to the lot if we’re going to be calling in EJ, Gordon, and some of the other second-choice types.

            • GW says:

              I watched Donovan and DMB come up together. Landon was clearly the more skilled of the two.

              DMB had a horrible first touch and seemed to always prefer running east west as opposed to north south. But he was very, very fast. Still, DMB did amazing things with PSV in the Champion’s league. Then again he was playing the Arjen Robben role for Hiddink something perfect for DMB.

              At the time Donovan was getting a lot of flack over not going back to Europe so while DMB deserved all the credit he got for his euro accomplishments at PSV, Man. City and Rangers , he also got a little extra due to the resentment towards Donovan.

              In my experience watching DMB with the USMNT, when he was good he was very good and when he was bad was absolutely putrid. He remains one of the few USMNT players I have ever wanted to strangle.

              I’m sure he could do the job of second half sparkplug against Costa Rica but I prefer Shea, if he is fit. Shea is more powerful, more direct, less annoying.

              I’m not sure where your fascination with Davies comes from. Those goals while at DC United were a long time ago and 12 appearances for Randers with no league starts, puts him in Freddy territory and not in a good way. I saw a number of his DC games and while I thought he was technically better than I remember , he was missing the consistently relentless dynamic aggression that made him special. I saw several of his goals {the non – penalties ones, I believe he had five penalties) and on more than a few of them you could have scored with the opportunity he was gifted.

              They all count but if the idea of the loan was to see if Davies could be a viable regular goal scorer for Sochaux, I don’t know that he showed that.

              In other words, you got the feeling that if anyone else had been playing Charlie’s position that day, they would have scored too. The whole thing was sort of creepy.

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            The Costa Rica game and the 09 Confederations Cup put the cherry on top of a string of average at best performances from Beasley. I agree with your point that no one has taken the position and made it their own though. Like I said, I’m not against starting Beasley. I’d start him over Shea, Gatt, EJ, Kljestan right now if those are our options on the left. I think he would be a safe pick at that position compared to the wild cards that are some of our other options. I just prefer Zusi over him at the moment. I think he is a bit more direct and energetic. I would not be disappointed, if when the lineup comes out, Beas was back on our left flank.

  17. G.Bean says:

    Sarkodie Gonzo Cameron Castillo
    Jones Shea
    Herculez Altidore

    • G.Bean says:

      Sarkodie Gonzo Cameron Castillo
      Jones ——————————Shea
      ———-Herculez —-Altidore

      • brad says:

        jones has no pace and isn’t a winger

        • G.Bean says:

          He has a decent motor on him, and can shut down his side, and distribute the ball around with Sarkodie and Herc.

      • Dudester says:

        U serious about Sarkodie, if so super LOL.There’s 3-4 rb in MLS alone who are better.Beitashour, Chance Myers, Tony Beltran, Sean Franklin ect ect.

        • G.Bean says:

          Sarkodie is the future.

          • Dudester says:

            Maybe the future, not the present.The game is in two weeks.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Overrated. About all he can do well right now is hit a cross. Distributional gaffes, not solid defensively. With Johnson and Chandler around this is really a no-brainer.

            • G. Bean says:

              Chandler and Johnson have been unimpressive. The whole vision, and roster of the USMNT needs serious adjustment. The USMNT is struggling against virtual MLS laden sides. It’s time to shake things up, and head in a different direction.

              • ZS says:

                Johnson is 25. Chandler will soon be 23. But you’re right, after one bad game for both (not to mention the several outstanding one’s for Johnson) this team needs to give up on two Bundesliga starters. There is no future here. We must find a new direction. /facepalm

              • GW says:

                Panic is always a viable option.

                After all there are only 27 points left to get and it will take at least 17 to qualify.

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                Sarkodie cannot stop Freddy Adu or Steve Zakuani or LAG many nights. You expect him to stop Hex level people?

                I think Sarkodie can hit an accurate cross — particular compared to his crossfield pair Ashe — but there are other players in the pool like Spector who have the same basic defect of being somewhat helpful offensively but defensively challenged (Sarkodie’s only comparative virtue being his speed….Spector is not only a defensive liability but also so slow he cannot recover to remedy it). Our leaky defense indicates defensively challenged would not help us right now.

                The first order of business is finding healthy backs with stopper qualities. I’d like to think we will emerge from the Hex in at least the 3rd or 4th place that gets you to Brazil but even if we do that you can’t evade the basic problem that we are going nowhere fast unless the defense trends back towards effectiveness.

  18. Skyler says:

    Chandler –Edu — Cameron –Johnson
    ———–Beckerman — Jones ————
    ——————–Bradley ———————-
    Altidore ——–Dempsey ———-Gomez

    Put Edu in the backline, the role he played well in the US win at Mexico several months ago. Bring in Beckerman to actually HOLD, allowing Jones AND Bradley to both push up in attack, and either one to drop back in defensively on the strong side. Without Beckerman the midfield shape is ruined because none of the 3 stay home. With Beckerman as the axis, Jones and Bradley can swing and shift more, creating stuffed lanes defensively and unbalancing runs in attack. It gives them freedom. The 4-3-3 shape also leaves space for the wide backs to operate getting forward. The 3-front would allow a lot of interchange between Altidore and Dempsey, and/or Dempsey can check back into midfield with Altidore and Gomez staying wide, leaving space for Bradley to be able to get into the forward line.

    • the original jb says:

      I like this idea and the reasoning. If JK insists on the same 4-3-3 we’ve been seeing then this actually seems a better way of going about it.

      My problems with it are more problems with the system itself. Namely – can Bradley be disciplined enough to attack consistently and can he trust Beckerman to do his job. As the game wears on, often Bradley seems to drift back way too far to receive the ball from the backline, thus squeezing out whoever is actually playing the #6, and then leaving a gaping hole ahead of him.

      If JK insists on playing both Jones and Bradley (which I understand – they’re obviously two of our top 5 players), then I think they need be in the center of a 4-4-2 with real wingers on the outside. OR, he really commits to his system and sits one of those two for a more attack minded #8.

    • zztoppppp says:

      Altidore isn’t fast enough to play the wing.

      • swifty says:

        You seriously need to pay more attention whenever jozy gets to the outside…he has consistently shown that he is able to both get space to put balls into the middle and drive to the goal. IE vs England in the WC (see the highlights.)
        I very much like the idea of jozy out on the right. Make it happen.

  19. Austin says:

    Brad davis for jose torres and im fine.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      He did not stand out against a soft Canadian team. I think his only value right now is if you believe he can come on late and hit a dead ball. The mediocrity of how effectively he did that vs. Canada renders that questionable. As a Dynamo fan I’d like for it to work, but he can be streaky and I just didn’t see it in the Camp Cupcake friendly.

  20. bryan says:

    pretty much what i expect to see. but i would drop EJ and bring someone like Beasley or Gatt. i also think Parkhurst should be left behind but we don’t seem to have the depth for that. Boca, i’d like to leave him, but i think i agree with the experience part of his equation. plus we aren’t deep at CB either.

  21. brad says:

    Zusi, bradley, jones, williams, torres, edu are all CMs. Can we for the love of God get some natural wingers with pace, and stop playing people out of position. Call up Gatt, Beasley, Shea, Corona.

    • Dudester says:

      At this point I would call up Gatt, Shea and Gyau.Start two of those three, even if they had Oscar Pistorius style blade legs.

    • G.Bean says:

      I love Beasley, but he is just a fill-in at this point in his career. Someone a bit younger.

  22. Dudester says:


    Please Klinsi play Shea out left and Gatt wide right.I don’t care if they can’t keep a fluid possession game going and lose the ball every once in a while.

    Boca over Gonzo, he’s at a point in his career where he’ll be solid for us no matter how much pt he gets at his club.Gonzo might give a better performance on the night or a worse one.

    • Lost in Space says:

      Missing a player….so guessing you’d slot Dempsey or Gomez in as a withdrawn striker in your line-up. Either that of you’re planning to slot Edu or Williams type in behind Jone & Mike.
      My preference (due to lack of attack we’ve had) would be to throw Dempsey or Gomez in as a withdrawn striker.

    • Dudester says:


    • fifawitz1313 says:

      Tough to win when you only trot out 10 men.

  23. H-Town says:

    Bring in Brad Davis (yes, I’m serious… A natural L Winger with a golden Left foot who brings a wealth of experience and is fitter than most players younger than him due to the DeRosario school of health management) and Joe Corona. Bring Brek Shea off the bench for a spark plug. Allow the backline another opportunity for cohesion.


    • The Imperative Voice says:

      On Tuesday the Dynamo trotted out 10 of the same 11 from the DC Saturday game, with the lone exception being Creavalle for Davis. Ashe got his foothold here as a consistent 20 minutes a game left wing sub precisely because Davis was not seen as more than a 70-ish minute guy. I think Davis’ fitness has improved with time but the primary reason a guy with his talents has been generally left out of the NT is his limited athleticism (and two-way defense).

      • H-Town says:

        Incorrect. It was a lackadaisical attitude that kept him out of the USMNT from all reports. His athleticism or defens which is above par was ever a question.

        • H-Town says:

          *defense *never autocorrect mess up.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Incorrect? I’ve only watched him play for years. He beats people with moves, not speed. This is why he is good at deadballs and open crosses. If you noticed on the Santos goal he was the one being fed by the fast wing run, not the one making it.

          In terms of his defense, he hustles like every Kinnear guy, but the reality is that we have always had someone like Barrett or Ashe behind him, to guard the opposing winger and sweep up the mess (which is why when Barrett got hurt that one year, Richards ate his lunch…..our premise is not that Davis is guarding the RW at all). That division of labor reflects the fact he’s a finesse winger and not some two-way workhorse. We roll with it because he piles up assists for the club.

          But he has not been as productive for the NT, at which point you then have to worry about the fact he’s not a two-way defending type.

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          Even when Davis was young with the Quakes his defending was mediocre. D is not his thing. Great guy, but I doubt he will ever get another look. He’s too slow to get his cross off at the international level.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Yeah, that’s another thing. Some of the people Klinsi is bringing in have trouble creating their own space at the international level because of limited speed and athleticism. You could maybe get away with one player like that for a period of time but the problem with the Nats’ offense is too many DMs and touch players, not enough danger men. You need people who can convert the possession the formation allows, into dangerous chances. To me that means some speed.

            I think if you look at historic level bad USA games, like 0-0 with Jamaica right before the 2006 Cup, or losing to Panama at Gold Cup, or losing to Jamaica in the earlier qualis, those kind of games usually reflect the abandonment of the US athletic advantage in favor of too much touch or defense.

      • H-Town says:

        Additionally, imagine what Johnson and Davis could do n the left with interchanging play. To add another plus, you could take Herc or Altidore off add Shea as a L Forward and move into a 4-3-3, ie

        Same back 5

        Shea pinching and Davis/Bradley providing crosses and through balls… Enough said!

  24. Mark says:

    I would really love to see Boyd and Herculez get some real playing time together. I think they make a great pair of strikers.

  25. Brain Guy says:

    Beasley! Pleasely!

  26. Jack says:

    For some reason, I can see Brad Davis providing service to Altidore. I think the abundant supply of service in the box is why Altidore is doing so well at his club.

  27. THomas says:

    While I may not agree with a 4-3-3 right now for the senior team, I see what JK is trying to do long term through all levels of US Soccer by implementing a standard of play. And to be honest, our youth teams are best suited to play that style.

    That being said, I don’t see him moving away from a 4-3-3 lineup to start games. So our call ups have to fit into that style. I actually have been impressed with Johnson as a wide forward. I think Gomez remains a super sub. Shea should be in there if he continues to get minutes at Stoke. And Altidore has to get the start at center forward.

    Midfield has to be narrow to keep things locked down and the fullbacks need to provide the width. Johnson and Chandler are the perfect guys to provide that width. Dempsey should be the top of a midfield triangle with Jones and Bradley sitting deeper and trading off forward runs/shielding the centerbacks and covering for our fullbacks forward runs.





  28. Jack says:

    Fabian Boca Cameron Chandler
    Dempsey Bradley Davis Gatt
    Altidore Wondo

  29. Alex says:


    This is our best lineup for the time being. Cameron needs to slide up to his natural position as a defensive central midfielder. The other two spots filled by our two best players, Jones and Bradley, would give plenty of motor to our should be workman like central midfield. Then having Shea and Dempsey out wide, who both love to cut in, gives plenty of room for our outside backs, who our our teams true strengths, to make runs all day along the wings and serving balls to our target man. Altidore is by far the best finisher on the USMNT, and should be the undisputed target man. This would provide a mixture of both the Bob Bradley tenure and the new Jurgen Klinsman era, which perfectly fits the personality of the team we have. I am tired for the calls for a #8. We have two of the better central midfielders in all of football in Jones and Bradley, who are more than capable of marshaling the midfield in a world class manner. Its also time for the players to take some accountability for there less than desired performance, and come out show us what we all know they are capable of, being the best team in Concacaf and a truly scary team to play.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      Can’t argue with your logic too much, but I don’t see how we can start Shea at this point. He has been unimpressive for Stoke so far, and is not in shape to go 90 at altitude.

  30. baropbop says:

    IMHO opinion USMNT will need at least 3 if not 4 points in March to advance.So it’s really difficult to balance between leaning on your veterans and playing the “best team available.”
    This makes us less vulnerable when backs push up and relieves Bradley of most defensive duty.

    • baropbop says:

      If he refuses to give up on the 42221 aka 433

  31. Luke says:

    What about Jonathan Spector? He’s starting and playing in a solid league, is only 27 years old and has experience all across the backline. I think he should at least be in consideration.

    • bryan says:

      honestly, at this point, Spector deserves it over Parkhurst. i’d be fine with Spector getting a call up.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      On the wings he is a defensive speed liability, and he’s not really a CB. I don’t think he really fills a need area because we have Johnson and Chandler that I think could play the wing positions well.

  32. J says:

    Magee and Beasley

    • baropbop says:

      If Magee scores tonight I don’t think he can be ignored any longer

      • J says:

        And he did, he was certainly onside.

      • Dennis says:

        I really enjoy watching Magee play. He is a clever player, and I think he has continued to improve since he effectivley missed about a year due to concussions, but I do wonder if he is athletic enough for the international level.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Magee is like Wondo, a poaching workhorse whose virtues go away when you step it up a level. Suddenly most everyone has the soccer IQ and hustling alone won’t get him in dangerous places.

  33. beto says:

    good group. I see them going with a:


    11: Gomez, Shea
    10: Dempsey, E. Johnson
    9: Altidore, Boyd
    8: Bradley, Jones, Torres
    7: Zusi, Corona
    6: Edu, Williams
    5: Gonzalez, Cameron
    4: Besler, Bocanegra
    3: Chandler, Parkhurst
    2: Johnson, Castillo
    1: Howard, Guzan, Rimando

    I like the Bocanegra call up with no playing intensions, basically a captain/coach, unless JA Brooks wants to ball, worth cap tying!

    the Beasley call up is intriguing. Gatt, Bedoya, Gyau, Davis are what Joe Lunardi would call the next four in.. i could see one of them taking D.Williams’s spot if they heat up in the next few weeks.

    we need Donovan to take the #7 back and/or the two KC guys Zusi and Besler to step up again before we are a dangerous team.

    My two cents: I trust the second XI almost as much as the first one… not sure if that is a good or bad thing..

    • The Garrincha says:

      La Garrincha, says you my friend understand… +10 for for Pele

      • The Garrincha says:

        Although not sold on Zusi, would like to see Corona get a shot and Sascha played in the correct position maybe?.
        And off course USMNT needs a healthy happy LD back.

  34. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    No Eddie Johnson!!! Magee could a sub as forward, Shea as Cobi a la 2002, Beasley is yes.

    • The Garrincha says:

      EJ is in the mix and he should be.

      Altidoreee, as the Dutch call him, and after this season he will be OTD aka
      Out The Dooreee.
      Bigger and better things baby!.
      Hercules, Can carry his weight.
      Demps, is a an attacking mid/Forward should try him in a triangle sort of formation,
      with him reclining, always cleans up the garbage very well.
      Boyd, Gonna be a beast if he is brought along correctly, I have faith JK knows what to do.
      EJ, Offers pace, and a great air assault, plus already has World Cup experience which should never be overlooked.
      Jaun Agudelo, Has much promise. needs seasoning.

      Pontius, Mcgee, ?… Perhaps deserve a closer look.

      In midfield would like to see Freddy Adu get another shot with the new system.

      • The Garrincha says:

        Thats Magee, my bad. got a friend named Mcgee…

      • MA1 Rodriguez says:

        There’s a reason why Johnson is back in MLS. Johnson isn’t top quality material, never grew as a player, Johnson isn’t match-fit, and I rather have Gomez and Boyd over Johnson.

        I would like Adu, but Adu isn’t playing. Adu played well USNT when he plays.

  35. Chuck says:

    start Boyd over Jozy or gtfo

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I would like to see Boyd play a lot at the Gold Cup and be given the chance to show what he has. But the problem he has until then, is in the series of friendlies and cameos he’s had, he’s not scored. Until he does it’s hard to make the 2014 sales pitch, and I don’t blame the coach for calling in people who have shown they can score at this level.

      • MA1 Rodriguez says:

        Did Boyd got to play 60 minutes in one game? Boyd never get the proper minutes and a messy midfield to prove himself.

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          I like Boyd and wish he would get a couple of friendlies with the A side. How long will we wait for something to click up top. Whatever the problem is, lack of service or JK’s approach for his target forward, Jozy and JK are not on the same page. If JK is not going to change his approach, then he needs to try different player options.

  36. Applequist says:

    I will be at the Costa Rica game, and I will be very scared.

  37. Edwin in LA says:

    Gotta play Corona at least if not him AND Shea…… I was really looking forward to seeing something like this


    Or you could go with a midfield that looks like this
    =======Bradley=Edu====== this leaves Deuce as the withdrawn foward/CAM guy….I’d like to see Edu with Bradley since they pair better IF we go with 2 holding mids

    • bryan says:

      in the first lineup, why wouldn’t you switch Corona and Zusi? Corona is a #10 and Zusi is a solid enough #7. just curious to see your reasoning.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        I think Zusi plays much better in the middle…..see what happened to him in Honduras when he got the ball near the Honduras box out wide vs say how he was more central in the opener vs Philly…Corona can actually play anywhere in the front 3 of midfield….left, middle, right….

        I actually think those 2 would interchange from time to time, the same way say Castillo and Fabian could if all 4 of those played….I actually thought about putting Corona in the middle as he would be next to (sort of) to Castillo, his Tijuana teammate…

        I just hope we some variation of that…it will be hard to see if Gomez doesn’t start….I suppose I would settle for ONE of the Xolos guys…we could see Gomez and Jozy at FWD, then Corona at left mid, Dempsey in the CAM/Withdrawn FWD spot and Zusi on the right with Bradley as the lone DMF. But that is IF Klinsmann decides playing conservative vs Costa Rica at home is not really warranted, I don’t think it is we need to get our dynamic offensively gifted players a shot at winning games

  38. David M says:

    What difference does it make as long as Klinsmann is the coach?

  39. JG says:


    Allow Bradley to do what he does best which is position himself to support the attack, protect the back line and backup Corona. Demps can tuck in behind forwards and allow for more space outside for Gomez (Mr.Hustle). Until we stop attacking with only 4-5 players, and get our outside backs into the attack, we will continue to see boring/ bunker style soccer. If you absorb pressure for 60% of the game like we do so often, we create a mindset with our outside backs that they have to maintain that defensive mindset through out the game. I can see doing this against the likes of the top teams in the world, but against teams from this region you have to have the mentality to attack and place them in the position to defend. This is IMPOSSIBLE to do when you consistently attack with only 4 players. We have to get a minimum of 6 in the attack using out outside wings

  40. joe says:

    how about landon donavon

    i really think they should go to landon and let him choose the coach. this coach has been a very bad influence on dempsey, he pretty much talked him into quiting fulham.

    i dont get why we play so many germans, we really need to fire this guy.

    • JG says:

      If Donovan is willing and fit put him in for Corona and see if he can create by spraying balls to the wing players or strikers OR put him at right wing, remove Gomez or Altidore (I prefer Gomez over Altidore for USMT matches), and move Dempsy up top


      Allow Bradley to do what he does best which is position himself to support the attack, protect the back line and backup Corona. Demps can tuck in behind forwards and allow for more space outside for Gomez (Mr.Hustle). Until we stop attacking with only 4-5 players, and get our outside backs into the attack, we will continue to see boring/ bunker style soccer. If you absorb pressure for 60% of the game like we do so often, we create a mindset with our outside backs that they have to maintain that defensive mindset through out the game. I can see doing this against the likes of the top teams in the world, but against teams from this region you have to have the mentality to attack and place them in the position to defend. This is IMPOSSIBLE to do when you consistently attack with only 4 players. We have to get a minimum of 6 in the attack using out outside wings

      • The Garrincha says:

        La Garrincha, says that formation looks pretty good.
        Edu, Ej, and Jones would be interchangeable there and or first subs off the bench?..

    • A says:

      I really hope this is tongue in cheek. Wow.

      • The Garrincha says:

        La Garrincha says it looks like an interesting attacking Line up, sure you could change maybe one or two players but it is interesting, and everybody has been waiting to see that offensive explosion. and with no LD available this match who knows it’s worth a try. No A?…

        But yes we are trying to lively it up a bit…

        • The Garrincha says:

          To use an old adage, the best defense is 300 feet from your own goal, or a good offense.

      • JG says:

        What would be your suggestion? I believe what I wrote….. What do you got?

  41. Matt says:

    If THAT is the actual call-up roster….we are in for MORE of the “same old, same old” result. We might as well start the heavy drinking sooner than later.
    Why — of all of the midfielder’s, ALL but two are winger’s or holding midfielder’s. The “Two” are Torres, someone who has not had a recent call-up nor an effective National team performance in 3+ years, and Corona, a Nat’s player yet to see the field for any minutes of consequence…….
    We NEED Klestjan or even Fielhaber for their natural playmakign ability and experience. Feilhaber is definitely a 2nd choice betweent he two due to his poor marking ability. We NEED a true playmaking midfielder to dsitribute the damn ball !! Klestjan has been playing REALLY well for the last 2 years in Europe. Torres……I like him, but just not up to the task. More of a substitute.

  42. Alex G says:

    Call Danny Cuevas and some u20 kids they have more heart than most of those USMNT players.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I would like to see a Gold Cup where instead of giving third tier players like Wondo or Kljestan their umpteenth shot, a la Camp Cupcake, we try some of the U23 and U20 types who have more upside.

      But in terms of full blooded qualis in March against CR and Mexico, with no prior caps, not in a million years. Not unless they pumped in 10 goals last week and looked like they are ready now like a Messi. We have a future but no one was that good in either age group team.

  43. Jeremy says:

    We should play like France; a strong defense supported by technical ability and stamina. France is very diverse and has been able to play with a sucessful 4-2-3-1. We should follow as well, (we have a lot of defensive and deep-lying midfielders) especially since the MLS and Ligue 1 are partners.

    This will work if all 11 players on field are dedicated to defense and offense. Outwork the team and create chances by building up or on the counter-attack. I put Besler instead of Gonzalez because he is a smarter player, he can be the anchor will Cameron pushes up a bit. Then get some good crosses from Chandler or Johnson. Gomez and Dempsey are great at finding chances to score. And Bradley and Jones make good runs into box. Kljestan can move the ball around intelligently.

  44. Oranje Mike says:

    Beasley and Torres have a lot of experience playing in Mexico and Beasley is on the verge of 100 caps.

  45. kevin says:

    while I don’t have my hopes up, I really wish he would bring in Beasley to start or make a difference. He’s been in fantastic form in Mexico (man of the match last week against León actually) and the US could use a gritty winger who covers a lot of ground and wins lose balls, etc., in addition to having a knack for making important passes and getting on the score sheet. He’s the most under-appreciated player in our pool.

  46. The Garrincha says:

    Soccer is football, which is to say Jogo Bonito!…

  47. beachbum says:

    besides the obvious, Benny, Corona and/or Davis…same as before for a while now. Was looking forward to seeing Castillo get some meaningful run at home

    anyway, perhpas it’s time to put Clint on the left and have him cut inside onto his right and crash that far post when we play up the right? With Fabian working with him that could be good imo as long as Clint works hard to track back and defend and spends energy defending, which he can do fine.

    all the options are more dynamic this way to me, but it have to be a different system, a 4-4-2, but even a 4-2-3-1 if a guy like Herc is the lone striker working his but off until subbed. Jozy just isn’t the guy for that formation, and I like Jozy, so 4-4-2 for me, but JK won’t

  48. The Garrincha says:

    Anyone saying that Fabian Johnson, and Timmy Chandler, should not be on starting 11. let alone on the roster are simply trolling or have a negative soccer IQ period.
    As someone already pointed out these two start in the Bundesliga.

    Granted just about everybody had a stinker last match.
    (blame fatigue, the weather etc. who knows what?)
    One game does not make the player, good or bad.

  49. chris_thebassplayer says:


    Coming off an injury, giving Deuce a break until the last 20-25.

    Maybe Castillo at LM depends, how they look in training. I’d rather have Corona underneath Herc, but probably need him on the flank.

    I would absolutely bring in Cuevas for a look…It’s one slot out of a 24 player roster, what do we have to lose…nothing.

  50. Matt says:


    Don’t really care how lineup looks but I believe Edu and Cameron should be the CB pairing because it will let us play out of the back better.

  51. Dennis says:

    One observation I have with regards to Dempsey is that I think he tends to have his best games for the USMNT when he does not have to cross an ocean 2 or 3 days before the match. If there is a bright side to his injury it is that he will be rested and maybe the flights will not affect him so much.

  52. 2tone says:

    For me leave off Williams, and replace him with Pontius. There is no need to have Williams, Edu, and Torres ont he roster.

  53. PD says:

    If JK approaches these tow matches witha sense of urgency and creates lineups to win as opposed to give people time to sort themselves out, this is how I think injuries and form will force us to line up in Colorado:


    switch out Howard for Guzan and Edu for Dempsey (who lines up behind Altidore) and I think you have the Mexico lineup. If he’s not too concerned about not having points after 3 matches, we might see this:


  54. Drew says:

    Give me


    Score some goals finally

  55. The Imperative Voice says:


    Bench: Guzan/Jozy/Corona/Shea/Edu/Morales/Lichaj

  56. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    I keep the same five on the back end : Howard, Chandler, Gonzalez, Cameron, Johnson

    The midfield formation is terrible with three holding midfielders! I would rather see : Bradley and Jones or Edu in centrel, Dempsey and Beasley on the flanks

    Striker Force: Altidore and Boyd or Gomez

    Shea could see a sub, anyway Shea is a better as a sub player.

  57. Prepared for the backlash says:

    Am I the only one that likes JK?! Sure, we’ve looked horrible at times but there’s also been some quality (friendlies… I know) appearances. I’m all for him trying different players at different spots and keeping many players on the radar. Keeps everyone motivated to perform so they don’t lose playing time and gives us the ability to shift things around when (not if) injuries happen. We need depth at all positions to continue to increase the level of play. Let’s see how we do in the Gold Cup and our home WCQs before we over-scrutinize every formation and call up.

  58. murray braun says:

    Well, it appears no one really knows, so I’ll add this one: Howard/ Chandler, Cameron, Boca, Fabian/Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Shea/Altidore, Boyd.

  59. MIKE says:

    what would it take to get corona, diskerud, feilhaber, or zusi in a central AM role? i am begging hah. i am not saying it solves the grander problems of the team, but i would love to see, if not for at least 25-30 minutes, one of these players in a role that allows them to survey the field and attempt to unlock a defense.