Klinsmann touches on USMNT roster selection, clash with Costa Rica, and more

Jurgen Klinsmann


It did not take very long after Thursday’s U.S. Men’s National Team roster announcement to realize that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has a plethora of options to choose from for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Selecting which players would be available was no easy task, though.

After a successful summer in which the U.S. won 12 straight games with essentially two different groups of players, Klinsmann had to make the difficult decision of trimming those teams into one. The result of that was a very strong 23-man squad that will look to win on the road against Costa Rica and at home against arch-rivals Mexico, but one that is also missing some very capable and deserving players.

“Obviously, as you can see on the entire roster, there are some 50/50 situations that we have to make a decision on,” said Klinsmann. “If it’s Michael Parkhurst, if it’s a Clarence Goodson, if it’s a Chris Wondolowski or Brad Davis, Jose Torres, Joe Corona, Sacha Kljestan, those are all names and players that deserve to be on the roster as well.

“But at the end of the day we decided to go first with only 23 (players). We know that the problem is that we have nine players going into that (Costa Rica) game with yellow cards, so anything can happen after that game, so we put everyone on notice to stay in touch with us and if there are changes to be made after that game, we’ll make those changes. But we feel very comfortable with these guys for Costa Rica. It was not easy to make those decisions.”

One of the more interesting choices that Klinsmann made was summoning young centerback John Anthony Brooks over Goodson. The Hertha Berlin defender pales in comparison to Goodson in terms of experience on the international level (with just one cap to his name after debuting in a 4-3 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina in a friendly earlier this month), but Klinsmann stated he called in Brooks due to a combination of his promising talent and other experienced central defenders being called in.

“We (saw) John Brooks in Bosnia, but not only in that game but also over the last one-, one-and-a-half years, observing him, watching him, visiting him and all that stuff,” said Klinsmann. “It gives us the feeling that there’s a very, very special player coming through the ranks. We have the experienced guys in camp with Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, Omar (Gonzalez), so we feel fully loaded there.”

Klinsmann also talked about some of the more experienced players on the team. The U.S. head coach claimed that he expects both Graham Zusi and Clint Dempsey to be fully fit for next month’s round of qualifiers despite their recent returns to action, and added that he would take a wait-and-see approach with where Landon Donovan could be deployed in his first camp back with the Americans’ A team.

“He got himself back into the team during the Gold Cup and he did a wonderful job there,” Klinsmann said of Donovan, who was named the regional tournament’s Most Valuable Player in July. “Now, it’s about kind of putting the pieces together with both rosters from the May-June period and the Gold Cup and we’ll find there the best way possible for everybody involved.

“The key element is getting results in Costa Rica and against Mexico and once we have (the players) in camp, we’ll see how they’re doing and how the pieces will fit. Having Landon back in the picture is another really, really good option for us so we’re looking forward to it.”

Things are a lot more clear as far as Fabian Johnson’s position is concerned. Johnson has spent time as both a left back and left midfielder in recent months for the U.S. and done fairly well in both spots, but Klinsmann left no room for confusion when asked about where he sees Johnson playing next month.

“(DaMarcus) Beasley is set in the left back role and Fabian is set in the left winger role for right now,” said Klinsmann. “It’s good to know he can play (there), even on the other side he can play right wing and right back, and that gives us always some options to pull if needed. Right now, we see him very, very strong on the left wing, in midfield, and Beasley behind him.”

Another versatile player whose status Klinsmann touched on was Eric Lichaj. Klinsmann admitted he was aware of Lichaj’s strong start in Nottingham Forest’s season in the Championship, but added that now was not the time to bring in the 24-year-old defender, who has yet to be selected to a U.S. roster during Klinsmann’s reign.

“We follow him, we see that he’s playing on a regular basis for Nottingham Forest and he’s in our picture,” said Klinsmann. “But now going into Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying, it would be not the right call for him because he hasn’t been with us yet during my time and now is not that time to kind of experiment and see another face real quick. But we observe him, we watch him, we know that he’s back in a swing.”

Regardless of the omissions of Lichaj and others, the U.S. still boast a strong team that is capable of securing an early World Cup berth during next month’s qualifiers. To do that, the Americans will likely need go on the road and beat a talented Costa Rica team on Sept. 6 while also defeating a struggling Mexico side at home in Columbus, Ohio four days later.

The former task seems like the more challenging one given that the Americans’ have never won a road qualifier against the Ticos, but Klinsmann believes the team he selected has the skill and mental fortitude to change that.

“It has a lot to do with confidence and you build confidence only over time,” said Klinsmann when asked how the U.S. plan to grab their first qualifying victory in Costa Rica. “Obviously, we changed a couple of things over the last two years and we try to kind of go forward even after 1-0 leads. We want to score the second one, we don’t kind of want to sit back and we changed quite a few things also on the mental side of it. It’s kind of played out already in a couple of occasions, if it’s friendlies or games like in Jamaica (in June) or at the Azteca Stadium with the 0-0 (draw in March).

“We have a lot of respect for Costa Rica and this is important: that the players always respect their opponent and know what to expect. They can expect a very, very intense game, a high-energy game, but I think we have the quality and the mindset to be confident enough to say, ‘We’re going to go there for three points.’ This is what we’re trying to build. Even if you go down a goal, there’s no reason to panic because you can still turn it around.

“More and more, this belief is getting bigger and it’s growing throughout the entire group. We have a deeper roster than ever before and hopefully we can take that mindset down to San Jose and win their for the first time ever in World Cup qualifying.”

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180 Responses to Klinsmann touches on USMNT roster selection, clash with Costa Rica, and more

  1. Steve-o says:

    Have we ever tried Ld and clint together up top? I dont remember a time but i think it might work as a backup plan if jozy gets a dry spell

  2. CJinOC says:

    Sounds like January camp for Lichaj.

  3. ANM says:

    Interesting. If these comments are accurate, it sounds like he’s leaning towards playing a 4-2-3-1 against CR with F. Johnson, Dempsey and Donovan in the offensive midfield.

    • Advocate says:

      It does sound that way. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see something more like a 4-3-2-1, with Dempsey and Donovan playing behind Altidore and Johnson, Bradley and Jones in front of the back four.

  4. joshw says:

    Based on Klinsmann’s comments, here is the lineup, folks:


    –——Fabian Johnson—————-Dempsey—————————Donovan–




    Named Cameron as a CB. Sees Beasley at LB and FJ at LW.

    • MemRook says:

      Not a bad guess I’d say; but I get you see Cameron at either RB (more likely) or CB (less likely).

      • MemRook says:

        but I *bet* you see….

        • joshw says:

          I don’t think so. Orozco wasn’t mentioned as a CB – so I assume that he’s on the roster to back up Evans. Besler-Gonzo appears to be the preferred pairing at CB. You may see Cameron come on for Jones if we’re winning.

    • beto says:

      yup.. that the lineup. Jones is still in pencil but i think you can ink down the other 10.

    • Mueller says:

      I think Bedoya is on the right. Landon is a forward. Bedoya is better on the wing.

      • joshw says:

        So you would sit Dempsey?

        • Mueller says:

          Nope. Dempsey is the captain. I think switching Donovan for Dempsey would be bad for chemistry. Thinks change but right now I would have Donovan come off the bench.

          • bryan says:

            interesting. i like bedoya, but i would not start him over LD at this moment in time.

          • joshw says:

            I like Bedoya, but the only way he starts is if we play a 5-3-2, and we’re not gonna play a 5-3-2.

            • Mueller says:

              This might sound crazy but when was the last time Donovan played RM. He played Forward in the Gold Cup and for the Galaxy. I would actually put Bedoya and Zusi ahead of Donovan at RM because I have seen them play it well this year and the only time I saw Donovan play RM was against Guatemala and he didn’t look comfortable until he switched up top with Corona.

              • joshw says:

                I don’t disagree that it’s not his best position, but he is one of our best players and can and has played RM very well and at a high level in the past (i.e. Everton). Then again, why did Klinsmann call 2 right mids (Bedoya and Zusi) if he was planning on starting Donovan there. Hm.

              • Gary Page says:

                Both;Donovan and Dempsey are capable of playing and playing well anywhere on offense.

              • GW says:


                Don’t take this personally.but if you went by all the posts these past few days it is almost as if none of you watched the USMNT before 2013.

                Dempsey and Donovan have lined up in just about every midfield and forward spot for the USMNT for years and years. It doesn’t really matter where you guys want to list them on some sheet of paper, JK will tell them what he wants and then the glimmer twins will go out and do what needs to be done and they will go where they are needed, left, right, center, up or back..

                They have been doing this for years.

                They are extremely competent professionals and know that soccer is a pretty dynamic game and are both comfortable and competent in making on field , in game adjustments as the situation requires.

                That is why experience matters.

              • joshw says:

                i couldn’t sleep last night and so i read FourFourTwo analysis of the development of Dempsey’s game over the course of last season on SpursFanatics, including quotes from Dempsey himself acknowledging the work he was doing to improve his movement as the #10 (where they were playing him because at the start of the season Bale was playing on the left). i felt so comforted knowing that the nats were in the hands of such a seasoned professional that i fell fast asleep:

                link to spursfanatic.com

          • Mueller says:

            I am q u e e r. That is all. Ty Men.

          • joshw says:

            Here’s my 5-3-2:

            Altidore — Donovan

            Dempsey — Bradley — Jones

            Fabian — Besler — Brooks — Cameron — Bedoya


          • joshw says:

            It’s seems pretty clear that FJ will start at LW and that Dempsey is our number 10, but if we wanted to put Dempsey back in his most effective Fulham role and get Donovan closer to the goal, I’d consider this:


    • MLS says:

      Don’t like floating deuce but I especially do not like Dempsey floating underneath jozy. pair them uptop or bench floater n add baconator5000.

    • Jason says:

      Mark my words, JK will start Zusi and use Landon as a supersub

      • JoshW says:

        That might have happened had Donovan not scored 12 goals in the last two months and Zusi not pulled his hammy.

      • Advocate says:

        The team’s all-time leader in goals and assists, who is clearly playing at the top of his game right now, is not going to be used as a sub, super or otherwise. Zusi has made the roster and may well make the bench for one or both of these games, but considering the number of no-less talented but more versatile midfielders on the roster, I doubt he’ll end up making it onto the plane to Brazil.

  5. Andy N says:

    I agree with Klinsmann about starting Fabian Johnson at left wing. His versatility is a blessing but he’s been so much better when he plays midfield that we need him to play at his best position.

  6. beto says:

    on Lichaj “now is not that time to kind of experiment and see another face real quick” .. Brooks? Johansson? earlier this year Evans? Bedoya? … Jurgen can you just be honest and say that you don’t think he would fit in this team or something like that!

    besides that this is an awesome roster. 23 great players that are playing regularly with their clubs. we even have 5-6 guys on standby that would be easily be on the 23 a few years ago..

    • GW says:

      JK is not being dishonest. He does not want to bring in Lichaj right now.He’s being diplomatic.

      JAB and AJ are exceptional talents, Eric is not.Those guys might someday be stars. Eric might someday be solid.

      I think it was Parcells who said something like the players are equal but some are more equal than others.

      Evans was already a well known part of JK’s program when they gave him the shot at RB. You can probably thank Sigi Schmid and his relationship with Evans and JK for that.
      Lichaj has never been in camp with JK.

      Bedoya has been playing well in Sweden for some time now and he had a ready made trial tournament in the Gold Cup.

      Eric just now has had a run of three or four games at the start of the season. That does not make up for nearly two years of mediocrity. And these games are WC qualifiers not the Gold Cup. And if Eric goes on to show consistency he may well get called in. JK does not burn bridges if he doesn’t have to.

      He may yet need .Eric.



  7. Drew says:

    Nottingham forest will not release Lichaj for the January camp. January camp is for mls players, Mexico/scandavia based players only.

    • bryan says:

      yup. Lichaj just has to bank on the US clinching the World Cup in these two games. if that happens, i bet he’ll get the call for October.

  8. John says:

    So he expects Dempsey and Zusi are ready to go, Fabian is at left mid and we’ll have to see where Donovan fits in. Sounds to me like Donovan is on the bench at least for Costa Rica.

    • MikeG says:

      I doubt that very much…I see him as a withdrawn forward in between Jozy and the midfield, but more in the middle.

    • Gary Page says:

      Not only will Donovan start, and his position is probably immaterial, he will star. He is in a real zone right now and is playing as well as he has for several years.

  9. AC says:

    Hope Cameron gets time in central midfield, his preferred position. I definitely prefer him over Jones as he’s more disciplined and can allow Bradley to be involved on offense more.

    • ChrisTheLSUTIger says:

      My thoughts exactly. I think Jones has more pure talent as a CL caliber player, but he has no discipline what so ever.

      • GW says:

        Jones is still a starter for Schalke after all these years.

        Tough to do that if he had “no discipline what so ever”.

  10. MikeG says:

    I have had my share of criticism and compliments for Jurgen Klinnsman, but I want to point out something in the USMNT and the coaching staff: The USMNT and the coaching staff are maturing as a unit and progressively developing into a vision the team, coaches, and fans want to see. As long as the midfield continues to make through passes on the ground, over the top, or on the side going from the middle third to the final third this US team can be a real threat come the World Cup. We already have players who can play as a ‘playmaker’ on the wings, but if we can get that one guy in the middle like Dempsey or Donovan to do the same as a withdrawn forward or attacking midfielder we would have a three pronged attack (trident). We have the finishers to compliment this kind of midfield. Our backline will need to be forged in steel. We have the time to do this.

    • Fredo says:

      I agree that our backline needs some forging and hammering and possibly even some mining before Brazil.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      I agree. FWDs are good. MIDs are versatile. GK Solid. DEF questionable. Hopefully Brooks sures up the CB partnership with Bes. Omar scares me and makes me nervous at times. Hopefully the Mayor returns to help bring leadership to the back line.

  11. bryan says:

    i’m really happy JK made it clear that the left side would be FJ at LM and Beasley at LB. that was never going to change for these games. and even though he tried to be diplomatic about who would sit for LD, you know it will be Zusi.

  12. Neruda says:

    Corona is one that is so close to being on this team. Beckerman and Cameron have to be coverage for jones as he will probably pick up another yellow.

  13. chris thebassplayer says:

    Very happy to see JAB and Johannsson selected. Hopefully we can cap tie JAB. I like that FJ is considered primarily as a flank mid. With the talent and depth we have, we’re going down to CR to kick azz… I’m even more anxious though of a bogus face saving PK if CR is down late. Can’t wait see who wins the battles in training for the starting positions. I think the game will change when Johannsson subs on at 60 minutes. Hope to see some stellar combo play between LD, MB, FJ and Ice. Hopefully we’ll come out of the hackfest without any significant injuries. This is going to be a great game.

  14. OPMG says:

    If F. Johnson and Donovan are the wings in a 4-2-3-1 then we’re going to rely heavily on our fullbacks to provide width because I see both of those guys cutting inside quite a bit. That’s going to make for a chess match on the outside between our fullbacks and the other team’s fullbacks. Knowing when to go forward without getting caught on the counter will be crucial.

    • Yea Baby says:

      Excellent point.

      • brian says:

        You do make an excellent point. However, I would expect Donovan to play wider since Evans, a capable contributor in the attacking third, does not get forward with the same regularity as Beasley, who’s speed allows him to recover on the counter.

        I think you will see the same attack we saw against Bosnia with Fabian folding in, Beasley working the line and Bradley hitting passes from the center. Add in a healthy, motivated Donovan to run in behind as well as run at the back four and I think we will create numerous chances.

        Just my thoughts……for what they are worth.

  15. Nate Dollars says:

    re: lichaj

    ‘it would be not the right call for him because he hasn’t been with us yet during my time and now is not that time to kind of experiment and see another face real quick.’

    and all the journalists said, “Yes sir, Coach!” and moved on the next question.

    • Kevin says:

      This is what drives me crazy. It can’t be squared with the inclusion of Brooks.

      • Hogatroge says:

        While I’ve been pro-Lichaj as long as the next guy, Brooks was solid all last year for Hertha whereas Lichaj had a rough season with Villa.

      • JoshW says:

        And Brooks played in the last friendly. And Brooks, correct me if I’m wrong, still needs to be cap tied.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i’m not concerned with a comparison to brooks; he’s a different situation entirely.

        my point is that the natural follow-up would be: so do you regret not calling lichaj up even once in the last two years so that this wouldn’t have to be an ‘experiment’?

        if it’s true that there was no follow-up, that’s ridiculous, and, as biff would say, may be a great opportunity for some enterprising reporter to establish a reputation as not being just another cheerleader for U.S. soccer.

        • JoshW says:

          That sounds like a good way for a young journo to stake out a rep as know nothing pain in the bum. This lichaj thing isn’t a conspiracy. At some point, I think everyone expected dolo and chandler to have RB locked down. Then when that didn’t happen Klins selected players he trusted, and lichaj just wasn’t one of them. He was with a new club prior to GC, so that wasn’t an option.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            ‘Klins selected players he trusted, and lichaj just wasn’t one of them.’

            why doesn’t klinsmann trust lichaj?

            see, that would be a good follow-up question to ask. which is what a reporter is supposed to do, not try to avoid being a ‘pain in the bum’.

            and i agree, i don’t think this lichaj thing is a conspiracy. it just seems like it, because klinsmann’s vanilla answers are received without question.

            • joshw says:

              so your question would be “how come 6 months or more ago, after dolo got hurt and chandler lost form / commitment, you used cameron at RB and then Parkhurst and Evans when any fool could tell you that Lichaj (who plays in the Championship) is the clearly the best option over all of those guys, and please don’t mention Spector, Yedlin, Beltran or Chandler (who started in the Bundesliga last weekend) etc.?”

  16. Yea Baby says:

    Timmy Chandler. Posterboy for “Don’t Fck with Jurgen”.

  17. MikeG says:

    We need to catch up with what Europe is doing: what is the Paypal account of Count Rodriquez for the Costa Rica game?

    • DaveW says:

      I don’t think Marco Rodríguez is dishonest, but going into a game with 9 players carrying yellow and both teams playing a little more of a physical game than he likes bodes ill for the Mexico game. I also hope the US has scouted the ref enough to not waste yellows on griping at him, because he will take it personally and get his revenge. Of course I think yellows should only be spent on tactical fouls, or maybe an honest tackle attempt that went a liitle wrong, never for dissent or shirtless goal celebrations.

  18. Johnny says:

    I would like to see:





    • kmac014 says:

      besler for orozco! not even close

    • Tim H. says:

      I can’t disagree with your backline more. Brooks and Beasley are right. But no way should Orozco, or any centerback for that matter, be ahead of Besler, our best centerback by far. And then judging by Jurgen’s comments, Cameron will be a centerback, whereas Orozco will be backup rightback behind Evans. Evans has proved me wrong and deserves to be our starting rightback.

  19. Joe A. says:

    I don’t think there’s any player who we have seen less of on the field receive such proclamation as eric lichaj.

    • SoundersOff says:

      Backup QB syndrome. Only more odd now because we have the longest winning streak in the world.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        how many people have you even seen calling for lichaj to start? unless you think ‘backup qb syndrome’ is when people want the coach to merely bring the backup qb to a practice?

        and i love the comments implying that we should not ask for depth because we’re winning. hey, we’re winning now, so that means we’ll never lose again!

        • GW says:


          On this issue we differ in that you seem to think JK is responsible for Lichaj not being called in.

          I believe Eric is responsible for JK not calling him in.

          Shouldn’t you be calling for Lichaj to start? Is he not good enough right now? If not, then why bring him in at all?

          Depth means you have guys on the bench or not called in, that are good enough to replace the starter if he gets hurt, needs a break or loses form.

          Ideally, there should be almost no practical difference between them and the starter. Guzan and Howard are a perfect example. We have real depth at keeper.

          Why not wait until Eric is playing so well for Forest that JK almost HAS to call him in? Depth is built up at the club level not while in a USMNT camp.The national team has no time to help players “get better” per se.

          And after his performance at Villa, Eric needs to get better. You seem to rate him. I thought he was okay until that awful, shameful performance he put on at the 2011 Gold Cup final.

          Lichaj will improve himself not at USMNT camp but at Nottingham Forest. Eric is not ready to start , as you know, so then let him work it out at Forest until he is good enough.

          If you notice it seems JK only calls up players he thinks can compete in camp for a starting spot or at least for a lot of playing time. This forces them to get better if they want a USMNT call up.

          At one point he went a very long time not calling Sacha in even though he was playing very well for Anderlecht at a pretty high level. And he did that because, he said, he knew Sacha was not better than Mikey, JJ and whatever other midfielders were around at that time. He did the same thing for Bedoya forcing Alejandro to play so well at Helsingborg and then the Gold Cup that he earned a move to Nantes in Lige 1.

          It seems to me that will be Lichaj’s path back to the USMNT if he is good enough.

          Do you really think that after the mediocre five year performance Lichaj put on at Villa that JK was going to just let Eric waltz onto the squad after a few good games at Forest?
          Did you notice the hoops he made LD jump through to get a call up?

          The best any of you can say about Eric’s time at Villa was it was not that bad because at least he got to play some BPL games, 32 in 5 seasons or about 6 per season and practice against BPL players.

          That is good??

          Basically you want to reward a guy for not being that terrible, for getting a D minus, not an F. Maybe in years past calling up guys coming off of shaky years was okay for the USMNT but they are better than that now. That does not strike me as proper preparation for the tough environment of the World Cup. I don’t understand why you are promoting and mediocrity for the USMNT. JAB and AJ might one day be stars. Eric has to struggle to be above average.

          To put it into some perspective John Spector is not as fast as Eric but nevertheless managed to have, and to continue to have, a far more credible and distinguished career in the BPL(101 appearances ) and the Championship(61 appearances) than Eric, but, other than me, no one is screaming for him to be included. Oh , and he has 34 caps and would have more except for his injuries.

          He is only 27 and I trust him far more than I trust Lichaj.

    • MikeG says:

      A simple analysis of what was written in the article and not in the picture:

      Another versatile player whose status Klinsmann touched on was Eric Lichaj. Klinsmann admitted he was aware of Lichaj’s strong start in Nottingham Forest’s season in the Championship, but added that now was not the time to bring in the 24-year-old defender, who has yet to be selected to a U.S. roster during Klinsmann’s reign.

      “We follow him, we see that he’s playing on a regular basis for Nottingham Forest and he’s in our picture,” said Klinsmann. “But now going into Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying, it would be not the right call for him because he hasn’t been with us yet during my time and now is not that time to kind of experiment and see another face real quick. But we observe him, we watch him, we know that he’s back in a swing.”

      • GW says:

        This is basically the same thing JK said shortly after he started with the USMNT and was asked about Lichaj, who had justed started a number of games for Villa at the end of the season.

        So we’ll see.

    • Fredo says:

      I think what perplexed some people is that Lichaj had a good 2011 Gold Cup playing left back. That is a position that had been unsettled then (Bornstein) and continues to be ’til this very day. Klinsmann has tried some midfielders (Beas, JFT) there but he has never called in Lichaj, not even for a friendly. I don’t think it’s quarterback syndrome or blind hope that stirred the debate. But, I’m gonna have to trust Klinsmann on this… until Beasly gives up a goal against Mexico.

  20. Andrew in tally says:

    Who takes free kicks from just outside the box? Donovan, Dempsey, Zusi or Altidore?

  21. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Landon is starting…any other talk is just wishful thinking by haters.
    Ditto for Dempsey and his new found haters.

    • Mueller says:

      What if you’re wrong? The team scored 4 goals in a half without Dempsey and Donovan. Nothing is really a given anymore.

    • JoshW says:

      There’s a vid on ussoccer.com w Klinsmann announcing that CR will be Clint’s 100th cap. I don’t think he meant as a substitute. I think all the sabbatical / commitment stuff with Donovan is water under the bridge, especially when you consider that he’s scored more goals in the last two months than Zusi has in the last two years.

      • John says:

        How many of those goals came from Donovan playing at right wing?

        • JoshW says:

          All as an attacking midfielder or second striker.

          • Jeff Fulton says:

            YES! Donovan gets lost out on the wing. He needs to be in the middle some place.

            • JoshW says:

              And that’s where he will be. With FJ on the left playing more conservatively, Donovan (even if he starts on the right wing) will be taking up advanced, central positions. The shape could look like a mirror image of the formation in the first half against Bosnia. Clint in for Mix and Donovan pushed up like EJ was, only on he right rather than the left.

            • beachbum says:

              he does not get lost on the wing. where do you get that from anyway? but he’s been playing a roaming role stretching the creases and pushing the shape, creating space for himself and others, and he can do that from the wing too. what did Neville say about him on the wing? it wasn’t that he got lost

              but I still hope to see him up top with Jozy going off together

  22. downintexas says:

    This is why at times I can’t stand jk. He won’t bring Lichij in even though he has played a season or two in EPL. Yet Brooks has played just a few games in the Germanys top league and he gets called in. He did the same with Boyd. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad Brooks is here, but jk argument is shallow

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Bro… Seriously why do u want see Lichaj know?.. Ok I get it he got snubbed for friendlies. But C’mon he’s not experienced as Cameron or Beasley. He would be behind Castillo, Dolo when he returns and Chandler if he over comes his fear of planes. Lichaj is a good promising player but lets be real here..he is not needed right now.

      • downintexas says:

        I don’t disagree with that. My point is jk says one thing then does the opposite. He says he’s not bringing in Lichij cause he does not have the games yet he brings in Brooks. I’m fine with Brooks.

        • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

          JAB is a better player than Eric, dude. I’m sorry, but that’s what it comes down to.

        • Big Red says:

          I’m pretty sure Evans will be starting and he is not even a right back. So, bringing in Lichaj is not a bad idea considering he actually plays there. Cameron is probably the backup but he is also a backup at central defender and midfield.

  23. “We know that the problem is that we have nine players going into that (Costa Rica) game with yellow cards, so anything can happen after that game, so we put everyone on notice to stay in touch with us and if there are changes to be made after that game, we’ll make those changes.”

    This makes it sound like JK could replace anyone yellow carded (2nd yellow) out and bring in a replacement – am I reading this wrong? Thought you couldn’t replace player for just being carded out.

    • downintexas says:

      I believe so. He can replace guys with a 2nd yellow. Seems strange but remember reading that on here or mlssoccer

    • GW says:

      Costa Rica and Mexico are two individual games. They are close in date but it’s not like the Gold Cup with a more limited roster.

      I believe they had to submit a list beforehand of all the possible players, more than the 23, that they might call in if they need to bring in new guys for Mexico.

      That original list is the only limit.

    • Bac says:

      Well I doubt he would say something like that if he already didn’t have the plan in place to call up replacements if needed for the Mexico game, so it sounds like it is allowed, otherwise why would he make the statement in the first place

  24. Jason says:

    Remember the espn article that featured Donovan related to playing in CRC last cycle this time? About how hard it would be to get points down there and that we needed to respect the homefield advantage? I’ve noticed that he has not said anything about it this time around. Its like the calm before the Donovan storm. Watch out.

    • natsalways says:

      +1. Donovan is on an absolute tear….and combining his play with that of Altidore and the recent service of Johnson, Bradley and Jones could be a terror for any defense in the world.

      Seriously, do you guys remember when we sat around A YEAR AGO wondering where the goals would come from? I am more excited about this US team than any since 2002, and that is saying something. If we can shore up our defense just a bit, we can play with anyone in the world.

      And in 2018, with the potential for Jozy/Bacon/Brooks/Bradley/Cameron etc.etc.? And with people like JMac coming up? Man, it doesn’t take much to imagine that we really could challenge for a World Cup. For an old guy who went to his first USA game in 1994, it is almost a dream come true! Not to say it will happen (knock on wood), but how can you not love this team?

  25. Bac says:

    Over the last week, here is a summary of a bunch of posts on SBI:
    1. Dempsey is out of form, over the hill, tried too many cheeky plays, and should be replaced with the Iceman and his 45 minutes & hot goal streak…
    2. Jermaine Jones looks horrible because of his 2 yellow cards (despite controlling the midfield in the first leg & delivering that awesome p@$$$ in the 2nd) and should be replaced by Cameron and his 1 & 1/2 games
    3. The obsession with Eric Lichaj, even though he had a terrible year last year, everybody thinks he’s the magic bullet..despite the fact that our coaches watch and scout and watch game film and have other pros scout and talk to coaches… but fans obviously know better because they read a game summary that says he played…
    4. We should now play a 5-3-2.. because Bedoya had one good game on his new team…
    5. JK is a hippocrate because he calls in Brooks, but not others, despite watching him for a year and a half…

    I could go on and on with some of the verbal diarrhea lately….

    What is wrong with some of you people?????????

    The Usmnt is a hot commodity right now, the depth chart is deeper than ever, LD is playing well again and committed, Jody is finally reaching his potential, People have bought into JK, were on this unprecedented streak, were on top of our group, we won the Gold Cup……

    Seriously…. what is wrong with some people…
    Have a snickers…

    • DanO says:

      Who’s Jody?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      sounds like (for the most part) you’re reading what you want to read:

      1. okay, you’re right on with this one. dempsey is not getting replaced by a guy who played one half of a friendly.
      2. jones has looked pretty bad for a while now, and was arguably our worst player in the bosnia friendly. it doesn’t help that bradley played an amazing game when cameron lined up beside him (against a panama side that conceded the center of the field).
      3. nobody (i’ve read) thinks lichaj’s ‘the magic bullet’. there’s only an obsession because klinsmann is unable (unwilling?) to give a legitimate reason why he’s *never* called him up. it doesn’t make sense, and it’s weird, so people latch onto it.
      4. yeah, this is a good one, too.
      5. i wouldn’t say klinsmann’s a hypocrite, but he talks like a politician, so it’s understandable that people might get confused about what he really thinks. (and it doesn’t help that we have a soccer media that, by and large, is content to just record his answers and not hold him to them.)

      • divers suck says:

        JJ hasn’t “looked pretty bad for a while now”. One bad game in a friendly that we won does not equate to that at all. He’s playing Euro Champions League football now and is playing well. Can any other NAT say that? (OK, maybe Sasha) He shows up when the games count the most and I fully expect him to keep going.

  26. divers suck says:

    Difficult to pick a line up but here it goes:



    ——Bradley—————-Jones————————–(Bradley box to box)


    Notes: 1) I see Bacon as being a 60-70 min sub for EJ (or whoever runs out of gas up top).
    2) I would understand if someone would want to fit FJ, Cameron or Zusi in the mix.
    3) I could also see Castillo and Orozco play some due to familiarity of Mexico.
    4) I don’t recall so many options available, ever. A good problem to have.

  27. biff says:

    Fabian Johnson is by far our best left back and is firmly entrenched so far this season at his club as left back and IMO makes no sense for Klinsmann the Tinkerer to move him up to LM and move club attacking midfiedler DaMarcus Beasley to left back. I like Beez a lot as person and a player, so no malice here at all, but he is disaster waiting to happen at left back. And what worries me is that if it happens, he is going to be yanked hard and fast from the position and probably will never get a chance to show what he can do as attacking midfielder under Klinsmann in the current dynamic roster and might end up not making the trip to Brazil next summer for the World Cup.

    I know I am in the minority here, but Fabian has not convinced me as a USMNT attacking midfielder. I think we have better options, and I think Beasley could be one of the better options if given the chance to shine in that position for the USMNT.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      agree with most everything, except i think fabian has done well at LM.

      i just think (and the stats reinforce) that he contributes just as much offensively when he plays LB. he’s very good at playing the overlapping fullback (which is why his club plays him there), and he’s a better defender at LB than any other player we have.

    • Jake says:

      You are in the clear (and very very small) minority on FJ. He’s a fantastic left midfielder in the attack. Pretty much every time he’s played he makes something happen.

      • Soccertes says:

        I agree FJ is tremendous at LM, but for me the issue is that he also is the best LB on *this team.* So the question may be whether playing him at LM offsets the risk of not playing him at LB. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. I still think our weakness generally is defense, and are problems at LB have been well-documented. So for me, I’d rather see Fabian play LB, with Beasley at LM, because FJ is significantly better at the LB position. From there Fabian can still make the marauding runs he loves to make, with Beaz using his speed and defensive skills and experience to cover for him. Just my 2 cents.

        • biff says:

          well said. why can’t I be so eloquent?

        • beachbum says:

          agreed, and I think it becomes more of an issue as the opposition’s talent increases

        • GW says:


          JK has chosen to emphasize offense. Theoretically, that almost always makes a team a little weaker in defense.
          However, JK also emphasizes domination of possession and this has strong implications on your defensive solidity.

          Chasing the game and the ball tends to leave teams less able to play stout defensively.

          Both Fabian and DMB appear to have figured out a good balance between offense and defense in their approach. However, it is clear that over 90minutes, Fabian is the stronger offensive player of the pair.

          DMB is much better defensively now than when he first began playing left back for JK. And playing at left back gives DMB more space to pick and choose when to go forward and because he is more rested, he is usually more effective efficient with his attacks than he used to be..

  28. biff says:

    As for right back, Geoff Cameron spent three-fourths of last season starting at right back for Stoke in one of the top leagues in the world and so far this season under a new coach has been starting at RB and playing very well. And yet we still have people wanting to push him over out-of-position to central defender or up to d-mid. I do think he has potential to play either of those positions well. But as long as he playing right back at the club level that is where he should be playing for the USMNT and, with all due respect to Brad Evans Davis, Cameron is a better right back. I like Evans but he is weak defensively as RB and all it takes is one big mistake to lose a WCQ. Maybe Klinsmann should try something real innovative, like trying out Evans at his club position, d-mid, for the USMNT.

    • MN Footie says:

      Agree completely re: Cameron.

      Evans at D-mid is an intriguing idea, but we do have quite a bit of depth at that position right now. So – even if it’s a good idea – I just don’t see it happening.

      • biff says:

        But, MN Footie, the point is, if Evans is decent for the USMNT at right back, a position he does not play at his club, chances are he would be even better at d-mid, his club position. As I noted above, it is clear to me that Cameron is much better defensively at right back than Evans, as at least as good offensively. So my question to Jurgen: Why start Evans at RB over Cameron? Why not bring in a right back in the name of Erich Lichaj who two years ago performed admirably for Bunker Bob Bradley?

        I was skeptical of Evans in the beginning, but he has won me over. He plays with fire in his heart and I think he can be an asset to the cause. I am just wondering why Klinsmann would not give him a shot at d-mid. Is Klinsmann afraid he would outperform one of the current defensive midfielders?

        • Travis says:

          Evans does not play DM for club, that is where Ozzie is. Evans tends to play ahead of Ozzie when he’s in the middle, but has spent more time as a left or right midfielder.

          • biff says:

            From what you have seen of his club play, do you think he could cut it in the USMNT midfield?

            • joshw says:

              Pretty much every guy in MLB was a pitcher for his little league team. Pretty much every guy on the nats was a striker when he was 10 years old.

              For some guys to step up from MLS to the national team, some guys have to find a new role. Evans isn’t going to play in the center of the park for us (talent is too deep), so he’s lucky that he’s athletic enough to be considered as an outside back. From the team’s perspective, we want a RB who’s composed on the ball, good under pressure, ready for a big stage, etc. In Klnsmann’s judgement, none of the guys playing RB regularly for their clubs was a better option than trying to convert Evans. I’m not sold on it, but it has worked out okay. The goal he scored was huge.

        • MN Footie says:

          Right, I hear you. And I think you’re probably right that his best position is a central one. My point was that, even if it is his best position, his best is not as good as the other central options we have, or at the very least, that’s how Jurgen appears to rate our central options.

          I would agree on your suggestion re: Lichaj as well. But even though I think it’s a good idea, I don’t see it happening – for now. I’d like to see it tried someday, though.

        • GW says:


          It’s not Lichaj vs Evans

          It’s Lichaj vs Cameron.

          Over and over again the word you get on Lichaj from Villa is solid one on one defender but not so good going forward mostly because he is turnover prone.

          You’ve already got Cameron doing that and he is not as turn over prone and is a better defender .

          The ideal right back on JK’s team is patterned after Dolo who was great at retaining possession and initiating offense.

          Evans is closer to Dolo than Cameron is so that is why JK is trying him out after he has seen what Cameron has to offer at right back.

          When Dolo got hurt in the 2011 Gold cup final what happened? Lichaj replaced Dolo, JB replaced Lichaj. Now you had a weaker turnover prone guy at left back. But you also had a the SAME thing at right back.

          The US has won big games before with Dolo at right back and JB at left back.

          Lichaj does not hold possession well under pressure and that game proved it.

          Mexico won because they dominated possession and swamped the midfield and the US.

          If Lichaj at Forest shows he can approximate what Dolo could do he get called in. Otherwise, forget it.

          • joshw says:

            I honestly can’t remember the particulars of those GC ’11 caps but I generally remember thinking that Lichaj was weak in possession. We’ve had the bulk of possession in the vast majority of our last 15 games, some of those good possession stats were put up against strong opponents. I don’t want to go backwards. One thing Evans does really well is step on the ball and pass it to the centerback when it’s not on. And he often retains possession for us working through tight spaces. My impression of the Lichaj from ’11 was that those aspects of his game needed work.

  29. biff says:

    And the comment on Eric Lichaj is a textbook example of Klinsmann speaking with a forked tongue. The reporters should be ashamed of themselves for not pelting Klinsmann with some tough follow-ups after his pathetic explanation.

    • Nate Dollars says:


    • MN Footie says:

      I agree that it would be nice to see Lichaj get an audition under Klinsmann, because I think he’s got a lot to offer at one of our shallowest positions. But I don’t think you can blame Klinsmann for not wanting to change things up even more after already deepening the player pool more than we’ve ever experienced this summer. The guy’s earned some faith at this point.


  30. Scott e Dio93 says:

    I just would be happy without Eddie Johnson starting, and Donovan playing behind Altidore if 4-2-3-1 formation.

  31. The Garrincha says:

    My starting 11 A sort of hybrid 442 with diamond back and midfield to make a Quasi 3232

    Besler, Brooks Beasley
    Cameron Cam, playing a hybrid stopper/DMid position
    Donovan FJohnson
    Altidore and EJ or Iceman,
    whoever does not start out of the two them would become a great super sub option.

    Regarding Beasely, I would put his decade and a half pro career and USMNT servicewith over 100 caps, Captain of A gold cup championship winning team, and experience in three World Cups. ahead of just about anyone at left back.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      with that kind of experience, why not play him at CB, or keeper? you realize that all that experience was at a position other than left back, right?

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      i don’t think we’ve seen a 3-man back since Steve Sampson’s genius 3-6-1 formation at the ’98 WC, and we all know how that worked out…

      • MN Footie says:

        Yeah, 3 men back is not something that will work for the US. Look at the tactics we’ve used successfully. We don’t have the talent at the back line to switch to that sort of formation, and any such switch would drastically change our tactics. I understand that our deepest talent is at MF, but a switch to three back, tactically speaking, would create a steeper learning curve than I think some people realize.

        Empty bucket 4-4-2 (as some have called it) is what butters our bread. I, for one, enjoy the way our bread has been buttered recently.

      • GW says:



        JEONJU, Korea (Monday, June 17, 2002) – In easily the most anticipated and important match of an intense 68-year soccer rivalry with CONCACAF foe Mexico, the U.S. Men’s National Team used clinical finishing from Brian McBride and Chevy Man of the Match Landon Donovan, as well as smothering defense and more solid goalkeeping from Brad Friedel, to post a 2-0 shutout win today in the Round of 16 in Jeonju, Korea.
        “It was tough getting our guys back from the game on Friday (a 3-1 loss to Poland in Daejeon) … We had to go with a lineup that made sense for our guys to endure over 90-95 minutes,” said Bruce Arena.
        Missing two starters – defenders Jeff Agoos (calf injury) and Frankie Hejduk (yellow card accumulation) – from the disappointing 3-1 loss to Poland, the U.S. began the match with an unusual 3-5-2 formation that allowed defender Gregg Berhalter, midfielder Eddie Lewis and forward Josh Wolff to get their first starts of the World Cup. The start marked Berhalter’s first minutes in the World Cup.
        Participants: United States World Cup Team vs. Mexico
        Competition: 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan – Round of 16 (Match 53)
        Venue: Jeonju World Cup Stadium (Jeonju, Korea)
        Date: June 17, 2002 – 3:30 p.m. (local) / 2:30 a.m. ET
        Weather: 82 degrees; sunny, clear
        Attendance: 36,380
        Scoring Summary: 1 – 2 – F
        United States 1 – 1 – 2
        Mexico 0 – 0 – 0
        USA – Brian McBride (Josh Wolff), 8.
        USA – Landon Donovan (Eddie Lewis), 65.
        USA: 1-Brad Friedel; 3-Gregg Berhalter, 23-Eddie Pope, 22-Tony Sanneh; 4-Pablo Mastroeni (16-Carlos Llamosa, 92+), 7-Eddie Lewis, 10-Claudio Reyna (Capt.), 5-John O’Brien, 21-Landon Donovan; 20-Brian McBride (13-Cobi Jones, 79), 15-Josh Wolff (8-Earnie Stewart, 59).
        Subs Not Used: 6-David Regis, 9-Joe-Max Moore, 11-Clint Mathis, 14-Steve Cherundolo, 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 18-Kasey Keller, 19-Tony Meola.

  32. Phil says:

    Very excited for these matches, but I’m still expecting a draw from each match, while hoping tor six points. For the CR qualifier, I don’t think we see LD and Deuce on the field at the same time. Deuce is still rounding into fitness, so his going a full 90 is doubtful. Moreover, Donovan has been pretty much playing in the same space as Deuce does. However, they both have very different styles. I could see Deuce starting, grinding it out with CR, then Donovan coming in as a tactical change with fresher legs to stretch a tiring defense. Against Mexico though, I think they both start.
    Boy, it’s nice to see our side have options for a change…

  33. Alejo says:

    Donovan————Bradley ——————Jones————–Zusi
    Fabian Johnson——–Besler———Gonzalez/JAB———–Cameron

    I think that roster best maximizes the talent/experience US has right now for a single game, if that is the strategy.

    If Zusi is still coming back from injury, move LD to the right, FJ up to LM and DMB to LB.

    Aron as sub up top, EJ if needed. Bedoya as Mid sub OR if JAB doesn’t start and Klins feels the need to cap tie.

    • Zztoppppp says:

      I agree with this roster, but klinsmann stated yesterday that he plans on using Fabian Johnson on the left wing and Beasley at left back going forward so it looks like we won’t see this unfortunately.

      • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

        If he really starts FJohnson over Donovan, of if Donovan just isn’t on the field, that will be a big mistake.

  34. John says:

    My only complaint is Castillo over Corona. I know they don’t play the same position, but with all of the versatility of the various players being called in there’s plenty of cover for where Castillo plays. FJ can serve as backup LB and Donovan is extremely effective at LM.

    Corona has shown he can be effective at RM, LM, and CM. He has great energy, plays strong defense and transitions the ball very well to offense when winning it. Plus he’s done well in setting up other players.

    All that being said, it’s great to see a strong team coming in with good depth at almost every position. These should be some fun games to watch!

    • MN Footie says:


    • biff says:

      Agreed, I am not happy to see Corona excluded, John. But why in the world are you blaming the inclusion of Castillo, a left back, on the exclusion of Corona, an attacking midfielder. I personally think Corona’s solid performance’s in the Gold Cup earned him a spot on 23-man rosters going forward, at least until he proved he does not deserved to be called up.

      I think Corona deserved to be called up ahead of Aron Johannsson. Unfair, I think, that Johannsson got the call ahead of Corona. Johannsson is totally unproven, has not played Concacaf yet, plus it is not as if he is playing in one of Europe’s top leagues, he is playing in the Netherlands. To quote Klinsmann: “now is not that time to kind of experiment and see another face real quick.” Ah, yeah. Right, Jurgen.

      • joshw says:

        based on where he’s gotten his minutes, Corona was displaced by Bedoya as an outside option. and then Dempsey, EJ, FJ, Zusi and Donovan are probably farther up the depth chart. Outside of injuries, Corona’s only real shot would be if he could get minutes playing centrally and challenge Mix, in my opinion. you also have to consider that Brek Shea may be in the plans as a late-game substitute, and that only makes the outside positions more competitive.

  35. Drewbles says:

    Bad news for Jermaine Jones with Schalke signing KPBoateng. Could see his minutes seriously shrink and put his USMNT spot in jeopardy. All the Jones haters will be happy though.

    • ATX_Colin says:

      I was concerned about that as well, but I think JJ may play a deeper role for them then KPB.

      • MN Footie says:

        Agreed. My impression of KPBoateng is that he’s slightly more of an attacking presence than JJ.

    • biff says:

      I just mentioned this on the Friday Kickoff: “Boateng will be a major boost for Schalke and makes me wonder about the situation of Jermaine Jones, who is entering the last year of his contract. I would not be surprised to see Jones move before the transfer window closes Monday.”

      To add to that, not only has Jones been playing poorly so far this season, he has not looked happy IMO. I have noticed that this season he has been anchored deep most of the time as a holding midfielder, unlike last season when he was often very active in the attack. He was quoted earlier this summer saying he wanted to extend his contract, but most pundits said that Schalke would be very reluctant to extend at Jones’s current salary of 4 million euros per year, which I have no idea how he ended up with such a huge salary.

      • Josh D says:

        Let’s see Klinsi’s head explode and watch Jones come to MLS. Comedic gold.

        • biff says:

          Jones has said in a couple of German press interviews over the summer that his wish would be to sign an extension with Schalke and then in two or three years move to MLS. If he does not get his extension I would not be surprised to see him make the move sooner.

  36. AJ Striker says:

    Ranking RBs: 1. Dolo 2. Cameron 3. Lichaj 4. Evans.

    That’s why people are calling for Lichaj to get a look. Out of those 4, one is out indefinitely, and only cameron and lichaj actually getting regular minutes at the position. Lichaj just makes sense because when he was previously called up, he impressed. He may even be better than Cameron, but we won’t know unless JK calls him in. Perhaps there is still time for him to get a shot in time to be added to the world cup roster, because he is at the very least a superior option over Evans imo.

    • joshw says:

      when you overstate your case like that, you lose all credibility. the only things that anyone can say about lichaj right now are 1) he looks like he’s improved since ’11, 2) he’s playing regularly, 3) i think he could contribute and 4) i hope he gets an opportunity. you have no way of knowing whether he would perform better than Cameron or Orozco, or even Evans. get over it and get behind the 23 who’ve earned their places.

      • biff says:

        Please re-read you comment, joshw, and you can see how none of can take you seriously and why Klinsmann’s forked-tongue comments and his platitudes are soooo irritating. You say: “you have no way of knowing whether he would perform better than Cameron or Orozco, or even Evans.”

        Well, I say: No stuff, Sherlock. Of course we have know way of knowing whether he would perform better and then only way we find out is if Klinsmann calls him in to camp. All we are saying it give him a chance to show what he can do, like he did with Cameron, Orozco, Evans and for gosh sakes two times this summer with bench-warmer non-dresser Michael Parkhurst. If he does poorly, that is that. done. Don’t call him back. If he does well, then we have another option at RB. There is something weird here. Why is Klinsmann afraid to call him in to camp?

        And by the way, joshw, which name do you normally post under and why are you agraid to use your normal name?

        • joshw says:


          lichaj is a marginal option. guy had 8 caps for US and didn’t win anybody over. one season with a crappy premier league team, who didn’t retain him. guy wasn’t available for the GC. other marginal options got opportunities and had good shifts. where’s the conspiracy? i’m sure he’ll get another shot, but not until after these next two games.

        • JoKr says:

          I’m confused, the US is playing some of the most consistent and dynamic soccer I’ve seen from the Nats and you’re off the reservation because they won’t call in Lichaj?? A player finally getting regular minutes in the second tier of English football? Don’t get me wrong, I pull for Lichaj but c’mon…

        • Mueller says:

          I don’t much about Lichaj, but I think Kinsmann wants his fullbacks to get forward, hence why he prefers converted midfielders in Beasley and Evans (for now).

          How is Lichaj at getting forward?

  37. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Because calling in Lichaj for the Bosnia friendly would have been CRAZY…

    • joshw says:

      Bosnia roster was officially announced on Aug 12, but players were called in well before then. At the time Klinsmann made his selections, Lichaj had one game under his belt with his new Championship club, a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield. Impressive resume.

      Plus, I think folks were probably more focused on getting Brooks and Johannsson into camp. Gotta have priorities.

      • biff says:

        Michael Parkhurst since February had played in only two games and sat on the bench for only two games and otherwise did not even make it on to game-day roster. Impressive resume. But he was called in for Bosnia and Klinsmann even gifted him 10 minutes and since Parkhurst returned to his club has not even made the bench. Impressive resume.

        • joshw says:

          what’s your point?

        • joshw says:

          you do realize that Parkhurst isn’t on the roster, right?

        • Josh D says:

          As has been discussed before, Klinsi values consistency. That’s why Parkhurst will get in before Lichaj. Parkhurst is a proven known and he knows Klinsi’s system.

          If we get the four points needed to qualify, I expect to see someone like Lichaj in the final two games. Guys like Lichaj, Mix, Corona, Wood, Shea, Brooks, and Gonzo who either need to learn the system or need more actual playing time with the system.

  38. OSUExtemp says:

    I understand why some people may see Klinsmann’s statements on the exclusion of Lichaj, as discordant with the inclusion of Johannsson and Brooks, however you can’t just look at what was said.

    First, JK can’t say what he really thinks sometimes. That’s how being a coach is. Sometimes you need to parse his statements. To me, what JK was saying with that statement, was “I don’t foresee a circumstance where Eric Lichaj is going start or play in these games, so I’m going to select the guys I trust and know how they project”. For JK, the Devil he knows is better than the devil he doesn’t. To me, this reading is plausible because he selected Brooks, whom I think a fair percentage of the fan base would want starting over Gonzalez. Johannsson has played very well, and showed a skill set that could be very valuable to the US if you need attacking options to come on in 65th minute of a game. Experience is valued, but is second to having a better team.

    Furthermore, circumstances make AJ and JAB different than Lichaj. Brooks is not cap tied to the US, when word was out that Brooks was poised to play for the US, the German Federation tried to offer him a call to one of their youth squads. Brooks projects to have a very, very high ceiling, and after Brooks did not appear for us at the U-20’s or the Gold Cup, it makes alot of sense to cap tie Brooks while he is enthusiastic about the US System. The thought of Subotic can’t be completely out of the minds of those making the decision. But Klinsmann can’t say that. He can say he’d love for Brooks to play for us, but you can’t admit you are capping players just because you are afraid you might lose them. It looks bad for your team.

    For Johannsson, in addition to the talent he has shown, he’s playing at a position where the US is filled with injuries. While the talent of our outside backs may be questioned, JK’s guys at those positions are available, but in terms of attacking options, Boyd and Gomez are hurt. Sure, Dempsey and Donovan can play as a forward, but with so many players on yellows, The chance that you need Johannsson to start against Mexico is very real. Let’s for arguments sake, say that against Costa Rica, in the process of picking up a 2-1 win, Dempsey and Altidore are carded. Is it likely? probably not. But without Dempsey or Altidore, It seems to me, of the available attacking option, an LD and AJ striking combination is the most formidable attack we can have. I’m not sure who else that exists in our attacking pool that you would call above Johannsson for this doomsday scenairo. If the CR game turns poorly, You need to be as strong as possible, because you really don’t want to make the game against Jamaica a must win, just for the sake of pressure on the team.

  39. Joamiq says:

    Really disappointed not to see Corona. I think he deserves a spot. Good player.

    Also, I wish he’d tried calling in Chandler one last time. If he says no, then it’s over. With Dolo hurt, Chandler dithering, and Lichaj in exile, right back is the only big weakness right now.

    • biff says:

      Agree on Corona. I personally believe Corona earned a spot on the 23 during the Gold Cup and should have been called in ahead of Johannsson, who has absolutely no Concacaf experience and had not yet developed any chemistry with the USMNT In my opinion now is not that time to kind of experiment and see another face real quick.

      As for Chandler, do we know for sure that he was not called up or is it possible that Klinsmann invited him and he had an injury :-)

  40. joshw says:

    So this is kind of the obvious line-up based on Klinsmann’s comments (he said that he sees Cameron as a CB, Beasley at LB and FJ as a LW.):


    –——Fabian Johnson—————-Dempsey—————————Donovan–




    But this is also consistent with his comments (if he wants to play Dempsey in his Fulham LM role and you assume that Dempsey would be preferred to FJ):


    • Jim in SD says:

      I agree mostly but I would go this way:

      Deuce Bradley Donovan
      DMB Besler Gonzo Cameron

  41. Marc Eppley says:

    I hope and assume JK has the players he’s most confident will put away the hex on September 10 so he can play around with the some of the close choices, tbds, etc. I was disappointed not to see Corona’s name but he’ll still get to Brazil if he earns it. It occurs to me that JK has earned the benefit of a whole bunch of doubts over the past two years. All of the ex-professional greats and WC champs who still petulantly micro-critique him on these blogs and comments are beginning to sound a little, I don’t know, almost silly.