Who should Klinsmann call up for the USMNT friendly vs. Bosnia?August 11, 2013 • By Ives Galarcep
By IVES GALARCEP
A week from now the U.S. Men’s National Team will be taking on Bosnia & Herzegovina in Europe, and with their opponent already having called in what amounts to a full-strength squad, Jurgen Klinsmann could see the friendly as a great chance to see just what his own full first-team can look like.
It isn’t unheard of to have MLS players skip friendlies in Europe, but Klinsmann has been known to make his MLS-based players travel, and throw in Clint Dempsey’s recent return to MLS, and it becomes difficult to get close to a full first-team squad without bringing in several MLS players.
Does that mean Klinsmann will call in everybody? Probably not. We can definitely understand it if Klinsmann doesn’t call in multiple players from the same team, like say Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, or Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez. For that reason I think we will see some top players left home.
So what might the USMNT roster look like that faces Bosnia & Herzegovina? We will offer up a version that includes a strong contingent of MLS and Liga MX players, as well as a version without players from the two leagues. Here are the rosters we could see Klinsmann calling in:
PROJECTED USMNT ROSTER vs. BOSNIA
GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Cody Cropper
DEFENDERS- Timmy Chandler, Michael Parkhurst, Fabian Johnson, DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Clarence Goodson, Geoff Cameron, John Anthony Brooks
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Landon Donovan, Mix Diskerud, Sacha Kljestan, Danny Williams, Alejandro Bedoya, Joe Corona
FORWARDS- Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Aron Johannsson
If Klinsmann takes into account not wanting to pull multiple players from the same MLS teams, we can see either a Zusi/Gonzalez combo called in, or a Besler/Donovan combo (as listed above).
Why Clint Dempsey when he just completed his move to Seattle? He remains a key to the U.S. attack, and if Klinsmann wants a real look at his best team, he needs Dempsey in the squad. Also, bringing Dempsey would likely mean leaving Eddie Johnson home.
(UPDATE- Sports Illustrated is reporting that Dempsey will not be called into the squad. while Eddie Johnson will be called in.)
Why Cody Cropper? You’re not bringing over MLS goalkeepers to just serve as a No. 3 for a mid-week game, and Cropper impressed at the Under-20 World Cup. Klinsmann has shown an affinity for taking looks at goalkeepers.
Why bring in Besler and Goodson when you have Cameron coming in? Well, Sporting KC and San Jose play each other, so having the Gold Cup-winning centerback tandem both make the trip to Bosnia would be fair from a competitive balance standpoint. It also doesn’t hurt that the Besler-Goodson combo is looking like the best tandem right now.
One decision we could see Klinsmann making (and more to the point, one he probably should be making) is calling in Eric Lichaj in place of Michael Parkhurst. If Parkhurst isn’t getting minutes, and Lichaj is starting and playing well for Nottingham Forest, it will be tough for Klinsmann not to call in Lichaj (but again, it wouldn’t shock us if he didn’t since he has never actually called in Lichaj before).
John Anthony Brooks and Aron Johannsson are both expected to be called in, but it doesn’t mean either will play.
Here is what the full squad starting lineup could look like:
And yes, this could very well be the starting lineup we see against Costa Rica in September’s World Cup qualifier.
With Dempsey reportedly not being called in, and Fabian Johnson reportedly injured, here’s a good possibility of what we will see on Wednesday:
If Klinsmann calls in Graham Zusi, we could see him opposite Donovan.
PROJECTED USMNT ROSTER vs. BOSNIA (without MLS/Liga MX players)
GOALKEEPERS- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Cody Cropper
DEFENDERS- Timmy Chandler, Michael Parkhurst, Fabian Johnson, Eric Lichaj, Geoff Cameron, John Anthony Brooks, Tim Ream
MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Mix Diskerud, Sacha Kljestan, Danny Williams, Alejandro Bedoya, Alfredo Morales
FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Aron Johannsson, Bobby Wood
Some thoughts: With players like Stuart Holden, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea and Oguchi Onyewu injured, and with Dempsey in MLS, the selecting of a team without MLS and Liga MX players gets much tougher, but this squad wouldn’t necessarily be overwhelmed.
Bobby Wood and Alfredo Morales are both young players, and both players Klinsmann is clearly high on.
A Cameron-Brooks centerback tandem could be fun to watch, but with Ream getting some minutes for Bolton recently you wonder if Klinsmann would consider giving him minutes.
Based on the Sports Illustrated report, we will see MLS players on the squad, so this lineup seems unlikely to be the one we’ll see.
What do you think of the projected lineup? Who would you like to see partnered with Altidore against Bosnia? Which lineup are you hoping
Share your thoughts below.