SBI’s USMNT 23 for 2014 (April 2014 Edition)

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We are just two weeks away from Jurgen Klinsmann submitting the 30-player preliminary U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup roster, and a month away from knowing which 23 players he plans on taking to Brazil.

Yes folks, it’s coming right down to the wire, and with each passing day it’s becoming more and more clear just how difficult a task Klinsmann will have in selecting his final 23-player roster.

We have discussed for some time how this is the deepest player pool in USMNT history, but that reality is coming into focus the closer we get to the pre-World Cup training camp. There are going to be quality players who don’t even make it to that camp, let alone the World Cup team.

So who do we have making the 23-player roster at the moment? Here is the projected U.S. World Cup roster we see Klinsmann taking to Brazil:


(Changes from January in bold, new additions to the Missed the Cut list are in bold italics)

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

Outlook– This list hasn’t budged in months.

Missed the cut– Sean Johnson, Bill  Hamid, Tally Hall


DEFENDERS– Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Evans, John Brooks

Outlook– Brooks and Tim Ream are battling out for the fourth centerback spot, while you can argue there is a three-way battle between Evans, Timmy Chandler and Michael Parkhurst for the fourth fullback spot. Chandler and Parkhurst have the advantage of being able to play both fullback positions. Couple that with Evans’ recent injury issues and his poor national team form in the past few months, and Evans could very well wind up not making the World Cup team.

The centerback competition seems a bit more clear cut. Two months ago Michael Orozco seemed a very real possibility to make the training camp roster, and a chance at the final 23-man roster, but Ream and Brooks have really come on strong. Right now I will give Brooks the edge, though I would personally take Ream over Brooks because of his versatility and superior passing ability.

Missed the cut Tim Ream, Timmy Chandler, Michael Parkhurst, Oguchi Onyewu, Michael Orozco, Edgar Castillo, Will Packwood, Tony Beltran, DeAndre Yedlin


MIDFIELDERS– Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones,  Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, Julian Green

Outlook– There are some very difficult choices in this group, and it gets even more complicated when you factor in Green, who seems a very good bet to be included in the final 23-man roster.

Diskerud has not been a lock-down starter at Rosenborg early in their season, and could absolutely be the odd man out in central midfield. Especially with Klinsmann showing a willingness to use Bradley in a more attack-minded role. That leaves Dempsey, Bradley and Donovan as attacking central midfield option at his disposal, which suddenly means Diskerud isn’t needed as much.

Maurice Edu is knocking on the door to make the squad, but who does he replace? Beckerman seems firmly entrenched, and the rest of these midfielders are set in stone. Edu’s best bet would be if Klinsmann decided to bring one fewer defender (in theory, Klinsmann could bring three natural central defenders and bring Edu as an emergency option).

Joe Corona has finished the Clausura season well for Club Tijuana, but he will be hard-pressed to make the final World Cup roster.

Danny Williams had been in the mix before knee issues started to cost him playing time at Reading.

Missed the cutMaurice Edu, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Danny Williams, Brad Davis, Luis Gil, Brek Shea, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan


FORWARDS– Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd, Chris Wondolowski

Outlook– Wondolowski gets the nod over Johnson based on form, and a hamstring injury for Johnson this past weekend doesn’t help matters. Johnson could theoretically challenge Boyd for his spot as well, but Boyd’s recent hot streak makes him look like a safer bet to make it to Brazil, even if he’s not exactly a lock.

Missed the cutEddie Johnson, Juan Agudelo, Herculez Gomez, Mike Magee.



What team would I bring to Brazil? The changes I would make to the above group are replacing Brooks, Evans and Green with Ream, Chandler and Edu. I haven’t seen enough of Green to feel comfortable handing him a spot, and if he does show enough in the camp to merit a spot, then I would probably swap out Wondolowski.


What do you think of this group? Which player are you happy to see make our projected 23-man roster? Who didn’t make the squad that you think should have?

Share your thoughts below.

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258 Responses to SBI’s USMNT 23 for 2014 (April 2014 Edition)

  1. Gerard D. says:

    Probably pretty close to what we’ll see. Mix is pretty far off the radar at this point after consistently not doing what Klinsmann wanted. Unless Brek Shea discovers a wealth of ball skills and maturity, he might be done for good–not just this cycle.

    • Noah says:

      I am not saying Mix is a lock to make it, but how on earth is he “far off the radar?” Since the Gold Cup he has been played at every available opportunity, save Ukraine where he was called up and his club didn’t want to release him.

      • Nandez says:

        I see benny on the plane before Mix

        • Noah says:

          I don’t see how you could see that.

          Benny wasn’t called up for the Gold Cup, Mix was. Benny wasn’t played during the qualifiers, Mix was. Benny didn’t start at the January camp, Mix did. Benny wasn’t called up after the January camp, Mix was.

          While I can understand preferring Benny to Mix, in the past year time and time again Jurgen has shown his preference for Mix.

          • Jesse says:

            I agree with you. Mix is ahead of Benny in Jurgen’s mind. That said I don’t think either will be on the plane to Brazil.

        • Sharkbait says:

          What?!? Based on what? Benny has been called in once in Klinsmann’s tenure? Maybe twice? Mix gets called in darn near every time. I get it if you perhaps like Benny more than Mix but Klinsmann doesn’t seem to.

        • 1st Time Caller says:

          I would *like* to see Benny on the plane before Mix, but otherwise I think youre just plain daft… or a troll… The other two responses are spot on, Jurgen has given Mix every opportunity and figuratively spat in the face of Benny on more than one occasion.

        • Louis Z says:

          not a chance.

    • Josh D says:

      Mix has been excellent for us and has earned back his starting role for club. He’s going. Dempsey as the fourth striker. Wondo and EJ don’t do it for me.

      • Jesse says:

        I’d rather have Edu than Mix. Edu is more gifted, has played against better talent, has proven he can play at the World Cup, is in better form and is more versatile.
        Other than taking great pictures with his hair, Mix hasn’t proven an ability to do a whole lot. He looked “okay” at the Gold Cup. He didn’t exactly tear it up. Holden and Beckerman were preferred over him whenever possible.
        I don’t think Mix is ready for this stage.

  2. slowleftarm says:

    I’m a big fan of both Agudelo and Wondo, but there probably isn’t a spot for either of them. There are several players on the “missed the cut” list who should go over Green, who hadn’t done nearly enough to merit being selected for the Mexico game, wasn’t particularly impressive in the game, and then has been injured since.

    • Paul says:

      I’d guess Green going is already a done deal; terms of agreement for the one-time switch.

      • Ryan SATX says:

        Everybody is pretty convinced that this happened, but I’m not so sure.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I highly doubt that Klinsmann would be so reckless as to grovel and beg Green to join the team with an offer as big as a guaranteed spot on the roster. Maybe, and only maybe, he promised an invite to the 30-man camp, but that would be as far as any coach worth $5 would go.

        But a guaranteed spot in Brazil? Think about how detrimental such a desperate offer would be:

        1) Julian sees the USMNT as so pathetic that it would automatically bump one of its seasoned players for an untried, untested, virtually unknown newcomer.

        2) Julian sees that he has the upper hand on Klinsmann; “the coach does what I want—Jurgen, fix me a sandwich!”

        3) Julian has little incentive to work in camp.

        4) Every other US player loses all trust in Klinsmann.

        5) Every other US player hates Julian’s guts.

        So you know what is more likely? Jurgen said, “Julian, how much playing time do you really think you’re going to get with Germany?”

        Julian replied, “Tons—in, like, 8 years from now.” {sadface}

        Jurgen responded, “How would you like a legitimate shot at this summer, and a very good chance of logging major minutes next year (in this little Copa America thing I can’t really tell you about but trust me, it’s happening) and every year afterward?”

    • Paul says:

      The other thing to consider, and I believe this is what Ives was getting at, is how JK is building for 2018. The guys he is reasonably sure could mature into 2018 mainstays have a leg up making the 2014 team – Green, Brooks… and I’d say Diskerud is far from out of the running.

      JK knows we’ll be lucky to get out of group in Brazil. Could happen, but we’ll need some help from other teams, a few lucky breaks, etc. JK, who has the guarantee of being coach for another cycle already, is probably thinking of how he can best prepare for 2018. He won’t be silly about it, and basically bring an Olympic team to Brazil. But look for youthful subs, because even bench time in a World Cup is valuable experience.

      The way Mix gets back into the mix is by using Dempsey and Donovan (or Bedoya if Donovan can’t go) at the wings. I don’t agree that Bradley is likely to play CAM, but even if he does, Mix could be depth for that position. Dempsey and Donovan both are more effective from wing. Donovan because his skill set works better in wide spaces, and Dempsey because he floats in and over-weights the middle (which is fine when we have a LB like Johnson).

      • Dirk McQuigley says:

        Klinsi does not have “the guarantee of being coach for the next cycle.” He is under contract to do so, but the possibility exists that he could be fired. It would be unfair to fire him if we don’t get out of group, unless he makes some crazy decisions which otherwise would have allowed us to advance to the knockout round. Bob Bradley was under contract too and that lasted another year until the Gold Cup debacle.

  3. Nate Dollars says:

    why do you think green “seems a very good bet to be included in the final 23-man roster”?

    • Gerard D. says:

      Top young talent, showed fairly well in first outing against Mexico of all teams. Since the derby is coming up, I’ll go with a horse metaphor. He’s a young thoroughbred who needs to be broken in to reach full potential.

      23 man roster leaves room for coaches to make those calls.

      • Dirk McQuigley says:

        The first 15 minutes of the Julian Green era were a disaster, epitomized by his slipping on the turf, where he injured his shoulder and has missed getting game time at Bayern as a result. However, once he got a little more comfortable and challenged that defender, he made an immediate impact on the game.

        That is the argument that the pro-Shea people have. I say Green can do everything Shea can w/o the attitude. Put this kid in a game in the second half especially the game in the jungle against Portugal when defenders are wilting from the heat and he will make an impact.

        • Phlub says:

          What attitude? Off the field, he’s not the brightest, sure. But he’s always been committed on the field. And nothing wrong with a little ‘tude on the field either FWIW, just no cards.

    • biff says:

      The only logical reason I can think of for taking an 18-year-old player who plays on a junior team in the fourth division in Germany and who has been out injured the past month is because he was promised a ticket if he pledged to the USMNT. I am not saying this is what happened, only that this is the only reason that would make sense. Because in my opinion he does not merit on the basis of current capabilities and experience even a call-up to the senior USMNT let alone a ticket to Brazil. So if he was not promised a ticket to Brazil in return for his pledge, which I hope is the case, then I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in heck that he will be on the plane to Brazil, especially after he his poor showing against Mexico clearly showed he is not yet ready for big-time international play.

      All that said, I like this kid a lot and am very happy he pledged to the USMNT and look forward to him earning a sport on the USMNT in the WC 2018 cycle and doing well.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        that’s kind of what i was getting at:

        if ives has knowledge that this is (even probably) the case, he should share it. i think that bribing a dual national with a world cup spot would be big news, especially to us fans.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I’d be surprised if JK guaranteed a spot. That is a terrible coaching decision—begging a young player to join your squad, doing anything and everything to get him. It tells the player that he’s more important than the team and creates bad feelings with the teammates (who worked their butts off to make the squad).

          My bet: he makes the 30 but not the 23.

          • Dirk McQuigley says:

            And as far as we know, any “agreement” might mean automatically making the 30 and the rest is up to Green. In one respect this Green talk is ridiculous because some people think JK might leave LandyCakes off the roster. Right, excluding the greatest American player, who has more career WC goals than Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, and Lionel Messi COMBINED, and taking an 18 yr old w/ 3 min. of top league football, would be the type of decision that costs JK his job. Will he do it? Probably not? Odds are he’ll take LD and JG to Brazil. Also, JK doesn’t care what others think. He likes bold moves and he’s not afraid to make them. He seems to have lit a fire on Clint Dempsey. He needs to do the same w/ Altidore or he’s lost his starting spot. IMO Wondo has forced his way onto the team. As of today, he’s on the plane and EJ is not.

            • biff says:

              I disagree that Klinsmann does not care what others think. He has highly honed PR qualities and is always trying to brighten his image. That said, he does like to be labeled as a coach that takes risks, bold moves, and then to put that in a positive light. The big problem with that is that what some define as bold moves others feel are downright stupid moves.

        • GW says:

          A more reasonable assumption for Green’s possible inclusion is the “Shea role”.

          This team will need some instant offense off the bench preferably speedy, preferably with a willingness to go at defenders and cause chaos.

          Green and Shea are the only uninjured guys in the pool that fit that description.

          • Dman says:

            Exactly right, leave it to biff and we will have 23 beckermans in brazil…Super professional, can play his position well, just good enough to survive at the the international level, but with very limited upside.

            We need some potential playmakers even if they are not 100% ready.

            • roundhead says:

              His point was that Green really hasnt proven anything other than he has alot of potential as he matures. if you simply want spark off the bench, why not just bring EJ? he has a better proven record than Green. I hope to see Green in 2018

              • His record is proven and he’s also a known quality. Sometimes the unknown players have more success as their weaknesses aren’t as well known.. yet.

              • GW says:

                Green is not in competition with EJ.

                EJ is a slightly different proposition and if both were playing well I’d take both.

          • Louis Z says:

            Shea is injured…in the head.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            and that’s what i was hoping ives’ reasoning was, but he didn’t say anything about that.

          • Dirk McQuigley says:

            He’s probably as fast if not faster. But what sets him apart is that he looks like he has better ball control. Sure that was against inferior 4th division clubs but the fact is, that at 18, he already has better ball control than Shea who is 23. She is also petulant and the type of guy who will get a yellow or even a red.

      • away goals says:

        “… does not merit on the basis of current capabilities…”

        This suffers from the same problem as the green fanboys (who have been suspiciously silent since the mexico game).

        Nobody here really knows what his current capabilities are. It’s possible that during his time in camps, green was clearly superior to a few of the other wide attacking options.

      • Steve Jungul says:

        “a snowball’s chance in HECK ?” …..lmao, where is Heck anyways? sounds like a village in Norway or Sweden, so the snowball (Green) actually has a pretty good chance I guess.

  4. Kodi says:

    I agree with you on leaving behind Brooks, Evans, and Green for Ream (or Orozco), Chandler (or Parkhurst) , and Edu. I guess at this point Gonzalez is making the 23. So positionally, it seems redundant to bring Gonzalez, Goodson, AND Brooks. I haven’t seen Ream at all this year, but from everything I’ve read, it seems like he has a good chance of competing for a spot on the plane. Also, considering the versatility of our defender group, I’d be ok with taking 7 defenders.

    • Increase says:

      I agree that Gonz, Goodson and Brooks all cover the same Big Man in the air slot. It’s hard to find Championship games but I do home Ream makes it into camp.

      • analyst/therapist says:

        I could see Ream and Chandler replacing Brooks, Goodson, and Evans. Cameron and Ream are both really versatile, can play inside or outside. This frees up a spot for EJ/Mix/Edu. Perhaps that’s a bit risky, but you can still withstand 3 injuries in the back line and you give yourself an additional attacking option.

  5. TheFrenchOne says:

    as much as i respect JK, i still suspect there will be a shocker in the final 23, and i think it’ll be landon being left out. I know he’s not exactly lighting it up in MLS right now, but landon needs to be on the plane.

    • JH says:

      I think that would be quite a shocker and I don’t think it will happen. I think Klinsmann and Donavan know that Donavan will be on the plane to Brazil. The only leverage that Klinsmann has to light a fire under Donavan is a position in the starting 11. I hope to see Donavan starting in Brazil, so lets hope he takes Klinsmann’s challenge and picks up his game.

      • Nicole says:

        Landon doesn’t need a challenge and he doesn’t need a fire light under him. I really, really hope Klinsi will finally learn something and not play that game.

        Landon knows exactly what he needs to do to prepare his mind and his body to make an impact at the World Cup and he is doing it right now. Let him prepare in his way, Klinsi; you won’t be disappointed in him. He will be good for us at World Cup. He is still an impactful player.

        • JH says:

          Nice comment. I agree. Sometimes I think Klinsi and Donavan get frustrated/don’t get along with each other’s approach to the game.

          • Bac says:

            And I think Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman make it out to be worse than it really is.
            Landon went on sabbatical.
            JK didn’t like it.
            Landon made a great comeback.
            Since then the only issue was that he didn’t start in the last game, which was a shocker when the lineups were announced, but then we find out he had a bum ankle and wasn’t sharp all week, and it showed in the game.

            I think because LD has been the face of US Soccer this story has been overblown. And the biggest loudmouths have been Lalas and Twellman.
            JK has given no indication of any negativity towards LD in quite some time… the rest is speculation by the press.
            Whether he makes the starting lineup is a different conversation, and that will depend on LDs form in camp… period.

            • John says:

              The question around Donovan at the moment is just where do you play him. During the Gold Cup when he played so well it was under the striker. When he’s played in the midfield he hasn’t performed as well.

              • Bac says:

                John that is a much more legitimate discussion than the issue of the JK versus Donovan discussion.
                When it’s all said and done I think JK puts the best lineup out there, and if LD is fit and sharp he starts. Lalas et. al may make it out to be more than that, but if LD is ready, he plays.

            • LIl' Zeke says:

              I’m prepared for anything. After all he is just a man… an increasingly plump man.

            • Dirk McQuigley says:

              ITA Twellman and Lalas. While clearly there is friction between JK and LD, it is normal. This is not a huge feud that TT and AL are making it into. Does JK really want to mess w/ chemistry and have the team and staff answer the entire tournament why we don’t have Donovan on the roster?

        • jb says:

          I appreciate Nicole’s comment. But I can completely understand JK’s frustration with trying to get LD to be committed and to get him on the field. I haven’t heard much discussion about this but here’s some hard facts. Our attack is still going to be very much dependent on Donovan and Dempsey, and they have BARELY PLAYED together under Klinsmann in his 4-2-3-1 system. The last time they were successful together was when they were manning the flanks in the 4-4-2 under Bob Bradley. Clearly we won’t be seeing that, and so far under JK, they have been playing the same position. So now JK has a couple of weeks and a couple of friendlies to figure out how to get the best out of our two most proven attackers. Crossing fingers.

          • GW says:

            “Our attack is still going to be very much dependent on Donovan and Dempsey, and they have BARELY PLAYED together under Klinsmann in his 4-2-3-1 system”

            How much time do you think the dynamic duo really need to figure each other out?

            They will have the whole camp and those three exhibition games to figure it out. Those two are the most veteran outfield players the US has.

            A much bigger deal is whether Donovan can get past his various niggling injuries. Being hurt is comparatively new to him.

            I can see Donovavn being left out but it would be because he was not fit.

    • biff says:

      @TheFrenchOne: That thought had never crossed my mind, about Klinsmann snubbing Landy-Cakes for Brazil. But when I read you comment, it did not strike me as being impossible. What makes you think the “schocker” will be Klinsmann leaving Donovan at home? And I agree with you, Donovan needs to be on the plane.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        The real shocker will be when JK announces that the team will be traveling by boat and omnibus, and therefore no one will be on the plane.

        • leej says:

          how about using red white and blue jet packs

          • GW says:

            Jet packs have come a long way , what with their new fuel source but their range is limited, payload would be insufficient and unfortunately they can’t make Brazil from the lower 48.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              But there’s a possibility that they could catch the wearer’s clothing on fire, which, given these kits, would be a plus. I say go for it—just as long as they are the right red and blue.

              • JH says:

                LOL! Somehow a visual of Evel Knievel popped in my head. He was wearing the USA jersey with a rocket pack on a motorbike heading to Brazil.

            • John Cocktosen says:

              They’ll still use a plane to arrive in Brazil.

              They’ll just use the jet packs to make their entrance into the stadium. In lieu of the bus.

              • GW says:

                The potential for injury is too great a risk. They would all need proper flight training and while that might prove a welcome distraction, they have enough on their plate already.

                Negotiating with the Federation to have the Enterprise cloaked and in an earth orbit where they were clear to beam the starters onto the field from the locker room is far less risky.

  6. SBI TroII says:

    I know Terrence Boyd is scoring goals in Austria but he is largely untested on the international stage. I would take Agudelo and Johnson over him who both have the ability to make an impact off the bench. I would like to see Boyd get a run out in one of the friendlies to see where he’s at though.

    Also Jürgen’s got to add Edu or Williams to the roster. They are playing well. At a position where card accumulation is frequent, you need more than one backup. Take out Green for either one.

    • John says:

      Couldn’t you also say Johannsson is largely untested on the international stage? Considering his form over the last couple months, perhaps he isn’t a lock to go.

      • biff says:

        +1. I am not sold on Johansson at all and do not see him as a lock for ticket to Brazil. He is way overrated by USMTN fans and apparently by Klinsmann also.

        • Increase says:

          I know what you mean but Agudelo hasn’t done much either. I feel like we lack experienced striker options. I wish Herc hadn’t disappeared so much. =(

        • Joe says:

          Dude. To get this all you need to do his have half an eye for soccer, if you don’t see his quality and skill set, we can’t help you. I would start him over Jozy right now up top.

      • GW says:

        Boyd and AJ are probably on the 30 but 50/50 for the 23.

    • Maykol says:

      Well when boyd plays for the US, klinsy hardly gives him a lot of minutes. But when he has played, he hasnt really had a single mistake or showed bad moments if i remember cirrectly, he has always been overall solid if unspectacular for what we have seen. I agree thats not actually enough merit to go to the world cup, which is why i really hope he gets significant minutes in the upcoming friendlies, but i think i take him over agudelo, but i hope both him and Ej go

      • Hogatroge says:

        The only real criticism of Boyd’s limited minutes comes from the Germany game, where he went for a low-probability attempt on goal that almost sprung a counterrattack instead of killing time taking it to the corner.

        I’m high on Boyd, though, and I expect that Klinsi is too (in spite of limited minutes). It says something that he’s been in every camp for the past 2 years.

        I’d expect him to get PT in the 3 friendlies coming up.

      • White Kix says:

        I know it has been a while, and Boyd may have gotten a lot better in the last two years, but I was at the qualifier in June of 2012 against Antigua and Barbuda. Boyd came in for about the last ten minutes. He received the ball 7 times. The first six times he was dispossed by the defender, made an errent pass, or took a shot that went no where near the target. In the last seconds of the game he completed a square pass. That was his lone play that was not bad It was incredibly hard to watch. The month prior in the big victory over Scotland, he had numerous goal scoring oportunities that he squandered with poor touches. Also, he has yet to score for the Nats. He might be playing well in Austria, and he might have improved a lot, but his performances for the nats have been bad to poor. His lone contribution to the Nats was his failed back-heel that fell to Orozco. Klinsmann has done crazier things, but I will be surprised (and upset) if Boyd is on that plane to Brazil.

      • GW says:


        I can’t see taking a player because he doesn’t do anything wrong.

        SBI fans are way too concerned with watching for mistakes instead of watching for how the team does when a player plays.

        EJ is acts like a knucklehead at times, failed in Europe, is widely despised, has made mistakes and looks awkward but he has scored just about everytime the US really needed him to.

        But he is still spit on by most of you.

        If I had to take only one of AJ, Boyd, Agudelo or EJ, assuming everyone is healthy and in reasonable form, I take EJ easily.

        At the end of the day the other three exhibit varying degrees of widdly woo while EJ is a proven tough guy. And the World Cup is a big boy pants kind of thing.

        • Jesse says:

          Eddie is that you?
          I don’t think you are wrong. EJ has been a very valuable member of the team. He should be called into camp and once again asked to prove he belongs. His goal against Mexico was great. He rescued us in qualifying. He had some solid play in the Gold Cup. His physical gifts are unique in our striker pool. All things in his favor. I don’t think he is a given on that plane, but he absolutely belongs in camp.

    • John says:

      If you add up the goals from Jozy, Aron, EJ and Agudelo’s last 10 matches combined you get 3 goals. You have to take at someone in some kind of form.

      • JH says:

        Yeah, we have a problem at forward as all of our options are running cold. The most in form player is Wondo who is tearing it up and has scored international goals against Korea and Mexico. I hope the other options pick it up because putting Dempsey up top with Wondo is not the most ideal. Can Wondo pull off a target man role against the teams in our group? I recall USA going with a 4-4-2 diamond in the first half against mexico and he scored. He was the target man in the win against a b-side Korea and he scored 2 goals.

        • Jesse says:

          In 2010 we got a little crazy looking for the “hot striker”. A few guys made the plane (like Buddle and Findley) who may not have really belonged. Form is a factor, but I know Jurgen will look at more than just number of goals scored in league play.

          • JH says:

            You are correct, but last time I think it was also that we didn’t have as much depth at the striker position. I am sure JK will work it out. There is still time for Jozy, and Aron, and EJ to get back into form.

            What do you think, should Julian Green should go to Brazil? If you compare with Donavan, who was 20 in 2002, Donavan had been with Leverkusen II for a longer time and had been loaned out to San Jose for a year before the 2002 World Cup started. Green has only been with Munich II for a year and has not played top tier anywhere. Granted he is with Munich, but he is a bit inexperienced. Who knows, maybe including him in the World Cup was part of the deal to get him to switch. I am sure he has a bright future, but I’m not sure if he is ready for Brazil.

            • Jesse says:

              On Julian Green I have mixed feelings and the answer is I really don’t know. Luckily, Jurgen knows the player much better than I do and he gets to make the decision. I’m rooting for Green, I hope he gets a little bit of time in the couple Bundesliga games. I doubt it though. I am completely okay with leaving him home, but if Jurgen says this kid just “lights it up” everytime we see him. Then I’m okay with taking him to Brazil.

    • Kodi says:

      JK seems to prefer a bigger, physical, target forward when we play a 4-5-1. So I think he is seen as a “like for like” for Jozy in the event that he is injured.

  7. Chuck Masterton says:

    All other projections being the same (including Green and Brooks), give me- Ream, Agudelo, Chandler and Parkhurst. You take- Evans, Beasley, Goodson and Wondolowski and my team wins. Your four picks are wasted opportunities.

    • Mello1 says:

      Chuck I agree. I like those options better myself.

      • Chuck Masterton says:

        They way I see it, If Chandler, Parkhurst or Ream had to start games in Brazil, it’d be fine but I would be really concerned if the obvious back ups -Beasley, Evans or Goodson were called on even as a sub. Yikes!

    • Neruda says:

      I’m with you on Parkhurst and Chandler more than Ream and Agudelo. Camp is going to be really important because for a month Klinsi will get to see these players apples to apples (i.e. throw quality of leagues out the window). Ives should produce a list of who the 30 invitees to camp and then pair it down to levels of lock-ness (not the monster).

    • Jesse says:

      I’m with you on Evans for sure.
      Indifferent on Goodson and Wondo at this point.

      Beasley belongs on that plane. He is a solid experienced player who can back up 2 positions, and brings positive vibe to the locker room.

  8. Del Griffin says:

    I would leave off Jones and Altidore since they stink.

  9. Neruda says:

    Who knows what JK is going to do decide in the end but it’s seems a shame to leave off one of Mix, Edu or Williams. JK has to look at playing to this pools strength and bring an extra midfielder and that can only mean taking three pure forwards instead of four.

    No matter what happens many strong players are going to be crushed by not making the final cut. The US is pool is deeper and wider than ever which we can only hope helps the US finally get past Ghana. This assumes Ghana’s player pool is at the same talent level as it was four years ago.

  10. reignman says:

    I’m just not sure what the point is in bringing four “true” strikers when Dempsey and Donovan can both play up there as well. Leave Wondo behind and bring someone like Edu instead.

    • Neruda says:

      I’m thinking the same thing. The middle of the field is where the pool is deepest so pull from the deepest part more than the shallow end.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Dempsey & Donovan aren’t big bodies. You want someone like Boyd, Agudelo, or (theoretically) EJ, to back up Altidore if he goes down/gets a red.

    • Paul says:

      I agree as well. Bring only 3 true strikers. Both Donovan and Dempsey can go up top.

  11. biff says:

    Gringo Torres will most definitely be among the 30 called up. And watching little Luka Modric’s fabulous display yesterday against Bayern, I wonder if Torres could play a similar role for the USMNT. Not saying Torres is at the high level of Modric, but I think he could be better utilized for the USMNT than Klinsmann has done thus far. Quite frankly, I am worried about Klinsmann’s ability to judge talent and chose rosters and utilize the talent correctly. Seems to be disconnect.

    Along with Torres, I think Castillo, Corona and Orozco will also be among the 30 called in May, with maybe three of them headed for Brazil. At least I hope so. I would like to see all four of them go if they show well in camp and the send-ff friendlies.

    • Increase says:

      I like Torres and I do agree he hasn’t fit in with the role he was asked to play. If I remember he was pushed out to the left and he is clearly a center of the park guy. I also wish Castillo was there. I feel like this roster is a lot like most US rosters. Lots of hard working, tough midfielders + whatever Donovan and Dempsey are. It’s kinda who we always are in the end.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      one thing (of many) that modric had is pepe and ramos behind him. torres would have, most likely, besler and gonzalez. that alone kind of breaks the comparison.

      • biff says:

        But Modric also was pit bull on defense himself, and I will say that I do not buy this criticism that Torres stinks on defense. He also has the pit bull qualities to needle the opposition. But more important are his technical skills to manage the flow of the ball in the center field and Klinsmann was trying force him into an attacking midfielder. But just like Modric can now and then score a great goal, Torres has scored more goals the past month than Jozy all season. I don’t think Klinsman can be so foolish as to snub Torres in May while calling in Green.

        • Nandez says:

          Torres’s defense has improved greatly. A bradley/Torres partnership would be awesome! If only Jermaine Jones was a CB the US would have their own Pepe but man is it going to be exciting watching pepe and jones go toe to toe.

          • jb says:

            I like Torres and he does bring unique skills, but he would be physically dominated by the central midfields of Ghana and Germany for sure. Our only chance against them is Bradley and Jones, with Jones bringing his A game.

          • biff says:

            @Nandez: Pepe is an great form now, and Jermaine will be the man to keep him in line.

          • GW says:

            “A bradley/Torres partnership would be awesome! ”

            That would depend on the opponent. Mikey and Gringo basically want to be the same player.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              That almost convinces me to hope for them to be paired together. As I argued on a recent thread, if we go in thinking that Bradley is going to be allowed to play “the Bradley role,” then he will get shut down and the team will look headless. We need another “Bradley,” even if he’s not as good as the real Bradley.

              • Jesse says:

                Jones thinks he is Bradley and that is why so many people criticize him. Torres and Klejstan are the same player to me. Both are good quality players in mid-tier leagues, but they don’t have the physical tools to handle the speed of the game at the international level.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                The way I see it, the corrected statement would be:

                “Jones [has been told by Klinsmann to play like] Bradley [but fans don’t realize the value in that and think he somehow gets away with repeatedly defying Klinsmann’s orders] and that is why so many people criticize him.”

        • Jesse says:

          more Chihuahua than pit bull. Gets pushed around too easily for my taste as a CDM.

    • Dan Daminko says:

      Are you their agent?
      If yes, that’s nice you are supporting your clients, but don’t see any going to Brazil.

    • Andre says:

      I definitely agree Biff that Torres should be called in but I don’t see it happening. He has been on top form the past 2 months but unfortunately he isn’t always consistent.

      On Saturday his pass set up the first goal for Tigres and he had the assist on the second goal. I really hope to see him called in but Klinsmann never seems to know how to play him.

      • biff says:

        Will be par for the course if Klinsmann fails to recognize the red-hot form Torres is now displaying and snubs him.

      • GW says:


        Neither did Bradley.

        JFT has been on the scene now since 2008, six years. You’d think if he fit into the USMNT setup it would have happened by now.

        I don’t think first Pachuca and now Tigres are very similar to the USMNT. It just might be that JFT does not fit in with the US players and the scheme.

        Gringo would hardly be the first talented player to not fit in with a national team. It’s a normal occurence in international football.

        He’s good but there are other US players who fit in just a little bit better with what BB and now JK want to do.

        • Andre says:


          I would say you are mostly correct. Torres has looked very good in a handful of US games but then there are others where he is completely MIA. Even though in some cases, it may not have been deserved, I would have liked to see him play much more for the US in the last couple of years to give him the opportunity to develop that chemistry with the first team players. There have been flashes against Turkey, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belgium, and Scotland to name a few where he has played very well and brought a skill set that really no other USMNT player has. He has the ability and vision to play that one ball that finds someone in a position against a top team that really no one else on the US has except maybe Donovan.

          What do you think, will be be one of the 30 called in? His form right now for Tigres is at least deserving of an invite to camp.

          • GW says:


            Ultimately, JFT at the top of his game should be doing what Mikey did against Mexico this last go around.

            I have always felt he just doesn’t “want it” as bad as Mikey because he otherwise has everything he needs. And there is nothing anyone can do about that.

            Like they do with Freddy Adu or Eric Lichaj , so many people blame BB or JK but Gringo has had six years to get it done so as far as I’m concerned it’s on him. No player is entitled to a place on the USMNT. They have to earn it.

            Assuming he retains his health and form he probably gets called in. He might even make the 30 but I don’t see him making the 23 barring an injury epidemic, which is of course possible and maybe even likely.

            • Evan W says:

              “No player is entitled to a place on the USMNT. They have to earn it.”

              Very true, but how many deserved starts did Torres or even someone like Edu miss out on because someone’s dad was the coach. Is it possible that since MB 65 has had so many more undeserved opportunities (I am talking from the Mr. Robert Bradley years) he has developed better chemistry with the first teamers? You can’t say that MB 65 always deserved every start he got from his dad. It’s clear now as well that MB 65 needs some time with his new teammates in Toronto for him to get to the form he has been at with the National Team. It’s too bad some other central midfielders haven’t had the same opportunites…

    • Jesse says:

      More than any other coach we’ve had (I only remember Sampson, Arena, Bradley and Klins) I think Klinsy plays the players us “fans” want. Rarely do you see a Bornstein or Ricardo Clark situation. I trust his personnel decisions much more than Bradley’s.

      • Seriously says:

        because playing who the fans want is a great thing for a manager…

        • Jesse says:

          Not necessarily, but manager are human. Sometimes they are stubborn or have made up their mind about a player and can no longer see it objectively. Fans are guilty of that too obviously.

  12. EvertonBrian says:

    I have watched Chandler 4 or 5 times this season. While he shows flashes at times, his performances have been largely underwhelming. Couple that with his inability to fly and his flaky allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, and I find myself sort of hoping he stays home this summer.

    I hope he proves me wrong, though, if he does make the squad!

    • Hogatroge says:

      I don’t disagree with you, Brian, but all signs over the last year (extending back into the Hex before it was sealed up) point to Chandler having his head right and wanting to play for the US again. If he is motivated, the fear of flying won’t get in the way.

      I don’t think I’d take him now, though, purely based on the fact he’s coming off an injury and won’t have a lot of PT. That’s the exact reason a great player, Ricardo Clark, got his reputation ruined in the 2010 WC. He was healthy but he wasn’t in form after an injury, and people who otherwise hadn’t seen him play think he sucks based on 1 bad (yet important) game.

      I’d think Parkhurst is a safer option, and based on his performance against Mexico, better in the attack than he previously got credit for.

      • Nandez says:

        Clark was always a horror to watch

        • Dan Daminko says:

          Your opinion is bs. “always” doesn’t exist in the universe.
          Clark didn’t lose the wc game anymore than anyone else that played that game. Reality and physics > fear and blame.
          In team sports its impossible for one person to lose or win a game as the outcome = sum of all minutes. It’s hard for most sheeple to get their brains around.

          • beachbum says:

            welcome to the board Dan Daminko, can’t remember seeing you post before. cheers

          • Jesse says:

            2 is “always” twice as much as 1.
            Ricardo Clark was “always” a bad decision to start at the World Cup.

        • Dennis says:

          That is simply not true.

          It was Clark who patrolled the middle of the field destroying play after play against Spain in the Confederations Cup to preserve the US lead.

          Like most players who have played for the US he has had good games and bad games. It is unfortunately, what was arguably his worst game for the US came at a crucial time.

      • Jesse says:

        Chandler has a few games to regain his form. This will be a tough decision for Klins because on talent alone he is one of our top 15 players. Form, injury, lack of commitment, chemistry could all play into the decision. I like Chandler and would even consider starting him and moving Cameron to RB. I trust Klins to make the right call here. I just hope his spot doesn’t come at the expense of Beasley. Damarcus belongs on the plane.

  13. Vic says:

    I see one of the following three making it over Brooks: Chandler/Parkhurst/Lichaj.

  14. KingGoogleyEye says:

    I would bring an entire squad of 23 goalkeepers. That way, no one would have to see that awful orange-and-blue uniform.

    • Bac says:

      Make them all wear those old Umbro GK shirts with the targets on em, we’ll confuse everyone into submission

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        If it’s confusion you’re going for, then Campos has the answer: link to

        • Bac says:

          Ok I’m Out!

        • Jesse says:

          what the heck is that!

        • JH says:

          Wow, I like how he used all of that extra fabric to make himself look bigger. I can’t help but think that it would slow the keeper down a bit with all of that air resistance.

          • GW says:

            I always thought Campos’ outfits were counterproductive because an attacker had an easier time determining the keeper’s approximate location.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Quite the opposite, actually. Look up the term “dazzle camouflage,” used extensively on ships during WWI. The bold colors and contrasting shapes made it difficult to determine the ship’s distance and speed. While it’s not known just how effective it was in protecting ships, it has been demonstrated to be quite effective in other contexts (smaller objects).

              I seem to recall Campos being forced to change one of his kits because opposing players claimed it was too distracting and gave an unfair advantage.

            • Andrew Shue says:

              I thought he looked pretty good. But I was pretty far down the bench.

  15. Mueller says:

    Castillo, Chandler, Edu, EJ, and Mix are on the plane for me. I would take off Goodson, Evans, Donovan, Boyd, and Green.

    Not popular. I understand, but that’s who I would take.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Goodson will be there 100% (barring injury). He’s not perfect, but he’s been the most consistent USMNT defender (along with Besler) since the beginning of the Hex. The dropoff in quality and/or consistency is just too great after Goodson to have it any other way.

      Castillo has shown he can’t defend at the international level, and while I personally think he could have shined as an LM, he will face a lot of competition for the last midfield spot to make it to Brazil there.

      • louisz says:

        i wouldn’t so sure, Goodson is physically weaker than the other 3 big CBs (OG,JAB,CAM) and is also the slowest. I think at best he has a 50/50 chance.

    • Nandez says:

      Donovan? ummm April Fools was 29 days ago

    • Jesse says:

      Give me Edu. I’ll consider Chandler and EJ based on their form. I can’t imagine even the craziest of US fans doesn’t at least see Donovan as a really good bench option. How could you take Mix over Donovan? As a backup to Dempsey alone Donovan provides more value.

  16. Nandez says:

    Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

    TIM HOWARD AKA HULK that is all.

    Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, Timothy Chandler, John Brooks

    Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Landon Donovan, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Francisco Torres ,Danny Williams/Maurice Edu, Julian Green/Edgar Castillo

    Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd, Juan Agudelo

    Timothy Chandler because he is the only one who could keep up with CR7 besides castillo and Beasley. Yedlins a possibility but is to raw and inexperienced at the intl level but who knows Klinsi likes to surprise us. Chandler might is probably still in everyones doghouse but Idk if anyone remembers how he stopped messi in his tracks when he played against argentina. Also that fact that he knows the German Players. I see Cameron partnered up with Gonzo, Goodson or Brooks at CB. To me goodson is a better distributor than besler and I think if Cameron pairs with Gonzo he wont be as prone to mistakes. I’m sorry evans you were great in qualifying but I just don’t see you in brazil.

    I wouldn’t include Zusi because he might have great crossing but he plays the 90 at one gear. He’s to defensive and against sides like Germany and Portugal you have to press the 90 and parking the bus against one of these sides is just asking for it. Bedoya and Landon have it pat down especially with Bedoya’s recent form at Nantes.

    I included Castillo because he might be a trainwreck waiting to happen at left back he has that offensive spark that could be utilized at LM. He has beasleys speed and brek shea’s flair. This is of course if Green doesn’t make the team.

    Maurice Edu has carried the union on his back and is a great back up to Jones incase of card accumulation. The same for Williams hes done the same for Reading.

    Torres has been in blistering form for Tigres and is probably one of if the not the best set piece taker in the whole usmnt pool. He showed promise in the Gold Cup and if he’s played in his position in the mid I think he could be a good spark off the bench.

    Sorry Wondo as I much as I hate to say but you proved me wrong but alas I don’t see you making the squad. I think that Agudelo who i’ve always called the USMNT’s version of a poor mans neymar. Will barely edge Wondo.

    What do you guys think?

    • Shawn says:

      This but add mix and take off Torres and take out Castillo and add some1 else

      • Nandez says:

        I was going to add Mix but add form and experience Torres outclasses Mix at the moment. Have you not seen the Golasos or assists hes done over the pas month? Castillo isn’t a lock I have him there in case Green doesn’t make it.

      • Andre says:

        Torres has been in better club form than any US player over the past few months except for maybe Dempsey. He should at least be in the 30 even though he probably won’t be.

    • Niall Regis says:

      Torres and Castillo instead of Zusi?
      Check your melon.

    • yoyoma says:

      stopped reading at “that is all”

      • Nandez says:

        Have you seen the new Nike commercial they have Howard as the Hulk. Thats why I said that.

    • Jesse says:

      I have a several disagreements but most of your roster seems reasonable. I’m willing to take the defense exactly as you laid it out. Chandler v Parkhurst and Brooks v. and extra mid is interesting. I’ll take what you have though.

      I have never seen Torres perform well at the USMNT level. Playing well in Mexico puts him about even with Feilhaber at this point. He’s a solid player who isn’t going to the World Cup. Zusi is a good crosser, really picks out men in the box well. He is the only wide option we are considering who has that in his arsenal. He belongs on this team as a wide option, we don’t have many. Give me Edu over Williams, healthy and more proven. Willing to take Green if he really performs well in camp so I’ll leave that one along.
      I’m not anti Agudelo but if you told me to make the decision today, I’d take EJ. You have 3 striker with average speed and limited areal abilities already on the roster, I’d rather have a unique option than Juan A who really isn’t that different than Johannson.

      • Nandez says:

        I knew the leaving Zusi out was gonna anger alot of people but to me I don’t see the him in squad due to the recent form of some players he is going against. His crossing is impeccable but he doesn’t track back, like bedoya or Donovan. I also see him nabbing a starting spot or coming in as a sub due to Bedoya’s recent form and Landon usually steps up his game for the Nats. Fabian is going to Start at LM and Green will probably come on as the offensive spark at the half. Edu is great because he so versatile and can play CB if needed but I think that him and williams are pretty even but I do see Edu taking the spot. I like EJ and he’s a goal scorer but he wastes too many chances loosing the ball by trying to take on players. I kinda wanna see Juan A though and see what he can bring on to the table after his stint at Utrecht. Idk ive always seen johannson as winger.

        • Jesse says:

          I look at FJ as a defender first and Johannson as a CF which leaves us short on wing players in your roster. If you consider them both outside attacking players, it makes sense that you don’t see the need for a Zusi.
          I think you are right that Bedoya’s work rate is outstanding, but Zusi has a good defensive work rate too. He is willing to track back when the job calls for it.
          One additional advantage Edu has on Williams you didn’t mention is health. Williams has been really struggling ever since the Ukraine game. He can’t seem to get healthy.

  17. KingGoogleyEye says:

    I know it’s too much to hope for, but I’d love to see Chad Marshall inthe 30-man camp. At least I’d know that he was given a look. He’s been playing expertly this season—smart like Besler, strong in the air like Gonzo.

    I know that bringing him on this late would be a huge risk—very little time to build chemistry with Besler—but we have all seen the Besler-Gonzo pairing fall apart from time to time. Thus, Besler-Marshall might be risky, whereas we know that Besler-Gonzo is risky.

    • Nandez says:

      If that happens JK has to call up Jide Ogunbiyi. Is it me or is this the hardest its ever been to select a USMNT roster.

  18. Josh Soccer says:

    Everyone has Goodson on their 23, but would you really rather put in Goodson over Ream OR Brooks OR Parkhurst based on the last 6 months? JK wants impact players…Goodson is not one of them.

    • Nandez says:

      A ream/Gonzo pairing? ARE YOU CRAZY!

      • Josh Soccer says:

        I am saying that Goodson offer nothing that the other players in the CB pool can offer. His skill set and consistency are equal to or lower than the other options. He offers no threat or impact. I do not believe he will make the 23 because of that reason.

        • Nandez says:

          The only thing wrong with Goodson is consistency. You don’t know which goodson will show up. As of lately though that hasn’t been an issue. Ream just seems to shaky when he plays for the USMNT. I like ream but I see Goodson making it by a slim margin.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            How long has it been since Ream played under Klinsmann? That alone could tip things in his favor: he comes back looking much stronger and smarter than JK remembers, whereas Clarence is the same old Clarence.

          • Niall Regis says:

            Last time “shaky” Ream played w/ USMNT = 2011.

        • Luke says:

          Defenders and especially CB and are the most susceptible to missing games due to red cards and yellow card accumulation. Having Goodson on the team isn’t to have a player that brings something different than the other CB’s in the pool, but rather insurance to slot in a similar player if Gonzo has to sit. Same thing rings true for Cameron for Besler, bonus being that Cameron can play RB and D mid if needed.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I read this as a Ream-Besler rather than a Goodson-Besler.

  19. Mm says:

    Jones reminds me a lot of Ricardo Clark in that midfield: very liable to getting yellow cards and gives up many turnovers. And Clark’s error and turnover lead directly to boatengs goal vs the us in 2010. I really don’t want to see a Ricardo Clark 2.0 giving unessessary opportunities to Ghana like he did. Even if beckerman isn’t exciting, he provides stability and does not give away bad turnovers. He’s jut a safer option. Jones is talented but he is high risk high reward. And 99% of the time we’ve seen the high risk part. We don’t need talent as much as we need stability to partner MB

    • Nandez says:

      Instead of Beckerman you could use Williams or Edu who play that exact role and are a lot quicker and exciting.

    • Osvaldo Empanada says:

      Have you ever watched a soccer game or do you only read the comment sections?

    • GW says:

      You never really watched Rico play for the US did you?

    • Jesse says:

      As defensive play busters, they have some similarities. Rico in his day was probably a little bit quicker.

      The biggest difference is Jones has skill. He has the ability to dribble a little, use his body to shield the ball and pick out a witty pass from time to time. He also has a very good left foot.

      Ricardo never showed those skills playing in a US jersey. He was great against Spain in the Confed cup, but as a play buster a defensive thorn.

  20. Joe says:

    parkhurst’s versatility will earn him a spot over evans and honestly I think orozco is above brooks in the pecking order
    too much pressure on green to make the squad I think jk will stick with diskerud
    Eddie Johnson has proven he can play for the nats while Boyd has not
    Club form is nice but we need guys who can play at the international level

    • Nandez says:

      Feilhaber over Mix and Boyd hasn’t played a full game for the nats only come on as a super late sub. EJ is on a giant slump at DC. Club form is always a factor.

      • Joe says:

        ej almost scored against Mexico sooooo it doesn’t seem to be that big an issue. He’s never been known for the quantity of goals he’s scored. If we went off quantity alone we should be playing someone like Kenny cooper.

      • Osvaldo Empanada says:

        Feilhaber not going to Brazil.
        EJ, not a lock but has a good chance.

  21. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Who is really being scrutinized in this camp? JK has seen so much of so many of these players that I can’t imagine the camp could show him anything he doesn’t already know (or feel in his gut). Even players on the cusp—like EJ versus Wondo—Klinsmann already knows the answer (even if he won’t admit it to us or himself).

    That said, I think that this camp is a tryout/test only for the following players:

    Brooks, Ream, Gooch: because they are CBs, our weakest link

    Green: because he is so new

    Edu: similar to Green in terms of experience with JK

    • Bac says:

      There’s more credibility to this comment than most of the ramblings I’ve read so far.
      I bet JK has his player board locked up to where he’s got everyone rated to the point where his core number is higher than most think.
      We as fans can’t even come close to agreeing on a 23… but he’s gotta be thinking steps ahead of that.. as in ; I gotta get my best 11, or close to it, getting ready to play “together”.
      Man for man on paper we don’t match up with any of our opponents, he’s gotta be thinking in terms of getting our best group figured out and ready as a unit.

    • GW says:

      The main thing being scrutinized in this camp is fitness, physical and mental.

      It’s been a long hard season for most of these guys.

      Obviously JK has most of his guys figured out.

      But the group stage will be a death march and they will not bring anyone who can’t take three hard games and a lot of travel in short order. So where there is a choice to be made, my guess is JK goes with whoever is the fittest.

      You’re not very useful if you can’t get off the bench.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Yes, yes, but who do you think is being evaluated beyond current fitness level?

        • GW says:

          Until JK has an idea of their current fitness level there is no point in comparing player A to player B.

          For example, let’s say Kenny Cooper and Conor Casey are fighting for one attacker spot but Junior is significantly more fit than Casey. End of story.

          I think it’s too soon to be having these mock lists.

          Injury will absolutely and probably unexpectedly affect the 23 man roster.

          It already has as Dolo, Holden and probably Gatt would have definitely been a serious candidates.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            You’ve devoted a lot of comments to a mock list thread for someone who thinks it’s too early to be making mock lists.

            • Jesse says:


            • GW says:

              Of course I have, why not?

              I see no conflict.

              And if you read my comments I usually say something qualifying like “this is too early”, or barring injury or loss of form.

              If there is an opportunity to comment I like doing that as much as you do. The fact that it is too soon for these kind of lists has no bearing on that.

              Frankly, it would be fascinating if the final 23 turns out to be radically different from what these mock lists have been

    • shaggie96 says:

      I think you might add Chandler to this group, but largely right on.

    • Jesse says:

      I’d add Chandler to the list of people he needs to find out more about.

      In principle I think you’re right JK has a very good idea of what he is going to do, he only has a few final decisions to make.

      I think for all the other players: form and health will still be watched closely. If a player looks very different than JK remember him last, then that could push him onto or out of the plane.

  22. Since 82 says:

    Ream over Brooks. Mixx over Green.

  23. dude1 says:

    As a DC fan, the forward list doesn’t surprise me.

    As long as we have a substitute for Jozy as an athletic, strong player (in this case, Terrence Boyd fits the bill) I could see Eddie missing out. He had a wonderful assist, but he really, desperately needs to score again for his club.

  24. Ben says:

    I’d drop Wondo and add another midfielder. Landon and Clint can play in a more advanced role, if needed.

    • Creige says:

      Yes, drop the one guy that actually scores on the regular for the USMNT. By now, Wondo should be a lock.

      • Ben says:

        I’d, too, would prefer him safely locked away front the National team.

      • Luke says:

        Wondo a lock! Pulease… He’s poached a few goals recently for the USMNT, but that is all he brings to the table. He’s a pure poacher. He doesn’t really bring much else to the table. EJ is faster, can create his own shots and is better in the air than most of the players in the pool and can play the outside foward/outside mid role.

        • Dennis says:

          EJ does not create his own chances that often, he mostly gets on the end of passes or crosses from teammates. He is faster, but way too often his dribbling ends up being a giveaway.

          • GW says:


            Name me a US player who creates his own chances.

          • Jesse says:

            It is a team game, but Donovan and Dempsey have shown they can create for themselves and for others.

            • GW says:


              Typically, when you talk about creating your own chances you are referring to a player who can make a goal scoring opportunity for himself when there is not one there.

              In his prime Donovan could take one touch and blow by his man and score but that is not exactly what I am talking about here.

              What I am talking about is a player who is a great dribbler, a great one on one player like Maradona or Messi dribbling through the entire team to score.

              But from what I have seen of the game today , very few scorers work that way on any kind of regular basis . Dempsey for example, our best natural scorer, scores most of his goals off of what people call “good service” or he punishes mistakes very well, about as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. As for AJ he’s a finisher, a punisher, a give him a quarter chance and he will score kind of guy, a younger, faster Wondo.

              I’ve seen a lot of Clint’s goals and I can’t remember him ever beating a guy one on one and then scoring. Which is to be expected because good defenses these days are too packed and disciplined to let that happen very often.

              In that regard the closest thing I’ve seen to a USMNT player who creates his own chances in recent memory is the ever popular Julian Green. The Mexicans seemed to see the same thing because they always had two men on him instantly.

              And maybe Juan but his lack of consistency and productivity does not inspire confidence.

              • Bac says:

                And herein lies the fascination with Green from some fans. One side is wholly opposed based on his limited experience, late arrival/non participation in qualifying, or the few who are still hung up on his dual citizenship.
                The opposing side is hoping he provides something we don’t have, an attacker who can create his own space- whether to generate his own shot or delivery into the box.
                The question remains… you got a guy isolated on the outside, runners crashing the box, and our player has to beat his defender 1 v 1 first and then deliver the ball…. WHO on this squad do you trust the most to execute ? No names jump out…

              • Jesse says:

                Typically people are thinking of a fast player or an extremely gifted dribbler who dribbles by people to create his own chances. If you are looking for Messi or Maradona on our roster, you will be dissappointed. On the other hand take Ibra, he is not one of the fastest guys on the pitch, but he consistently finds ways to create space and hit unexpected shots. When I include Dempsey, I’m thinking of him in the sense of a poor mans Ibra. He not only punishes mistakes, he has a creative element to his game. Sometimes an unexpected dribble creates space, sometimes an unexpected shot finds the back of the net (think Juventus in Europa league). Donovan used to do it with speed. Maybe he has enough left in the tank to create a few more.
                On Julian Green, I haven’t seen much of the kid, most of us haven’t, but even watching his clips on Youtube, I rarely saw him dribble through defenders. Most often one touch created some space to run or shoot.

      • reignman says:

        Im not sure how you could ever call Wondo a lock, he scored a couple against Mexico and Korea’s B team but besides that he has not done well against legitimate international sides. I said this above but I’d drop Wondo and take Edu personally, maybe Williams if his form keeps going the right way.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Please list all current US players who scored:

          a) within the last two years
          b) against “legitimate” (i.e., top 25) international sides
          c) that weren’t “B teams” (or lower)

          • Jesse says:

            Interesting question, so I did the research.

            B team is the hardest to define on your criteria. I’ll assume the recent Mexico friendly doesn’t count.

            That leaves us with:
            EJ, Donovan and Bedoya against Mexico in the qualifier.
            EJ and Altidore x3 against Bosnia H. (Bosnia is #25)
            Cameron and Dempsey against Belgium (this was pretty much an A team)
            Bradley and Mix against Russia (Russia is #19)
            Gomez against Brazil (barely makes in the 2 year window)

            • Jesse says:

              interesting EJ is the only player to score in more than 1 of those games.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Nice work Jesse. Yeah, “B teams” is impossible to define, which is why it’s thrown around so often: no one can argue against it. Pretty much for any friendly, people will claim it was a B team (which has some merit).

              • Jesse says:

                You’re right. Any friendly could be looked at as a “B” team. If you do that though, we only get to count matches against Mexico. We don’t play competitive matches against top 25 teams except at the World Cup itself. That is part of why I’m excited about this 2016 tournament with South America.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Jesse: I agree with everything you just wrote. It’s why I tire of people who argue, “so-and-so only scored his goals against lowly CONCACAF opponents so he shouldn’t go to the WC.” Well, duh, the US rarely plays full-strength, top quality opponents in important matches.

          • reignman says:

            I guess it just comes down to preference. I’d rather roll into it with Boyd, Jozy and AJ listed as strikers with Donovan and Dempsey being capable of playing up there. I would rather have someone like Edu (who has WC experince) in a critical position than Wondo. Wondo is what he is and I don’t feel that’s enough for the WC. I watched the Gold Cup last summer and saw him just get shut down against average sides and it sticks with me I guess.

  25. B1879 says:

    Wondo will make the final squad and will score a goal in the WC.

    • Osvaldo Empanada says:


    • Marvell FTW says:

      I hope he joins us. He will be a valuable addition. I can show him the ropes. Brazil is wonderful ths time of year. I particularly enjoy Buenos Aires.

  26. Colin ATX2 says:

    I’m more nervous about our defense than anything. With our midfielders able to score(Bradley-Dempsey-Donovan, Zuzi) I’m not as concerned about the strikers,they will get service(hopefully)
    The lack of cohesion in the back this late in the game has me discouraged. We need these three warn up games to gel a back line at this point not to audition and see who works well with who. I think JK should’ve tried more CB options much earlier in the campaign. We need to bring Edu who can play cover in that position. If JK wants a spark off the bench bring EJ and leave Green. The WC isn’t for prospects it’s about a team being prepared and in sync.
    -That’s whats up

    • shaggie96 says:

      I agree. I certainly hope JK plans to make his choices in camp, and use the friendlies to let the team build some cohesion.

  27. beto says:

    Edu & Parkhurst over Green & Brooks. Im taking pro’s over prospects

    • Dan Daminko says:

      Stop your logic based opinions…:)

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “pros over prospects”

      Catchy. I like it.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      Parkhurst and Davis over Brooks and Green

      Davis was very good in the last USMNT match, and Houston is a totally different team when he plays. But JK will not want to start him unless he has to. He will start FJ at LW and Run DMB at LB which means he needs Parkhurst as LB coverage.

    • shaggie96 says:

      I agree with the pros over prospects idea, but come on, Brooks is a current starter on a top-half Bundesliga club. That isn’t pro enough?

      • beto says:

        Ya he is starting in bundesliga but he has been terrible , clearly not ready, in his first 3 US caps. certainly a big part of the USMNT future but right now i dont see what Brooks brings that Goodson doesnt.

        • shaggie96 says:

          I agree he wasn’t very good against Ukraine, but he certainly wasn’t terrible in the other games I’ve seen him play.

  28. Dennis says:

    With all respect to Ives, I am pretty sure even Klinsmann does not know the final 23 he will select. I am sure he knows the first 18 or so, but the last 4 or 5 spots will be decided in part by how they perform in camp and in part by who among the first 16 or so have injuries.

    Beasely, Evans, Brooks, Green, Bedoya, Beckermann, Boyd and Wondo are not locks to go.

    Any of Ream, Chandler, Parkhurst, Edu, Diskerud, Corona, Agudelo, EJ, or any other player invited to the May camp could be on the plane to Brazil.

    BTW, why does Klinsmann always wait until the last second to announce his choices?

    • GW says:

      “BTW, why does Klinsmann always wait until the last second to announce his choices?”

      What advantage is there to announcing your choices any sooner?

  29. Michael says:

    I think ultimately the decision of who to include in the 23 will come a lot more from the tactical decisions that the staff decide on than ever before. While we as fans may be looking at the overall skill sets that each players possesses the staff is going to be looking at how each players skills sets match the tactical plans in Brazil. I think you can argue that the 30 are closer together in ability than previous groups and what separates the 7 dropped from the other 23 may be marginal at best. Consequently, we may a situation where a back who gets forward in attack may not fit the plans and be left home for the defender who stays home.

  30. Chad says:

    Since Julian Green is not on the USMNT roster in EA Sport’s FIFA 2014 WC edition, he’s not allowed to go…that’s the rules.

  31. Phil B says:

    Listen, I get why Fabian Johnson is listed as a defender. And I agree with that sentiment; I’d much rather have him at LB than Beasley. But all signs point to him playing in midfield. Whether he starts over Landon or Zusi, or comes off the bench, Klinsmann has always preferred him on the wing instead of at fullback.

    The same goes for Geoff Cameron. I don’t see him starting at RB mainly because he’s only played at that position less than a handful of times with the Nats.

    Here’s how I see the back line, based on the matches played over the last 2 years:

    Evans – Gonzo – Besler – Beasley

    Just to reiterate – I don’t want to see this line-up come June, but it’s what I expect to see.

  32. ZZtoppppp says:

    I would personally go with this:

    GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando

    DEF: F. Johnson, Beasley, Besler, Gonzalez, Goodson, Ream, Cameron, Chandler.

    MID: Zusi, Bedoya, Donovan, Green, Bradley, Jones, Beckerman, Diskerud.

    FWD: Dempsey, Altidore, Johannson, Wondolowski

    • Colt says:

      Pretty good roster right there. I do not envy JK. This is easily the deepest pool a national team manager has had to choose from. I counted 42 players that I thought could be argued that they deserve to be in Stanford and/or in Brazil. Does he take 4 pure forwards? Does he take 8 defenders? Does he take more central mids? This roster construction is tough.

      Major snubs I see from your roster:
      DEF: Parkhurst, Brooks, Orozco
      MID: Edu, Williams
      FWD: Boyd, EJ

      I think that’s our top 30, and I think our 23 will come from that group. I can’t see anyone else sneaking their way in.

      Tough break for guys like Benny, Torres, Gooch, Evans, EJ, Castillo, Yedlin, Gil, Agudelo, Shea, Corona. All have great qualities and have either been great for us in the past or show great potential.

      Regardless, cannot wait for the 30 man to be announced, will provide some great talking points once that happens, and will be some tough snubs.

  33. Jon says:

    Pretty insane roster by Ives.
    The only change I think will happen is Chandler being called up.

  34. Duke says:

    Well I think you’re right on the obvious ones and off on some of the fringe players. If he calls most into camp and its a fair and open competition… there is no Green goes. That’s just one example. JK doesnt have to take every German in sight

  35. rph says:

    Can we all agree to stop using the phrase “on the plane”? It’s quickly becoming another tired sports cliche.

    • shaggie96 says:

      +1. Very tired.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      We already decided about 120 comments above that the team will travel by boat, omnibus, and/or jet pack. Try to keep up.

      (It’s rumored that JK will try out a camel caravan in camp, but until that happens we’ll stick to the three modes mentioned.)

  36. Ekim says:

    What exact date will Klinsi name the 30 player list?

  37. warmblooded says:

    Boyd over EJ is preposterous. Klinsmann started Johnson in must-win home games (Panama and Mexico). Johnson scored in both. Klinsmann subbed in Johnson (not Boyd) for Altidore late in Jamaica, and the good guys scored a stoppage-time winner. When the team had their backs against the wall Klinsmann relied on Eddie. Not Boyd. Not AJ. Not Wondo.

    I’m already having nightmares about the idea of Beckerman jogging around the huge World Cup fields looking like he is running in sand while Edu watches from Philadelphia. If Castrol Index calculates a slowest player in the Cup (as they did a fastest player last Cup), and if it is possible to bet on said player, and if somehow, for some horrible reason, Beckerman makes it onto the field in Brazil, well, it would almost seem unfair to Las Vegas.

  38. alexakos says:

    The issue is not who deserves to go nor who are the best players. It’s how to p lay in 3 games in short span against 3 specific opponents. And which players won’t ruin it by getting red cards, as we have done before, e.g. mastroeni, Clark, wynalda. In 2002 Arena used everyone and changed positions, but no one is discussing that now. Everyone is just making up one line-up. Also, in a short series you need specialists to come off the bench when you need a goal. Davis to cross, Shea to attack. Ej to head the ball in and take someone on. Ej has proven himself time and time again with the MNT, and there’s no time for unproven players to adjust. Green would be like when Brazil took Ronaldo in 94 and England took Wolcott as. 17 year old. Beckerman helps us one touch to get the ball out of the back, which is our biggest problem. We get pressured and unless you have ream in the back you’ll need him.

  39. Cairo says:

    My thoughts: Don’t want Green. He is one for 2018, and sitting on the bench in 2014 does not do anything for his 2018 experience. The world cup is for putting our best team out there, not for prepping players for the future…
    Starting 11 that I want (but will not happen): Wondo
    Donovan Bradley Zusi
    Fabian Besler Edu Evans

    Bench: Guzan, Rimando, AJ, Boyd, Bedoya, Jones, Beas, Goodson, Gonzalez, Cameron, Parkhurst, Yedlin
    You’ve got good backups everywhere, because Cameron, Edu, Parkhurst can all play three or more positions….