USMNT Notes: Howard believes 2014 squad better than 2010’s, Dempsey talks Fulham loan, and more


photo by John Todd/


The U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2010 World Cup had enough seasoned talent to surpass expectations by finishing first in their group before reaching the knockout rounds of the competition.

Tim Howard believes the current group of U.S. players is even better.

Howard expressed his strong belief in the current U.S. squad earlier this week when asked what he thought of the overall talent level on the roster. The veteran goalkeeper said that while the current 30-man roster – which is comprised of more MLS players than those of years past and will soon be trimmed to 23 players – is not on the same level in terms of experience as the team of four years ago that made it to the Round of 16, he believes it has more talent because of how young and eager some of the players are.

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent,” said Howard, who has represented the U.S. at the last two World Cups and is expected to start this summer in Brazil. “The 2010 team was a good team because we had a lot of experience, we had a ton of experience. This team is younger, but I think we’re slightly better than 2010 only because of that youth and because that inexperience almost helps you; guys don’t actually know what to expect and are just hungry and ready to go for it.

“I think collectively as a group, this is a really strong team, a very athletic team.”

As talented as the team might be, many observers will not view these Americans as better unless they make it out of a difficult Group G. The U.S. will take on Ghana, Portugal and Germany in what many are labeling the upcoming World Cup’s Group of Death, and navigating out of there successfully will likely be the minimum requirement in order to convince most that this team is better than the one from 2010.

Here are more notes from the U.S. camp:


Clint Dempsey has gotten off to a red-hot start this MLS season, but prior to that he had endured a forgettable loan stint at Fulham in which he did not see much playing time.

Dempsey came to the defense of that decision to start the year with the Cottagers earlier in the week, and attributed part of his success in MLS to having spent a few months training with the English club. The U.S. captain was limited to just five appearances during his two-month loan, but he believes that routinely training and not having an offseason in the winter benefited his cause after a rough first six months with the Seattle Sounders that drew lots of criticism.

“I had opportunities to go to other teams,” said Dempsey. “I wanted to go to an organization that I knew well. I know that they have a really good physio team in terms of keeping players healthy and making sure that you’re prepared. I wanted to go somewhere that I felt comfortable, I knew the area. For me, that’s the reason why it was a good fit.

“In terms of when I was first going to go there, Martin Jol was going to be the coach but then things had changed. When I went over there under (Rene) Meulensteen, it’s a manager I hadn’t worked with before but, still, I was familiar with the club. For me, it was trying to get my body right. I had some breakdowns (in MLS) I think adjusting to playing on turf, to travel and for some reason I was breaking down and I needed to go over there and keep pushing, keep fighting.”

Dempsey’s time with Fulham helped translate to a successful start to his second season in MLS. The veteran attacker has scored eight goals and assisted on three others in nine matches for the league-leading Sounders, who are surely as happy as Dempsey is now about the choice to allow him to start the year abroad as opposed to with the U.S. during its annual January camp.

“I thought that would be the best type of preparation for myself to start the season off on the right note, and I think you can see that it has helped me,” added Dempsey. “But also (U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann) agreed that that was the right decision to make as well because we had talked about it before. I wanted to keep going, I didn’t want there to be a lull.

“For me, to maximize that time of preparation, it made more sense to go on loan because I could go over there mid-December and be pushing for my fitness to get back even though I was still coming off that injury. That I’d be pushing to try to be at full fitness come January 1. That’s what my goal was for.”


Timmy Chandler thought it was all over.

After injuring his knee in February while playing for FC Nurnberg, Chandler believed that his chances of playing at the World Cup were done. Klinsmann, however, reached out to offer words of encouragement to Chandler to keep the right back from giving up, and that translated into a quick recovery at the end of the Bundesliga campaign that led to a somewhat surprise call-up to the U.S.’s preliminary World Cup roster.

“He said I can have a chance if I work hard,” Chandler told reporters earlier in the week. “I work hard for my comeback and when he called me here to Stanford, I was very happy. For sure, surprised, but I think I worked very hard and that’s why (I’m here). It’s good.”

Chandler also shot down the notion that his struggles in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss in Honduras in February 2013 – his lone appearance in the qualifying campaign – played a part in his continued absence from the U.S.  In fact, Chandler repeatedly professed how much he enjoyed being with his American teammates during his interview with media.

“I think everything is nice here,” said Chandler. “We have a good team. We have nice people in the team. Now, I’m here.”

The 24-year-old fullback also addressed the idea that having so many other German-Americans on the U.S. helped him feel comfortable by saying that everyone on the squad has made him feel like a part of the group since he was first capped back at the start of the cycle back in 2011.

“When I come first Bob Bradley was coach here and everything was the same,” said Chandler. “We understand everything, whether it’s English, German, Mexican, Chinese. Everything is nice with the group.”


Do agree with Howard that this current squad is better than that of 2010? Have you changed your tune towards Dempsey’s loan stint at Fulham now that you’ve seen how strong he is playing? Think Chandler will make the final 23-man roster?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, FIFA World Cup, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

163 Responses to USMNT Notes: Howard believes 2014 squad better than 2010’s, Dempsey talks Fulham loan, and more

  1. LOL says:

    not sure. i feel uneasy with MLS guys (really feel dempsey/bradley should be back in europe). Heck bradley would be playing in the CL this fall.

    but also guys like Besler/Zusi/Gonzalez should also be in europe. serie A or bundesliga. would be great to see

    overall i feel 2010 had better team quality

    • Casey says:

      Was that meant to be a joke just like your username?

    • Matt says:

      Yeah, much better to be a bench warmer in Europe than playing 90 every week and being a leader on your team in the US.

      • Dc says:

        How exactly do you get a starting position on a European team then, genius? I’ll wager the answer is not coming back to MLS.

        • downintexas says:

          warming the bench 6 months before WC does not help anyone. Ask Brek Shea, who would be at the camp if he were still in Dallas. After the WC yes fight for those spots.

          • Josh D says:

            Shea would not be in camp if he stayed in Dallas. He was stalling there and had actually started getting worse.

            Shea’s problem is his attitude. He’s not so much a soccer player as he is someone with natural talent who has rode it on his way to money and doing what he wants. He doesn’t have the dedication or passion, from what I’ve seen and heard.

            He should have gone to the Netherlands to actually develop a soccer brain. He was never good enough for the Premier League. He didn’t even get on the bench when he returned to Stoke and they had nothing to play for.

            • chris says:

              First Jozy and now Shea. Do you know any of these players personally because you seem to know so much about their psyche and attitude problems? Im going to guess you’ve never seen Shea train in person to determine his level of “dedication” or “passion” but please continue to lazily spout bullish!t on stuff you pretend to know. At least come up with some proof of an attitude problem although it would probably be just as laughable as your analysis.

              He was stalling? Are you sure it wasn’t because he played most of the season on an injured foot (I would call that dedication by the way) and never fully healed from the operation that removed a bone from his foot?

              Doesn’t have a soccer brain? Ironic coming from someone who clearly knows very little. Im sure his lack of a soccer brain is why he’s playing professional soccer and you’re here posting jealous trash

              • JJ says:

                You think shea would have a better first touch of he actually worked at it? Duh clearly he has thrived off his athleticism. Holland is his only hope.

              • Roy says:

                In Jozy’s early MLS time there were comments leaking out of the team that they were worried he wasn’t training hard enough. They could have been a minority opinion, but they were coming from some on the team.

            • GW says:

              So you are a mind reader ?

              How about something a little simpler.

              I’ve followed Mark Hughes for some time.

              Look him up. The man was a pretty good striker for Man U. Chelsea, Bayern,even Barca.

              If Shea is what you say he is do you really think he would have kept him around like he has?

            • Jack says:

              Lets be real, Brad Davis is in this camp. Shea for certain would be if he was getting minutes anywhere.

            • BryanTheChamp says:

              You must have not followed the USMNT over the past several years! Brek Shea was a huge part of two historic victories! The victory in Italy & the victory in Mexico!

              Brek Shea was a played a vital role in the win in those games. I believe 100% that he should have been in the World Cup; if not as a Starter; at least one of the first subs to come off the bench!

        • Matt says:

          You play better than everyone else..oh wait, Bradley tried that and it didn’t work. Some times you have to accept that you’ve hit a ceiling at a job, and move on. With a WC approaching, the guaranteed 90 (and tons of cash) was a good plan for now.

      • Del Griffin says:

        True the 12th man on Barca would be much better off dominating the MLS.

        • Charles says:


        • Matt says:

          If he was gearing up for the WC, you’re damn right he would.

        • Maykol says:

          Whoa whoa, sorry if im not understanding this correctly, but are you saying someone like Tello or Morata would become a better player if they came to MLS and started destroying defenders? Instead of staying at barca or madrid?

          • Matt says:

            I’m talking about players that want to make the WC teams. Tello and Morata aren’t going…so it’s fair to say they might have been better off starting on a lesser team. I’m not saying MLS in their case, of course. Bringing up extreme examples of bench players on elite teams is silly. Bradly and Dempsey weren’t turning away CL teams left and right though.

        • Jesse says:

          not sure if that was meant as a joke, but it is a reasonable question. The answer lies in how many minutes the 12th man gets. Does he play every game off the bench and start on occasion? Then he is probably better there. If he rarely gets into the game for instance Jonathon Dos Santos, he would have been better off getting playing time just about anywhere.

          • Bach's Thumb says:

            I can’t go along with this.

            Jonathon Dos Santos gets to practice against the best team in the world every. single. day.

            And if the stories are to be believed, Barcelona practices are like full-speed games.

            • Matt says:

              And yet players always say that the only way they can really be sharp is if they’re actually playing in the games for long periods. May not be logical, but it seems to be the case.

            • Jesse says:

              practicing and playing are different. You don’t know which moves you’ve been honing actually work. If a defender would actually react the same way if the game had a meaningful results. How a game situation dictates playing style. Practice will never be the same as a game. Jonathon is a great example of a guy who theoretically had a lot of talent, but got stuck at Barca and never developed.

          • Dozy says:

            afaik Jonathan Dos Santos wanted to leave on a loan but he tored his ACL early in the season, next season could be great for him because Luis Enrique rates him highly (wanted him in Celta de Vigo and made him captain of Barcelona B when he coached there)

            • Jesse says:

              He’s been at Barca for 6 years, buried and not showing anyone that he has gotten better.

        • "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

          Not really but I understand your point. I could go with you if we were talking about the 12th man at say Real Betis or Levante (o. martins) or possibly a 12th at Fulham or Bolton or Crystal Palace. Then I could see the need for competitive games in a lesser league to keep the WC dream alive.

          • Jesse says:

            why is practicing with a Barca so much better than with Fulham? What’s the logic there? The passes you receive are better? Well that doesn’t prepare you for the real game. Is the coaching and drilling really that much better? It is all professional training. Having more talented players around you, who you aren’t really competing with, has a limited affect on development.

    • Reiter says:

      Sure. It’d be great to see more guys in top leagues. But the key thing is that they’re playing regularly. MLS is a lot more competitive than it used to be. Not too worried at this point. And don’t underestimate team spirit. That’s something the USA (and klinsi) are good at. But the fact is we have a really tough group.

      • Charles says:

        Okay, let me get this straight. Clint Dempsey while on a 2 month loan to Fulham sat the bench and then came back to the MLS where he is on fire, while Mueller, Kroos, Goetze, Mandzukic, and Shaqiri are often sitting on the bench at Bayern.

        The first 3 will most likely be all starters in the world cup for Germany, the 4th will be a starter for Croatia and the 5th for Switzerland. Are you saying that Dempsey is better than these 5?

        • Jesse says:

          Better, probably not. In better form, yes. Comparative talent wise to some of those guys, yes. Usually 2 of those 5 are in any given game. Let Dempsey start in place of Kroos for a few games with the rest of the talent around him. I’ll bet you walk away thinking “wow he is really good”.

          • Maykol says:

            When he stepped up from Fulham to Tottenham he didnt look all that great. He did have some very clutch goals. But in a lot of his games he was pretty dissapointing

            • Jesse says:

              No doubt, he played well some and he didn’t play well other times. Have you seen these guys that you are talking about play?

              Goetze and Shaqiri are both wildly inconsistent.

          • Charles says:

            Jesse. I believe you just gave us an example of wishful thinking.

            Dempsey could not even sit the bench at Bayern, and you know it.

            • Jesse says:

              They would have no interest in Dempsey now because they are loaded at the CAM position. I think Dempsey compares closest to Mueller. Mueller is the better player, particularly a better passer than Dempsey. That doesn’t make the comparison absurd. You know all these Bayern guys you are on your knees for, got smoked by Athletico a couple weeks ago. No competition. You all need to chill out on thinking these guys are just too good to touch. They are talented, they have moments of greatness, but they have weaknesses and limitations too. Kroos is slow, Mandzukic is great in the air mediocre with the ball at his feet, Goetze doesn’t play defense, Shaqiri can struggle with his touch at times. It is just silly that you all see a name you recognize and wet your pants.

          • Charles says:

            btw Jesse, you do know that Man United are offering 40k plus, pounds sterling for Toni Kroos. What do you think they would offer for Dempsey?

            • Charles says:

              sorry, 40 million, not 40k

            • Jesse says:

              Kroos is 24 years old. Kind of a factor.

            • Jesse says:

              Also, I’m willing to agree he is the better player. He has limitations too. He has one heck of a shot though. Torres sold for $75 million and stunk. Value is in the eye of the beholder but not all purchase prices reflect the quality of the player.

        • UclaBruinGreat says:

          Charles, it’s not my style to be insulting, but what an idi0tic post you made above! First of all, read Reiter’s post again. Where does he say anything about Dempsey being better than anyone else? Second of all, players like Mueller, Kroos, and Goetze are on Bayern Munich because they are better than Clint Dempsey. Clint Dempsey staying in Europe would not have changed that.

          If your question was smarter, it should have read something like this:

          Would Kroos, Goetze and Mandzukic have been better off playing at a club in a lower league where they play 90 minutes every game, or better off playing sparingly at Bayern Munich?

          • UclaBruinGreat says:

            In other words.. apply each situation to each specific player (example: Roma bench Bradley vs Toronto starter Bradley). Don’t make ridiculous comparisons that don’t make sense.

          • Charles says:

            Okay, I stand corrected, guilty as charged. But please let me ask, did’t your speech and debate teacher tell you something?

            • UclaBruinGreat says:

              Haha, good one! Assuming we are both on the same page here, I will give you credit for that clever response. But I did attack your post/argument and not you. I said your “post was idi0tic” not you.

              • Charles says:

                Of course we are both on the same page. Thank you for the compliment.

                I am just a beginner about debate, as I have seen you tell others, so please tell me. Per your speech and debate teacher at UCLA who told you that if you attack at the start you have lost, then how can you differentiate.

                For example, you said my post was idiötic in your first sentence, but you say that is okay with your speech and debate teacher.

                I tell you UCLAGreat, you are right, I am not a good debater.

              • UclaBruinGreat says:

                What?? I see you have completely changed the subject from what we were originally talking about, but I will indulge you.
                Just to be clear, I didn’t take Speech/Debate at UCLA, I don’t think they offer a class like that. I took it at a different college.

                To answer your question, it is very simple, I don’t see how you can’t tell the difference. For example, If I were to say something like, “The USMNT is clearly better than Mexico’s national team. Just look at their recent head-to-head record. The US is undefeated in the Klinsy era against Mexico.” And then you responded with, “You are an idi0t. Typical American that doesn’t know anything about football.” That is an example of you attacking the debater and not his argument. You made no argument that discredits mine, and you made no point of your own, except to insult me or try to discredit me.

                In our case, I did call your comment “idi0tic”, but then clearly picked your argument apart and explained my point, and argued why your point is wrong. I didn’t attack you, I attacked your point. You admitted I was right.

                That is the difference. And yes, I am much better at this than you.

        • Sean C. says:

          Bayern are a terrible example. Pep rotates his players a ton. He’s got about 15 players (or more) in form. But no. What he is saying is that Dempsey riding the pine for Fulham is far worse than being a superstar in MLS. And I 10000000% agree with that.

    • Paul says:

      If a goal is to elevate the U.S. league to where it is less of a ‘minnow,’ then how is that achieved by universally shipping off our biggest names?

      I get it – there’s a near-term benefit to having a lot of players with European experience in the current World Cup cycle. But a couple points to consider. How many of those players would have gotten the opportunity to play in Europe without having MLS here? And how long can MLS continue if people in this county are more interested in EPL results?

      I remember when there wasn’t MLS and there’s no doubt we’re more competitive because we now have it. But this is America, which I think will tolerate a lesser league only so long as that league doesn’t appear to perpetually accept its status as a minor league feeding system for Europe. So the league has to develop, has to continue to attract big-name foreigners, show some interest in younger big-name foreigners, and has to be seen as a destination rather than a feeder league for big name Americans.

      • GW says:


        Care to name me a team or a league anywhere in the world that does not sell players to the so called “Big clubs”?

        The Bundesliga strikes me as a pretty big,stable, respected league and it regularly sends lots of it’s best players elsewhere or to Bayern , who are sort of in a league of their own.

      • Jesse says:

        Soccer is an example that is the opposite of every other sport in the world. Superstars from other countries succeeding in US sports league does increase the popularity of the sport. Do you think Yao Ming staying in China would have raised the importance of basketball in China as much as him succeeding in the NBA? Not a chance. Basketball gained in China because Yao went to the best league in the world and represented his country well. The best way to increase the sport in the US is to make the MLS product better and better. That won’t happen overnight, and it likely never will surpass the some of the top European leagues. In the meantime, a good way to attract the interest of American’s is to have people they can identify with playing on teams that produce the best product. So succeeding in Europe is still a part of the equation, at least for the next 20 years.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I love how the eurosnobs know exactly where all our guys “should” be playing. I also love the people who argue MB should’ve turned down a $5m raise to stay and fight for his place at Roma.

      • Charles says:

        So slow, do you think DeAndre Yedlin will move to Spain, Italy or Germany next year? And if he does, do you think it would be a bad move?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think the 2014 team has better offense and the 2010 team had a better defense. I’m not sure how that plays out, although at least one scenario is a U-23 type team unable because of defensive vulnerability to control games even if the vaunted offense produces.

      Dempsey’s discussion seems to suggest the mistake may have been Seattle on turf.

    • The best US World Football team ever , South Korea 2002 . Who can ever forget Mathis goal against the host team , that was class ! . Who can forget the two goals by Donovan against Mexico . And if it hadn’t been for that idiot referee , who did not allowed a US goal against Germany , after one of their defenders stop the ball with his arm inside the goal ,the US would been in the quarter finals . The replay shows very clearly that the ball cross the line . That was the end of a marvelous performance by the Americans . I forgot to mention Brian McBride , so far , one of the greatest header of the ball this country ever had .

  2. Bach's Thumb says:

    No doubt. The follow players started for the USMNT at some point during the group stage.

    Robbie Findley (a bench player in MLS right now)
    Ricardo Clark (a medicore midfielder who is really far down the bench in MLS right now)
    Bornstein (not awful, but has only played 9 professional league matches since 2011)
    Bocanegra (moved to second division in spain post world cup and was benched)
    Jose Torres (well, yeah)

    • chuck says:

      Also, Herc

    • Josh D says:

      I actually disagree a bit.

      Howard has remained Howard. He’s not any better or worse than four years ago.

      Our backline is worse even with Bornstein starting in 2010. Our CBs were much better and Dolo crushes any SB we currently have. And Bornstein actually had a decent World Cup.

      I don’t believe Bradley is any better than four years ago. He’s matured, but skill-wise I haven’t seen him take it to the next level consistently. He has moments like the first half against Mexico, then has moments like the second half. Jones is better than Clark and Torres. Though we did have Feilhaber at the time who was criminally under utilized. Holden was decent in his sub appearance.

      We had Donovan in much better form than today and Dempsey was in his prime. Those two in 2010 are better than our wingers now, with the exception of FJ. Jozy was more confident than today.

      I think we have depth now which we didn’t have before. But starting XI v XI, I’d take the 2010 team getting a result against the 2014.

      • Bach's Thumb says:

        That’s rather my argument as well though. Don’t think we’re disagreeing much.

        I think Bornstein gets horribly abused for what was actually a decent performance. That being said, he’s still not very good comparatively.

        Holden and Feilhaber and Herc (or even Buddle) should have started every single game. They didn’t because the they weren’t the players the coach wanted in his system.

        That’s on Bradley. The team could have been so much better than it was.

        • beachbum says:

          Holden was coming back from injury. Herc actually started the Algeria game and got pulled at halftime

        • Jesse says:

          The big losses
          2)Donovan’s skill set
          3)Boca’s leadership at the back
          – I don’t buy the Dempsey “was in his prime”, he still is.

          The gains:
          1) Fabian is better at LB
          2) Jermaine Jones is better than Clark
          3) Zusi is an improvement over Findley (different positions, but that is due to formation change
          4) Depth – bench options are better across the board.

          Altogether, I think this squad is slightly better.

          • ronniet says:

            So Dempsey is in his prime and donovan has lost his skill set but they’re both 31 and 32 respectively?? Makes a whole lot of sense smdh! Assisine comments such as this one show complete lack of knowledge of the game and player assessment!

            • Truthiness says:

              This is not so outrageous – Donovan has FIVE more years of professional soccer on his body then Clint does. That is a lot of time to take a physical and even more importantly mental toll.

            • away goals says:

              All players’ primes are determined by a rigid algorithm based solely on birthdate.

            • Jesse says:

              wow. I didn’t realize…. do all players retire at exactly 35 years old? Or do some wear out at 28 and some at 40. Their prime is defined by how much their skill set has decreased not their age. How dare you call me asinine while misspelling it and while making the dumbest comment on this board.

        • GW says:


          “Feilhaber… (or even Buddle) should have started every single game. They didn’t because the they weren’t the players the coach wanted in his system.”

          Revisionist history.

          In 2010 Benny was good for about a half at most and then he would disappear. So BB decided to play him for a half, usually the second one. He was a solid sub but that was about it.

          Buddle got about 13 minutes at the end of the England game and 26 minutes at the end of the Algeria game.

          In the Algeria game he was all by his lonesome self when he missed a point blank free header that would have taken Donovan’s hero status away from him but made all of us a lot less nervous.

          Otherwise he was unremarkable and did not make anyone think “Wow this guy should be playing more!”. He certainly did not perform better than Jozy.

      • Paul says:

        Agree in general, not sure about all the specifics. Howard, for instance – I don’t see him as the same guy. More experienced, more cagey, but less athletic (and not the same hands). He’s a keeper who relies on athleticism more than average (his positioning actually never was great – okay, not great). So I’m not sure he’s as effective now as he was then.

      • louisz says:

        I think overall 2014 version is faster and younger and have the stats to prove it. Let’s see how they compare if 2014 was to be playing a 4-4-2.

        Chandler is about even with DOLO, Chandler is bigger and faster, DOLO had experience
        Cameron is better than 2010 BOCA. No contest.
        Besler is better than DeMerit, Besler is way faster and can play from the back, DeMerit was physically stronger.
        Beasley is better than Bornstein even when playing out of position
        EDU/Beckerman are better than Clark
        2014 MB is way better than 2010 MB
        2010 LD was better than 2014 version
        2010 Dempsey was better than 2014 version although not by much
        2014 jozy is slightly better than 2010 version
        Johannson is way better than Findley

        • jb says:

          Maybe ten years from now, if Chandler is still playing and has been named captain of his Bundesliga team, and if he dominates his side at the World Cup, then we can say he and Dolo are about even. On the rest I agree.

          I think the 2014 squad is an upgrade, though it’s tricky to nail down exactly why. The overall talent level is slightly better, though that is debatable. The depth is definitely improved, and so is the overall athleticism. 2010 had more international experience. I honestly think the mentality has a lot to do with the feeling this current team is better. The 2010 were ‘never say die’ fighters who were convinced they could hang in there against anybody, but I get the feel that the 2014 squad believes they can beat anybody.

          • Jesse says:

            Not sure I buy your “cameron” is way better argument. He doesn’t play CB, and when has played it, he has had some mixed performances. What Cameron is completely lacking is command and organization skills. Boca is a natural leader, authoritative and sharp. Cameron is more interested in plucking his eye brows.

      • Maykol says:

        Bradley is way better than four years ago. If you guys remember, he became a much better player after he moved to italy

        • beachbum says:

          I remember. MB has always gotten it done in the USMNT kit while always continuing to improve. Italy was a great step for him. looking forward to seeing him in these friendlies and rooting for him in Brazil. if he can continue to excel we have a good chance to surprise

          • Maykol says:

            Not saying he was a bad player in the past but after moving to italy was when he really learned to control games and have great vision. Needless to say, if we want to advancd from our group, Bradley has to di what he does best

            • dman says:

              Absolutely agree, Bradley was a good player in 2010, In 2014 he is World Class.

              I believe we are a better team now than 2010 with potential to be quite a lot better, however our group is so much harder, that it may not be apparent that USA is a better team this year.

      • GW says:

        “Holden was decent in his sub appearance”

        That’s pretty generous.
        He came on for 6 minutes at the end of the England game to preserve a tie..

    • CT says:

      If you’re going to be so opinionated, be at least a little correct.

      Ricardo Clark is not a medicore midfielder who is really far down the bench in MLS right now. He is the starting holding MF for the Dynamo who hasn’t played in a couple of weeks due to a severe head injury. Rico is a team leader and fan favorite who may no longer have the chops to make an impact on the USMNT in place of Edu, Jones, and Beckerman.

      • Chicago Josh says:

        During 2009-10, Rico had some great games, and also some stinkers, including a stupid red card in the Confed Cup, and based on his form at the time, I know I groaned when I saw his name on the starting line-up against Ghana.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        We have a better DM situation now, Clark helped the 2010 team qualify with an important Trinidad goal, and a lot of his issues related to his poorly considered move to Frankfurt (the last window before the Cup), where he was recovering from injury in 2010. Bradley took a form and fitness risk on him vs. Ghana that did not pay off.

    • Not Mrs Clark says:

      Gotta stick up for Clark here. I am pretty sure he was on the field for 07 gold cup final, plus 09 confed cup including the win against Spain and the final against Brazil. He had a bad 2010WC because he had not recovered form from a calf injury that forced him to miss much of the spring. Bradley should not have played him over Edu but that’s all anybody remembers. He isn’t the best all time but he was better than mediocre 4 years ago and played a crucial role in what stands as arguably the high water mark of US soccer. (He relied a ton on athleticism which is probably why he is on the bench at 31).

      • Jesse says:

        The Spain game I give him credit for a rugged performance. That was the best he ever played for us. He still have attacking capacity, but defensively he worked his buns off.
        He shouldn’t have been on the field is an excuse I here for him with regard to 2010 WC. He was on the field and he played poorly. Bradley screwed up and made the wrong decision. That doesn’t excuse Clark. If the coach calls your name, and you answer, then perform badly, you share the blame. Ricardo wasn’t good enough and we all knew it. Whether you blame that a return from injury or not is semantics. He wasn’t good enough is all we need to know.

        • Not Mrs Clark says:

          Okay but then it’s bogus to summarize his entire career based on that World Cup. I guess Messi is a ‘mediocre’ player too since he tends to underwhelm at the World Cup?

          • GW says:

            Until this last year, Messi was scoring at exactly half the rate for Argentina that he did for Barca.

          • Bach's Thumb says:

            Messi led the World Cup in assists and didn’t play forward as he does for Barcelona.

            He played holding midfielder.

    • Gary Page says:

      A lot of discussion on this. You know what, I think I will believe Tim Howard who actually played with all those guys plus played in 2006, plus has been in the EPL for about 10 years over any opinions by SBI readers.

  3. beachbum says:

    we’ll see. I hope they are better, they will need to be, and they have every chance to be.

    on Dempsey, had my doubts about Fulham. still believe his ‘form’ was about being unfamiliar with MLS, his Sounders teammates and his health, which he seems to speak to as well, and also believe he never lost his abilities or anything like that. also believe he could have gotten healthy stateside

    BUT am glad to admit Fulham worked out in the end however he looked playing on that Fulham team (technically adept but disjointed from the flow imo). would also observe that it looked to take the first few games to really get it going with the Sounders

    I think he’s primed to show the World what he’s still got. hope he does

  4. chuck says:

    Problem is, group stage is way harder :(

  5. bryan says:

    i do agree with Howard’s overall point, but i believe someone pointed out that the 2010 squad was actually younger (ave. age of 26) than this squad (ave. age of 27.5).

    • Kevin_H says:

      Interesting. But perhaps there are more young players on this squad (say, under 24)?

      • bryan says:

        yeah, i believe there are. Yedlin, Green, Boyd, AJ, and Brooks are under 24. not to mention Chandler and Altidore are only 24.

        in 2010 i guess it would have been Altidore, Torres, and Bradley under 24. Findley, Holden, Spector, and Edu were all 24.

    • Josh D says:

      That’s impossible considering the final 23 hasn’t been picked yet. Green’s inclusion could drop that number drastically as could a few others, while dropping oldies like Davis.

      • bryan says:

        agree it’s not a perfect comparison, but Howard is the one who made it. here is the quote:

        “While the numbers actually show that the final 2010 roster was slightly younger – the average age of the 23 players in South Africa was approximately 26 years old, while it’s roughly 27.5 years old at Stanford this week – the current group feels less experienced than Bradley’s squad in 2010.”

    • Charles says:

      You are right about the team ages bryan. But Tim Howard said what he did, that this team is better than the 2010 team “ONLY because of that youth….”

      With Howard saying this on the first day he showed up at camp, before he got on the training field, he said that. It is quite telling. The question is, what youth (that makes this team better) is he talking about?

      Off point, imo, Tim Howard is the best player we have ever had. If any player knows what he is talking about it is Tim.

      • bryan says:

        i agree. like i said in my comment, i agree with him. this team is absolutely more talented. no questions.

        just pointing out that, technically, the 2010 roster was younger than what he compared them to, which was this 30 man roster.

    • louisz says:

      we are a bit older because of 4 players…Howard, LD, Dempsey JJ. Take those 4 out, and the team is way younger.

  6. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    I think Howard meant to say that the talent in their 2014 group (Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA) is better than the talent in the 2010 group (Slovenia, Algeria, England, USA).

    • bryan says:

      i don’t think he did. i think he sad exactly what he meant and the article makes it very clear he is referring to the USA roster:

      “Tim Howard believes the current group of U.S. players is even better. Howard expressed his strong belief in the current U.S. squad earlier this week when asked what he thought of the overall talent level on the roster. The veteran goalkeeper said that while the current 30-man roster – which is comprised of more MLS players than those of years past and will soon be trimmed to 23 players – is not on the same level in terms of experience as the team of four years ago that made it to the Round of 16, he believes it has more talent in part because of how young and eager some of the players are.”

  7. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    If Group G is the Group of Death, is Group F the Group of Political Unrest?

  8. apw says:

    So Clint was returning under Martin Jol originally, I guess they made up.

  9. Landon Klinsmann says:

    I think it is the combination of experience and athleticism that makes this group the best ever fielded by USA. I also think that Germany is awesome, but Ghana has been lucky against us and after you spot CR7 his goal, Portugal is eminently beatable as well. So, I think our chances of taking 2nd in the group are as good as they were in 2010. Our chances of getting a last minute goal to take 1st? Not so much. We take second in the group or we go home this time around.

    • iggy says:

      Chances of taking second as good as they were in 2010? That’s nuts. Line it up team for team.

      Germany, likely a much stiffer test than England.

      Ghana, yes, sooner or later we’ll get ’em, but regardless they are miles better than Algeria.

      Portugal, going out on a limb and saying that they are better than slovenia.

      For any small bits we can argue about how much better the USA team is, our group went from a difficulty of say 5 out of 10 to 10 out of 10.

      And BTW, that last minute goal in 2010, as a reminder wasn’t just to take first, it was to survive elimination. We went from out at the group stage to first with that one goal against Algeria.

      • Landon Klinsmann says:

        Portugal is certainly better than Slovenia, but look at their results for the past year, a draw against Holland and a loss to Brazil among others. I am just not seeing them as deserving of their ranking. I think we’ll learn a tad more of their current form after their tune up games, but I don’t see them as being more than slight favorites.

        Your point about the significance of the last minute LD goal v. Algeria is tangential. I wasn’t trying to list all of what it signified, only noting that it took that specific goal to win the group and stating we will not be so lucky this time around. We were more or less in agreement. Your 10 out of 10 is a bit of a stretch – an attempt to objectify the subjective. But, to use your numbering system we have gone from maybe a 7 to an 8, but I think there are two other teams in our group that are also hovering in the 7.5 range, which is why I am not all Debbie Downer about our chances. But to go to some real numbers, odds makers have us ahead of Ghana but well behind Portugal, and I think this conventional wisdom is wrong – that was really all I was trying to say.

        • Paul says:

          Seven? You’re really giving our group four years ago a strength rating of seven out of 10? Um, don’t agree. We got the weakest seeded team, other than the hosts. And, well, it didn’t get much tougher from there. Slovenia wasn’t as good as advertised (their defensive reputation came out of a European qualifying group, where in reality they only got challenged by one decent attacking side). Okay, but not as tough as advertised. Algeria, I thought, was a little better than advertised, but in no way can be seen as a juggernaut.

          I think three out of 10 is more justified.

        • Jesse says:

          I agree with your overall point that we shouldn’t get too down, we have a chance. There are a couple points I have to disagree with you on.
          There is no way our 2010 group was a 7 out of 10. In terms of groups we could hope for that group was about a 2 or 3 out of 10. This years group is not a 10 out of 10, maybe an 8 or 9. In fact if we were in Australia’s position it would be even worse. Spain = Germany, Netherlands better than Portugal, Chile better than Ghana.
          Also, Ghana is favored over us. Not to win the world cup, because that is a suckers bet, where they are just trying to make money. But to advance out of the group and to win the head to head game, Ghana is the favorite over the US. Portugal is a heavy favorite to get second. We are the underdog according to the bookies.

  10. Luke says:

    For fun I was looking ahead to 2018 and seeing what players from the current pool might be on the 23 man roster for the 2018 World Cup. This is what it might look like with player ages. This does not take into account the players who might have a drop in form, injuries and the possible surprise players who’ll come up from the youth ranks or dual-nationals found in the next 4 years. Pretty excited by the talent that will be left over from this World Cup.

    GK Brad Guzan 33
    GK Sean Johnson 29
    GK Bill Hamid 27
    D Matt Besler 31
    D John Brooks 25
    D Geoff Camerson 32
    D Omar Gonzalez 29
    D Timmy Chandler 28
    D Fabian Johnson 30
    D DeAndre Yedlin 24
    D Shane O’Neill 24
    MF Michael Bradley 30
    MF Joe Corona 27
    MF Mix Diskerud 27
    MF Julian Green 23
    MF Graham Zusi 31
    MF Luis Gil 24
    MF Danny Williams 29
    MF Joe Gyau 25
    FW Jozy Altidore 28
    FW Terrence Boyd 27
    FW Aaron Johannsson 27
    FW Juan Agudelo 25

    Other who will have a chance:
    GK Cody Cropper 25
    D Afredo Morales 28
    D Will Packwood 25
    MF Maurice Edu 32
    MF Alejandro Bedoya 31
    MF Brek Shea 28
    MF Jose Torres 30
    MF Josh Gatt 26
    FW Bobby Wood 25
    FW Will Bruin 28
    FW Jack McInerney 25
    FW Jose Villarreal 24

    • Josh D says:

      Based on our predictions from 2010, half of those players won’t pan out to the level we had hoped. On the bright side, a number of unknowns or perceived “MLS quality” players will step up. I don’t think many had Cameron starting in the PL back in 2010. Likewise, many would have penned in Davies for a return, Holden to get better, Feilhaber to still be in Europe, and Boca to still be an option.

      Let’s be optimistic and toss in a few more dual citizens like Zelalem!

      • Luke says:

        Totally forgot about Zelalem. With the way the 3 years under Klinsmann have gone, I would not be surprised if we had 1 or 2 dual-nationals being found each year.

      • slowleftarm says:

        How about developing more good players here at home instead of “finding” foreigners who can qualify for us?

        • slowleftarm says:

          Just to clarify too, what I wrote above doesn’t apply to Zelalem, who spent a good portion of his childhood here. I’d love to have him on the USMNT assuming he develops as hoped and earns a spot. Same goes for Fagundez.

          • Ali Dia says:

            Out of curiosity (not belittlement as some prefer), slowleft, how do you feel about Earnie Stewart? I was looking through the SI “Top 10 US Goals Ever Scored” series and saw the detail that he had never lived in the US (I had known he was Dutch and son of a US Serviceman). Would he be a forgivable transgression, in your view, since it was a different era?

        • Maykol says:

          How about we get the best American players regardless where they learned to play football

          Do you honestly think its one or the other? Getting a german kid on the roster in no way effects another young kid’s development here in the states. Not sure why that is so hard for you to understand, or are you just xenophobic?

        • Hejduk4President says:

          Why? If the rest of the world does it…

          • Hejduk4President says:

            My reply was for Slowpoke, not Maykol.

          • Ali Dia says:

            I may not agree entirely with slowleft either, but “If the rest of the world does it” is not a valid argument and does not address his position.

            U.S. soccer may not be a global powerhouse, but has a certain culture and identity — for example, our players compete hard for 90 minutes, don’t dive or time-waste, and don’t discredit themselves with cynical tactics even if they are common and can provide competitive benefit.

            When I see Joel Campbell hit the deck in a glorious heap of cowardice to elicit a yellow card”, I don’t think “well, this is what you need to do to compete– others are doing it!” , I think: “Man, I’m glad we’re not like that!”

            Slowleft has taken a somewhat extreme position but I think it’s his right to do so. If he is concerned that identifying eligible players abroad and inviting them into US system risks creating a mercenary culture and compromises the identity of our team (and his personal connection to it), I don’t see why he is wrong to express that, even if I don’t see it that way myself.

            As for why slowleft does this 75 times day, I am unsure.

            • Maykol says:

              Everyteam in the world including the US wastes time. And dempsey disagrees about the no Americans diving

              • beachbum says:

                but diving is not systemic here in America, I would argue it’s the opposite. on time wasting, agree all do it, some much more so than others

              • Ali Dia says:

                Thank you for your comment, Maykol I see you have chosen to support it with exactly zero examples, which is why I must regard it as cynical and sad– I will explain.

                Go ahead and find me a solitary clip or even documentable example — let alone trend– of us time-wasting (e.g. guys writhing on the ground for 4 minutes then sprinting back to the 4th official… ballboys who can’t seem to find a match ball ball, equipment “failures”).
                Guarantee the best you will find is a very tiny sample of barely-credible infractions for GK time wasting, And we’ve gotten more traction from enforcing that standard (see USWNT vs. Canada ’12) than the meaningless pittance we’ve ever spent abusing it.

                As for Demspey… I could care less what he does at the club level, not that I even find him to be a “diver”. If he does do this, I haven’t seen it in our shirt. Unless you include missing that late-game penalty against Mexico (when we could have been “time-wasting” in the more traditional sense)

                In fact, most of our players seem to alter their (presumed) behavior for the positive when they put on our colors. For example Jermaine Jones is a Bundesliga red-card legend statistically, yet he made it through the hex without a red card or even a suspension (it only takes 2 yellows).

                By contrast, we have seen decorated players such as Leonardo, De Rossi, and Marquez get (deserved) straight reds in the WC finals against us.

                Bottom line… We are absolutely NOT like everybody else in this regard. Frankly, it angers me if you don’t have pride in this. It is bullet point #1 for me about why I love our identity. I guess it’s fair and it’s your choice, but I’d advise you to make a better case if you’d like to challenge this view. I’m very sure I’m not alone here, and if I am, I will blow town faster than expat (and I won’t leave any “ghosts”)

        • Jesse says:

          Why not do both? Not that you go searching for foreigners, but if you find American’s who have spent a significant number of years overseas, why not. Each individual with dual nationality should have the right to represent the country of their choice.

          • Ali Dia says:

            Your sentiment is honest and correct. Unfortunately, there are countries like Qatar, whose previous “claim to fame” was its 2004 pursuit of pre-cheeseburger Adriano, which included offering dual-citizenship to the talented but previously overlooked Brazilian striker in exchange for cash and a lavish condo so he could prove that he… uh… “lived” there.

            The question for everyone here is (and I do not have the true “answer”)… what does everybody think will happen if the USA (somehow) pips Germany to the post for a knockout stage berth? What if Julian Green scores the winner off a through-ball from Jermaine Jones?

            This conversation might start happening in places beyond the SBI comment board. And some people here might learn that slowleftarm has a considerable group of sympathetic allies (would be nice, as I’m starting to feel like a court-appointed attorney… not that he asked for it)

            I have a different view, but I haven’t seen an answer to these questions,,, I welcome any viewpoint.

            • MN Footie says:

              This doesn’t directly address your point, but the appropriate response to a Jermaine Jones-to-Julian Green assist winner against Germany is unreserved joy, delirium, and quite possibly tears of joy.

              • Ali Dia says:

                +1 I will be running naked through town screaming like a banshee. You may see my arrest on the news.

            • Jesse says:

              I think the majority of Americans who aren’t soccer fans won’t care about where a kid developed his skill set. That is what Slowleft is concerned about. Most Americans don’t care about soccer much to begin with, why would they care where a kid learned to play. There will be some people who do not like a situation where a player doesn’t speak English well. That will feel like a mercenary to them. I can understand that view point.

    • Landon Klinsmann says:

      you forgot:

      Freddy Adu 52

    • johnnyrazor says:

      Paul Arriola 23
      Greg Garza 26

  11. The Other Jeff says:

    Rewatched the US-England opener from 2010 last night. No question the current group is the better side.

    Players in common: Howard, Dempsey, Donovan, MBradley, Altidore. Howard about the same now, doesn’t seem to have lost a step. Bradley, Dempsey and Altidore much better players now. Donovan not the presence he was then so a dropoff there whether he starts or someone starts in his place.

    Players replaced in 2014: Findley up top, Clark DM, Cherundolo RB, Onyewu and Demerit CB, Bocanegra LB. Only one sub: Buddle in for Finley. Big loss at RB no matter who Klinsmann picks, but big upgrades everywhere else: anyone from this year’s list at forward over Findley, JJ over Clark at DM, Fabian (or even Beasley) over Boca at LB, Besler and no worse than Onyewu and Demerit, maybe an improvement in speed. Much, much deeper bench across the board, more tools in the chest to change the game rather than just replace tired legs (Buddle for Findley).

    Bottom line: appears to this observer that there are substantial improvements at minimum 6 positions, slight dropoff in one, push in 3, big dropoff in 1. JJ at DM alone would have changed that game – Clark was overmatched.

    I also couldn’t help wondering whether Klinsmann’s side would have controlled the game better – US seemed frenetic more than organized, little organized buildup out of the back, every transition trying to hit a home run rather than take the game into the opponent’s half as a team.

    • Landon Klinsmann says:

      good analysis. also, I tend to agree. Redcardo was a pick of desperation for us. I think the days where we have no choices but to pick a specific guy are over. the development of MLS plus Klinsi power get the credit.

      • Ricardo's MaraDeezNuts says:

        Clark was a pick of desperation how? Edu was there, no? He came in in relief and performed to a high standard, no? Bradley simply preferred Clark.

        Koman Coulibaly thinks you should get your eyes checked. Unless this is Ives. Again.

        • The Other Jeff says:

          Lest everyone forget, Torres started the Slovenia game as DM. Replaced for good reason at the half by Edu. Edu’s first four touches each almost led to disaster, then he settled down but was hardly stellar other than that goal-that-should-have-been. I think it is fair to say all three DMs were desperation picks in 2010.

  12. Charles says:

    Does anyone here think DeAndre Yedlin will soon get an offer from a top league, Spain, Italy, England or Germany?

    • Matt says:

      Don’t see it yet…lots of potential, but lots of inconsistency. I’d say another year in MLS, unless he shockingly makes the WC team and impresses. Remember, he certainly won’t be able to get a work permit for England. Spain and Italy are really hard to break into. Best chance would be Germany, but Holland or Scandinavia are possibilities if he really wants to move.

    • GW says:


      Does he want to play abroad?

      Does he have a good agent? JK can set him up with people if he wants.

      If he makes the World Cup and if he plays that would change the game and dramatically raise his profile abroad.

      He’s already 20 which is a little older. Most of these big clubs would be happier if he were a year or two younger.

      The best success stories for Americans Abroad were guys who found the right situation. i.e. a STABLE club and a stable manager who wants him and has a role for him to play in a scheme that suits him. And the team needs to be willing to work with him to develop him ( see Holden at Bolton, Jozy at AZ and Donovan during his loans at Everton).
      Finally the team needs to be located in a country where he will be able to adapt to the local culture. Hopefully the team will help him with that.

      Even with all that it will still be very hard and he needs to be the kind of person who really wants to learn and can handle that sort of challenge. If he can then he will be a better player and person for the experience.

      • ZZtoppppp says:

        You’re first question is the biggest here. Yedlin was born and raised in Seattle, his fiancé and her family are from there and he has admitted to preferring MLS to Europe. He did say that he wouldn’t rule it out completely though.

        Yedlin could go to Europe, but I don’t think he really wants to yet.

  13. JoeW says:

    I think it’s impossible to say if the squad this year is better b/c, quite simply, it hasn’t been picked yet. That said, it’s certainly much deeper.
    1. Bornstein and Findley were far weaker than anyone we have in camp this year. It doesn’t matter that Bornstein had a decent WC, he was an extremely weak player (as born out by his performance in qualification and his performance post WC). Ditto with Findley. Imagine if we were starting EJ at striker…except EJ hadn’t had the last two years (where he actually scored goals in MLS and for the Nats)….that would be pretty much what having Findlay was like. He wasn’t there for form or performance, but b/c we needed someone with speed. We have no-one in camp with as weak a body of performance as Bornstein or an attacker with as little skill as Findley.
    2. I get the point about relying on MLS players vs. Euros….except that a bunch of the MLS guys (Parkhurst, Edu, Bradley, Dempsey) were recently in Europe and came home in part to get more PT to get ready for the WC. And the reverse side, the biggest reason the US could fail to get out of a tough group is a lack of scoring by our striker (if we play a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1). And that would be b/c Altidore is rusty of from lack of PT and game sharpness. So it’s not as simple as Euro=good, MLS=bad.
    3. We got great performance from our CBs who formed a great partnership. But the reality is that Gooch and DeMerit were very limited as players and maxed out at that WC. Bocanegra was a fine CB and captain but was playing LB out of desperation. Ricardo Clark as DM isn’t bad but he hasn’t had the international performance of Beckerman or Jones. And the only player on the 2010 roster not on this one that is arguably a loss for the 2014 side is Holden. Otherwise, players who didn’t make the 2014 roster (Gomez, Spector, Torrest) we’ve got improvements on. And we clearly have far more forward depth than we did in 2010…anyone want to argue that Edson Buddle (if he had his 2010 form) would have been good enough for a 2014 invite?

    A lot depends upon form and teamwork (i.e.: Gooch and DeMerit both had major limitations but they formed a superb team). We could have a better group of individuals in 2014 but a worse team due to poor fit or inability to work well together or poor form. We’ll see based upon camp and who Klinsi selects. But it’s real hard for me to argue that the 2010 roster was a great roster. It had a lot of guys on it who were “roles” (i.e.: Findlay) or based upon what they’d done in quals rather than current form (i.e.: Clark).

    • Charles says:

      You are right, the team hasn’t been picked yet. However Tim Howard did say “we have some good playmakers and we KNOW who they are.

  14. godric says:

    I think everyone is great

  15. MVincent says:

    That 2010 team could bunker down with Gooch & Dolo and lightning counter with Davies (see Spain defeat in 2009). The loss of Davies, Holden & Gooch really hurt our chances in South Africa.
    Jurgen has this team much more polished in possession, but will the back line falter with the loss of Dolo and lapses at center mid? If they manage #2 in this group, I feel they will surpass the 2010 squad.

    • Paul says:

      It will be interesting to watch that aspect. I remember qualifiers before 2010, like the year before the hex, where we looked like the Dutch or the Brazilians. But that was against the weaker sides which didn’t push us into speeds of play like we saw against the usual suspects from CONCACAF or beyond. So, we’ve been working on JK ball now for a few years, but what happens when we get into a group game against a real team? Germany, for instance, isn’t going to trade goals with us like happened in that one friendly. Intensity will be higher, attack pressure from the other side will be more nerve wracking. I don’t know – will we be a more direct attacking team, or even a bunkering and countering team? Will be interesting.

    • Luke says:

      Lapses at center mid??? Bradley is better than he was in 2010. Jones is better than Edu and Rico Clark. Holden was never really a starter when the A team was called in.

      As for our defense, it is inexperienced when it comes to the World Cup but I think they are far more balanced and talented than the 2010 unit. The only position where we will probably downgrade is at RB.

      Dolo Gooch Demerit Boca

      Cameron Gonzo Besler Johnson

      • The Other Jeff says:

        I think he meant CB not CM.

        We will certainly get better distribution out of the back line and DM, which should help deal with the faster sides by slowing the game down and moving it into the opponent’s half. Too many desperation clearances in 2010 back to the opponent, and MB was not yet ready to provide the outlet, the linking, and the calming influence he does today.

    • GW says:


      I don’t think we really know what the 2014 team will be capable off.

      The only competitive situation in which we have seen them is WC qualifying and the degree of difficulty they faced there is probably less than what they will face in Brazil.

      Their ability to hold possession may not be as good against Germany as it was against Panama. Germany is a better team.

      The task facing the 2014 team is not comparable to the task that faced the 2010 team.

      Germany is a lot more formidable than that England team who had their own fat player in Fat Frank Lampard, (just to make LD fans feel better).

      Portugal vs Slovenia? Cristiano Ronaldo or Robert Koren? I think Ronaldo is better and his team is probably better than Slovenia.

      Ghana vs Algeria? Which African team would the US rather play? At least I know we can beat Algeria.

      JK understands this I’m sure so I’m thinking the USMNT we see in Brazil looks different from what we have seen so far.

      But isn’t that the beauty of being in the playoffs so to speak? You get to see how the team has developed. Hopefully they will peak in the World Cup.

      • Bac says:

        Not to mention we really haven’t seen JK have a full healthy squad to choose from in a lot of games.. whether it be injuries or cards, or travel in the friendlies…
        I’m pretty psyched that we’ve got the full complement..
        Whoever it is..

  16. Charles says:

    Okay, it is clear at this point. We have most here who want nothing other that having the USMNT to stay the same, that is to finish last in group or sometimes get out of group. While on the other side we have a few here who want much more.

    The most here, who don’t want the team to improve, are very vocal about their position. In fact, they attack every poster that even suggests that we are getting better. I mean, for instance, try to tell slowleftarm that Julian Green is better than Brek Shea and see what happens. And why in the world wasn’t Ream brought to camp, make the 23 and start in Brazil. After all, he did make player of the year.

    • GW says:


      Most likely, Ream ran out of time.

      I did not watch him at RBNY but I followed him at Bolton for a while and it took a little time for him to get settled.

      He is not a tremendously gifted athlete, just a smart solid player from what I have seen. My guess would be that JK and his staff decided that Ream would have needed more time to get comfortable and fit in and besides they already had Parkhurst who has, more or less pretty much the same skill set.

      Post World Cup , Ream will probably be back in the team picture if Parkhurst leaves the scene.

  17. MVincent says:

    My mistake, I did mean center back. Bradley is pure quality and I can’t wait to see how he responds this cup. That point about the desperation clearances back in 2010 is a major issue that I lost track of. The linking play through the midfield is a major upside for this squad and probably a key element in Howard’s optimism.

  18. Ali Dia says:

    Mike Magee was MVP of a league and isn’t going. We can go on like this forever. It happens. Time to move on.

    Actually, I would suggest the Ives start posting FIFA or PES CPU simulation matches of the WC games, which would at least give some new information to bicker over.

  19. Dennis says:

    I made a spreadsheet of the 30 2010 and 2014 WC camp participants. I tried to match players by how they might be used (not always possible, more defenders in 2014, more forwards in 2010 with Dempsey and Donavon moving from mid to forward on the lists). In any case when I compared the players with a score of +1 for an improvement, 0 for about the same and -1 for a decrease, I got a total score of +13. The methodology is suspect and if you wanted to you could change the comparisons to get different scores but it clearly indicates this team has the potential to perform better. (FWIW, I rated Howard, Guzan, Dempsey, Bradley and Bedoyaas better in 2014 than 2010, Goodson and Beasley as the same and Donavon as having dropped)

  20. Brett says:

    Now that Dempsey is back in form, I feel much better about the squad. If he is going strong, the rest can click. The changes in the midfield are upgrades for sure, and in attack we will have to actually leave off a good player instead of taking lackluster contributors for depth. The defense is bad, but not necessarily worse.

  21. Al says:

    GK (3)


    D/M (3)

    M (6-7)

    M/F (4)
    Aron J.

    F (2)

    Battle for last spot:

    Brooks vs. Goodson vs. Mix vs. Coronoa vs. Boyd or Wondo

    Capitalize on versatility of those who can play D/M or M/F … Especially if playing different lineups vs Ghana as compared to Germany / Portugal.

  22. Chris says:

    i really like this team, they have some good players. I’m worried about the center backs, but maybe Cameron and Brooks are going to save us there. Even though when Cameron played as the holding midfielder in qualifying he was a total beast…

    Bottom line is we have a really, really, really tough group. Ghana is our ‘easy, must-win’ game. That is no joke…

  23. GW says:

    Can any of you imagine Tim Howard saying:

    “I’m worried because we are not as good as we were in 2010”?

    Howard is very media savvy. If he really thought that, one would think he would avoid the topic or find a way to dance around it. If you take him at his word then he has a good feeling about this team and that is great.

    But it doesn’t guarantee anything.

    The 2014 team does not yet exist. And when the assembly and breaking in period is over it will be facing a group of teams that are very likely to be significantly more difficult to beat than the teams the 2010 USMNT faced.

    If the question is “Is the 2014 team better than the 2010 team?”, then the answer should be, “it better be and by a lot.”

    Going down the list looking at the individuals, assigning them scores and then adding them up as if that somehow tells you that team A is better than team B is worthless. Worse than that, it is misleading.

    However, if you are going to do that then the one variable everyone seems to have missed is the manager and his staff.

    Bob Bradley was a World Cup rookie. As widely despised as JK is by most of you and as much as most of you seem to laugh at his credentials, he has already managed a high profile team in a World Cup tournament and of course he has played in three of them and won one.

    It seems to me that should be considered as an advantage that the 2010 team did not have.

    As the old cliché goes, with the USMNT it needs to be a case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole. This is because the US is not going to be individually more talented than the opposition. Hopefully JK’s “tough love” will pay off. Most of you probably never heard of Herb Brooks or the 1980 US Ice Hockey team but he once said :

    “If you give 99 percent, you will make my job very easy.”

    And we simply won’t have any idea about how that “togetherness” as Tim Howard called it, that sum of the parts, will work until they play the first game.

  24. Dennis says:

    A list of the US WC camp rosters for 2010 and 2014 with an attempt to compare the strength of 2014 vs 2010 +1 indicates I think the 2014 player is stronger 0 equal and -1 weaker. Not all the comparisons are like for like (I was left with Brad Evans and Findley comparison which is pretty arbitraty). but with a total of +13, it is pretty clear the 2014 roaster is stronger even if you quibble with some of my matchups.

    2010 2014

    GOALKEEPERS Brad Guzan : Brad Guzan 1
    Tim Howard  Tim Howard 1
    Marcus Hanhemann Nick Rimando 1

    DEFENDERS DaMarcus Beasley DaMarcus Beasley 0
    Bocanegra, Carlos  Matt Besler 0
    Marshall, Chad John Brooks 0
    Steve Cherundolo Geoff Cameron -1
    Pearce, Heath Timmy Chandler 1
    Jay DeMerit Omar Gonzalez -1
    Goodson, Clarence Clarence Goodson 0
    Bornstein, Jonathan Fabian Johnson 1
    Onyewu, Oguchi Michael Parkhurst 0
    Jonathan Spector DeAndre Yedlin 0
    Brad Evans 0

    MIDFIELDERS Stuart Holden  Kyle Beckerman 0
    Alejandro Bedoya Alejandro Bedoya 1
    Michael Bradley Michael Bradley 1
    Feilhaber, Benny Joe Corona 0
    Rogers, Robbie Brad Davis 1
    Kljestan, Sacha Mix Diskerud 1
    Maurice Edu Maurice Edu 1
    Torres, Jose Francisco Julian Green 0
    Ricardo Clark Jermaine Jones 1
    Eddie Johnson Graham Zusi 1

    FORWARDS Jozy Altidore Jozy Altidore 1
    Brian Ching Terrence Boyd 0
    Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey 1
    Donovan, Landon Landon Donovan -1
    Herculez Gomez Aron Johannsson 1
    Buddle, Edson Chris Wondolowski 1
    Robbie Findley