BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, April 26, 2012
A few weeks ago I took a look at who I thought was going to make the US roster for the upcoming camp and it wasn't easy.
Jurgen Klinsmann has already said that he will be bringing in 23 players (including three goalkeepers) for the camp. This will be the team that takes part in friendlies against Scotland, Brazil, and Canada followed by its first World Cup qualifier against Antigua and Barbuda.
Since my last list there have been a few significant changes. First is that Hoffenheim's Danny Williams is injured for six weeks so that will likely make him unavailable. Second, the consistently injured Zak Whitbread has not returned to health and Michael Parkhurst is sidelined with a broken toe. Finally, Brek Shea has suffered a drop inform and I now think he's on the outside of the bubble.
On the bright side a good number of American players have raised their game over the past few months to make the list.
Club Tijuana has had a very impressive Clausura campaign and their American duo of Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona could be welcome additions to the US national team. For Corona, it would be his first cap.
Also in Mexico, Damarcus Beasley has been playing very well for Puebla and he one of the best pure wingers Klinsmann has right now.
The big question will be who does Klinsmann have at outside wing besides Beasley? Timothy Chandler and Edgar Castillo are listed as fullbacks but both have played on the wing for their respective clubs.
Likewise Fabian Johnson is best used as a midfielder but he has shown this season at Hoffenheim and for the US against Italy that he is a solid option at left back.
In recent weeks other Americans have also done well and will be in consideration but are still probably going to have to wait for their chance.
Andrew Wooten was exceptional in his first Bundesliga start but still has not seen much playing time this year. Chris Pontius and Chris Wondolowski have been called up to the US team in the past and are off to great starts this season. I don't think they will make this team but if they keep up their current form, they could be given looks later in the year.
With that said, here is my latest predicted US roster for next month.
Tim Howard - Everton
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa
Notes: This list is rather obvious right now since it was the three keepers who were called into the Italy game.
Oguchi Onyewu - Sporting Lisbon
Carlos Bocanegra - Rangers
Steve Cherundolo - Hannover
Eric Lichaj - Aston Villa
Edgar Castillo - Club Tijuana
Tim Ream - Bolton
Clarence Goodson - Brondby
Timothy Chandler - FC Nurnberg
Tim Ream's move to Bolton in the winter was a good one as the former Red Bull is now seeing a lot of Premier League minutes. Likewise, Eric Lichaj has been a consistent starter for Aston Villa at both right and left back over the past month and he has probably done enough to overtake the injured Jonathan Spector's role as a versatile fullback.
Oguchi Onyewu's return to health is a welcome addition to the team and Steve Cherundolo is aging like fine wine.
Fresh off a new contract with FC Nurnberg, Timothy Chandler will certainly make the cut but he could see minutes at right wing as well where he has played for Nurnberg this year.
Edgar Castillo may have struggled with the US team in 2011 but he has been terrific this year for Club Tijuana and could help the team out at left back or left wing.
The toughest cut in the back is Houston's Geoff Cameron who has played well but he is still behind Ream and Clarence Goodson for the backup central defense role.
Michael Bradley - Chievo Verona
Joe Corona - Club Tijuana
Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
Jermaine Jones - Schalke
Jose Torres - Pachuca
Fabian Johnson - Hoffenheim
Maurice Edu - Rangers
Kyle Beckerman has a good chance of making this roster again as Klinsmann has consistently spoken very highly of the Real Salt Lake veteran. Beckerman does the dirty work that Klinsmann asks him to do.
Jose Torres has missed a lot of time with the US team due to injuries but he will likely make his return to the team as Klinsmann has also said how he admires Torres' ability to hold the ball and make passes from a deep position.
The most surprising inclusion I can see is Joe Corona who is consistently doing well for Club Tijuana this year. He was one of the few bright spots for the recent U-23 team and he has creativity that can help the team.
Clint Dempsey - Fulham
Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy
Damarcus Beasley - Puebla
Jozy Altidore - AZ Alkmaar
Herculez Gomez - Santos Laguna
Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and Jozy Altidore are the only locks. Herculez Gomez has made a case where he can no longer be ignored.
DaMarcus Beasley is playing very well right now and can probably take the place of Brek Shea who is struggling at the start of the current MLS season.
The German-based youngsters of Andrew Wooten and Terrence Boyd are popular choices and both have bright futures. But they probably need to earn more playing time with their respective clubs next season to be part of the top 23.
In the mix
Zak Whitbread - Norwich
Brek Shea - FC Dallas
Josh Gatt - Molde
Michael Parkhust - FC Nordsjaeland
Mikkel Diskerud - Gent
Sacha Kljestan - Anderlecht
Seb Hines - Middlesbrough
Edson Buddle - LA Galaxy
Geoff Cameron - Houston
Jonathan Spector - Birmingham City
Freddy Adu - Philadelphia
Terrence Boyd - Borussia Dortmund
Juan Agudelo - New York Red Bulls
CJ Sapong - Sporting Kansas City
Chris Pontius - DC United
Andrew Wooten - FC Kaiserslautern
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes
Alfredo Morales - Hertha Berlin