BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, August 28, 2012
US national team camp is set to open up next week and the roster could be interesting.
Right now there are a lot of regular players who may not be in their club's starting lineup. So Klinsmann will have to weigh a lot of options in considering his team.
It was reported this week that Edgar Castillo was injured and he is very questionable to be selected but my guess is that he won't e ready. Also in the backline, these qualifiers are likely the last straw for Timothy Chandler who has turned down the US team in recent months. If he doesn't come to these games, Klinsmann will likely move on.
One thing that is clear is that the team benefits from good wing play and Shea's superb play off the bench against Mexico was a good indication of that. Does that open the door for any other winger? I think that's likely.
Central midfield is obviously the deepest position for the United States and I think some good players could be at risk - most notably Danny Williams and Jose Torres. Williams didn't start for Hoffenheim in the season opener and Torres was simply not impressive against Mexico.
In central defense there is the biggest concern. Geoff Cameron is playing central midfield for Stoke. Carlos Bocanegra has to leave Rangers this week (and I think he will very soon) or else he will be playing low-level soccer, Oguchi Onyewu is not playing right now, and Clarence Goodson's performances so far this season for Brondby have been mixed.
I do think that Edu will make the team but it is very possilbe he can play in central defense where he played well against Mexico.
With all that said, here is my predicted roster for the upcoming series of games.
Tim Howard - The first choice keeper has been very hot recently for club and country.
Nick Rimando - The Salt Lake stalwart is a dependable backup to Howard
Sean Johnson - The young keeper has been playing well for Chicago this season
Steve Cherundolo - The veteran is aging like fine wine. He is still very reliable for the US team.
Timothy Chandler - This can go either way but if he's not on this roster, he may never be back on the US team.
Carlos Bocanegra - He's had a tough summer at Rangers and will likely be on a new club very soon. In Scotland's fourth tier, he hasn't played against a good opponent in awhile. Still, he's the US captain.
Geoff Cameron - Great move to Stoke and he had a solid debut against Arsenal. Likely USMNT starter now.
Clarence Goodson - He may not be a starter in central defense for the US team but he's a solid backup.
Fabian Johnson - Is now a player that has to be in the starting lineup for the US team somewhere.
Michael Parkhurst - The Champions League-bound defender can provide cover at several positions across the backline.
Eric Lichaj - Lichaj was surprisingly left off the team for the May/June games despite starting for Aston Villa most of last season. With Castillo's injury, another fullback spot is up for grabs and I can see Klinsmann turning to Lichaj for the first time.
Michael Bradley - He is starting for Roma and is one of the best American players at the moment.
Jermaine Jones - As a starter at Schalke, it's easy to forget how good Jones can be. He's way too good to be left off.
Maurice Edu - It's still unclear where he will fit in at Stoke but his effort against Mexico showed he can be an option as cover in central defense.
Brek Shea - He turned the tide for the US against Mexico and his game showed that the US team needs wide players. He could be the "super sub" the US team needs late in the game.
Joe Corona - The former US U23 midfieder gives attacking options off the bench.
Josh Gatt - The surprise inclusion for these games. His speed will surely be an asset for Klinsmann who can stretch the defense late in the game.
Kyle Beckerman - Klinsmann has always liked Beckerman and after a good outing against Mexico, it is hard to see him not getting called up.
Clint Dempsey - The transfer saga will be over by then and Dempsey can refocus on soccer both for club and country.
Jozy Altidore - With a great start to the Eredivisie season, Altidore will arrive in camp playing very well and he will be hungry to impress Klinsmann after an uneven performance in May/June.
Herculez Gomez - I don't see Gomez being left off after starting against Mexico.
Terrence Boyd - We are still waiting for his first USMNT goal, but he has been effective in creating goal scoring chances. His backheel pass against Mexico to set up the goal was a thing of beauty.
Landon Donovan - Despite an up and down year, he's still can be a very effective player. He's a cornerstone of US Soccer and can score big goals.
IN THE MIX
Jose Torres - Good player for Pachuca but yet to be effective for the USMNT in possession or playmaking and that is where he is most needed. He doesn't defend well enough.
DaMarcus Beasley - Speedy option but probably not high on Klinsmann's list.
Graham Zusi - The Kansas City midfielder looked decent against Mexico but it's a deep position.
Johnathan Spector - Versatile player and there is still a very good chance he gets the call if Timothy Chandler does not accept another callup.
Michael Orozco Fiscal - His goal against Mexico was dramatic but he is currently buried in the depth chart
Danny Williams - After not starting for Hoffenheim in the opening game, he may be on the outside now since Beckerman played well against Mexico.
Oguchi Onyewu - The veteran is not in a good club situation so he is likely not going to be ready for a callup.
Brad Guzan - The fact that Guzan is still behind Given does not bode well for Guzan to get called up.