The Nod: Clarence Goodson, Gold Cupping

It’s been a topsy-turvy run for Clarence Goodson on the USMNT. Goodson, who played at the University of Maryland in the midfield nonetheless, has been largely enigmatic for Bob Bradley in a US kit.

Clarence Goodson against Colombia, October 2010.

It was 2009 that Goodson got some run after a Jimmy Conrad injury at the Gold Cup. The end of that Gold Cup would of course see Chad Marshall–thought to have a higher ceiling at the time–and Clarence Goodson get rag-dolled by Mexico’s A team strikers in the 5-0 final loss.

Afterward Goodson meandered through the 2010 Camp Cupcake on the fringe of the national team and then got a few reps as Oguchi Onyewu’s emergency back-up on the way to World Cup 2010. It was Goodson and rightback Jonathan Spector who were the only rostered players not to see the pitch at World Cup 2010.

This is a big Gold Cup for Goodson…..who has steadily and almost quietly assumed the mantle of Gooch’s heir apparent–at least temporarily–as other flashier names have been reeled off as the likely replacements: Ike Opara, Omar Gonzalez, Gale Agbossumunde, and even Tim Ream. All have earned more press and promotion.

Below, our first two reviews on this site (when TSG had all but a handful of columns under their belt) of Clarence Goodson in Gold Cup 2009. A fun moment to look back–within the TSG archives–at the development of a player.

July 18, 2009: US beats Panama at Gold Cup 2009, 2-1 in the quarterfinal:

D: Clarence Goodson – 7.5

A revelation. I must admit I didn’t know much about his until after the game. However what I saw I was more than impressed with. Got beat on the cross for the goal upon entering, however beyond that, extraordinary. Extremely technical on positioning in one-on-one situations and choose well when to come up from the backline and meet an offender.


July 23rd, 2009: US disposes of Honduras in the Gold Cup semifinal, 2-0

D: Clarence Goodson – 8

Quickly dealing himself into discussion in the US’s now crowded center back pecking order. Absolutely unfailing in his technical game, Goodson showed himself a threat on set pieces by scoring the first goal on a Stu Holden cross to end the 1st half. Dare I say the U.S. is best served sending Boca out wide with the depth we now have in the middle.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Ryan on 2011/06/08 at 4:37 PM

    I am an unabashed Goodson fan (a fact my white #21 kit will attest to), and yesterday he showed why I’ve been so high on him. He’s a very level-headed presence in the back, and he a monster in the air. Not the greatest pace, but he more than makes up for that with his position and 1v1 skills.

    #1 CB in my book.


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