Debate: Klinsmann’s Depth Chart: Ready For Camping?

Note: We’ve learned that Klinsmann alluded to a single roster in his post-Mexico press conference. Apologies that we missed that.

USA vs. Costa Rica and USA vs. Belgium, right around the corner. Rosters are out sometime later this week.

Something Klinsmann was once very familiar with....

And folks we’ve settled on it.

With Bob Bradley potentially walking like an Egyptian, there were many suggestions made–some technological and many humorous–about what replaced our “Bradley’s Clipboard.”

Enter Jurgen Klinsmann and cue, “The Depth Chart.”

Simple, to the point, and with more than just a casual nod to the diving that the Kaiser used to do on a few stops around Milan and London in his playing days.

In short, effective, a tad cheeky and subliminal. Perfect.

Now, to the roster.

We admit, the new boss threw some real surprises for the Mexico friendly in August, his first of course–specifically Michael Orozco and Edgar Castillo. (Note: For fans to judge Castillo–whether he ultimately proves to be a national team player–on one game is pathetic. Two days of camp, new teammates….anywho.)

This time, about the only thing that can be guaranteed is that there will be more new faces to get a run out. Expect even more surprises.

We’ll take a shot here at who’s being called in for this one and please make the necessary corrections in the comments section below.

Please take the following with a MASSIVE DISCLAIMER. There is obviously no track record for Klinsmann’s suggestions.

It would be more appropriate to debate the merit of each player–rather than will they be called. The only leanings we had were towards a very split roster due to all the travel and geo-specific (as in players nearby) rosters for each friendly.

(A – All, CR – Costa Rica, B – Belgium)


CR: Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson

B: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Samir Badr (I’m only adding him because of this fantastically awful video.)



You mean, you're coming, you're really, really, really coming! Woo-hoo!

A: Tim Chandler

CR: Omar Gonzalez, George John,  Michael Orozco, Heath Pearce, Sean Franklin, Edgar Castillo, Geoff Cameron

B: Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Eric Lichaj, Zak Whitbread



A: Brek Shea, Kyle Beckerman

CR: Jose Torres, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis, Robbie Rogers, Brad Evans, Luis Gil, Freddy Adu

B: Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Mix Diskerud, Josh Gatt, Alejandro Bedoya



A: Juan Agudelo

CR: Justin Braun, CJ Sapong

B: Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle


Michael Bradley: Needs a club desperately.

Tim Ream: Off form?

The skinny:

CAPS Lock: A great visual this time on just how savvy Klinsmann will be. George John–as risk to play for Greece–should be called in. Ditto for Mix Diskerud who has been called into Norway camp.

Bavaria: Will Klinsmann elect to bring in any waffling German-Americans like Fabian Johnson who commented this weekend that we would consider the United States.

Bradentowners: Any youngsters getting the call? Perhaps Josh Gatt. What about short-term reaches like a Joseph Gyau or Jonathan Brooks?

Bobby Convey: Oh man, came so close to putting him on. Even money on Convey right now.

54 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by FulhamPete on 2011/08/21 at 11:35 PM

    Um, does Adu not play for Philly?

    It didn’t take long for Bornstein to show he was fraudulent. You STILL think it’s too early for Castillo? And Torres has been putrid anytime he’s put the jersey on.

    Love your writing, Matty-boy, but Castillo & Torres just don’t belong on the team.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/21 at 11:40 PM

      Adu’s in there…



    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/21 at 11:42 PM

      On Torres & Castillo. While I personally believe that both are not the best the States has to offer, Klinsmann has two to three marching orders right now:

      – Institute new blood
      – Play possession
      – Send a signal across the border.

      Hard to judge a player on one game, but over the long haul I don’t believe either will be a key starter.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/08/22 at 6:37 AM

      Don’t see where Torres is relegated to The Land of Bornstein. He has has some good showings and a few poor ones. If you were watching vs Mex he was awful when deployed out on an island at LMF in the first half. He has no speed out wide and the ball was not moving laterally well through MF. Bad fit. When Bradley went off and he moved to central MF the game came alive through him. Still has holes but again one of the few MF’s who has possession and distribution skills in supply. Not a perfect fit yet but definitely worth inclusion in the new Klinsi attacking model.


  2. Posted by Casey on 2011/08/22 at 5:28 AM

    No Mo Edu for Belgium?


  3. Posted by Nicholas on 2011/08/22 at 5:52 AM

    Any other color on Mix’s Norway call-up? The last thing you want is flirting with another Federation. The non-Gold Cup call-up could turn out to be a huge mistake.


  4. Posted by Shawn on 2011/08/22 at 6:08 AM

    I watched the Club America game yesterday and Castillo looked pretty good… But more of a mid than def player. Just calling Mix into a friendly wouldn’t tie him to a country. It would have to be a fifa tournament or world cup qualifying game. From Mix track record, I could see him switching. He looked decent, but I don’t think it would be a huge loss. We need more quality defenders and out and out forwards.


  5. Posted by patricko on 2011/08/22 at 6:18 AM

    I had thought Hercules Gomez was a good playmaker up front that complimented guys like Altidore and Buddle. Would have liked to see him in the mix – is there a reason why he is not that I am unaware of?


  6. Posted by SpaceAlliance123 on 2011/08/22 at 6:57 AM

    Surprised on no Mo Edu, Herc Gomez, and Sheanon Williams.

    Mo Edu should be a lock — he’s still young, relatively technically gifted, and is getting playing time. Plus the Edu to France rumors persist — a decent USA showing could kick that into higher gear.

    Herc — what does this guy have to do to get a call up?! Klinsi wants in-form, Latin players and we go with … Mike Orozco-Fiscal and Eddy Castillo?

    Sheanon Williams — an edge player, to be sure, but a potentially awesome backup option for RB. The Sheanomenon, as he’s known in Union circles, is a consummate wingback who plays stout defense but has a way of outshining attacking midfielders in the way he supports the attack. If not in these friendlies, he should get a run-through soon.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/22 at 7:10 AM

      Thought about all three. With Edu–he could easily be there–out of action for Rangers gave him a hiatus.

      Herc–I just think Klinsmann wants to develop younger up top. *Disclaimer: I can’t be objective on Herc anymore given our friendship (my apologies). He’s like Robert Horry or something for his clubs. Big time shots, great locker room guys, does the dirty work.

      Sheanon — Thought hard about Williams, but I think if you bring in Chandler, you have only one other option open and I gave that to Sean Franklin for now.
      He’s on the radar though.


      • Posted by SpaceAlliance123 on 2011/08/22 at 7:25 AM

        I still say Herc has gotten the short end of the stick. I mean, he’s no older than Buddle and an arguably better poacher playing in a stronger competition. I’m not anti-Buddle or anything and I think he’s a decent yeoman option, but Herc has that and more.


  7. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/22 at 7:47 AM

    I, too, am surpised by the Herc omission. I could see him forcing himself on the roster with another goal in the next game if the roster isn’t due before then. I like the inclusion Justin Braun. My thoughts on Castillo are that he did ok last time but I’m pissed because he talked smack that he could do better than J/ aBhorstein, and didn’t wow us, Hell an orange traffic cone that impedes speeders would be an improvement.
    No one focuses on postional speed or coverage, Bocanegra plays LB and is slow as Rosie chasing a young girl from Glee.
    Anyway Let’s hope the resurrection of Robbie Rogers continues!!
    Where’s Teal?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/22 at 9:19 AM

      The challenge with Herc is that I think Klinsmann is really going to look for a true hold-up player in that striker role and run Dempsey, Donovan, Adu, whoever off of him. That’s what we saw with Buddle fending for himself and then Agudelo doing yoeman-like work in the friendly.

      That’s not specifically Herculez game, but he may get a run anyway.


      • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/22 at 9:54 AM

        Matt, I see your point, I think Agudelo did well in the friendly in that role but Buddle who did an honorable job was so isolated. Maybe if they are going to a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 they really need someone to really support the hold up striker well and then transition back when we lose possession. I can’t see Deuce in that role, he does a sort of hybred of that role but lacks that make-up/close down/pressure speed. Donovan probably does better in that role, or maybe… Robbie Rogers!.
        Maybe I’m just not seeing it because of the personnel used, especially when Sweats tried it out say against Argentina, It was simply dreadful to watch. Although when done right, its effective, witness Kevin Doyle(when healthy) with Wolves last year (* Another Gratituitous Wolves reference).
        I guess, like you, I’m a big Herc fan and want him to shine.


  8. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/22 at 8:39 AM

    Does Mixx have a twitter? I’ll create a twitter account just to ensure that he doesn’t switch to Norway. But that’s me simultaneously being greedy and being afraid of the future.


  9. Posted by dth on 2011/08/22 at 9:25 AM

    Don’t think we have much to worry about with Mix. He’s provisionally cap-tied to us and I doubt he switches this quickly. Nevertheless, he ought to be called up.

    I think Josh Gatt is definitely getting called for Belgium. Need that speed. I wouldn’t mind seeing Pontius in Costa Rica.

    The question is whether Klinsmann persists in his oft-voiced desire to bring in the top guys every friendly.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/22 at 10:50 AM

      Re: Gatt. He’s starting today at right back…and looking very poor defensively. While he might make an excellent right back with some work, I hope they stick with him at winger.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/08/22 at 10:57 AM

        I’d rather have that kid as a winger than a right back. We have several good right backs so far, but don’t have those speedy touchline hugging wingers.


  10. Posted by anon on 2011/08/22 at 9:57 AM

    1) Findley over Buddle. Findley’s playing more, and offers more right now, or so I believe.

    2) Pontius, Bunbury and/or Cooper over Braun. I’m just not that excited about Braun.

    3) Convey/Zizzo over Evans.

    4) Add Parkhurst and Chris Rolfe to Belgium roster. Parkhurst has been playing left-back – he’s worth a look.


  11. Posted by Alex on 2011/08/22 at 10:25 AM

    -Chris Rolfe should be an AM/2nd Striker type added to the Belgium camp. He’s finally healthy and has contributed plenty for Aalborg (2 game winning goals)
    -Pontius at the same position as Rolfe should be at CR, over Evans in my opinion (he’s not really even playing for SEA).
    -Sapong would be a good option though, maybe Boonboorey if he finds some more form but leaving him off for now seems like the right option.
    -I’d go as far as saying Mo over JJ, as Mo is seeing more PT than Jones.
    -I hope hope hope Fabian Johnson can get a call he seems like an exciting prospect (AND AN LB!!).


    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/22 at 10:49 AM

      Johnson I don’t think can be called up. He needs to officially switch, generally a three- to six-month process, IIRC.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/08/22 at 11:00 AM

        Could be wrong, I usually am, but isn’t that just for FIFA sanctioned games like WC Qualifiers, GC, etc? I thought friendlies were okay, like how Bunbury played for the US vs South Africa last year before he made an official switch from Canada.


        • Posted by BK on 2011/08/22 at 1:25 PM

          I don’t think Johnson has played for the senior Germany side, though. I believe the official switch is only necessary if you’ve played friendly games for the senior side, but not official ones (Jones, Castillo). If you haven’t played at all for the senior side (I don’t think youth national teams matter in this issue) you’re free to choose any national team you want without officially switching. I think Johnson fits into this category, as did guys like Bunbury and Diskerud.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/08/22 at 1:34 PM

            This is incorrect. Diskerud wasn’t provisionally cap-tied by Norway; he doesn’t count for this discussion.

            Both Bunbury and Johnson played in official youth matches for Canada and Germany, respectively, and are therefore provisionally cap-tied by those nations. If they wanted to switch, they would have to switch permanently to a nation for which they were eligible for at the time they were first provisionally cap-tied.


            • Posted by Alex on 2011/08/22 at 1:38 PM

              Yes but doesn’t that mean that Johnson can still be called into the Belgium camp and play in the game, much like Bunbury did vs SA?

            • Posted by Alex on 2011/08/22 at 1:39 PM

              Or didhe (Boonboorey, as he shall be henceforth called) already file a switch?

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/22 at 1:43 PM

              Yeah, I’m not sure whether Johnson can be called in provisionally or something like Bunbury.

              I am certain that Johnson would need to file for a switch to appear in an official match for the U.S.

            • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/22 at 1:43 PM

              I’ll look into this. But my understanding is both Bunbury and Johnson can provisionally play for a side other than their first-chosen side (Canada/Germany), but they would need to file a one-time switch pre- or post playing in the match, if they wanted to compete in a Fifa sanctioned even (WCQ or GC, Olypmics, etc.)

              In Bunbury’s case, I know he played for Canada, then played for the US twice South Africa and Chile and then filed his one-time switch.

              Thus in Johnson’s case, he could play for the US in a friendly (Belgium), but not a FIFA sanctioned competition until he filed that one-time switch.

            • Posted by BK on 2011/08/22 at 2:09 PM

              I see, I wasn’t aware that a player was provisionally cap tied by playing for youth national teams. Just out of curiosity, the reason Mixx wasn’t provisionally cap tied is because he played for multiple youth national teams? If he had only played for Norway youth teams, he would have been?

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/22 at 2:15 PM

              Mix never played in an official youth match for Norway.

            • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/08/23 at 7:15 AM

              dth, maybe you should first concede that johnson can play in a friendly, then you can start discussing mix.

  12. If John goes to Blackburn does that change him to an A or a B cause obviously he wouldn’t be just going to LA


  13. Cameron as a defender? what? As Cameron finally strings together some good games in midfield, you want him back at CB? Ironic maybe…


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/22 at 1:53 PM

      He’s not a midfielder. Categorically. I don’t care where Houston plays him. Can’t receive with his back to the basket. Can’t turn and create in traffic.

      Don’t care where Kinnear plays him. Not a midfielder.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2011/08/22 at 8:42 PM

        Typically I would agree with you, but he’s shown better since he’s had someone reliable to take the defensive responsability off him. If you ask me his best position, I’ll tell you CB, but as far as far as I’m concerned, as of this moment, he is competing for chance to play for the nats in midfield. He has also only recently shown he is a viable option there. Maybe I just think if you’re going to talk about Cameron for the USMNT it should be acknowledged that a call up likely wouldn’t be at a position he has played once in almost 2 years.


  14. Posted by Union on 2011/08/22 at 3:49 PM

    Love to see how Adu and Gil play off of each other in the midfield. And I, like many, watched the Gatt goal from a few weeks ago when he tore up the sideline a la Landon Donovan 10 years ago. So I hope he gets the call. I think Mixx gets the call bc Jurgen knows he’s important for the Olympic team, but at the same time, the MF is looking very crowded right now.

    I still think Jurgen is going to throw a few curve balls in there and this seems pretty straight forward. Matt, any players you think could be complete surprises? If the Mexico friendly gave any insight, Jurgen is prone to calling in guys no one expected.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/22 at 4:19 PM

      If I didn’t include him I think Adrian Ruelas–who played very well with Juan Agudelo–in the Milk Cup a year back could be a surprise.

      I think it’s entirely possible that one of the next “Golden German-American class” could be called in as well. Jonathan Brooks or Fabian Johnson or some other surprise.

      I tend to think that Klinsmann is like any other coach in that the further away from goal you get the more chances you take on players. So I would love up top for possible surprises.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/08/22 at 4:51 PM

        Interesting re: Ruelas. He definitely brings the hispanic influence that Jurgen is looking for. How has he done recently? And has he stated his preference in regards to Mexico/US? Looks like Mexico moved on from him if he hasn’t been in their camps since U-17’s. I wouldn’t be surprised at Joe Corona getting a shot either, those his allegiance seems far from clear.

        Goes w/o saying I’d love to see Johnson get a cap.


  15. Posted by Tuan on 2011/08/22 at 6:46 PM

    I looked at predictions, but considering Klinsmann wants both friendlies to have the same squad, it will probably be very off. I completely disagree with Adu and Gil being called up, that’s just plain overhype on both of them. Calling up both now would just mean that both have done enough work to be serious key players, which either of them arent. Adu cant just suck for two years, play well for 2 USMNT games, and suddenly be back in the picture, that’s overhype. Gil is too young at 17, he should be a u20. I can think of guys better than Brad Evans and Davis is just too old at a position where we have at least five guys in front of him. These friendlies need to contain the dual nationality guys like John and Mix to show that we really do want them. I also believe that while Diskerud has been “called up” he denied them. Michael Orozco is VERY red card prone and I am really scared if Klinsmann picks him just because he is Latino. In fact, in my opinion Mix is better than Torres, I am scared if Klinsmann picks them over the non-Latino guys who do have creative abilities like Mix.


    • I tend to agree with you that it might be a little too soon for Gill. However, if he is good enough, or Klinsmann feels he needs an evaluation, he needs to be called in. Gil will be 20 in 2014 (I think), so it doesn’t hurt to get him started now.


  16. Posted by CJ on 2011/08/22 at 7:15 PM

    Bocanegra and Bedoya to Rangers


  17. I could be wrong, but I thought all the post-game talk from the Mexico friendly was that Klinsi was only going to use one roster for both games.


  18. Hasn’t Klinsmann said he want’s the Euro boys for both of these matches? I seem to recall something along those lines.


  19. Posted by dude on 2011/08/22 at 8:39 PM

    Here’s a question: Why not call in Fabian Johnson? He’s biting, let’s get him comfortable.

    ps. I know it is extremely difficult to be considered for the German National team, but is anyone else seeing the three sons of African American service men angle here? Germany is still in the process of integration.


  20. 9:30 mark of the Post Game Press Conference for Klinsmann saying that he wants the European based players “always with us, no exceptions”. So I think we’ll see generally the same players for most matches moving forward.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/22 at 10:08 PM

      Thanks–still a fun post. :>


      • Always fun to guesstimate roster selection 🙂 I’m HIGHLY intrigued by your inclusion of Luis Gil. You really think he is ready for this big time? I understand he’s been playing quite well for RSL of late, but still just 17.

        Also, no love for Michael Parkhurst still?? Dude plays every match for his club and Nordsjaelland are in Europa League as well. Him and I also share the same birthday so I have a soft side for him haha. But still, if you’re gonna make Goodson a regular, then you’d have to think that Parkhurst needs inclusion too. He’s probably the most intelligent central defender (American) I’ve ever seen play. Sure he’s got a smallish frame, but then again so does Orozco.

        And no love for Chris Rolfe or Hurculez Gomez, two forwards currently on form for their clubs.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/23 at 5:21 AM

          I think ready is a relative term.

          Is he ready to spend some time in the camp, meet the coach and players, get an idea what it is like to play with basically an All-Star team, take back to MLS a few things to work on? Yes.

          Ready to start and contribute as a MF? No.

          People need to remember that this is a friendly and not everyone dresses for the game. I would much rather have a 17 year old get some experience and be a “did not dress” than a 27 year old do the same. Its a relatively small investment given its a friendly so far from WCQ.


          • Posted by Union on 2011/08/23 at 2:56 PM

            My thinking as well. What is the youngest US player to get a cap btw? I’m not sure…

            17 is too young to get on the field for most national teams, but I think it would be a big benefit to Jurgen to bring him into camp so that he can see just how close or far away the kid is from playing on the international level. He will almost certainly be in the running for a starting spot on the Olympics team, so it can’t hurt to get him in the mix with some of the other guys sooner rather than later. I mean, Agudelo is literally only a full year older than Gil and he got his first cap around this time last year. If you are going to say Gil doesn’t belong on the team, I think the same should be said about Agudelo. Furthermore, Gil is probably more technically gifted than Agudelo at this point anyways. I


            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/23 at 6:46 PM

              17 wouldn’t be incredibly unusual.

              Michael Owen debuted for England when he was barely 18 (18 and 59 days, sez Wikipedia.) Hell, Javier Mascherano debuted before he’d played a senior professional game.

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/08/23 at 12:21 AM

      Huh, travel will be tough on them then. How much turnaround is there, like over a week?


  21. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/23 at 5:34 PM

    What formation will Klinsmann employ, a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 or 4-5-1? Sorry if I am mispronouncing, Kyle!


    • Posted by mbw on 2011/08/23 at 7:09 PM

      4-4-1-1 is my guess (for the Belgium game) — the question is whether it’s Deuce or Donovan in the second-striker spot. . . .


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