Jurgen Klinsmann’s Roster To Face France & Slovenia

As Klinsmann’s roster to face France & Slovenia

"Morales, where'd you learn to play son?"

G: Tim Howard, Bill Hamid

The skinny: Just calling this “Double H” from now on. By the way–truth–Bill Hamid’s email address begins with “YoungTimHoward”

DEF: D: Carlos Bocanegra, Timmy Chandler, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Alfredo Morales, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Oguchi Onyewu

The skinny: Was a 1st team call-up part of Morales’s deal to play for the US? Highly possible there. For those unfamiliar with Morales, here’s some video below. I believe this ends the Edgar Castillo experiment at LB? You’ll have Cherundolo and Chandler starting for now as bookends, with Klinsmann looking for back-ups. (No Spector call-in here.)


MID: Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Robbie Rogers, Brek Shea, Danny Williams

The skinny: Interesting Beckerman call-in. Very uninteresting Robbie Rogers call-in–the question must be asked: “Just how long will coaches’ go to allow Robbie Rogers to reach his potential?”

Why hello there Jermaine Jones.

FW: Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle, Landon Donvoan, DaMarcus Beasley

The skinny: There is no skinny. Klinsmann, as we’ve said is after the target strikers. See the US U-23 roster.

More coming….

137 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/03 at 11:00 AM

    I’m sure there’s a legitimate reason for El Pistolero Rogers being called in……….



    Alfredo Morales plays CDM and RB for his club, So does that make it Dolo and Morales at RB and Chandler and Johnson at LB? I’m confused.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/03 at 11:02 AM

      As I state din the previous post, I think JK is waiting on the MLS playoff results to determine whether he’s going to put Juan and Teal in the u-23 camp or the senior squad


  2. Posted by Jared on 2011/11/03 at 11:02 AM

    Surprised to see Beckerman and Donovan there with possible involvement in MLS playoffs.

    Even more surprised that Orozco-Fiscal and Rogers are back. Neither is good enough in any way for this team. I was a Bob hater but at least his favorite, Bornstein, was at a need position.


    • Posted by justin on 2011/11/03 at 2:05 PM

      I think after the last friendly with williams at RW Klinsi saw how shallow that position is if donovan is not there. I don’t know of many right wingers in the pool right now (who are playing at club level… which means no bedoya) who would be good to slide in to come off the bench…..

      If donovan can’t come because of playoffs, I think we’ll see fabian johnson at RW which he has played at hoffenheim with success before his injury.

      Roger’s I believe will simply be a RW sub… I don’t see him starting. And this is until someone else shows up who can play that position at an international level


      • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/03 at 4:42 PM

        I was thinking of

        Edu and Fabian at DM

        Bradley and Shea AM

        Jozy and Dempsey forward

        in a 4-2-2-2 and assuming Landon doesn’t show

        I wonder how closeBradley comes to scoring from that position which also gives him the space to cross long which is his forte

        It’s no knock on USA to say we are not deep when it comes to personnel who can score. Many other teams have the same problem.

        If Donovan doesn’t show I’d like to see JK call in Adu and sub him in for Altidore at some point in the second half.


  3. Posted by KKS on 2011/11/03 at 11:21 AM

    The lack of Sacha Kljestan is baffling to me. He’s perfect in the deep-lying linker role-it’s what he plays for Anderlecht.


    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/03 at 11:26 AM

      Gomez and Kljestan are probably two of the most in form players abroad right now. I feel like Klinsmann really dislikes Kljestan. I mean, if you’re a goal down in the country that a player plays club for, yet you bring on Larentow-f***ing-wizc?? I can’t come up with any other explanation.
      And so far, our problem has been lack of goal scoring…. You all know where I’m going with that one.


    • Posted by Say What! on 2011/11/03 at 1:01 PM

      Because Kljestan isn’t very good. Plain and simple.


      • Posted by mbw on 2011/11/03 at 2:57 PM

        And Maurice Edu is the second coming of Xavi Hernandez. Kljestan with an assist in Anderlecht’s Europa League victory today, BTW.


        • Posted by justin on 2011/11/03 at 3:30 PM

          I believe that kljestan should be here. But I think you hit it on the head that Klinsmann rates Edu higher than Kljestan.

          I also wouldn’t be surprised if F. Johnson and D. Williams are also higher on the CM-hub role than Kljestan… But if that position is still a problem after these friendlies and Kljestan is still playing well, he’ll may get called in next year, but by that time torres and holden will both be coming back….. Poor sacha


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/03 at 3:05 PM

        That arguement is older than my grandmother. He had a bad run of form but he’s been nothing but consistent for Anderlecht and has provided some very good and assists. Please do some research before making a baseless comment that is from the past


      • Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 3:24 PM

        Crazy how posts from 2007 can magically reappear four years later.


  4. Posted by Que Bueno on 2011/11/03 at 11:22 AM

    Still no George John or Omar Gonzalez and Juan Agudelo who sits the bench all year didn’t get called into the U-23’s so he could finally get a few games.


  5. Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 11:25 AM

    A lot of people roll their eyes at the overreaction of the USMT faithful to fringe players either being put on or left off the roster. Okay, I get that. At the same time, the inclusion of players like Robbie Rogers, Fiscal, Buddle and Beasley over guys like Kljestan, Gonzalez (who I am not that high on, but others are and thus, its worth mentioning), Gomez, Bunbury, Agudelo (I understand that Agudeo no longer fits Klinsmann’s requirements for a call-in, given that he doesn’t start for his club team, but he hasn’t started for his club team in awhile and he still gets the call) is a bit strange. I get that these fringe players won’t get much time anyways, but most of them are not only suspect at the international level, but also way beyond the point of ever improving their game. These are older players, so I don’t get it.

    Lots of inconsistencies, but again, I’ll deal with Jurgen’s strange love affair w/ Fiscal/Rogers/Buddle so long as he continues to recruit heavily from the German youth ranks. I don’t think alfredo Morales is as good as Chandler/Johnson/Williams/John A Brooks, but he looks to have a lot of upside.

    As I’ve said all along, I think Jurgen’s full strength lineup will be (for now):



    CDM – Danny Williams
    CAM- Fabian Johnson
    LW- Brek Shea
    RW- Donovan/Dempsey

    FW 1: Jozy
    FW 2: Donovan/Dempsey

    I could even see Morales getting the start in the middle over Boca or on the right over Dolo. Jurgen has shown that if he’s going to recruit German-Americans to play for his side, he will start them immediately.


    • Posted by Say What! on 2011/11/03 at 1:35 PM

      I can dig this line-up.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/03 at 3:00 PM

      Without getting way techical and involved it seems to me that if you took all the players whose inclusion you question and put them with the players you want included, is there really an overwhelming gulf in quality?

      For example, I get that Sacha is playing well but if we believe that Rogers was picked over him then the only reason I can come up with is that Roger is a true winger while Sacha is not. In truth neither player has ever excelled for the US team and everyone seems to be moaning over what are basically fringe players, six of one half a dozen of the other.

      Every single national team manager I’ve ever watched always has their faves, their Bornsteins, why should JK be any different.


    • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/11/04 at 1:59 PM

      Beckerman will be the CDM. Count on it.
      Edu will be in the #8 slot, though I will grant you that F. Johnson could sit in that spot instead to ‘see’.


  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 11:26 AM

    For an explanation no why Orozco-Fiscal continually gets called in, see the 3rd bullet here:


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/03 at 11:36 AM

      So, basically Klinsmann will continue to sacrifice actual defending ability for speed? That’s not a good sign. I was hoping he would have realized that Orozco-Fiscal isn’t good enough defensively after the past few games that it shouldn’t matter if he was super fast. I’d rather see Marvel Wynne called in because at least he is really fast.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 12:19 PM

        I would say it’s a sound “team defense” philosophy whether MOF is the right answer or wrong answer.

        Speed at CB allows you to push line higher and defend more with your MFs and FWs instead of the backline where US has proven weak in central defense.

        Take a look though. Beyond Onyewu–who may or may not be back to his old self–there is no clearly dominant CB on the 1st team.

        Yes, both George John & Omar might be those guys but they haven’t proven it (catch-22 I know).

        Also counterattacking should be one of many attacking strengths, not the only one. (I think that’s part of what got Bradley in trouble.)

        I never want to see Marvell Wynne called in.


        • Posted by Berg on 2011/11/03 at 1:26 PM

          What about Matt Besler? The playoffs may preclude his inclusion for now, but the guy deserves a shot based on his performance this past year in my eyes. Camp Cupcake call up perhaps?


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 5:08 PM

            I have been extremely impressed with Besler’s play this post season. He basically shackled Omar Cummings with help last night.

            That said, Zach Loyd gets the call before him.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/03 at 5:39 PM

          I agree Matt. The defensive line will dictate the way the rest of your team will setup from the midfield to the strikers. Also, it will determine how quickly you “look” to win the ball back and press. If you think of some of the top teams, by playing high up the pitch, it can help the defence join in with the build up of an attack or if you lose the ball, quickly win it back [by pressing efectively as a unit]. Obviously, the flip side are the ball over the top / through balls, which is where the speed element comes in [or Howard sweeping].

          Clearly, positioning and intelligence are the key attributes here – the back four need to know when to move out… although, all of this is much easier said than done [takes a lot of work on the training pitch]!


  7. Posted by Alex on 2011/11/03 at 11:28 AM

    My big concern is, how does Agudelo not get called into either camp? I’d say he’d be really helpful to the U23 team, since that’s who he should play for next summer. Its not like NYRB need him right now…


    • Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 11:32 AM

      I think he’ll be put on the U-23 team after tonight’s game pans out.


      • Posted by Deuce4Prez on 2011/11/03 at 12:01 PM

        Per SI.com

        “Forwards Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury were bypassed and will train with the Under-23 team as it prepares for Olympic qualifying.

        “Both right now are in a challenging position with the full team because of players ahead of them,” Klinsmann said. “Our thought is that if they are not in the starting lineup for us, this is a great opportunity to get an introduction with the Under-23 team. … It’s a good message to Juan and Teal that this is your age group, and they can now be challenged in different ways.”


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/03 at 12:32 PM

          Agudelo should grow more by trying to really influence the game at the U-23 level rather than get 10 minutes at the end of the game with the senior team.


        • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/03 at 5:19 PM

          well then that makes me feel a little better. They probably weren’t on the official list just because their teams are still in the MLS playoffs, makes sense. I’ve calmed down a little now.


      • Posted by stevehoff on 2011/11/03 at 12:03 PM

        You mean after the MLS cup, don’t you? 😉


  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 11:43 AM

    Per FC Dallas press release, Brek Shea will train with Arsenal for one month after the 2 US friendlies.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/03 at 11:48 AM

      I dont htink arsenal suits the type of 4-3-3 for Shea’s attributes. Don’t really see them getting bodies in for crosses as much, more linking, but I might just be nitpicking.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/03 at 5:21 PM

        How so? If anything it allows Shea to work on getting inside and combining which is something that Dallas seemed to really dislike doing. And through everything Arsenal has been through, I still think Wenger is a really good coach. And the Arsenal coaching staff is obviously top notch


        • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/11/03 at 6:08 PM

          Thatd exactly my point. He’s been relied in Dallas for putting service into the box for so long that it’s become his forte. Arsenal is based more upon linkingwith an advancing CM for a through ball to the byline and a cutback into the box. Or just give it to RVP. But I mean this great for him. I remember a few of his plays where he linked and made some very high IQ runs with Chandler and Dempsey. Its best the he develop all facets of wing play.


          • Did you watch Dallas at the beginning of the season? They did so well then because Brek cut centrally from the wing and took people on to get into the box. He got the vast majority of his goals this way. He only had 4 assists all season. 2 were crosses; 2 were through balls. While he is certainly getting better at throwing the ball into the box, it is far from his forte. He does seem to put crosses in much more often when he’s playing for the national team though.


          • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/04 at 12:09 PM

            Wouldn’t it be better to challenge a player with something that’s not really his forte? It is just training. And I think he does have the mentality to play that way but he never gets the return pass. The one prime example was that one touch pass sequence he had with Dempsey and Chanlder during the Ecuador game that led to that Edu flub. That was a brilliant play that left me in awe.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/03 at 11:52 AM

      That should be a great experience even if doesn’t lead to anything.


  9. Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 11:53 AM

    What a strange roster.

    I always thought Klinsmann’s problems would be more with in-game management than picking the players. But, geez…no Kljestan, no George John, etc.


    • Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 12:01 PM

      Kljestan is the biggest ommision in terms of what Jurgen claims to “desire” in his players. A linking, forward passer, fairly good technical ability, starting for his club, club playing in European competition (or at least I thought they were). Makes no sense. My other complaint is Adu, bc I think Adu could give Klinsmann a great option off the bench, but he has been inconsistent on the Union (I’ve long thought that while the MLS was Adu’s best option a rebirth, the style of the league just doesn’t suit him well).

      As for George John, I would prefer him over Gonazlez, but I think its pretty clear that Jurgen sees Boca and Gooch as essentially being doing the same things as Gonzalez/George John…and doing them better. I agree with that, but at some point, the new generation of centerbacks needs to step in and I hope to god its not Fiscal.


  10. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/03 at 12:00 PM

    Wow. Nobody has championed Tim Ream and his ‘distribution’. That’s a first.


    • Posted by SteveM11 on 2011/11/03 at 12:18 PM

      LOL. As Fake Kinssy said, I think he distributed himself right off the team with that failure to cover his man.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 12:20 PM

      Well played GeorgeCross — well played.


    • From what I’ve seen, there has been some pretty naive defending from some of the US center back prospects in MLS during the playoffs. Not feeling that any of these guys – Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez and George John – would improve on what’s on this roster.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/04 at 12:10 PM

        Geoff Cameron!! Maybe. I didn’t get a chance to watch the Philly Houston matches but I just figured I’d through in the next name in line for MLS CBs


  11. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/03 at 12:02 PM

    As an aside I find the roster layout consistently annoying. I know this happens lots of places quite often but why not just do it right since it’s coming from USSoccer. If Donovan and DMB are forwards then Shea is as well (and very likely Johnson).

    Sorry for the rant


    • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/11/03 at 2:07 PM

      I agree. If part of Klinnsy’s plan is playing people in a spot can we at least list the stupid def/mid/fwd right when the roster is anounced?


  12. for a second i didnt notice dempseys name. and NOBODY was asking why he was left off. I felt REALLY out of the loop. then i looked again…….


  13. Posted by SteveM11 on 2011/11/03 at 12:17 PM

    Wow. No Herc, no Omar. I’m fading fast on my Jurgen support. Why just keep tryint the same guys who haven’t produced?

    Rogers isn’t even top 11 MLS. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all, but what gives?


  14. Like that there’s a Berlin player reppin’. Shame I can’t make either match.


  15. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/03 at 12:29 PM

    If we buy into Klinsi’s comment regarding picking his rosters with a starter and a back up at every position (which makes sense for friendlies but not tournaments) then Kljestan is even more baffling. The MF makes no sense to me.

    Shea and Beasley are in the left top 3 band in a 4-3-3. (For simplicity I am going to assume we stay with a 4-3-3 or a 4-1-3-2 with 5 MFs. )
    Donovan and Rogers are the right top 3 band.
    Dempsey and Fabian Johnson as CAM
    Beckerman/jones/edu/bradley as destroyer
    Danny Williams as linker (bradley is probably competing for this role but I don’t think he should)

    The roster sets out perfectly for dropping Beckerman (given the MLS playoffs and the fact that despite disagreement about his performance last game we all pretty much know what he is) and bringing in Kljestan to compete with Williams.


  16. Posted by marky mark on 2011/11/03 at 12:41 PM

    I think Adu and Davies should have been looked at. I think Rogers role a supersub may be worth a look.


  17. Posted by Freegle on 2011/11/03 at 12:52 PM

    I’m not sure if I like this roster but perhaps it’s because I’m not sure what the goals of these friendlies are. Are we looking to get results against solid squads on European soil? Are we looking to build chemistry amongst a core group of players and not concerned about results? Are we looking to work new faces into the system? Are we just trying to get our most talented or in form players together?

    I don’t think the roster is adept at doing any one of these things individually. It seems like a compilation of all of those goals together, and that concerns me. We need to have more focal goals at this point. Either bring in your best and try to win some matches (which would be nice, but is probably not the most prudent long term strategy), or build chemistry amongst the old guard and the young talent. To retread players like Rogers, MOF, and Buddle does nothing for the short term or long term success of this program.

    I think we are about one cycle away from having enough depth to have several legit arguements about who should be called in because we will have many players who are “good enough”. As of today, we have 3 categories… players who are good enough, players who might be good enough, and players who we know are not good enough. Only the first two of those types have value going forward…and there are too many players on this roster who are in that third category.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/03 at 1:08 PM

      The case for Buddle is clear to me (the others less so). Klinsi’s feels that Buddle is the second best target forward in the pool at this moment. While others have more potential you should have to win your spot in the 23 it shouldn’t be gifted to you based on potential.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 1:10 PM

      I think this is your A team. I would imagine that there is a provision in the contract for the friendly with France that says the US has to bring their A team or something to that effect.
      Now Alfredo Morales though–the question there is whether a senior call-up was part of the deal to have him commit or not.


    • Posted by mathmatics on 2011/11/03 at 2:25 PM

      Jones has only been around for a year. Shea is brand new. Chandler, F Johnson and D Williams are brand new. Klinsmann is brand new. That’s five new (potential) starters and a new manager.

      This camp gets all our key veterans together with a great influx of new, mostly German talent.

      The presence of the Rogers types (players we know aren’t good enough) doesn’t bug me at all. No need to burden this camp with 5-6 future prospects, or rotate one fringe guy (Orozco) for another (Gonzalez). There’s a January camp for that. For now, it’s better to stick with the fringe guys who are already familiar with the routine.


      • Posted by Freegle on 2011/11/03 at 2:49 PM

        Thats contradictory. You just said that everyone is brand new but you want to stick to guys familiar with the routine. There is no routine yet because everyone is brand new. So why waste spots on guys that will not be in the fold? They are acclimating to a routine that is superflous to them and not helpful to the program.


        • Posted by mathmatics on 2011/11/03 at 3:27 PM

          No contradiction. Not “everyone” is brand new. But a bunch of likely starters are. So the focus of camp is integrating them with the current starters.

          To help that integration run smoothly (you only have a few sessions after all), you surround the core with guys who already know what JK is looking for in his training sessions.

          This will be Orozco’s fourth camp. Rogers’ third. They’re useful training bodies.

          This is not a camp to spend time evaluating 18-30 on the depth chart. Do that in January.


          • Posted by Freegle on 2011/11/03 at 5:29 PM

            You can’t have it both ways. If, as you stated, Klinsmann is new, then by definition everyone is new because the system is new. If the focus is integration, then how does it serve that goal to bring in players who have already proven to be no more than “useful training bodies.” George John, Michael Parkhurst or Benny Feilhaber (just examples, not saying they deserve to be there) are useful training bodies as well. They also add more depth to the pool by integrating more people into the new

            Not to pick on MOF, but the players that have been called into every camp so far are Beckerman, Bocanegra, Howard, Cherundolo, Brek Shea, and Michael Orozco Fiscal (one of these things is not like the others).


            • Posted by mathmatics on 2011/11/03 at 8:18 PM

              All right, I’ll concede there is a bit of a contradiction. JK isn’t brand brand new. And what he’s doing, introducing a whole new playing style, is a process. One that Orozco and Rogers have been exposed to a few times.

              The other fringe guys, whether deserved or not, have missed out on the process over the past four months. You call them in now, and they start out at day zero. Orozco and Rogers, however mediocre, are at day 20. So assuming they’re all _roughly_ at the same level, Orozco and Rogers are 20 days _more_ useful than Gonzalez, John, et al.

              In the interest of incorporating the (presumably) non-fringe German talent, why introduce additional uncertainties to the equation?

              In the long run, talent will win out. But that long run includes youth and MLS camps that JK hasn’t had the luxury of holding yet.

            • Posted by Gary on 2011/11/05 at 1:04 PM

              Really?! Quit playing semantics and discuss football.

  18. Posted by Rafael on 2011/11/03 at 1:15 PM

    Robbie Rogers isn’t even one of the top two or three players on the Coumbus Crew, let alone the MLS. I would have chosen Eddie Gaven over Rogers if I had to choose a Columbus player.

    I’m afraid Kilnsmann is completely blinded because of his loyalty and history with Rogers. It has lead to an unobejective blind emotional attachment. For those who don’t know, Klinsmann and Rogers were teammates together on the same Socal Orange Conty minor league team back in the early 2000’s, when a retired Klinsmann played under a pseudonym and Rogers was 16. Then Rogers goes ahead and scores the first goal for Klinsmann in Klinsmann’s first match as manager. A perfect storm that I hope doesn’t lead to an even worse situation than the Bradley/Bornstein love affair.


  19. Posted by dude on 2011/11/03 at 1:20 PM

    Orozco and Rogers need to go, or players will start jumping ship. John and Gonzalez, is it such a bad idea to at least reach out to them? What does it hurt.

    As for Rogers, dear freaking god. That’s just favoritism. Surely Klinsmann has had enough time to figure out some key guys, and wouldn’t mind calling in people who clearly do not suck.


    • Posted by jesran on 2011/11/04 at 10:52 AM

      Of course Rogers is favoritism, but to me it not that simple. The fact that he still lingers on the roster is an indication that JK has not succeeded in imposing his vision on this team and still needs loyalty more than skills. If this team cannot be changed so easily then what does that say about the whole development system that wallows in inadequacy?


      • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/11/04 at 2:06 PM

        Oh please! Now it’s the Development systems fault?

        Klinsmann obviously likes Rogers wide play. He likes it more than other players/options wide-play. That is what we have to live with, for better or worse.


  20. Posted by Say What! on 2011/11/03 at 1:28 PM

    GK: Tim Howard
    RB: Steve Cherundolo
    RCB: Oguchi Onyewu
    LCB: Carlos Bocanegra
    LB: Timmy Chandler
    DCM: Danny Williams
    CM: Fabian Johnson over plays rightside
    ACM: Clint Dempsey over plays left
    LW: Brek Shea
    CF: Jozy Altidore
    RW: Landon Donovan

    Bill Hamid
    Clarence Goodson
    Alfredo Morales
    Michael Bradley
    Maurice Edu
    Edson Buddle
    Either Jermaine Jones or DaMarcus Beasley

    Stop complaining about Kljestan. Bedoya is better than Kljestan at any position. He has never been that good. Rogers, Beckerman, and MOF will eventually play themselves out and an unknown or two will pop up before qualifying time. (See Herc pre-WC)


  21. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 1:52 PM

    Here’s a question. Why is acceptable to give Altidore multiple chances up top when Agudelo, Bunbury, etc are waiting in wings and it’s not acceptable to give Orozco-Fiscal repetitions.

    Is it because of position or depth.

    As I see it, Omar, George John, Ethan White, whoever are not competing with Orozco Fiscal — they are competing with Goodson, Gooch and Boca, no?

    As for Orozco-Fiscal, who competes with what he does? Geoff Cameron, that’s about it? Who else?


    • Posted by Freegle on 2011/11/03 at 2:51 PM

      Matt thats part of the problem… for this level, we don’t know who competes with him because hes the only one getting chances, despite his obvious flaws.


    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/03 at 3:08 PM

      Maybe because it easier to be apologetic for a forward who doesn’t score than a shaky centerback because the shaky centerback will have a more negative affect to our scoresheet.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/03 at 3:26 PM

      Because Altidore’s play, while frustrating, has been better than Fiscal’s, which has been consistent–and mediocre?

      To me, the only CB qualifying for the Altidore Exception is Tim Ream.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/04 at 3:13 AM

        I think mediocre is being kind to Orozco but your answer seems the right one to me.

        Agudelo has also ruled himself out by not getting playing time with the Red Bulls (if Klinsmann actually sticks to that rule which Bradley did not). Bunbury is the guy I think has had too few chances.


        • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/11/04 at 2:12 PM

          Come on! Klinsmann is not sticking to that rule of ‘getting playing time’! if he was Morales wouldn’t be in here. Buddle wouldn’t be here. Heck even Orozco-Fiscal might be iffy.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/04 at 2:25 PM

            Morales is there to attempt to keep him from Peru. Buddle plays fairly regularly (7 games and 5 goals per soccernet) as does Orozco (10 starts out of 16 games with 2 off the bench) based on the stats I’ve seen for both.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/11/03 at 4:22 PM

      Easy: lack of depth. Yes, Altidore had a poor patch, but who was a viable alternative? Seriously? Plus, Klinsmann stressed playing regularly for your club…


    • Posted by Dave on 2011/11/03 at 7:18 PM

      How about giving Edu a shot in the MOF spot? I have no problem with giving Fiscal a few more looks, by the way.


  22. Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/11/03 at 1:59 PM

    Starters 4-1-3-2

    The thing I like about this formation is that it plays like a modified 4-3-3. Dempsey is a Midfielder that holds higher and close to the striker. Shea and Donavon are dangerous wingers that drop deep. Beckermann is a holder and Bradley can go Box to Box.

    People keep saying look at all the Defensive mids he brought, but I think its more in that since no defensive mid has really stepped it up he is going to keep rotating through them to see which is best and holds down a spot. Like shea really came in and did.

    You look forward to qualifiying and you can see the starting front four of shea, dempsey, altidore, and donavon. Starting back four are chandler, boca, gooch, and dolo. The only starting roles that are really open are the two center mids. This camp I think Bradley, Beckerman, Edu, Jones, and Williams will audition for those spots. I am hoping for Williams as the holder and Bradley box to box.

    Everyone else is probably looked at for depth. I know Klinsmann said he had a ranking system in positions. But did he say that the top 2 would be at every camp? For this Camp I see the #1 and then some who are on the depth chart in various places (IE Rogers as #3 or 4 Right Wing) or who might bring a different skillset.


    • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/11/03 at 2:10 PM

      Also I noticed no one is complaining about jones specifically, but I thought the gold cup was all I need to see of him in a US jersey.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 5:11 PM

        I think that’s Klinsmann’s politics. He doesn’t want to be accused of not giving everyone a shot. Plus if you’re in Europe and hosting a camp in Germany kind of hard not to get him a single runout.

        Just one possible answer — may not be the right one.


      • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/11/04 at 2:14 PM

        Jones is probably the best #6 on the roster…pure talent wise.

        In Klinsy’s system, he’ll do quite well. Where he struggles is in combining in a 2 man MF ‘pulley system’. I’ll bet a dollar to a donut he’ll take this starting job of Beckerman’s away by mid next-year.


    • Posted by Dinho on 2011/11/03 at 2:19 PM

      No Johnson or Williams in that starting lineup? I think we’ll see either, if not both.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/03 at 2:22 PM

        I agree. I’d be surprised if MB90 started over either of those 2. Beckerman will probably start if he’s being brought out of MLS playoffs for these friendlies and Klinsmann seems to like him there.


        • Posted by Dinho on 2011/11/03 at 2:30 PM

          Good call. I think we’ll see something like this:


          Shea– Johnson– Donovan/Williams


          I think Goodson starts b/c he’s better at distributing (something that Klinsi is high on, as Matt has to continually remind people)

          If Donovan is still in the playoffs, look for Williams to start.
          If Rogers starts (or plays), I will lose A LOT of respect for Klinsi. I understand that people have favorites, but there needs to be a limit.


  23. Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 2:38 PM

    I will bet anyone who is guessing at lineups that Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Alfredo Morales AND Tim Chandler will be in the starting lineup on 11/11/11. Watch.

    As for the lineup issues. While I, too, am disgruntled over certain selections, what bothers me most is the inconsistency. If I’m a player, I want to know where I stand on the team relative to other players. And its very tough to do that on Jurgen’s squad. Why, for example, was Robbie Rogers good enough to play against France/Slovenia, but not good enough to play against Ecuador/Honduras? Why was Agudelo selected for every single international game since, I think, his debute against South Africa. And, now, he is out of the mix in favor of….Edson Buddle!?!?!

    Despite all of this, the players we are getting frustrated about, with the possible exception of Freddy Adu, are probably not going to have a shot at starting on a Jurgen team anyways. So we are arguing over the bench. The one thing I will give Jurgen is that generally speaking (and this is why I’m making the argument about the German-Americans all starting) he has put the talent on the field.


    • Posted by Dinho on 2011/11/03 at 3:03 PM

      I wouldn’t be surprised, and I’m honestly interested to see how they do (if that is the case). The inconsistency is a bit strange, but who knows. Like you said, these are mostly fringe players. The core squad has remained together for the most part (absent injuries, conflicts, etc.). I just want us to look dangerous in the attacking third….is that too much to ask? Apparently so. 🙂


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/11/03 at 5:13 PM

      I think you’re going to start Dolo for the short term here. I think Chandler is your leftback until ‘Dolo officially plays himself off the team.

      As much I would like to see Chandler compete for the RB spot more than be the leftback “best option.”

      If you’re going up against Remy, Nasri & Ribery — you’re not starting a Herta Berlin reserve in that one or against Slovenia I don’t think.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 5:36 PM

        I see what you’re saying Matt, and I hear you. My only point is, in Klinsmann’s admittedly short tenure, he has shown 0 reluctance in tossing the Danny William’s of the world into high profile matches despite their relative newcomer status. I know Danny has more first-team experience than Morales, but not by much. Furthermore, its clear that Morales is on the team bc Jurgen wants to get him in the loop before he commits to Peru. Maybe its a stretch to say he starts against France, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I definitely think he gets minutes in both games, with a chance he starts against Slovenia. I just can’t see Jurgen calling the kid in and not giving him a chance to show what he’s got.


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/11/04 at 3:18 AM

          I agree with your view on Morales. If you really want to keep hold of him then you have to play him when you call him up. The call up isn’t enough to show him that you want him if he doesn’t dress or just sits on the bench.


        • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/04 at 8:58 AM

          Williams –

          JK played him in a position where he could not do damage to the defence’s back line, a position he does not normally play by the way, right mid/wing.

          Maybe that is where he puts Fabian first time out, too, holding LD’s place warm while LD plays MLS and recovers from foot problem.


        • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/04 at 11:51 AM


          JK called Fabian Johnson into camp before he was even eligible and then he was hurt. Porter called Gatt into the Under 23 camp even though he can’t play.

          The point being maybe he called Morales in to see how he likes the setup, to get acclimated, etc.

          So I can see Morales not stepping on the field.



  24. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/11/03 at 5:58 PM

    Wow, a lot of consternation on selection going on here, Aint it great!
    Anyway let me add my not-so-humble delsuional & nagicak thinking opinions here.

    Yes I’m intrigued by some of JK’s selections and omissions. I know the mantra about the proper system, target man, blah-blah etc but ya gotta call in Herc. He’s a goal scorer, forget about the quality of his goals, he just scores them, Aint that what a striker is supposed to do? Jozy depsite his minutes, age, insert___ rationale here. is not a consisent scorer, Get me a poacher, Hell give me Wondo, Start Buddle over Jozy. How long must we endure the Jozy Heskey saga? its time for him to start to do it for the USMNT or ride the pine.
    Now lets get to Rogers, call me an idiot, hopeless romantic, delusional like a Chicago Cub fan, or believer in the effects of magic crystals under my bed But I believe we should not give up on Rogers. He with the stroking of JK will start to realize his potential finally. A change of scenery is a must for him, I hope he goes to Europe.
    Anyway I love reclaimation projects, they always work out on shows like American Restoration but maybe this will end up like Adam Sandler playing the QB Burt Reynolds role in the Longest Yard Remake, another wasted 90 minutes of my life that I can’t get back


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/03 at 7:02 PM

      I love Herculez but the one thing about him that might put off a manager in JK’s situation is he is extremely streaky. He can be cold for long periods then get red hot.

      His droughts seem to be as long as his scoring streaks are torrid.

      The problem is getting Gomez to heat up in a USMNT shirt.

      Guys like Gomez sometimes need a run of games to get settled in but national teams need guys who can score on demand. Unlike a club team, they rarely have time to wait on someone to get hot.

      And if you are trying to evaluate a bunch of guys there isn’t much point in bringing in a proven goalscorer for bunch of experimental games. The fact that he is hot for Estudiantes means little since Gomez’s record seems to indicate he needs time to get comfortable before he explodes.

      And what could be more unsettling than playing with a completely different system, players and team?

      If I’m JK I bring Gomez in a few games before qualifying and see if I can get lucky.


    • Posted by biff on 2011/11/04 at 4:33 AM

      Nice stream-of-consciousness comment. You convinced me. After Rogers nice showing against Mexico, I was totally supportive of his next call-up against Costa Rican and Belgium. But after those games I had seen enough. Therefore, I initially was not happy with the call-up for France Slovenia. But somehow I kept thinking back to Rogers energy when he came in for MB against Mexico. He was a key element, I think, in turning that game around. His tap in goal, but more so, when he handled the long pass from Ricardo Clark and was speeding straight toward the goal only to be pulled down by the Mecican defender, should have been a red card. That image keeps recurring in my mind, and makes me think that, yeah, Rogers is still only 24 and all that speed and maybe, just maybe something will click and he could be a real offensive threat for the USMNT. Yeah, so lets see what Robbie can do against France or Slovenia as a late sub in a better line-up than we had against Costa Rica and Belgium.


  25. Posted by Union on 2011/11/03 at 6:15 PM

    I like how Peter Nowak brought Freddy back to the MLS, only to sit him on the bench like he did when he was a teenager.


    • Posted by biff on 2011/11/04 at 4:36 AM

      Totally agree with that sentiment. I hope Freddy has a clause in his contract that lets him out of the situation. Freddy should never have gone back.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/04 at 9:43 AM

        Everyone touted Freddy coming back, saying it was great for the MLS and great for him. And I was like, umm, okay. Except his style of play fits the MLS’s style of play like a vegan fits into a McDonalds. I know he didn’t have many options, but going back to Nowak. Geez. Gross.


        • Posted by John on 2011/11/04 at 9:49 AM

          I would argue that it isn’t the league, it is the team and the style of play.


          • Posted by biff on 2011/11/04 at 12:41 PM

            Agreed. In my previous statement I did not mean going back to MLS, but going back to Nowak. Plus, Nowak does not appear to like Klinsmann. I am not saying that Nowak is keeping Adu on the bench to keep him of the USMNT, but it just has a bad feel to it.


  26. Posted by Que Bueno on 2011/11/03 at 6:23 PM

    Here is my biggest misunderstanding:

    JK wants defenders with ball possession & speed, well so did former Bayern Munich coach LvG so he always played a lot of defensive mids as CB’s even as FB’s. Some examples are Tymoshchuk, Gustavo and Pranjić…. Well why not bring in George John who is a CB and can also play defensive mid, he has okay speed, better than stone footed Bocanegra & Gooch yet they got called up. So what am I missing? Why is he….. ***NOT GETTING A CHANCE*** when Fiscal seems to have that position already locked up.

    Also why is Omar Gonzalez not getting a look? He doesn’t even play the same position as Michael “The Golden Boy” Orozco-Fiscal he is more of an “enforcer” as they say in Hockey.ala Gooch.

    Maybe someone can explain?


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/03 at 7:49 PM

      As I recall, it seems George John has not played well since his Blackburn transfer fell through. This has coincided with Gooch, who is apparently the Number 1 at this point , playing well. That can always change but I see no reason to bring John in until he gets his act together for Dallas or whoever buys him if that happens.

      For the same reason bringing in Gonzo seems unecessary at this point. Gonzo needs to show he can be more than big and strong. He needs to work on his skills and that isn’t going happen with the USMNT. It will happen either at LA or some other club.

      As for Van Gaal’s strategy with using midfielders at Center Back surely you know USMNT fans do not believe in talented soccer players who actually know how to run,shoot, tackle, defend, attack, etc. USMNT fans believe every player has a “natural ” position and to play them anywhere else is heresy of the highest order. Perhaps you
      heard the hue and cry when BB tried out Edu at center back. You would have thought the Patriots had moved Tom Brady to center.

      Besides, Van Gaal is Dutch, the inventors of total football where every field player played every position at some point in the game. What do they know?


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/11/04 at 2:16 AM

      If you believe that kilnsi has a system then he wants one fast cb and one “enforcer” cb. That means that while there two CBs on the field we need to look it as two different positions and skill sets.

      For those of you that don’t understand the importance of this distinction a CB pairing of two slow enforcer guys (Gooch and boca) then the back line needs to play deeper to avoid through balls, route 1 balls, etc that allow for the other teams forward to beat our CBs in a race in the space between them and the goalie (by playing deeper the backline leaves less space to be exploited. The CBs then either need to hoof it upfield (as we saw under Bradley) or the MFs need to play deeper. The MF plays deeper then Altidore is left on an island or you need to rely on counterattack rather than possession. Not good times if you forward isn’t named Messi, Rooney, or Aguero.

      Now if we look at the roster selected Gooch and Boca are slow and fit the enforcer role. Goodson is also an enforcer type. Omar and John are also from what I have seen enforcer types….. Now you might want to argue that Omar and John should getva chance but I am not convinced they are better at the moment than any of the three that were brought in by Klinsi.

      We all hated Bradley and his deep CBs, 2 DMF and counterattack. Orozco is the best we have for the fast CB role. Maybe Goodson can be that fast player (I doubt it), Ream can’t cut it and I am out of thoughts (suggested Bradley on these boards about a month ago to no avail).

      At this point like it or not (I don’t) arguing for Omar over Orozco is arguing for a deep line and hoof. If you want to argue for Omar it needs to be over Goodson or Boca or Gooch.


      • Agree. Worth remembering that both goals the US has scored under Kilnnsman so far have come with Orozco-Fiscal on the pitch. Basically, Jurgen’s new system doesn’t work without him (or a player like him) on the pitch and we revert to playing pretty much like we did under Bob Bradley.

        Also worth remembering that the team’s defensive record has been the same with or without Orozco-Fiscal, so he’s no more a defensive liability than all our other center backs. We have to acknowledge that all of them have some glaring weaknesses and become seriously liabilities against different forms of attack. So there’s no one answer here.

        I think you’ll see Onyewu and Boca when we’re dealing with more of an aerial threat. I think you’ll see Orozco-Fiscal when a team is going to try to play on the ground in the final third and has speed to get in behind. Eventually we may even see Onyewu and Orozco-Fiscal paired, since a 100% Onyewu is far more dominant in the air than Boca. It’s about complimentary skill sets.


        • I should say, just like we did under Bradley, except with one striker up the pitch, rather than two, which helps explain the lack of counterattcking goals and also the fewer goals conceded.


          • Posted by John on 2011/11/04 at 9:16 AM

            I completely agree with you here “We have to acknowledge that all of them have some glaring weaknesses and become seriously liabilities against different forms of attack.”

            Orozco-Fiscal isn’t the only problem in the back…


        • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/11/04 at 2:19 PM

          “…both goals the US has scored under Kilnnsman so far have come with Orozco-Fiscal on the pitch. ”
          AND he got the Assist on Dempsey’s goal! (sarcasm)


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/04 at 8:50 AM

      re Gonzalez explanation: You could look at last night’s game Galaxy/Red Bulls.


  27. Posted by Carlos on 2011/11/04 at 12:17 AM

    It’s a lot easier to ask a Club player to play out of his “natural” position. You can work on different aspect of the new position 24/7. But for a National team coach to do the same when he only coaches that player 2-4 days every couple of months is asking a lot.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/04 at 10:12 AM


      Yes and no.

      When you play for your national team you are already going through a big transition even if you are asked to play your “natural” position.

      There are many players who may be great at the club level who never excel at the national team level. It may be because they suck but it is also possible that their national team setup and personnel don’t fit them as well as their club setup and personnel do. Messi for Argentina is not nearly the same player he is for Barca.

      Fans forget that the player goes from a club situation where he is comfortable to one where he may be completely unsettled. Different manager, coaches, players, schemes; asking someone to play center back as opposed to midfield is just another challenge that comes along with the territory. Some national teams solve that by picking many players from the same club. Many of Germany’s best teams were based on Bayern Munich and Spain is of course the most recent, excellent example. The USMNT does not have the luxury of having a bunch of players playing together at a high level club.

      This search for “instant team chemistry and communication” so to speak, is probably one of the main reasons why Bradley, Klinsmann and many national team managers have “favorites”. When Capello took over England he brought Beckham back onto the team. There may have been more talented players available but I suspect he did that because Beckham was the one guy who could certainly communicate with Capello, knew how he wanted to play and could get it across to the other players, at least at the beginning.

      I don’t think asking a player to play a different role or position for their national team is asking too much. It is fairly commonplace especially when you have as thin a player pool as the US does. For example, there is no physical reason why Mo Edu could not be a fine center back. He has all the tools; the problem is between his ears. I believe Chandler’s first game at left back for the USMNT was against Belgium. In that game he had some issues going forward but he also did a fine defensive job on Hazard the hot young Belgian ace. That is because Chandler is very skilled, intelligent, all around soccer player, not just a right back or just a right winger. So it can be done and fairly quickly.

      The players who can deal with the transition eventually become national team regulars, the ones who can’t don’t.


  28. Posted by Union on 2011/11/04 at 10:00 AM

    2 quick things:

    1) For those saying that Gonzalez deserves a call-up…huh? First off, and I’m no Tim Ream lover. But Tim was the better guy on the pitch last night. Gonzalez is great in the air, but technically, wow. Long ways to go. I remember a few long passes he tried, and they were, godforbid, worse than some of Gooch’s long passes. Straight out of bounds. In that sense, he’s very one dimensional and I can understand why both Bradley AND Klinsmann didn’t call him up. I’m not a big fan of Fiscal either, but my roster frustration is much more a result of the M/F call ups, not the defense. A lot of guys (cough…Ives…cough) have said ‘Name me one MLS coach that would want Fiscal over Gonzalez”. First off, Ives is one of the most arrogant writers when it comes to overrating MLS talent. Second off, the point is, the physical, aerial CBs like George John, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron, etc., are perfect for the MLS where set piece goals/ aerial headers are the biggest way to score. But, in Europe or at the International level that style of defense doesn’t cut it. I wish more people woudl realize that. And while Fiscal isn’t that good, I think his inclusion more or less shows that reality of the talent level in the central defense player pool.

    2) Is Freddy Adu going to get called into the U-23 camp? I know he’s been there done that with the U-23’s, but I think it would be criminal to leave him out of the loop this long, after the strides he made in the Gold Cup. I know he’ll get the January call up, but I think he should be in the picture now.


    • Posted by biff on 2011/11/04 at 12:47 PM

      To repeat what I said above about Nowak, it appears he does not like Klinsmann. I obviously do not know for sure, just seems that way. So I am wondering: Could it be that Klinsmann would like to call up Freddy but Nowak has not given his blessing and Klinsmann has respected that wishing not to rock the boat?


      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/04 at 2:24 PM

        Very good question and I hope that is the case. Bc at the moment, it makes no sense to me that Freddy, who is one of the most technically skilled players in the US pool, would be left off of a roster put together by a coach who puts a HUGE emphasis on technical skill.


    • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/11/04 at 2:22 PM

      “1) For those saying that Gonzalez deserves a call-up…huh? First off, and I’m no Tim Ream lover. But Tim was the better guy on the pitch last night. ”
      True, but in the first leg it was Gonzales HEAD AND SHOULDERS over Timmeh Three


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/04 at 2:33 PM

      Freddy’s said he wants to do the Olympics.

      To be honest, though, I’m not so sure about him. What’s his best position? I still don’t think he’s found one.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2011/11/04 at 3:31 PM


      He seems to excel as a sub who gets behind the team and puts in motion very good attacking chances late in the game. If that is correct, then maybe Klinsi wants to get his core down so he knows what he wants Adu to do and where he fits in before calling him up.

      Just my guess. I can’t read minds. Others have said that Klinsi wants Adu to get settled in Philly and Mathewsf has correctly pointed out that Adu has positional problems that need ironing out.

      Adu is a great talent who will snag a place on the team before 2014 Brazil rolls around as long as he keeps improving.


  29. Posted by crow on 2011/11/04 at 10:14 AM

    My question- are Jozy and Brek still going to be on the Olympic team? I hope so.

    Also any chance Sheannon Williams, Amobi Okugo, or Luis Gil get called into the U-23 camp?


  30. Posted by Union on 2011/11/04 at 2:19 PM

    Okugo/Williams already did. http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2011/11/04/strikers-agudelo-mcinerney-added-us-u-23-roster.

    Gil, not until after RSL’s fate is decided, though I bet he is on the fringe given he is 17. Its a crime that Adu wasn’t called in unless he is a late addition to Jurgen’s senior team.


    • Posted by Alex on 2011/11/04 at 2:29 PM

      Adu’s not a Dmid, so of course he’s not a late addition to the senior squad. Brian Carrol on the other hand…


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/04 at 2:32 PM

      Shouldn’t be on the fringe. I have him in my qualifying roster for sure.


      • Posted by Union on 2011/11/04 at 2:37 PM

        Oh, I agree that Gil should be on it. Just a question of if he will. He’s more than qualified, so I hope so. Just wouldn’t be surprised if he is left off.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/11/04 at 3:52 PM

      Excellent- that article must have been posted shortly after I was on mlssoccer.com.

      Hopefully Danny Mwanga gets American citizenship soon- the dude has major talent. He was really the only positive on the field for the Union during the Houston series. I was hoping Zac MacMath would get called in as well. I think he is just as bright of a prospect as Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid. He could certainly challenge to be Tim Howard’s successor.

      I can see Freddy Adu not being called into the Senior Camp, but even with the way he had been playing that is absolutely ridiculous he’s not being called into the U-23 camp, unless they view it as unnecessarily.

      I’m really hoping that all of the Senior team members under 23- Shea, Altidore, Chandler, etc. are on the Olympic team. I think the Olympic team can make a run if those guys are on the final roster.


  31. Posted by amh on 2011/11/04 at 2:36 PM

    Speaking of the U-23, any chance we’ll get a TSG look at what’s on the horizon for US Soccer in the next 5-10 years?


    • Posted by Union on 2011/11/04 at 3:02 PM

      Welp, looks like its not going to be Fabian Hurzeler. He got called into Germany’s U-19. I thought Rongen snagged him, but I guess not. Real good talent.

      Ironic that we cap a bunch of German-Americans who were born in Germany (and generally have never been to the US). And the guys that are born in America, we lose out on. Oh well.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/11/04 at 3:22 PM

        German fans think the u19 coach is a weirdo (for more reasons than just this callup). Just saying.


  32. Posted by WatertownMA on 2011/11/06 at 10:07 AM

    In the skinny you posed the question: “Just how long will coaches’ go to allow Robbie Rogers to reach his potential?” I wonder the same about Jozy Altidore, although perhaps I’m being impatient.

    Rogers: Age 24, 13 career goals, .11 goals per appearance.
    Altidore: Age 22, 39 career goals, .26 goals per appearance.
    Brek Shea: Age 21, 20 career goals, .17 goals per appearance.
    Herculez Gomez: Age 29, 70 career goals, .30 goals per appearance.
    Clint Dempsey: Age 28, 84 career goals, .27 goals per appearance.
    Freddy Adu: Age 22, 60 career goals, .27 goals per appearance.
    Brian McBride: Retired, 175 career goals, .33 goals per appearance.
    Landon Donovan:Age 29, 216 career goals, .43 goals per appearance.

    Data came from Wikipedia and includes senior career and all national team appearances.


    • Posted by WatertownMA on 2011/11/06 at 10:16 AM

      Still hoping that Jurgen can find a German-American striker to suit up.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/11/06 at 10:43 AM

      Need to scale goals per 90 minutes. Altidore comes up just short of .4 goals/90 when you take that into account, which is not so bad on its own. The trouble then is that if that’s your forward, he needs to be contributing in ways other than goalscoring (inadequate from Altidore) and you need plenty of other goalscorers in other positions. Not so bad from that perspective with Deuce and Donovan, but could be better.


      • Posted by WatertownMA on 2011/11/06 at 2:28 PM

        How did you come up w/ .4 goals/90?

        I am skeptical of this number because someone would need to go back to each of Altidore’s 150 games and count up his complete minutes played (Red Bulls, Villareal, Xerez, Hull City, Bursaspor, AZ, USMNT U17, USMNT U20, USMNT U23 and USMNT), and then divide goals by minutes played. My guess is you took a shortcut that make his case inaccurate because it’s far too exhaustive a process to do in 30 minutes.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/06 at 6:25 PM


      You make a nice comparison.

      I prefer to average them out as goals per game (or in your case per appearance) as that is easier visualize as opposed to a figure like “ .43 goals per appearance”.

      Donovan 138 USMNT games 46 goals = a goal every 3 games
      Dempsey 78 USMNT games 23 goals= a goal every 3.4 games

      These are good numbers for attacking midfielders

      I am too lazy to redo your guys’ numbers but it would be interesting to see how they rate against proven goal scorers from other nations:

      Spain Villa 80 games 50 goals, a goal every 1.6 games
      Argentina Crespo 64 games 35 goals, a goal every 1.8 games
      Batistuta 76 games 56 goals, a goal every 1.3
      Germany Gerd Muller 62 games 68 goals, a goal every .9 games
      Klinsmann 108 games 47 goals, a goal every 2.29 games
      Mexico Chicharito 32 games 22 goals, a goal every 1.45 games
      France Henry 123 games 51 goals, a goal every 2.4 games

      I also used only Senior International games as they are easier to evaluate as opposed to having to separate league appearances from Cup appearances from European appearances, etc., etc. all of which have different degrees of significance and difficulty.
      It would be even better to consider only competitive goals and leave out “friendly ” goals but that is more work than I am willing to do.
      If you apply this standard to goal scorers down through the years you will find that the good strikers average around a goal every 2 games, good attacking midfielders generally around a goal every 3 to 4 games . The players on my list meet that standard.
      “Der Bomber” Muller was obviously insanely productive. When I first did this I was impressed to see how well Chicharito rates in such elite company. If he keeps it up he is in for quite a career.
      It is obviously an imperfect stat but it gives you some kind of ballpark idea.


      • Posted by WatertownMA on 2011/11/07 at 6:16 AM


        Your points are well taken.

        For my numbers, if the decimal point is moved and turned into percentage, you get a more visible number.

        Rogers scores in 11% of his appearances. Altidore 26%, and so on. 26% of total appearances and you’ll get your number, just above once every 4 games.

        Indeed, filtering out noncompetitive USMNT games, Cup appearances, Euro games, etc would certainly make the analysis stronger. (A good research paper for any budding Masters in Sports Management candidates.)

        Your post and the previous response has churned the dendrites… Off the ball contributions and how to measure it. My sense is calculating plus/minus (goals scored/against) while on the pitch will capture this. But again it may be too exhaustive to measure unless stuck on a long layover.


        • Posted by Martin on 2011/11/07 at 9:01 PM


          “Your post and the previous response has churned the dendrites… Off the ball contributions and how to measure it. My sense is calculating plus/minus (goals scored/against) while on the pitch will capture this.”

          That is a tough one.

          Hockey has some similarities but, as you know, the problem with soccer is there are 11 men and three subs to consider as opposed to 6 men and unlimited, situational substitution. In the NHL a guy like Bruce Boudreau can sit there and figure out which of his people are the best ones to go against the other manager’s people in specific situations all game long. The NHL lets you do that to a much greater degree than is possible in soccer so the stat has much more meaning in hockey than in soccer. Think of all the very important scoreless draws in soccer.

          Soccer’s dynamic nature makes it perhaps the hardest major team sport for US fans to grasp in their accustomed fashion. US fans, as evidenced by the popularity of fantasy leagues, love to play the role of manager and the aforementioned big four are all sports where the manager can have a major impact on the game during the course of the game. Hence all this “tactical talk” in places like TSG.

          However, soccer is far more resistant to “meddling by the manager “ than any of the other major team sports. Besides half time adjustments, probably the single most effective in-game management tool is the use of substitutions. There was a time not that long ago when subs were limited largely to cases of injury.

          What that means in English is the on the field team leaders, who are left to their own devices in comparative terms, probably have a proportionately greater impact on their teammates and the game, than might be the case in other team sports.

          So the off the ball contributions can be very hard to quantify especially for those players who aren’t obviously stars. The effect of Donovan’s presence or absence has usually been pretty easy to see. Claude Makalele was not rated much, it seems, by his owners but the players all stood fiercely behind his importance to his teams ( Real Madrid, France, Chelsea) . However, the fans might not have noticed him much.

          Probably the best way to rate off the ball contributions is to talk to the players and see how they feel about player x or y. The only problem with that is I doubt you would get an honest answer until everyone involved was retired.


  33. Posted by Union on 2011/11/07 at 5:40 PM

    Donovan drops off the squad for both matches. Not entirely surprising, but you have to imagine Jurgen is a bit frustrated. No replacement (come on, why not call in Freddy?).

    At least its a near certainty we’ll see all of the Germans play together.


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