Last 2012 Qualifying Roster: Full of Surprises

Streaking for club & country….

US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann takes to a conference call today at 3:30 ET to offer up his assessment of the final two qualifiers of 2012 and announce the roster.

And the players are in:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)

MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

176 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jared on 2012/10/08 at 9:27 AM

    Johnson making it doesn’t rule out Wondo because Jozy is supposedly out. Tweeted about some friendly game with AZ later in the week.


  2. Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/08 at 9:34 AM

    this might be a perfect storm for eddie johnson. he is coming off a nice performance, and now he gets a and b first, then a return to kansas city for the matchup against guatemala. multiple goals, please ej


  3. Posted by Eric on 2012/10/08 at 9:44 AM

    I’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about Jozy not being on the roster as well as a lot of theories why he wouldn’t. The big one right now is that Jozy tweeted something akin to, “you shouldn’t blame other people for your own shortcomings”. This the only reference I can actually find to it since it appears Jozy deleted the tweet right away:

    Anyone have more information on this?


  4. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/08 at 11:11 AM

    Edu finally got 10 minutes with Stoke but I don’t think he deserves a call up. I want to see Williams starting behind Bradley and Jones or whoever.

    I guess Donovan is out… again. I don’t see why you don’t call Jozy in. I know he got a stupid red card yesterday but he is playing regularly and well. Is Josh Gatt still hurt?

    Very glad Bradley is fit just in time.


  5. Posted by Eric L on 2012/10/08 at 11:34 AM

    Gatt came on as a sub mid week, started and played the first half yesterday.


  6. Posted by Eric on 2012/10/08 at 11:42 AM

    Aron Johansson turned down his Iceland call up… think he’s going Timmy Chandler on them?


  7. Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/08 at 12:11 PM

    sacha kljestan, lord have mercy!!!


  8. Posted by Eric on 2012/10/08 at 12:14 PM

    GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
    DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
    MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
    FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

    Wow… Glad to see Sacha included but I’ve got some serious questions here.

    Are Donovan and Shea even healthy enough to go? If they aren’t, then is Klinsmann actually going to call in replacements like Pontius?

    Finally, please explain Alan Gordon. He’s not even the best American forward on his own team. Also interested to see the reasoning behind no Jozy or at least Boyd. This team seems very thin up top because I’m certainly not sold on EJ right now and Neither Dempsey or Donovan are actually forwards.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/08 at 12:18 PM

      Wow, no Jose Torres. Shea is in after it was reported that he was out. Edu has only played 10 more minutes for a club team than I have this season.

      If we get Bradley and Williams in a pairing in midfield I will be happy. If we get any combination that involves Williams anywhere other than at CDM then I will not be happy.

      So Jozy and Boyd score in Europe, Wondo scores a shit ton for San Jose and Alan Gordon gets called in ahead of them. Throw in the fact that we have degenerated in style quickly and I think I might want Bradley back as coach.


      • Dude… Chill. There is a reason neither boyd or Altidore was called in, whether it was issues with their clubs or what, i don’t know. Kinsmann could just be seeing how good Gordon is or somethignelse for all we know. Relax, he doesn’t think Gordon is ahead of Boyd, Altidore or Wondo. There is a reason. Wait until he announces the last 2 roster moves at @ 2:30


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/08 at 1:21 PM

          You don’t call a guy in to see how good he is when qualification is on the line.


    • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/08 at 12:20 PM


      Alan Gordon. That may top any of Bob’s call-up’s ever. I’m not the biggest Wondolowski fan but how do you call up Gordon over him? I also want an explanation on Boyd and Altidore (other than red card or lack of effort for USMNT) who have been playing regularly and well. I don’t know how Edu is called in considering he has played 10 minutes since the last USMNT games.

      I thought Donovan and Shea were injured. What is the status on Gatt?


    • I usually only watch Vancouver games for MLS,

      so i im not sure what Alan Gordon offers over Wondo


    • Posted by dude on 2012/10/08 at 12:25 PM

      Alan Gordon is the dumbest choice I can imagine.


    • Posted by jb on 2012/10/08 at 2:08 PM

      My take is Gordon/EJ inclusion over Wondo is for height/size advantage over undersized backlines of A&T and especially Guatemala. As for Altidore, see the tweets…


      • Posted by Kevin_H on 2012/10/09 at 12:36 PM

        You’re correct. According to Klinsmann, he expects very defensive tactics from the opposition and may need to rely more on crosses into the box.


  9. Posted by Freegle on 2012/10/08 at 12:21 PM

    Sept 28th: “Right now is not the time to be bringing in a bunch of new players” -JK in regards to Eric Lichaj.

    I’m calling B.S. new players in this camp including Sacha ( only 1 cap in a cupcake friendly under Klinsmann no involvement in WCQ thus far), Gordon, and E.J.

    I think Sacha deserves to be there but certainly no more than Eric Lichaj and given JK’s own quotes I find these call-ups odd and make the repetitive omission of Lichaj all the more glaring. One of the media types needs to do some digging.


    • Posted by Crow on 2012/10/08 at 12:28 PM

      I’m an Eric Lichaj fan and wanted his call-up but he hasn’t been playing much the last few weeks. Hopefully, with that injury to the other back at Villa he can step up and get a spot back- although I think its a massive shame he can’t get a chance on the right. I don’t think he is good enough on the left to be an EPL or iinternational quality LB. I think he is good enough on the right.


    • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/08 at 12:33 PM

      Lichaj has looked average at best for Villa in his limited appearances this year. Johnson and Cherundolo are still the best options on the left and right, respectively. Lichaj will get his chance, but I really wish people would stop treating him as the second-coming. His omission isn’t unwarranted.


      • Posted by Freegle on 2012/10/08 at 12:43 PM

        I’m not saying that Lichaj should get a call in with an expectation of starting. But, there is little arguement that he is one of the best, if not the most likely candidate for wing defender when ‘Dolo ends his magnificant career. He has shown in the past that he can play going forward as JK has stated he prefers. In my opinion he has eared a call up and I understand that’s not the end all and be all but. But, when Klinsman uses the “were not calling in new guys right now” excuse when specifically asked about Lichaj, and then proceeds to call in other new guys, that means there must be another, possibly deeper reason. What is it?


        • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/08 at 12:46 PM

          Surplus to requirements I guess. Castillo is playing well in Mexico and Parkhurst has played RB quite well when asked to.


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/08 at 1:00 PM

          Thinking along that vein it does make sense that maybe he knows what he knows about Lichaj and with Dolo handling it for now, wants him to secure his tenuous spot with Villa. Maybe just an eye towards 2014 when Dolo has two more full seasons and is 32 or 33. In that scenario, Lichaj nails down a steady spot for Villa and gets called in 13 to start to be groomed in Dolo’s spot.
          I’ve yet to see him in any watching where his speed and ability aren’t obvious. Never seen a howler from him so it must be something else….


          • Posted by Freegle on 2012/10/08 at 6:18 PM

            He can’t know anything about Lichaj. He’s never presided over even a training session that Lichaj has participated in.

            And I’m tired of people using the “fighting for his place at Villa” excuse. Getting called in and training/playing with your national squad in a World Cup Qualifier does not jeopardize your position with your EPL club team.

            Ciaran Clark, Andreas Weimann, Allan Hutton, Stilian Petrov, Hell even teammate US Brad Guzan are “fighting for a place” at Villa and still getting WCQ calls. Getting a chance for a cap is an honor and no matter which country you are called for, should boost your club team status, not detract from it.

            My point is I have a hard time believing that Paul Lambert is doing something to scupper Lichaj’s national team future behind the scenes because he wants him to stay and train with a partial strength (because of all the other guys in national team duty) squad.

            This is a Klinsmann decision. And, since he just crapped all over his former excuse (which was tenuous anyway) its time we heard the real one.


      • +3. I watch Villa religiously, hasn’t made the best of his opportunities to impress


  10. Posted by JGD on 2012/10/08 at 12:30 PM

    I expect we’ll see a line-up reminiscent of the squad that beat Jamaica:


    Basically a 4-3-3 with 3 central midfielders and wing-play coming from the fullbacks. If Donovan’s not fit to go, I expect to see Zusi in his place (as he was against Jamaica in Columbus).

    Not really surprising that Altidore’s not in the line-up. His play for the USMNT the past year has been forgettable. Even ignoring his lack of goals, his play up-top has been sloppy. Gomez is clearly the first-choice striker and with Donovan back in the fold, we’ll be able to play him in his best position up front.

    Thank god that Bradley’s back. I expect the whole midfield to look better. Jones plays much better with Bradley beside him.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/08 at 12:43 PM

      I think we might see more of a 4-2-3-1. The band of 3 being Donovan, Dempsey and Zusi off of Gomez with MB90 and Williams as the 2.


      • Posted by shawn on 2012/10/08 at 12:54 PM

        I would love to see that. I yearn for Dwill as the 6 and Bradley as the 8 in a 4 -2-3-1

        Really would like to see Jones as a sub for Bradley. I am not a fan of their pairing.


      • Posted by JW on 2012/10/09 at 7:10 AM

        +2. Bradley and Williams as the mid anchors would provide a lot of recovery speed and freedom for the 3 advanced mids to create space. In that formation, a striker that can pull defenders out of position is useful, so perhaps Johnson? Oh, and Zusi in the middle, please. Dempsey gets more isolation/can lose markers more easily when arriving from a wide position IMHO.


  11. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/08 at 1:23 PM

    (Based off TSG Tweets) If we’re going to play the must have a hold up player game then why not call in Boyd who has done okay. Gordon has no experience with the national team. Why not Sapong even instead of Gordon who did well last winter?

    I’m a fan of JK and have been very patient with roster decisions trying not to overreact but this is a little ridiculous. Hopefully the US can just get through these next two games.


  12. Posted by union on 2012/10/08 at 1:27 PM

    Interesting selection. I’m not as appalled by this as others. I’m more surprised that Boyd was left out actually. He is still raw (something that is evident in Austria), but he does everything Jurgen asks him too and I felt his first US goal was just around the corner. Keeping him in camp could really benefit him and add some continuity. Altidore – on the face of it, I don’t really mind that he was left off. I think his play for JK has been atrocious and I am not as impressed with scoring goals in the Dutch league as others seem to be. Jozy really hasn’t had a GREAT performance for the US since the days of Charlie Davies. And he hasn’t been able to adapt to Jurgen’s system at all. If that tweet was indeed about Jurgen – he should have been left off. What shortcomings is he referring to? The 237 goals? The 3rd place WC finish as coach? I dont think Jurgen is the BEST coach out there, but come on Jozy. ALL THAT BEING SAID – you can’t deny talent and he is more talented than every single forward called in. Including Herc. And the gap between Jozy’s talent – and say…Gordon’s talent is..well..HUGE. Not sure if making an example out of a player merits calling in such a lesser talent. After all – Balotelli is still getting called in.

    Part of me like thats JK doesnt give a crap about precedent when calling in players. But the fact that he CLAIMS there is a precedent (despite ignoring one time and time again) strikes me as bizarre. He’s just inviting criticism by doing that.


  13. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the backlash against Alan Gordon’s inclusion, but I am. He’s been nothing short of amazing when it comes to putting in clutch goals at the end of a game, whether he started or came off the bench. While I love Altidore, he’s not good coming on as a sub and they’ll need someone who can cause havoc in the box if we get behind. The USMNT doesn’t have another player like Gordon in this regard, so comparing him to Altidore, Boyd, Wondo, or whoever isn’t really relevant.

    Also, I don’t know about EJ. Almost all of his goals have been headers off of beautiful crosses from Rosales, something the USMNT cannot recreate.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/08 at 1:41 PM

      My issue is that Gordon’s been scoring clutch goals in MLS. As we have seen time and time again there is an adjustment period from MLS to the international level which some guys never make. It’s a bit strange to call up a 30 year old who has zero caps for games that are very important.

      Boyd has been able to cause some problems coming on as a sub and has national team experience. He was involved in the goal that beat Mexico in the Azteca.


      • I guess Boyd is the closest to Gordon in that sense, and he hasn’t been awful. But I also think Gordon is tall, physical, and won’t be intimidated by CONCACAF competition.


        • Posted by ex_sweeper on 2012/10/08 at 2:54 PM

          I agree! My primary fear with Gordon is that he might get too physical and draw a red card (on Carlos Ruiz, natch). He gets pretty fired up.


    • Posted by Nelson on 2012/10/08 at 2:03 PM

      Thanks Mike. It’s about roles and tactics. Some players don’t understand that and some fans don’t too (Hell, I wouldn’t half the time if it weren’t for TSG and SBN). If only we had an Emanuel Adebayor type of striker, able to holdup linkup and score with head and foot.

      Is anyone opposed to or for Dempsey starting up front? I’d at least like to see them change movement and starting points to exploit the defense.


  14. Posted by dth on 2012/10/08 at 1:47 PM

    Somehow, Klinsi has Altidore (leading the Dutch league in scoring), Gomez (who’s still pretty prolific in Mexico, no?), Wondo (duh), Dempsey (duh), Donovan (duh), and Michael Bradley’s improved offensive abilities…

    And is trotting out a team that cannot score. Bizarre.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/08 at 3:02 PM

      Think maybe playing essentially three (3) DMF’s might be inhibiting the scoring a bit? Hopefully Mike plays more like his advanced CMF role with Roma and we can start bulging the old onion bag or some other such Hudsonism…
      The strategy seems to have been to lock down the defensive side first and then build or rebuild the attacking tactics. No better time than now to unleash a can of Clint-ass on A & B.


  15. Posted by Crow on 2012/10/08 at 2:03 PM

    Another question after reading the armchair analyst take- Why hasn’t Gordon been called in under JK before then? Just injuries? I still think Boyd or Sapong are better choices for a straight hold up #9

    I also still think it “wont matter” as in Gordon won’t see the field. It will matter in the fact that there is depth lost in whoever to put into the 18 or who will be available to contribute.

    I know the Antigua game is not a gimme but I want to see the USA aggressively go for goals the next two games- they need to lock up the tiebreaker in case it is needed.


  16. To me, it is obvious that Gordon is only a last 10 minute guy, when we need a goal against short Guatemala parking the bus hoping for a tie. He might do the same against A&B.

    EJ is another guy who can get on the end of a cross. Don’t really care for his game, but then again, Jozy pulled a Jozy this week(with tweet and stupid red card). Other sites have blamed JK for inflaming Jozy, but to me you have to grow up some time. Accountability is a good thing for everyone.

    Lastly, I too was thrilled to see BB fired. I was happy with the JK hiring. So I guess I need to allow him to do his thing. I want to believe he knows what he is doing. But….I do wonder sometimes. I guess at the end of the day, I choose to buy in.


  17. I am surprised to not see the usuals like Boyd, Torres, and Altidore but I like not bringing Altidore. Time for him to put max effort or stay wherever he is. He doesn’t want to put max effort then I say leave him off. I’m a Torres fan but if we’re going a different way, so be it. Boyd fan as well and he’s a surprise if any are but again, I’ll go with JK on his selections.
    Take a read on Jozy. I couldn’t agree more about his effort. Same article says Torres was dropped b/c of injury so he would have been on team.

    After reading that article, I think that is why a player like Gordan gets a call up because he plays hard from start to finish like Gomez. Those are the types of players you want called up not Altidore who does not do that. Also, wondering with a January camp with new youth players (U23 types) will be when Boyd will most likely be called up again with Corona, Diskerrud, Morales, etc…

    Is Donovan hurt?


  18. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/08 at 2:57 PM

    Donovan was helped (and subbed) off in last Galaxy game.


  19. I’m more worried about this: Five players are carrying yellow cards: Bradley, Edu, Fabian Johnson, Jones and Zusi. Their next caution will result in a one-match suspension.


    • Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/08 at 4:15 PM

      this makes it obvious, junior does not start in the a and b game, and is saved for the guatemala game. i think sacha can have a nice impact against a and b, and of course, so can eddie johnson.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/08 at 4:32 PM

      I would keep Johnson and MB90 out of the lineup against A&B then. Considering we had Torres at left back against them the first time I think we can manage.


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/09 at 1:17 PM

        Our win against A and B was far short of convincing. Have to go with the full lineup against then, and do whatever’s necessary to assure all three points. Do that and a draw against Guatemala will suffice.


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 8:13 AM

          I think the less than convincing win had to do with the conditions and the fact that Torres was played at left back. Unless they are playing in a tropical storm again I think they’ll be ok with less than a full lineup.


  20. Posted by wixson on 2012/10/08 at 3:42 PM

    Some weird choices for sure but none wouldve affected the starting 11 anyways.



  21. Posted by Carlos on 2012/10/08 at 4:01 PM




    Which is best?


  22. Posted by il_cannoniere. on 2012/10/08 at 8:23 PM

    Here’s my question to Klinsy re: Jozy in May-June


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/10/09 at 7:17 AM

      Friday reference! Fantastic!!!


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/09 at 8:08 AM

        And what’s that thing in the background?….it looks like a large cassette player that must have had wheels on it…..?


  23. My question to Klinsy re: Jozy in May-June


  24. Posted by steve-0 on 2012/10/08 at 10:07 PM

    I like Klinsmann’s expertise on the German soccer system, modern tactics, and youth development. But like many of us, I’m beginning to wonder about his player selection and substitutions. However, after some thought, here’s my 2 cents. In Klinsmann’s mind, the first 11 is pretty much set. So the remaining players you choose to bring into camp are the “extras”. These “extras” are not chosen because they’re better than XYZ, or because they will start over the first 11. Instead, they are chosen based on what “extra” they bring to the table. It also offers Klinsmann an opportunity to see them up close and test them against the starters. For example, in offense, Gomez is the starter for sure with Dempsey behind him (where he plays at Tottenham now). Donovan will start at wing but can move to striker too (where he plays for LA now). If they park the bus and we need more offense, just push the middies up further – MB and JJ are box-to-box middies anyways. So, here are the snubs: Wondo, Jozy, Boyd. Wondo’s a poacher but Gomez is better and faster. Jozy is young dumb and lazy but tons of potential. Boyd’s a hard worker and also potential. But they are both young and not good enough yet to automatically start and take Gomez’s spot. Also, we all know what we’re going to get with them. And all 3 prefer the ball at their feet rather than their heads. So instead, you bring in Gordon because he’s the right guy for a last ditch effort or hail mary tactics. He’s picked over other big strikers, because he’s hot now and played with Donovan in LA. Also, Klinsmann’s never seen Gordon in camp – the same goes for EJ, who’s also hot now and thus chosen for his recent form, work ethic, good attitude and confidence. If they prove themselves in camp, then they’ll stay and play – if not, then they had their shot. Meanwhile, we still go on to win with our first 11, and the extra spots are used to try-out newbies. Granted, this is a WCQ game, but most of the time, you rarely ever use all your striking subs, and even if you’re forced to use EJ or Gordon, they’re not bad options off the bench and both offer a different skillset. Also, if Gomez is injured, you can still replace them with any of snubs because you know they could perform if needed. Anyways, that’s my attempt to pick Klinsmann’s brain, and it kind of makes sense, but he’s taking alot of risk in doing so in a WCQ game.


    • Posted by steve-0 on 2012/10/08 at 10:09 PM

      Sorry for the long post. I didn’t realize I wrote that much until after I posted it.


    • Posted by Dirk on 2012/10/08 at 11:00 PM

      About as rational an explanation for Klinsman’s thinking as can be found I suppose. I just wish his decision-making as to who is worthy of playing would come to him quicker. JK deserves the blame for that Jamaica loss. It seems obvious to most that playing Beckerman and Edu with J Jones is a recipe for bum cakes. The bottom line is this….we have a pretty decent starting 11 when healthy….but unfortunately have all the depth of a piss puddle. All the hand wringing over the other 7 players sitting on the bench doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. We just don’t have high impact subs no matter who is chosen.


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/09 at 7:41 AM

        oh for the days when Ernie Stewart, Cobie Jones, Eddie Lewis and even early DMB were our pinnie-wearing options. Every once in a while it occurs to me that the 2000-06 group may have been the deepest and most talented group we will see for a while.

        Even the current first 11 when compared against that group doesn’t jump out as being a better player pool. Doesn’t say much about the current player development program if 12 years later there is significant gaps in high level talent pool.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/09 at 5:12 AM

      The problem with calling in Gordon and EJ now is that Klinsmann just said that he wouldn’t be bringing in new players. The direct quote when asked about Lichaj “Right now it’s not the right time to bring in a bunch of new players.” I’m not a fan of coaches saying one then turning around and doing another. I think it sets a bad precedent and makes it tougher on the players who are left out and wonder what they need to do.


      • Managers are allowed to make exceptions. Players understand that and if they don’t too f==king bad.

        No one was screaming bloody murder, bad precedent, when JK made an exception and tried to call in Gatt, a new player, though of course he couldn’t make it through injury.

        What bugs people is not the bad precedent, what bugs people is that they have this illogical itch for Lichaj that needs to be scratched.

        Otherwise there is no particular reason to call Eric in at this time and plenty of reasons not to.

        And you all wondered why Bradley was so vague with the media.


        • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/09 at 9:30 AM

          ^ This.


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/09 at 9:54 AM

          Ummm….no. What bugs people is what they state in their posts, not what fits your illogical rant’s narrative…To review: Lichaj is playing with a BPL or Championship squad for 3+ yrs and has performed adequately (and some would say he played..gulp…well) in MNT appearances over the last 24 months at right and left back. At present, there is only Steve Cherundolo ahead of him in the present depth chart at RB unless you include J Spector (who most agree does not possess like speed or athletic ability that fits JK’s system). So some folks here are thinking that with all that in place that something else must be in play if Lichaj can’t even get a sniff with the MNT in friendlies or early qualifying.
          Castillo got starts at LB to mostly dismal results. Spector was called in…Danny Williams played obviously out of position at RMF and failing for a handful of games…and Lichaj doesn’t get a sniff… I think it makes more sense to look for other clues or question JK’s selections based on what we’ve seen so far….than to rage about people stating rational opinions in a blog.


          • “At present, there is only Steve Cherundolo ahead of him in the present depth chart at RB unless you include J Spector (who most agree does not possess like speed or athletic ability that fits JK’s system).”

            That depth chart is your chart not JK’s depth chart, the only one that matters.

            The last time Lichaj wore a US shirt was in the Gold Cup final, 2011 a miserable loss where no US players looked very good. Then he suffered a major injury and since then has engaged in a battle to win a starting job at Villa, a battle he seems to have lost for now.

            In the interim the US changed managers and the new guy, it seems is more interested in a number of other guys for the role of Dolo’s successor. The best of them have been Chandler, who is questionable and Fabian Johnson who has shifted over to play on the right on occasion. Then there is Parkhurst, MO Fiscal, Danny Williams (who has played right back for Freiberg), Geoff Cameron, Spector, Zach Loyd, Steve Beitashour, maybe even Morales.
            Lichaj looked good for BB but he was never an established regular like MB90, Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Dolo or Boca all of whom have had to prove themselves all over again to JK.

            That was then and this is now and Lichaj has never been in camp for JK. If he can get more playing time with Villa or get transferred or loaned somewhere then he will probably get a look but to say that there is something really wrong with his omission from the US set up until now strikes me as an overreaction. We’re not talking about Dani Alves or even Kyle Walker ( who beat Lichaj out for PT while on loan at Villa).


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/09 at 10:09 AM

          He hadn’t made those comments when he called in Gatt. I’m not really bothered by him not calling in Lichaj because Lichaj isn’t playing regularly for his club. Lichaj was only referenced in my post because that was what the quote from Klinsmann was in response to. He made those comments last week then turned around and disregarded his comments. You can’t tell me that he hadn’t thought of the squad at that point and knew that he was going to bring in new players. Just a stupid move when as you said and I agree with there are other reasons to not call in Lichaj.

          I would rather have a guy like Bradley who won’t tell me anything than one that just makes stuff up as he goes along. It seems to me more and more that a lot of these guys outside of the top 11 don’t really know where they stand with Klinsmann and I don’t think that’s a good position to put players in.


          • “It seems to me more and more that a lot of these guys outside of the top 11 don’t really know where they stand with Klinsmann and I don’t think that’s a good position to put players in.”

            There are many top flight managers who use what are describing as a way to keep people on their toes.

            JK has been around for a year now and in Jozy’s case, for example, he can honestly say that he has given Jozy’s act a year to play out and he is not happy with it. This is a team in transition, one that could play a lot better and no one should feel they are indispensible. The guys who were on the field for the Jamaica game should be ashamed of themselves for letting an early lead slip into a loss on two set piece goals. That one was on the players.

            So JK tells Jozy to come back when you feel like playing my way. This is something i notice Verbeek has done more than once with Jozy and we all can see the results. And it looks like he is about to tear Jozy a new one for his red card stupidity, actually calling him stupid to the press.

            Dropping Jozy tells the players JK will drop anyone for a good reason. It cannot escape anyone’s notice that the guys he praises are the ones who put out all out effort and hustle. It’s clear what he wants above all else, from his players is all out hustle and commitment (on and off the field).

            Maybe that is due to a talent gap, in which case they will need to hustle.

            I don’t know why you whine so much about the artificial guidelines JK sets up for himself. Guys like JK play the players they feel give them the best chance to win at that moment; if that happens to include a new guy or an old guy who suddenly reinvents himself then so be it. This is a very dynamic business and things change dramatically over the course of a couple of weeks

            I agree that JK talks too much but Bradley talked too little. JK shouldn’t give a damn about whether he is contradicting himself. He should give a damn about putting the team most likely to win on the field.

            Right now that team does not include Jozy or Lichaj, and I notice JK doesn’t particularly care what anyone thinks about that.


            • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/09 at 3:38 PM

              The guys who were on the field for the Jamaica game should be ashamed of themselves for letting an early lead slip into a loss on two set piece goals. That one was on the players.

              And the repeatedly fouling at the top of the box that led to all those set-piece opportunities? Who was that on? How about the toothless attack that didn’t generate a halfway decent chance on goal after the lead became a deficit? Shouldn’t a good manager have a plan for such a contingency?

              JK shouldn’t give a damn about whether he is contradicting himself. He should give a damn about putting the team most likely to win on the field.

              Totally agree with the second statement, at least. But since he doesn’t seem to be all that competent at doing so – at least in the games that matter – the contradictions start to look more glaring to some.

            • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/09 at 3:39 PM

              “repeated”, of course

            • Ufficio,

              It is my view that the players are the ones responsible for comitting stupid fouls.

              They had an early 1-0 lead on a crap team that proved itself capable of only scoring on set pieces. The US team had enough talent and experience to be able to hold that lead or at least hold on for a 1-1 tie which was all they really needed. I’ve seen far less capable and talented teams do that with 10 men.

              Regardless, that is not too much to ask of these guys. If it is then they don’t deserve to qualify.

              JK talks too much but its pretty clear if he qualifies no one will care what he says and if he does not no one will care what he says.


  25. Posted by Jared on 2012/10/09 at 5:42 AM

    In fringe national teamer news, Coyle has been sacked at Bolton. I wonder if the new boss will play Ream?


    • Posted by Dirk on 2012/10/09 at 2:58 PM

      I don’t think it bodes well, seeing how Coyle brought him to Bolton, and ended up not playing him. It seems like there are several prominent capped USMNT team players struggling for playing time in England’s lower leagues. Robbie Findley comes off the bench for 4th division Gillingham, Robbie Rodgers continues to struggle with injuries for 3rd division Stevenage, mostly used as a sub when healthy. And Ream has been locked to the bench after starting a few games early in the year. And Zak Witbread (although I’m not sure he’s been capped?) can’t get off the pine for Leicester City.


      • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/10 at 7:37 AM

        It’ll be very interesting to see who Bolton hires as manager. Wouldn’t shock me to see Ream go out on loan in January if he continues to ride the pine.


  26. Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/09 at 7:30 AM

    Philly Comcast Viewer alert: USMNT v A n B finally showed up on the beIN (Ch 583) schedule at 3am on Sat. So….an 8 hr delay…..riiiiiidiculous. Rewatch and grits for breakfast on Sat morning….


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/09 at 8:40 AM

      It’s going to be tough for me to avoid Twitter/ scores to catch that delay. I guarantee I will wake up and check scores before coffee kicks in.


  27. Posted by SamT on 2012/10/09 at 8:06 AM

    Shame we don’t have a more developed soccer media in this country. No Jozy, OK. But also no Boyd, no Lichaj, yes Kljestan, yes EJ, yes Gordon… Big news.


  28. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/10/09 at 12:58 PM

    Been away and now just digesting the news. That said, the posts and tweets I have saw are confusing to me.

    1) Jozy is clearly a back-up to Herc. We can debate whether he should be or not but IMO opinion Herc is the clear cut starter. If you are looking for a sub off the bench for Herc, I can see other options better than Jozy. In this sense I see the Boyd omission as more curious.

    2) I really like Lichaj as a prospect but people tend to misrepresent facts about Lichaj. Lichaj has started 3 of AV’s 7 BPL games this year. That is less than 50%. From reading the posts you would think he was the first name on the line-up card. Last year he started 9 of AV’s games (slightly more than 25%). The year before that he played half a season for Leeds in Championship. Is he better than Castillo and/or Parkhurst? Both are better than Lichaj IMO. Debatable but…

    3) I don’t understand why people make it like JK thinks Gordon is a better player than Wondo because he called in Gordon and not Wondo. I assume JK who knows more about soccer then I can even imagine knows that Wondo is better because its obvious to a 5 year old. If we are looking to make a tactical change and go with a hoof it down field to someone who will use their head or someone that can get on the end of a corner I would take Gordon over Wondo in a heartbeat.

    4) EJ is not new to the set-up. He played very well in the Slovenia game under JK. He was in that camp. Our best attacking game was with EJ as the second forward.

    I am curious if we see Dempsey as the second forward or as the left MF (both assuming a 4-1-3-2). On one hand I would like to see Dempsey at left MF to allow FJ room to run. On the other hand if Dempsey plays left MF I am afraid that would mean Landon over Zusi at RMF.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/09 at 1:45 PM

      You’re getting your strikers mixed up. It was Buddle that played against Slovenia.


    • Posted by mathmatics on 2012/10/09 at 1:57 PM

      1) Yes Gomez is the expected starter for these games. But what if he gets hurt? Or sent off by dubuious-but-hardly-surprising bad call on the road? We’d be resting our World Cup hopes on EJ or Alan Gordon.

      2) The 9 games Lichaj started last year were the final 9 of the season. So he recovered from a long injury layoff and took over the spot. It’s not like he was in and out of the lineup all year. But overall agree that his rank relative to Castillo/Parkhurst is debatable.

      3) Again, injuries and suspensions happen. Bringing a guy for such specific scenarios could be a luxury we can’t afford. While the Gordon call on it’s own is defensible, it makes me nervous given our potentially limited attacking options elsewhere on the roster.

      4) I think you’re thinking of Buddle. EJ hasn’t been in the setup in a LOOOONG time. Last involvement was being cut from the pre South Africa camp.


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/09 at 2:31 PM

        Mathmatics.. You and your damn facts. I don’t care what you say….EJ was fantastic against Slovenia and Eric Lichaj never played for AV and anyone thinking that he should possibly be called up for the Nats is UNAMERICAN and owes Jurgen Klinsmann an apology. And a years worth of car washes.


        • Posted by ppoenicke on 2012/10/09 at 8:14 PM

          Look, spew whatever nonsense you desire on this blog. We don’t want users to start using the “unamerican” response in debates about soccer. This is unnecessary, crude, and destroys the normally respectful, cogent debate that occurs on this site from commentors like dth, GeorgeCross, Union, and others.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/09 at 3:32 PM

      From reading the posts you would think he was the first name on the line-up card.

      No, you really wouldn’t.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/10 at 4:10 AM

        I meant for his club team.

        Then why is everyone up in arms about a guy that is POTENTIALLY the back-up at two positions not making the roster. This is a guy that starts about half the time for a mid table (that’s generous IMO) ePL team. Technically 3 of 7 an one of those starts he got pulled around the 60th minute for being ineffective.

        At best I see him over Castillo if FJ injured or suspended. I would much rather have Parkhurst.

        I just don’t get the Lichaj outrage.


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/10/10 at 8:05 AM

          First of all, if you read back thru the thread on Lichaj here, it’s 90% related to trying to understand Klinsi’s decision process using EL as an example of the inconsistency in his “rules for inclusion”. Not outrage at him not including that particular player.
          Schmutzie-of course- takes the position that it’s none of anybody’s damn business what JK decides nor that he needs to adhere to his own “rules for inclusion”. Which is a bit of an extreme position but hey that’s his right. You in turn presented two sets of misrepresentations of facts (EL’s actual playing time and EJ’s phantom runout against Slovenia) to justify your confusion with peoples “outrage”.
          I haven’t seen anything close to outrage just rational questioning of what is becoming a large body of questionable personnel decisions that have left the MNT either hamstrung in its ability to compete against subpar talent or possibly even qualify for the hex. Lichaj is not the primary concern just an example of a guy who plays at a significantly higher level league than Parkhurst for example (midtable EPL vs Danish SL), yet can’t get a sniff of even a camp. Doesn’t seem to make sense that based on the playing in better leagues ethos that Klinsi spouts results in zero callups. That’s a pretty rational argument for questioning Klinsi IMO. But its just an opinion…


          • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/10 at 1:03 PM

            In general the post was a poor post, probably one of my worst since I started commenting here post-WC.

            The mix-up of Buddle and EJ was inexcusable. It was an honest mistake that I admitted to when Jared pointed it out.

            That said, I get the discussion of Jozy’s exclusion. In general the places I read and listen to also continue to discuss the Lichaj exclusion as well. I was not looking at specific posts here but more commenting on the general USMNT discussion. It seems Lichaj’s exclusion is part of the talk track much like Sasha’s exclusion was on previous rosters. My point is that Lichaj while he had a great GC is a boarderline player in the US pool. There seems to be a lot of Lichaj love amongst USMNT fans, which I don’t get.

            On the other hand I haven’t heard a peep about Edu in as a defender over Omar Gonzalez. To me that is much more of an odd choice worth discussing.


          • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/10/10 at 3:41 PM

            “Doesn’t seem to make sense that based on the playing in better leagues ethos that Klinsi spouts results in zero callups. That’s a pretty rational argument for questioning Klinsi IMO. But its just an opinion…”

            JK talks too much. He loves the microphone and makes an enormous contrast to BB. I take all that with a grain of salt. This USMNT group is not dramatically superior to Bradley’s guys and JK is only now beginning to get a handle on their limitations. He’s had what 14 games or so with them? That’s about half an MLS season without the beneefit of all the training sessions and practices.

            And as the movie said the stated criteria are more like guidelines than rules. And those guidelines, even when all of them are met are just prerequisites. They do not consitute an iron clad system for selecting a starting eleven.

            If your expectation is that the manager should have a completely transparent selection system which he follows religiously so that on game day the entire world knows the reasons, the tactics , the plan of attack, the strengths and weaknesses of every one of our players, etc.,etc. so that you can adjust your fantasy league accordingly then I would say you may be disappointed more often than not.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/10/10 at 11:58 AM

          I meant for his club team.

          As did I.

          Go back and read the Lichaj posts made prior to your post. None of the posts fit your characterization. In fact, most of them explicitly acknowledge his second-choice status.


  29. Posted by Jared on 2012/10/09 at 4:11 PM

    Donovan and Shea are out of the qualifiers. Klinsmann’s roster selection looks even odder now considering both were injured coming into camp.


    • Posted by mbw on 2012/10/09 at 5:47 PM

      Amazing JK didn’t have a wide player lined up as an alternate for Shea. We might need Dolo to put his Superman cape on again, width-wise.


      • so 4 DM and booming outside backs? sounds like a plan!!


      • would love to see a 3/5 man back line in this case


        • Posted by Damon on 2012/10/10 at 5:42 AM

          particularly with Cameron playing midefield for Stoke and Edu playing defense for the US against mexico you would think this is what the most logical thing would be. If the width is going to come from the fullbacks then you might as well put the extra cover on the backline


          • Posted by Rafe on 2012/10/10 at 6:00 AM

            Except he’s played right back for the The Potters the lst 3 games.


          • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/10 at 7:35 AM

            FWIW, Cameron has mostly been playing right back for Stoke recently. He’s looked strong out there as well. I’d still prefer him at CB for the national team, however.

            The way we lined up against Jamaica was essentially a 3-5-2, with Johnson and Cherundolo making runs up the flanks and playing high, Bocanegra and Cameron sitting back and Williams dropping to defend just in front of them. I expect to see more of the same against A&B, a team very similar in structure to Jamaica (just not as talented).


      • Posted by Alex on 2012/10/10 at 1:56 AM

        Is it really that hard to call up replacement players? Or see that the players have been hurt recently so don’t even call them up in the first place?


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/10 at 6:34 AM

          I am a little curious as this is at least the second time that he failed to use replacement players when possible. I wonder how much of it has to do with timing. Lets assume that he believed that Shea and Donovan were healthy until the physicals (not sure I believe that but)… So Tuesday afternoon he finds out that they can’t go. He calls up someone on Tuesday night, they travel on Wed getting their Wed after practice. I am going to assume that Thursday is a light practice given a game on Friday. If someone, particularly somone like say Pontius who hasn’t been in a camp before comes in and participates in the light practice I can’t imagine he dresses on Friday.

          That said, the player could easily be integrated into the second game. Not sure I get why he doesn’t call another player in.


          • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 6:50 AM

            If he thought Shea and Donovan were healthy then his judgement is even more suspect than I thought. At best they were going to be playing with slight injuries based on the reports that anybody could read let alone a national team coach who should have better info.


          • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/10/11 at 3:32 PM

            BB and Jared,

            That was the game where Torres played left back, correct? That was against A & B and it resulted in a 3-1 win did it not?

            There is no doubt the US could lose both these games but that is always the case.

            It is mildly amusing to see the levels of outright hysteria over these games. It’s beginning to rival the upset over Kristen Stewart’s indiscretions.

            Even with the depleted squad, the talent and experience differential between the USMNT and their two upcoming opponents is stark.

            Would you not side with RSL, for example, to beat to beat any USL team if the chips were down and it really mattered? Antigua and Barbuda are a USL team, albeit a very good one. And I like to think the USMNT is better than RSL ( at least in theory).

            This USMNT group have absolutely no excuse for, at the very least, getting 4 points out of these two games.

            Which was really the point of excluding Jozy.

            He and this group, in general, have been an underachieving, gutless bunch of headless chickens. In my view, JK is using Jozy to try to get through to this bunch that they all, not just Gomez, need to show up or they won’t qualify.

            And if the team do find their heads and show up all the formations,tactics,lack of width and all this other ancillary BS won’t matter. They should beat these two teams handily.


            • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 5:42 PM

              Of course they should beat the A&B with ease and handle Guatemala. I fully expect them to qualify.

              Do you know what makes that less likely? Not calling in replacements when you have guys that are out and guys that are on yellow cards. There is a potential for the bench to be empty for the Guatemala game. I don’t think it’s hysterical to expect the coach to call in a full squad for 2 games that determine whether we qualify for a World Cup. I can only imagine the reaction to this news if the English, Italian or German coach didn’t call in replacement with qualification on the line.

            • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/12 at 5:15 AM

              I am very confident we will get 3 points tonight. That said we get to bring 23 players. Bringing 20 is with another unable to play is arrogant at best.

  30. Posted by Kevin O' on 2012/10/09 at 6:30 PM

    I’m routing for EJ to do well. I really am. It appears he now understands in this version of football, your team is NOT rewarded 6 points for pushing the ball over the end line. No touchdowns Eddie, please!


  31. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/10/09 at 7:11 PM

    How you could do with Wilfried Zaha right now.


    • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/10 at 7:32 AM

      How most national sides could do with Wilfried Zaha. Kid’s got a whole lot of talent.


  32. Posted by Union on 2012/10/09 at 10:59 PM

    If something goes wrong in these games…and there is a decent chance something could….Donovan better be ready to get hammered.

    Really unhappy with JKs German approach to the roster. Incredibly stubborn. I’m fine with no Jozy, but add some fucking width for god sake. Gatt, Gyau, Pontius, whoever. But the US plays terrible soccer when they line up with this sort of player pool.


    • Posted by Damon on 2012/10/10 at 5:45 AM

      I will never understand how people can hammer a player for being injured. Just seems so small minded to me.

      But no doubt that Klinsmann should be hammered if something goes badly… if you go against conventional wisdom then you better be sure you are right. Very odd not having more wide options on the roster.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/10 at 6:36 AM

        I don’t think you can hammer him for being injured. You can hammer him for telling JK he was OK and taking up a roster spot. Landon has been around long enough to know his body. Its one thing if you are slow a step or something and don’t realize it (or try to play through it), its a whole different thing not to be medically cleared.


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 6:49 AM

          All JK should have needed to know about Donovan was that the Galaxy thought the knee injury was a big enough deal to schedule an MRI. Donovan didn’t go through with the MRI. Why even take that risk on a player unless you already have replacements lined up and ready?


        • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/10/10 at 3:24 PM

          Taking up a roster spot?

          JK can replace Shea and Donovan any time and it seems he isn’t going to. If anyone is to be criticised it is JK for not having a standby player ready to go (as far as we know).

          As for LD knowing his body, when has LD ever had a knee injury before? This is the first one I can remember hearing about. He could be done for 2012.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 5:51 AM

      If something goes wrong here then Klinsmann will be fired.


      • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/10 at 7:31 AM

        As well he should be. No excuse for not qualifying. The opposition is improving, but we should still be taking care of business in CONCACAF. To not even reach the Hex would be embarrassing.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/10/10 at 10:21 AM

          He should have been hired as Technical Director. I like his philosophy but, at the moment, the US doesn’t have enough quality players to execute it.

          With this player pool, a more pragmatic coach was required. I was not the biggest Bradley fan, but he was realistic and pragmatic.


          • I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. Klinsmann’s vision for how we should play is wonderful and I think we can pull it off in spurts. However, without the entire youth program in this country working towards the same goal/style of play (as he purportedly did in Germany) the National Team can’t play that way 100% of the time. It would be nice if a Bradley-esque pragmatist would serve as his #2 as Jogi Lowe did for th DFB to help him execute his vision when applicable and help him simply win the games that need winning.


          • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 12:10 PM

            The thing about it is that he never even really tried his philosophy. He just sort of decided it wouldn’t work after a couple of friendlies and then started putting a defensive midfielder at right mid while also playing 3 defensive minded midfielders in central midfield. Then sometimes even a quasi left midfielder in Torres.

            I actually think when it comes down to playing style Klinsmann has been pragmatic. He just doesn’t sound pragmatic with all of his talk of high lines, pressure and passing. If you look at a lot of the games he has been more concerned with staying strong at the back.


            • When JK took over the defense was leaky and needed shoring up immediately. That has been accomplished but the attacking end has suffered in large part because the previous regime’s offensive strategy largely evolved around Donovan and Dempsey, with Donovan largely being the insitigator and Dempsey being the finisher.

              It is interesting that US fans despise LD and seem to want to get rid of him as soon as possible.

              Donovan is not the perfect offensive enabler, but he was the very best the US has had for a long time. Ideally, JK would have had him and Dempsey and then used them to bridge the gap to his “vision” what ever that is. But w/o him Dempsey has been the sole attacking threat and he is primarily a finisher. He has done well for JK but it isn’t enough; Clint never really been a “creator” of offensive opportunities. He didn’t do that at Fulham either.

              You can talk all you want about philosphies but it comes down to players and the US just doesn’t have anyone who can do what Donovan, who when on, is perfectly capable of “willing” the US to a win, can do.

              Why do you think JK called LD in even when he knew he probably wasn’t going to be able to go? You underestimate that value of LD’s vast experience and his sheer will power. The saving grace in this situation is that MB90, the walking nepotism advert, will be around.

              Between him and Deuce there should be enough sheer fire to get the job done.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/10/11 at 5:55 AM

              Schmutzdek – did you actually read my post? I thought I was quite clear about the “lack of players”

              Oftentimes, I think you can have an argument in an empty room.

            • GC,

              Did you read my post? It was a reply to Jared. What did you write?

    • Posted by twewlife on 2012/10/10 at 8:10 AM

      With the recent losses of Shea and Donoaon, the biggest problem is going to be width. While not ideal, the problem (at least on the left side) could be helped by pushing Fabian up to the midfield. J.K. could then call in Licach to play the left back role..While still not ideal, as Dempsey is no winger, it would at least provide for more horizontal movement off the ball.


      • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 8:15 AM

        I think the solution will be some combination of Castillo/Johnson on the left with Zusi on the right. Castillo and Johnson can both play either position but I think I’d rather see Castillo in midfield because I trust Johnson a lot more defensively.


        • Posted by twewlife on 2012/10/10 at 9:40 AM

          I hear you, but if Zusi’s on the right, we have to drop Williams/Jones….


          • Drop Jones. The roster we trotted out in Jamaica with Bradley in place of him and no Torres? Yes please.


            • Posted by mbw on 2012/10/10 at 11:35 AM

              I like this in theory — a bit concerned that Castillo isn’t the type of player you can just drop into a crucial WCQ (though he is having an excellent season in a decent league).

              Cross-index this whole question with “What I wouldn’t give for a healthy Stuart Holden.”

            • I would agree on your concern about Castillo. But I think the ceiling for this lineup would be higher.

              And yes, I would kill many men for a healthy Stu.

          • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 12:12 PM

            I have no problem dropping Jones like a bad habit as he’s not the same player with the US that he is with Schalke. 4-2-3-1 for me with Williams-MB90 as the 2, Castillo/Johnson-Dempsey-Zusi as the 3 and Herc up top.


      • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/10/10 at 3:20 PM

        Width? That’s what attacking fullbacks are for. Ever watch Castillo and Corona work together at Xolos?.


  33. Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 1:54 PM

    Fabian Johnson has the flu and is not going to travel to A&B.


  34. Posted by Freegle on 2012/10/10 at 1:59 PM

    Reports floating around that Fab Johnson is a no go with the flu and castillo got hurt in training.—donovan-faellt-aus.html

    Hey Klinsy. Now we only have 19 available players including 3 GK. Can we call in more people now?


    • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/10 at 3:53 PM

      Jonathan Spector, come on down. I’d call-in Pontius and Spector/Lichaj.

      They’d be asinine to travel to A&B with only 16 field players and not one true left-sided player.


      • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/10/10 at 5:47 PM

        RUN DMB RUN! He’s tan, he’s rested, he’s ready! if anyone can come in, add experience, be in form, not be fazed by the pressue, venue, etc its Damarcus Beasley, and he can add needed width. go get em!


  35. Posted by mbw on 2012/10/10 at 4:33 PM

    Argentina manager Carlos Bilardo once said his team would consist of “Maradona and ten others.” It’s starting to look like Klinsmann will field Tim Howard and, God willing, ten others.


  36. Posted by union on 2012/10/10 at 5:38 PM

    What are the rules in so far as calling players post roster announcement?

    I have to be honest. Pretty nervous. We need 4 points at minimum. Antigua is terrible but its not like we blew them away in the first game. And Guatemala is always a threat to upset. Sad, but true.

    Point being – the current roster looks incredibly stale when you take out Landon, Shea, Jozy, Fabian and Boyd. Eek.


  37. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/10/10 at 6:13 PM

    What is Adu doing these days? Feilhaber’s form?


  38. Posted by Gregorio on 2012/10/10 at 7:13 PM

    Listen, irregardless of JK’s flip flops on criteria for USMNT selection, the sheer stupidity of not calling replacements due to the latest rash of injuries, especially LB, coupled with 5 players sitting on yellow cards is unforgiveable, Klinsman is an absolute idiot, Even if we win and this doesn’t get noticed, the fact that we aren’t prepared shouts volumes about his capability as head coach. I like Jk and he is a positive guy but poor planning and relying on God is just not a suitable strategy. It shows his naivete or stubborness.
    If I was Sunni or running USSF I would call in replacements for him.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/10 at 7:33 PM

      It’s entirely possible that the guys on yellows (with the exception of Johnson) could be out going into that final game leaving what 13 onfield players available? How is someone in US Soccer, his assistants or the media not making a bigger deal of the lack of replacements?


    • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 5:38 AM

      *regardless – as in without regard. Irregardless would imply not without regard which is a double negative. Sorry, my teacher’s pet peeve has apparently become mine lol. It’s okay to hate me.


  39. Posted by john mosby on 2012/10/10 at 9:20 PM

    maybe we should be talking up the team, and not being so hyper critical of every move. there are many permutations whereby usa advance to the hex, for example, if guatemala lose to jamaica, usa would only need to tie guatemala, and not lose to a and b by more than two goals more than guatemala might lose to jamaica. so realistically, usa can advance with only one point from these next two games, and im pretty sure they will take all six. they better.

    there are some hungry players on this roster. sacha kljestan has played in some pressure situations and he knows what these games are all about. with time on the ball, he will be marvelous against a and b. eddie johnson, if this guy aint hungry to show his skill now, he aint never gonna be. i bet he rises to the occasion.

    one thing is sure about soccer and the us national team. they play their best ball when the chips are a little down, and there is a fire burning on the backsides, and on the inside.

    then of course, there is the fact that usa is commanded by field master general, michael s. bradley, the s is for superman, and that aint no lie. just dont pick up any yellows junior, not in the first game anyway. 5-1 usa down on the island, hopefully jamaica does usa a favor and beats guatemala, and the celebration will be extra special in kansas city.


  40. Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 5:45 AM

    I have 3 questions. How game ready is Bradley? If we had to ballpark a clear strategy here, what would it be? And, what is A+B’s approach here? Surely with just 1 point their intensity will likely drop off compared to the first game we played against them. Their odds must be quite long at this point, no? They can’t park the bus, they need a win and they’re fast so we may very well see a high scoring game where both D’s get exposed but we win out 4-2.


    • Posted by Eric on 2012/10/11 at 5:50 AM

      He’s ready enough to have played and scored for Roma this past weekend. That’s good enough for me.

      Also, A&B will be without their top central midfielder this game. Reading FC has reported that Mikele Leigertwood has been scratched for the qualifier due to a dead leg.


      • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 6:05 AM

        I just watched that goal, his poise is still there. Love it. Thanks.

        The CM being out is good news considering with all the chatter on here about us not having any wide players… we should truly be able to dominate the middle of the field, right?


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 6:13 AM

          It’s tough to dominate a midfield when you have no width because the other team just clogs it up with numbers. None of our midfielders are a Messi type who can dribble through players.


          • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 6:20 AM

            I don’t think it’s necessary to have a Messi to win in soccer. If they congest the midfield, then so do we. Who cares? The turnovers will be high but I’d rather play a congested midfield with higher caliber players than to try and play a wide game without and natural width players to “hope” to open up the middle and actually weaken our strength in the process. Name one of the players on their team that you would start over one of ours if given the choice…


            • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 7:08 AM

              It doesn’t matter about who would start over our players when teams stack the midfield with 5 players and you don’t have the width or dribbling ability to get by them. It works against teams that have far better midfields than the USMNT. Spain has the best midfield in the world and teams pack it in forcing them to pass it around probing for holes to eventually score their one goal. The US is not nearly that good.

              There is a reason that teams like Stoke/Sunderland/Chelsea in the Champions League stack the midfield with 5 midfielders. It works to neutralize better talent even if the opposing team also plays with 5 midfielders. If you limit space you limit the opposing teams ability to use their greater talent. Just watch a game against Barca in the CL knockout stages by Chelsea for the past decade.

              You wouldn’t be weakening our strength in midfield by playing with width even if that width was provided by Sacha on the left and Zusi on the right. By pulling some of their players out of the middle of the park you would allow more space for our more talented players to use their better skill.

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 6:08 AM

      I think A&B will park the bus and hope that they can get a goal on the counter. They know that the ideal result for the US is a win with a lot of goals. Try to pull the US out and then hit a long ball over the top hoping that it catches the slow Boca/Parkhurst out enough at a time when Dolo is pushed up.


      • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 6:18 AM

        Without knowing specifics about their tendencies and ours, I know we need the +3 for ego and comfort. A +1 twice against them would be ridiculous. Klinsmann made the appropriate adjustments against Jamaica in our 2nd match against them and this would be a good test to see if he can do that twice. Our player pool is better than theirs, we shouldn’t need the team that is able to beat Italy to beat A+B (although based on the outcries on here, you’d think that was the case). What we need is a cohesive team and an effective strategy, seriously that should be it. Their players should make loads more mistakes than ours. You could even play Rico Clark with confidence here, he’d be a perfect runner against them.


        • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 6:24 AM

          What I was getting at initially is that we’ve had multiple opponents park the bus now under JK and this player pool. We should be able to combat it more effectively than before and as soon as we score 1, the game should open wide up. As they say in FIFA “goals change games”.


          • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 7:19 AM

            You would think we would be better at going against teams that park the bus but we’ve shown in the past decade that we haven’t gotten any better. We are lucky to score one or two against these teams no matter who is in charge.

            You do realize that beating Italy is a whole different ball game because we were the bus parkers? It also shows you that a team with much less talent can park the bus and get a win.


            • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 8:15 AM

              I wasn’t referring so much to that specific game as I was in if we deployed a lesser quality side we wouldn’t stand a chance against them, parked bus or not.

  41. Posted by twewlife on 2012/10/11 at 8:20 AM

    So given the recent losses of Shea, Donovon, FJ and Castillo, anyone want to suggest a starting 11, assuming that Klinsman doesn’t call in any new players?

    I’m really at a loss at what team we should field.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 8:27 AM

      Kljestan-Dempsey-Zusi (some combo not sure on actual sides they would play)
      Boca-Goodson-Cameron-Dolo (left to right)

      Seems to be the best chance to win. Maybe Parkhurst on the left with Boca staying in the middle if you go with the whole it’s always best to only tinker with one position rather than 2. Not sure if Parkhurst plays on the left.


      • Posted by twewlife on 2012/10/11 at 8:37 AM

        I wouldn’t be that surprised to see a third defensive mid alla Jones instead of Zusi / Kljestan. Also, how is Kljestan out wide? I always think of him as the holding midfielder.


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/11 at 8:42 AM

          The one CL game of his I caught he appeared to be playing LMF in a 4-4-2. Definitely tucked in a lot (which would have been perfect if Fabain was good to go).


        • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/10/11 at 3:42 PM


          Chances are the US will want to be pushing up aginst Antigua and B at some point so I would think you will see this variation of Jared’s lineup.


          Dolo Goodson Cameron

          Williams, Boca

          Zusi, Bradley, Corona



          I could see Sacha in for Corona as well but I think Corona is better on the wing. But either guy will be fine.

          And the only reason I would see Cameron in the back three instead of Boca is his speed ( or rather Boca’s lack thereof) . But they could also be interchanged.


          • While I’m not opposed to a back three in theory, I would not go with the three you’ve got there. You put Dolo in that back line and not only are you killing any play we’ll get down the right flank (remember, Zusi was coming inside against Jamaica more often than not), but you’re also putting him out of position defensively. And I have no idea where you’re getting the “Boca as a CDM” thing – I get that you’d rather have Cameron in the back three because he can cover more ground, but there’s no way Boca has the passing skills to play in front of them. Also, this means that Zusi and Corona are effectively your wing backs and need to get back to provide cover on the flanks – unless A&B completely abandon the touchlines, they’ll be gassed by the 60th minute. And then you’ve killed our flank play and weakened us defensively.

            If we’re running a 3-5-2 (or some semblance thereof), you would probably want to see Fabian and Dolo on the outside of the 5 (and yes I know Fabian’s sick, this assuming a healthy player pool)…but you gotta have more depth out there. We’ve got what, four guys who could play out on the wing in camp right now? Dolo, Zusi, Corona and Parkhurst…and that’s it. And even then, I’m not wild about pushing Corona that far out to the touchline, and I’m really not wild about Parkhurst having that much of an attacking responsibility.


    • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 8:36 AM

      ————-Gomez –—- Dempsey———
      ——————-Kljestan ——————–
      ———–Bradley ———– Jones———-
      ————–Williams/Beckerman ———-
      Parkhurst – Boca – Cameron – Dolo

      I think parkurst is a lock for LB. Bradley and Jones are locks at MF so really the question is what combo of Kljestan, Williams, Beckerman will we see? Williams has showed great so, it’d be hard to bet against him. Obv, Demps and Gomez are locks as well.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/10/11 at 8:38 AM

      Very similar to Jared (although with 16 field players there aren’t that many realistic combos)

      —-Gomez – Dempsey
      Kjestan – Bradley – Zusi
      Parkhurst – Boca – Cameron – Dolo

      You could also call it a 4-2-3-1 with dempsey and bradley sliding back.


      • Posted by CJ on 2012/10/11 at 9:00 AM

        I have a hard time seeing Jones omitted from the start. He’s been a JK fav. Keeping that in mind and remembering how well Zusi and Dolo played off each other maybe this lineup with kljestan and jones swapped and the triangle being shifted slightly left leaving the right fkr that duo.


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 9:25 AM

          My thinking on Jones being left out is that he’s in yellow card jeopardy. If he plays in this match with a team that parks the bus and made a ton of borderline tackles in the last match he will get a yellow. I would think Klinsmann would be more concerned with keeping him around for Guatemala.


          • Posted by Eric on 2012/10/11 at 11:18 AM

            We also don’t even know if Jones is healthy enough to go yet. He was injured too coming in.


            • Posted by Jared on 2012/10/11 at 11:21 AM

              For all the talk of different criteria, I think we can all agree that the one the Klinsmann stuck to most was that a player had to be carrying some type of injury.

    • Posted by mbw on 2012/10/11 at 9:02 AM

      Parkhurst – Boca – Cameron – Dolo

      Tilt the thing to the right and play through Bradley, Zusi, and Dolo.


      • Posted by JGD on 2012/10/12 at 6:44 AM

        Some variation of this is what I’d like to see, considering. Though we might see Boca rested in favor of Goodson to keep the skipper fresh for Guatemala and Jones rested in favor of Kljestan to ensure that yellow he’s carrying doesn’t come back to bite him.


  42. Posted by Eric on 2012/10/11 at 11:21 AM

    I think tan interesting thing might actually be how A&B decide to play. Keep in mind they still have a chance (albeit extremely slim) to get through to the Hex. Of course, their hopes rest on them getting a big win against the US.

    Do they sit back and try to counter or do they eventually decide to open up at a certain point in the match? This will be even harder for them without Leigertwood but the fact that they aren’t eliminated yet makes things a little more interesting.


  43. Posted by Damon on 2012/10/11 at 2:30 PM

    The Biggest Mystery is why Holden didn’t get invited. I mean wasn’t he injured enough?


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