The US Roster To Face-Off With Russia In The Cold

The US plays Russia Wednesday morning.

This morning–finally–Jurgen Klinsmann saw fit to tell the US fans who was playing.


The camp participants are:

Welcome back guys!

GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna)

59 responses to this post.

  1. Wonder if Chandler will actually play in this one, and how he’ll handle all of the questions about his previous snubs…


  2. Can we cap-tie players with this one?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/11/12 at 11:43 AM

      No we cannot.


      • So this is more of a potential tryout for Gatt and Gyau than anything else. Excited and hopeful to see them get significant time. I’d be shocked if one of them doesn’t start, their skill sets are far more complimentary of the wing attackers in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 than Agudelo and Jozy – you’d assume at least one of those two starts on the bench and comes on late if we’re trailing.


        • Posted by dth on 2012/11/12 at 2:51 PM

          Gatt/Gyau in the “fast aggressive direct dude” tryout. Presumably off of the bench. Of the two I like Gatt a healthy bit more, though I’ll admit not to having seeing Gyau recently.

          Kind of bummed out we didn’t get to see Conor O’Brien, who by all accounts is playing quite well.


    • Posted by Alex on 2012/11/12 at 1:02 PM

      Only World Cup qualifiers and Gold Cup matches


  3. Posted by justin on 2012/11/12 at 11:59 AM

    I think Chandler has realized that he is not going to be in Germany’s plans for 2014 Brazil. So his best bet for playing in a World Cup is joining the USA. I think he just sat on the fence until his Germany chances became almost 0 percent. I don’t mind him playing RB with us. I think the majority of the USMNT Germericans would choose Germany if guaranteed at top 14 roster spot for both teams. I don’t blame them. But for these players the cards have fallen our way. I’m glad they are here to help and have embraced the team once fully committing. If Timmy C plays hard for us during the Hex, all of the drama will be forgotten.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/11/12 at 12:01 PM

      Great point. I think you’re right. We would have known by now if he were in Germany’s plans.


      • Yeah, and the fact that one of the fullback spots is currently occupied by a guy in the argument for the best fullback in the world doesn’t help him one bit. Thank goodness for Philip Lahm.


        • Posted by SamT on 2012/11/13 at 12:08 PM

          Which, frankly, says a lot more about the current crop of fullbacks playing at the top clubs. Lahm will be forgotten by history.

          Glad to have Chandler in camp.


          • Jonathan Wilson is on record as saying that fullback is the most important tactical position on the field. I dunno if I completely agree with that…but the czar of Eastern Europe football has learned, forgotten, and relearned more about the tactics of the sport than I will ever know.


            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/11/13 at 6:39 PM

              Just think about how a FB’s positioning / getting the angles correct is directly responsible for opposition passing lanes in getting behind the back four?

              Then offensively, look how the role of the FB has changed during the last 15 years, and their importance in providing width / over-lapping runs…

            • All true (in fairness, I’ve only been following proper football since 2009 so I’m still a fledgling when it comes to this sport, despite the headlong abandon with which I’ve thrown myself into it), but the thing I have a harder time with is that the positioning of a fullback seems to be mostly vertical and there doesn’t seem to be much variation in the x direction.

              A fullback’s responsibilities, as far as I can tell. Defensively, stay goalside of the wing players and be alert for runs coming from the middle looking to go to the corner. Offensively, slide up the pitch and look to provide a safety valve for your midfielders out to the sideline, and sneak behind the defense if you have license to go forward.

              Now, that’s a really rough outline and there are nuances that I’ll never understand as I never played fullback. But it seems to me that you want to build through the middle in terms of your strongest players. A weak flank can hurt you but you can rotate to cover it. A weak middle leaves a gap that is much harder plug.

  4. Posted by union on 2012/11/12 at 12:05 PM

    Good roster. Very happy Chandler is in. I believe him. For those who are skeptical of him and are criticizing him, I appreciate that his decision to cap-tie to the US was a tough one, given he has pretty much lived in Germany his entire life. Going back and forth sucks, but if he’s finally come to terms with committing, thats fine by me. He can play right and left back, and solidify our defense for the next 5-10 years. That works for me.

    Also happy to see Gatt and Gyau get called in. We’re going to need some speed.


  5. Posted by Jason on 2012/11/12 at 2:05 PM

    I like, a lot really. The absence of Dolo means that Chandler will definitely be playing, I would think.I just hope we get all the guys I’ve been wanting to see for the past year on the field at once. Maybe keep a few vets like Boca and Bradley in to manage the game but I’m thinking a 4-5-1 with a midfield of Gatt, Mix, MB90, Sacha, and Gyau could be really fun to watch.


    • Posted by Jason on 2012/11/12 at 3:15 PM

      Just realized a 4-3-3 with those same players make even more sense. Bradley, Mix, and Sacha in the middle (okay, I doubt Klinsmann keeps both Jones and Williams off but whatever) but Gatt and Gyau would be even better suited to the top band. I know that’s where Gatt plays for his club and I remember Gyau looking dangerous for the U-23s on the left wing.


  6. Posted by Gregorio on 2012/11/12 at 2:41 PM

    I’m going to be a nay-sayer here. I think Chandler shouldn’t get a whiff of the USMNT. He by his actions is unworthy of puting on the Shirt. Now do we need him , will be an asset, absolutely, but my friends “he has descreated the spirit of the genie in the lamp so he must now pay the consequences!”, which means Happy trails to him.
    Now i’m sure Ive stirred up the hornet’s nest here, I do agree with some of the above comments that it must’ve be a hard decision for him, Germany is his home country and one of his choice to play for, but they don’t want him.
    Here’s another analogy, its like being the back-up date since the original girl was looking to see if someone else asked her. Yeah its still nice to go out with a hottie regardless of her motivations but I hope we aspire for more. My sentiments are that he ( if the stories are true) does deserve to be on the USMNT. There are guys who would eat crap to sit on the bench, let alone play for the chance to put on the shirt. Are they as talented? perhaps not, but I rather go to battle with people that want to be there, rather than those who are fickle.
    I mught be off here and there are those who will disagree vehemently but I feel that if we are to change the culture of US soccer than we must do it by establishing an expectation of respect and honor. The tacit implicit message that JK is sending is that other players are not good enough and we need to overlook his fickleness to win. I believe this sends a bad message, we can do with Chandler and if we fall then we fall but we do sticking to our ideals & principles. I wonder what other players, say in MLS are thinking about this, do we lose them and their hard work because they think it doesn’t matter anyway. Talent supercedes all but there has to be heart too & hard work.
    Anyway I’m done ranting & rambling but I do think that Chandler should try his lot with Germany, although I’ll be cheering him if he’s in our shirt but I think this is a wrong path to follow


    • Posted by TWEW on 2012/11/12 at 4:10 PM

      I’d prefer to change “the culture of US soccer” by establishing an expectation of sold first touches and impeccable finishing. But that’s just me. Also, you use more metaphors than a Catholic attending mass.


    • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2012/11/12 at 7:13 PM

      I understand the sentiment, Gregorio. But I don’t know that Chandler’s indecision is entirely a product of him holding out for an invite from Germany. His comments today indicate that he felt pressure from Nuremberg to not commit to the USMNT & I know that’s been hinted at previously as well from other sources.

      If Timmy was getting heat from his club, I don’t know that I would blame him for dragging his feet on this decision. It’s got to be awfully difficult as a 21/22 year old player to commit to something that your club has basically told you they don’t want you to do. Nuremberg is signing his paychecks, and I think we can all understand not wanting to piss your employer off. Maybe now he feels more established at his club, or maybe Jurgen has had enough time build a bridge with the leadership at Nuremberg. Either way, I’m wiling to accept Chandler back into the fold. The fact that JK has been willing to keep the door open for Chandler would seem to indicate that Timmy’s motives aren’t completely mercenary. I could just be talking out of my ass, but I’m willing to take Chandler at his word when he says this was a complicated decision that had a number of considerations that he needed to weigh and come to terms with before he could make a firm commitment.


      • Posted by justin on 2012/11/12 at 10:03 PM

        I agree. From Nuremberg’s perspective if they have a guy on the German national team, it generates alot more for them in money and club prestige, for having a guy on the national team. Even Chandler’s agent is probably telling him how much more money he would make over his career if he plays for “Die Mannschaft” compared to the USMNT.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/11/13 at 6:44 PM

          I tend to agree with Gregorio. Plus, when has Germany called him up to the senior 23?


    • Posted by union on 2012/11/12 at 7:14 PM

      Disagree in the strongest sense possible.


    • Posted by jesran on 2012/11/13 at 12:02 PM

      If we take home grown specimens (in general) we are swapping respect for country respect for soccer. I’m sure Chandler respects USA but Germany is first. Our guys in line respect soccer but growing up maybe other sports were first…

      I am appalled by the apathy for the soccer in our youth. They play it and we coach it but nobody really respects what they are doing, not like in Germany and many other places. Tim Chandler grew up in a culture of respect and honor for the game and it shows. He has payed his dues to the sport since he was young and is a craftsman on the ball. We all see that.

      Many of our home-grown defenders who will be lining the bench behind Timmy should have realized that their pride in country can be expressed putting pride in their soccer more seriously when they were younger. It’s now too late. This is the cruelty of soccer.

      The best they can do is learn the lesson from Timmy and spread the word when they get a chance to coach youth or influence the youth game in some way. Learn to love the sport when you are young or it gets too late when you are older. Most of our defenders look like Michael Jordan playing baseball next to Chandler who is a soccer player playing soccer…


  7. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/11/12 at 5:07 PM

    this roster is a look at the future. no dempsey or no donovan, wow. field marshall bradley will have to really step up and take control of this game. no doubt he will. wing play for the usa should dominate the day, and jozy….. please son, bring the “A” game.


    • Used to worry whether Bradley could handle the pressure of field marshalling–I don’t have that fear any more. I think having a solid D-midfielder behind him (Williams is my guy in this crew) gives Bradley the freedom to be the general and to be the box-to-box midfielder he is.


  8. Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/12 at 6:48 PM

    On Chandler I would like to see him sit this game and get cap tied in Feb. I feel like that would provide some sort of penance. Win back your spot. That said given the roster I am feeling confident he starts.

    I have been seeing (not necessarily here) people clamoring for a Gyau – Altidore – Gatt top 3 which I have to say is exciting to think about but I can’t I imagine JK flies Herc all the way to Russia for him not to play. Also starting Altidore doesn’t seem like a reasonable message after he was dropped to teach him a lesson.

    I really hope I get to see Gatt. Haven’t had a chance to see anything but YouTube clips.

    Thinking we see

    Boyd —- Herc
    Kljestian — Bradley — Gatt

    Agudelo for Herc very late
    Gayu for Klejstian around the 60 minute mark
    Mix for Bradley very late


    • Posted by justin on 2012/11/12 at 10:13 PM

      I’m sure we’ll see Dolo starting in the HEX at RB. It’s not like Stevie has been eking out reasonable performances. For the most part, he has been the top 2 or 3 players on the field each time we played in the qualifiers. Now that Klinsi knows how much experience is required in these Concacaf games be sured Dolo only losses his if Chandler can win it from him.

      Klinsi stated that he wanted to breed competition at every position. Outside of Fabian, Bradley, and Demps, I think the remaining players genuinely feel that they have to fight to keep their spots in the starting 11.


  9. Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/11/12 at 6:53 PM

    Btw. I got a lot of crap last roster for saying Lichaj wasn’t a starter for AV Since then three sub appearances including one he got subbed off and one start in the carling cup. He is only 23 so he can improve but right now he isn’t close to the USMNT.


    • Posted by Alex on 2012/11/13 at 12:52 AM

      He really needs to move away from Aston in my opinion. I don’t think he’s regarded as more than just a back up at both FB positions. Lambert went and purchased his guys for those spots


  10. Curious to not see Dempsey sitting this one out. Did he get a knock in the Man City game this past weekend I didn’t hear about? I’ve gotta admit, I don’t follow MLS as closely as the Euro leagues but how did Agudelo get back on the radar? Has he really been that impressive in his time with Chivas USA?

    I like that JK has brought in some new faces for this one. I’m anxious to see Gatt in particular. I’m almost a little disappointed that Chandler made himself available. I was gearing myself up to really dislike him and tell him to go the hell back to Loompa Land because he was pulling a Rossi.


    • Posted by Kevin_H on 2012/11/13 at 8:03 AM

      I don’t remember Dempsey getting any injuries. However, he has been playing 90 mins for Spurs and JK may be leaving him off so he can recuperate and contribute 100% to his club (he doesn’t seem to really fit in yet IMO). Plus it gives JK a chance to look at new faces.

      I imagine Agudelo’s always been on the radar, though I haven’t heard anything special about his club play either. As for Chandler, I don’t think we have enough talent at our disposal or even definitive reasons to blow him off.


      • Posted by SamT on 2012/11/13 at 12:17 PM

        This makes sense. And to it I would add… It seems like the right time to bring in Agudelo to let him know he’s not forgotten, and also to give him some time in camp to show what he can do. Likely similar thinking for Mix.


  11. Posted by union on 2012/11/12 at 7:09 PM

    Seems JK is giving the older guys a break. Dempsey, ‘Dolo, Donovan though Donovan is out bc of the MLS playoffs. Makes sense.

    I’m throwing out a hunch that the starting lineup will be: a 4-1-2-3. Set up as:



    I could also see Gomez starting for Jozy, but the speed of Gatt and Gyau will really help out Jozy (see: Charlie Davies years)


  12. Posted by Eric L on 2012/11/13 at 3:52 AM

    As someone who watches all of Molde FKs matches. I am pretty excited to see Gatt on the international level. I am not sure what to expect vs a much tougher opponent. Really hope he gets a chance to play in this one.


  13. Posted by Eric on 2012/11/13 at 9:26 AM

    Anyone have a thought on how this could work tactically if JK decides to play both Gyau and Gatt at the same time (presumably in the second half because I think it’d be insane to start them both with this little prep time)? Considering how wide both Gyau and Gatt like to play as wingers, it seems like they could be taking up some of the space that Chandler and Johnson like to make their runs out of the back into. I would think Klinsmann would either play them as inverted wingers (so that they have to cut inside) or tell them to stay a little more pinched in to keep that space open for his outside backs to get forward but with so little chemistry between these guys, it seems like a possibility.


    • Posted by union on 2012/11/13 at 11:44 AM

      I just think when you look at the roster, there are only two wingers on the team: Gyau and Gatt. I know that hasn’t stopped Jurgen before from doing things like playing Herc on the outside. And I could see Agudelo outside, but while he has more caps than Gyau/Gatt, he’s younger and hasn’t sniffed the national team in about a year – so its not as though he is any more equipped to jump into the side than Gyau and Gatt are.

      I dunno. I look at this team and see it as a chance for Jurgen to figure out what young kids he wants to bring along for the Hex. Who is ready and who isn’t. This is the last friendly before they play away in Honduras (a really tough game). I have to imagine he wants to see what Boyd, Gyau, Gatt, Mix can bring to the table.

      Last point on the wingers. If Donovan is as wishy-washy as he sounds…there are literally only about 4 realistic winger options in the player pool. Or players to provide width in general. Shea, Zusi, Gyau, Gatt. MAYBE Torres. Thats honestly it. Eddie Johnson too I guess. So 6 tops. But the future is clearly w/ Shea, Zusi, Gyau, Gatt. Hopefully at least two of those guys can distinguish themselves over the next 2 years.


      • Posted by Eric on 2012/11/13 at 11:51 AM

        I agree with you Union that this is his chance to try and get a look at some wingers, considering his system seems to need them and how thin we are at the position (especially with Donovan up in the air it seems).

        What I’m trying to get at is how the spacing for runs forward is going to work. Gatt in particular seems to stay tight on the side line, which is what you want for a winger, but it also might take away space from Chandler or Johnson making runs forward into the same space and reduce some of their effectiveness going forward.


        • Posted by union on 2012/11/13 at 12:15 PM

          I hear that. But I think that is overstated a bit from a tactical standpoint. I’m a Liverpool fan, so I’ll just use them as an example. (I know, I know – bad example in terms of offensive prowess). In the 3-3-4 Rodgers uses (typically uses – not all the time, but most of the time) – you have guys like Sterling, Suso, Borini or Downing as wingers. When Kelly, Enrique or Johnson make runs, they come inside. When they stay back, they hug the line. Thats just how it works in any functioning system. Most effective international squads have defenders who can make attacking runs. It shouldn’t have an effect on whether or not a coach puts a “true winger” (who adds width) on the field.


          • Posted by Eric on 2012/11/13 at 12:35 PM

            I’m not saying that it can’t work. I’m just curious to see how effective it will be. For all their raw talent, it’s hard to believe that Gatt and Gyau are great understanding this part of the game just yet at their age. I could be wrong but I’m interested to see how it all plays out.


            • Posted by Eric on 2012/11/13 at 12:43 PM

              I should clarify that I’m not saying that I expect this to be a huge issue for the US tactically. It’s just something in particular that I’m curious to watch and keep an eye on.

        • Posted by mbw on 2012/11/13 at 12:19 PM

          I’ve been wondering this also. There’s a reason Klinsmann has been playing guys like Zusi and Torres in those wide midfield positions, but then on the other hand we saw in the Scotland game how much an intelligent wing player can add to the attack. . . .


        • Posted by Eric L on 2012/11/13 at 12:19 PM

          I see what you are saying and I agree to some extent. But it could still work out. A player I like to compare Gatt to is Antonio Valencia. (poor man’s that is). The FB doesn’t always have to overlap though, if you watch Man United at all then you can see this with Rafael, who often cuts underneath as well as overlaps.

          The RB for Molde FK likes to get forward a bit as well so Gatt has some practice with this, and also Gatt has lined up at RB himself a few times this season so he can always track back.

          I am one who is happy Chandler is back, we will see how it works out I guess.


  14. Posted by mbw on 2012/11/13 at 10:57 AM

    An interesting subplot in the Timmy Chandler saga is that his return makes it viable to play Fabian Johnson as a winger down the road. You’d lose a lot of offensive production from the LB spot, but you’d also solve the left wing issue and, more important, you’d finally put Jozy in a position to succeed (esp. if Donovan becomes available as well).



  15. Posted by JGD on 2012/11/13 at 6:50 PM

    What I *expect* to see:



  16. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/11/13 at 7:20 PM

    Any news on Capello’s Russia? I know they’re flying high in their WCQ group, especially after beating Portugal.


    • Posted by mbw on 2012/11/13 at 9:33 PM

      I’m a little skeptical. The third best team in that group sits behind the entire CONCACAF Hex in the Elo standings. Plus I find it difficult to believe that a coaching switch has transformed what was, I think we’ll agree, a thoroughly mediocre Euros side in a matter of months. Just on the sight test I expect a pretty even match tomorrow. But we shall see.


  17. Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2012/11/13 at 10:45 PM

    Great to see Chandler, and the young wingers, but the main emphasis for me is the opportunity for JK to assess Boca’s ability to remain as a starter and the overall play of the defense. I think the continuity on offense will to be severely lacking. Hopefully we get a few shining individual moments that result in a sniff or two.


  18. Posted by Damon on 2012/11/14 at 8:01 AM

    Likely too radical a change but the team is set up very well to play a 3 man backline. Something like:


    Just with the thought if the best wide players in the lineup are full backs then go ahead and put the extra man on the backline to free them up to move forward. With Cameron having experience at RB with Stoke and Bocanegra having experience at LB then the team is not caught out of position if one of the wingbacks moves forward while the other stays back.


    • Posted by Kevin_H on 2012/11/15 at 2:07 PM

      It certainly looks a formidable team, especially if a better CB were to insert himself into the team (replacing Edu). I just worry the 3 CB’s would be too unfamiliar with the position and not know who (whom?) to cover, as I’ve seen with Man City this year when they experimented with the 3 man backline.


    • Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2012/11/25 at 2:26 PM

      Suicidal D


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