Klinsmann’s US Roster to Face Honduras

Welcome back, SK.

Welcome back, SK.

No real surprises in this one here and only a few minor takeaways.

First, the roster:

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals) – Detailed Roster

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa – 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton – 22/9 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander – 31/5), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 5/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg – 0/0), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders – 0/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim – 3/0), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg – 3/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma – 19/5), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 9/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 5/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 12/0), Jose Torres (Tigres – 9/0), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim – 4/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 3/0)

FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 17/6), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 26/10), Herculez Gomez (Santos – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders – 11/10)

Minor notes:

» Tough to read into a lot of these call-ins. This is a brutal qualifier. Three practices about; only two with the whole squad. A quick pop-up camp in Florida and then off to San Pedro Sula. You choose in-shape players with experience for these.

» Any glaring omissions? Maybe only Kyle Beckerman. The Real Salt Lake defensive mid, aside from being excellent against Canada, has been a valued member of Klinsmann traveling squad in the last three US qualifiers away. Additionally, he’s often called on late game in draw or win situations to hold the ball and play defense for the last five minutes or so.

A curious omission–perhaps now Beckerman is the defacto leader for Gold Cup 2013?

On absent name that you might read into? Clarence Goodson (TSG had him off the guess list). Goodson has been awful for the US, especially in games against high pressure competition on the road. His last game in Central America–against Guatemala was a nightmare. This may have been the last you’ve seen of the Danish league centerback.

» As expected Sean Johnson has supplanted Bill Hamid as the #1 young keeper. Johnson is unflappable and his errors in positioning and commanding has box should be able to be taught. Hamid stil has serious bouts with challenges under duress at this time.

» Say it with us: Brad Evans deserves to be here. You talk to MLS and national team players and the most popular answer you get when you ask them who the most underrated player in American soccer is and you get Brad Evans. I would say by a plurality of 40% over 20 answers. Evans is not a creator, but he’s, again, your Peanut Buter Guy, Klinsmann’s Spector. He’ll fill in wherever you need him and keep it sticky and smooth.

» You have to wonder who the late game changer is in this one. Might it only be Altidore? or might it be Eddie Johnson?

» Speaking of. No true target striker. Unless Klinsmann sees Altidore as willing and able to fit that role, it’s curious not to call in a Boyd, Agudelo or Gordon (though he’s admittedly not fit) for in case you have to play over the top ball for some reason.

89 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Spiritof76 on 2013/02/04 at 9:21 AM

    These games cap-tie Chandler, no?


  2. Posted by James H on 2013/02/04 at 9:25 AM

    Yes they do. Think I would have gone with Feilhaber over Torres. Glad to see Gonzalez getting a further look.


    • Posted by Jared on 2013/02/04 at 9:32 AM

      I would pick Torres over Feilhaber this time because Torres is supposed to be playing well for Tigres while Feilhaber hasn’t played a competitive game in 3 months.


      • Posted by dth on 2013/02/04 at 1:10 PM

        I wouldn’t pick Torres because he’s not any good. Knowing Klinsmann’s love for him (Torres as left back!), we’re probably only a few shoehorned attempts from Gringo Torres, Goalkeeper.


  3. Posted by PedroVB13 on 2013/02/04 at 9:31 AM

    I’d have taken Bornstein over Torres… Bornstein has actually done something good on the field for USMNT. (Along with the bad.)


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 9:47 AM

      You know what — all things be equal — that’s a very very good point.


      • Posted by Tab on 2013/02/04 at 1:59 PM

        So hopefully the following is polite and good-natured criticism…

        Torres is starting at a top Mexican side. Torres can move the ball in ways very few people in our player pool can. Unfortunately, he has also been played out of position almost every time under JK.

        Don’t you think he made a nice, understated contribution in the Columbus game against Jamaica — keeping the ball moving?

        There have been a number of games recently where Torres has underwhelmed. But he has great vision and technique, no?

        All in all, this strikes me as “not a good point.”

        I might be wrong. But in my heart of hearts, I suspect the jabs at Torres are about a greater preference for brawn and a more muted appreciation for passing and possession. We can agree to disagree on this…


        • Posted by Tab on 2013/02/04 at 2:02 PM

          Alternately: Have I just been way to serious. And missed sarcasm?


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 2:06 PM

          Tab, thanks for eloquently putting that. I think the paradox with that arguement is that if you look at the US midfield and, well, Klinsmann’s roots, it’s all defense first.

          I didn’t think Torres was particularly good against Jamaica because I think those around him played much better. The US had the initiative.

          There’s been a lot of conjecture–and hopefully true–that Torres has learned from his time with the US. As you see with EJ or DeMerit or etc, some players “realize” the entire game a little bit or get to where they’re going later.

          Hopefully Torres is experiencing that now. He and perhaps Benny are the only ones in the pool that you can consider 3-touch players. That is. They receive the ball, shift it and then find the right pass.

          Beckerman and Williams are more protect and distribute to the open man (not the scoring option). Bradley handles the ball out of necessity, but is used much more as a 2-touch player at Roma.

          Jermaine Jones would be a 2-touch player more focused on defense in a perfect world. Dempsey is a ball-stopper. Even Zusi and Klesjtan are slightly more 2-touch than 3-touch.

          Though Kljestan’s development has me interested in what he can do now since I haven’t seen many Anderlecht games.


          • Posted by Byrdman on 2013/02/05 at 7:25 AM

            Question: Is it possible for a guy who is naturally a two touch player to grow into a three touch guy?? I am wondering if Michael Bradley will grow into more of a creator time of guy with his time at Roma.


            • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/05 at 7:26 AM

              Not really. More of a mindset. Remember, that’s a loose definition and it’s more of a mindset. (Just my opinion here.)

      • Posted by Paul on 2013/02/04 at 8:43 PM

        Let’s not get crazy here. Look, as much love as Bornstein has received in these quarters, you have to admit his standard deviation of play is far higher than Torres’s. One minute Bornstein’s beating two men against Ghana, the next two minutes sees horrible positioning and inept covering. Torres may never have “done something good on the field” for the US (a point that I think can be disputed), but his average play for the US has been better.

        Further, one knows, from past club and national team play, what one gets when JT is in the game; for Bornstein, it was an entirely different matter. The players who play consistently well for country and not for club are very rare. Bornstein is not Giovani Dos Santos, a player who is consistently superior for his country side. (Benny might be an example for the US. But I leave that for the Benny supporters to prove.) His lapses in play were generally far more serious than JT’s as well.

        Contemporaneous club play + previous country play + (other psychological, physiological factors) (usually)= expected country play. This “equation” seems, to me at least, to be a good rough guide for choosing an international 18; it is also an equation that highlights why it makes sense to favor Torres over Bornstein.

        Very nice point about two-versus-three touch players. It would be helpful to see a distribution chart for Jones when he has played for the US versus when he has played for Schalke.


  4. Posted by Jared on 2013/02/04 at 9:43 AM

    Surprised that there are that many MLS guys considering that the season has been over for a few months. I guess only 2 will play though in Zusi and Johnson.

    I am excited to see new defensive players being brought along considering Boca’s days are definitely numbered. I don’t think that this game is the time to start Gonzalez over Boca but I hope it starts happening as the Hex moves along.


  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 9:51 AM

  6. […] USA 0 – Canada 0: The Titillating Retro Diary! Klinsmann’s US Roster to Face Honduras […]


    • Posted by justin on 2013/02/04 at 1:14 PM

      I’m surprised no is talking about Beckerman. He is a steady hand against alot of these concacaf foes. D. Will has played well at #6, however I wouldn’t crown him heir apparent. Lets not forget the Russia game mistake. In the words of G. Bush Jr.:

      “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again”


  7. Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/02/04 at 9:58 AM

    So once again Benny Feilhaber is snubbed!? BF possesses skillful touches, cool/calm demeanor under pressure with the ball at his feet, and has the ability to connect passes that unhinge defenses.

    If that doesn’t fit the “bill” for the type of CM JK’s style of play he supposedly wants to play than I don’t know who does.

    Selections over him:
    Jermaine Jones – I don’t quite get what JK sees in him. Yes he looks good versus the lower tier teams of Concacaf but when matched against quality he lacks pace and the ability to consistently help in the pass game.

    Jose Torres – JK seems to give him chance after chance…but he’s been inconsistent at best and is too easily dispossessed/muscled off the ball. ( BF is easily a better passer of the ball)

    Brad Davis – After his performance against Canada (especially compared to BF’s against the same team) I’m shocked to see him called up.

    Let’s delve deeper:
    Benny also provides experience, and has had shining moments for the US ie. his game winning blast from deep against Mexico in the 2007 Gold Cup final.

    He was also a part of the teams that had success at the Confederations Cup when they took silver ( held his own against the likes of Spain and Brazil) and the 2010 WC.

    He was one of the best players on the pitch over that time period IMO.

    Really confused as to why he is constantly looked over.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 10:01 AM

      I think with Klinsmann he wants guys who are 100% committed to the cause.

      I also think he probably didn’t want Benny to think he was going to waltz back onto the team with a decent performance against a Canada “C” team.

      The knock on Feilhaber has always been his defense and attitude.

      The knock on Kljestan, Feilhaber, Pearce has been their focus on things off the pitch.

      I think Feilhaber is going to have to prove it through some club games.

      Also, let’s be honest. Kljestan, Torres, and pretty much everyone else in the similar role he inhabits are in better game form.


      • Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/02/04 at 10:05 AM

        Also have to consider Benny was born in Brazil and most his family still lives there. I would expect him to have the drive and determination to appear in the 2014 WC.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 10:07 AM

          To be honest, I think that’s irrelevant. I don’t know one soccer player who a) wouldn’t be committed to making the World Cup squad and b) I don’t think that this changes a leopard’s stripes so to speak.

          Is it a leopard?


          • Posted by Union on 2013/02/04 at 10:31 AM

            I’m not a huge Jones guy, but lets not forget that he is a regular starter (in both league and UCL games) for one of the top teams in the Bundesliga. Not many players on the roster have his experience. And most US fans underrate his skill. That being said – does he make questionable decisions? Hell yes. Does he struggle against CONCACAF sides? At times. But look at the rest of the MF pool and tell me whos better? Definitely not Benny.


      • Posted by Jared on 2013/02/04 at 10:26 AM

        Feilhaber’s issues are clearly issues that he could fix with a little bit of hard work and an attitude adjustment. A player clearly doesn’t even have to be good at the defensive work in midfield as long as they put in the effort. It’s not like Torres can actually tackle anyone but he harries the ball while Feilhaber usually doesn’t. It drives me crazy when a player with so much talent doesn’t put in the effort to maximize it.

        All that being said if I was the coach and needed a player to come on and create/score a goal I would rather see Feilhaber on my bench than Torres. Torres would never try some of the stuff that Feilhaber has pulled off for the US and is a very predictable player at the international level.


        • I would say Benny’s desire is fine and has been for a while. He didn’t put up gaudy numbers in the MLS like we might have hoped, but he seemed to be working hard and played an awful lot of defense. His biggest problem at NE the last season and a half was losing his temper. He’d waste is energy complaining to and screaming at the officials and (to a lesser degree) his teammates. A team that needed a leader to keep them together in time of turmoil (new coach, Joseph traded, Rookie-ish CBs, GK turnover, bad season…) got only a string of tantrums.

          I wouldn’t say he embarrassed himself, he was usually right, but that’s not what the team needed and it probably hurt his chances to get call ups. I wish he had done better at NE, but for his sake (and the US team), I hope he does better with KC. There should be less of a focus on him, which could only help


          • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2013/02/04 at 12:24 PM

            The tantrums aren’t exclusive to his time in NE either. JK got to experience Benny’s meltdown in the Venezuela match last January as well. They were clearly clutching and grabbing on corners, but Feilhaber’s reaction went beyond voicing displeasure at times to radioactive meltdown.

            Don’t get me wrong, based on talent & performance, I’d agree that Feilhaber should be ahead of Torres in the pecking order. But his attitude probably hasn’t helped his chances much lately.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 10:01 AM

      Just playing devil’s advocate. To me, it’s perplexing how a player like Torres can keep getting called when Feilhaber has actually had a positive material impact on a US game.

      You cannot say the same about JFT.


      • My guess would be it’s because all 5 foot and 100 lbs of Torres shows a willingness to get stuck in, something Benny doesn’t often show.

        I go back and forth on Benny, he has his moments but his attitude during games towards officials and the other team hasn’t impressed me (speaking more to his MLS appearances).


      • I haven’t seen Torres play in awhile, but aren’t the reports that he’s in EXCELLENT club form lately? I honestly thought he had a few good games for the USMNT before he was injured. I think that plus Feilhaber’s previously mentioned discipline problems (am I crazy or did I see him in an extended complaint sequence to officials during the Canada match?) plus the fact that this will be a typical CONCACAF officiating fiasco dirty bunker-fest mean discipline and possession are probably even more valuable than usual and not the best showcase for Feilhaber’s strengths.

        In other words, I think Klinsmann trusts Torres and I don’t think Feilhaber has earned that yet.


        • Posted by ex_sweeper on 2013/02/04 at 4:47 PM

          I watched Torres play last weekend – the announcer remarked once that he didn’t seem to be on the same page with his teammates; other than that, I didn’t see much of note. He was the most fouled player for either team, didn’t have any really bad giveaways or killer passes that I noticed. Tigres did dominate possession, which is difficult to do against Tijuana, so that says something about Torres’ ball control.


    • Posted by Byrdman on 2013/02/04 at 5:46 PM

      How many different coaches are going to say no to Benny and his silky touches, before we all accept that there is much more to playing high level football than just being able to make that “killer pass in the final third”. And actually he hasn’t done that much lately either. Alot of people talk about the couple passes he made vs. Canada. But in this poor man’s opinion, they really weren’t all that. But then again, I sit on a couch and watch. So what do I know. enjoy the game!!


      • Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/02/04 at 5:58 PM

        I’d challenge you to watch any of the confederation cup games, or games from the 2010 WC and tell me he wasn’t one of the brightest players on the pitch and a perfect match in central midfield alongside Michael Bradley…or at least name one other player that can actually possess the ball in the midfield and spray the ball around with accurate passes. I’m tired of stone foot Jones, lackluster Torres, and back pass Beckerman. Or I mean we can continue to watch the team struggle to maintain possession against mediocre teams at best…to each their own


        • Posted by Byrdman on 2013/02/05 at 6:04 AM

          I agree concerning the Confed. cup. But that was almost 3 years ago. No one should ever doubt his ability. But Benny is selfish. When he wants to get mad and blame officials and sometimes teammates, he does. He rarely pressures the ball, and when he does, its usually a one swipe kind of deal. If he can’t handle poor or even biased officiating in MLS and especially a friendly vs. Venezuela, as someone above me said, “How is he going to handle the circus that is Central American football.

          As i consider some of the thoughts you have expressed and others about him being the best attacking option we might have off the bench, I think I agree that bringing him in for the next home game is a good option.


          • Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/02/05 at 6:12 AM

            That’s a fair assessment, I’m not ignoring the fact he lets his emotions get the best of him and yes his defensive work rate can definitely use improvement (which obviously has been main reasons why coaches have left him of teams) That’s why I think he’s well paired with Michael who’s work rate is off the charts and in certain games they were paired together it seemed to rub off on Benny alittle bit when he saw Bradley showing some real hustle. Not saying he became a defensive guru but I saw flashes of some defensive intensity.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/02/05 at 6:54 AM

          Klinsmann wants to play at a much higher intensity. Do you think Klinsmann has seen something in training that makes him believe he does not have the necessary technique and speed of thought to cope?
          Many players are two-touch players; but are they when getting aggressively pressed or in a tight space or when you have to play faster – how much does their technique suffer?


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/05 at 6:57 AM

            Quite a bit. I think you’re going to see a Guatemala match for the US. And I think that roster selection save players that weren’t available back a few years ago or are German looks identical to Bob Bradley’s.


  8. Posted by Union on 2013/02/04 at 10:38 AM

    I agree that Feilhaber deserve a shot if JFT does, but I mean, look at the roster pool. Outside of the top ..maybe…8 guys (Bradley, Deuce, Howard, Jozy, F. Johnson, Chandler, Boca, Cameron) – has anyone really cemented themselves as a “must” to call up for important games? So many of these guys are interchangeable.


    • No one else seems to be concerned by the lack of wide players in this roster. That’s one thing that’s really been hurting the team going forward. The only players I see that truly like to attack down the wing are Fabian and Chandler. Davis plays on the left side but finds most of his success when he pinches in and links up with others. Zusi can play out on the wing, but then again, anyone can play left back as well. When offensively the USMNT is one dimensional, it typically hasn’t ended well.

      Also in midfield I can’t help but echo the frustration with Jones. However I dont necessarily think it’s entirely his fault. Jones is often either tasked to lead the offense or he thinks he can put the team on his back. Either way the frustration is more because anytime I see Bradley and Jones start in midfield the wrong player decides to lead the attack.


  9. I’m pretty satisfied with these selections – might’ve rather seen Agudelo in the striker pool as it seemed Eddie was pretty uninspired in the Canada game, but hoping that was a hiccup as he’d shown really well prior to that.

    REALLY excited to see Bradley – feel like his play goes up a level a month at this point.


    • Posted by Union on 2013/02/04 at 12:31 PM

      What is the starting lineup going to be?

      I’ll be amazed of Jozy doesn’t get the start based upon his club form. Does Demspey partner with him up front or play the 10?


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 12:37 PM

        Preview will be out tomorrow. I highly doubt that Jozy starts, but I’m wrong all the time.


      • You know, I’ve been down on Jozy the last couple of years, but it really feels like it might finally be his time (or I’ve caught some sort of Dutch optimism flu).

        That said, I think Klinsi’s going to be fairly conservative in Honduras and stick with Gomez up front in the opener and then give Jozy the start at home in March. I have no evidence for this, I’m just imagining some scenario where we barely eek out a 2-1 in Honduras and then Jozy goes off for a hat trick against Costa Rica and we’re all super happy.

        So, Gomez lone striking (sort of) with Dempsey poaching behind. I think back four will be Johnson – Boca – Cameron – Chandler.

        Midfield I’m a little stuck, though I’m betting he’ll go with some combination of Bradley – Jones – Edu – Torres, especially considering Edu’s suddenly getting minutes.

        Don’t ask me to draw that, though, especially in the middle. The surprising go for broke version of this might be Jozy partnering with Gomez and Dempsey still sitting behind. Is Davis a wildcard in the midfield, too? Bad showing against Canada, but I think Klinsmann might’ve liked some things he saw in camp and set pieces are going to be huge in this one


  10. Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 12:09 PM

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 12:10 PM

      Note (for newbies). Links are generally frowned upon in the forum, unless they are news-oriented and add to the commentary.

      Links to “other roster prediction” pieces are discouraged as we want to maintain the voices in this forum and drive community here.


    • Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/02/04 at 12:20 PM

      Good read, thanks for post. Nice to get some insight on what JK thinks of Benny.


    • Posted by Hunt Daddy on 2013/02/04 at 12:43 PM

      Nice article from Steve. As I was reading I found myself interchanging Benny’s name with JFT’s and I felt like it perfectly described his appearances with USMNT last year (1st half against Scotland maybe being the exception): fading out of the game, low work-rate, inconsistency. If Benny can match Torres’ reported improvement at the club level I see him supplanting Torres in the squad immediately.


  11. Posted by MattO on 2013/02/04 at 12:20 PM

    There a whole lot of zero’s behind the defenders’ respective names.

    If Bocanegra is omitted, Sacha K. has more caps than than all of the US’s defenders combined. That’s painfully thin on experience.


  12. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/02/04 at 12:42 PM

    I like the subtle but effective use of WCQ caps, rather than total caps. Gently reminds us all that there is not a lot of experience, especially for a tricky away game in a hostile atmosphere.

    What do you think Klinsmann’s approach will be: win or don’t lose (if that makes sense in a formation / personel /risk assessment way)?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 12:46 PM

      I’m sure that was a Klinsmann move (it was in the original email disseminated to media) — meaning, none of you have much experience.

      Or it could just camouflage that Landon Donovan is not there.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/02/04 at 1:13 PM

        It really is a pity that Holden and Gonzales had injuries – I am sure they would have featured during the 3rd round of WCQ during 2012.
        I still expect at least a point, but i think this team has goals in them. Clean sheet would be nice too (or am I being greedy?).


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 1:56 PM

          The US will score a goal–likely through something Clint Dempsey does–and they’ll either come close to a clean sheet or concede at least one through Carlos Bocanegra gone walkabout.

          I mean, if I had a gun to my head.


    • Posted by justin on 2013/02/04 at 1:10 PM

      I think klinsi’s approach will be the “don’t lose” approach. I think one of the key factors will be how well the bradley, jj, and williams will be able to keep the ball in the center, because espinoza’s going to be trying to disrupt their rhythm like a man on fire.

      Hopefully all three will be locked in a room together with a ball until they can move and pass to each other in their sleep. Bradley and JJ have still not shown the kind of cohesiveness they need to posses it consistently in the middle.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 1:58 PM

        I don’t think you’re going to see Jones, Bradley or Williams keep the ball. And if I had to be I think you’re going to see it only being Bradley with some occasional Jones who’s on ball and not moving it immediately.

        I don’t necessarily expect Guatemala type pressure here–Honduras won’t be able to sustain it–but I expect a similar strategy for the US.

        That is, survive the initial energy onslaught of La H. Let fitness win out over the 2nd half and gain a goal. Hold on.


  13. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/02/04 at 12:59 PM

    Formation fun: (Disclaimers: 1) I do not like Jermaine Jones, but he offers bite and energy, and Klinsmann is going to start him. 2) These try to account for likely Klinsmann starters not just my wishes)

    4-4-2 diamond

    Changes: Zusi/Davis for Clint-Clint for EJ; Edu/Williams for Jones-Jones for FJ-FJ for Castillo



    Changes: Davis/Torres for EJ


    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/02/04 at 1:05 PM

      I just think of Slovenia in 2011. I remember FJ having a great game flying down the wing, cutting in, etc.


    • Posted by Union on 2013/02/04 at 6:07 PM

      I think the 2nd option is most likely.

      Regarding Fabian (and I know this will never happen for now), the guy is a great left back, but he is also a great left winger (which was the position he grew up playing). He would be the best winger option the US has if JK put him there. The problem is that, well, we don’t have a left back that plays anywhere near as well as FJ does.


  14. Posted by justin on 2013/02/04 at 1:01 PM

    I really think one of the questions is who could better help the team on the field: Torres or Davis? Both left sided deep lying center mids, who won’t really be used in the game as a left winger.

    Could be a look at which of these two go to the Gold Cup and which stay with the big boys.

    And in the end I think Sascha gets on the field before both of them… so maybe the question doesn’t matter after all is said and done.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 2:00 PM

      I think Davis is a much smarter player and more willing to get stuck-in where Torres is clearly better on the ball, especially in tight space and can play the ball ont he floor better under duress.

      Probably for the US is that I don’t see a solution (EJ? Omar end of game?) on set pieces for that “The Davis Left Foot”


      • Davis is also a Kinnear disciple, i.e. full on workrate for 90 minutes. Though workrate is the least of Torres’ issues IMO.


  15. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/02/04 at 1:33 PM

    How has Danny Williams’ form been?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 1:55 PM

      Somewhere between not good and “close your eyes.”


      • Posted by Union on 2013/02/04 at 2:07 PM

        Has anyone actually watched him play? Not many Hoffenheim games on. Though I do know he has been riding the bench.


      • Posted by justin on 2013/02/04 at 2:16 PM

        he struggled at times in the Russia friendly to say the least.

        I typed it earlier and I’ll do it again:

        fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again


    • Posted by Kirk on 2013/02/04 at 2:17 PM

      He’s been coming off the bench for Hoffenheim for at least a few games lately. Hasn’t been a penciled in starter.


  16. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/02/04 at 2:11 PM

    Assuming Klinsmann goes with one “outright” striker, Altidore vs. Gomez as a target forward?


  17. Posted by Alex on 2013/02/04 at 2:23 PM

    I going to assume that this as our starting line-up. Howard; Chandler, Cameron, Bocanegra, F. Johnson; Edu/Williams, Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Alitdore/Gomez, Zusi/E. Johnson.

    Toss ups are whether:
    Edu is rounding into form for Burasapor, Williams has started to pull himself out of his rut
    Who Klinsmann prefers out of Altidore and Gomez. I would think that Altidore is in better form but Klinsmann does seem to prefer Gomez’s pressing and energy.
    And whether his 3rd true attacker is going to be the aggressive 1v1 Johnson, or the calmer passer in Zusi. I didn’t feel that either excelled into must start territory after the Canada match. Another thought is both Gomez and Altidore starting and both Zusi and Johnson sitting.


  18. No Jonathan Bornstein? Come on!


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/04 at 4:04 PM

      Who is this?!!!


      • Bornstein is the prince of Honduras. A little token of Jurgen’s appreciation and a roster inclusion would have been the diplomatic thing to do….

        In all seriousness- two things:

        1) Youth in the back, sure, but a young group as some have suggested? Hardly. This is a team getting older, even without Landon Donovan. And no less than Altidore, Bradley, Bocanegra, Howard, Edu and to some extent Jones and Gomez have been through these tricky central american qualifiers before. For the guys who are new- you have to start somewhere.

        2) Nice sentiments on Brad Evans, and I suppose they have some merit if we’re simply talking about roster inclusion (I think we are- the comments have snowballed!!). He has not/does not deserve to see the field here though- most his versatility is shared by Maurice Edu, who tends to play well against anyone not better than the United States, and all we’ve seen is Canada. Even if that was an outlier of a poor performance- it’s bad to make your first impression be the outlier a week from a venue like Wednesday against a good team.

        Keep up the good work, gents.


  19. I find it funny we are discussing why this player or that player didn’t get called up for 1 WC qualifier. In the end, Feilhaber will play this year be it in WC qualifiers or Gold Cup team. Why is no one crying bloody murder for Corona? How about Gatt? Agudelo? Bruin?

    I’ve gone away from worrying about his JK calls in and more about getting Ws.

    Reality is that as we get closer to May, JK & company will need to address who they plan to have on the WC qualifying roster and those playing in the Gold Cup roster… alll the players we’ve spoken about will be playing in either June, July, September, and October.

    Does anyone believe this is the WC roster for the entire year? I don’t.


    • The single game and the three-day camp is probably a big part of that. You need experience here, especially going on the road for 3 of your first 4 games…we need to come out of these 4 games with no less than 5 (gun to my head, that’s what we get: two draws, a win, and a loss in Mexico) and preferably at least 7 points, I’d say, to be in a tenable position going forward.


  20. Posted by twh on 2013/02/04 at 5:41 PM

    I’m kinda new at this but here goes-

    There’s not much practice time for this match, so I bet JK fields a line-up pretty close to the Antigua and Guatemala matches.

    Chandler–Cameron–Boca—F. Johnson
    –Zusi——————————E Johnson

    Sounds like JK is giving Feilhaber the same treatment he gave Jozy last fall- a bit of tough love to motivate him. This call-up is only for one match, anyway. They’ll be two at a time later on, right?

    BTW, nice site.


  21. Posted by mark on 2013/02/04 at 6:42 PM

    I think Jozy will get the start along with Clint, because of his form and partly also in acknowledgement for how well he dealt with the recent racial incident. Don’t want to see an overly defensive midfield including Jones, Bradley AND Edu. I haven’t been a big Klesjtan fan, but I’d give him the start in place of Edu and move Jones back in front of the back line. I’m curious to see whether Klesjtan’s season at Anderlecht will make him more effective in gritty games like this, using his passing skill to break down a defensive, physical opponent. That said, I doubt he’ll get the start here given his lack of experience at the national level.


  22. Posted by dude on 2013/02/04 at 9:32 PM

    Gatt and/or Diskerud. This roster, even more than it needs wide players, needs difference makers. Gatt’s speed kills, and Mix has a goal and an assist in three appearances- because he’s an x-factor. Zusi, Davis, and Klejstan are solid players, but solid players don’t help you when you’re down 1-0 on the road in CONCACAF.


    • Posted by John mosby on 2013/02/04 at 10:20 PM

      That’s why the objective is not to be down 1 nil. Maybe people could be reminded that Sacha is a difference maker and you go back to the most recent qualifiers to see him hook up with Alan Gordon, who hooked up with EJ, who won USA a crucial game. All of these players on this roster are capable of changing a game.


      • Posted by dude on 2013/02/04 at 10:49 PM

        That objective is going to be jeopardized by Boca’s slow legs and this team’s complete lack of momentum. And there’s a reason why they don’t credit secondary assists, giving Klejstan credit for a pass by Gordon is beyond generous. All these players? Please. Did you see them play Canada? They’re hardworking guys lumped into an unbalanced formation with a razor thin margin for error. Do you remember who were playing when Klejstan supposedly saved us all? Antigua and Barbuda. Honduras are at least twice as good. Mexico is five times as good. I still have faith that Bradley, Howard, Dempsey, and Jozy can prove the difference, but if we do go down, we’re in serious trouble with this group.


        • Posted by John mosby on 2013/02/04 at 11:45 PM

          Oh dude, Sacha started the first game of the hex four years ago In the center with junior, and the USA won dos a zero, and they were not playing no A&B. the captain might get exposed tomorrow, but then again, he might just surprise you and show some real guile and composure. My money is on him being the glue.

          Dude what makes you think mix can get it done when he could not even help navigate USA out of Olympic qualifying, against the little brothers of two teams that are not even representing in this 6 team tournament?


    • Posted by JW on 2013/02/04 at 11:16 PM

      I like those guys going forward, maybe even making a 2014 squad should we get there (no jinx!), but taking them to a road qualifier in Central America as an introduction to qualifying? No. However, I really want to see these guys at the Gold Cup when the WCQ crew is resting.

      I think you’re hinting at a good point, though – the only real goal-scorer in that midfield, at this level, is Bradley. Zusi finds the net for club sometimes, and I prefer Dempsey playing out wide and pinching in, running behind the play – but that’s it. An opponent might worry about this midfield being very hard to break down, but not worry about getting scored on. It’s going to let defenses stay more compact. A 4141 with the wings cutting in could help overload the center, as long as the CF can draw both CBs, something like:

      Dempsey -Torres – Zusi – EJ
      Fab – Boca – Cameron – Chandler


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2013/02/05 at 7:22 AM

      The risk-taker in me would have liked to have seen Gatt as an impact substitute, obviously getting playing time would be situational. But I think width will come from the full backs. They just need to be smart and not bomb forward simultaneously.

      Regarding Bocanegra’s slow legs, it will be interesting to see high how the defensive line is. And how assymetric it is *in possession* of the ball. Obviously this will determine how the midfield band are positioned and how the team press.


    • Posted by s44 on 2013/02/05 at 5:36 PM

      On what basis are you labeling these kids “difference makers”? They’re prospects who haven’t broken through at international level. Remember who made the difference last time? Hype-free Conor Casey.

      There’s only one difference-maker not making this trip, and it’s his own choice.


  23. Posted by suckhole on 2013/02/05 at 8:57 AM

    Did someone actually suggest taking Bornstein? Even if he is the last option off the bench, no U.S. team will win anything meaningful if he is on the roster. Period.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/02/05 at 8:59 AM

      Because the US didn’t beat Algeria with one of Bornstein’s better games. Or they didn’t win last time in this very stadium where Bornstein was probably the 2nd best of the four on the backline. Bornstein is too often the whipping boy for a US defensive strategy that tasked him with quite too much.


  24. Posted by SamT on 2013/02/05 at 9:09 AM

    Good to step back sometimes and take in the progress the USMNT has made over the past 10+ years.

    Considering a possible 4231 lineup of Altidore | Dempsey Jones Gomez| Bradley Williams | Johnson Boca Cameron Chandler | Howard… that’s one hell of a lineup, even without Donovan in it.

    In order: top tier scorer in Holland, attacking midfielder on contender in EPL, Champions league midfielder BLiga, top tier scorer in Mexico, midfield engine at Champs League contender in SerieA, defensive midfielder in BLiga, top tier left back in BLiga, veteran European central defender, EPL defender/defensive midfielder, BLiga right back, vet keeper for Champions League contender. All starters on their teams.

    Unprecedented in the history of the US program. I think back to Reyna’s days at Sunderland and Rangers. Back then we maybe had two guys playing at this level. To have 11 (and no slouches on the bench, either) is notable.


  25. […] It’s fun to sit and laugh at these people. We in the northwest get to see a lot of Brad Evans and generally we all know how good he is and what he’s capable of doing out on the pitch. With that in mind I wish to share with you a non-Sounder opinion, taken from the classic site, The Shin Guardian: […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: