Debate: Klinsmann’s US Roster To Face Costa Rica, Mexico Due Monday

Jurgen Klinsmann will debut the US squad for two vital qualifiers tomorrow morning.

Here’s a look at who might be on that list Monday. We did not confine the list to a set number so expect less names tomorrow.

Again, as always, this who Klinsmann might pick–not who TSG would.

My time!

My time!

G: Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson

The skinny: Guzan is the #1 with Tim Howard ailing and Nick Rimando the back-up. Rimando’s experience in altitude and in CONCACAF will come in handy should Guzan take an unfortunate knock. Bill Hamid’s been the best keeper in MLS this season, but Sean Johnson–with a terrific effort against Sporting KC this weekend–gets the nod as he’s the third incumbent currently.

DEF: Tim Chandler, Geoff Cameron, Carlos Bocanegra, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler, Alfredo Morales.

The skinny: This is troubling for the States. Off the name above, only Timmy Chandler is on form right now and his last time in the Waldos wasn’t exactly spectacular. Cameron is back in the line-up for Stoke City after a hiccup–the Potters registered a shutout this weekend as well. Of course, Steve Cherundolo and Edgar Castillo are out for the States with injuries.

Omar Gonzalez–your likely starter again–was okay in the Galaxy’s draw as was Matt Besler against Chicago a week after having a poor outing in Toronto. One has to wonder if Jeff Parke or Justin Morrow–January camp participants will be given a look at here at all also.

MF: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Maurice Edu, Jose Torres, Kyle Beckerman

The skinny: No true surprises here. Klinsmann goes with tried and true–even if that means Jose Torres might get some playing time.

FW: Clint Dempsey, Graham Zusi, Eddie Johnson, Herculez Gomez, Alejandro Bedoya

The skinny: The Costa Rica game for the States is precisely what you want a fit Clint Dempsey for. Alas, Deuce just made his return to Tottenham this Sunday, subbing in in the Spurs 1-0 loss to Fulham. He may go the distance, but it’s not likely. Eddie Johnson will likely be employed in the left-side “swing forward” role. Tasked with playing defense ahead of Fabian Johnson and then pushing up high on the left. Johnson, of course, excelled centrally at striker for Seattle this past weekend his more natural role (that said, EJ also looked painful in that striker role during the January camp friendly against Canada.)

Herculez Gomez has been firing and the Yanks are sure to glad to see it while both Graham Zusi and Joe Corona have played good club ball of late.

No Shea or Gatt call-in, though pulling in one of the two (esp. Gatt.) would seem to make a ton of sense as a variable off the bench.

STR: Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo

The skinny: Altidore is burning up the Dutch league, but he’s been profiting off the creation and hold-up play of others. The US will ask him to play with his back to the basket again which may work against an inferior central defense of Costa Rica but would be challenging against El Tri.

Juan Agudelo looks to be renewed under new Chivas USA coach El Chelis. Remember, Agudelo already has 17 caps to his name.

17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by streetsweeper on 2013/03/17 at 9:50 PM

    Can someone explain to me why this is a bad idea for a front six?

    Altidore – Dempsey
    Gomez – Jones* – Bradley – Zusi

    *Note, I would not start Jones, but I am operating under the assumption that Klinsmann will never bench him.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/17 at 10:10 PM

      Don’t think it’s bad at all given Costa Rica’s formation (more on that Tuesday). It’s just Jurgen Klinsmann has never played with a double pivot — he’s always played with a lone holder.


  2. Posted by Sam Antonio on 2013/03/17 at 11:16 PM

    Alejandro Bedoya? Why????


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 12:36 AM

      The US desperately needs a wide threat from a player who can track back. Bedoya has those skills. Just a hunch in that Klinsmann is not ready to give a role to Gatt so maybe he goes Bedoya.


  3. Posted by twh on 2013/03/18 at 5:00 AM

    I would expect Kljestan in place of Beckerman.


  4. Posted by Eric on 2013/03/18 at 5:07 AM

    Just a thought, but I think the Seattle game in the CCL showed why Klinsmann has been putting Johnson wide. He was exceptional starting centrally for Seattle and then drifting wide (usually left) to receive the ball in the flank and then run at the opposing defense.


  5. I think Pontius gets the call this time, and hopefully doesn’t get hurt answering the phone or on his way to the airport.


  6. Posted by Josh on 2013/03/18 at 7:34 AM

    Why is there always such emphasis – at least in blogs & media – on who’s “in form”? How about what combination of fit players gives the US the best chance to win, period?

    Last I checked most if not all starters v Honduras were in form, yet the Catrachos ran circles around the lads (particularly the midfielders) like they were, well, not in form. I know the sultry temps and heavy American legs had much to do with that – then again there were more than a few Honduran starters who arrived from cold Europe, just like the Americans?

    I know soccer is different than other sports, and other than the obvious – you shouldn’t select players riding the bench, who’s confidence is shot, etc. – I only partially understand the emphasis on being in form for national team selections. But the more I consume soccer and learn – the more I think it’s about choosing the best player-pieces to form the best team puzzle.


    • Posted by mbw on 2013/03/18 at 7:43 AM

      Amen. (Only two of Honduras’s starters — Figueroa and Espinoza — were coming from Europe, but this actually buttresses your point: The fact that most of the Honduras starters didn’t have to cross all those time zones might have outweighed the fact that more than a third of them were in preseason “form.”)


      • Posted by twh on 2013/03/18 at 7:47 AM

        Three starters, I think. Costly plays in Greece. And most of the Honduran team had been together for 2-3 weeks in late January playing the Central American Cup tournament. That was probably the biggest factor in their win.


        • Posted by mbw on 2013/03/18 at 9:30 AM

          Totally missed Costly — thanks for the correction. And I agree, obviously, about the importance of the Central American Cup, though I also think the outcome had a lot to do with a subpar performance by the US.


  7. Posted by Steven on 2013/03/18 at 7:40 AM

    I would love to see Beasley get called in. He has been playing consistently and well in Mexico. For team that has few battle-tested players in WCQ, I don’t see anyone with more experience than Beasley.


  8. Posted by twh on 2013/03/18 at 7:44 AM

    Announcement delayed ’till 1EDT “due to injuries”. Spector’s manager said Spector was going to be going until he got hurt. Fabian didn’t play this weekend. JK desperately looking for a phone number for N. E. Boddy who will be starting at left back.


  9. Posted by Josh on 2013/03/18 at 7:44 AM


    More contrarian: what about the approach of choosing players who aren’t worn down from the grind of long European seasons? Choosing some players who’ve only recently begun their seasons? I

    I know we’re talking about world-class athletes generally playing one game per week – but perhaps the Hondurans ran circles around the Americans because they were much better rested being in MLS off season?


  10. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/03/18 at 8:38 AM

    Here is a Formation thought for Costa Rica:


    Bench: Dempsey, Edu, Parkhurst, Eddie Johnson, Boca, Beasley, Rimando

    Other thoughts: Chandler has been playing right midfield, maybe move him there? Cameron hasn’t really featured in Central D for Stoke.

    Alternative 3-4-3 I would like to build to one day, but we are definitely not ready to play:



  11. Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2013/03/18 at 9:01 AM

    I wonder if Torres’ recent form gives him another shot at ACM. Against Costa Rica at home, put Deuce all the way up top. Supported by Corona on the left, Torres in the middle and Herc on the right…skill and high soccer IQs. MB and Jones behind….. 4-2-3-1 defensively, transitioning to 4-3-3 on the attack. We need to get away from Deuce as the ACM…


  12. Posted by Josh on 2013/03/19 at 6:44 AM

    Is it me or does anyone else have that sinking concern, that this could be the first time in a long time we don’t qualify for the WC? New coach/approach, constantly improving CONCACAF competition, bad luck (rash of injuries right now) … leads to legitimate concern. I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if US record is 0-3 leaving Azetca.

    Trying not to be negative just realistic.


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