Klinsmann’s 23-Man Roster To Face Costa Rica, Mexico

And there you have it.

No cards and good passes, okay?

No cards and good passes, okay?

Klinsmann’s crew to face Costa Rica in Colorado and Mexico at the Aztecz.


G: Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, Sean Johnson

DEF: Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Clarence Goodson, Justin Morrow, Tony Beltran

MF: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Joe Corona

FW: Clint Dempsey, Graham Zusi, Eddie Johnson,

STR: Jozy Altidore, Herculez Gomez, Terrence Boyd

Note: The official roster listed the following squad members as out:

Edgar Castillo (facial fractures), Timmy Chandler (hamstring), Steve Cherundolo (knee), Tim Howard (back), Fabian Johnson (hip), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Jose Torres (hamstring) and Danny Williams (illness

108 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Golkipa on 2013/03/18 at 10:23 AM

    I like what your auto-correct did there.


  2. Posted by Tyler on 2013/03/18 at 10:26 AM

    No Timmy Chandler according to ussoccer.com.


  3. Posted by PedroVB13 on 2013/03/18 at 10:28 AM

    Terrence is undoubtedly a fit individual, however calling him “Body” might be going a bit far.

    I think this is about as good as we can get considering the ‘injury/not wanting to play yet ‘ situation.


  4. Can we get a WWE announcer to announce him as Terrence ‘The Body’ Boyd?


  5. Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/18 at 10:37 AM

    The bad – Seeing Goodson at CB (he looked bad even before he was out of favor with his club… would rather have Edu as CB)
    Dempsey looked very rusty (in loss vs. Fulham on Sunday)

    The good – Plenty of in form forwards available in Gomez, Jozy and Boyd.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 10:39 AM

      Goodson should not see the field. It’s that simple.


      • Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/18 at 10:42 AM

        Why even bring him instead of someone like George John than? I wonder if the scouts have even watched Goodson play this year… he is awful


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 10:49 AM

          I think George John is probably to slow at the international level. He struggles with speed at MLS level.


          • gotta keep rolling with gonzo/geo if you ever think this team is going to the next level, no?


            • Posted by evan on 2013/03/19 at 9:17 AM

              no mention of Mike Orozco Fiscal? he’s starting in Mexico, he can play centerback or fullback, and he scored in Azteca last time out…

  6. So normally I limit myself to one, maybe two beers during a game. The upcoming game at the Azteca might make me completely disregard my usual rule.

    We cannot play a 4-3-3 with this side. We struggle to get width from our fullbacks against good teams at the best of times and now we are down to third and fourth string options at best (seriously, where the PISS is Eric Lichaj?) and will have little to no ability to let our backs get forward…not that I’ve seen much from any of these guys. My guess? Klinsy takes a BB approach, doubles down on banks of four and hopes to steal a point in Mexico.


    • Posted by JW on 2013/03/18 at 10:49 AM

      LIchaj – not even riding pine the past two matches. I don’t think he’s injured, but I don’t know for sure. Mo Edu and Beas have made cameo appearances at the wingback positions, and even though Beas had a rough go the last time, he can at least provide some covering speed against Mex………. the non-spin room version is “we’re boned.”


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 11:04 AM

      I’m about the biggest Lichaj apologist there is, but he hasn’t even made the 18 for Villa for over a month. There is no way he can get called in, even in a situation like this unfortunately.


    • Posted by dude on 2013/03/18 at 3:39 PM

      We don’t play a 4-3-3. We did in the win against Italy, but not lately. To be honest, I’m not sure what to call it. We appear to have two forwards (one playing far out to the left) three DM’s with Zusi being Zusi tucked in on the right. We play with four defenders and a goal keeper. The rest is ridiculous.


  7. Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/18 at 10:46 AM

    On another note, I really like Boyd’s desire to be involved with the fans and his attitude towards representing U.S.A.


  8. Posted by Alex on 2013/03/18 at 10:49 AM

    I need a drink, anybody else need a drink?


  9. Posted by Ufficio on 2013/03/18 at 10:55 AM

    On one hand, it’s hard to blame Klinsmann for the clusterf*ck of injuries at outside back. On the other, he could have been grooming young players at those positions for over a year instead using center backs and central midfielders for cover while waiting for Chandler to commit to the program.


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 11:01 AM

      I have no idea why Sheannon Williams hasn’t been called in to any of the friendlies the last two years? He’s one of if not the best RB in MLS. A good back-up certainly in a situation like this if he would have received experience in camp. Not impressed at all with Beltran or Morrow.


      • Posted by Alex on 2013/03/18 at 9:02 PM

        I agree with you 100%. Williams is a better RB than Beltran is. All I noticed from Beltran is slow decision making and lack of crossing. I’d say they are equal defenders


  10. Posted by KHRiZZY on 2013/03/18 at 10:58 AM

    Im a huge futbol fan, im italian but born in the us. I tend to find myself routing for the US more often than not. Yet since the klinsmann era began I havent seen a roster selection that makes me think we can compete at the WC. I have zero confidence in his tactics and system. I find his player selection highly suspect. If we qualify, key word “if” ; there is no shot we make it out of the group stage in Brazil with the player pool he seems to be infatuated with. May be time to cut ties completely until the new regime cause I’m not impressed. Forza Italia?…


    • Posted by t on 2013/03/18 at 12:45 PM

      I am starting to think you are on to something. I hope you are wrong but in my heart I believe you are right.


    • I wish it were that easy for me. The USMNT is like a frustrating child who’s entering their rebellious teenage years…they find ways to piss you the eff off and break your heart but you still love them no matter how much it pains you to do so.


  11. Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/18 at 10:59 AM

    Ok, let’s just scrap the roster and call up our entire U20 team…


  12. Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 11:02 AM

    I heard about all of the injuries… except… when did Tim Chandler get “injured” this time?


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 11:03 AM

      Actually I hadnt heard Torres was injured either. I had heard he has been playing well.

      I’d like to see Corona vs Costa Rica. He’s been playing well.


  13. Posted by dth on 2013/03/18 at 11:03 AM

    This could get very ugly. Chance of 0 points in the next two matches. What are the backup plans?

    I’m thinking Kinnear as the best of the bunch in the “rescue” sense. (Or possibly Arena, but I assume he and Sunil are still on outs; and at any rate he’s been there, done that.)


  14. Posted by dth on 2013/03/18 at 11:05 AM

    I’m liking 4-4-2 for this bunch, something like:

    Guzan; Morrow, Gonzalez, Cameron, Beltran; Beasley, Jones, Bradley, Zusi; Dempsey, Altidore


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 11:12 AM

      I can go with that. I have been calling Gomez to sit the last few games, but I would like to see him since he is on a hot streak again. Not sure about Dempsey’s fitness. I wouldn’t mind a crazy attacking blitzkreig 4-3-3 vs Costa Rica. Keep Costa Rica on their heels the whole game. Absolutely must get 3 points in that game.


    • Posted by Alex on 2013/03/18 at 11:24 AM

      I’ve given up on even trying to predict what Klinsmann will roll out.


    • Posted by mbw on 2013/03/18 at 11:30 AM

      I get painful Gold Cup 2011 flashbacks every time someone even mentions the MB-JJ double pivot.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 11:43 AM

        That was all about spacing with the backline. If the US wants to play a double pivot they have to play a highline which may work against Costa Rica unless Arrieta starts (which he won’t.)

        The double pivot will be good for covering over inexperienced fullbacks, but that is definitely too conservative of an approach at home.


  15. Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 11:06 AM

    A positive- the Denver game sold out almost instantly and there will be the biggest AO group ever (2500+ I believe)- so there should be an awesome crowd hopefully pushing the team forward. I’ll give it my all in Denver and Mexico City. What a horrible time for so many injuries, though.


    • I’ll be there with my “Grown Ass Man” waldo jersey on. Look for it.

      In all seriousness, I think if we win it will be 80% because of the fans. The noise will be brought


  16. Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 11:24 AM

    The defense looks awful.


  17. Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 11:25 AM

    Like terrible.


  18. Posted by Alex on 2013/03/18 at 11:27 AM

    This backline has more buts than a Sir Mix-a-lot music video


  19. Posted by JGD on 2013/03/18 at 11:31 AM

    Well, here’s what I’d do anyway:


    Predicting a draw against Costa Rica and a massive loss in Mexico.


    • Posted by Sean on 2013/03/18 at 11:41 AM

      That actually isn’t bad with the group called. I think we will see something like that, but swap Besler and Gonzo. Also, Jones is in for Kljestan, and may be named captain in the place of Boca and Howard (though I think MB90 is close to being named it on a permanent basis).


      • Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 12:02 PM

        Rather see Shea get the start bc he can track back. Also, I like Sacha and think he needs minutes, but 0 chance he starts over Jermaine Jones.


        • Posted by Sean on 2013/03/18 at 1:40 PM

          That would be ok. But he isn’t 90 minutes fit yet, and has played better in a substitute role for the USMNT.


  20. Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 11:36 AM

    I think that Beasley at LM is hit or miss. He’s awful at tracking back and keeping defensive integrity. He’s almost a better option in the #8 role (where Zusi/Landon play). If you watched him leave Edgar Castillo out on island against Mexico last time out, you’re petrified if he’s at LM–not that he can’t make it work, but….


    • Posted by JGD on 2013/03/18 at 11:42 AM

      Considering the roster, there aren’t a whole lot of choices. There’s bound to be a hole regardless of the formation. At least with Beasley we’ll have a true outside option and maybe play with some width, the bane of Klinsmann’s existence.

      The Kljestan choice is sure to rankle some. But he’s a central midfielder who has consistently played out of position under Klinsmann. I do believe he has more composure on the ball than Jones.

      I’m not even opposed to dropping Dempsey to the bench and going pure 4-4-2 with Gomez and Altidore up-top, Zusi at RM, Beasley/Shea at LM and Bradley + Kljestan/Jones/Edu in the center of the pitch.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 11:44 AM

        I understand your line of thinking. I just saw him as the single week link in that friendly. Kljestan is not a wide player — he needs to be central — I think we both agree.


        • Posted by JGD on 2013/03/18 at 11:46 AM

          I think it’s probably moot point anyway. As Kljestan seemingly isn’t as “defensive-minded” as Jones, Beckerman, or Edu, he’s the runt of the litter, so to speak.

          And I can’t imagine Klinsmann will start Beasley over Johnson at LM.


      • Posted by Shawn on 2013/03/18 at 11:48 AM

        I have been considering the idea of dropping Dempsey as well to start. He is on a yellow and currently has a lack of sharpness.


  21. Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 11:49 AM

    Anyways. I think these next two games need to go back to the approach the US has used in the past. Defend and counter. We can’t concede cheap goals, the fullbacks aren’t going to give us any width anyways.
    My preference though I doubt JK would let Edu/Gonzo get partnered together

    Morrow, Edu, Gonzo, Cameron
    Zusi, Jones, Bradley, Shea
    Dempsey, Jozy

    I’d love Gomez to see the field for free kicks, but i don’t think he should be on the field at the expense of Jozy/Dempsey…even Boyd. I think Boyd is the real deal. He’ll score goals if you give him minutes.

    And I’m sorry – this roster is pretty scary for these games. Also surprised not to see Gatt listed since we need width.


  22. Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 11:59 AM

    I think you want to really avoid that defend and counter versus Costa Rica. That’s where they are most dangerous.


    • Posted by bob on 2013/03/18 at 12:09 PM

      why is that?


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 12:13 PM

      I completely agree. This is a home world cup qualifier. The temperature has been warmer in Denver lately, but by game time Friday night it will be in the high 20’s with a chance of light snow showers. Costa Rica has shown they can pick apart anyone when given the time. I truly think this is a great offense is the best defense scenario. Just completely sell out on D- a 4-3-3 with a combo of Deuce, Gomez, Altidore, Johnson, and Boyd (pick 3) and Bradley, Jones, Zusi/Corona/Beasley- and press, press, press. Keep Costa Rica on their heels. Give up 2 goals, fine- score 3. This is a home qualifier- go all out for the win and play like it. Playing tentative against Costa Rica is a bad idea I think.

      The Mexico game to say the least is much more complicated. I don’t see many or any scenarios working there especially with the available players. I don’t think Mexico will have another letdown, but boy do I hope I am wrong.


      • Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 12:39 PM

        I agree that defend and counter at home doesn’t make much sense. And Costa Rica is a talented team that can pick us apart. But this roster is inarguably weaker than the roster that went to Honduras and face planted. We just don’t have the personnel to effectively play the 4-3-3. That formation doesn’t create the offensive pressure that it is designed to.

        Don’t get me wrong, in games like this where the US CANNOT lose, I’m okay with an extra midfielder. But at least so far, adding an extra midfielder has done nothing in terms of maintaining possession and generating chances.


        • Posted by bob on 2013/03/18 at 3:10 PM

          defend and counter is not about absorbing all kinds of pressure and then hoping for a fast break. it is about playing strong team defense and when the opposition gives you an opening, you exploit it.

          italy has four world cups because they understand this.


  23. Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 12:14 PM

    Are you saying they are most dangerous when given time on the ball? I just don’t think the US has a lineup they can press with. This is not a possession based roster, especially with no Landon and absolutely 0 skill on the back line. Plus, there is no one on the back line that is capable of passing the ball out of the back, outside of maybe Cameron. We’re going to see a lot of the US booting the ball 30-40 yards up the field. Shea, Zusi, Bradley and Jones are very good on the counter.

    I also went to the Costa Rica friendly at Home Depot center back in 2011 (i think it was 2011). We played the 4-3-3 and Costa Rica won. They were the better side most of the game. But maybe I’m missing something.


    • Posted by Alex on 2013/03/18 at 12:52 PM

      I remember that HDC game, my “first cap” (live game). We were out played them the entire match. Landon missed a sitter within the first 10 minutes and we didn’t create too many really good looks but we were out possessing them and we were in their half for most of the game. I don’t think they had more than 4 good looks on our net, but they bunkered well, and hit us on a counter right after clearing a corner, much like our counter vs Brazil in the CC. That was easily one games where we looked like we were actually playing a 433 like it should be played. We just lacked some finishing.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 11:50 PM

        Ah, the Jose Torres-should-never-again-play-central-midfield game. It was all there for us to see!


  24. Posted by twh on 2013/03/18 at 12:17 PM

    I hate the idea of breaking up the Cameron-Gonzales pair at CB- since Boca’s been dropped we’re pretty much committing to those two- but I really don’t want to see Beltran on the pitch and Cameron may be the best RB on the roster. Morrow would be OK-can he play either side, or just left? Which of the listed MFs can play which side at FB? Seven hells!

    vs CR

    E Johnson—————————————Zusi—


    • Posted by jb on 2013/03/18 at 12:37 PM

      Switch Edu and Cameron, Jones for Klejstan and I bet that’s what JK starts with. Personally I think he needs to get Gomez on the field somehow given the form he’s in.


  25. Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/18 at 12:21 PM

    Love this roster for the near hysterical reaction it is provoking. .

    JK too in love with his Germans? Leave them all out but one.

    JK needs to phase out Boca, too old and too slow. Bring in Besler and Gonzo. Done.

    JK disrespectful to MLS players? Cap an almost entirely MLS defense (Cameron not that far removed).

    Give the fans what they want and still they piss and moan. I remember the same sort of hysteria when JK named that ragtag bunch for the Mexican friendly.

    The Costa Rica game now has the potential to be a wildy entertaining shootout.


    • Posted by Crow on 2013/03/18 at 3:58 PM

      I think nerves are high due to 0 pts from Honduras and the next games being so tough. Probably causing all of us to overreact a bit- I’m not really upset with JK that much, just frustrated with the timing of the injuries.


    • Posted by dude on 2013/03/18 at 3:58 PM

      Yes, he left out two Germans. Because of injury.

      That’s also why we’re seeing two MLS players added. Howard’s injury opened the door for two MLS keepers, and Beckerman is not a shocker.

      The only reason Boca isn’t playing is because- wait for it- he can’t get off the bench for a second tier Spanish side.

      These moves are made out of necessity, but don’t be foolish. JK isn’t giving US fans what they want. His hand was forced.

      As for Costa Rica being a wild shoot out, you might have noticed that the US isn’t wildly scoring against anybody. With a weakened back line and no Tim Howard, this has the potential to be a bad. Costa Rica has some quality attacking options.

      Fans have good reason to be anxious, and this roster is not a comfort.


      • Posted by dude on 2013/03/18 at 3:59 PM

        (a bad result)


      • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/18 at 6:44 PM


        Actually it was three Germans, Chandler, Fabian and Danny Williams. But hey if you are lucky their injuries will linger a while.

        What do you care whether JK’s hand was forced or not? You got what you wanted.

        Regarding Boca:

        “As for Bocanegra, his standing with the national team won’t figure to change until his club situation does. Klinsmann alluded to Racing Santander and the club going through four managers this season being “not a very stable environment” for Bocanegra. The 33-year-old defender is on loan with Racing Santander from embattled Scottish side Rangers until the end of the season, at which point Klinsmann is hoping a more productive move will materialize.

        “[This has been a] very positive approach by Carlos, very professional, really shows great character of him,” Klinsmann said. “So we’ll play by ear over the next couple of months how his situation hopefully will improve then.”

        Unfortunately for you this means it is possible Boca will be back before the World Cup. but hey you can’t win all the time.

        I wrote the “potential” for a shootout. None of us really knows what is going to happen, which is part of the fun.

        As for US fans having reasons to be concerned, there are always reasons to be concerned. You can start pushing panic buttons or jumping off bridges now if you like. Others might take a more reasonable view but whatever suits you.


        • Posted by dude on 2013/03/18 at 8:45 PM

          Who said that it made me happy?

          You think I’m happy that Boca isn’t ready for action? Or that our fullbacks are average MLS players? Or that two international quality players fullbacks are injured? Or that Williams has sucked his way off the roster?

          There is no one who wants these things. And you’re not very bright if you think anyone does.

          I’m just calling out your accusations as bogus. No one got what they wanted out of this roster. The only person getting their jollies from this is you and your skewed perspective on what US fans actually want.


          • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/18 at 9:26 PM

            Williams isn’t here because he is injured.

            As for what US fans want ( not by the way what I care about ) , I’d be curious on what you think they want because when I read these soccer blogs here’s what I see:

            Boca and Dolo phased out
            Players playing their so called “natural” positions.
            Attacking soccer , no more 3 CDM’s ( whatever that means)
            “Real” Americans instead of German “ringers”
            More MLS players (Wondo, Pontius, Gonzo,)
            Lichaj, Benny, Gatt, Gyau, Mix and Freddy and no Beckerman or Sacha ( well you can’t have everything ).

            I happen to like this roster and think it’s a shame you and so many others are panicked by it, which is actually quite amusing.

            This could be a very interesting game.

            After all if you guys are wondering who is going to play where, imagine what the Costa Ricans are wondering.


    • Posted by s44 on 2013/03/18 at 4:27 PM

      I dunno about you, but I don’t want another game with no Donovan and a hobbled Dempsey.


  26. Posted by t on 2013/03/18 at 12:58 PM

    Did Boca die? If so I would have liked to have sent flowers for being such a loyal and longtime composed servant and captain.

    Old or not you need some kind of experience in marshaling the back line. It is the one place where youthful exuberance gets you killed. With Dolo out and Goodson sucking who is going to calm things and lead in those crucial moments?

    You saw the panic runuth in the 2nd half,well really the whole match to be honest, over in Honduras.

    I am very,very worried we finish the first 3 matches with either 0 or 1 point.


    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/18 at 7:04 PM

      Boca ain’t dead. See above.

      “I am very,very worried we finish the first 3 matches with either 0 or 1 point.”

      Why does that worry you?

      That leaves the US with 7 games to get at least 15-16 points. Apparently the third place finisher in the HEX has, over the years averaged about 16 points.

      So if the US comes out of this with 1 point they need 5 wins , 0 points they need 5 wins and a draw.

      The US could do it by winning all remaining home games, and scoring two away wins and one away draw. Hard but do-able.

      This is a team in transition, needing to form its identity and I can’t think of a better way to forge a team’s identity than under pressure. It will be good for them.

      That way maybe if they make the World Cup they can do better than they did the last time. It’s a little risky but you all hated Bradley’s boring conservative safety first approach and JK’s conservative so called 3 CMD formations. This will force JK to open it up.

      Isn’t that what you wanted?


  27. Posted by s44 on 2013/03/18 at 1:13 PM

    There are a lot of things that are Klinsi’s fault, but this roster isn’t one of them. Still, I wonder if he’s a good enough man manager to extract the gritty gut-check performance we’ll need to grind out the win in CO.

    At least Guzan is used to covering for a crappy makeshift defense…


  28. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/03/18 at 1:23 PM

    So I guess my desire for a 3 man backline for at least 45 minutes at some point in the last 2 years may have been useful for these matches

    Comment: Zusi as a wing back? ugh Really could call this a 4-3-3 with Beasley as fullback, but that would just be lying to ourselves about what Beasley is capable of. Can Dempsey start? Maybe Shea starts instead. Dempsey on at 45?

    or 4-3-3 (Most likely?)
    Comment: No dempsey? Well I think at 45 we will see him. Gomez at 70 for a Tired Jozy. Shea at 70 for Beasley or Zusi, whichever needs it.

    or 4-2-3-1
    Comment: MLS Fullbacks to the rescue….. or not as the case may be. Gomez in the hole makes sense. Shea and Dempsey off the bench for Beasley and Zusi as necessary. Jones and Bradley figure out a pivot?


    • Posted by twh on 2013/03/18 at 2:11 PM

      Given how little time national teams have together, it’s just tough to get the necessary practice in to make the back 3 work. Would I like to have it for an option? Yeah! Not going to happen. I would replace Besler with Edu, but it looks good.

      I think we need to leave Cam and Gonzo together. And I like the weird hybrid role EJ’s been playing, so I’d replace Beasley with him.

      Gomez in the hole? I’m not sure about that, but we do need to get him on the pitch. Maybe wide right in the 4-3-3.


      • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/03/18 at 2:26 PM

        Looking at some average position maps for the players in the 4-2-3-1 reveals that those players all play exactly those spots for their clubs on a regular basis. So I think that it makes sense.

        It will be interesting to see what Dempsey does.


  29. Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2013/03/18 at 1:25 PM

    Is Parkhurst hurt too or is he also a case of he’s not getting time with his club so he’s not called in? If Parkhurst is available, it seems odd that you wouldn’t want him on this squad.


  30. Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 1:25 PM

    Whats the deal with Holden? He hasn’t played much recently. Is it bc the manager is bringing him along slowly? Or is he just not up to the task? I mean, a healthy out of form Stuart Holden should be able to crack that shitty squad.


    • Posted by JGD on 2013/03/18 at 1:53 PM

      He’s been getting sparse minutes. Bolton manager is easing him back into the line-up.


    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/18 at 7:45 PM


      From Pro Soccer Talk:

      “The Bolton Wanderers plan on bringing the fragile midfielder back sloooooooooooowly.
      ESPN’s Doug McIntyre did the hard work on this story, talking to Bolton News chief football writer Marc Iles: “Before Stu made his return at Sunderland I was told that even though he would be back on first-team duty he was effectively still in rehab, his recovery would still need to be closely managed and not to expect him to feature every week. That information has proved correct.”

      Stu played 90 minutes in a reserve match tonight. Right now Bolton’s central midfield pairing is doing well, so despite being a “shitty squad” there is no pressure to play him.

      It is possible though that Stu won’t be making the Gold Cup depending on how he does.

      Apparently it’s not about him going 90, it’s more about his recovery time between games.

      They are talking about another contract extension so he should be safe but they aren’t taking any more chances with him than they have to. Basically, the rest of this season is just an extension of his rehab program.


  31. Posted by Freegle on 2013/03/18 at 3:46 PM

    MLS season is only 2 weeks in. All MLS call-ups have played 3 games maximum. Why is playing in 2 early season matches after a preseason (Besler, Beltran, Beckerman for instance) any more valuable than being in midseason training in a better league (Lichaj, Parkhurst, Whitbred for example) People will say that the guys in Europe are not playing because they aren’t in good form. Perhaps. But do we really have enough of a sample size in truely competitive matches to determine the domestic player are in better form?

    Midseason > Early Season when talent is equal. Just my perspective.
    (I know, I know.. my anti-MLS bias) But I need to draw my own attention away from the fact that I am in near-panic mode.



    Position for position this team is better than CR, playing at home with a good crowd. I’m super intrigued by the 3-4-3, who knows. If there’s any chemistry on the pitch, we’ll be fine. In Honduras it looked like a big mess with the huge swaths of the middle of the field out of sync, stepping on each other’s toes. Excited for this match.


  33. Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 5:23 PM

    Very good point.


    • Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 5:30 PM

      Just to further elaborate. Even if Lichaj/Parkhurst aren’t getting minutes, they have been training in two very intense leagues with little to no break for the past 8 months. MLS has a notoriously lazy/length offseason. The season always starts off slow as a result. And obviously there are all the cultural issues of playing in the MLS vs playing overseas (as Jurgen pointed out, if you play in Italy and are seen drinking wine/eating unheathly in public, fans/club management will take note).

      I’ll never understand why Besler, Morrow, Beltran are somehow better options than Lichaj, Parkhurst (and btw, im not even a huge fan of Lichaj and Parkhurst). Whatever.


      • Posted by Sean on 2013/03/18 at 6:40 PM

        None of that makes any sense. Players need to be playing. That shows that they have competed and WON a spot on the first team. That shows that they are doing the work in training with gameplay being earned. Secondly, this offseason was a short one for MLS. And Morrow and Beltran were both in January camp.


        • Posted by Union on 2013/03/18 at 7:08 PM

          I’ll just say it. The competition for a starting spot on most MLS clubs is NOTHING compared to what it takes to win a spot in the Bundesliga and EPL.Furthermore, the offseason/pre-season rigors of the MLS are getting more in line with larger leagues, but are still fairly low key compared to Europe. And I have no idea what Morrow and Beltran being in January camp has to do with this. If you’re making the point that they’ve had more time with the national team (albeit the b team) than guys like Lichaj, Parkhurst..well then yes, I agree. But if you’re telling me they are more in form than guys who have been training for the past 8 months, solely bc they went to camp cupcake. I don’t think there is any basis for that assertion.

          Am I saying that not playing regular minutes for the first team doesn’t impact you? Of course not. Having real game experience matters no matter what club you play for/league you play in. I’m just saying, Beltran and Morrow haven’t had any national team experience, and haven’t played in the Hex. And the they don’t have tough competition for starting spots on their respective clubs. Parkhurst, Lichaj and OBVIOUSLY Boca, all have more international experience and I’d feel far more comfortable with those bench warmers starting our qualifying games than I would with 2 dudes with limited international experience who are just coming out of a lengthy offseason.


          • Posted by r.benjamin on 2013/03/18 at 8:50 PM

            100% agree..
            For me Intl games are one offs where speed of play is a huge factor. Who is getting faster reps? Who can step in a foreign situation and absorb the speed. I think the EPL andBundesliga are still fast enough compared to MLS where a 23 man roster player is seeing quicker play& better skill in training than week 3 MLS.


          • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/03/18 at 8:58 PM


            How far will you take that?

            None of those three, except maybe Parkhurst, is likely to get a lot minutes for the rest of their seasons.

            Lichaj has never played for JK, last saw the field for the US in October of 2011 nearly a year and a half ago, then suffered a major hip injury and hasn’t really done much at Villa since. He was twice given chances to win a starting job and keeps failing to. And Lichaj’s nine caps hardly make him a proven international at least not like Boca or DMB is. He needs to worry about keeping a job at Villa or elsewhere before he can think about getting capped.

            Guys, like DMB, have come back from long international layoffs before but they usually win their way back on merit and DMB is a real proven international. Lichaj can’t say any of that.

            Parkhurst has a better case to be brought back for the reasons you cite than Lichaj but he’s played in one match, just one match since the New Year. Parkhurst is a guy who does not have the physical and athletic gifts of some other US defenders so it’s possible that if he is not in rhythm, not in sync, it hurts him more than it does other players. I’d say that is probably true of Boca as well.

            I see what you’re saying but these newbie defenders are among the best of the new generation.

            And it’s now at the point where the US have to find out which of these guys are for real. They have to get blooded sooner or later and the way things are shaping up, sooner is better.


          • Posted by Turd Ferguson on 2013/03/18 at 9:00 PM

            I think I’m with Union on this one. I understand that you don’t want to make a habit of regularly handing Nat’l Team duty to guys who aren’t playing at their clubs. But I think in certain emergency situations (and I think the current US injury predicament qualifies), it should be seriously considered.

            At the end of last year Parkhurst was playing Champions League matches against Shakhtar, Juve, and Chelsea. He’s obviously not with Nordsjaelland anymore but if he’s healthy and training with Augsburg I just don’t know why you wouldn’t prefer him over some of the MLS guys JK called in. He’s got int’l experience & he’s been on the field against some of the world’s best pros fairly recently. I understand that JK has access to far more information than my pontificating couch potato self, but IMO Parkhurst should be in this camp. If he shows poorly & doesn’t see the pitch for either match, so be it. But he seems like a reasonably good candidate for an “in case of emergency: break glass”-type of defender who could fill in at multiple positions across the back line.

            I don’t feel quite as strongly about Boca. I understand JK’s desire to commit to the young CBs & I can get on board with that. But again, if Boca’s healthy & training with his club, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to bring him into camp and see if he can help out the next 2 matches.

            As far as Lichaj right now, I’m truly, “Meh”. I thought pretty highly of him last year after some of his appearances with the USMNT. But I understand the skepticism that arises from not being able to nail down at least semi-regular run at Villa. Their sieve of a defense has been a running joke most of the season & I don’t know that it speaks all that highly of Lichaj’s quality of play if he hasn’t been able to get his foot in the door there.


            • Posted by Sean on 2013/03/19 at 6:40 AM

              Did you see the match Parkhurst played at RB for Augsburg? He was atrocious. His crossing was lacking to non existent, and defensively he was the weak link. I think he needs time to settle in there. I really don’t understand how anybody can say that playing in the U21 reserve league for 8 months is better than a long January camp (familiarity with the USMNT setup under Klinsmann) or fresh legs to start a season. These guys are playing. Yes there is pressure in training in the European leagues. The fact that you would like to take players that aren’t performing in those situation and throw them into a must win home qualifier and Azteca is questionable. Eric Lichaj hasn’t been able to hold down a spot and has 8 caps to his name. Parkhurst can’t break in and has 15 caps. It’s not like they have experience like Boca. Who also can’t break into a bad Santander side. I think they would be way off pace not playing games.

  34. Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 6:18 PM

    Not to burst any bubbles but I would be very disappointed if the US played a 3-4-3 and I would also question the wisdom of Klinsmann. The 3-4-3 is designed for a possession oriented offense. It would get so “gapped” by Costa Rica that I think if the Ticos got the ball up to the front they could hang 4 or 5 on the US.


    • Posted by Sean on 2013/03/18 at 6:41 PM

      Exactly. 3-4-3, no way. Especially with this being “must win” in the eyes of Klinsmann. No way he strays from what they have been doing in the back for these 2 games.


  35. Posted by bob on 2013/03/18 at 6:36 PM

    if we are going to play a three man backline, it is going to be a 3-5-2, with two defensive mids, its not going to be a 3-4-3


  36. The thought of Ruiz gobbling up space against the 3-4-3, I know… shivers…. Wishful thinking the idea of playing a possession game against CR if there’s width, given the line-up called in, I imagine a weighted left side, with whomever the LB is playing higher than normal. Reality might even look more empty bucket than normal.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/03/18 at 7:33 PM

      I think you’ll see the higher side on the right as Costa Rica loves to come down their left.


  37. Posted by Jason on 2013/03/20 at 9:26 AM

    According to US Soccer’s twitter feed Brad Davis has just joined the camp making it a 24-man roster. Very interesting that he got brought in late. Could he be figuring into the starting gameplan?


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