The 30: Klinsmann’s Minions for Brazil 2014

We applaud the selection of the US Ambassador to Brazil to the Brazil 30 roster.

We applaud the selection of the US Ambassador to Brazil to the Brazil 30 roster.

It’s 30 to Stanford with seven to be scratched at the end of May.

US manager Jurgen Klinsmann will select from the names below in naming his 23-man roster on May 30th.

DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/05/12 at 12:11 PM

    I have no problems with this roster. My hunch is, there will be a lot of discussion over what is “fair” and who may have lost spots to people like Chandler and Green.

    I know Eddie did a lot during qualifying, but he also has been poor for DC and obviously just threw his teammates under the bus. If you are going to argue about Green’s placement and saying he hasn’t earned it. Well then, based on recent play, neither has Eddie Johnson. But Boyd has. IMO, Eddie Johnson lost his spot to Boyd. Not to Julian Green. Brek Shea probably lost out to Green and honestly, Brek didn’t do anything to merit getting the pick over Julian.


  2. Posted by Usually Ranting on 2014/05/12 at 12:11 PM

    Just to add, the two players I would have liked to see included that didn’t make it are Tim Ream and Danny Williams. But other than that, I have no issues.

    But the 23 will get really interesting.


  3. I’m happy for Wondo over EJ. It is, IMO, the deepest 30 we’ve EVER taken to this stage. It’s nice to see JK with so many hard decisions and so much flexibility.


  4. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/12 at 1:20 PM

    Battles by position groups listed in the posting:
    LFB: no battle beasley is starting, parkhurst is his backup

    CB: Beasley starting, Gonzalez vs Brooks vs cameron to start, Goodson on bench no matter what, (interestingly brooks is fairly left footed so Besler/Brooks pairing unlikely)

    RFB: Evans vs Johnson vs Cameron (if he isn’t at CB) to start. Evans is off roster if he isn’t starting. If Evans shows better than johnson then Johnson is back up and Yedlin and Chandler are off, Chandler vs Yedlin to be backup as a true right winger as the midfield doesn’t really have one of those.

    CM: Beckerman, Edu, Jones for a starting role, none of them play the exact same position so this battle is about the team formation too
    Bradley: his own position, If he gets hurt mix is in, otherwise not.
    Wide Mids: Zusi and Bedoya start, Green, Corona, Davis in a battle for the a one or two spots

    Fwd: Wondo vs Donovan vs Johannson. Best two go, If donovan isn’t included he could be shifted to midfield to battle with green, corona, davis. Boyd makes it to back up Jozy.

    so Klinsman’s 23?:
    def (8): beasley, parkhurst, besler, cameron, goodson, gonzalez, Johnson, Evans
    mid (7): beckerman, bradley, edu, jones, bedoya, zusi, davis,
    fwd (5): dempsey, altidore, boyd, johannson, donovan

    If dempsey and Donavon are forwards and Johnson and Cameron are defenders then I only have 7 mids I guess.


    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/13 at 7:52 AM

      There are so many ways the roster can go. I am fairly excited to see how things play out in camp. I am of mind that who has the best camp and plays the best in the friendlies will be on the team. That said here is what I wish to see, and hopefully the players make it work.

      There a few “formations” that I can see the US employing. There are two opinions that I think are important. 1. Teams will the best fullbacks tend to perform best at the world cup. 2. The US isn’t strong enough in at CB to send both fullbacks forward without a dedicated holder.

      #5 (just for me cause I am obviously crazy)


  5. Posted by Crow on 2014/05/12 at 2:09 PM

    I’m pretty happy with the roster. Guys like Tim Ream, Danny Williams, and Juan Agudelo just had too much ground to make up.

    I’m sad for Eddie Johnson. I know the guy has a reputation but I’ve met him multiple times and he might be the most friendly USMNT I’ve met. I’ve been completely blown off by Kasey Keller but EJ always would take time to say hi. More importantly, he was clutch in the nerve wracking semi final round and was valuable in the Gold Cup and Hex. I can’t remember his last bad performance with the National Team in a meaningful game. Obviously there were some rough periods vs Bosnia etc but its tough ommitting him.

    With that said, I’m very happy for Boyd and Wondo. Wondo has really won me over. I knew he was a nice guy but didn’t think he had any business making the team. He just keeps scoring now, though, so I hope he gets the spot Herc Gomez won in 2010. (as long as he keeps scoring). Its almost impossible not to root for Boyd as well with his attitude and the way he has been scoring. I got on the hype train when he joined Dortmund’s reserves after the Brian Sciaretta Yanks Abroad issue and haven’t left my seat. I have a feeling that one of these guys are going to be cut though. Hopefully Aron Bacon gets healthy and regains his form in camp. If so will the US go without a real target striker? (Boyd is the only one left)

    Surprised to see Joe Corona but that is just one of the 7 who will be cut. I almost forgot Brek Shea wasn’t named. If anyone had an easier shot at making the roster (LW seems like a spot of more need than RB even) it was Shea and he completely blew it the last 1-2 years. I’m hoping Green shows enough to beat out Brad Davis. I want a spark off the bench not just a “known quantity.”

    The battle for CB/RB/LB is going to be fascinating. I think Besler is the only one with a definite spot. Edu/Beckerman is interesting as well because Beckerman has looked so good pairing with Bradley but Edu has been playing the best of his career with the Union this year (and can cover CB)


  6. Posted by Brandon on 2014/05/12 at 2:34 PM

    Corona is the only real head scratcher here. I’m surprised that EJ got bumped seeing that he SHOULD have had the winning goal against Mex.


  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2014/05/12 at 3:33 PM

    Eddie Johnson scores goals. 8th most goals in US soccer history. Word is he was not called in due to “the locker room” thing.

    On talent, experience and resume, he should’ve been, but understandable.

    To me, Corona and Landon are redundant at this point.


    • Posted by gino744 on 2014/05/12 at 4:56 PM

      Redundant in that they cancel each other out or that they’re both surplus to requirements?

      I was surprised to see Corona here as most weren’t projecting him to be included and more importantly, I don’t think he’s worn the US shirt since the Gold Cup. I thought he showed well there and it’s unfortunate that his then coach at Tijuana essentially punished him by reducing his playing time upon his return to his club.

      I think Corona could beat out Diskerud for a spot on the roster and he’s versatile enough to play on the wings as well. He could potentially be a creative spark off the bench and now that he’s invited to Camp 30, he might keep surprising us.


    • Posted by CJ on 2014/05/13 at 6:12 AM

      I agree Matt. I can’t see how one of the major contributors to our program who can play the wing and forward for us, has made excellent contributions off the bench late in games, and is talented “enough” to play in the World Cup could be left off because of a scoring drought. Jozy Altidore anyone? I’m a Jozy fan, but I don’t see how one guy gets a pass for a scoring drought publicly and the other one doesn’t.

      I think “the locker room” thing as you put it is spot on. This team needs to have a mentality to win much like the US did vs Russia in 1980 in hockey. Mentality can beat talent with the right makeup.


  8. Posted by gino744 on 2014/05/12 at 5:15 PM

    On a different note, what of the ideas about training and preparing to play in warm, humid weather? The US home base is in Sao Paulo, where the weather is much milder than in Natal, Manaus and Recife. I’ve read some criticism about Spain’s decision to make Curitiba their base in Brazil, the coolest venue at the World Cup. Does anybody know if there’s a method to this madness? I also read somewhere that athletes have higher endurance when going from cold to hot than from already hot to hot. Is this maybe their reasoning for choosing cooler climates?


    • Posted by Brandon on 2014/05/12 at 5:34 PM

      I haven’t read any articles about the effects of weather on endurance but altitude can affect both ball flight and endurance. The US squad shouldn’t train somewhere that is at sea level (Stanford University). They should train somewhere that is relative to where they will be performing. (I’m not saying this is going to have any effect on the outcomes of the world cup)


  9. Posted by Nate on 2014/05/12 at 5:30 PM

    Why Chandler? I know he is a decent player – but he hasn’t been in the mix at all lately.


    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/05/17 at 7:26 PM


      Assuming he shows well in camp and is near his best he is the best fullback in the US player pool.

      That is reason enough.


  10. Posted by Arthur on 2014/05/12 at 6:06 PM

    I would like to see an argument for Brooks over Ream. Seems like the only advantage of choosing Brooks over Ream would be Brooks’s ability in the air. But there is a far greater likelihood that the US allows a goal after giving up a turnover or lost ball, due to pressing, than from a header because of inferior defensive play. Hence, Ream addresses a direct problem with the US–lack of ability to play the ball out of the back–other teams will exploit and use to create chances. Choosing Brooks simply addresses a less significant problem.


    • Posted by KMac on 2014/05/13 at 5:27 AM

      In addition to trying to optimize a defense that has lacked the right chemistry at times, it looks to me that Klinsmann values Bundesliga experience in Chandler and Brooks inclusion. My guess is he is planning different tactics and players for each Group stage opponent and to tinker with multiple back four combos. My concern is more with Chandler’s history of travel anxiety, performance in humid conditions (Honduras – I know only one data point, not a trend). Chemistry could also be interesting for Those who played infrequently or recently.
      Here’s wishing them all the best, along with the rest of the team- we will need huge individual and collective performances to get out of the group phase.


    • Posted by jb on 2014/05/13 at 5:35 AM

      My guess is a combination of recent familiarity with the team setup (don’t think Ream has ever been called up under JK?) and “grooming for the future.” JK sees Brooks as a player with a higher ceiling for the next cycle and wants him involved and hungry. I suspect Brooks (or Ream if would have been called) will be cut and not make the 23.


    • Posted by Chazcar2 on 2014/05/13 at 6:32 AM

      Ream had his chance against Ukraine. He turned it down. Now, I understand it as a father myself, but Klinsman has made it pretty clear he wants 100% commitment to the team and to soccer regardless of other life situation. A fringe player given a chance at the roster 100 days before the World cup, and he turns it down? I pretty sure that more than anything is why he isn’t included.

      Also, Brooks and Chandler play in the Bayren and Dortmound regularly. The have seen scouting reports for those players. Had whole training sessions dedicated to shutting down those teams. Given how much of the German attacking line up is going to come from those teams, I say that gives them a bit of a bonus over other Borderline players, but not necessarily the top tier players.


  11. Posted by Rafael on 2014/05/12 at 8:22 PM

    I like the roster. I Would have liked to have seen Danny Williams and Jose Torres included instead of Edu and Corona. There is also one defender too many, where that spot could have gone to Agudelo or Feilhaber.


  12. Posted by Tim H on 2014/05/13 at 2:51 AM

    We will need to cut seven. I figure Brooks, Yedlin, and Chandler are just in for experience, looking ahead to the next cycle. The other four spots I look at as straight up competitions between pairs of players.

    Wondolowski vs Boyd
    Edu vs Diskerud
    Bedoya vs Corona
    Davis vs Green

    I would be surprised if both players from one of these pairs made the 23. The exception to that would be if Evans is dropped. Cameron and Johnson are both better, and Parkhurst has the versatility that Evans lacks. That would open up one more spot.


  13. Posted by KickinNames... on 2014/05/13 at 6:17 AM

    God bless and thank you for your service and all that but honestly thank God that Onyewu’s name is nowhere to be found here. We have enough “giraffes on roller skates” on the squad and his time is well past…

    Not a big Chandler fan but I think he solves another problem if he’s reasonably engaged and plays to his Nberg levels. Cameron can be moved up to CDM which is a MUCH better overall option than Beckerman (SPEEED!) or Edu (DOH!) or Jones (RED MIST!) bring to the squad. Bradley is better with a solid defending, disciplined #6 over any of those old Klinsi standbys IMO. For those who watch him consistently he’s a very underrated on ball defender (Tackling/Dispossessing NOT SHUTTLING!) and has good (not great) short and longer range distribution. Overall more highly skiiled and potentially effective in the role than other options due to allowing MB to play higher and contribute offensively.


  14. I’m pretty alright with the roster with sure Corona, Green and even Yedlin on the roster but I sure see a youth movement on this roster with Green, Yedlin, Corona, Diskerud, Boyd, Brooks and Johannson on this roster. Seems to me Jurgen decided to bet on the future rather than bring in older players. I would think many of these youth players are for the future with most likely only 2-3 of these players making the team (Green maybe, Diskerud most likely, Johannson most likely, Boyd/Brooks/Corona and Yedlin are uphill battles. An article on yahoo sports noted that Yedlin’s pace sure could be great to see in practice for who ever starts at RB or LB, Corona’s style of passing and play would be similar to say a midfielder from Portugal, Brooks is one of the better CBs passing the ball, Boyd has been hot scoring the ball and could challenge the backline physically, Johannson brings a different technical skill many US players don’t have, and Green has the ability to go at defenders that only Shea has shown an ability to do. So they all bring something be it to make the team or really push the veteran players to work hard…er to earn their spots. I like the group overall.


    • Posted by gino744 on 2014/05/13 at 2:44 PM

      Nice observation Adrian. It’s killing two birds with one stone, three if some of the youngsters actually make the final 23 and get on the field.


  15. I’d like to see a backline of Chandler – Cam – Besler – FabJ in one of the friendlies. There you get strong positioning, pace on the wings, calm passing in the back. Why not?

    One thing that I’m kind of tired of hearing in terms of roster selection is the word “versatility” — used to validate the selection of people like Brad Evans, Parkhurst, Edu, etc. Versatility is a good thing sometimes, but in this case I’m afraid it highlights a lack of good options– jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. I guess it’s ok, but it’s a bit worrying playing guys in their 2nd or 3rd best position.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/05/14 at 6:51 PM

      Would you prefer to take 8 defenders and potentially cut an offensive player from the 20 man [outfield] squad?


      • George, I’m thinking 4-4-2 in at least one of these group games, maybe 2, so … no. 🙂 However, I wonder if the center back pairing will change from game to game. This concerns me but I can see it happening. Have Cameron and Besler ever played together as center backs? I don’t remember seeing it. I hope to see it in the warm-ups.


        • Posted by KMac on 2014/05/15 at 3:28 PM

          Besler and Cameron played together in the 2-0 win against Jamaica on Oct 11, 2013. Here is Jeff Carlisle of ESPN’s assessment of thier play (I know Matt hates player ratings, sorry! Matt).

          D Matt Besler, 7 — Delivered a composed, calm performance in the center of defense. He was excellent in his defending and with his distribution.

          D Geoff Cameron, 7 — Won his battles in the air and on the ground. Only nit was he needed to show a tad more composure on the ball in that he opted to clear when he didn’t need to. But overall, he showed that, yes, his future does lie as a center back.

          Most of the other assessments were favorable vs the largely MLS Jamaican offense, including mine.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/05/16 at 12:22 PM

          I only made my original comment in response to you post about ‘versatility’. My point being that taking a back up for each position across the back four, generally means less choices elsewhere. And I think I read that along with the GKs, the second choice defenders are statistically less likely to see minutes [in the group stage]. So it is a calculated risk to only take seven, but you need a couple of versatile players to offer positional flexibility to enable this. Obviously there’s no right or wrong answer on this, so this is just my *opinion*.

          I think people get too caught up with formations. Without the ball, a lot of teams revert back to two banks of four, especially if you are forced to play a more passive game because the other team is better at retention. IMO it is how you transition that’s more important.

          But for me, the key is that middle triangle – do you play with a single ‘holder’ or a double? How flexible / fluid is that during the game? At what minute or score line does Klinsmann tweak this?


    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/05/17 at 6:53 PM

      Mr. McDowell,

      You hear versatility a lot around the World Cup because it is a requirement in these big tournaments.

      You play a lot of games in a short space of time so card trouble, and injuries,can quickly narrow your options badly.

      If you think about it, of the regular outfield starters only Besler, Gonzo and Jozy always play the same “position”.


  16. Posted by Larry Montanez on 2014/05/14 at 2:27 PM

    All of a sudden, I’m starting to worry about having a true holding midfielder. I feel like where we’re going to get hurt is by a MF making a run that’s not tracked. And I’m not comfortable with MB-JJ sharing the holding role; it always seems clunky when they play together, like they don’t seem to naturally know what the other is going to do, so they can’t seemlessly cover for each other.

    Even if JJ can focus on that holding role, he’s a YC waiting to happen. And he’s had some good games, but he’s also had some pretty bad ones. and when MB got hurt warming up that one game, we couldn’t get the ball out of the back. JJ couldn’t play the pivot.

    Beckerman can pivot and pass out of that position, but his first step worries me. I could see him getting his pocket picked from behind. And although he can make the most of his defensive positioning, but when he’s face up 1 v 1, positioning isn’t enough.

    Edu might be a little better defensively, but he can’t pivot, and he probably won’t make the 23 anyway. Cameron could play like a good 3rd CB in that role, but he can’t pivot under pressure either. MB would have to drop deep to show for the ball.

    Basically, the best we have at the pure holder role is MB, so why not have him play that position? And i could see him getting space just outside the box on set pieces, and i could see him hitting a nice 25-yarder for a goal. And we have better options for the more advanced CM position than we do at that true holder role.

    This won’t happen, but I would really like to see Donovan play advanced CM role, rather than on the wing. he’s the one player we have that can put defenses on edge by attacking with pace, with the ball, up the middle. Dempsey can turn and run with the ball, but not at the speed and conviction Donovan can. and Donovan’s not a bad passer. if he can get one CB to take a step away from Jozy, Jozy can do damage some damage 1 v 1, and it could also create some nice spaces for Dempsey.


    • Posted by gino744 on 2014/05/15 at 5:16 PM

      Nice to have you back in the forum Larry. You make some great points. You’ll likely get some arguments here because lots of people like MB in a more advanced position, especially after his performance in the last Mexico game. Some people get a little caught up in how best to attack and score goals while worrying less about defending. I’m not one of those people. I’d rather win 1-0 than lose 2-1 or worse. We’re nowhere near as talented as other countries that worry more about winning pretty than simply getting results.

      I’ve seen it argued in the past here that Landon shouldn’t play behind the forward line. He’s better on the wing they’d say. Well, that was true the last WC cycle. Now he’s a little slower but even more experienced. Why not put those kids like Bedoya and Zusi out wide and maybe let Lando thread some of those fine ass passes from the middle of the pitch. I’ve seen him track back before. He’s more than capable of playing some D. If Donovan is going to be a sub, maybe the team would be better served with him in the pivot. Just sayin’.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2014/05/16 at 12:29 PM

      When you say somebody can / cannot pivot, what do you exactly mean?


    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2014/05/17 at 6:37 PM

      Larry Montanez,

      See the second half of the Bosnia game. MB held and JJ stayed in Bosnia’s half of the field the entire second half..

      I think you’ll see JK do a lot of interesting things in the group games. The US is such a serious underdog and I can’t see them advancing by playing things by the book. They need to come out with all guns blazing so to speak.

      This should be fun because I don’t see the US going down w/o a fight.


  17. I like Beckerman in the holding mid role, but I feel your concerns. I’m afraid we need MB bossing that space behind Dempsey and involved in quick counters or … no goals.


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