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Who will replace Goodson?
by Paul Kennedy, September 10th, 2012 12:51AM

TAGS:  men's national team


[USA-JAMAICA: Countdown] Those fans who had Jermaine Jones in the first-to-be-suspended pool will be disappointed. Clarence Goodson is the first American to be suspended for yellow card accumulation in World Cup 2014 qualifying, picking up his second caution in only three games in Friday's 2-1 loss to Jamaica. Goodson's suspension complicates Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's options on his already thin backline, although he has at least five possible choices ...

Here's what handcuffed Klinsmann in the first game against Jamaica:

-- A foot injury sidelined Edgar Castillo whose strong play for Tijuana has been one of the reasons the Xolos are contending for the lead in Mexico. He could have started at left back and Fabian Johnson would have moved to right back in Kingston (see below).

-- Michael Bradley was also unavailable, having suffered a hamstring injury. It meant that Klinsmann had to move Maurice Edu, who played in the middle of the backline in the 1-0 win over Mexico, into midfield in Kingston when he went with three holding midfielders.

-- Right back Steve Cherundolo sat out the Kingston match because of a calf injury and was replaced by Michael Parkhurst.

-- Klinsmann chose not to play captain Carlos Bocanegra because he "had some problems getting in a rhythm now with the whole transfer thing." (Bocanegra was starting for Scottish club Rangers in the fourth level of Scottish soccer until his move on loan to Spanish club Racing Santander.)

The assumption is Geoff Cameron will hold down one of the two spots in the middle of the U.S. backline. Here are Klinsmann's options to replace Goodson:

-- Edu, who had a solid game alongside Cameron against Mexico in their debut outing -- assuming Klinsmann won't again go with three holding midfielders in Columbus.

-- Michael Orozco Fiscal, who scored the winning goal against Mexico coming up from his right back position and who started early in Klinsmann's tenure in the middle of the backline.

-- Jonathan Spector, whose versatility probably earned him a call-up ahead of Eric Lichaj, who is starting for Aston Villa in the EPL.

-- Parkhurst, who has also played in the middle for Klinsmann, if Cherundolo is healthy enough to start at right back.

-- Bocanegra, if he has rediscovered his "rhythm."

  1. Jack Aldridge
    commented on: September 10, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
    Has Klinsman forgot all about Jay DeMerit? He was stellar for the MLS All Star team...
  1. Bob R
    commented on: September 10, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.
    I’m not sure these are the only aspects of the game that hampered Klinsmann. The team played slow, dribbled too much, and could not pass its way out of pressure. This is not playing at the highest levels. Added to these woes is the lack of competency by our forwards who do not play as partners. And, than there is Altidore. He who cannot play with his back to the ball, cannot hold a ball, and cannot beat a keeper and certainly shoots astray. Surely we have better forwards than this? Indeed, we do lack a creative midfielder who can see the field and pass with some skill, but why do we not have speed on our wings. The National Team has to be better. Much better.
  1. Paul Roby
    commented on: September 10, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
    Ric, I hope you are not implying that Jamaica's attack is more fearsome than Chelsea FC. And please don't use the "it was only a pre-season friendly game for them" argument. I'm pretty sure they did not want to be beaten by Americans who aren't apparently talented enough to play in la Liga MX.
  1. Mike Gaire
    commented on: September 10, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
    Paul how many times do I have to say "Todd Dunivant is the best left back in America" before ANYBODY takes any notice?!!! He even scored a goal last week!!!! I also agree with Jack about Jay De Merit being well worth another look. Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo have both done stellar work for the US in the past, but there best years are behind them!! Its time to move on!
  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: September 11, 2012 at 2:44 a.m.
    Folks, the cruel fact of life is that you get older and slower as you age, certainly once you hit around age 30... and both Dunivant, nearing 32 and DeMerit, nearing 33 are now past that point... as are both Bocanegra, 33 and Cherundolo, 33... the fact is that we are going to have to find and develop YOUNGER defenders and that means likely going back to players like Ream or Gonzalez, not to players who like Donovan, 31 next March, are now more prone to getting and staying injured. Add in Jermaine Jones, 31 in another month and Kyle Beckerman, 31 next Spring... and we have a real problem with some of our players getting older and STAYING injured when they pick up an injury... clearly Klinsmann wanted to bring in Joshua Gatt but he picked up an injury himself... we will need to get several players into the squad pretty soon or face repeatedly doing this robbing Peter to pay Paul act of moving players around the field game to game. Clearly the Three Holding Midfielder Christmas Tree Formation was and is a bust, so I'm thinking either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-2 come the match in Columbus Ohio, and that means either playing Spector or maybe Williams at LB and pushing Johnson into midfield or maybe using Corona or Torres wide... but either way we need WIDTH and someone supplying the ball to the attack... which is why no matter whom it is you play up top, you have a problem if they never really have the ball. My best guess is either Edu moves back to stopper or Orazco-Fiscal starts... not thrilled by this but this is who we have at the moment, so those are the choices Klinsmann has given himself. ... (ICE)

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