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Klinsmann's likely mix: 17 plus 6
by Paul Kennedy, January 26th, 2013 8:43PM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, men's national team

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[HEXAGONAL COUNTDOWN] A week before he must assemble the U.S. national team for its Hexagonal opener at Honduras, Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has one eye on the players he is preparing for Tuesday's game against Canada and another on his players based abroad, where the news is mixed. Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are on fire, and Maurice Edu and Jose Torres are playing again, but the news is bad out of Germany, where Steve Cherundolo and Fabian Johnson are sidelined with knee injuries, Danny Williams appears to have lost his starting job, and Jermaine Jones is just now completing his latest suspension.

Probably nothing is most worrying than the state of the backline, where the first-choice outside backs, Cherundolo and Johnson, did not suit up this weekend because of injuries, and Carlos Bocanegra and Clarence Goodson, the starters at center back at the start of the semifinal round of qualifying, are both playing for last-place teams.

The only foreign-based center back whose stock has risen in the last year is Geoff Cameron, and he's playing for Stoke City ... at right back.

Assuming Cherundolo and Johnson are unavailable, the likely starters at outside back are Timmy Chandler and Edgar Castillo, neither of whom has ever played for the USA in World Cup qualifying.

If Cherundolo and Johnson can't play, Klinsmann is likely to call up 17 foreign-based players -- probably the lone question mark would be Torres -- leaving just six spots for the players he has had in camp at the Home Depot Center for the trip to San Pedro Sula.

Two spots are likely to go Graham Zusi and Eddie Johnson, who started the last two qualifiers. Another will go to the No. 3 keeper, leaving just three spots up for grabs, either three defenders or two defenders and a midfielder.

√ = likely callups for Honduras game

Goalkeepers:
√ Brad Guzan (can't complain about a lack of action)
Aston Villa (17th/20 teams in English Premier League)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Tim Howard (recorded shutouts in last two EPL games)
Everton (5th/20 teams in English Premier League)

Defenders:
√ Carlos Bocanegra (missed two games after holidays: visa snafu)
Racing Santander (22th/22 teams in Spanish Segunda Division)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Geoff Cameron (starting regularly ... at right back)
Stoke City (10th/20 teams in English Premier League)
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√ Edgar Castillo (move to Xolos resurrected career)
Tijuana (tied 1st/18 teams in Mexican Liga MX)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Timmy Chandler (had concussion scare last week)
Nuremberg (tied 14th/18 teams in German Bundesliga)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Cherundolo (sidelined since break with knee pain)
Hannover 96 (10th/18 teams in German Bundesliga)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fabian Johnson (injured knee in practice this past week)
Hoffenheim (tied for 16th/18 teams in German Bundesliga)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clarence Goodson (rejected move to Turkey's Orduspor)
Broendby (12th/12 teams in Danish Superliga -- on winter break)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oguchi Onyewu (Diego Lugano's arrival drops him further down depth chart)
Malaga (tied for 4th/20 teams in Spanish Liga)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Michael Parkhurst (hasn't played since move to Germany)
Augsburg (tied for 16th/18 teams in German Bundesliga )

Midfielders:
√ Michael Bradley (playing well, but Roma has been inconsistent)
Roma (8th/20 teams in Italian Serie A)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Joe Corona (returned to starting lineup after shoulder injury)
Tijuana (tied for 1st/18 teams in Mexican Liga MX)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Maurice Edu (starting in place of Alfred N'Diaye, sold to Sunderland)
Bursaspor (tied for 6th/18 teams in Turkish Super Lig)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Jermaine Jones (suspension ended with Saturday's game)
Schalke 04 (tied for 6th/18 teams in German Bundesliga)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht has won 11 straight league games)
Anderlecht (1st/18 teams in Belgian Jupiler League)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Danny Williams (lost starting job as two new DMs were just brought in)
Hoffenheim (tied for 16th/18 teams in German Bundesliga)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Jose Torres (settling in nicely at Tigres)
Tigres (tied for 1st/18 teams in Mexican Liga MX)

Forwards:
√ Jozy Altidore
(15 goals are second in Eredivisie)
AZ (9th/18 teams in Dutch Eredivisie)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Terrence Boyd (9 goals tied for team lead)
Rapid Vienna (3rd/10 teams in Austrian Bundesliga -- on winter break)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Clint Dempsey (scored 4 goals in last 4 games)
Tottenham (3rd/20 teams in English Premier League)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
√ Herculez Gomez (started every game in Torneo Clausura)
Santos (tied for 5th/18 teams in Mexican Liga MX)

Note: Standings through Sunday games.



6 comments
  1. Kent James
    commented on: January 26, 2013 at 10:46 p.m.
    One positive aspect of Bocanegra and Goodson playing on last place teams...as defenders, I'm sure they're getting lots of action...
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: January 28, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
    Atidore may be on fire, but his track record on the USMNT has been mediocre at best. His productivity is vital to qualification, and hopefully, coach K will tweak the tactical plan to Jozy's strengths.
  1. Kevin Sims
    commented on: January 28, 2013 at 11:33 a.m.
    Kent James stole my first thought ... losing team = busy backs getting plenty of repetitions technically & tactically ... unless there is some reason to believe these guys are playing a primary role in team struggles! How sever are the injuries mentioned?
  1. David Parsons
    commented on: January 28, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
    I w, I think it's because he is played out of position on USMNT. AZ appears to use him as an attacker who finds his own space and feeds off of other players. On the Nats' he is an outright striker/hold up player like Torres or Crouch. It seems our style of play hurts him, although our style is a result of not having enough skilled ball handlers. I'd like more Joe Corona and the young Germans, and less of the northern European style. Germany's youth development currently is rivaling Spain's in my opinion.
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: January 28, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.
    Am I missing something, or are Eric Lichaj and Jonathon Spector no longer in the mix. Both play regularly in England, albeit on not the best teams, and yet they are left out entirely in favor of kids not playing in Germany. Certainly Spector doesn't have the speed, but a lot of experience, versatile, and a fine striker of the ball from distance.
  1. Rick Figueiredo
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 1:19 p.m.
    Wow. Last night's game was disjointed. I had trouble getting through the first 30 minutes. Jurgen must have been very frustrated. Honduras in Honduras is projected as a tie. Based on what I have seen from the U.S. team, I would be somewhat concerned. Shows how important a player Bradley is. He is the only connector the USA has on its roster. He is playing excellent futebol in Italy. He will need to control the team and I would hope Jurgen will give him that task during hexagonal games. At this point the USA is not a sure thing to qualify in the top three and forget having to go to South America to make the world cup. WHEN ARE AMERICANS GOING TO START PLAYING LIKE AMERICANS?

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