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Klinsmann recalls three starters
by Paul Kennedy, July 17th, 2013 11:38PM

TAGS:  gold cup, men's national team


[USA MEN] U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann took advantage of the Concacaf rule implemented for the 2013 Gold Cup that allows teams to make up to four changes for the knockout stage of the competition. He brought in Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler and Eddie Johnson, who all started the last two qualifiers, as well as Alan Gordon, and dropped Cory Ashe, Herculez Gomez, Jack McInerney and Oguchi Onyewu.

Gonzalez and Besler would be expected to step into the starting spots at center back while Johnson could start at right midfield or left midfield, positions at which Klinsmann has used five players in the group stage. [UPDATE: Gonzalez will only join the USA after the quarterfinals -- if it advances -- so he can play for the Galaxy this weekend.]

U.S. Soccer gave no reason for the departure of the four players -- whether the moves were based on form or lack thereof or predetermined moves made in consultation with the players based on their club situations.

Onyewu and Gomez each started only one Gold Cup game, the 4-1 win over Cuba. Neither Ashe nor McInerney played in the group stage.

Onyewu, who has struggled on the national team to return to the level he performed at before his 2009 knee injury, was beaten on the Cuba goal but otherwise performed rather well against an albeit weak Caribbean foe. He is a player in need of finding a club where he can play regularly if he wants to compete for a World Cup 2014 spot.

He said recently he was not ready to leave Europe, but he won't be returning to Spanish club Malaga and he seems to have no future at Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, which owns his contract.

Gomez was taken off at the half for Chris Wondolowski, whose two goals against Cuba gave him five for the tournament. Gomez, who missed the June qualifiers with a knee injury, recently joined Tijuana and will need to settle into a new club, his fifth Mexican club in the last three-plus seasons.

Gold Cup Roster Changes:
IN:  Erick Norales (Defender; Marathon)
OUT:  Johnny Palacios (Defender; Olimpia)

IN:  Jose Maria Cardenas (Midfielder; Morelia)
OUT:  Darvin Chavez (Midfielder; Monterrey)

IN:  Kevan George (Midfielder; Columbus Crew)
OUT:  Khaleem Hyland (Midfielder; Racing Genk)

IN: Omar Gonzalez (Defender; LA Galaxy), Alan Gordon (Forward; San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Forward; Seattle Sounders), Matt Besler (Defender; Club: Sporting KC).
OUT: Corey Ashe (Defender; Houston Dynamo), Jack McInerney (Forward; Philadelphia Union), Oguchi Onyewu (Defender; Sporting Lisbon).

  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 9:02 a.m.
    I honestly hope that Klinnsman doesn't mess with the current defense, they have looked the best of all the other groups who have played in the defensive positions!
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 9:53 a.m.
    The defense let up goals against very weak teams with shambolic defending. They looked good against Costa Rica due to the dominance of the midfield in controlling the ball, limiting the opportunities against our back 4. They gave up a free header that required Johnson to make a great save in the sequence that led to the goal for us. We need more top level games for Besler and Gonzalez to continue to gel their very promising center back combination for the upcoming WC qualifiers as well as Brazil. Games against El Salvador (trying to follow Zalaya's terrific runs), Honduras, and Mexico will make great experience for those two going forward.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 9:58 a.m.
    I find the inclusion of Eddie johnson and Alan Gordon interesting. Clearly Klinsman thinks we need some more aerial presence going forward.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 11:19 a.m.
    For some it feels good that mediocre opponents have fallen; but were the USMNT performances really that consistent and solid?
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.
    I w: Yes, and No. How's that for consistency? (jk) So does this mean we are still going to be watching Parkhurst (who has not impressed this go around), or Beltran at RB? Why didn't Klinns bring in Evans along with Besler/Gonzo? (did I miss something with his club situation?) Regarding Johnson, I don't mind this move as long as he is somewhat instructed to create width/drive to the goal line! (left mid preferably) I knew Gomez was teetering, but felt Gooch had a shot at staying (Castillo had more to do with that goal then Onyewu).
  1. Mike Terich
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 4:46 p.m.
    I am curious if Besler will pair w/Goodson or if Klinsi will give a ball playing pairing of Besler & Fiscal a run out against El Salvador. I would love to see that pair w/Beckerman doing his typical cleanup work deep in front of the back line. Might be exciting, huh?
  1. Edgar Aldana
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 6:52 p.m.
    I think that the defense has done a decent job, specially against a good composed Costa Rican team. If the midfield sustains good defensive pressure up field then the chances of being scored on are reduced like it was mentioned in another comment. To be honest Gonzales has made bad mistakes the kind that Tim Ream made that cost us goals. He needs more time against stiffer competition to become better, I think Goodson has been making good progress and has been pushing and distributing the ball much better. If you mess too much with what you have, players never jell and you end up with inconsistency and defensive errors. JK is doing a good job he knows his players so I'll support him but sometimes you wonder about his decisions .
  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.
    I w Nowozeniuk: Belize, Cuba, and Costa Rica do not qualify as mediocre opponents. They're nowhere near that level.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: July 19, 2013 at 6:19 p.m.
    Klinsman didn't take Gonzalez away from Bruce Arena to sit him on the bench to play Goodson or Orozco instead....
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: July 19, 2013 at 6:35 p.m.
    How many truly competitive, pressure matches are we going to have before Brazil? We've got 3 in the Gold Cup. We've got 4 more in the hex, although with good results in the next 2 games, the last 2 won't be pressure games. Then it's just the occasional friendly until next June. Klinsman wants to get these guys used to playing together in situations that matter. That way we're not still dinking around with our center backs going into Brazil.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: July 19, 2013 at 6:43 p.m.
    Brad Evans was apparently hurt in Seattle's last game against San Jose.

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