Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
USA set in goal, backline makeover continues
by Paul Kennedy, August 27th, 2013 12:16AM

TAGS:  men's national team


[HEXAGONAL COUNTDOWN] U.S. national team team Jurgen Klinsmann will need to finalize this weekend his roster for the upcoming World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Over the next three days, Soccer America will update how things look from back to front, beginning with goalkeepers and defenders.

GOALKEEPERS. The one position where there has been little movement, not just with the starter but backups, is in goal, where there's little doubt who will be headed to Miami, where the USA will set up camp ahead of the trip to Costa Rica.

The pecking order remains No. 1 Tim Howard (Everton), No. 2 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) and No. 3 Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) -- and that's despite the fact Guzan and Rimando are having great years.

Guzan earned shutouts in the two qualifiers he started in March. He was Aston Villa's Player of the Year for 2012-13 and started the new EPL season with a sensational game in Villa's 3-1 win at Arsenal. Rimando was in goal as the USA won the Gold Cup, and he leads all MLS keepers with a 0.95 goals-against average.

Despite the arrival of 23-year-old keeper Spanish keeper Joel Robles from Wigan, where he played for Everton's new manager, Roberto Martinez, Howard, now 34 and starting his eighth year in goal for the Toffees, remains the Everton starter for the foreseeable future.

Hexagonal Appearances:
4 *Tim Howard
2 Brad Guzan
*Carrying yellow card.

DEFENDERS. The backline has seen a complete makeover in the last year. Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) and Matt Besler (Sporting KC) teamed up for the first time in a competitive match in March when they started in the 0-0 tie against Mexico at Azteca Stadium. DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla) was installed as the starting left back for the March qualifiers, and Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders) took over at right back for the Germany friendly on June 2 and is now Klinsmann's No. 1 choice there even if he doesn't play there for the Sounders.

Of the players who played on the backline in last year's World Cup qualifiers, Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg) and Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) started on the Gold Cup championship team and would be considered locks for the September qualifiers.

Geoff Cameron
(Stoke City) started alongside newcomer John Brooks (Hertha Berlin) in the recent friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina, and his versatility makes him a sure choice in any Klinsmann squad.

Parkhurst is the one player who isn't playing at all -- he isn't even suiting up for Augsburg -- but he's another player whose versatility keeps him around -- at least in the short term. Klinsmann will need him as a backup as Besler, Cameron, Evans and Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim) all will carry yellow cards into the Costa Rica game.

Brooks has an upside that should keep him around but whether Klinsmann would consider starting him at Costa Rica or against Mexico remains to be seen. With Besler and Cameron both carrying cards, Klinsmann may call Brooks in as a backup for the September qualifiers. The German-American still needs to be cap-tied so that will be a factor as the USA moves through its final four Hexagonal matches.

Two other German-Americans, Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg) and Johnson, started the year as the first choices on the outside.

Johnson also started at left back for most of 2012 and has played there off and on in 2013, but his best position may on the left side of midfield. For what it's worth, he's back starting at left back for Hoffenheim after ending last season in midfield.

Chandler hasn't been in camp since being cap-tied in the 2-1 loss to Honduras in February. Injuries kept the  out of the March and June qualifiers, and Klinsmann said others had since moved ahead of him, explaining his decision not to call him up for the Bosnia match -- quite a statement when you consider he brought in Tim Ream, who hasn't played for Klinsmann since October 2011.

Chandler began the Bundesliga season on the bench at Nuremberg, but he was back in the starting lineup by the third game, a 2-0 loss at champion Bayern Munich.

In Mexico, Gold Cup champions Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla) and Edgar Castillo (Tijuana) are both playing regularly though Orozco is now no higher than sixth on the depth at center back with Brooks' emergence and Castillo is no higher than third at left back but could get a call-up if Klinsmann wants cover in case Johnson is carded against Costa Rica.

World Cup dreams appear to fading for 2006 and 2010 World Cup veterans Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu and Steve Cherundolo. In the last year, Besler, Gonzalez, Cameron and Brooks have all moved ahead of Bocanegra and Onyewu in the middle, and recurrent knee problems have sidelined Cherundolo.

Hexagonal Appearances:
Right Back:
3 *Brad Evans
2 *Geoff Cameron
1 Timmy Chandler

Center Back:
6 Omar Gonzalez
4 *Matt Besler
1 *Geoff Cameron
1 Clarence Goodson

Left Back
4 DaMarcus Beasley
2 *Fabian Johnson
*carrying yellow card.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: August 27, 2013 at 3:22 p.m.
    Father Time, takes no prisoners......Don't completely agree about the three vets, but Klinns has put the writing on the wall.
  1. Daniel Clifton
    commented on: August 27, 2013 at 6:09 p.m.
    I don't think Cherundolo is necessarily out the rotation if he makes a full recovery. It is looking like that is less likely as time goes by and that he has some type of permanent long term knee injury (such as no cartilage anymore). I do believe Bocanegra and Onyewu are out of the picture. I think all the young guys mentioned above are clearly ahead of those two.
  1. Dan Phillips
    commented on: August 27, 2013 at 8:16 p.m.
    Timmy Chandl;er sshould be brought back in. He is the best right back.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
NWSL teams allocated Canadian players    
Six newly allocated Canada national team players -- players subsidized by the Canadian Soccer Association -- ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I don't think we have that many ills to cure to begin with. There are no ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 8)    
Columbus Crew SC waived former U.S. U-20 Romain Gall and Jamaican center back Sergio Campbell. Gall ...
Report: News Revs DP signing Kouassi out 6-9 months    
Ivorian midfielder Xavier Kouassi, acquired as a Designated Player to fill in the slot held by ...
Heavy U.S. influence in Concacaf women's qualifying    
The Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship begins Wednesday in Texas with two berths in the Rio ...
Arguments behind latest legal sparks in U.S. women's suit    
U.S. Soccer and the Women's National Soccer Team Players Association were back in Federal court on ...
What They're Saying: Cristiano Ronaldo    
"I want to stay here two more years. The two years I'm talking about take me ...
Video Pick: Top 5 Bundesliga Goals of the Week     
Szabolcs Huszti (Eintracht Frankfurt), Havard Nordtveit (Bourssia M'Gladbach), Johannes Geis (Schalke 04), Nicolai Mueller (Hamburg SV) ...
Mexican Olympic team calls up FC Dallas keeper    
Jesse Gonzalez, who won FC Dallas' starting goalkeeper spot last August, is in camp with Mexico's ...
U.S. U-19 men lose to short-handed Canary Islands    
The U.S. U-19 men's national team (1998s) lost, 1-0, to the Canary Islands, which played the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives