[USA MEN] By taking just 20 players for the qualifiers against Jamaica and Panama, Jurgen Klinsmann gave a strong indication of who stands where in the battle for the 23 spots on the 2014 U.S. World Cup team. If you take the 18 players who were called in to both the September and October qualifiers and add the injured Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson, all automatic choices when healthy throughout the Hexagonal, that leaves only two spots up for grabs.
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting KC)
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt
Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), *Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), *Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), *Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders).
One of the remaining spots will surely go to a central defender. The top three candidates at the moment are John Brooks (Hertha
Berlin), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) and Michael Orozco (Puebla).
The other player would likely
be a midfielder, and Sacha Kljestan, headed to Kansas City after missing the September qualifiers, would be first in line to claim that spot.
Terrence Boyd was also called in for the Jamaica and Panama matches, but he and other forwards like Hercules Gomez and Chris Wondolowski face stiff competition if they want to crack the frontline corps.