Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
USA missing key parts as World Cup tune-ups begin
by Paul Kennedy, October 11th, 2013 12:23AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

[HEXAGONAL COUNTDOWN] If the games against Jamaica Friday in Kansas City (ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas, kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET) and against Panama Tuesday in Panama City (beIN Sport, beIN Sport Play, kickoff: 9:30 p.m. ET) are the first tune-ups on the road to Brazil, the U.S. national team's engine is missing some very important parts. Missing down the spine are Omar Gonzalez, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, and also out are Fabian Johnson, the USA's most consistent wide player, and Eddie Johnson, who had the winning goal in the clinching win over Mexico but withdrew after injuring his groin in practice on Wednesday.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have only five more games with his full team -- the final two qualifiers, two friendlies in November and one friendly in March -- before he must pick his team for the World Cup 2014, so he has no intention of taking his foot off the pedal for the games against Jamaica and Panama.

Klinsmann had seemed to have found a winning lineup in June when the USA swept all three qualifiers, but injuries have since prevented him from showing his cards and revealing how he'd adjust the lineup to account for the return of the in-form Landon Donovan.

Does he start Donovan in place of Graham Zusi at right midfield? Start Donovan at left mid and move Fabian Johnson to left back in place of DaMarcus Beasley or right back in place of Brad Evans? Those seemed to be Klinsmann's most likely options.

But another move, unimaginable a few months ago, must now be considered. Will Dempsey end up in the Klinsmann doghouse like Donovan was in the first half of the year, meaning Donovan will take over the first choice as the second forward behind Jozy Altidore in the position he excelled at during the Gold Cup?



Klinsmann has made it clear that he's probably not going to seriously consider new players between now and the World Cup so the Jamaica and Panama games will be key tests for those players he has on hand.

Two emerged as Klinsmann favorites during the fall qualifiers a year ago:

-- Geoff Cameron should return to the position at which he started the Hexagonal in February. After opening at center back, he was shuttled around the field, first to right back for two games and then center mid for four more (two as a starter). He'll likely start in the middle in place of Gonzalez.

-- Zusi has played in every Hexagonal game he's suited up at right mid but faces competition from Donovan and Alejandro Bedoya, who started ahead of him for the Mexico game in Columbus. Friday will be a big test for Zusi in front of a home crowd.

Two more are youngsters, both foreign-bred (though not German-Americans):

-- Mix Diskerud did not have a good January camp but played well enough during the Gold Cup that he was recalled for the Bosnia-Herzegovina friendly, which he started, and brought off the bench last month for the Mexico match, in which he set up the insurance goal.

-- Aron Johannsson has only been eligible for the USA for two months, but he has already climbed to fifth on the frontline depth chart ahead of Terrence Boyd, Chris Wondolowski and Herculez Gomez. Boyd and Wondo (recalled along with Clarence Goodson and Brad Davis after their MLS matches Wednesday night) are in camp and Gomez is back in action with Tijuana, so the pressure will be on Johannsson to reproduce for the USA what he has done for AZ so far this fall (10 goals in all competitions).

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS (7): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting KC) Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Orozco (Puebla).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

Jamaica Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): DuWayne Kerr (Sarpsborg), Richard McCallum (Waterhouse), Gariece McPherson (Cavalier)
DEFENDERS (8): Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace), Demar Phillips (Aalesund), Daniel Gordon (Karlsruhe), Shaun Cummings (Reading), Kemar Lawrence (Harbour View), Westley Morgan (Leicester City), Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday), Rudolph Austin (Leeds United) Marvin Elliot (Bristol City), Joel McAnuff (Reading), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas), Romario Campbell (Waterhouse)
FORWARDS (5): Theo Robinson (Derby County), Ryan Johnson (Portland Timbers), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps), Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids), Jermaine “Tuffy” Anderson (Waterhouse).


2 comments
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: October 11, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.
    IMHO, Johannsson is the most promising of the lot.
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 11, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.
    Let's start considering what they do in the US jersey first, and given Wondo's big summer contribution, I cannot with clear conscious relegate him behind Aron yet. Similar is the Zusi situation, where he, and you could argue Evans as well, should only have their spots to lose at this point. Bedoya and Mix have improved greatly within the last three months, but they are certainly not a lock to start anywhere at this point. These are all good, competative, problems to have!!

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Mercy asked for Chandler after red card    
Timmy Chandler could be looking at an early Christmas as he was red carded in Eintracht ...
What They're Saying: Leonardo Santiago    
"We have the MLS rights throughout central and north Florida, so any discussion of another franchise ...
MLS Cup Countdown: 'Amazing night' expected    
Saturday's MLS Cup shapes up as one of the best in league history with arguably the ...
Coaching: New NSCAA course on LGBT Inclusion     
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) has launched a free online course to help ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"If you could wave a magic wand and not have to address things like: What do ...
MLS Moves: 'Caps re-sign Hurtado, renew 11 options     
A day after announcing it had declined the option on midfielder Pedro Morales, Vancouver finalized its ...
TV: Fox Sports will air MLS Cup in VR    
For the first time since its launch in 1996, MLS will not air its final on ...
Video Pick: Bundesliga goalkeeper bloopers    
As part of its annual advent calendar series, Bundesliga YouTube presents the Top 10 most "catastrophic" ...
U.S. Abroad: Bob Bradley to critics: 'Hit the road'    
With just one win and five points in seven games as Swansea City's manager, Bob Bradley ...
Soccer in December in Toronto -- who'd have thought?    
It may surprise a lot of people to realize that Seattle is farther north than Toronto. ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives