Klinsmann: Guzan remains No. 1, USA needs Beas

Of the myriad questions surrounding the U.S. men’s national team ahead of the Oct. 10 match against Mexico, Jurgen Klinsmann answered two of them on Wednesday. Brad Guzan will be the No. 1 keeper through the Confederations Cup playoff game, and he expects his starting outside backs to be Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley -- both of whom are currently sidelined with calf injuries.

Klinsmann has said that the friendlies against Peru Friday and Brazil next Friday are about competing for starting jobs against Mexico, but one spot there won't be competition is in goal.

Guzan, who won the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper at the Gold Cup, will start, not Howard, who took time off after the 2014 World Cup to concentrate on his play for Everton and spend time with his family.

“Tim accepted that because he was gone for more than a year,” Klinsmann told reporters at Wednesday's practice.

Guzan's nine appearances in 2015 are the most in a year in his national team career that began in 2006. He has generally played well, though the worst game just happened to be in the semifinals of the Gold Cup when the USA fell to Jamaica, 2-1, after conceding two first-half goals.

Brad Guzan, Post-World Cup 2014:
(5) *@Czech Republic
, 1-0
(7) Ecuador, 1-1
(5) Colombia, 1-2
(7) @Netherlands, 4-3
(7) @Germany, 2-1
(5) Guatemala, 4-0
Gold Cup:
(7) Honduras, 2-1
(6) Haiti, 1-0,
(6) Panama, 1-1
(5) Cuba, 6-0
(4) Jamaica, 1-2
(7) Panama, 1-1 (2-3 PKs)
*Played first 45 minutes.
Average Rating: 5.92.
Goals-Against Average: 1.01.
Record: 7 wins, 2 losses, 3 ties.

Johnson was injured in practice at Borussia Moenchengladbach and missed its last two Bundesliga games. Beasley came off in the first half of the Houston Dynamo's game against Vancouver on Saturday. Their injuries -- and the knee injury Timothy Chandler suffered on Saturday playing for Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany -- depleted the USA of its corps of outside backs.

Of the nine defenders in camp preparing for the friendlies against Peru and Brazil, eight are playing all or most of the time at center back for their clubs, including late call-up Jonathan Spector at Birmingham City. Greg Garza plays left back for Atlas but has not dressed for league games in recent weeks.

"We’re trying to make the best out of it,” Klinsmann said at American University, where the USA has been practicing. “Not having Fabian Johnson is really a bummer because of the qualities he has. Also DaMarcus Beasley. We hoped, still until Saturday, that he was back on track. We talked last week on the phone."

At the Gold Cup, the first-choice outside backs were Chandler and Johnson. Beasley came in for the quarterfinals, ostensibly to take over at left back, allowing Johnson to replace the weaker Chandler at right back, but Beasley was injured and missed the quarterfinals and deciding semifinal match against Jamaica.

"We need Beas against Mexico," said Klinsmann, "so that leaves kind of some fields open there [for the upcoming friendlies] and we’ll fix it as good as possible. But obviously the preferred roles would go to Fabian on the right and Beas on the left."

8 comments about "Klinsmann: Guzan remains No. 1, USA needs Beas".
  1. Gus Keri, September 3, 2015 at 6:05 a.m.

    Maybe Klinsmann should try 3-5-2 in these friendly using three central backs. It's a system that works when good full backs are not available. Liverpool tried this last season and it worked magically.

  2. David Mont, September 3, 2015 at 7:19 a.m.

    Weird. Klinsmann always talks about competition, yet it appears that some players have guaranteed starting spots?

  3. David V, September 3, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

    hopefully, JK will be long gone before 2018 cup

  4. Philip Friedman, September 3, 2015 at 12:49 p.m.

    Sure agree with David V. JK has delivered absolutely nothing of what he promised. Overall, his record is no better, maybe worse than Bradley's.

  5. Michael Fitzgibbon, September 4, 2015 at 7:47 a.m.

    Becoming very disenchanted with JK. If he thinks Beasley is the answer, he is mistaken. The state of USMNT is dismal. One of the more important responsibilities for a National Team head coach is to identify and develop new players. Name one US player that Klinsman has discovered and developed. Sorry, but Arena and Bradley outperformed JK by a long shot. JK comes off as being both arrogant and insecure, defensively referring to fans who believe his Gold Cup performance as underwhelming at best to be "uneducated". Sorry JK, but I have been playing and watching American soccer since before you were born. The USMNT defense is an absolute calamity. Some of the best USMNT defenders of all time have MLS pedigrees. Got news for you JK, USMNT was doing better before you came along and will flourish once again when you depart. Get off the sauce Gulati.

  6. Santiago 1314, September 4, 2015 at 11:36 a.m.

    Yes, but those of us that are "Educated" and Not ignorant, can tell you that "THE EMPEROR HAS GOT NO CLOTHES"... Don't fall for the JK bluff...He is clueless as a Coach... Great Player; Sure... But his "Flakiness" got him run out of Bayern Munich and Germany...

  7. Santiago 1314, September 4, 2015 at 7:49 p.m.

    "COMPETITION" and yet JK says; Guzan will start thru Oct 10 Play-off... What 2 Faced Double Speak FLAKE.!!!

  8. R2 Dad replied, September 7, 2015 at 2:17 a.m.

    Santi, Howard is getting the same treatment as Donovan, so I don't see that as 2-faced or erratic. If you take a break from the USMNT there is a price to pay. Hard to see Timmy sit but I admire the logic behind it. Opening up the pool to more players risks a weaker record but expands the opportunity to more players who are in form--this is smarter long-term than the short-term strategies of the past where the same 15 played all the matches. The problem I see is that we played better in the second half as a unit without Bradley in there as the attacking mid. Now that he's back, will we play better against Brazil than that second half against Peru? Granted, Peru was a much weaker side than the one that played at the WC but we'll probably see a weaker Brazil as well. We're also more predictable with just a solo striker up top--I agree with others who have proposed a 3-5-2 as an alternate. The team needs Bradley, but he's way more effective in a holding role like he played at Roma.

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