USMNT- Roster for upcoming WCQ games

Submitted by swan flu on October 8th, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The roster has been announced for the final 2 games of this round of WC Qualifying.


GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)


We will likely see a few scratches and maybe an addition before the October 12th game against Antigua and Barbuda, and the October 16th game against Guatamala.


My take:

1) Alan Gordon over Jozy Altidore.  wtf is going on?  Altidore leads all the Eredivise in scoring, and while he has not found his nitch on the USMNT, surely he MUST be a better option than Alan Gordon.  I just... and... okay fine.  I understand (but disagree with) the opinion that Altidore should not factor into the national team... but Alan Gordon?  Why not at least call on Terrence Boyd, who has shown an eagerness and an athleticisim that could be very valuable for us.

2) With Bocanegra, Dolo, Cameron, and Fabian Johnson, our defense seems to be the most solid it has been in 3 years.  Throw in Michael Bradley at holding mid and I like our chances to give up no more than 1 goal in the next 2 games.

3) Love the fact that Joe Corona has been on the roster for the past few training camps and I conitnue to be very excited for his future.  Even if he doesn't get a single minute of playing time, being at the training camp is invaluable for his development within this team.  Hopefully we can get a multi-goal cushion against Antigua so we can see how he meshes with 1st team guys.



October 8th, 2012 at 4:07 PM ^

I don't get it at all.  It's not just that Alitdore has been scoring in bunches for AZ Alkmaar.  It's that he's been taking his goals really well (the stop-and-go move from last week was something I didn't know he was capable of).  I know he's not playing in the EPL or La Liga or anything, but what the hell?


October 8th, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

Gordon has been playing well with 13 goals in 23(13 starts) games but there has to be a reason Altidore is left out. This would really hurt his confidence if it's just a case of him not being deemed good enough for the roster.  The guy has 8 goals in 6 games in the Eredivisie and he has shown some real class in the games I've seen.  Maybe an injury? He did get a red card this weekend but I didn't see any of that game.


October 8th, 2012 at 4:23 PM ^

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was reportedly critical in an interview last month, saying, "I think Jozy can do a lot better, and he knows that.'

Altidore, according to multiple reports, responded with a tweet, which since has been removed, saying: "Love when people try to blame others for their own shortcomings and incompetence.''

When are these people (go ahead and lump Rio Ferdinand, Joey Barton and Ashley Cole in with Altidore) going to take a freaking second before clicking "send" to realize the harm they can do their careers?

Regardless - Klinsmann knows he can probably win these two games without Jozy, and so Jozy can drink some Amstel Light and wait for his next call-up.


October 8th, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^

Criticizing the coach is a "silly" reason to have a guy sit down for two games? Okay.

Regardless of the issue, the bigger reality is this - the US should be able to get the 4 points it needs from these two games with its U-23 team. If Klinsmann can bench Altidore, teach him a lesson, and still have Dempsey, Donovan, and unearth another viable striking option, he wins.


October 8th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

I think criticizing a coach in a tweet that, to my understanding, was deleted almost immediately, is a silly reason to bench a guy for two games where those two games could keep the US from qualifying from the World Cup in incredibly embarrassing fashion.  The US should be able to get 4 points from the next two games, yes.  But they also should have been able to beat Jamaica in Jamaica, and we saw how that turned out.  We're not exactly Spain here at the moment, and I think it's a mistake to assume a point against Guatemala is in the bag.


October 8th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

Deleted or not, obviously the damage was already done.  And yes, I think criticizing the coach - in public, by calling him incompetent - is a great reason to give him some cooling off time.  If you're so immature you can't handle the coach's assessment of your play without spouting off on Twitter, how will that work out on the field?


October 8th, 2012 at 5:34 PM ^

who are awesome on the field.  For starters, basically every striker and wide receiver in the history of soccer and football.  Their immature idiocy generally doesn't stop them from being great players.  I can buy that there's a level at which it's not worth dealing with (Balotelli, Terrell Owens), but one tweet definitely doesn't rise to that.  

Especially when Jozy wasn't wrong.  


October 8th, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

Altidore doesn't have the kind of goalscoring record that precludes his dropping at international level. He is a far cry away from the kind of goalscorer (van Huntellaar, Rooney, Balotelli, etc.) whose crap you will put up to win games.

Looking really quickly, the top two goalscorers for the US squad have been picked. Altidore isn't too good to get dropped.

swan flu

October 8th, 2012 at 4:38 PM ^

Jozy Altidore is a far cry from Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, and Joey Barton in terms of personality.  Altidore's tweet seems more like striker-machismo than it does anything else.  All good forwards have a confidence that borders on cockiness.  I really don't think it was anywhere near Joey Barton-level.


I'm not defending Jozy, but I do feel that Klinsmann (and this has been a big criticism of him in the past) does not really have a concrete strategy for his forwards or for his offense in general. 




October 8th, 2012 at 6:46 PM ^

Maybe he doesn't have a distinct strategy for his offense because unlike when, say, he played, or he coached Germany, he doesn't have a striker good enough to warrant automatic inclusion.

Germany always had a front man, whether it was Klinsmann, Riedle, Bierhoff, Klose, or Gomez. The US's best goalscorers are not their strikers and that's not Klinsmann's fault.

swan flu

October 8th, 2012 at 7:20 PM ^

Klinsmann was the coach of Bayern Munich for less than a season after he coached Germany.  He failed to win the Bundisliga with by far the best team.  His players indicated that the teams failure was do to the lack of strategy. The team focused on conditioning and strength rather than tactics and strategy.


He has always been critisized for his lack of tactics, regardless of who he had at forward.



swan flu

October 8th, 2012 at 4:55 PM ^

The guy is 22 years old fergodsakes.  The US has tried to put all the pressure on him to score regularly before he's had time to learn and mature properly.


He still has a lot of potential, as shown by his 8 goals in the Eredivise this year.  I don't understand how you can write him off while he is still so young

State Street

October 8th, 2012 at 4:38 PM ^

In the near impossible scenario where we don't make it to the hex - good god.  Klinsmann will be be run out of the country faster than any sports figure in recent memory.


October 8th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

I know it's purposeful hyperbole, but I'm afraid most people in this country don't know who Klinsmann is, never mind caring about soccer enough to run him out of town for a roster decision involving two players that 99 percent of Americans cannot distinguish between if given their pictures. 

Plus I'm not sure it's possible to let down the country more than Tiger Woods/Steve Stricker did at the Ryder Cup. 


October 8th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

Its so weird. For years Altidore was young, undisciplined, and wasted many, many opportunites, and was regularly featured regardless of that. Now he has matured, is well coached, prolific, efficient, and is getting excluded. I've been scratching my head with him his entire senior career. He's finally found his form, and understands his role, and he's out.

We need him and Kenny Cooper as the tall point men playing with their backs to the goal. We have so many players who like playing the cross in, and play the counter attack, and those two CFs are at their best in those situations.

Great to see Clarence Goodson and Geoff Cameron regularly. I've been a fan for years. Always thought they'd have a future in the MNT. Great seeing Graham Zusi get rewarded for his good MLS season. Surprised to not see left winger Brad Davis called up after tallying 24 assists and counting, or Chris Wondolowski after 42 goals and counting in the last two years.


October 8th, 2012 at 6:07 PM ^

I'm so glad that we get Bradley back and healty.  I think he really completes this team, and I think this is one of the best defenses the team has fielded over the last few years. 


October 8th, 2012 at 6:10 PM ^

I'm glad to see the Parkhurst is on this squad as well.  He looked very good in the CL game vs Chelsea.  I know Dolo is the starter, but with Timmy Chandler no longer on the team, I think Parkhurst can step in as the #2.

Is there some kind of dumb rule that the USSF has for calling up a certain number of MLS players?  That is the only way I can explain having Gordon on the squad.

I know there is lots of Jose Torres hate out there.  I will continue to say that nobody else in the player pool possess the skills that he has.  He is just being played out of position when you ask him to play on the flanks.


October 8th, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

As far as the Altidore thing, I don't think Klinsmann likes Altidore's style of play, namely that in his US appearances, he hasn't been good on the ball and relies way too much on his size/strength than his ability. Why Alan freakin' Gordon was given the nod instead of Terence Boyd is beyond me though.

Is Timmy Chandler definitely a German soccer player now? I thought his status was still TBD.

My starting XI for the next two would be...

GK - Howard / LB - Johnson / CB - Boca / CB - Goodson / RB - Dolo / DM - Edu / HM - Bradley / RM - Landon / LM - Williams / F - Dempsey / F - Gomez

With Shea, Cameron, Corona being the first three names called depending on score.


October 8th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

Not sure if he is a German player now, but he for sure is not an American soccer player right now. 

I think Jones will start over Edu.  Edu just made his EPL debut when he came off the bench yesterday.

swan flu

October 8th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

Jones is carrying an injury, as is Landy cakes.


While it hurts me to say it, I think Beckerman gets the nod at the second holding midfield giving Bradley the freedom to go box-to-box.


Ideally, Williams would be a holding mid with Bradley, but I think with Lando's injury Williams will be forced to play out right.  Too bad Josh Gatt got injured.


October 8th, 2012 at 8:02 PM ^

I know these are international friendly dates, but I also know his club team I read is notorious for denying requests for international duty. I dont know all the rules on it, but I read it somewhere recently.

T-town Wolv

October 8th, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

I'm not saying he should be on the roster, but with his speed and experience in the Tippaligaen, why isn't his name called on more often? Easily one of the best pure wing players the US could call upon.

swan flu

October 9th, 2012 at 8:08 AM ^

Gatt did get called up last camp but got an injury.  Im not sure if he's still out but he's definitely not 100%.


But I agree. I think he is the heir apparent to Lany Cakes at right mid/wing

Zvornik Bosna

October 8th, 2012 at 10:58 PM ^

1) Do you expect this team to make the World Cup? I am assuming that they'll win these next to games to secure a spot in the final six.

2) How far do you think they'll be able to go if they reach the Cup? Do you pretty much expect to make the knock out stages or is a good group showing good enough? 


October 9th, 2012 at 12:28 AM ^

I'd say it's way too early to tell considering we have zero idea who is actually going to be on the final 23 outside of Howard, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, and Boca. The guys we thought we're going to be the next gen (Lichaj, Gonzalez, Torres, Holden) haven't really gotten any run in qualifiers.

If we see a lot of promise in some of the other young guys and the veteran core stays relatively healthy *AND* we find decent options up top, we could make a run to the quarters.

However, from my perspective, not making it out of the group stage will be considered a disappointment.

swan flu

October 9th, 2012 at 8:11 AM ^

I don't think anyone really thought Torres was our future at midfield.  He was a nice revelation that no one really saw coming til he made the WC squad.


Holden and Gonzalez have been sidelined by major ACL injuries, so it's really not fair to say they have not performed well.


The rest of your post I agree with.  Dempsey needs a complimentary forward to play with, I think Terrence Boyd will probably be the best option.