Due to either a dip in form and/or injuries, the US Men’s National Team is left with a squad full of inexperienced defenders that will have a heck of a challenge ahead of them when playing Mexico. That’s why everyone is freaking out right (see our post from a few minutes ago or just do a twitter search of #USMNT to find out for yourself).
Let’s take a look at the players selected:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa – 5/3 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake – 0/0)
Just like I predicted (patting my shoulder). There’s no surprises here. Guzan’s performances for Aston Villa this season has cemented his claim to the #2 spot. With Howard injured, it was a no-brainer that Brad will be elevated to be the starter. Rimando brings a lot of experience to this group and Sean Johnson has simply jumped ahead of Hamid in Coach K’s eyes. While Guzan has had the “luxury” of playing for a injury plagued, inexperienced back four at Aston Villa, it will be interesting to see how he works with the defenders.
DEFENDERS (6):Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake – 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 6/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 1/0), Clarence Goodson (Brondby – 5/0), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes – 0/0)
This group is very thin and I’m going to assume that one of the midfielders may make an appearance such as Edu (CB), Beasley (LB), or Shea (LB). I think a question that comes to mind is who’s going to be the starting CB pair? Cameron has played a lot at fullback for Stoke so does Coach K move Goodson or Edu into the other spot with Gonzalez? It looks like the Bocanegra era is over unless he moves to MLS and plays great. It’s the only way he can salvage his international career. With Chandler, Castillo, Johnson, and Cherundolo all out with injuries, the fullback situation is very scary.
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla – 26/6), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake – 2/0), Michael Bradley (Roma – 20/5), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana – 1/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 10/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 6/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 13/0), Brek Shea (Stoke City – 2/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 4/0)
It’s nice to see Shea, Beasley, and Corona get a call. I’m not that thrilled about Beckerman however with Williams out, it’s not shocking at all. I think Edu, Beasley, and Shea got called partially due to their ability to play as a defender. It’s not ideal of course but you have to make lemonade out of lemons, right? Jose Torres would’ve probably gotten a call if he was healthy so I hope Corona can capitalize if given an opportunity. One thing that will be interesting is who will be the starting CMs. I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see 3 CDMs to assist the back four.
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 18/6), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna – 2/0), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 27/11), Herculez Gomez (Santos – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC – 12/10)
Thank goodness Dempsey’s fitness is getting better although you have to wonder what his motor will be like having missed the past couple of weeks for Tottenham. The one surprise is Boyd. He’s been in great form but I really didn’t expect him getting called. I’m pleasantly surprised however.
We’ll talk line up tactics later this week but in the meantime, let us know what you think.