USMNT: Grab-Bag of Players Selected for Final 23-Man Roster


The latest edition of the USMNT roster a head of their two International Friendlies is, interesting. If there was a good way to describe this roster of players, grab-bag would be the best way to describe it.

It has not even been a full year since the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Jurgen Klinsmann is starting to do his old tricks again. While some of the players on the final 23-man roster make sense, others leave fans wondering what Klinsmann’s thinking was behind their selection.

"U.S. ROSTER BY POSITIONGOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)MIDFIELDERS (8): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)"

The USMNT left today for their first friendly against Chile which takes place on January 28. After that match, the USMNT takes on CONCACAF foe, Panama, on February 8. Chile will pose a serious threat to the USMNT, especially after their success at the World Cup, where the team lost a heartbreaking match against Brazil on penalty kicks in the Round of 16.

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Looking around at the players selected for the upcoming friendlies for the USMNT, it seems that Klinsmann is trying to introduce many new players into the system to learn from the better players.

If there are any players that really do not belong on the roster, the most notable names are Brek Shea, Chris Wondolowski and Jozy Altidore. Understandably, the USMNT is not very deep at the forward spot, so calling in to veterans in Wondo and Altidore makes some sense. However, neither player is playing well now and most likely will not have a radical change while with the national team.

Shea is always an interesting prospect. He moved to new MLS Expansion club, Orlando City SC recently after having a horrible time in Europe. For those who remember, Shea was a dynamic winger that could not only score goals but also provide incredible service into the box. Anyone that has followed Shea recently, knows that he is not nearly at the level he was just a few short years ago.

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This roster for the USMNT does feature nine veterans from the World Cup squad that almost beat Belgium in the Round of 16. On top of those veterans, one player is making his first ever appearance for the USMNT, LA Galaxy forward, Gyasi Zardes.

If USMNT fans truly wanted a young and talented player to get excited about, Zardes is your man. Forget about all the hype around Julian Green or even Gedion Zelalem, Zardes is the real deal and boasts the best chance at a successful career for the USMNT and professional soccer as a whole.

The roster is full of young and old players, but even with the selections surprising many, Klinsmann might be doing the right thing by getting some of these poor form or inexperienced players into camp now. Time will certainly tell, but keep an eye out for how these players produce the next two weeks.

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