Jurgen Klinsmann With 20 Names For Camp Cupcake

And the invites are in…or out rather.

Geoff Cameron gets his long-deserved invite...

Jurgen Klinsmann will undoubtedly run a different January camp than his predecessor Bob Bradley did. That, and the US goes on the road for not one but two matches against Venezuela and Panama. (Really looking forward to that Panama affair.)

Klinsmann’s roster to train in Carson, CA:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), George John (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

The skinny:

• Tim Ream, absent. Is a sale pending?

• No true fullbacks. Will DeLaGarza, Pearce, Parkhurst or Cameron be used on the outside? The roster versus positions would seem to suggest it’s about the player being a USMNT player, not necessarily what position they play. Only Loyd is a true fullback.

• SportingKC stand-up: No first Chance Myers, but CJ Sapong and Graham Zusi with invites.

• Bunbury and Agudelo the lone U-23 roster representatives.

• Fascinating centerback battle amongst Gonzalez, John, perhaps Parhurst, Cameron, De La…you get the picture.

 

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97 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Luke S on 2011/12/22 at 10:21 AM

    what do you think of wondolowski making it but not rolfe, especially when we have no true rm’s and that’s where he has been playing? also, it’s discouraging to see jurgen go back on his word in terms of call ups to people who haven’t been seeing regular minutes (ricardo clark). also, very surprised to see ream not in the squad. do you think rogers’ exclusion is telling of a january transfer? i hope so.

    Reply

    • Posted by Say What! on 2011/12/22 at 2:45 PM

      There really isn’t a problem with Wondo over Rolfe b/c neither will see very many minutes even in qualifiers (Barring major injuries). Neither has the complete package needed to be effective at the intl level. The intl game is much more reliant on individual efforts than the club level b/c they don’t train as much together and both of these players are highly reliant on their teams. Fantastic finishers and read the game well (Rolfe more than Wondo) but you wont see them making plays for themselves at this level. IMO Rolfe is better and has loads of skill and a nose for the goal but just isn’t fast enough.

      Reply

      • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/23 at 4:06 PM

        Mr. What,

        “ Neither has the complete package needed to be effective at the intl level.

        There have been many players who did not have “the complete package” but were effective at the international level.

        Just off the top of my head:

        Chicharito does not have “the complete package” but is very effective at the international level.
        Michael Owen did not have “the complete package” but was very effective at the international level.
        Gerd Mueller did not have “the complete package” but was extremely effective at the international level.

        I’m sure I’m forgetting many others. Rather than just having “the complete package” it is more important that a player, regardless of position, fit into what the team does.

        In Wondo’s or Rolfe’s case that may be scoring goals. If so then speed per se isn’t necessary. It’s amusing how US fans love to ridicule Findley and EJ for their track team speed yet those same people blast Wondo for being slow.

        Reply

        • Posted by Say What! on 2011/12/24 at 10:31 AM

          Haha it’s amusing how you blast US fans who haven’t said anything about Findley and EJ. What a joke. You are really going to compare Wondo and Rolfe to Chicharito, Owen, and Mueller. All of these guys are/were way more athletic and skillful than Wondo and Rolfe. They have enough of both elements to be effective at the intl level. Wondo and Rolfe haven’t proven that they do. Our definitions of complete package may be different.

          Reply

          • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/24 at 10:44 AM

            Martin is a regular thoughtful contributor. I am sure he wasn’t trying to say Wondo is as good as Chicarito. What I read him as saying was that the back of your 23 roster can be people that aren’t good enough to start but have one skill that is particularly needed.

            Ask yourself what sub would the US make if they are down a goal at the 70 minute mark? That person isn’t always the back-up. I like Agudelo to start if Altidore can’t go over say Herc Gomez. That said if there are 20 minutes left and a goal is needed I would rather Herc than Agudelo coming in as a sub.

            Reply

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/12/24 at 12:45 PM

              I agree we need a our US versionb of Peter Crouch and Eric Lichaj will be our Rory Delap. Winning ugly! but its still a win. Maybe we can convince one of our atheletic basketball players to do it. I know Kobe plays somewhat but is he tall enough?
              Now have I included enough topics for heated debate?!

              Everyone have a Great Wonderful Christmas!!!!
              Can’t wait for early morning BOXing Day Games.

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/25 at 12:41 PM

            Mr.What,

            You wrote “Neither has the complete package needed to be effective at the intl level. The intl game is much more reliant on individual efforts than the club level b/c they don’t train as much together and both of these players are highly reliant on their teams. Fantastic finishers and read the game well (Rolfe more than Wondo) but you wont see them making plays for themselves at this level.”

            ”Our definitions of complete package may be different.”

            Are you Bill Clinton? Does “complete” mean something different to you?

            What part of your quote “Neither has the complete package needed to be effective at the intl level.” do you not understand?

            Chicharito, Owen and Mueller do not have the complete package and neither do Wondo and Rolfe. You don’t need it to be a success as an international player.

            Your own quotes make it very clear that you believe, for some strange reason, international level players:

            Cannot rely on their team mates
            Must be able make plays (in this case score goals ) on their own.

            There is very little evidence to support the validity of that particular point of view but let’s leave that aside for the moment.

            A player who is not the complete package has an incomplete skill set. The skill set includes qualities such , “soccer IQ”, ball control, ability to pass, tackle, attack, defend, minimum levels physical and athletic ability, etc..

            I have seen them all play. Chicharito, Owen and Mueller are/were not particularly skilled defenders, passers or one on one players (for the most part,they didn’t beat guys one on one like Neymar can. Clear?). They were not midfielders, defenders, creators, target men, false nines, creators or whatever other fancy jargon you can come up with. You want an example of a player who is the complete package? Pele and Wayne Rooney. Those two could play any position on the field (including keeper) probably as well if not better than their teammates.

            And in Owen and Mueller’s case they never moved back into midfield. They are/were successes on the international level only because they could score goals on a regular basis.

            And contrary to your perception they did not do it alone. Occasionally a player will score a great goal all by himself (Maradona,Messi) but the great majority of goals come from good teamwork or defender’s mistakes. Chicharito, Owen and Mueller live/lived off the latter (teamwork and mistakes, clear?).

            All three play/played on teams for most of their careers that gave them frequent chances to score.

            Unless you are Spain/Barca and can cap the basic framework of a great club team, national teams do not have time together to develop the kind of teamwork clubs have. However, it is still a team game.

            If you watched Argentina in the 2010 World Cup they had tons of talented players starting with Leo. But they did not have a real clear idea of how they wanted to play together and wound up playing almost like a pickup team, i.e. give it to Leo, let him beat someone and let’s work from that. They did not do very well.

            No team, national or otherwise, can succeed without teamwork Mr. What.

            There is no valid sample size to judge but Wondo, while not in the class of my three example players, still might have done very well had he played striker on their teams, Rolfe, maybe not so much. I see no reason why Wondo should not be given a chance to show if he can succeed for the USMNT. Rolfe is more of a question mark.

            If JK wants to find out about those two then he should get to it.

            Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/23 at 4:13 PM

      ” also, it’s discouraging to see jurgen go back on his word in terms of call ups to people who haven’t been seeing regular minutes (ricardo clark)”

      I can see your point but this is a camp not a game Rico is being called in for.

      JK called Fabian Johnson in for training and orientation before he was eligible to play for the US. He also called in Pablo Morales when JK very probably had no intention of playing him. He just wanted to give Pablo more to think about in terms of choosing between the US and Peru.

      My guess is JK wants to see where Rico is and if he might be a viable option for qualifying.

      Reply

      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/24 at 9:54 AM

        If the cost to permanently secure Alfredo Morales’s services for life is that the 23rd best player misses one camp I am all for the investment.

        As for Rico Clark, he was a valuable member of the team in 09 and 10 so if we are talking about the 9th CB on our depth chart (In no particular order Boca, Ream, Gooch, Goodson, orozco fiscal, Omar, Cameron, and John) I am also fine with giving a veteran the spot. We need a certain number of CBs in the camp for practice and scrimmages Is there someone you would prefer (Soares?). I don’t think we will use Rico but I don’t think we will use anyone else left off the squad either.

        Remember that this camp is 24 through 44 on the depth chart (and probably lower than that given some of the guys in Europe that can’t make it.

        Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/12/24 at 4:09 PM

        Alfredo Morales*

        Reply

        • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/25 at 12:47 PM

          Morales plays in Germany and is unavailable. unlike Rico who ironically enough isn’t playing in Germany.

          Soares is injured.

          Reply

  2. Posted by joe on 2011/12/22 at 10:24 AM

    This is one of the youngest teams that Klinsman has trotted out. Only a few guys are over the age of 25.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Bill on 2011/12/22 at 10:30 AM

    According to Wahl, Ream’s pulling a Guzan this camp (getting married.)

    Reply

  4. Posted by Eric on 2011/12/22 at 10:40 AM

    Matt,

    A sale is possible still but Grant Wahl is reporting that Ream is getting married on January 6th (I believe it was the 6th) and that’s the reason he wasn’t called in. Klinsmann was made aware a couple months ago. If he hadn’t been getting married, I would have expected Ream to be in camp.

    Reply

  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 10:45 AM

    Saw a comment. Easily fine with wondolowski over Rolfe. Windows typically needs little apace to get a shot off.

    Rolfe is oftinjured and does not have international side speed.

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 10:50 AM

      But neither does Wondo. I guess its a battle between scoring vs creating. Wondo’s a better goal getter, but Rolfe is more rounded as an attacker (he has a solid cross). I dunno, I’d prefer Rolfe to Wondo for that fact alone, but its not the biggest complaint.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 11:02 AM

        Wondo can be used offball better IMO. Rolfe isn’t going to holdup the ball or create at next level. Think it’s just a skillset thing.

        Reply

        • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 11:50 AM

          See, I feel like Rolfe does have the ability to create at this level as a RW/RAM. Shame to see injuries take away so much of his career though, he was fun to watch with the Fire.

          Reply

  6. Posted by dth on 2011/12/22 at 10:46 AM

    Ricardo Clark seems like a strange inclusion. I guess he’s very much on the outs in Germany? No way they let him gallivant off to LA if he’s in their plans.

    Reply

  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 10:48 AM

    Perhaps the most interesting selection to me is Ricardo Clark. Will he be tried as a holder? He doesn’t really posses the skillet that Klinsmann usually wants in his mids. That and his team will be in session in January.

    Interesting

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 10:49 AM

      *skillset, not home skillet. Love auto-complete.

      Reply

      • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/12/22 at 7:27 PM

        It might be a subconscious pun, some have thought that his touch is much akin to a cast iron skillet atop coleman grill.

        PS would it be shocking to see him trotted out as a CB?

        Reply

        • Posted by Noah on 2011/12/23 at 3:17 PM

          Yes, it would be shocking. This squad doesn’t have many midfielders, it needs Clark there for depth.

          What it does has is TONS of centerbacks, including two uncapped guys, John and Cameron, who should get a look before converting Clark.

          Reply

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/23 at 4:32 PM

            Apparently Clark’s success in Germany ( before he sank into limbo) was at center back. So he’s already been converted.

            Reply

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/12/23 at 6:32 PM

              Thank you Martin for echoing my sentiments. I think that it wouldn’t be totally surprising. It might fit into the countless discussions we have had on here, on the need for speedier/close down space CB to play a higher line. And his distribution out of the back should be pretty decent too. But I’ll guess we shall see. as they say more will be revealed…..

        • Posted by Andy on 2011/12/25 at 7:27 PM

          That’s what I thought the second I saw him included in the roster. So, no, I wouldn’t be surprised. I still would rather see Cameron, Gonzo, and John though.

          Reply

    • Maybe he wants to try him at outside back. From what I understand Clark has been playing along the back line with Frankfurt. Could be a reason for the lack of true fullbacks.

      Reply

  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 10:50 AM

    Also who’s the elephant position? The Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Landon right-sided midfielder. Benny? Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 10:53 AM

      Probably Benny, well hopefully Benny. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wondo there too. I’m just saddened that Chris Pontius probably isn’t healthy enough for this camp because this would be the place for him to really shine.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 11:13 AM

        Agreed on Pontius — although don’t you think he shines more in traffic rather than with open space? Only saw 12 of his games last year.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/12/22 at 11:20 AM

          Wouldn’t be better in traffic help for the Klinsmann plan? If you’re trying to avoid the counter–as we are–you need to be able to beat traffic.

          I’m not sure Pontius is as adept a crosser as Klinsmann seems to want.

          Reply

          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 11:22 AM

            that was my point. he seems like someone to put in the #10 role the way Klinsmann plays it.

            Reply

        • Posted by dude on 2011/12/22 at 1:45 PM

          Disagree. The few times he was able to beat a defender into space, he was very effective. I’m kind of praying DC finds sufficient wing cover to play him at forward, but he could be a good relief player for Shea.

          Reply

    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/22 at 12:34 PM

      Maybe I am missing something but under Klinsman we have been playing either a 4-3-3 where the RM has been tucked and helping on D first (think of the graphic of the white board where Danny Williams was playing) or a 4-1-2-1-2 where Bradley was not playing on an even level with Fabian Johnson (Bradley was tucked in helping with D).

      IMO we are all sorts of screwed if we are asking Benny to do that. In my opinion we see the same 4-4-2 diamond we saw against Slovenia with Benny in Denpsey’s spot. My money is on Larenowitz for the Danny Williams/Bradley outside but D first midfielder.

      Reply

    • Posted by Say What! on 2011/12/22 at 4:08 PM

      Freddy Adu… Jk, Doesn’t really matter b/c Landon will have it locked up by qualifying time. But in this camp most likely Agudelo or Sapong with Zusi pinched in behind them. Agudelo may be more suited to that position than Sapong b/c Sapong is more of a striker. People who want to see Wondo…No just no. He is a great finisher and is opportunistic but be honest with yourself no matter how much you like him he is a true striker not a winger/midfielder. Best bet with Wondo is either CF or Striker. They may throw Benny in there also but most likely he will be the ACM in any formation we play.

      Reply

  9. Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 10:57 AM

    Another possibilty, maybe a wider front 3 in a 4-3-3 with Juan Agudelo as a RF/RW? I’m pretty sure that was a position he played at the U-17 and U-20 levels.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Luke S on 2011/12/22 at 10:59 AM

    could see wondo starting wide right… really hope we don’t see a danny williams type player out there again…

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 11:04 AM

      In my opinion, inclusion of wondo might suggest US more open to using 4-4-2

      Reply

    • Wondo on the right? He’s not the most mobile of strikers. He just has great finishing.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 11:33 AM

        I don’t think they use him for ball carriage. I’m wondering if they flip flop their left side press attack (used against Slovenia, Ecuador, etc.) and have Pearce manning the left and Wondo playing the Shea role on the right….

        Reply

        • Posted by Kevin on 2011/12/22 at 8:28 PM

          That would mean Wondolowski is relied upon to create and run at defenders. Thats no where near his game. Next thing you know we’ll be tasking Clark to dictate in the attack as our #10. While I agree that the inclusion of Wondolowski means a higher probability of 4-4-2, I think it also means that Klinsmann is looking for a forward capable of hold up play. You could still see a 4-3-3 with Wondolowski in the middle of the top trio. Notice that’s an awful lot of central mids. In fact, the only natural outside midfielder there is Shea and, in a 4-3-3, he effectively wont be playing a midfield role anyway. With all the talk of lack of fullback maybe you overlooked the lack of wide midfielders. The general lack of width on this roster is troublesome.

          Reply

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/23 at 4:18 PM

            “The general lack of width on this roster is troublesome.”

            This roster is for the camp not the Venezuela or Panama game.

            If I understand correctly it will run concurrent ( and in close proximity to) with the Under 23 camp so they can always borrow guys if they need a full blown 11 on 11.

            And they may yet name a few more players.

            Reply

            • Well there were only 20 players selected so I’m assuming there’s others that might get the call.

  11. Posted by Eric L on 2011/12/22 at 11:09 AM

    No Mixx or Gatt bums me out a bit.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/12/22 at 11:21 AM

      I assume they’ll be with the u-23s.

      Gatt might still be recovering from his injury.

      Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2011/12/22 at 11:41 AM

      The reports I’m reading on Mixx make me wonder how ready he would be for Klinsmann’s system anyways. Reports are saying that he’s not fully comfortable in a pressing system and looks a little soft to be running the attack in the middle.

      I’m high on Mixx but I’m not disappointed to see him excluded. Give him time to mature and develop. Same with Gatt. I sometimes feel like we want to rush players into the senior side too soon.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/12/22 at 11:49 AM

        I think that’s a good point. Klinsmann has slowed down/paced the inclusion of youngsters.

        That said, you still have Agudelo and if Gatt–which I’m with you DTh–let him prove more–is in fact the best US prospect then it almost behooves at least one run-out.

        Attackers/strikers are notoriously young.

        Anywho — can see it either way. Seltzer’s seen Gatt play and said he’s extremely impressed independent of the league he plays in.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/12/22 at 11:52 AM

          Yeah, Gatt’s really exciting. Very soccer fast, good cuts, etc.

          He’s just so raw. He’s got a great work ethic, so I think much of the issues can be corrected, at least relative to USMNT standards, but still–he’ll need time. I still have him starting on my Olympic qualifying team though (assuming health).

          Reply

          • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 11:56 AM

            Will he be available from his club for qualifying? If yes then that’d be great but isn’t the Norwegian season already started by then? He seems very integral to Molde FK now.

            Reply

            • Posted by JohnC on 2011/12/22 at 12:29 PM

              I’m not on the “bring in a guy because he is a great prospect” train. Gatt has come to two U20 camps and 1 U23 camp hurt. Klinnsmann wants to take guys along slowly. Agudelo is an exception because he already skipped multiple levels under Bradley. Gatt needs to show he can stay healthy and help compete at the younger level before he warrants a spot in a full camp.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/12/22 at 12:45 PM

              Gatt would only miss two games for qualifying, which isn’t too bad.

            • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 3:04 PM

              So he’ll be there for the all important semifinal game?

  12. Posted by Mike on 2011/12/22 at 12:13 PM

    Good for Geoff Cameron, glad he is getting his shot.

    This will be interesting to see who actually earns playing time.

    Reply

  13. Posted by rambo on 2011/12/22 at 12:42 PM

    At least Parkhurst has been playing a lot of RB in Denmark.Would like to see him get a shot there in this camp as it looks like it will be tough to break through at CB

    Reply

  14. Posted by justin on 2011/12/22 at 1:43 PM

    I i’m excited to see what we can get out of this group. This how I think our boys could trot out in friendlies coming up in january.

    4-4-2
    —-Agudelo—-Bunbury——-
    ——-Feilhaber———-
    Shea———-Zusi—-
    ——Beckerman—-
    Lloyd–Cam–Gonzo–Park-
    ——Hamid———

    4-3-3
    Shea—Bunbury—Agudelo/Wondo
    —-Feilhaber—Zusi——
    ——Beckerman—–
    Same Back line

    I’m not for sure how good of a defender Zusi is to pinch in like bradley did against slovenia. I also don’t think we’ll see agudelo as the hold up striker in the middle. I can see klinsmann trying more to use him as a winger.

    Reply

    • Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/12/22 at 3:01 PM

      I could see a lot of different formations this camp.

      3-5-2:
      –Bunbury—Agudelo–
      ——Feilhabor——-
      Shea—-Zusi—–Loyd
      —–Beckerman——–
      –Cam–Gonzo–Pearce–

      3-4-3:
      –Sapong—Bunbury—Agudelo–
      Shea–Beckerman–Feilhabor–Loyd
      —-Cam—Gonzo—Pearce—-

      4-2-3-1
      ———Bunbury——-
      –Sapong-Feilhabor-Shea–
      –Beckerman–Larentowicz–
      Loyd–Cam–Gonzo–Parkhurst

      4-1-4-1
      ——Agudelo—–
      Shea–Larentowicz–Feilhabor–Zusi
      ———Beckerman——-
      ????—-Cam–John—-Loyd

      Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 3:06 PM

      Justin I really like the line-ups you’ve put down. Damn near read my mind. Only thing is I could see Pearce starting as LB because he seems to be our one true LB. And then slide Loyd into RB. But I have no problem with the way you have it set. I wouldn’t mind a Parkhurst/Cameron pairing either

      Reply

    • Posted by Say What! on 2011/12/22 at 3:43 PM

      I agree this is probably what we will see. I don’t really want to see Kyle Bornstein I mean Beckerman but JK loves him. Honestly what I’d like to see from this group is:
      4-4-2
      —-Agudelo—-Bunbury/Sapong
      ——-Feilhaber———-
      Shea———-Zusi—-
      ——Cameron—-
      Lloyd–John–Gonzo–Park-
      ——Johnson———

      4-3-3
      Shea—Bunbury—Agudelo/Sapong
      —-Feilhaber—Zusi——
      ——Cameron—-
      Lloyd–John–Gonzo–Park-
      ——Johnson———

      Some thoughts:

      The forward and centerback positions are going to be a straight dogfight.

      I would love to see Cameron get a shot at D-Mid. He is talented enough and can be a complete destroyer.

      Even though I have him at right back Parkhurst is my darkhorse winner of a centerback spot. The only reason I have him at right back is because he is better at that position than anyone in camp :)

      I actually think Wondo will have a good camp and may even score a couple in the games but he is a player like Torres. Not in style (which they have nothing in common) but in production. Successful against weaker opponents (Panama) but gets destroyed against quality opponents.

      Feilhaber will be the best field player by far.

      Clark turned out to be pretty disappointing altogether and I don’t see what he has done to merit another call up. I’d be ok if I never see him, Beckerman or Jermaine Jones again.

      Let’s be honest about the keeper spot. Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson are freak of nature talented. Sean Johnson to ManU?

      Shea NEEDS to break out as a goal scorer this camp. I expect he will if the experience he had in England was productive.

      Reply

    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/22 at 4:05 PM

      Great post. Agree with everything but Zusi. As you pointed out Klinsman plays someone to pitch. Really like the 4-4-2. I don’t think the US can play the 4-3-3 yet, just don’t have the passing in the final third (maybe when Torres returns but I don’t think he is good enough )

      Reply

      • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/22 at 5:40 PM

        I think Benny adds the touch and vision to that your asking for in a midfielder. Hell, I think he has a better killer pass in the final third than Torres, who’s more of a spread the play type of passer. The only question is if he (Benny) can do this for 90 minutes.

        Reply

        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/23 at 7:06 AM

          I have to say that Benny’s ability is the thing I am most curious about. To date it seems like Klinsman has always played His outside MFs so that one is more defensive (think Danny Williams or Bradley) and one more offensive (think Shea and fabian Johnson).

          If we look at a 4-1-2-1-2. I could see Benny playing the Dempsey role “pushing him” upfront with Altidore.

          Dempsey —– Altidore
          ——–benny
          —Bradley (as the d) —— Donovan
          ———-Beckerman

          The other option seems to be

          Donovan —–Altidore
          ———Dempsey
          Shea———— Bradley (as the d)
          ————Beckerman

          If we go 4-3-3 I don’t see a role for Benny as a starter. Dempsey isn’t really a wing and a Benny nor dempsey would be a good linking MF. Maybe if we are down and need to attack but not for a whole game.

          Shea—Altidore—Donovan
          Dempsey
          ————————-Benny
          ———-Bradley
          Fabian—-xx–xxx—–chandler

          Doesn’t seem to have enough d in front of the back 4. The Torres role is ideal for stu Beny probably a better attacking passer but no where near the d.

          Reply

        • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/23 at 1:19 PM

          I think Benny should continue to be that 2nd half sub when we need some creativity and composure. I don’t see him knocking off any 1st team starters

          Reply

          • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/24 at 10:33 AM

            I think the first WC qualifier will be interesting. I will be curious if we see different selection as one would expect to see more decisive changes than a friendly. When we are down 1 against France I feel more comfortable letting itmplaynout and see how the starters do. If it was the world cup knockout I want to throw the kitchen sink at them trying to come back final score be damned.

            Reply

            • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/24 at 2:00 PM

              I think he’s useful if we’re chasing a game or we’re trying to break a deadlock, because he’s very creative in the final 3rd. Dare I say the 3rd most creative player in our pool when in the attacking end (behind Landon and Clint obviously) but he is too much of a defensive liability to start a game or hold onto a lead.

            • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/24 at 3:43 PM

              I agree whole heartedly. I am hoping that he shows he can play D in this camp. I doubt it but to me that would be a huge puzzle piece If we look at the front 5 of a 4-1-2-1-2 we have a missing F (IMO). That person maybe Boyd by 2014 but in the meantime we could always move a Dempsey or Landon to second F and add another MF Benny or Sahsa might work but they each have some flaws (Benny’s D and Klinsi hates Sasha).

  15. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/12/22 at 4:06 PM

    Saw The Hitman saying that this team would be practicing with the U-23s at times. Any chance we see someone on the U23 play with the senior team? Since its a friendly I don’t see why not.

    Reply

    • Posted by Noah on 2011/12/23 at 3:31 PM

      I hope so. I like this squad, but it could use some depth as it has only 17 field players and few outside backs and midfielders. Bringing in a couple standouts from the U23 team would be a good reward for their hard work.

      Reply

  16. Posted by Izzy on 2011/12/22 at 5:34 PM

    How the hell isn’t Heath Pearce a fullback? The guy may have played centerback in the MLS, but for every other year of his career he was a left back or left midfielder.

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2011/12/22 at 7:36 PM

      I think part of it is that there aren’t an abundant number of quality left back/left midfield players in MLS while there tends to be a larger number of solid centerbacks in the league. As a result, I think you end with Pearce playing there due to team necessity. Of course, I think left back is his natural position but I think he can be serviceable as a centerback.

      Reply

    • Posted by SamT on 2011/12/23 at 8:27 AM

      There’s been an argument previously put forth on TSG that Klinsmann is looking for one of his CBs to be a quicker guy (in the past it’s been Orozco) who can keep up with speedy attackers and also enable the defensive unit as a whole to play a higher line and compress the field. This is key to the 4-3-3 possession setup where the US is taking the game to its presumably weaker Central American opponents. Given the two opponents here, it’s why I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Heath in the middle.

      Reply

  17. Posted by Jane C on 2011/12/22 at 6:18 PM

    DeLaGarza is the name I’m most excited about on this list by far. Don’t get me wrong, I like all the guys on this roster, but AJ is an excellent CB in my opinion, better than Gonzalez to me (not a like for like comparison, I know). I’ll be rooting for him to do well in this camp.

    Reply

  18. Posted by Eric on 2011/12/22 at 7:33 PM

    I know matt has mentioned this before but I think I’ll mention it. I think people need to be open to the idea of Pearce playing left centerback. I think Pearce may fit the Orozco role of a speedy centerback who also (supposedly) can play with the ball at his feet. John and Gonzalez may still be seen as too slow. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a Pearce/Cameron centerback pairing. It would certainly make possessing out of the back more interesting than when Gooch and Boca are in the back together. That said, besides Lloyd, who goes out wide? Maybe Parkhurst?

    Reply

  19. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/12/22 at 10:11 PM

    What are peoples’ thoughts on 32 year old Nick Rimando’s inclusion? Do not see the sense it that call up myself.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2011/12/22 at 10:27 PM

      Veteran leadership at a position that desperately needs it.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/12/23 at 5:01 AM

        What about ability-wise? Surely when Howard calls it a day or starts to diminish, Guzan, Hamid or Johnson will be competing for the No.1 jersey? Just surprised to see his inclusion.
        But I guess this isn’t a tournament squad…

        Reply

        • Who else would you have brought ability wise? Maybe Zac MacMath, but that leaves you with little experience at keeper. Other players from MLS deserving are Dan Kennedy and Tally Hall, but they don’t have the experience of Rimando to help along the young guys in Hamid and Johnson.

          Reply

    • Posted by joe on 2011/12/22 at 11:09 PM

      He is probably going to be a capable goaltender into his late 30′s. Besides he is a better keeper now than he was 5 years ago.

      Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/23 at 4:27 PM

      “GCross- What are peoples’ thoughts on 32 year old Nick Rimando’s inclusion? Do not see the sense it that call up myself.”

      Honestly?

      Salt Lake City is not far away and Howard, Guzan, and Hahnemann can’t make it.

      Also Hamid and Johnson are very raw. Rimando is designated vet who is there to show them the ropes.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/12/24 at 1:33 AM

        Show them what ropes? He’s hardly been there and done it has he? Not exactly Brad or Kasey, or one-season-wonder Lalas…

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/12/24 at 8:58 AM

          Sure he has. He’s an MLS champion and has been to a continental final. He may not be the best of his generation at his position, but that’s more a consequence of the depth at goalkeeper than some defect with Rimando. I’d be perfectly comfortable with starting Rimando at Azteca tomorrow.*

          * (in the sense that I wouldn’t worry that he’d screw up. Obviously I’d rather have Timmy.)

          Reply

        • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/12/24 at 12:54 PM

          One season wonder? C’mon he should be applauded for making a meal of that season! Everytime there is a US related item, I see or hear him, I guess its better than them quoting/seeking out Harkes.
          New debate, who’s better :Lalas or Onyewu? let the debated begin.
          Merry Christmas ALL! Boxing Day here we come!

          Reply

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/12/25 at 12:58 PM

            Gregorio,

            Indeed,GeorgeCross is wrong about Lalas.

            As a cringe worthy, embarassment at the position of punidt and USMNT commentator. Lalas is Hall of Shame material. He is no slouch as a failed soccer executive either.

            Reply

  20. Posted by DeuceFan on 2011/12/23 at 9:28 AM

    If you want to hear the secret Wynalda podcast from (which is excellent) sent off, it is cached here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:m5N2ifxkSDEJ:sentoffpodcast.com/eric-wynalda-speaks-the-truth-part-1/+eric+wynalda+speaks+the+truth&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

    They took it down, but google still has it cached.

    Reply

  21. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/12/23 at 3:09 PM

    The only people I really care about watching play in Jan is everyone’s 3 favorite CB snubs of late and Benny. Hopefully that exclamation point can work its way back into the mix

    Reply

  22. Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2011/12/24 at 12:46 AM

    what about Cameron at DM?

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/12/24 at 4:06 PM

      What about him? If he was going to be even remotely looked at for DM Rico wouldnt be in camp.

      Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2011/12/24 at 4:56 PM

      Sure I guess it’s a possibility but he’s proven he doesn’t have what it takes there at the MLS level don’t expect it to suddenly come at the international level

      Reply

    • Posted by Alex on 2011/12/25 at 1:30 AM

      More interested at him at Cameron at CB. His physical tools and skill-sets are very intriguing because they’re rather unique for that position.

      Reply

  23. Oh, hi there, AJ DeLaGarza.

    Reply

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