No real surprises in this one here and only a few minor takeaways.
First, the roster:
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals) – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa – 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton – 22/9 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0)
DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander – 31/5), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 5/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg – 0/0), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders – 0/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim – 3/0), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg – 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma – 19/5), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 9/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 5/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 12/0), Jose Torres (Tigres – 9/0), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim – 4/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 3/0)
FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 17/6), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 26/10), Herculez Gomez (Santos – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders – 11/10)
» Tough to read into a lot of these call-ins. This is a brutal qualifier. Three practices about; only two with the whole squad. A quick pop-up camp in Florida and then off to San Pedro Sula. You choose in-shape players with experience for these.
» Any glaring omissions? Maybe only Kyle Beckerman. The Real Salt Lake defensive mid, aside from being excellent against Canada, has been a valued member of Klinsmann traveling squad in the last three US qualifiers away. Additionally, he’s often called on late game in draw or win situations to hold the ball and play defense for the last five minutes or so.
A curious omission–perhaps now Beckerman is the defacto leader for Gold Cup 2013?
On absent name that you might read into? Clarence Goodson (TSG had him off the guess list). Goodson has been awful for the US, especially in games against high pressure competition on the road. His last game in Central America–against Guatemala was a nightmare. This may have been the last you’ve seen of the Danish league centerback.
» As expected Sean Johnson has supplanted Bill Hamid as the #1 young keeper. Johnson is unflappable and his errors in positioning and commanding has box should be able to be taught. Hamid stil has serious bouts with challenges under duress at this time.
» Say it with us: Brad Evans deserves to be here. You talk to MLS and national team players and the most popular answer you get when you ask them who the most underrated player in American soccer is and you get Brad Evans. I would say by a plurality of 40% over 20 answers. Evans is not a creator, but he’s, again, your Peanut Buter Guy, Klinsmann’s Spector. He’ll fill in wherever you need him and keep it sticky and smooth.
» You have to wonder who the late game changer is in this one. Might it only be Altidore? or might it be Eddie Johnson?
» Speaking of. No true target striker. Unless Klinsmann sees Altidore as willing and able to fit that role, it’s curious not to call in a Boyd, Agudelo or Gordon (though he’s admittedly not fit) for in case you have to play over the top ball for some reason.