Klinsmann Calls In Experienced 2014 Gold Cup Roster

El Capitan?

El Capitan? (photo courtesy the awesome Matt Mathai)

Klinsmann names his squad to go for the Gold Cup in July. They are:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8) : Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg)

MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde FK), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Tigres)

FORWARDS (5) : Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

The skinny:

• Highly encouraged to see a pairing at some point of Will Bruin and Jack McInerney. McInerney is one of the few in the player pool who can hang off a CB’s shoulder and challenge a line and Bruin has sorely missed a partner in crime who can do just that this year in Houston.

• Some question on Josh Gatt’s conviction/dedication right now. He needs a good camp. Not one where he shows his blinding speed or series of cutbacks, but one where he shows he comprehends the game and is playing it better cerebrally.

• Players I would’ve like to have seen on the final roster (regardless of whether they made the preliminary): Juan Agudelo, Dax McCarty, Chris Klute, Kofi Sarkodie.

• Stu Holden will get playing time. If he’s fit, he should easily start over Jose Francisco Torres–although Klinsmann probably doesn’t see it that way.

• I think you’ll see Alejandro Bedoya playing a little bit in central midfield and even deeper than he’s typically played for the US. He’s good in possession, can slot passes and tackle. His speed on the outside is a bit of a question mark.

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33 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ufficio on 2013/06/27 at 11:17 AM

    Would’ve definitely liked to have seen Agudelo, Rowe and Kitchen in, and Goodson and Onyewu out in favor of guys like Hedges or Okugo.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Eric on 2013/06/27 at 12:45 PM

    This may be nitpicking, and I apologize if it is, but I don’t think questioning Gatt’s “conviction/dedication” is the right way to phrase it. Those terms should be geared towards Chandler since he doesn’t always seem to want to be with the US team. I don’t question Gatt’s commitment or dedication to the team right now. However, I absolutely agree with the bullet’s overall sentiment that I want to see some maturation in his game. He’s got world class physical tools in terms of speed, strength and overall athleticism but he’s got to start showing the mental reading of the game on top of it. It’s nice that many US fans drool at the speed and the potential but a good player will shut Gatt down unless he gets smarter and more technical.

    Gatt to me is actually a perfect example of the contradictory nature of US fans sometimes. You’ll see plenty of fans on other message boards, this site being a very welcome exception, who complain nonstop about how lacking the US is in our development of actual soccer players and that we rely too much on athleticism and yet these same people will turn right back around and shout to the hills that a player like Gatt, athletically dominant but technically and tactically exceptionally raw, should be in every US squad. It’s baffling to me sometimes.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2013/06/27 at 1:15 PM

      I sort of agree with what you’re saying, but interesting stuff.

      * I agree conviction/dedication is the wrong word to describe what Gatt’s lacking. Having watched the first two years of Gatt’s career pretty closely (I haven’t seen him at all this year), Gatt has made big improvements in technical and tactical ability which simply wouldn’t happen unless he were … well, dedicated. That said, he was in such a hole to begin with that it’s uncertain whether he can fully master his remedial education and become a USMNT starter.

      * That said, I do think you can simultaneously believe the US is deficient developmentally and want a guy like Gatt on the team, warts and all. There aren’t too many fast guys, there aren’t too many aggressive dribblers who have American eligibility. In the last U.S. qualifiers, I recall myself thinking on a few occasions “who’s our impact attacker off the bench?” Couldn’t really identify that guy in a pinch. Gatt, I suppose, is as good a candidate as ever. (Though I think Rowe’s best suited for that role, which makes it all the weirder that he hasn’t been called in.)

      * I don’t think this is a point you’re making explicitly — I’m taking it on a tangent — but one thing I think fans/coaches need to shy away from is from totally dismissing athletic players. We don’t want to fear our present so much that we run and become mid-90s/early aughts Mexico. That way also lies stagnation. Watching the u20 team, that’s a distinct worry — particularly against France, where we were often technically and athletically outclassed.

      I hope we can learn how to train our athletes to become really good soccer players, not discard them.

      (roster-wise, I’ve complained too much about it and no one cares, but for the record: Okugo for Onyewu; Rowe for Torres; Dax or O’Brien for Beckerman; Agudelo for Gomez,)

      Reply

      • Posted by Eric on 2013/06/27 at 2:18 PM

        You summed it up pretty well dth. I wasn’t trying to make the statement that coaches should discount athletic players or even the exact opposite, just pointing out what I find is some interesting contradictions in some US supporter sections. Personally, I see how Gatt could be very useful and in many ways see why Porter tried to use him as an attacking back with the Olympic team. I think on this board we all see that Gatt has the physical tools to be a dynamic player if, and it’s a big if, he manages to have his technical and mental tools catch up.

        And now I’m going down that tangent a bit with you I suppose but the key is finding that right balance by identifying those athletes early on in their development and, instead of letting them rely solely on those physical gifts, making them work outside their comfort zone to become better technical players so that they don’t end up like Gatt later on (ie. a monster of an athlete lacking in soccer skill, and maybe even Gooch to a certain extent).

        As for the roster itself, I’m not going to complain too much. It’s about what I expected honestly and it’s a pretty solid roster for a B team right before a world cup. Klinsmann is basically using the roster to fill in those last few spots on his WC roster and maybe find a couple late emerging gems for the world cup. That’s why you have the veteran players who could still be useful and a few young players who aren’t just projects anymore (please ignore that statement when it comes to Gatt).

        Reply

        • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/06/29 at 2:07 PM

          Eric,

          One reason Porter may have tried Gatt at right back is he played there for Molde. Ole Gunnar perhaps was trying to take advantage of Gatt’s speed on counters or overlaps.

          However, another reason to play a guy like Gatt at fullback is it is a good way for them to learn how to be a better winger. It can be beneficial to young players to shuttle between both positions and for wingers to be to defend against a wingers.

          Reply

  3. Posted by Crow on 2013/06/27 at 7:41 PM

    Well it looks like Dolo might be done. Another knee surgery. All of a sudden RB is the weakest spot on the squad with Chandler’s “injuries” and other issues. Lichaj should have been given a look in one of these summer camps

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2013/06/28 at 9:07 AM

      Big boost to the DeAndre Yedlin hype train.

      Reply

      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2013/07/05 at 6:38 AM

        Personally I think Sarkodie fits well in klinsman’s system. Seems to be able to get forward for Houston and is “only” 22. Would take him over Yedlin if we are talking 2014.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2013/07/05 at 7:44 AM

          Reasonable minds can disagree. Probably should also add Farrell from NE.

          Klute in COL is making a strong case for inclusion on the left.

          Reply

    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2013/06/29 at 1:59 PM

      “Weakest spot”

      Well, assuming you leave out Dolo and Chandler, that leaves you with the following possibilities all of whom have played RB either for their clubs or for the USMNT, in no particular order:

      Fabian, Danny Williams, Parkhurst, Cameron, Brad Evans,Morales, Spector
      Joe Benny Corona, Fiscal

      Not fantastic but hardly weakest spot..

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2013/06/30 at 12:24 PM

        Let’s get real- Dolo is most likely done. Chandler has barely played, has no commitment and keeps getting injured. Fabian Johnson is not playing RB- he has for part of one game and is either at LB or LW. Parkhurst is an option which should get a chance to prove himself at the Gold Cup but has played one club game this calendar year. Cameron has proven he is strong anywhere in the middle of the field but not at RB. Brad Evans was capable but do you really want him starting at the World Cup? Right now there are no good options at RB and it is starting to look like the LB position last cycle. Name a position on the National Team with worse options. There isn’t one.

        Reply

        • “Crow – Right now there are no good options at RB and it is starting to look like the LB position last cycle. Name a position on the National Team with worse options. There isn’t one.”

          I strikes me a senseless to be arguing about this position is weaker than that position.

          They are all interrelated. It is all about playing as well as you can and picking up your team. It is how they all play together that matters. This latest run of games should have demonstrated to you that this business of the whole sum being greater than the sum of the parts really does matter with the USMNT.

          They just had their best run in many years without the services of a man who is still arguably their most talented player, and with two makeshift fullbacks, two newbie center backs with 7 and 11 caps respectively, a one footed winger with no left foot and a striker who hadn’t scored in nearly two years. I guess you missed JK’s memo that it’s about the team not individuals.

          But since you asked replacing Dolo and Chandler will be easier than dealing with issues at center back and striker. Those positions deserve far more worry than right back which is covered.

          Issues at those positions appear to be addressed with the emergence of BEGONZ and Jozy. But there is no credible depth there. You can’t go far with Dempsey as your only scoring option. At this point Jozy would be very hard to replace.

          And if BEGONZ stops functioning so well as a unit, the whole team is in trouble and there are no credible replacements for the pair. So since you insist on having things to worry about you better hope Gonzo, Besler and Jozy stay in form and healthy for the next year or so.

          As for your reservations about the guys on my list, Fabian was a starter at RB for Hoffenheim before they needed a left back and I would argue , long term, he may be the best US RB in the pool. Moving him back there would require about 10 seconds worth of acclimation. So please don’t tell me the US has no good options right now for right back.

          Right now your best fullback pairing is Fabian at right back and DMB at left back. Fabian would have Zusi at right wing to work with and DMB would have his old buddy LD to work with on the left wing.

          I can live with those combinations.

          Cameron is not a great right back but that is because he can’t cross a ball to save his life. But he has other positives. I’d rather have Fabian there but it would not be the end of the world if Cameron was there fulltime either.
          Parkhurst is rusty but he does have a year to get playing time somewhere.
          I’m okay with Evans at RB in the World Cup because if he is there it will be because JK thinks he can hack it or else JK has no better option. Either way it’s not worth worrying about.

          Spector and Fiscal have their issues but I am comfortable with them and I would also be comfortable with Morales and Danny Williams playing there.

          It is always better to have a full time specialist playing any position but right back is a lot easier to cover than the centrally vital positions of center back and target striker, especially because JK wants them played in a particular way.

          Reply

  4. Posted by Crow on 2013/06/27 at 7:44 PM

    I think the roster is pretty good. I’m excited about the midfield and seeing Stu and Corona cutting in from one wing and Gatt running down the other. Hopefully Donovan goes into Scotland, Brazil 2009, WC 2010 mode. I’m glad McInerney will have a look but dont expect much. I just don’t know how he will fit in the system. Its hard to get behind him even as a Union fan because he just doesnt seem like a team player. He sulks, doesnt congratulate guys on goals, is selfish- but maybe that is why he scores goals. I have no idea why Wondo had to be called in. Jack Mac is a younger Wondo with a higher ceiling. Wondo has proven already he can’t handle the international level. Neither player fits in JK’s system. A huge waste picking Wondo over Agudelo. I would have been excited about Will Bruin last year but at least that makes sense.

    As for the defense, it made me throw up a little in my mouth, but it is a “safe” group that allows you to experiment going forward and gives you a good shot to win the Cup (agree with TSG’s twitter assessment).

    Reply

  5. Um, anyone one besides Beckerman a holding/defensive midfielder?

    Reply

    • Posted by Nelson on 2013/06/27 at 10:29 PM

      Holden and Torres can hold but aren’t DMs.

      I kind of like how passing/attacking oriented this midfield looks. Really hope Mix comes out of nowhere and plays well.

      Reply

  6. […] saloon for guys like Will Bruin and goal-scoring machine Jack Mac. I’m with my friends at The Shin Guardian who note the fact that Bruin has really missed a part…- and that could be an interesting pair to start up top. We shall […]

    Reply

  7. I too think its a pretty decent group and after reading that JK did not bring in Bocanegra, who is out of contract and looking to move in order to play, it makes sense. I expect Donovan to play LM for most of the Gold cup or maybe the CAM position that Dempsey plays. RM seems to be a Gatt vs. Bedoya competition.

    I think this camp is huge for Holden, Onyewu, Goodson, Beltran (if Dolo misses WC with his injuries/knee surgery this month), Corona (if he can’t start in this group… I’d concerned), Gomez (needs to step up again now that Altidore is scoring again, could play CAM too), and Torres needs to step up to even be considered with Donovan, Holden, and even Davis from Houston being called in over him.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Chazcar2 on 2013/06/28 at 1:58 PM

    Formation:
    ——————Gomez—————–
    Donavon——-Corona——-Bedoya
    ———Beckerman–Holden———-
    Castillo–Goodson–Orozco–Beltran

    Think of how mobile that line of three can be all three can play centrally or right or left. Given gomez too this could almost play like brazil’s old school 4-2-4 where any one of the front four can be anywhere.

    Alts:
    Beasley/Ashe for Castillo
    Parkhurst for Orozco/Beltran
    Onyewu for Goodson
    Torres for Beckerman/Holden
    Diskerud for Corona/Holden
    Gatt/McInerney for Bedoya
    Wondo/Bruin for Gomez

    Reply

  9. Posted by Nelson on 2013/06/29 at 7:00 PM

    is anyone replacing the newly injured Gatt?

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2013/06/30 at 12:25 PM

      He has gotten injured the game before a call up 3 out of the last 4 times now I believe. Absolutely ridiculous and so disappointing- this was really his chance to show what he could do. We can always use dangerous wingers.

      Reply

  10. I’m curious to know what position you had in mind for Bedoya if he’s not RM? and in what formation? I feel he’s a good attacking option but he rarely gets the opportunity much so far for the USMNT under Bradley or JK. If Gatt is hurt and can’t come in, I would think he stays out wide with Diskerud/Torres/Holden and even Coronal in midfield.

    Assuming we continue to play 4-2-3-1 or similar to this…

    I’m really interested to see where JK plays Corona due to the fact that while he’s been pulled into USMNT camps for the last 2 years, Castillo has played more than him even at LM not just LB. So is Corona seen as a RM, CAM (backup to Dempsey) or some other position that I don’t see. This camp would seem to show where JK wants to play him.

    If Gomez is up top with Bruin/Wondo his backups… I’m going to love to see Gomez back to his real position as he’s played LM and RM out of need for the last year (Thanks Donovan!).

    Where does Diskerud play? CAM or CM ala Bradley and/or Holden? Could we see Beasley move back up to LM with Castillo and Ashe on the roster???

    The Torres conundrum… where does he fit? He’s not a speed guy to play the LM (he can play it but he’s not going to beat anyone to the outside), a CAM (he’s only played once with a Gimpy Donovan hamstring and a gimpy Gomez that was coming off 2 weeks of like 5 games vs. Mexico… he was pulled after a half but had no one to pass to) or do we see him at his club team position CM with either Holden, possibly Diskerud and Beckerman. My guess from this is with Donovan, Beasley, Bedoya, and possibly Gatt on the wings… he’ll compete at his true position CM.

    I sure hope to see a few players play a half or 15 minutes in the friendly vs. Guatamala that may not get much PT in Gold Cup like Ashe, maybe Torres, Wondo, and McInerny or Orozco-Fiscal.

    Defensively, I wonder if Parkhurst will play not on RB but possibly CB because Onyewu and Goodson don’t have much pace and that only leaves Orozco-Fiscal as the lone option. Parkhurst may play double-duty.

    If no Gatt, I wouldn’t mind seeing Agudelo but I’m wondering if he was left off because of how much he means to the Revs right now. He’s helped that team score goals in the last 2 months. So he may be better to stay and continue his hot streak. Pontius anyone? I haven’t seen him play this year but I don’t watch his team much.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2013/07/01 at 8:36 PM

      Bedoya strikes me as a natural interiore.

      Reply

    • Mr. Garza,

      When Bedoya first came to prominence with Orebro in Sweden, before his Rangers misadventure, he was play attacking midfield more or less centrally located.

      In this he is not unlike Corona, Mix and Zusi. All of them are basically attacking midfielders who if you left it up to them, would play centrally.

      However, when Ale was called in BB played him wide on the right to replace Donovan who had been to his sister’s wedding and was late getting back.

      Like Zusi, Bedoya is a transplanted right footed central midfielder drafted onto the wing to play for Donovan. Gatt is probably the closest thing to a true winger in this USMNT camp. LD and his buddy, DMB can play on the wing but remain essentially attacking midfielders at heart.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Brice on 2013/07/02 at 9:28 PM

    No way Holden should start over Torres. Jose Torres has been playing wonderful for his club team. Maybe 5 years ago, I would agree with you, but not today.

    Reply

  12. Posted by spa aanky on 2013/07/04 at 12:20 PM

    surely the Beckerman captain comment is sarcastic…right?

    Reply

  13. Posted by Berniebernier on 2013/07/04 at 5:12 PM

    My preferred line up

    —-JackMac
    Donnovan – bedoya – Torres
    Beckerman – Holden
    Beasley – fiscal – Goodson – Beltran

    Beasley needs reps at LB
    Fiscal needs to be be in there because you can’t play Goodson and Gooc together
    Holden in the MB role (could we eventually see Holden and Bradley at the same time).
    Donnovan will get some reps in what I see his eventual role with the senior team will be
    Bedoya tries for the Dempsey back up role
    Excited to see what JackMac can do at the senior level. Tougher comp but better service.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Crow on 2013/07/04 at 6:20 PM

    Has anyone heard any update on Gatt?

    Reply

  15. Posted by dth on 2013/07/04 at 8:46 PM

    Mario Rodriguez to Borussia Monchengladbach: https://twitter.com/klinsmannschaft/status/352473189596663813

    Reply

  16. Posted by dth on 2013/07/04 at 8:49 PM

    Could you imagine how destructive F. Higuain would be if Caleb Porter were coaching him?

    Reply

  17. Posted by Ufficio on 2013/07/04 at 9:03 PM

    This is a dazzling display of ineptitude in the opponent’s box by LA.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2013/07/04 at 9:44 PM

      Yup.

      Still not quite sure what Villarreal’s best position is longterm. Zardes looks like the best attacking prospect currently on LA’s roster to me.

      As for Crew, they have some interesting parts. Too bad they were too late for Porter. They ought to fire Wazrycha — whose nepotism for his son is about the worst I’ve seen in soccer — and find someone competent. Bunkering against LA? Seriously? Has he seen them play this year?

      Reply

      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2013/07/05 at 6:33 AM

        Now that we are developing more players that can get to MLS at a young age (seems like a pipeline now versus what seemed like one offs with Convey, Adu, etc) I am curious how they will handle the next step. Villareal needs more seasoning so this is a bit of a tangent but I will be interested if players like Gil, JackMac, and hopefully shortly guys like Yedlin, Villareal, et al to make sure they don’t plateau after a year or two. Can they grow and stay in the US? Right now my preference is that these guys go to holland or lower tier Germany for development but would rather see them stay in MLS if i didn’t think it would hurt them

        Reply

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