Matt Biggerstaff & Eric Giardini go shopping for icy pops.
We’re backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. You might remember us from a time long ago called December.
The 23 is set, whether you like it or not.
If you don’t like it, be sure to take to social media and let your friends know! We did. Or didn’t. But we did notice the team and a certain someone were still trending more than a day after the announcement.
If nothing else, at least people care! People that regularly use Twitter anyway.
Poor Brian Ching, he was ahead of technology on this one.
After one moderately successful friendly that was incredibly windy and one amazing chip and volley goal that soothed some fears, we have no Tonya Harding-style injuries to report, so your jersey choices stay with the original 23, or maybe not. We will see.
You have two weeks to get your jersey, so read up and then order it today. Like, now. NOW. GET TO THE CHOPPA!! Wait, where am I? Anyone who can rock Schwarzenegger on the back of a kit has my respect. In case you aren’t that legit (and trust me, you aren’t) we’ve got a few more options for you. Joining me is the maestro of Roma, Eric Giar-somethingorother. Why does everyone that writes for this site have such a ridiculous last name. We need a Smith or two. Speaking of last names, away we go.
Biggy: Homie’s still here. Not only is he here, he started at the Stick. There are lots of things to like about Ale, starting with his ability to lead Nantes fans in great chants, his taste in electronic music, and his skills on the field.
He works hard, takes players on, and knows how to score.
He also crushed it in the last summer tournament the US played in, and is ready to ball out in Brazil. He may not always be the flashiest guy, but he certainly is consistent, and I see him sneaking in a goal against Ghana.
Heard it here first.
Unless you said it to yourself in your head earlier, then this would not be first. This is also a solid choice for the next cycle too, as Ale is going to see a lot of the field going forward. Invest in his future and your own, so you look like you know what you are talking about come summer of ’16 at your local bar/pub/house party of choice.
Alejandro Bedoya, the TSG Ambassador to Brazil.
Eric: Way back in December, I said this and I’m sticking to it: “I think December might be a bit too early to splash the cash for Alejandro, but once May comes around I think you’ll be in a better position to see how he will fit in with the team.” December was too early but he now looks like he’s going to be walking out in Natal with the Starting 11 so I guess he is fitting in to the team nicely. Buy for the “investment” but mostly for my clairvoyance.
Biggy: Speaking of still here, YEAHHHHHHH John Anthony Brooks! Way to make the 23!
A dark horse all along, he’s now a dark horse to start. Like one of those ridiculous 1,000:1 bets that you laugh at, then get sad when it happens and someone actually bet on it and you didn’t, even after you legitimately considered it. JB is a beast, and has a real future with this team, however it appears unlikely that WC 2014 is going to be the beginning of that future. So scoop up this jersey if you’re more of a “What’s Coming Next” person versus being cool right now.
Also, if Brooks gets on the field, Eric is going to shit himself with fear, so if you are pro-Eric shitting, this is your man. And your jersey. Nothing wrong with being cool before it’s cool to be a Brooks fan. Or is there? Who knows. Solid center back in the making, unsure how strong his Gooch face is though.
Eric: DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THIS! I mean, I’m happy for Mr. Brooks that he is going to Brazil as his view of the games will be much better than mine when I have to quickly minimize my World Cup feed from my office, so good for him. I mean it, he seems like a likeable person and his tattoos on his elbows are pretty rad. There are other German-Americans jerseys I’d rather have (Oh, Terrance where art thou?).
Biggy: Speaking of defenders, let’s jump to one that should play a huge role at the World Cup. It’s looking like the Besler/Cameron pairing that so many of us greatly desired is finally happening. Maybe Brooks/Cameron though?!
Weird to say this, but Cameron is currently the best American field player playing in the EPL. Yep, America’s finest plays at Stoke.
Just let that simmer for a minute. Fortunately Cameron has turned into a steely defender who can play both right and center back and has had to deal with some of the best attackers in the world on a regular basis as he lined up against teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
You might say “Chelsea?” and I would remind you that they have a midfield that is top notch, despite the absence of forwards. If you like to rock the center of the park, boss the pitch, and hold down the shutout, this is the jersey for you.
Also, if you like Cameron’s stylish hair and stoic on-field facial expressions, you might as well get his shirt. Just to complete the look, you know.
Eric: If you would have told me that Cameron would be the best American field player playing in England a year ago I would have laughed in your face and then probably slapped you for good measure, but here we are. I think Cameron will be poised to have a solid-to-good tournament down in Brazil and is the defender that I feel the best about – especially after the lackluster game Besler had at the Stick. This would be a solid pickup for a solid player. Nobody is going to come up to you and say “Geoff Cameron, sick shirt brah!” but you also won’t get laughed out of the bar. The best you’re going to get is a nod, a raise of a PBR, and sometimes that’s all you need.
(Editor’s note: Allow me to blow your mind for a second. You have three picks left for your 23-man USMNT squad and you can select from four players. Those four players are: Landon Donovan, Julian Green, Juan Agudelo … and …. Freddy Adu. Who do you take?)
Eric: First off, I am all aboard the Julian Express. His “recruitment” (let’s call it what it is) is a master stroke from Klinsmann in a move that likens him more to John Calipari than to a proper national team manager. He’s quick, seems to be creative, and can score, if YouTube and Wikipedia are to be believed. More importantly, he signifies a hope of what the USMNT can be: full exciting, brash, multicultural players who can and do play with the super clubs in the world. Now I’m just waiting for Zelalem to follow and that 12 year old who is at La Masia to follow suit.
Biggy: The super sub. The man who could inflict all the hurt in the world coming from the 75′ on. Your tired legs mean you are struggling to keep up with his pace, and boom, he’s past you and ohhhhh sh*t, now your team is behind. Can Julian Green be that man? Is it too soon? Is he ready? Is Portugal ready?
Are YOU ready?
All questions that are floating around that could be answered in Brazil. All questions that might not be answered in Brazil. SO MANY QUESTIONS. If you are in the Green jersey, people will need to recognize that you clearly know the USMNT. Now that he made the 23, you might not be as edgy as you were a month ago. It’s a tradeoff. Can you deal with the fact that this might become other people’s favorite player? Perhaps that you won’t be the only person in your town who is knowledgeable about the German fourth division? Or does Green crush it off the bench and find a spot on Bayern’s squad next year? Should I stop asking questions that no one has an answer to yet?
Eric: I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Get a Wondolowski Quakes jersey, not a USMNT one, and save me from having an aneurysm #TeamBoyd. Other things I dislike: Puppies, sunshine, smiling, Christmas music, general mirth and merriment. (Also, these views do not reflect The Shinguardian or any of its other writers or sponsors).
Biggy: First, good luck getting his name on the damn jersey to start with. Long enough to make a nice half circle on the back of your jersey even without that extra W, Chris making the World Cup team is nothing short of a dream, an extremely well deserved dream for an incredibly hard working individual.
If you can’t cheer for this guy, you can’t cheer for America. You can feel his passion any time he is on the field, and he wants to score more than you do at the bar on your birthday. Copping his shirt means you believe in hard work, extreme passion, and exuberant misspellings that inspire buckets of goals to pour out of the heavens like a delicious fountain of whatever tasty beer the Free Beer Movement is currently enjoying. WONDO IS GOING TO BRAZIL!
Eric: Be still, my heart. What’s that I hear tickling my ear? Is it? No, it can’t be “Careless Whisper,” can it? What? It is?! Now that we got that out of the way, we can get back on track. Out of everyone on this list, he would be whose jersey I’d get. Bradley is a very close second but if we are going hair vs. no hair, hair wins every time. Also, remember when Mix wanted to have “Mix” instead of “Diskerud” on the back of his shirt? How perfect would that have been?
Biggy: HAIIIIRRRRRRR FLIPPPPPPPPPP! Seriously, sexy Mixxy looks nice, he plays nice, and he is nice. Have you looked at his Twitter? I feel like we would be friends. Actually, I feel like he would be friends with everyone. What a guy. Not to mentioned he grabbed a solid goal versus Azerbaijan. There certainly is some serious weight rocking that number 10 shirt, but those broad, muscular shoulders certainly can carry it. Rocking the new number 10 says that you believe in Jürgen and his plan for 2014 and beyond! It also says that you not only recognize talented soccer players, but good looking ones as well. Get it Mix!
Biggy: Pretty simple, Mikey is Team America’s most important player. No way around it. He runs the middle, and there is no one who can fill his role. No one. You really can’t go wrong with this jersey and who is going to give you shit at the bar about it? The guy in the Brek Shea kit? Go on, tell me some more about nepotism or whatever you are blabbering about. We all know the truth. Mikey’s a beast, and if we are getting out of the group, it’s going to be on his back. Might as well have him on your back as well.
Eric: This is the safest choice in shirt to get. If you demand respect, know how to take charge, and will serve as the metronome of your World Cup view party (keeping pace of the drinking to ensure the safe, responsible consumption of alcohol without anyone getting out of hand), then a) you are a better man than me for checking all of those boxes and b) run, don’t walk, to buy this shirt. You probably are also the type to get the polo shirt rather than the blue/white/red one.
Eric: Last one, what about Zusi? Has anyone made as many strides for both club and country over the past two years as Zusi? He kicked the door down following his 2011 MLS season and really hasn’t looked back since. Solid over the qualifying campaign and has looked, like Bedoya, to have cemented his place in the starting lineup. Another positive: he’s a Mexican folk hero, so that’s sure to be worth something depending on where you live. Finally, he’s surely the VP of the USMNT Great Hair Club behind Mix. We can’t over look that.
Biggy: Zusi has been a rock during qualifying and looks like a starter against Ghana. Twitter peeps may be calling him slow, but speed isn’t his game. That marvelous one time ball he hit to Julian Green versus Turkey however is his game. Great touch, tracks defensively, whips in some wicked service. He’s about as blue collar as it gets on this squad, which is why it’s unfortunate the home kit has the collar and not the away kit, because then they would both be blue collar, and that would just be too perfect.
B: The final choice, Polo Shirt or Bomb Pop? For me, it’s Bomb Pop all the way. Red, white and blue, popsicles too, maybe I’ll enjoy a nice brew, how about you?!
E: Why do we have to choose? Be like me, a true American, and go for excess and buying things you don’t need and get both. Get your kit ASAP!