Jan 8, 2013

Five Talking Points--USMNT January Camp

Five talking points about the USMNT Roster for the January Camp.

Just as a quick reminder, here is the roster:
GOALKEEPERS- Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS-Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)

MIDFIELDERS- Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS- Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

To the Points:  

1.  I can't remember the last time a USMNT roster featured two outside midfielders who could serve the ball with as much aplomb as Brad Davis and Graham Zusi.  Two set piece service maestros.  Seems to me like a match made in heaven--so that means we won't see them together.  Shame, that could be a lot of fun to watch them on the pitch together.

2.  Besler or Gonzalez?  If you accept the (semi-conventional) wisdom that Geoff Cameron has solidified a place in Klinsmann's back line corps, who between Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler has the chops to make the step up to partner with Cameron with the surely imminent departure of Carlos Bocanegra from the regular national team fold.  (on that point- is Bocanegra really on the outs?)

3.  Speaking of Gonzalez, can he and his L.A. Galaxy and Maryland Terrapin teammate A.J. De La Garza make an impact on the national team as they have in college and MLS?  The versatility of De La Garza to play either right or left back has to be give him the edge to start in this corps.  Truly has there ever been as consistent a pairing of players through all levels as these two?  I think not.

4.  Klinsmann has said that between 5 and 8 of these players will likely be held in camp for the Honduras World Cup Qualifier.  That list, I suspect will include, Hamid, Beckerman, Gonzalez, Zusi, Johnson and Wondolowski.  On the bubble will be Gatt and Besler.  

5.    It would be easy to look at this as Benny Feilhaber's final chance to impress Klinsmann for inclusion in World Cup Qualifying rosters, but I suspect that his inclusion is no throw-away.  Can Feilhaber capture that Gold Cup magic in a bottle (or in a volley) and catapault himself back into contention--particularly in light of the doubts surrounding Landon Donovan's future?  A strong camp will do that for him.

Projected Line-Up vs. Canada (4-1-3-2)


De La Garza---Gonzalez---Besler---Beitashour

Gatt --------------Zusi---------------Feilhaber----


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