Feb 4, 2013

Five Talking Points: USMNT Roster for Honduras WCQ

For reasons best known to him, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann waited until today to announce his squad for the first Hexagonal World Cup Qualifying Match against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday.  (to be fair, Klinsmann said he wanted to make sure people didn't get hurt in the weekend's matches, but it is not like he couldn't name others on short notice if necessary--whatever.)

Here is the Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht ), Jose Torres (Tigres), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

1.  If there are any surprises on this roster, it would be the Brad Evans and Brad Davis.  Brad Davis did not supremely impress in the match against Canada, although he was better that Brad Evans.  Though to be honest, Evans played much better at right back than in central midfileder.  That said, I don't see either starting this match.

2.  Sean Johnson now needs to shave his head--he has wayyyy too much hair for a USMNT goalkeeper.  Still I think he has earned this call up.

3.  Centerback pairing is kind of an interesting question.  The inclusion of Mo Edu on this list suggests that Klinsmann is keeping his options open, with the former Terp having played as a centerback for Klinsmann in the past.  However, I suspect that we will see Omar Gonzalez line up next to Carlos Bocanegra.

4.  The striker corps presents an interesting conundrum for Klinsmann.  Jozy Altidore has been hot, red hot in the Eredivisie, but in the past has not been able to translate that in to success for the Red, White and Blue. Add to the equation that Eddie Johnson has proven himself to be far better holding the ball as a target striker than Altidore.  Dempsey is too good a player to leave on the bench, so will we see a 4-3-3 that Klinsmann likes but that most U.S. players are not used to playing?

5.  If there was ever a chance for Timmy chandler to redeem himself in the eyes of U.S. fans this game will be it.  Almost assured of starting--short of being caught in bed with a teammates wife--Chandler is going to need to provide width if Klinsmann goes 4-3-3 and that will put a big burden on him.

Bonus Talking Point:  Too many Brads on this squad and too many Johnsons, I don't like it.

My predicted line up

-------Altidore ------------  E. Johnson-------

----------------D. Williams---------------------



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