BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, September 22, 2011
The roster announcement for the October friendlies is still a week away but the choices are becoming more clear.
In the first three games of the Klinsmann era, some players have played themselves off the team while others have begun to impress. In both defense, midfield, and attack, there are strengths and weaknesses and Klinsmann will have difficult decisions to make for his next roster.
The US team's backline is still the greatest concern for the US team. Tim Ream has been struggling for the Red Bulls and Michael Orozco Fiscal has not impressed since his strong outing against Mexico in Klinsmann's debut.
Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Steve Cherundolo, and Timothy Chandler are the safest bets in the backline but in moving forward, more players must be given looks.
In central defense, Omar Gonzalez and George John seem like good bets to earn callups as both are among the best in MLS. Also, Oguchi Onyewu is impressing recently with Sporting Lisbon and Klinsmann will want to evaluate him first hand with the US team.
In the midfield, the US team will welcome back Stuart Holden who is finally returning to Bolton after an injury he suffered in March. His presence will give the US team a solid presence on both sides of the field in the middle of the field.
Michael Bradley is also likely to be included after all signs point to the fact he will be earning consistent minutes with Chievo Verona. His ability to get involved with the attack as well as defend adequately will give the US team more versatility in the field.
The Norwegian based midfielders Josh Gatt and Mikkel Diskerud could also make their debuts under Klinsmann after strong seasons. Diskerud is one of the most consistent players in Norway while Gatt is one of the fastest and most explosive.
DaMarcus Beasley has also been enjoying strong performances with Puebla in Mexico and with Robbie Rogers struggling in the last two friendlies, Beasley is the most logical replacement on the wing.
The US team will not have all of its top players available for the upcoming games. The versatile Fabian Johnson recently hurt his neck and will not be able to make his US debut until November, at the earliest. Also, Jose Torres underwent foot surgery this week and will miss the remainder of the Mexican Apertura season.
With that said, here is my predicted 23-man roster for the October friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador.