BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, November 1, 2011
With the Jurgen Klinsmann-era now five games old for the US national team there is significant debate as to which players have been overlooked.
The names most frequently talked about are Omar Gonzalez, Josh Gatt, Mikkel Diskerud, George John, and Herculez Gomez.
The one name not being talked about but who is probably the most deserving of a callup for the US national team is Nordsjaelland defender Michael Parkhurst.
The Providence native is putting together a stellar year in what is the best season of his career. He has started every one of Nordsjaelland's 14 games and the club has the best defense in the Danish Superligaen with only 12 goals allowed.
Parkhurst is playing both right back and central defense for Nordsjaelland and these are two positions he can help the national team.
When looking at the defense for the US team right now, there are openings at the backup positions on the US team. The starting backline is pretty clear right now with Timothy Chandler now on the left, Steve Cherundolo on the right, along with a central defense tandem of Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu.
After the starting lineup, the backup positions remaine wide open. Jonathan Spector has been the usual backup fullback on either side but he has been ineffective and his playing time has decreased at Birmingham. Also Eric Lichaj continues to miss significant time with a hip injury and Edgar Castillo has fallen off the radar at Club America.
In central defense, the options beyond Onyewu and Bocanega have proven to be even more limited. Tim Ream and Michael Orozco Fiscal have both struggled and Clarence Goodson is off to a rough start with Brondby.
Many people argued that George John and Omar Gonzalez should also see time but John has not been the same player since his transfer to Blackburn fell through. Omar Gonzalez has been solid for the LA Galaxy but he has not received much attention from Klinsmann to date.
Klinsmann has said that he wants players to earn their way onto the national team through solid club play and no one, not even a red hot Herculez Gomez, deserves the chance more than Parkhurst based the way he has played the past three months.