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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, February 13, 2012
The US national team is set for their first major test of 2012 when they travel to Genoa in two weeks to take on Italy.

There aren't likely to be many surprises on the US roster but there are likely to be a few changes. The biggest change is likely to be in the midfield where a rejuvenated Sacha Kljestan is likely to be given another look by US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Kljestan is having a very strong year with Belgian leaders Anderlecht and he is now playing at a high enough level where he will likely force Klinsmann's hand.

For now, I think Brek Shea will also get the call but that may not be a sure thing. Shea is likely to play a big role for the US U-23 national team in Olympic qualifying in March and the U-23s will be having their final camp at the same time. In fact, the US U-23s will be playing Mexico in Shea's home stadium in Dallas the same day as the US-Italy game.

It is quite possible for Klinsmann to have Shea play there instead of the Italy game.

On the other hand, US U-23 players Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Sean Johnson, and Bill Hamid will likely play with the Olympic team for that friendly.

Alfredo Morales is a players who is difficult to predict. He hasn't impressed recently with Hertha Berlin and is eligible for the US U-23 team. US Soccer is likely trying to determine if Hertha will release him for U-23 games but if they don't, does Klinsmann feel he is good enough to get called up to the senior team?

In the backline, Michael Parkhurst played well in the January friendlies and could earn the call-up to the top national team.

Tim Ream, George John and Robbie Rogers are coming off moves to English clubs but are yet to break through with their new teams. For that reason, they are unlikely to be called in.

Predicted US roster for game against Italy on February 29, 2012


Brad Guzan
Tim Howard


Carlos Bocanegra
Timothy Chandler
Steve Cherundolo
Clarence Goodson
Oguchi Onyewu
Michael Parkhurst
Jonathan Spector


Kyle Beckerman
Michael Bradley
Clint Dempsey
Maurice Edu
Fabian Johnson
Jermaine Jones
Sacha Kljestan
Brek Shea
Jose Torres
Danny Williams


Jozy Altidore
Edson Buddle
Landon Donovan
Tuesday February 14, 2012 9:07 pm
GK- Howard, Guzan
DF- Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Chandler, Onyewu, Whitbread, Goodson, Spector, Parkhurst
MF- Torres, Bradley, Jones, Dempsey, Edu, Shea, Johnson, Kljestan, Williams
FW- Donovan, Buddle, Altidore
Tuesday February 14, 2012 2:48 pm
This will be pretty close. Put Dempsey at FWD and Donovan in the mid-field. Also why not call-up Davies. Before anyone gets crazy lets think about this. If Klinsmann is going ot call-up Buddle(which I think he will) why would you not call-up Davies. Davies has been training regularly for the past few months but Buddle has not. Actually Buddle has only been training consistently for about only two weeks since returning from Germany. Davies has seen some gametime minutes/ Buddle hasn't seen gametime minutes since the last part of November. Davies is mid season fitness Buddle is in pre-season fitness. Davies will probably get more minutes this weekend, Buddle will just be training with LA. I think Davies deserves to be called up just as much as Buddle. In all seriousness if Klinsmann calls up Buddle then a case can be made for Hercules Gomez as well.
Tuesday February 14, 2012 1:37 pm
The determining question for me is who does Klinsmann release to play with the U-23 squad, since Olympic qualification is in a month. I could easily see Brek Shea, Alfredo Morales, and possibly Danny Williams all being left off the Senior Squad for this match to enable them to be integrated/familiarized with the rest of the U-23 players.
Other than these players I'd drop Goodson for Cameron, and Beckerman for ANYONE else.
I'd switch Donovan & Dempsey...I think Donovan does better out wide as a wing midfielder and Dempsey is lighting it up as a withdrawn striker.
Otherwise I'd be happy with the proposed squad.
Tuesday February 14, 2012 1:11 pm
Beckerman is definitely still recovering from injury.

Clarence Goodson is still on his winter break, so he certainly isn't a lock.

Geoff Cameron should earn a spot above Parkhurst, that's for sure. Not to mention that if Whitbread's hamstring is healthy he will probably receive a call up as well.

Dempsey will play forward before Donovan does. Donovan will be on the right wing per usual.

Also don't be surprised if Danny Williams sees some time at center back. That's where he has been playing for Hoffenheim.
Monday February 13, 2012 10:26 pm
Locks: Howard, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Dempsey, Bradley, Donovan, and Jones.
Probables: Chandler, Parkhurst, Edu, Williams, Shea (despite lackluster performances lately for the MNT).

It would be great to finally have this coach get a look at Torres' pinpoint passing. It's been said before: too bad Friedel's is unwilling (not that we need him, provided Timmy is available).

There is a hole in the goal-scoring department (Dempsey notwithstanding--be sure to see Saturday's 30-yard bullet against Stoke if you haven't yet seen it.
Cole Joseph
Monday February 13, 2012 9:20 pm
I'm not that thrilled by the "forwards" selections...but I know that's pretty much all we have since the other options will be with the U23's
John R
Monday February 13, 2012 8:36 pm
Is Bekerman still suffering from awfulness? No idea how/why he keeps making this roster
Monday February 13, 2012 7:42 pm
Agree with most of the picks but it's mid-week no-camp match so only 20 will be called so drop Spector & Beckerman. Edu & Williams don't dress.
Monday February 13, 2012 6:39 pm
Isnt beckerman still recovering from injury? I know he's back, but not 100%
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