WHO GOES TO RUSSIA?
PREVIEWS
EXTRA TIME
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, November 7, 2012
So with the USMNT game against Russia fast approaching, let's look at a potential roster.

Now this roster is now what I think Jurgen Klinsmann will do, it is what I would do if I were him. Now it's hard to make predictions yet since we do not know the results of the MLS playoffs and that does affect player availability.

I also think that with the playoffs starting in Mexico, Edgar Castillo, Herculez Gomez, and Joe Corona won't get the call.

But I'm going to give it my best shot.

Now, I think this game will be mostly regulars since it the last FIFA date prior to the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying. As we saw from the last round, this team needs work. I do think, however, there will be a few new players called up.

In goal, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan are the first two choices. Nick Rimando has been great recently for Real Salt Lake and I believe they will advance past Seattle. Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson have been shaky as of late but one player who has been solid is Honefoss keeper Steve Clark who is likely to win Tippeligaen goalkeeper of the year.

In defense, I think Klinsmann will bring new faces. The situation in central defense is not good right now as Oguchi Onyewu, Tim Ream, and Clarence Goodson are all struggling this season. One player who would be wise to look at is Hertha Berlin's John Anthony Brooks who has emerged as the team's starter. The gifted teenager is one of the best prospects in the US system and he can play in an area of need.

Another player who likely won't get called in but should be on the radar is Seb Hines who is now starting at promotion-favorites Middlesbrough again. The English-born American would need to file his one-time switch to play for the United States but he has said he would do that if asked. With both Hines and Boro playing well, he could catch the eye of Klinsmann again.

Moving to the midfield, the usual callups make sense. Michael Bradley and Danny Williams look like a terrific pair in central midfield. One player who could emerge as a dark horse is Conor O'Brien who is having a very solid season in the Danish Superliga with Sonderjyske. He is strong on both sides of the ball and is very possession oriented.

On the wings, Josh Gatt could make his international debut. The speedy Michigan native was called up in September but had to withdraw because of injury. With Klinsmann still needing flank play, Gatt seems to fit the needs of the team.

Landon Donovan has been a mystery so far with the team and his interest in international soccer is unclear based on recent interviews. LA is on the ropes in the playoffs and if they are eliminated, I can see Donovan sitting this game out and not making the long trip to Russia.

One regular who I do not think will get called up is Maurice Edu who is simply not playing right now for his club Stoke City. He's not even making the bench these days and he appears far from playing time. Like Onyewu's situation, if Edu isn't playing a callup just is not in the cards.

At forward, the big question is Jozy Altidore whose relationship with Klinsmann has deteriorated. Normally calling him up would make sense but since it was revealed as of earlier this week that the two haven't spoken in quite some time, a callup is unlikely.

With Terrence Boyd playing well and Chris Pontius now healthy and playing well, some difficult choices will have to be made.

With all that said, here is my 23 roster for the Russia friendly

Goalkeepers (3)

Tim Howard
Brad Guzan
Steve Clark

Defenders (8)

Steve Cherundolo
Michael Parkhurst
Carlos Bocanegra
Geoff Cameron
John Anthony Brooks
Matt Besler (Pending Kansas City game)
Fabian Johnson
Eric Lichaj

Midfielders (8)

Michael Bradley
Danny Williams
Jermaine Jones
Conor O'Brien
Graham Zusi (Pending Kansas City game)
Brek Shea
Josh Gatt
Sacha Kljestan

Forwards (4)

Eddie Johnson (Pending Seattle game)
Terrence Boyd
Clint Dempsey
Chris Pontius (Pending DC United game)

Other players in the mix:

Landon Donovan
Mix Diskerud
Jose Torres
Jozy Altidore
Eddie Johnson
Omar Gonzalez
Jonathan Spector
muchadu
Friday November 9, 2012 7:22 pm
How long are we needing to wait until our Coach announces who is going to Russia?
2tone
Friday November 9, 2012 11:35 am
Shea's out. Zusi is in, and don't be surprised to see Shawn Parker as well.
Scout92
Thursday November 8, 2012 7:14 pm
Altidore has to be there, also see whitbread and ream coming in.
bjelks
Thursday November 8, 2012 1:18 pm
First of all, Torres is trash.

Second of all, you still cant make a case that he gets minutes over Bradley, Williams, or Jones as a box to box, central mid option.

As an attacking mid option off the bench, he still doesnt beat out Kljestein who is producing in the Champions League.

Center mid is just too crowded right now, I'm sorry my friend.
DCUnitedWillRiseAgain
Thursday November 8, 2012 12:57 pm
Given KC loss, I think we'll see Zusi for sure.

Lichaj went off injured, but so did Joe Bennet for Aston Villa, so that may affect things.

What about Zak Whitbread? He is doing quite well for Leicester City lately and they are
looking like promotion candidates (although he recently served a red card suspension)?

I don't think he'll go for Pontius yet. More likely he'll go back to Wondo and/or Gordon given that San Jose is out.

Altidore will be back in because it's a freindly. But he'd better produce.

Mix should definitely be brought back in.
Bshredder
Thursday November 8, 2012 12:39 pm
@bjelks

Just a word of advice. It's never good to judge a player by highlights.

I don't think Conor O'Brien should start for the US team but he should be in the mix. He's a possession player and his passing is tremendous. Unlike Torres, he can actually play defense and win the ball back.

Conor is not a d-mid but he's not a #10 either. He plays the game similar to the way Stu Holden plays.
bjelks
Thursday November 8, 2012 12:11 pm
@BigB From the highlights Ive seen of Obrien, he looks like a poor man's Michael Bradley. We already have 3 solid holding mids in Bradley, Williams, and Jones. They play for better teams in better leagues. How many of the same player do we need, really?

My concern with O'brien. What does he bring that we do not already have?
BigB
Thursday November 8, 2012 9:47 am
@bjelks

How can you count on Chandler?

Steve Clark is playing out of his mind right now.

Bocanegra is the team's captain.

Hines can't play until he files for his one-time switch. That takes several months

Why Freddy Adu? He was not good with Philadelphia. O'Brien is playing terrific soccer in Denmark.

Gyau for Zusi? Why? Is Gyau playing for his terrible 2.Bundesliga team? Until he plays, he's off the team.

Jozy for EJ? Fine.
Bear06
Wednesday November 7, 2012 2:46 pm
@Anon - Whitbread can't stay healthy for longer than a month, I don't think he's getting called up.
Bear06
Wednesday November 7, 2012 2:44 pm
@Bradley - No
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