BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
After this weekend's games in Europe in MLS, Jurgen Klinsmann will announce the USMNT roster for the upcoming games.
It's unclear as to who will make the team but changes will likely have to be made from the subpar performance in Honduras last month.
Here is how I see Klinsmann breaking down the team in all areas.
Other possibilities: Brad Friedel, Bill Hamid, Tally Hall.
Analysis: The big news last week revealed that Tim Howard had two broken bones in his back and would miss an extended period of time. All eyes now turn to Brad Guzan who has backed up Howard throughout World Cup qualifying.
There has been talk about Brad Friedel returning to the US team to help but I don't see it unless something happened to Brad Guzan.
Rimando is the natural backup to Guzan and since Johnson played January camp, he seems likely to be the number three.
Other possibilities: Jonathan Spector, Edgar Castillo, John Anthony Brooks
Analysis: Things are very dicey in the backline for the US team right now. Carlos Bocanegra is not playing right now for Racing Santander but given that he has more experience than anyone means that he probably gets the call. He is still a leader on the team even if he doesn't play. That could change in 2013 but not now.
Chandler had a poor performance in Honduras but has been playing well for FC Nurnberg recently. With Cherundolo out, Chandler is still an obvious pick and has more than enough talent to be a top US player for years to come.
Right now in full back positions, Edgar Castillo is hurt and for now I will consider him out. For a backup position it's Michael Parkhurst and Jonathan Spector. Parkhurst gets the nod because of recent USMNT experience and that Spector is playing more in the midfield with Birmingham City
For the situation of John Anthony Brooks, it becomes interesting. He is having a season that fully warrents his inclusion into the national team but Germany is now interested. US scouts have been over to watch him play recently but will he cap-tie himself to the US team just now when Germany, where he was born and raised, is also interested? US fans should hope so. If he is willing, he should be on the team. But we are going to wait and see if that happens first.
Other possibilities: Mix Diskerud, Benny Feilhaber, Alejandro Bedoya
Analysis: The midfield will have to change its approach from the Honduras game but don't expect too many changes in the players. Danny Williams received criticism for his play against Honduras but he has quietly played two straight solid games for Hoffenheim.
Joe Corona and Jose Torres are very much possibilities to make the team and see important minutes. Torres has found himself as a consistent starter for a very powerful Tigres team and Joe Corona is an important player for Tijuana who in rolling in its Copa Libertadores campaign.
Forwards and wingers: 5
Other possibilities: Eddie Johnson, Chris Pontius, Joe Gyau, DaMarcus Beasley, Juan Agudelo, Josh Gatt
Analysis: This area is not as much of a concern as it appears. The problem has never really been the forward for the USMNT under Klinsmann. The real problem is getting the ball to the forward in dangerous positions. The linkup play between the midfield and forwards has struggled mightily.
Altidore, Gomez, and Boyd are all scoring goals for their clubs and should all be included. Likewise, Clint Dempsey is regaining his health after a calf injury and is an important player.
Brek Shea's return to the field for Stoke City is important because he actually can provide some width for the US team and that is very much needed.
Chris Pontius is one player that could also sneak in there because he is a versatile player that can create plays out of nowhere and can score important goals. Klinsmann has been trying to get him involved with the US team for the last six months and this may be his chance.