And just like that, we are down to one month until the first kick in Brazil. With that being said, today the United State’s Men’s National Team Coach named his preliminary roster of 30 guys who will be reporting to camp on Thursday to start the final World Cup Tune up. While this number may or may not be a good thing, countries like Brazil and Mexico have already named their finalized 23 man rosters, these 30 men report to camp with the most pressure of any U.S. team, maybe, ever. I wish the number was smaller so that the team could get a better representation of who they would be playing with, but at the same time I like that there is still uncertainty for the sake of heated competition everyday.
The Defenders look like this (11): DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, Michael Parkhurst, Deandre Yedlin, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Clarence Goodson, and Brad Evans.
The Midfielders (10): Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green, Brad Davis, and Alejandro Bedoya.
The Forwards (6): Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Terrence Boyd, Chris Wondolowski, and Aron Johannsson.
Jurgen Klinsmann only brings back nine guys who played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In the last year, more than 50 players have played for the U.S. squad and performed in front of Klinsmann. The squad Klinsmann puts on the pitch each night is demanded to attack and attack fast. Which leaves me scared for our defense. I still do not believe we have a solid right back, or a left back for that matter. Beasley and Johnson do good jobs getting in the attack and sparking runs, but their defense is subpar, leaving a lot of pressure on our center backs, whom I presume to be Besler and Gonzalez, possibly Goodson.
3 Omitted Names
Eddie Johnson (forward) is the name that is most recognized and the name that seems to be the most surprising, especially since he had 17 appearances last year and scored the eventual goal that clinched World Cup berth for the United States. However, he has not scored in his first 8 games with his club team this year and is in a major funk right now.
Sacha Kljestan (midfielder) is another guy who I thought would get a call in because he is a great bench player who embraces his role and really provides a spark of energy in the 25-30 minutes he gets at the end of games. But he has not played in the last six games with his club team in Belgium. It is hard to get a call, when you are not getting any playing time to show off for the manager back home.
Benny Feilhaber (midfielder) is playing out of his mind right now, really ever since November he has been on a roll. He plays a great holding midfielder spot with great slotted balls to set up attacks. While I am a homer, and wanted to see another Sporting player go to camp, I understand he does not quite fit in with Klinsmann’s attacking style.
The Next Step
These 30 players will fly out to Palo Alto and train at Stanford for close to two weeks before playing a friendly in San Francisco on May 27 against Azerbaijan and then fly to New York for a friendly against Turkey on June 1. The next day, Klinsmann will have to turn in his 23 man roster to FIFA and then fly to Florida. The finalized World Cup squad will play one more friendly in Jacksonville against Nigeria on June 7. Then the squad will fly to Brazil and prepare for their first game on June 16 against Ghana.