Earlier this month, Jurgen rolled out a mostly European-based squad in Cyprus, who were pretty roundly outplayed by a motivated Ukrainian side that’s just about the best team not to make the World Cup. It was an opportunity to confirm who probably shouldn’t be on the 23 man roster for Brazil, and that’s the best we can say about that game. Guys like Oguchi Onyewu, John Brooks, Edgar Castillo, and Sascha Klejistan showed very little.
So here’s our Ides of March Beemsville 23: our picks (not who we think Jurgen will take) for the World Cup, based on numerous factors. We will know more next month, with the Mexico friendly played and MLS a month or so into the schedule.
Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake). Timmy remains the #1.
Defenders (7): Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Timothy Chandler (FC Nurenburg), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver),
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin). The more I think about, the more this group needs some veteran leadership. DeMerit, if healthy, can provide that in spades and is still one of the best pure defenders in the pool. He’s the perfect late game, settle-it-down defensive sub. Yeah, I know, Jurgen’s never called him in. If Tim Chandler can get back on the field by late April, he goes, due to lack of other viable outside back options.
Midfielders (8): Michael Bradley (Toronto), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Kansas City), Clint Dempsey (Seattle), Landon Donovan (L.A. Galaxy), Mix Diskerud (Rosenburg), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake). This group remains unchanged from last month. Beodoya and Beckerman are the two I could see switching if others (Mo Edu, Brek Shea) get hot.
Forwards (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna),
Juan Agudelo (FC Utrecht), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire). Boyd is scoring goals; Agudelo isn’t. Boyd also has the big body, and it’s looking more and more like Jozy needs to sit. We’d still love an excuse to bring Juan. Mike Magee’s injuries and whether or he can get back into form leave him vulnerable to a swap.
Starters against Ghana (June 15):
(4-4-2, bucket) We switched from the diamond to more of a bucket midfield due to Jozy’s form. Donovan and Dempsey can swap places as needed.
Cameron————–Gonzalez —————Besler————F. Johnson