The Mexico friendly is behind us. A tale of two halves, with some impressive midfield play and alarming defending, and surprise! Jurgen unveils a diamond midfield. Mostly, guys who’ve already booked tickets to the World Cup confirmed why they’re going, and a couple of guys made strong cases for inclusion. Among those not staking claims were the injured (Brad Evans), the not-allowed-to-participate-because-Mexico (Beasley, Herculez, Joe Corona) and the very wet behind the ears (Julian Green). While we wouldn’t be surprised to see Green brought along for seasoning, it’s getting might late for debutantes.
So it’s time for another Beemsville 23: our picks (not who we think Jurgen Klinsmann will take) for the World Cup. It’s t-minus two months until the USA kicks off against Ghana in Brazil, and only a couple of weeks before the coaching staff names its preliminary 30-man roster for training camp.
Check out the cool graphical setup for the 23 at American Soccer Now.
Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake). Easy picks here.
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) . We still like DeMerit for veteran leadership, pinch hitting, and generally bringing it for this group. For whatever reason, Jurgen’s not calling. Ask yourself this question – if one of the centerbacks goes down and you need someone against Portugal or Germany, would you rather have Clarence Goodson or DeMerit? Tim Chandler has about two weeks to get back on the field or it’s on to another outside back.
Midfielders (7): 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). Again, we don’t have any changes with this group… Well, that’s not entirely true. We had been listing Dempsey as a midfielder, but we’ve moved Deuce to the forward line. Mo Edu with a late push as an all-purpose guy.
Forwards (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose),
Mike Magee (Chicago Fire). We swapped Wondo for Magee based on form and attitude and late-game sub potential. Dempsey can shuttle into multiple attacking positions – as can Landon for that matter. You could maybe advocate for dropping one of these guys in favor of another wide midfielder, but who would that be? Green, Brek Shea, maybe… Too bad Darlington Nagbe’s not eligible for citizenship (yet).
Starters against Ghana (June 16)
Since Jurgen tried it, we’re bringing back that diamond midfield! Can Jermaine Jones stay disciplined as the d-mid or do you hold him for Portugal? How can you not start with one of the better all-around players in Geoff Cameron, even if a little out of position? How about Johannson, Dempsey, Zusi, and Landon running up front, with Bradley orchestrating?
Cameron————–Gonzalez —————Besler————F. Johnson