USMNT Report: Fully Loaded for Costa Rica, Mexico

Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his 23-man roster for World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico
by Herb Scribner   |   Thursday, August 29, 2013

USMNT Report - coverage of the United States Men's National Team

United States Men’s National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t holding back.

That much is clear based on the 23-man roster announced today for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

Here’s an overview of the roster:

GK: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEF: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

MID: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FWD: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

Everybody that has proven successful under Klinsmann’s watch in the last few months has been included in this roster. Piling the best players together isn’t a surprise as the USA faces a pair of tough opponents – Costa Rica and Mexico – who stand in the way of the Americans moving past the Hexagonal and onto Brazil without worry.

Defensively, the United States will look to find the right combination of players who have impressed under Klinsmann. John Brooks performed well in his debut, but it may be too early for him to get the start in these upcoming games. DaMarcus Beasley’s return was expected as was the inclusion of Brad Evans and Geoff Cameron, who is now in form with the return of the EPL.

The midfield is a batch of the USA’s best. We’ll likely see the Jermaine Jones/Michael Bradley duo return to the 2 defensive midfield spots. Graham Zusi should be placed on the right wing, where he’s done well for the USMNT and Sporting Kansas City this season. Fabian Johnson has shown sparks of success, too, and would complement Zusi well on the left. Johnson, though, has a tendency to disappear during games, but Klinsmann has shown to have faith in the German-American and he’ll likely see a lot of minutes.

With Zusi and Johnson occupying the wings, Landon Donovan would fit well in the center playmaking slot, which would allow him to control the offense and fill up the attacking void that was plainly obvious in the spring’s WCQs. With Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey up top and clicking, the USA has the ability in these upcoming games to surge forward and dictate the pace in the scoring third – just as long as the Americans play creatively.

And once again, the highlight of the USMNT roster is its depth. Bringing on a hot scorer like Eddie Johnson or a leader like Kyle Beckerman off the bench will only help the Yanks. Each area of the field is stacked high with talent that has guided the United States to a 12-game winning streak – the longest in the nation’s history.

It’s also noteworthy that Klinsmann is still testing players for these 2 games. The backline still faces an array of questions, and answers could be found when the USA faces the resurging Mexico, which recently beat Ivory Coast, 4-1. Similarly, Aron Johannsson and Brooks are hardly proven players in a USA jersey, but they’ve done enough to warrant a 2nd call-up, which points to Klinsmann’s tendency to experiment with his rosters.

Klinsmann will be facing 2 tough tests starting next week, and this roster clearly shows the German manager is going all in. And if the team performs as well as it has in 2013, the United States will sail past the Hexagonal and dock itself into Brazil’s sunny ports.

NEXT UP: September 6 – World Cup Qualifier: United States vs. Costa Rica, Estadio Nacional, San Jose, Costa Rica. 10 p.m. EST, beIN Sport.


UMass Amherst
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SN managing editor and award-winning journalist, Herb has always been known as "The Soccer Guy" wherever he goes. He's a leftback in most outdoor and indoor leagues. He also writes for Deseret News National.