USMNT Report: Who’s Going to Brazil?

A look at who could possibly join USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann next summer
by Herb Scribner   |   Saturday, October 26, 2013

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

Now that CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying has wrapped up, the next step for the United States Men’s National Team is securing and perfecting a lineup for next summer’s world tournament.

While some players are set in stone to make it Brazil, others are less certain and remain in question for USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

Though there’s been a lot of success with the United States, not everyone can travel down to South America in 2014.

GOALKEEPERS

Likely: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando

On the bubble: Sean Johnson

This is one of the least controversial positions for the USA. Howard secured his spot in goal during the last World Cup when many knew he’d be ready to go in 2014. He’s still one of the most successful goalkeepers in the world game, and he’s shown that for the USA, too. He’ll likely start with Guzan behind him and Rimando taking the reserved spot, which has been the pattern throughout qualifying. Johnson could be called up if any of the three are injured before the World Cup. Otherwise, this position is more or less set in stone.

DEFENDERS

Likely: DaMarcus Beasley, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Edgar Castillo, Brad Evans, Oguchi Onyewu

On the bubble: Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco Fiscal

Looking at this list of names doesn’t inspire much hope. The USA’s backline has been a problem for years now, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better under Klinsmann. Though they may be long shots, Evans and Fiscal are likely to find their way to Brazil, mostly because they’ve been recalled again and again by Klinsmann and must have impressed him. It’ll be interesting to see if Cherundolo gets a call-up this fall and works his way back into the lineup now that he’s getting back to Hannover. Onyewu will also likely find himself on the plane, according to Klinsmann earlier this week, even though he hasn’t done much with the USA. Goodson and Fiscal are less likely to join, even though Goodson has proven to be miles better than Castillo or Evans in marking. Klinsmann, though, hasn’t shown much faith in the San Jose defender, and might not bring him along.

MIDFIELDERS

Likely: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Fabian Johnson

On the bubble: Mix Diskerud, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden

Without a doubt, the midfield is the deepest part of the USA lineup. Bradley and Jones are going to start in the defensive midfielder role, no matter how poor Jones proves to be between now and then – Klinsmann seems to have a confidence in him for the role. Zusi and Johnson are also near guarantees given their success in all of the WCQs. The others are all fighting for back-up roles, but it’s likely Diskerud, Beckerman, Bedoya and Kljestan will get brought along. Or, at the very least, they’ll serve in the reserve pool of USA players. Though Bedoya and Kljestan have shown very little in their outings, Klinsmann has shown faith in them much like he has for Jones and Evans, and will likely keep them for the summer’s lineup.

FORWARDS: 

Likely: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson

On the bubble: Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski, Herculez Gomez, Terrance Boyd

It’d be surprised if Klinsmann left one of those top 4 stateside. Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan and Johnson all ignite the USA offense and will be necessary if the Americans want to make it out of the group stage. Johnson and Altidore can be lethal when hot and hungry, and Donovan and Dempsey are too necessary for the USA to leave behind. The battle is really for who’s going to serve the bench role. . If Johannsson scores again this fall and proves successful, he will certainly take the final seat on the plane.

Not all of the USA’s players are top tier, and some might just be downright overrated. But the one thing Klinsmann does have is options. Selecting his squad from that deep a player pool he has installed and widened with position tinkering, will be difficult. Hopefully for the USA and their fans, his picks will be the right ones.

NEXT UP: November 15 – Friendly: United States vs. Scotland, Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland. 3 p.m. EST, ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas.

Herb SCRIBNER

Nationality:
USA
College:
UMass Amherst
Club Domestic:
RSL
Club Foreign:
FC Barcelona
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.
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