USMNT World Cup Qualifiers Roster Announced, Questions Asked
- Updated: October 8, 2012
United State Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named his 24 man roster earlier today for the two upcoming World Cup qualifying matches. While most of the names on the roster are regulars we’ve come to expect, there are a few noticeable omissions that have many in the sports media raising their eyebrows. Before we get into the names missing, below is the 24 man roster, courtesy of ussoccer.com:
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)
The biggest name missing here is Jozy Altidore, who is normally a main stay, not to mention a huge offensive presence, for the US National Team. “Not calling in Jozy is huge,” says Richard McGovern from Philly Union Talk. There is speculation that Klinsmann left Altidore out of the lineup after the two had an apparent falling out over the way the striker responded to an interview Klinsmann did with ESPN. One has to wonder just how bad the falling out was if Klinsmann is willing to risk not bringing in one of his top offensive threats.
Altidore isn’t the only player curiously missing from the roster. MLS scoring leader Chris Wondolowski, who is on the brink of breaking the MLS single season goal record, was also left out of the 24 man roster, which Klinsmann says is built, “to get six points.” You would think that the league’s leading goal scorer would be a no brainier roster pick, but apparently Klinsmann has other ideas. At the end of the day of course, it’s his team, and if they do end up getting six points, then this conversation loses some of its meaning. It’s a whole other story if his squad fails to meat expectations.
Minus some of the shocking names left out, the roster is fairly solid. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan help round up the offense, along with Alan Gordon, Herculez Gomez and Eddie Johnson. The only issue with Donovan is the left knee injury he picked up this past weekend against Real Salt Lake. In the midfield, Michael Bradley returns after being left out of the roster due to a muscle injury. Along with Donovan’s knee, there are five players on the squad who are carrying yellow cards. If any of these five players, Bradley, Edu, Fabian Johnson, Jones, or Zusi pick up another, they will pick up one-match suspensions. This could hurt the USMNT if these players are carded during the A&B match, as they would miss the much more important match against Guatemala.
As the US heads into their next two semifinal round matches, they sit at the top along with Guatemala with seven points. Jamaica also has seven points, but they are currently in third place because of a lower goal differential. Due to each of three teams having the same number of points in Group A, they will not know if they secured a place until the last group game on October 16th.
The USMNT first take on Antigua & Barbuda this Friday the twelve at 7:00 pm. ET on beIN SPORT (DirectTV required). They will then take on Guatemala four days later on October 16th from Livestrong Sporting Park at 6:00 p.m. CT live on ESPN2.