CHICAGO, IL- With two crucial World Cup Qualifiers coming up this week, the U.S Men’s National Team Roster has finally been announced. The US will take on St. Vincent and the Grenadines on September 2nd, followed by Trinidad and Tobago on September 6th. We’ll take a look at who made the roster and who probably should’ve been on the roster. Finally we’ll attempt to predict what lineup the USMNT will roll with when it comes to the matches. HERE. WE. GO.
US National Team Roster Announced for Upcoming Qualifiers
Here is the roster:
Goalkeepers(3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Defenders(9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha BSC), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mochengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Midfielders (9): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)
Dempsey is notable just because, it’s Clint Freakin Dempsey. It’s also a notable omission because of the health issues surrounding him. He was kept out of today’s Cascadia Cup match due to an irregular heartbeat. He will definitely be missed in this two games, meaning Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore are going to have to step up.
For as much that was made about Julian Green leading into the 2014 World Cup, and how he was the next big American thing, the hype has significantly petered out. This year, he played a really good pre-season tour, and earned himself a place on Bayern Munich’s first team roster. While he may not play, that is quite the feat on such a talent-stocked roster. Clearly though it hasn’t impressed Jürgen Klinsmann enough. Some consistent playing time might do the trick leading into the Hexagonal Qualifying rounds.
I’m actually a little surprised that Zardes got left off the roster. While his first touch was the major topic during the Copa America Centenario, he did finish a few chances. Injury is what keeps him off the roster this time around. It will be interesting to see who Klinsmann places out on the right wing.
This one still confuses me. Klejistan has five goals and fifteen assists for a New York Red Bulls team who hasn’t lost it’s last eight games. It’s ridiculous that he’s not on this roster, and his omission continues to perplex me. Klinsmann needs a player like him in this squad, and yet he continues to overlook one of the best American players available for selection.
Predicting the Starting XI
It has been quite the interesting few years with Klinsmann’s lineups. He’s been widely criticized for playing players out of position and tinkering with the lineup way too much. During the Copa Centenario he finally achieved the feat of putting together a coherent starting lineup. We’ll see if that continues. If I was in the manager’s chair, this is what I would roll with:
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
We’re going to have to split this up between matches, thanks to the suspensions to Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco. Orozco won’t throw much of a curveball into the backline. So here it goes:
Trinidad and Tobago
I don’t expect to see too many changes to this, outside of swapping Bradley for Kyle Beckerman. If Christian Pulisic gets playing time in the first game and impresses, there is a chance he gets the start against Trinidad. He’s proven that he can score and create in the times he’s appeared for Dortmund and the Stars and Stripes. If he does get a start, you could see Johnson at left back instead of Besler.
The first game is on Friday, September 2nd. They’ll be on the road at St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That match kicks off at 3:30pm ET on BeIN Sports. The match against Trinidad and Tobago will be on Tuesday, September 6th. They will be playing at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. That match will kick off at 8PM ET.