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Dissecting Klinsmann’s 23-man USMNT roster for Copa America Centenario

Chris Wondolowski

San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski argues a call by the referee during the first half against Real Salt Lake in an MLS soccer match Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster for next month’s Copa America Centenario was destined to raise some eyebrows, and the USMNT boss did not disappoint with the 17 names removed by his winnowing fan.

Jordan Morris, Danny Williams and Matt Miazga all didn’t make the roster. Chris Wondolowski, Michael Orozco and Timmy Chandler did, as U.S. fans will have plenty to discuss while a very different “transitional” roster faces Puerto Rico at Noon today.

Let’s being with Morris, not because the 21-year-old is the most important omission but because it raised the most eyebrows. While the Seattle Sounders striker has started scoring lately, picking up his first four professional goals, Klinsmann opted for Major League Soccer’s second leading scorer in Wondolowski.

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Klinsmann cited experience, and certainly “Wondo’s” 10 goals in 31 caps are superior to Morris’ one in nine. While Morris is one for the future, Klinsmann feels the need to win now, and how’s this for a nagging little thought of pure speculation: Could this have anything to do with Morris choosing his Sounders deal over a contract offer from Werder Bremen?

Orozco’s inclusion does come with actual playing time for his club team. His last call-up came despite no action in months for Club Tijuana, but he’s played 90 minutes in his last three matches -- two of them clean sheets -- at right, center and left back. Chandler’s mercurial form for club and country somehow makes his inclusion riskier than Orozco.

It’s very surprising that either would make the club over Edgar Castillo, who helped shore up the Yanks’ left back position in the important win over Guatemala. Frankly, the area is a massive concern for the USMNT, which is probably while Klinsmann is opting to include Fabian Johnson as a defender. With both Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin on the flanks, there’s a lot of attacking potential.

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Now should we make anything of Klinsmann’s listing of the midfielders and forwards in one group? Normally I’d think there’s something to it, and perhaps the coach is thinking “false nine” in the absence of Jozy Altidore. This could mean one last big shout for Clint Dempsey.

Here’s two early guesses at a lineup Klinsmann could test in friendlies against Bolivia and Ecuador.
False nine


Yedlin -- Cameron -- Brooks -- Johnson


Jones -- Bradley

Bedoya -- Dempsey -- Wood



Yedlin -- Cameron -- Brooks -- Johnson


Bedoya -- Zusi


Dempsey -- Zardes

Follow @NicholasMendola