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Evaluating striker form ahead of USMNT camp: Surprises for the 30-man?

Chris Wondolowski

In this Feb. 11, 2013, photo, San Jose Earthquakes’ Chris Wondolowski gestures during a training session in San Jose, Calif. Now that he has finally gained some valuable experience with the U.S. national team and proven to be a reliable playmaker up front, Wondolowski’s next challenge will be making the 23-man World Cup roster for this year’s tournament in Brazil. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


With USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announcing 30 players for World Cup preliminary camp by May 12 -- a week from Monday! -- before culling the group to 23 by June 2, the time is right for plenty of roster thoughts.

And considering both Juan Agudelo and Terrence Boyd have found their striking stride for European clubs, has anything changed in Klinsmann’s mind ahead of camp?

Most would assume that, aside from how you classify Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, there are precious few locks at forward for the roster. Jozy Altidore of Sunderland seems one, even after his miserable season in the Premier League (He has a goal and an assist in 29 PL matches).

But after that? Eddie Johnson was once considered all-but-going to Brazil, but he’s looked ordinary since his trade to DC United. Aron Johannsson lit the Eredivisie on fire before a dip in finishing form that seemed to coincide with missing two penalties in a short period of time.

Now you have to consider Chris Wondolowski’s goal in the friendly against Mexico and strong form in MLS, the leaps and bounds of growth from Rapid Vienna’s Terrence Boyd and even Will Bruin’s hot start to 2014 with the Houston Dynamo.

Who are you betting to make the 30? The 23?

Check out this short list of form since MLS season began in mid-March (with a couple bonus names thrown in):

-- Eddie Johnson, DC United -- 7 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 12 shots

-- Chris Wondolowski, San Jose -- 7 games, 5 goals, 23 shots

-- Aron Johannsson, AZ Alkmaar -- 10 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, 15 shots

-- Terrence Boyd, Rapid Vienna -- 8 games, 5 goals

-- Juan Agudelo, FC Utrecht -- 7 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, 15 shots

-- Ale Bedoya, Nantes -- 7 games, 2 goals, 13 shots

-- Jozy Altidore, Sunderland -- 5 games, 0 goals, 2 shots

-- Herculez Gomez, Tijuana -- 5 games, 0 goals, 3 shots

-- Julian Green, Bayern Munich II -- 3 games, 0 goals

-- Will Bruin, Houston -- 9 games, 5 goals, 1 assist, 27 shots

-- Jack McInerney, Montreal -- 7 games, 2 goals, 1 assist, 14 shots

-- Andrew Wenger, Philadelphia -- 9 games, 2 goals, 22 shots

-- Mike Magee, Chicago -- 6 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, 19 shots

If we’re being honest, it’s hard to think EJ’s a lock simply based on experience. And if Klinsmann’s been watching club soccer as closely as we think -- he is -- can he ignore Boyd? Wondolowski? Bruin?

Follow @nicholasmendola