Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil?
Surprisingly, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann never asks the media for their thoughts on which 23 players he should take to Brazil next year; as we keep saying, these 23 golden invitations mean absolutely everything to any professional soccer player.
But … if Klinsmann ever does get stuck and needs an extra opinion, by gosh, we’re ready.
Here’ who we would like to see on the United States 23-man roster next year in Brazil.
More on the World Cup Draw
- Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando
Quick explanations: This is the easiest position to pick. These are the guys, barring injury, going to Brazil. Klinsmann has said so with his selections all along; no reason to believe anything will change.
- Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, John Brooks, Brad Evans, DaMarcus Beasley, Geoff Cameron, Steve Cherundolo
Quick explanations: Besler and Gonzalez are the starters, with Brooks likely to push them and Cameron ready to jump in (at this or a number of other positions). Any injuries to the center backs and Michael Orozco gets the call.
Next guy up: Edgar Castillo, who can provide some late-game push up the left flank.
- Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan, Kyle Beckerman, Brek Shea, Mix Diskerud
Quick explanations: Yes, Brek Shea. He provides a skills set otherwise lacking in the U.S. pool. And, no, no Alejandro Bedoya; he needed to do more with those recent starting opportunities. Note that Johnson finds himself as a midfielder; we all know he can play left back or right back (started there against Mexico in the qualifying clincher, in fact). Same goes for Cameron above; he’s a similarly interchangeable part. In terms of performance and ability to fill various roles, Sacha Kljestan and Diskerud are virtually inseparable.
Next guy up: Sacha Kljestan, who provides the same great utility as Diskerud.
- Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Johannsson, Eddie Johnson
Quick explanations: This one more or less sorts itself out. Johannsson’s rise happened at a time when Herculez Gomez was trying to get healthy; here is a case where timing is everything.
Next guy up: Herculez Gomez, assuming he can get healthy.