With the Gold Cup coming soon, the U.S likely the favorites will be unleashing a new roster. Klinsmann looking forward to the 2018 World Cup has begun to develop his younger players to reach hopefully the semi-finals.
Throughout the friendlies, there was a heavy emphasis on developing the next generation. For this roster, I include many younger players over World Cup stars.
Below is my starting lineup and bench:
After being replaced at Aston Villa as the starter, I still believe Guzan will be the starter after Tim Howard’s 1-year sabbatical. He’s the remaining player of the year at Aston Villa and arguably the second best goalkeeper in the U.S.
Garza has been the favorite since Beasley’s retirement. He’s taken over the role nicely and is really the only true left back the US have to deploy.
John Brooks has been outstanding for Hertha Berlin this year. He’s getting consistent playing time and should be a lock at center back for the next 10 years.
I get it! He’s only had 3 caps, but he’s ready to start. He’s played well for Club America, the famed Mexican club. I picked him over Omar Gonzalez due to his potential. Like Brooks, he should start for the next 10 years.
Right Back is going to be a battle between Yedlin and Chandler. Yedlin lacks playing time so I think the battle will be between Chandler and Cameron, who are both playing well for their club teams. It’ll be interesting who comes out here, but my money is on Cameron.
Any questions here?
I know others have him starting at the center back, but at times, he’s looked out of place. He’s still the best option to pair with Michael Bradley.
Clint Dempsey is still ready to start. He’s playing well for his club team, but I wonder how many tournaments he has left.
If you haven’t been paying attention to Johnson, you may ask how does our starting Right Back become our new Left Winger. The answer is he took the starting job at left winger for ‘Gladbach this year. Also, he’s going to be an only American player on the national team so far to play in the Champions League next season. How does he not start?
Rubin is inexperienced. I get that. Some prefer Alejandro Bedoya, but Rubin has put up similar in lesser games than Bedoya. He’s played well and starts for FC Utrecht. I think Klinsmann opts for youth. Rubin has the potential to play for a Champions League contender. Starting him would a boost for the national team’s future and his career.
Jozy has been a locked down as a starter for years now so obviously he’s going to start in the Gold Cup. I wonder how long until he faces some competition. The US has Johansson, Bobby Wood, Zardes, Agudelo, and Jameson IV coming through the ranks.
GK: Nick Rimando and Bill Hamid
I think the choices are pretty obvious. With Tim Howard out, the backups should be Rimando and Hamid.
DBs: Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler and Deandre Yedlin
All World Cup hangovers. Gonzalez, Besler, Chandler, and Yedlin are all capable and quality backups. I really don’t see much competition for their spots yet.
Ms: Mix Dixkerud, Alejandro Bedoya, Gedion Zelalem and Julian Green
Julian Green is a question mark. He didn’t play much this season in friendlies or with his club. His talent is undeniable. He was picked for the World Cup. Why wouldn’t Klinsmann go to Green again?
I think people are surprised by Zelalem, but if Klinsmann included Green for the World Cup, why wouldn’t he call Zelalem, who looks to get more playing in the Premier League next season. He wants to fast track his young players and the U.S needs stars. Zelalem and Green could be the stars of the US team in the future. Imagine Rubin-Zelalem-Green trio leading the US to victories.
Dixkerud and Bedoya all solid veterans. They played well in friendlies, but I wonder how long do they have left to the national team with Hyndman and Pulisic coming through the ranks. Yes, Pulisic.
Fs: Aron Johansson and Bobby Wood
Johansson is still the backup striker, but I think he has the potential to push really for a starting role. Wood, I have him beating out Zardes. He plays in the Bundesliga II and has played well since his loan from 1860 Munich.
2014 World Cup Players Who Missed Out: Demarcus Beasley (Retired) Tim Howard, Kyle Beckerman, Brad Davis, Graham Zusi and Chris Wondolowski
Zusi was a tough one to leave out. It’ll be a great battle between him and Green and Morris for the backup winger spot. Does Klinsmann pick the veteran or does he opt for the younger player? For Wondo and Davis, I think their time playing for the National Team is over. The young guys coming up have undoubtedly surpassed them. Beckerman is still has a chance, but I think his days might be over.
Other Players Who Missed Out:
Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen, Emerson Hyndman, Matt Hedges, Tim Ream, Miguel Ibarra, Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes
It was tough to leave out Morris and Zardes. Morris has really impressed Klinsmann but going back to Stanford will hurt him. If he went to play for the Sounders or better try his luck at a European club, I think he would have made it. Like I said earlier, I think it will battle between Wood and Zardes for the final forward spot.
I have a strong feeling that Klinsmann will look to win the Gold Cup but with younger players who he could mold into top quality. With Mexico as their biggest competition, it’s an excellent opportunity to give younger players a chance to play in big tournaments and prepare for Copa America in 2016.