A Look At Roster Battles In USMNT Camp (And Predictions)

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Thirty players compete for 23 roster spots in the hopes of representing their country in the 2014 World Cup.

This isn’t the premise to some reality show — this is the reality that is the U.S. Men’s National Team’s final training camp.

Jurgen Klinsmann has carefully crafted his preliminary roster. There are shoe-in players like Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley, fringe fighters like Chris Wondolowski and Terrance Boyd and even anomalous quantities like Julian Green jockeying for position, attempting to get a nose in on the World Cup.

As has been his motto since taking the reigns of the National program, Klinsmann is looking to ignite competition — even on the eve of the world’s greatest sporting tournament. Some of those contests are not so clear cut. Throughout the 30-man roster, there are head-to-head challenges that run so deep, they bleed into other positional competitions.

One thing you can count on: pairing down the U.S. roster to 23 players will not be easy.

Here are some of the battles to watch for — and our predictions for the 23-man roster:

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  • Stan

    Brad Evans exclusion would be an injustice outdone only by the inclusion if Chandler and Green.

  • I blame it on the lack of sleep and new daddy problems. Changed to Eredivisie

  • Is Dave Martinez the normal ping pong wirter? He certainly has no clue about soccer. The first sign is repeatedly mistaking Brad Davis for Brad Evans. it is too hard to remember the ames of the player on whom you are giving insight? Then we have Alabama born, Iceland raised Aron Johannsson who plays in the Netherlands. Where does Norway come in?

    From there, the insight on the picks is a bit shortsighted. The same criteria for the starting striker are not used for the 23rd man. Boyd might be a reasonable Altidore replacement, but if Altidore is already on the field why a clone? Wondolowski provides a very unique talent for smelling the right place to be, when the US needs a goal badly in hte last 10 minutes. Diskerud in the only player on the field ( if you believe JK that Donovan is a striker) who can replace Bradley if he goes down with an injury. The point is that the choice of substitutes is different that the criteria for starters.

    Just for the record, I think both Brads miss the cut.

    • Errors happen, Ken (ping pong wirter? remember the ames?), but I have been covering the USMNT for yrs. Thanks.

      As for Boyd > Wondolowski, here is my philosophy. Johannsson is the one that brings that change of pace up top. Wondo is a poacher. Yes, he can sniff out goals, but will he be able to find the ball against Philipp Lahm? Per Mertesacker? Pepe?

      If anything happens with Altidore, his invaluable hold-up play will be needed for Klinsmann’s system to run. Boyd is the perfect continuity to that system.

      Love Wondo, but not sure what he can contribute against world class defenders.

  • bn ring

    Cutting Brad Evans is the easiest choice for Klinsmann! Let’s remember how a mediocre B-side for Korea repeatedly beat Brad Evans and exposed all of his weaknesses at the international level. I was shocked that Klinsmann wasted a 30-man roster position on Evans.,

  • shane

    you were so wrong..wow

    • I know! I looked this up yesterday myself. Well … you put yourself out there. Made a good argument all around. Think Donovan was the linch pin in it all.


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