World Soccer Source

Soccer and Football News and Commentary on World Soccer, the United States Men's National Team (USMNT), Major League Soccer (MLS), World Football, and American Soccer. All articles, opinions, and commentary by Colin Reese. Twitter: @COLINREESE. Facebook: WorldSoccerSource

The Best American Footballers (May 2015)

April 27th, 2015

 

Clint Dempsey. (Photo: Getty Images)

Clint Dempsey. (Photo: Getty Images)

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

After the Mexico friendly and with the 2015 Gold Cup a few months away, World Soccer Source ranks the Best American Footballers (May 2015 Edition).

 

The players are listed in order in groups of five with their position or positions and their club team. “GK” denotes Goalkeeper. “DF” denotes Defender. “MF” denotes Midfielder. “F” donates Forward.

 

Here are the rankings:

 

1-5: Clint Dempsey (F/MF, Seattle Sounders), Michael Bradley (MF, Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (MF, Sporting KC), Jermaine Jones (MF/DF, New England Revolution), Juan Agudelo (F, New England Revolution).

 

6-10: Jozy Altidore (F, Toronto FC), Geoff Cameron (DF/MF, Stoke City), Ventura Alvarado (DF, Club América), Mix Diskerud (MF, NYC FC), Joe Corona (MF, Club Tijuana).

 

11-15: Brad Guzan (GK, Aston Villa), Tim Howard (GK, Everton), Alejandro Bedoya (MF, Nantes), DeAndre Yedlin (DF/MF, Tottenham), Greg Garza (DF, Club Tijuana).

 

16-20: Dillon Powers (MF, Colorado Rapids), Michael Orozco (DF, Puebla), Fabian Johnson (DF/MF, Hoffenheim) Maurice Edu (MF/DF, Philadelphia Union), Charlie Davies (F, New England Revolution).

 

21-25: Aron Jóhannsson (F, AZ Alkmaar), William Yarbrough (GK, Club León), John Brooks (DF, Hertha Berlin), Andrew Farrell (DF, New England Revolution), Gyasi Zardes (F, LA Galaxy).

 

26-30:  Kelyn Rowe (MF, New England Revolution), Teal Bunbury (F, New England Revolution), Brek Shea (DF/MF, Orlando City SC), José Villarreal (F/MF, LA Galaxy), Bradford Jamieson IV (F/MF, LA Galaxy).

 

 

What’s the Best USMNT Gold Cup Roster (April 2015)?

April 23rd, 2015

 

 Joe Corona (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images )

Joe Corona (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images )

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

Brad Guzan, DeAndre Yedlin, Ventura Alvarado, John Brooks, Greg Garza, Geoff Cameron, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Juan Agudelo, and Clint Dempsey is the Best USMNT XI in a Diamond 4-4-2 formation for the 2015 Gold Cup, and below is the best 23-man roster USMNT fans can hope to see this summer.

 

The 23-man roster is made up of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders, and four forwards, and the group below allows for several different formations and tactical schemes.

 

Much of this roster consists of proven and very experienced players. Such players include Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron, Brad Guzan, and Michael Orozco.

 

Other players like Juan Agudelo, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Johnson, Ventura Alvarado, DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Greg Garza, and William Yarbrough are too good to really contest.

 

So, in essence, this roster only contains several players that are debatable, and these players are Dillon Powers, Brek Shea, Gyasi Zardes, Perry Kitchen, and Clint Irwin.

 

Powers has been very impressive in MLS for several seasons, and he plays every position in the midfield. He’s technical and fast, and he defends and attacks. He has the vision and skill to set up goals, and he can score goals himself.

 

Zardes has shown well in MLS and for the U.S., and Shea has been converted into a left back, which seems to best exploit his skill set.

 

Irwin is easily one of the very best goalkeepers in MLS, and frankly a level above Bill Hamid or Sean Johnson. Nick Rimando is more experienced, but nothing about Irwin’s play suggest that he isn’t ready to be the USA’s third goalkeeper.

 

Kitchen has been a consistently good performer in MLS, and he put in a good showing against Mexico on April 15, when he came into the game late and had no problem adjusting to the speed of play or playing well as a midfield destroyer.

 

Plenty of other players are qualified to make this roster, but except the five players singled out, this group of U.S. internationals should all be easily recognizable as highly-qualified players by USMNT fans.

 

Benny Feilhaber was excluded due to the fact that Jürgen Klinsmann has shown no intention of making him part of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

 

 

Here is the best 23-man USMNT roster for the 2015 Gold Cup:

 

Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), William Yarbrough (Club Leon), Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids)

 

Defenders (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Michael Orozco (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham), Greg Garza (Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Brek Shea (Orlando SC)

 

Midfielders (8): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Perry Kitchen (DC United), Mix Diskerud (NYC FC), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids)

 

Forwards (4): Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Gyasi Zardes (L.A. Galaxy)

 

 

Deeper Positional Breakdown:

 

Goalkeepers: Guzan Yarbrough Irwin

Center Backs: Jones Cameron Alvarado Orozco Brooks

Outside Backs: Yedlin Garza Johnson Shea

Center Backs/Outside Backs: Cameron Orozco Alvarado

Center Backs/Defensive Midfielders: Jones Cameron Edu

Defensive Midfielders: Bradley Jones Cameron Edu

Center Midfielders: Bradley Jones Edu Diskerud Powers

Center Midfielders/Attacking Midfielders: Diskerud Powers

Attacking Midfielders: Diskerud Corona Bedoya Powers

Attacking Midfielders/Forwards: Dempsey Corona Bedoya

Wings: Johnson Shea Corona Bedoya Yedlin

Strikers: Altidore Agudelo Zardes

 

 

 

The Best USA XI (Diamond 4-4-2): Guzan; Yedlin, Alvarado, Brooks, Garza; Cameron; Bradley, Diskerud; Corona; Agudelo, Dempsey.

 

 

 

The Best USMNT XI (April 2015)

April 16th, 2015

 

Mix Diskerud (Photo: Getty Images)

Mix Diskerud (Photo: Getty Images)

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

 

Here is World Soccer Source’s Pre-Gold Cup USMNT Best XI (4-3-3):

 

 

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

 

Right Back: DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

Center Back: Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

Center Back: Ventura Alvarado (América)

Left Back: Greg Garza (Tijuana)

 

Right Midfielder: MIX Diskerud (NYC FC)

Center Midfielder: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)

Left Midfielder: Joe Corona (Tijuana)

 

Right Forward: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution)

Center Forward: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)

Left Forward: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)

 

 

 

Roster Explanation:

 

Brad Guzan has been ready and qualified to be the USA’s Number 1 for years, and he’s proven that he can play over Tim Howard with no drop in the level of the U.S. National Team’s goalkeeper. William Yarbrough of León is ready to be the USA’s Number 1, but Guzan is much more experienced and ahead of him. Yarbrough looks better than Nick Rimando.

 

A Defensive Back Four of DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, Ventura Alvarado, and Greg Garza is a big upgrade for the United States.

 

Yedlin, Alvarado, and Garza have already played well together, and Cameron is a better center back than Omar Gonzalez or Matt Besler.

 

Cameron plays in a better league, and he’s more technical, more athletic, and more skilled defensively.

 

Alvarado is a young center back that starts for Club América, and he checks all the boxes for a quality international center back.

 

Yedlin and Garza are the kind of modern two-way outside backs that the United States needs. Both are attacking threats, and both are underrated defensively. Yedlin plays in the EPL, and Garza plays in Liga MX for Tijuana.

 

A midfield made up of Mix Diskerud, Michael Bradley, and Joe Corona from right to left makes so much sense. All three of these players allow the United States to keep possession, attack, and take the game to the opposition.

 

Bradley is an excellent defender and tireless runner, in addition to his technical ability and passing skill.

 

Diskerud has become formidable defensively. He aggressively looks to win back possession, and he tackles well.

 

Corona is known for his creativity and technical ability, and he has also shown a willingness to close down opponents and high press the opposition. Corona is crafty and quick with the ball at his feet, and he plays dangerous first time balls that open up games.

 

Diskerud, Bradley, and Corona make the American midfield technical and dynamic, and there is enough defending and running between those three to win back possession. Having all three playing together is key to upping the overall technical ability and creativity of the American midfield.

 

While there is room to be concerned about the lack of two defensive midfielders where a Number 6 or midfield destroyer plays deeper than Bradley who would play as a Number 8, team defense and high pressing is the name of the game.

 

With these three midfielders, and the three forwards or attackers discussed below, the United States should have plenty of team defense.

 

Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are a dangerous strike partnership, and Juan Agudelo has to be included in the starting line-up.

 

Given the versatility, movement, dynamism, and creativity of Agudelo’s style of play, there is no problem for him to play nominally out right while Altidore is listed as the center forward.

 

A swirling trifecta of Agudelo, Altidore, and Dempsey is exactly the type of quick, dangerous, and skilled attack that the United States needs to continue to close the gap with world soccer’s elites.

 

This line-up is based on using technical ability and high pressing to beat opponents. The 4-3-3 formation is more nominal in actuality than three lines of outfield players maintaining a square formation on the field. Constant passing and movement make the formation ever changing, but certain players like Bradley and Altidore have more fixed positions than others in the Front Six.

 

 

 

 

Dillon Powers For USMNT

April 9th, 2015

 

Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids midfielder. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids midfielder. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

Dillon Powers embodies the type of two-way midfielder that Jürgen Klinsmann has been calling for.

 

Klinsmann preaches proactive soccer where his midfielders recover possession and keep possession, and this is exactly what Powers does.

 

Powers attacks and defends with a high work rate, and he has a level of technical ability and vision that the National Team needs more of.

 

Amongst American footballers, only Benji Joya, who is younger and just settling back in with his club Santos Laguna, plays like Powers.

 

Powers’ facility at playing centrally or wide or in more defensive or more attacking roles makes him a player that can be useful to the National Team precisely because of this ability to play where he’s needed, in addition to the qualities that he brings to the squad.

 

With Michael Bradley playing best as a defensive midfielder or as a central midfielder of the box-to-box variety, Powers could partner with Bradley to play either role or Powers could play a more attacking midfielder role as he does with Colorado.

 

He can be deployed centrally or out wide in the line of three attacking midfielders, and he even plays as a second striker. Unlike some other MLS midfielders that Klinsmann has used, Powers has a more complete skill-set that doesn’t limit him to only hitting crosses.

 

The goal for American soccer is to have more players that can play with skill and speed at the international level against top national teams, and someone like Powers is simply too talented and too qualified to be routinely ignored from even consideration by Klinsmann and his coaching staff.

 

Given Powers skill-set and consistent performances at the club level, United States Men’s National Team coaches in the past would have used Powers one to two years ago with the national team, but Klinsmann’s reasons for selecting or not selecting players to represent the USA have never really been clear.

 

Anyone familiar with MLS would recognize Powers as not only a complete midfielder, but also one who has stood out in the league against players with much more experience than him.

 

On more elite national teams, there might be multiple players of Powers level, but given the problems the United States has had keeping possession and displaying a high level of technical skill, it’s hard to justify keeping him off the National Team.

 

Powers stands out for how impactful and technical he is all over the field both in the recovering of the ball and in the attack. The Rapids midfielder is all over the field positively impacting the game, and he’s scored some impressive goals that display his skill and willingness to play aggressively.

 

He’s too good to leave off the National Team.

 

Klinsmann’s snubbing of so many qualified MLS players like Powers has to be something of a running joke with American players and coaches in MLS.

 

 

MLS Players Worthy of USMNT Call-Up

April 7th, 2015

 

Dillon Powers (Photo: Colorado Rapids)

Dillon Powers (Photo: Colorado Rapids)

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

This isn’t a comprehensive list of MLS players that are worthy of a United States Men’s National Team call-up, but it is a list of some of the key names that World Soccer Source felt deserved special recognition.

 

Any player whose name was forgotten or accidentally overlooked isn’t necessarily not rated highly by World Soccer Source.

 

MLS and American soccer now have more quality players of various positions than there are room for on the national team.

 

Some players who were recently used by Jürgen Klinsmann aren’t discussed in this article.

 

Below are the names of MLS players that World Soccer Source chose to highlight for USMNT recognition:

 

Juan Agudelo, Forward, New England Revolution

 

The most talented and creative of all the American strikers. Jürgen Klinsmann already rates and has used Juan Agudelo, but he has been out of the national team picture the last year because of a state of club limbo that has now been resolved. Agudelo is more technical, more creative, and more impactful that Jozy Altidore, whose game has improved tremendously the past 3-4 years. Despite Altidore’s underrated technical ability, Altidore can’t do the things that Agudelo can.

 

Benny Feilhaber, Midfielder, Sporting Kansas City

The attacking midfielder and now also central midfielder is the best playmaker in the American player pool. He has the most proven skill and experience amongst American Number 10’s. Feilhaber has always displayed smooth technical ability on the international level against elite opponents.

 

Dillon Powers, Midfielder, Colorado Rapids

 

This American midfielder is a complete midfielder that brings loads of skill, running, defending, and versatility. He’s technical and athletic, and he can play any position in the midfield, in addition to excelling as a withdrawn striker. He’s a playmaker with the work rate of a two-way center midfielder.

 

Maurice Edu, Midfielder/Defender, Philadelphia Union

 

The United States isn’t good enough to not need an experienced and proven midfielder and defender like Maurice Edu. His technical ability, defending, work rate, and athleticism are proven at the European and international level. A useful player for the national team.

 

Kelyn Rowe, Midfielder/Forward, New England Revolution

 

Kelyn Rowe is an attacking midfielder or forward that can play wide or centrally, and his two-footed skill, speed, and creativity are all qualities the national team needs. Rowe is a more talented and faster player than Graham Zusi, whom Klinsmann has used a lot during his tenure. Rowe like Powers is the type of skillful player the USA cannot afford to snub.

 

José Villarreal, Midfielder/Forward, LA Galaxy

 

José Villarreal is an exciting attacking player blessed with quickness, 1v1 skill, excellent passing, and a nose for goal. Slippery and creative, this player has a level of toughness and fighting spirit that goes underrated. One of the very best young American players.

 

Andrew Farrell, Defender, New England Revolution

 

Andrew Farrell has looked good in his natural position of center back because of his combination of skill, speed, defensive prowess and fundamentals, and impressive athleticism. The goal for USMNT center backs is to have the speed and defensive ability to defend fast and talented attackers plus the ability to calmly play the ball out of the back or calmly keep possession in the U.S.’ defensive third. Farrell checks all of the boxes for an international center back.

 

Shane O’Neill, Defender/Midfielder, Colorado Rapids

 

Shane O’Neill isn’t as athletically impressive as Farrell, but O’Neill is fast, quick, tall, and strong. O’Neill has good defensive instincts and fundamentals, and he’s excellent on the ball. He’s another center back the USMNT could really use.

 

Kofi Sarkodie, Defender, Houston Dynamo

 

For a national team that needs another modern right back that both defends and attacks like Yedlin, Sarkodie is likely the best in this regard in MLS. Sarkodie is hard to get past, and his speed and skill are a threat down the sideline in the attack. Sarkodie would seem like an obvious choice as a right back to test out with the national team as his defending is arguably better than Yedlin’s.

 

Charlie Davies, Forward, New England Revolution

 

Charlie Davies proved his effectiveness and partnership with Jozy Altidore years ago. Now fully-recovered, Davies has had several strong years in a row in MLS. The speed of Davies is a huge threat in the attack, and his overall skill-level and style of play are proven.

 

Clint Irwin, Goalkeeper, Colorado Rapids

 

The USMNT has been testing out Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid quite a lot, but Clint Irwin is a stand-out MLS goalkeeper that is positionally-sound and a great shot stopper. Irwin makes impressive saves, and he doesn’t have any clear weakness in regards to his goalkeeping fundamentals.

 

 

Who Should the USMNT Start vs. Mexico?

April 6th, 2015

 

 Joe Corona (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images )

Joe Corona (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images )

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

The United States faces off against Mexico on April 15. With the caveat that Jürgen Klinsmann refuses to use Benny Feilhaber, here is the USA XI that World Soccer Source backs.

 

This United States Men’s National Team XI uses a midfield diamond formation with Maurice Edu as the defensive midfielder, Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud as central midfielders, and Joe Corona as the attacking midfielder or Number 10 to feed the strikers and orchestrate the attack.

 

Up top in the attack, Juan Agudelo and Clint Dempsey form the strike partnership with Jozy Altidore out suspended for cussing out a referee.

 

With William Yarbrough in goal, the Defensive Back Four is made up of DeAndre Yedlin, Ventura Alvarado, Michael Orozco, and Greg Garza from right to left.

 

 

The World Soccer Source USMNT XI (4-1-2-1-2) For USA vs. Mexico:

 

Goalkeeper: William Yarbrough

Right Back: DeAndre Yedlin

Center Back: Ventura Alvarado

Center Back: Michael Orozco

Left Back: Greg Garza

Defensive Midfielder: Maurice Edu

Central Midfielder: Michael Bradley

Central Midfielder: Mix Diskerud

Attacking Midfielder: Joe Corona

Striker: Juan Agudelo

Second Striker: Clint Dempsey

 

USA XI: Guzan; Yedlin, Alvarado, Orozco, Garza; Edu; Bradley, Diskerud; Corona; Agudelo, Dempsey. 

 

 

Copa America: What’s Brazil’s Best XI?

April 3rd, 2015

 

Neymar (Photo: AP)

Neymar (Photo: AP)

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

Readers will immediately notice the absence of Oscar, Willian, Luiz Gustavo, and Elias, but World Soccer Source is backing David Luiz to play as the defensive midfielder with Fernandinho playing as the central midfielder.

 

This obviously gives Marquinhos the start at center back with Thiago Silva.

 

By starting David Luiz and Fernandinho as the defensive midfielders, Brazil would have excellent ball-winning in its midfield with the distribution of David Luiz and Fernandinho to release Brazil’s attackers: Lucas, Felipe Anderson, Neymar, and Luiz Adriano.

 

Using Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and David Luiz down the middle makes the Brazilian defense very difficult to penetrate, and Fernandinho only bolsters this defensive strength.

 

Although often playing as a defensive midfielder, Fernandinho is an excellent center midfielder full of running, vision, ball-winning, and incisive passes through the defense.

 

An attack with Lucas, Felipe Anderson, and Neymar is likely Brazil’s most talented, most creative, and most dangerous option, and Luiz Adriano is somewhat the default option to play as the Number 9. Nevertheless, Luiz Adriano’s ability to stretch defenses, attack defenses at pace, outmuscle defenders, and finish is impressive.

 

Pato is Brazil’s most talented Number 9, and by far the most explosive and deadly, but Luiz Adriano is the best Brazilian Number 9 right now.

 

Danilo has been a revelation at right back, and he’s the best Brazilian right back since Maicon. Only Bruno Peres is close to Danilo.

 

At left back, Marcelo is just better than Filipe Luís. For many, Filipe Luís is a more disciplined defender, but Marcelo is too good, too proven, and too experienced to not start in the Copa America.

 

World Soccer Source’s Best Brazil XI differs slightly from Dunga’s first-choice XI, but starting Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, David Luiz, and Fernandinho together makes the Brazilian defense and defensive midfield arguably the best in the world.

 

Willian, Oscar, and Neymar is a world-class line of three attacking midfielders, but Lucas, Felipe Anderson, and Neymar is more talented, faster, and more Brazilian.

 

Below is World Soccer Source’s Best Brazil XI for the Copa America:

 

Goalkeeper: Diego Alves

Right Back: Danilo

Center Back: Thiago Silva

Center Back: Marquinhos

Left Back: Marcelo

Defensive Midfielder: David Luiz

Central Midfielder: Fernandinho

Right Attacker: Lucas

Attacking Midfielder: Felipe Anderson

Left Attacker: Neymar

Striker: Luiz Adriano

 

 

Brazil XI: Diego Alves; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Marcelo; David Luiz, Fernandinho; Lucas, Felipe Anderson, Neymar; Luiz Adriano.

 

 

Copa America: What’s Argentina’s Best XI?

April 3rd, 2015

 

Javier Pastore (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Javier Pastore (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

Argentina’s current squad is even stronger than Argentina’s outstanding 2014 World Cup squad. Carlos Tevez was a criminal snub from Argentina’s World Cup squad, and Javier Pastore would have helped to maximize Lionel Messi’s ability to score more goals by making him less responsible for creating goals and more focused on scoring goals.

 

Pastore has proven to be a magician of a passer, dribbler, and goal-scorer, and like Kaká described Zidane, Pastore appears to glide around the field.

 

His speed and quickness are very underrated, and he’s developed a reputation as a nutmeg master than appears to average at least one per game.

 

Pastore has bolstered his work rate and defending, and Pastore can be seen all over the field stamping his influence on the game and controlling the passing tempo and speed of play. Paris Saint-Germain has played their most beautiful and effective soccer when Pastore has played. Pastore deserves to be a starting lock for Argetnina.

 

Along with Pastore, Roberto Pereyra is a welcomed and key piece to the Argentinean National Team. The Juventus midfielder first appeared like a quality central midfield option for Juventus, but now Pereyra has demonstrated that he’s a creative and explosive player with lots to offer in the attack. Pereyra can also play any position in the midfield very well.

 

A central midfield duo of Javier Mascherano and Roberto Pereyra is an upgrade for Argentina, and with Pastore ideally lining up in front of them, Argentina’s midfield is even better than the 2014 World Cup addition.

 

While Gonzalo Higuaín is more of a Number 9 than Carlos Tevez, Tevez is an excellent Number 9, and using him as the striker is no different than Chile using Alexis Sánchez as their striker. Tevez gets behind defenses. He holds up play. He drops back to collect the ball and create, and he scores lots and lots of goals.

 

Below is World Soccer Source’s opinion of the Best Argentina XI for the 2015 Copa America in a 4-2-3-1 formation:

 

Goalkeeper: Sergio ROMERO

Right Back: Pablo ZABALETA

Center Back: Nicolás OTAMENDI

Center Back: Ezequiel GARAY

Left Back: Marcos ROJO

Defensive Midfielder: Javier MASCHERANO

Central Midfielder: Roberto PEREYRA

Right Wing: Lionel MESSI

Attacking Midfielder: Javier PASTORE

Left Wing: Ángel DI MARÍA

Striker: Carlos TEVEZ

 

 

Argentina XI: Romero; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Garay, Rojo; Mascherano, Pereyra; Messi, Pastore, Di María; Tevez. 

 

 

USMNT: 23 For 2015 (April 2015)

April 2nd, 2015

 

José Villarreal (Photo: LA Galaxy)

José Villarreal (Photo: LA Galaxy)

 

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

This isn’t Jürgen Klinsmann’s likely 23-man Gold Cup roster. This is World Soccer Source’s opinion of the 23 U.S. internationals that deserve to represent the United States Men’s National Team at the 2015 Gold Cup.

 

It goes without saying, but many deserving players were left off this list due to a need to have a balanced roster with the right amount of center backs, outside backs, defensive midfielders, attacking midfielders, wingers, and forwards.

 

Many of the players with the talent and mentality to do well this summer have been seeing limited club playing time, so it is premature to back them until things change. This applies to many of the players in the U.S.’s youth national teams playing outside of MLS.

 

Jermaine Jones was omitted because the United States has other capable center backs, and it’s time to let the younger center backs play because the United States needs this for its long-term success.

 

Alejandro Bedoya is a fast and technical player excelling in Europe with Nantes in Ligue 1. This is a commendable achievement, but, Bedoya was dropped from World Soccer Source’s USA roster to allow room for both Kelyn Rowe and José Villarreal because World Soccer Source considers them to be better at creating and scoring goals. They also play under more control. Both players can also play centrally and in wide positions better than Bedoya in World Soccer Source’s opinion.

 

Joe Corona is a more important player for the United States in this writer’s opinion because Corona is a better playmaker than Bedoya. Corona can play as a Number 10, on either wing, or as a second striker. Bedoya’s value is attacking at pace, but the United States really needs more possession with purpose and assists. This is what Corona brings to the squad, and Corona also scores goals.

 

Klinsmann’s refusal to use Benny Feilhaber is inexcusable, especially given the problems the U.S. has had with possession, with creating scoring opportunities, and displaying a degree of technical skill in the midfield against elite competition. Feilhaber deserves to represent the United States. Klinsmann clearly has some personal problem with Feilhaber, and Klinsmann needs to let it go.

 

Some other selections warrant some deeper explanation. Both Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu are versatile players that excel as defensive midfielders and center backs, and Edu can also play as a central midfielder, while Cameron also plays both outside back positions.

 

These two players give the National Team depth at the defensive midfielder spot, so Bradley can either play as a center defensive midfielder directly in front of the Back Four or as a center midfielder of the box-to-box variety, depending on how attack-minded the United States wishes to play.

 

Andrew Farrell played as a right back last season for the New England Revolution, but this season he’s playing his natural position of center back. Farrell is a quality center back, but he’s also an outside back that provides more of the combination of defending, speed, and technical ability that the USA needs from its outside backs. Farrell can also play as a midfield destroyer in a pinch.

 

Robbie Rogers has been playing as a left back, but the right-footed player can play as a right back or in the midfield on either side as a midfielder, which is where he used to always play.

 

Looking at the bigger problems with Klinsmann’s player selection, the USSF cannot afford to keep snubbing the majority of the quality American players in the 20-25 year old range that aren’t dual-nationals from Europe, as Klinsmann has largely been doing.

 

So, below is World Soccer Source’s 23-man list of the players that deserve to represent the Stars and Stripes this summer at the 2015 Gold Cup:

 

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan, William Yarbrough, Clint Irwin

 

Defenders: Ventura Alvarado, John Brooks, Maurice Edu, Shane O’Neill, DeAndre Yedlin, Greg Garza, Andrew Farrell, Robbie Rogers

 

Midfielders: Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Dillon Powers, Benny Feilhaber, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona

 

Forwards: Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Gyasi Zardes, José Villarreal, Kelyn Rowe

 

 

 

World Soccer Source’s USA XI (4-3-3): Guzan; Yedlin, Alvarado, Brooks, Garza; Bradley, Cameron, Feilhaber; Corona, Altidore, Dempsey.

 

 

American Soccer Player Rankings (April 2015)

April 1st, 2015
Clint Dempsey remains the American soccer player par excellence. (Photo: AP)

Clint Dempsey remains the American soccer player par excellence. (Photo: AP)

 

By: COLIN REESE

 

Ranking the Best American Soccer Players (April 2015):

 

  1. Clint Dempsey, Forward/ Midfielder, Seattle Sounders
  2. Michael Bradley, Midfielder, Toronto FC
  3. Benny Feilhaber, Midfielder, Sporting KC
  4. Jozy Altidore, Striker, Toronto FC
  5. Juan Agudelo, Forward, New England Revolution
  1. Mix Diskerud, Midfielder, NYC FC
  2. Joe Corona, Midfielder/Forward, Tijuana
  3. Geoff Cameron, Defender/Midfielder, Stoke City
  4. Ventura Alvarado, Defender/Midfielder, Club América
  5. Brad Guzan, Goalkeeper, Aston Villa
  1. Maurice Edu, Midfielder/Defender, Philadelphia Union
  2. DeAndre Yedlin, Defender/Midfielder, Tottenham
  3. Tim Howard, Goalkeeper, Everton
  4. John Brooks, Defender, Hertha Berlin
  5. Dillon Powers, Midfielder, Colorado Rapids
  1. Alejandro Bedoya, Midfielder, Nantes
  2. José Villarreal, Forward/ Midfielder, LA Galaxy
  3. Kelyn Rowe, Midfielder/Forward, New England Revolution
  4. Lee Nguyen, Midfielder, New England Revolution
  5. Greg Garza, Defender, Tijuana
  1. Fabian Johnson, Midfielder/ Defender, Borussia Mönchengladbach
  2. Charlie Davies, Forward, New England Revolution
  3. Gyasi Zardes, Forward, LA Galaxy
  4. Shane O’Neill, Defender/Midfielder, Colorado Rapids
  5. Andrew Farrell, Defender, New England Revolution

 

 

World Soccer Source

Soccer and Football News and Commentary on World Soccer, the United States Men's National Team (USMNT), Major League Soccer (MLS), World Football, and American Soccer. All articles, opinions, and commentary by Colin Reese. Twitter: @COLINREESE. Facebook: WorldSoccerSource