World Soccer Source’s 23-Man USMNT Roster Proposal:
*This is a roster proposal as opposed to a 23-man roster prediction.
GOALKEEPERS: Tim HOWARD, Brad GUZAN, Nick RIMANDO
CENTER BACKS: John Anthony BROOKS, Shane O’NEILL (also a DM), Michael OROZCO, Andrew FARRELL
OUTSIDE BACKS: Fabian JOHNSON, Chris KLUTE, DeAndre YEDLIN, Kofi SARKODIE
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS: Michael BRADLEY, Geoff CAMERON, Benji JOYA, (Shane O’NEILL)
ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS: Clint DEMPSEY, Landon DONOVAN, Joe Benny CORONA, Benny FEILHABER, Freddy ADU
FORWARDS: Jozy ALTIDORE, Juan AGUDELO, Aron JÓHANNSSON, Terrence BOYD
ALTERNATES: Mix DISKERUD, Jermaine JONES, Eddie JOHNSON, Eric LICHAJ, Jonathan SPECTOR, José VILLARREAL, Brek SHEA, Matt BESLER, Omar GONZALEZ, Edgar CASTILLO, Mario RODRIGUEZ, Joe GYAU, Kellyn ACOSTA, Gale AGBOSSOUMONDE, Gyasi ZARDES, Alonso HERNANDEZ, Perry KITCHEN, Will TRAPP, Caleb STANKO, Cody CROPPER, Clint IRWIN, Dan KENNEDY, Luis ROBLES, Tall HALL, Luis GIL, Daniel CUEVAS. Tony TAYLOR, Sean JOHNSON.
– This World Cup roster proposal as of September of 2013 has many new players, but the goal of the United States Soccer Federation has been to develop better players who have the physical gifts and technical ability to compete with top national teams. The team that qualifies for the World Cup (if the U.S qualifies) isn’t necessarily the team that offers the United States the best chance to beat top teams in the World Cup.
– There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the new crop of MLS players and young American players are much better than the majority of the people who played for the United States in the past, with the exception of players like Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan. Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore, and now Geoff Cameron.
– Almost all of the defenders are players who Jürgen Klinsmann has been unwilling to use so far, but World Soccer Source believes that these players represent an improvement to the skill, athleticism, and positional sense to many of the makeshift defenders that Klinsmann has used.
– The USMNT has had a problem with outside backs, and Chris Klute, DeAndre Yedlin, Kofi Sarkodie, and Andrew Farrell have the tools to improve the U.S. national team at the outside back positions.
– Farrell is listed as a center back (even though he has been playing as a right back in MLS), and a player with his tackling, speed, and technical ability would be a valuable asset and an upgrade to players like Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler.
– Shane O’Neill is included over Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler because O’Neill has demonstrated that not only is he a more fundamentally-sound defender, but he is also a more skilled and athletic soccer player than Gonzalez and Besler.
– Michael Orozco is also included as a center back because one of the problems that the U.S. will face in the World Cup is very clever and quick strikers, and Orozco has the agility and technically-skill to keep up with the higher-level strikers and attacking midfielders that the USMNT will face in the World Cup. Additionally, Orozco can also play as a right back and as a defensive midfielder.
– Chris Klute and DeAndre Yedlin are the future USMNT outside backs. Excluding Steve Cherundolo who was a skilled international-caliber right back and Bundesliga veteran, Yedlin and Klute represent the arrival of American outside backs who pose a real attacking threat out wide and who also have the speed and defensive skill to keep up with more dangerous attackers.
– The argument can be made that Eric Lichaj or Jonathan Spector are better outside backs than Kofi Sarkodie, but Sarkodie continues to improve and show the threat he poses out wide. Sarkodie is a fast and talented right back, and he is another young American player who looks to have more of the tools to perform against better and faster players on the international level.
– Geoff Cameron is listed as a defensive midfielder, but Cameron is also a center back and outside back. Cameron is most effective as a defensive midfielder or as a center back. Cameron is listed as a defensive midfielder because this opens up a spot for Andrew Farrell who doubles as an outside back and as a center back.
-Benji Joya is listed as a defensive midfielder, but he is really more of a box-to-box midfielder who is a very creative and technically-skilled player who also offers more defensive strength than players like Dempsey and Donovan. A teenager with that skill-set who performed well against Paul Pogba and who skipped college soccer to play professionally in Mexico is a great player to have on the roster to play with Bradley, Dempsey, and Donovan.
– Both Benny Feilhaber and Freddy Adu are included in World Soccer Source’s roster proposal because of the creativity, technical ability, and big-game mentality that they possess. Even Landon Donovan publicly stated during the 2011 Gold Cup that Freddy Adu has no problems playing in big games with lots of pressure. Both Adu and Feilhaber have never shown any problems competing against elite players when playing for the USMNT, and playmakers like those two players are useful players to have on a World Cup roster to create goals and improve the American attack.
-This roster includes four first strikers along with several players who are either second strikers or attacking midfielders. Four out-and-out strikers with players like Dempsey, Donovan, Corona, and Adu offer the USMNT players who can put the ball in the back of the net against strong competition.
– José Villarreal, Gyasi Zardes, Eddie Johnson, Mario Rodriguez, and Alonso Hernandez were all excluded from this roster, but any of them could make their way onto World Soccer Source’s roster proposal in the coming months. The USMNT has reached a point where lots of deserving players will be unfairly snubbed.
-Several players on the roster offer the United States a lot of flexibility. For example, Shane O’Neill, Geoff Cameron, Andrew Farrell, and Michael Orozco can play as center backs, as defensive midfielders, and as outside backs.
The WSS USMNT STARTING XI:
HOWARD; YEDLIN/FARRELL, O’NEILL, BROOKS, KLUTE; CAMERON, BRADLEY; DONOVAN, FEILHABER, DEMPSEY; ALTIDORE/AGUDELO.