Sunday afternoon brought scorching weather throughout most of the nation (Buffalo at least) and a storm of instant twitter analysis and reactions as Soccer House released the balance of USMNT campers in Orlando in the mid afternoon:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (7): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
May 20: Agudelo, Boyd, Cameron, Donovan, Wondolowski, Zusi
May 21: Onyewu
May 23: Gomez
May 24: Goodson
May 28: Altidore
Cut Day to 23 Man Roster: 5/25
Wingback Woes: The biggest surprise omission easily has to be Eric Lichaj. No Lichaj & no Chandler takes a big bite out of what was once thought of as quality, if not excellent, fullback depth. Fabian Johnson & Steve Cherundolo more than likely would’ve taken the starting spots with or without Lichaj & Chandler on the roster but injuries to either would present an extremely unsettling scenario to the USA back line with Edgar Castillo & Michael Parkhurst serving as the next in line for each respective position. Decent players in their own right but not among those you’d feel most comfortable with starting with serious World Cup implications on the line.
Tim Ream was left out of the center back pool due to the fact Klinsmann was reported to want to rest the young defender after a demanding start at relegation bound Bolton in the EPL. Considering Lichaj was in a similar position at Aston Villa in the stretch run, one could guess that Jurgen would prefer not to saddle these young prospects with an intense national team training camp so soon after the end of the English campaign. However, that would go against his original statements/philosophy that American players are in need of more high level games year round.
Serious concerns are probably unfounded and the easiest/most logical explanation is that Klinsmann thinks he can afford to keep players like Ream & Lichaj home for Antigua & Guatemala given the relative inferiority of each opponent. We’re curious to see how the 3rd & 4th match days (in the beginning of September, both against Jamaica in a 4 day span) play out in terms of roster makeup in defense.
The Prodigal Son Returns: You can put your pitchforks and Gulati voodoo dolls down – Herc finally got the call. If you’re reading this you probably have an idea of his story but if in the off chance you don’t, the man lit the Primera on fire this year on the Mexican first divisions most dynamically attacking side.
Despite his ability to practically score at will, the national team continually passed him over, amounting to an 18 month drought of international caps. Last night Gomez & Santos won the 2012 Mexican Clausura, making Herc the first player in history to win a championship in MLS (Los Angeles ’05) and the Primera. About 12 hours earlier he received the call to come to Florida. Sunday Funday indeed.
It’s a Numbers Game: While Klinsmann mentioned having as many as 29 call ups for the Orlando camp, only 27 were present when the dust settled (perhaps some undisclosed injuries for the two missing call ups?). Four cuts are forthcoming this Friday to get down to the 23 man roster.
Our most likely cut candidates as of Monday would be: Zusi, Corona, Morales, and one of Agudelo or Wondolowski. The roster is forward heavy but a late arrival for Gomez suggests he’s already booked a place to the final 23.
Our money is on Wondo to head back to Buck Shaw early…Agudelo offers greater formation flexibility and is simply a more gifted technical player than the prolific late blooming San Jose forward.
Stay with us through the week as we bring you more analysis & news from USMNT camp.