After a 2-2 draw against Mexico last night, Jürgen Klinsmann has a lot to think about. Who does he take to Brazil and who doesn’t make the 23-man roster?
Klinsmann did not start his best 11 players because he wanted to give other players a chance to prove they deserve a spot to wear the red, white and blue in the 2014 World Cup Brazil. Some players showcased their talents, while others drifted into the background and did not make an impact on the game. Some players even hurt the USMNT and do not deserve to make the roster.
Here are some players who should make the roster:
1. Graham Zusi. Zusi started as a right midfielder for the USMNT and proved why his effort on both sides of the ball can make a quality contribution to the Americans. He had good service into the box that gave the USMNT multiple scoring chances. He is a playmaker. He knows what his strengths are and he plays to them. He kept the ball moving throughout the midfield while attacking, but also defending well. Zusi can play to the Americans’ strength and use the height advantage up top if he continues to play great balls into the mixer.
2. Chris Wondolowski. Wondolowski started at forward with Clint Dempsey and made the most out of his opportunity. He has been known as a goal scorer for the USMNT in games recently and showed why. He scored the second goal after making a great far post run. His movement off the ball is spectacular. He knows how to create space for his teammates while possessing the ball with a quality fist touch and attacking mindset. He is a goal scorer. He has scored nine goals in the last 10 games for the USMNT. With Jozy Altidore’s recent struggles the Americans need a goal scorer.
3. Kyle Beckerman. Beckerman has always been a steady defensive midfielder for the Americans and last night he did not disappoint. He played good defensively, but also kept the ball moving forward and created opportunities in the attacking third. He plays in front of the two center backs and allows Michael Bradley to excel offensively. The two are a good dynamic in the midfield.
Here are some players that are on the edge:
1. Julian Green. There is a lot of buzz around Green and how he chose the U.S. over Germany, but is it all hype and no skill? Green played 32 minutes in his USMNT debut. It was obvious Green was young with little confidence, but he did have flashes of greatness. He looked comfortable taking on defenders and getting stuck into tackles. He needs more experience and may or may not make the roster cut because of his age.
2. Eddie Johnson. Johnson came on as a substitution and played forward with Dempsey. He was involved with the controversy offside call. Johnson was clearly onside from a brilliant run behind the defender and scored a quality goal. Even though the goal did not count, it was a great play by Johnson and Klinsmann will take note of that. Johnson has speed and the ability to make runs into space that can create opportunities.
3. Brad Davis. Davis started as a left midfielder and did not make that big of an impact in the game. He showcased his killer left foot on one free kick. It was a great ball and his unique ability to curl the ball in from the left side creates good scoring chances for the Americans. He can serve balls into the mixer, which could land him a spot on the USMNT roster for the World Cup.
There is one player that should not make the roster:
1. Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez started the game as a center back. He had a great first half, but so did all the Americans. He fell apart in the second half and gave up both goals. He did not communicate to his defenders and that is the most important job of a center back. They can see the whole field and are in charge of organizing the game. Gonzalez did not stay on his marks and could not control the speedy Mexican forwards. If he cannot handle the forwards on Mexico there is no way he can mark Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Cup.