USMNT Roster Predictions


It is almost that time of the year again! Yes that time of the year when the club teams take a break (well, most leagues. Sorry MLS supporters) and national teams take over the soccer calendar.

Of course the national team that everyone will be keeping an eye on is the U.S. Men’s National Team, who will have two friendlies over the next two weeks. Jurgen Klinsmann’s boys will take on Denmark (3/25 3PM EST ESPN2) and Switzerland (3/31 Fox Sports 1).

Now of course as much as fun as the friendlies are what really is exciting is the roster announcement. Twenty-three players will get the call-up and with all major domestic and international club players available it should be a fascinating group.

One thing to note is that the USMNT U-23’s will be playing an exhibition in Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 27th and Denmark on March 31st and the U-20’s have a friendly against England on March 29th.

Oct 10, 2014; Hartford, CT, USA; USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan on the field against Ecuador in the second half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

GOALKEEPERS- Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando, William Yarbrough

Guzan and Rimando have entrenched themselves as the number one and two goalkeepers within the USMNT and barring injury this does not look like it will change.

William Yarbrough is an interesting story. A child born in Mexico to American parents who were missionaries, Yarbrough came up through Pachuca’s Youth Academy. Since moving to Leon he has made over 68 appearances for The Green Bellies. With the Chicago Fire’s Sean Johnson and D.C. United’s Bill Hamid coming back from injury and with Cody Cropper likely playing with the U-23’s, Yarbrough may get a chance.

Defenders-Timothy Chandler, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Tim Ream, Deandre Yedlin, Brek Shea, and Greg Garza

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Both Chandler and Brooks have had strong showings with their respective clubs so they seem to be shoo-ins for the USMNT. Meanwhile, Klinsmann’s recent comments about Shea seem to indicate that he is warming back to up to the big Texan. Yedlin should be picked to give him some playing minutes, something he is certainly not receiving with Tottenham (justifiably so).

The most difficult decision of the entire group was taking Besler over Gonzalez. Although his comments recently about match fitness might bring about the return of spiteful Klinsmann, him receiving a red card over the weekend means that he will be free for USMNT training and friendlies. Perhaps Klinnsy will exact some revenge by making Besler do wind sprints by himself on the streets of Copenhagen?

Midfielders-Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Clint Dempsey, Fabian Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Danny Williams, Miguel Ibarra, and possibly Gedion Zelalem?

The top six seem to be near-locks: Bradley, Diskerud, Dempsey, Johnson, Bedoya, and Williams are all featuring regularly for their club teams and playing relatively well.

Where things get interesting is with Ibarra. While Minnesota United FC have yet to play a match in the NASL, Klinsmann seems smitten with Ibarra and may just put him on the roster to continue to give him exposure to international football. Ibarra has done OK in his previous two appearances with the National Team. Graham Zusi might get the call, but given his recent comments about his stress fracture Klinsmann may opt to give him a rest.

If FIFA do allow Zelalem to make the one-time switch from Germany (who have called him into their U-18 squad although he has not accepted)  to the United States then expect him to be on this roster and end this mess.

If for some reason Zelalem is not eligible expect Alfredo Morales to be called in. Morales has been a regular contributor for FC Inglostadt, who are likely to be promoted to the Bundesliga next season.

Forwards- Aron Johansson, Jozy Altidore, Gyassi Zardes, and Rubio Rubin

Altidore and Zardes based off of their superior form for both club and country while Johansson is in finally back to full fitness for AZ Alkmaar.

Rubio Rubin is in mostly for depth purposes and because he will likely be in National Team camp for the U-23’s or the U-20’s. Although he might get a minute or two, he will not likely start.

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