Oguchi Onyewu training with AC Milan in Detroit.
A guest post by Chris Behrens for World Football Commentaries
Sure, the next World Cup is just under 4 years away, but doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it, right? So let’s break it down position by position to project a possible starting lineup.
Tim Howard in action against Ghana.
By the time Brazil 2014 comes around, Tim Howard will be 35 years old. He’ll still be as solid as a rock I think so he should be starting come time for the World Cup. Brad Guzan should finally be the starter at Aston Villa once Brad Friedel retires so he’ll be a reliable number two for the Red White and Blue. As for number three, Troy Perkins looks to be set to get a chance, but really, it’s anyone’s guess. Nick Rimando is my dark horse for now for getting the #3 spot.
The place that always needs help. Oguchi Onyewu will undoubtedly be wearing the USA soccer jersey, assuming that he establishes some sort of rhythm at AC Milan or another club. His size is too daunting not to feature in the lineup. The 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, Omar Gonzalez, should also break through the US National team, especially if he moves on to Europe. He definitely has the ability with his monstrous size.
Jonathan Spector should establish himself and finally become a reliable outside back for the Stars and Stripes. Prayers will be shouted to keep Jonathan Bornstein out of the squad but undoubtedly he’ll be on the roster somewhere. Marvell Wynne should also be an interesting addition to the squad. He has loads of pace and potential. Fill in the rest of the squad with Heath Pearce and a random choice (Michael Parkhurst or Kevin Alston?)
Landon Donovan scoring against Slovenia.
By far the most reliable part of the field for the US, the roster should largely look similar to how 2010 looked. Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, and Clint Dempsey should all be hitting their stride in Europe and the primes of their respective careers. Benny Feilhaber could easily challenge for a starting spot, too, since his creativity in the lineup is much needed. Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden will begin to establish solid roots in Europe and should be a part of the roster.
Jose Torres has shown flashes of brilliance in the squad, and he’s young, so I’ll pencil him into the roster. Jermaine Jones is also a contender for a spot if/when he begins getting CAPS for the US squad. It’s a tough decision to leave someone like him or Sacha Kljestan off the roster. The midfield is quite deep, regardless, and should look very familiar to casual fans. Don’t ever forget about Freddy Adu, either. The 21 year-old could finally break through and live up to some of his potential if he moves to MLS and re-establishes his career.
Jozy Altidore in action against Ghana.
The toughest group to call. Jozy Altidore is the only guarantee in my mind. Charlie Davies' condition will be unknown for awhile. We can only hope he regains all his form back after the devastating accident. I really don’t see Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, or Robbie Findley being a part of the plans of whomever coaches the US in the future (I’m thinking not Bob Bradley). Justin Braun is a solid young pick for forward. Big, strong, and relatively consistent in MLS and he’s starting to attract some buzz about going to Europe. Which can only mean positive things. As for a fourth option, it’s anyone’s guess. I’m hopeful of Kenny Cooper.
So, here’s my final 23 man roster.
Goalkeeper: Howard, Guzan, Rimando
Defense: Bornstein, Spector, Wynne, Gonzalez, Onyewu, Pearce, Parkhurst,
Midfield: Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Edu, Feilhaber, Holden, Adu, Jones, Torres
Forward: Altidore, Davies, Braun, Cooper
About the Author
Chris Behrens works for SoccerPro and has written for a variety of soccer publications.
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