Now that we've qualified and suffered some key injuries, this is how I think our SA roster will play out.
Tim Howard - #1. But he's got to tone down his anger on the field. Sheez.
Brad Guzan - They say he's the clear #2, but honestly, I've never really seen why. Plus, it looks like he's got short arms compared to the long lankiness of Friedel, Keller and Timmy. Who else is there, I guess?
Troy Perkins - does it really matter?
We're good for this cycle but who is our #1 in 2014? We all knew Tim was the keeper in waiting in 2006. Oh wait, Tim will still be the man in 2014 too. Nevermind.
Carlos Bocanegra - Now that our CBs have been decimated by injuries, there's no chance El Capitan will move to LB again.
Oguchi Onyewu - His torn knee tendon will keep him out anywhere from 4-6 months. Then he'll need to get back to match fitness/sharpness with the remaining few months. But he'll be on the plane.
Steve Cherundolo - This fleet footed veteran returned from injury to stake his claim at RB.
Jonathan Bornstein - 2 solid performances in big games should keep him in the starting lineup for now.
Jay DeMerit - How unlucky can we get? Needed an eye procedure to combat infection from contact lens accident.
Jonathan Spector - Will still have his say at RB before its all said and done. He's a versatile EPL defender so yeah, he's going.
Edgar Castillo - By summer next year, he will have been brought into the fold.
Chad Marshall - 4th CB, other contenders are Califf, Goodson, Conrad. I prefer the experience of Conrad.
I can understand that knee injuries happen but really? Cutting your eye with a contact lens? For the short term, it looks like we're looking at starting Goodson. I guess this will allow us to grow some depth at CB. There's rumors that the US briefly considered bringing in Castillo to camp for the qualifiers so it looks like he'll get his shot soon. Personally, I hope we find a way to bring Freddie Hejduk to SA. Team morale coach?
Landon Donovan - He's in his prime.
Michael Bradley - Needs to break out of his funk and get back to being the deep-lying engine for our team.
Jermaine Jones - Now that Fifa has cleared his switchover, we're just waiting for injuries to go away.
Stuart Holden - An energetic right-sided winger may get his chance with Davies' injury (Dempsey moves up). He seems to attack and defend with purpose.
Benny Feilhaber - This year marks his reemergence. Hopefully this playmaker will peak next summer.
Maurice Edu - I still think he's a better DM option than Rico Clark, but held back by injuries. They say he can also play CB.
Francisco Torres - Looks like the playmaker of our future. Maybe even in 2010.
Robbie Rogers - Left-sided winger option.
My guess is that by next summer, Jones will get paired with Bradley in the middle with Holden starting on the right. I wonder if JJ can play at DM by himself and let Bradley/Feilhaber/Torres play in front of him? Donovan will key our attack, as always. I know Rico has put in his time this year but I still favor Edu's versatility and offensive abilities over Clark's hot headedness. I'm still astounded on how far Beasley has fallen this year. If by some miracle he gets back on his horse, he'll take Rogers' spot. Kljestan is also a favorite of Bob's and could make the plane.
Clint Dempsey - Davies' injury should force the US to look at this permanent switch. Paraphrasing Wynalda, when Clint plays in the midfield, we all get mad at him, but when he plays up top, he scores.
Jozy Altidore - A man possessed, Jozy showed glimpses vs CR of what he can do when he harnesses that ability.
Conor Casey - I was never a big fan but he's shown himself useful in the last two big games.
Brian Ching - Too experienced to overlook but we still could use some speed up top.
Charlie Davies really filled the void that we've been worried about for years. Without him, I don't know who we'd look at. Not Eddie Johnson or Freddy Adu, I hope. Maybe someone new will emerge, like Jemal Johnson? Or Cunningham? Also, Kenny Cooper could steal Ching or Casey's spot, I suppose.
Dolo - Gooch - Boca - Bornstein
Holden -- Bradley -- Donovan