What might our 23 man roster look like in 2014?
S: Tim Howard (C)
Timmy will be about 35, prime age for a great keeper. I think he could be captain come 2014. Hopefully Brad will be starting and thriving in the EPL by then. Honestly, so far he hasn't inspired a lot of confidence in me yet. Hamid is a young MLSer - he may be the next great American GK.
In the mix: Luis Robles, Dominic Cervi, Chris Seitz
CB: Oguchi Onyewu
CB: Gale Agbossoumonde
LB: Jonathan Bornstein
RB: Eric Lichaj
Our 2010 starting defense will be pretty old in 4 years - Bocanegra, DeMerit and Cherundolo will likely not be back in 2014. Its not as if Boca and Jay are fleet of foot as it is now. Still, there seem to be plenty of young prospects for the spot next to Gooch. I'm not the biggest fan of Bornstein but he acquitted himself well this WC - there is still hope for improvement.
Others in the mix: Ike Opara, Chad Marshall, Clarence Goodson, Edgar Castillo, Sean Franklin, Marvell Wynne.
LM/ACM: Landon Donovan
CM: Michael Bradley
CM: Maurice Edu
RM: Stuart Holden
Jose Francisco Torres
Unlike our defenders, nearly all of this year's midfielders could be back. Currently, midfield depth is clearly the strength of our squad. Donovan has always been in terrific shape so I think its very possible that he'll still be in top form at 32.
Others in the mix: Robbie Rogers, Sasha Kljestan, Sebastion Lleget, Jared Jeffrey, Geoff Cameron, Luis Gil, Brek Shea, Ricardo Clark, Jermaine Jones (you never know).
S: Jozy Altidore
S: Clint Dempsey
Seeing as how Herculez and Buddle weren't on anyone's radar just 3 months before WC camp, it is obviously impossible to predict strikers 4 years out. Mostly its because it hinges more on who's scoring goals at the time instead of consistency of effort over the 4 year cycle. That said, Jozy should still be our every game starter. Dempsey should still be a solid forward option then. Davies may finally realize his WC dream. Marcus Tracy could be an in form striker somewhere in Europe by then. I didn't include Adu since right now he is still going backwards.
Others in the mix: Freddy Adu, Andy Najar (if he picks us over Honduras), Danny Mwanga, Tristan Bowen, Juan Agudelo, whoever's hot.
So, 13 players of this year's 23 may be back, and as many as 8 starters could return to the opening lineup in Brazil 2014. Compare that to only 7 returning players this year from 2006, and 5 returning starters (Gooch, Boca, Dolo, Dempsey, Donovan). Unless a new coach really shakes things up, continuity could be key for us. That said, besides Bradley, our 3 best players right now (Howard, Demps, LD) will be past 30 in 2014. New stars must arise soon.