Klinsmann's highly anticipated first ever roster was announced last Thursday and has been updated with a couple substitutions since. I've decided to divide the group into a few categories: Bradley Holdovers, Not a Surprise, and Klinsmann's New Faces. (Positions as officially listed by US Soccer)
Bob Bradley Holdovers - No surprise, still part of US' core
GK Tim Howard - Still Klinsmann's #1. Could be captain.
RB Steve Cherundolo - might Hannover's captain now be given the US armband?
CB Carlos Bocanegra - will he still be captain?
CB Clarence Goodson - Brondby's new captain probably won't be the choice here.
CM Michael Bradley - wasn't banished to oblivion as so many Bob Bradley haters probably wanted to see.
CM Jermaine Jones - riveting to see if and how MB and JJ will be deployed together.
CM Maurice Edu - initially called but replaced after injury. It would have been interesting to see Klinsmann's central mid choices with Edu around.
F Landon Donovan - A Klinsmann favorite, Donovan's my guess for captain.
Not a Surprise - but not part of veteran core either
CB Tim Ream - not an auto call-up, but he's been in the national fold since this year.
RB Timothy Chandler - initially called in but Klinsmann and his Nurnberg coach decided to keep him in Germany and release him for the Costa Rica and Belgium friendlies instead, which is surprising since the Costa Rica friendly is in the US.
LM Brek Shea - Bradley probably would have also brought this left-sided talent into the fold this summer.
F Freddy Adu - Klinsmann clearly also appreciates Adu's skill set and increased maturity.
F Juan Agudelo - Young, full of potential and he's been the 2nd forward on the depth chart since earlier this year.
Klinsmann's New Faces - the players whom were unlikely to be on Bradley's call sheet.
GK Bill Hamid - even though I've predicted since last summer that he may be Howard's successor, it is still a surprise to see such an early call-up for this youngster. Guzan's absence may indicate that he's no longer the undisputed #2.
LB Edgar Castillo - after all the changeover hype, he only played for the US once in 2009. He certainly needed to be looked at since he can't possibly be worse than Bornstein. In fact, he's probably just as fast with a much better offensive skill set. Attitude? we'll have to see, Bornstein was at least likable to be around. (Eric Lichaj, our most recent LB starter was injured.)
LB Heath Pearce - Bob Bradley, having come to the conclusion that Bornstein was better than Pearce when making WC 2010 selections, hadn't given Pearce another look since. Klinsmann will. By the way, Bornstein was not called in.
LB/CB Michael Orozco - another defender from Mexico's Primera division, Orozco was never given a serious look for the senior team after throwing a red card elbow during the '08 Olympics. He can play LB or CB, I believe.
CM Kyle Beckerman - this was a confounding selection to me since he plays central midfield in the MLS and shouldn't sniff any daylight with Bradley, Edu, Jones or Holden in the mix. Why not Mikkel Diskeruud? Plus, there are 7 midfielders listed and all but 1 play central midfield. What's wrong with this picture?
CM Ricardo Clark - having not seen from him since getting subbed out halfway through the 1st half of the Ghana game, Ricardo will get another look from Klinsmann. Perhaps Klinsmann likes him since he's plying his trade in Germany, but this is probably the most disappointing call-up next to Beckerman. If Klinsmann is all about improving our first touch, why call up Mr. Bricks-for-feet now?
CM Jose Francisco Torres - Pretty much the poster boy for the fan's anti-Bradley sentiment until Klinsmann took over, it would have been a surprise if he were not called up.
F Edson Buddle - I assumed his national career was over after doing nothing in the last WC and being too old for the next one.
F DaMarcus Beasley - just plain shock when I saw his name. I would love to see him back in the fold, but I hope his form, dedication and work ethic has returned with him.
LB Zach Loyd - With Chandler out, a promising LB from the MLS is brought in to try out for our most needy position. I predicted last month that he would make the 2014 WC roster bench.
LM Robbie Rogers - The extremely unpopular Bradley selection for the Gold Cup also failed to make any gameday rosters in June. US fans can't be too happy to see this speedy winger chosen to replace an injured Edu. Klinsmann apparently played rec league soccer with a young Rogers a few year ago.
- As for those regulars omitted completely, Clint Dempsey was left behind so he could establish himself with a new boss at Fulham. Jozy Altidore just changed clubs (and scored vs PSV in the opener - hopefully a sign of goals to come). Who knows about Alejandro Bedoya, but its likely he is still in Klinsmann's plans. Hopefully Sasha Kljestan is not.
-Where's Benny Feilhaber?
- US Soccer obviously knows that Donovan and Beasley are usually midfielders so perhaps its a shift in tactics? 4-3-3? Beasley and Donovan as wide forwards? I have a hard time seeing it but maybe its just cause I've been brainwashed with American conservative tactics for years now. I will not attempt to predict a formation or starting lineup this time. It must be noted that Klinsmann used 4-4-2 at both Germany and Bayern Munich.
- Having talked about wanting to incorporate the Latin game in US Soccer, Klinsmann called in 3 Mexican American players from Mexico's Primera League - Castillo, Orozco and Torres. I'm surprised he didn't call in Herculez Gomez to round things out. Beasley also now plays in the Primera.
- Again, there are now 6 central midfielders and 2 wingers ( Shea and Rogers). If you count Donovan and Beasley as wide midfielders, then there are 4.
- Galaxy CB Omar Gonzalez always seems to be line for a call-up but keeps getting overlooked. If he isn't considered for the Sept Costa Rica match at Carson, he should be very concerned.
- Assistant coaches brought in for this game are: US legends Tab Ramos and Thomas Dooley, and former Klinsmann assistant at Bayern, Martín Vásquez. All 3 of these coaches played for the US, but interestingly, none were born here - Ramos is born in Uruguay, Dooley from Germany and Vasquez from Mexico (he even played for Mexico). Other coaches include goalkeepers coach, Mike Curry, and conditioning coach, Mark Verstegen.
- The most interesting statement from Klinsmann in today's Grant Wahl si.com article: "The difference between the top 10 in the world and where we are right now is the technical capabilities and the higher pace. In a high-pace, high-speed environment, to keep calm on the ball, to sharpen your minds so you know what to do with the ball before you get the ball. That's the difference right now. You might have technically gifted players here, but once you set the pace two levels higher, they lose that technical ability because they're getting out of breath or their mental thought process isn't fast enough."