Friday, May 27, 2016

US Soccer Roster Comparison from last 3 major tournaments: 2014, 2015, 2016

With Klinsmann's roster announcement for this summer's Centennial Copa America, I thought I'd compile his rosters from the last two major tournaments - 2014 WC and 2015 Gold Cup - alongside so we can see the progression of our player pool.

2016 Copa America
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Ethan Horvath (Molde IK)

Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

2015 Gold Cup
 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)


Ventura Alvarado (Club America), DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)


Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Joe Corona (Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)


Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

2014 World Cup
Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Julian Green (Bayern Munich)

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Players who have made all 3 rosters:
GK: Brad Guzan
Def: John Brooks, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin
Mid: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya
For: Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski

Notable missing names:
- Jozy would have been on this list but his annual summer hamstring injury this year occurred before the final roster announcement.
- Aron Johannsson had a good chance of making it this year were it not for his lingering hip issue. 
- Tim Howard obviously belongs among this group, but he took 2015 off.  He is now 2nd string.
- Timothy Chandler was a last minute injury scratch this year.  Castillo took his place.
- Geoff Cameron should probably have been a CB starter for the last 3 years however, he opted to honor his club's request and rest for the 2015 GC.
- Matt Besler was in Klinsmann's doghouse, but he really should have been a starter over Ventura.  Klinsmann can look back at his CB decision as one of the big reasons for our GC failure.  Notice that the only CB on all 3 rosters is John Brooks. 

Players in their first tournament this year:
GK: Ethan Horvath 
Def: Steve Birnbaum, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco 
Mid: Christian Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen
For: Bobby Wood

- I don't have any major quibbles here.  I would have liked to see Ream and Lichaj here instead of Orozco and Castillo, but perhaps its of some benefit to have some backups who are more comfortable with futbol in the Americas than footie in England, given that its the Copa America.  Its worth mentioning that now without Chandler, we are missing a true RB backup.

Players who made the 2014 and 2015 rosters but are now left out:
GK: Nick Rimando
Def: Omar Gonzalez, DaMarcus Beasley, Timothy Chandler
Mid: Brad Davis, Mix Diskerud
For: Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson

- Omar and Mix still have a chance to be in the mix going forward should their play impress Klinsmann.
- Rimando and Davis should now be retired internationally.  We still miss Beasley at our revolving LB spot.
- As mentioned, Jozy, Aron and Chandler are injured.

Others conspicuously missing this year:
 - We had such high hopes for Julian Green in 2014, but haven't seen much progress in the 2 years since.
- Where are the goalkeepers-in-waiting for the next cycle after 2018?  Bill Hamid has either not progressed enough or Klinsmann just doesn't rate him.  Horvath is the front-runner now.
- Jordan Morris.  He's fast.  He's young.  He's the future.  And he's been left home for Wondo.  They say Wondo's been the best of the MLS, but he only has 1 more non-PK goal this year than Morris.  If neither is a starter, why not bring the young gun as a spark off the bench?  Wondo's just as likely to flub on the biggest stage.
- Lee Nguyen is one of the most creative playmakers in our pool but was edged out by Zusi, who is perhaps better at defense, but offers little upside.
- Alfredo Morales is a starter for a Bundesliga team.  Are we so deep that he can't even get on the bench?  Might he become a regular call-up once Beckerman is out?

Is this the last tournament for these veterans?
- Clint Dempsey - with so many young guns now in the fold, will Klinsmann keep calling him in after this year?  He's 8 goals short of Landon's record.
- Tim Howard - his skills have declined severely over the last couple years.
- Jermaine Jones - hasn't shown his age yet, so I think he has the best chance of remaining part of the core for another year or two.
- Beckerman, Zusi and Wondo - thank you for your service.  But if you guys are called in again for Gold Cup 2017, our player pool development is a massive failure.

My ideal Copa starting lineup:
Bedoya-Bradley-JJ - Nagbe