Two more U.S. friendlies, two more disappointingly similar roster choices from U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. But hey, at least the team is win…well, at least the team has won once, right? Against Honduras. The world’s #57-ranked team. At home. By one goal. Klinsmann keeps talking about how the friendlies are important to evaluate who can play for the squad, while repeatedly calling up players who have tried and failed to make an impact in these friendlies, which we aren’t winning – even against inferior opposition (DaMarcus Beasley, Robbie Rogers, Edson Buddle, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Orozco Fizcal) or players no one have heard of who are notable for playing in Germany – or at least being on a German team’s roster (Fabian Johnson, Alfredo Morales, Danny Williams).
That isn’t to say Johnson, Morales, Williams and players of their ilk aren’t good enough to be on the team. But it is to say that it’s questionable to continually call up the same team through mediocre results while overlooking deserving players playing in the U.S. and elsewhere like George John, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, CJ Sapong, Mix Disterud and others while calling up relative unknowns because they play in Germany and filling the margins of the rest of the team with players like Buddle who can hardly be called the future of the U.S. national team. Klinsmann’s honeymoon is over. He either needs to start getting results or blooding players who might have an impact in 2014, if we actually qualify. At least Brek Shea is still on the team.
Goalkeepers Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton)
Defenders Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon)
Midfielders Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Robbie Rogers (Columbus), Brek Shea (Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
Forwards Jozy Altidore (AZ), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles)
And they are … OK? Interesting? Not sure. Some surprises, though. He did pick a few young players with little to no experience with the national team (Bill Hamid – I called it, Michael Orozco Fiscal), some players Bob Bradley hadn’t called up in a while (Jose Francisco Torres, Ricardo Clark) as well as some old-timers that we all thought had surely seen the last of the national team (Edson Buddle, DaMarcus Beasley).
Overall, not a bad group, though he didn’t include Clint Dempsey or Jozy Altidore – presumably so they could rest. I was hoping for a bit more youth in the team, though it’s nice to see Brek Shea get called up, since he deserves it.
The complete roster:
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne), Edgar Castillo (Club América), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (Red Bulls)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (Dallas), José Torres (Pachuca)
Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica), Juan Agudelo (Red Bulls), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)