Well guys, here it is. It’s not the final edition, but by June 2nd , seven more players will see their dreams destroyed and we will have our final roster to represent our great nation in Brazil.
All the noise yesterday was about the omission of D.C. United forward, Eddie Johnson. The 29-year-old striker has been in great form in a USA shirt, scoring the go-ahead goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico last year that sent the US to Brazil.
He also co-lead the team with 17 appearances last year, although about half were from the bench. There’s no question he would contribute to this US side, but head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made it clear that club form trumps all, heading into a World Cup.
The Florida native, has yet to score a goal in a D.C. United uniform after his big money move from Seattle this year, and has had several public issues off the field, involving teammates. He is quoted on Mlssoccer.com as saying: “In Seattle – and no disrespect to the guys that are here – I felt like I didn’t have to run as much because we had better guys that had more quality on the ball.”
When the other two forwards competing for final spots on the roster are Chris Wondolowski, the MLS goal scoring machine who has five in the first 9 games and Terrence Boyd, a younger version of Johnson it doesn' bode well for Johnson.
It seems like a really tough case of bad luck, as Eddie Johnson is the third player in consecutive World Cup qualifying campaigns to score the Cup-clinching goal, yet still not make the final roster to the big dance. Connor Casey in ’09 and Steve Ralston in ’05 were the previous players to suffer this fate. All in all, I feel bad for Johnson, but I can’t say I disagree with Klinsmann’s picks.
Another player who just missed the cut is Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan. This is a big surprise for me as Tijuana midfielder, Joe Corona, has been brought into the side instead. It has to be said that Kljestan has not performed well for the United States in recent memory, but it seems odd that a player with Champions League experience isn’t even included in the 30-man roster.
Rumors of Kljestan returning to MLS with the LA Galaxy, after his lack of playing time towards the end of the Belgian league, have perhaps come just a little too late. The move back to MLS has saved Maurice Edu’s national team career, and maybe Kljestan will find the same success before Russia 2018, although he’ll be 32.
Other notable omissions from the squad are Brek Shea, who played a part in most of Jurgen Klinsmann’s matches in qualifying, and Juan Agudelo, who has been in great form for Dutch side FC Utrecht.
It will be difficult to predict Klinsmann’s starting XI until he makes his final cuts to 23, but for now, we all get to wait to hear from the National Team camp at Stanford University, which starts tomorrow.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (11) : DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6) : Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
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