I owe you all two clipboard spots today, but will post them separately so as not to confuse the inevitable comments section debates. First, we cross the formation's halfway point by sizing up the two-way midfielders.
To me, this spot is fairly cut-and-dry. Recalling Friday's defensive midfield list, I reserve the right to take all three of these guys to leave behind one defensive midfielder. You'll just need to wait until the exercise is complete to see if that happens.
As for the players, Bradley is the biggest no-brainer in the USMNT bubble. The team is clearly not the same when he's out, and not just because the Bald Eagle™ raises his offensive game with the Nats. In my mind, Jones is a perfect impact sub in this team. Some will find this an insult, but I don't and the USMNT has no evolved past the point of "But he plays for so-and-so... " in building a line-up. I cannot state enough that the best 11 players in the pool usually do not make the best field set, so it's not like I'm saying he's not good enough. With Kljestan, you get a guy who could also work the #10 position in a pinch. Still, his game has evolved since moving to Belgium - he's now a bona fide traffic director.
- Greg Seltzer