Friday, September 13, 2013

Return of the Clipboard - A New Beginning

That's right. Now that the USMNT has qualified for World Cup 2014, it's all fine tuning and ladder fighting until Brazil. The latter is our purpose today, and we will happily begin with the easiest position on the field: #1. For this depth chart alone, we go four deep (as in one more than the number making the final tourney roster). The other 10 slots get three names.

Just as a reminder, this is my own preference ranking - not a guess at the one made by the guy who actually sees them in training. Also, this is not a prediction for the eventual final squad of 23. It's a "right now" order.

Tim Howard
Brad Guzan
Nick Rimando
Sean Johnson

Yes, I'm aware many are calling for Guzan to overtake Howard, and that the former was better in the Prem last season. I keep saying it: club form should be a primary factor in selection, but it ain't everything. Class and experience are permanent, so I'm still behind the Everton man. That is not to say that the up-and-comer shouldn't get a shot to grab the job if the starter has a couple of shockers in red, white and blue. Either way it turns out, the Nats will be strong in goal next summer. Relative experience is also the reason Johnson stands as the alternate.

Tomorrow, the arguments begin. I can hardly wait.

- Greg Seltzer


heythisisrobbie said...

Will Greg have Beasley at LB:

No -250
Yes +200

dikranovich said...

No, Fabian Johnson is going to be the left back, and we really should stop even joking about it. DMB is not a bad fill in though.

Ah, it will probably be Heath Pearce

Anonymous said...

Guzan needs to play in at least one of the meaningless qualifiers, period. The over dependence on Howard by both Klinsmann and Bradley has been mystifying, playing him even in friendlies when it would have been a good time to see if Brad had "it". And Jurgen should bring in Steve Clark to Camp Cupcake in January. With all respect to Nick Rimando, the third Keeper slot should go to a youngster.

Jacob Klinger said...

@bellerophon30 Do you mean for Camp Cupcake or the World Cup? Because I'd rather have an experienced GK as the No. 3. If he plays it's because all hell has broken loose.

Desert Rat said...

I'm actually pretty comfortable with either Guzan or Howard at this point. I'll take Tim based on experience.

Still, like bellerophon30, I'd like to see Guzan get a start in some of the friendlies, or maybe even the October qualifiers. Of course, this raises the question as to how keen Klinsmann will be to actually top the Hexagonal.

I do think this is Tim's last go-round. It's hard to see how it doesn't wind up being Guzan's team through the entirety of the next cycle.

Anonymous said...

Jacob: What was Guzan in 2010? He wasn't even the best goalkeeper named Brad on his own club team at the time (Friedel, to me, is still at worst the third best keeper among the Americans). The third keeper NEVER plays, it's a free trip to Brazil and some time to acclimate to the USMNT, nothing more. It would be wasted on Rimando, who's never going to be the number one for us. I respect the hell out of him to be sure, but taking him to Brazil is nothing more than a reward for service.

John said...

Dikranovich: I thought you said Fabian should be the LB? ;)

dikranovich said...

John, I did. I'm just guessing what Greg will do. I thinks he is feeling a little nostalgia and will go with Heath Pearce as his top left back choice. H knows Castillo does not have the chops to play left back for the national team.