Let's roll it out, and then get to the particulars. Those closest to making the cut (in order): Bedoya, Spector/Castillo, Beckerman, Corona, Boyd, Gomez, Shea. Cherundolo also deserves mention in this light, as a successful return to form from him would definitely alter the picture at his position.
G - Howard, Guzan, Rimando
D - Parkhurst, Lichaj, Goodson, Besler, Chandler, Brooks, Gonzalez
M - Cameron, Bradley, Dempsey, Jones, Diskerud, Kljestan
A - Altidore, Beasley, Donovan, F. Johnson, Jóhannsson, Zusi, E. Johnson
As previously stated, the goal situation is quite possibly set through to Brazil, at least with regards to the top three. That's the easy, uncontroversial part. We will remember this time very fondly in a moment.
The first obvious detour from the norm comes in naming only seven defenders. I know, I know. Usually, I would jeer such a thing. But with Cameron (and another player listed above that I'll name in a forthcoming MLSS column) available for wingback duty, it feels to me like a cheat eight. Being that I feel goals will be needed and want all possible attack options at hand in Brazil, a cheat eight suffices this time. With Parkhurst, Chandler, Lichaj and Cameron around, there are legitimately four guys who can cover both fullback spots and then four center backs.
The midfield may look light, but that's two men for each of three spots. Realizing Bradley is my only truly trusted choice as the second #6 guy allowed room for both Diskerud and Kljestan - guys able to play possession and create chances in a pinch. This group offers a lot of versatility, enough to make a number of different tactical triads.
The attack gets that extra man missing from defense, in the person of third strike option Eddie Johnson. He's needed because the possibility of Jóhannsson at least spot-starting wide is real, effectively boosting EJ to the main back-up on these occasions. Beyond that, Beasley is the designated buzzy pest option off the bench, Zusi the designated crosser. Both need worry greatly about Bedoya's progress at Nantes (as does Kljestan, for that matter).
Of course, as it's the "right now" team, I'm not assuming this exact squad goes to Brazil. In fact, I'm counting on a few things changing. It gives a good chuckle whenever I see any sort of USMNT observer predict that the World Cup squad will feature the same 23 guys they currently have occupying all those positions. Nine months is a looong time in the world of depth charts, and that's not even taking the monkey wrench that is injuries into account.
- Greg Seltzer