Friday, May 9, 2014

Alright, let's do this.

Here is what my magic clipboard says when I shake it and ask "What 30 players would I bring to pre-World Cup training camp?"

G - Howard, Guzan, Rimando

CB - Besler, Goodson, Gonzalez, Onyewu, Ream, Brooks

WB - Cameron, F. Johnson, Parkhurst, Chandler, Evans

DM - Williams, Edu, Beckerman

CM - Bradley, Dempsey, Jones, Diskerud

W - Donovan, Zusi, Bedoya, Beasley, Green

F - Altidore, Jóhannsson, Boyd, Agudelo

My camp alternates, ready on standby: Clark, Hedges, Orozco, Beltran, Spector, Kljestan, Feilhaber, Shea, Wondolowski, E. Johnson

My apologies to Wondo(w), still injured Eric Lichaj and others. Even if I would not bet on him to make my final roster, Evans makes the camp over the exciting prospect of Yedlin because he earned the right to be there. Frankly, I would take a few more than 30 if allowed and both would come along with Spector.

However, I would likely not add candidates to the central midfield and strike groups (Agudelo sneaks the last of the 30 invites because of his physical tools and ability to make quick impact off the bench) unless it was required by injury. I want those particular stables listed above hoarding all the reps possible. There cannot be open tryouts everywhere at this date, sorry. The big one, of course, is in defensive midfield.

And yes, in part because all three DM's are in form for the fight, both FabJo and Cameron are now officially listed as wide defenders here. Sometimes, the decision you don't want to make has to be made anyway. This is World Cup, baby.

- Greg Seltzer


justinwkoehn said...

I don't have any disagreements with the personnel, maybe just the position designations. Given JK will be using multiple formations, I'm sure these will change based on 4-3-3; 4-4-2 Diamond; and 4-3-2-1 looks. I always thought of Parkhurst as CB, but since it's so crowded and he's versatile, I could see why he's at WB. Jones more of a DM for me as well, or at least I hope he plays like one in Brazil.

futfan said...

I can get behind that list for the most part. I don't understand the inclusion of Edu really. I'd take Feilhaber (he's no more but certainly no less deserving of a look) instead just for an added creative presence. And I would absolutely include Yedlin - he needs to be in the mix somehow IMO. You're right about Evans deserving to be there I guess. What about Brad Davis? Not up to it in your opinion? I'd rather have him than Bedoya.

Looking at that squad there is some reason to be hopeful but, at the same time, we really have some serious holes don't we? I guess I shouldn't be surprised and I understand the oft stated reasons why it is the case but I sometimes still have trouble with the fact that we - an American national sporting team - don't have more 'elite' skilled talent by now. A nation of 330 million with an incredibly proud sporting culture and we are still having to debate more than a few guys who wouldn't even get a sniff on many top-flight national teams.

It's frustrating. And if we didn't have our many German-American brothers choosing to play for us it would be even more dire.

brian said...

find a replacement for edu and i could live with this.

futfan said...


I agree about Jones. I think he may have lost a step (just getting older) and would be much more valuable playing in front of the defenders. He's still tough as nails and can still distribute the ball which would be invaluable back there IMO.

EvertonBrian said...


Brad Davis over Bedoya sounds crazy to me.
Admittedly, I don't watch much of Davis, yet I've always had the impression that his only international attribute is his service on set pieces, whereas Bedoya may start a game or two at the WC.

Tom said...

I like it well enough.

futfan said...


>whereas Bedoya may start a game or two at the WC.

Davis is a vet who can cross the ball effectively. His passing and set-piece proficiency are worth the consideration alone. I have no idea why everyone thinks so highly of Bedoya. He's a weak plodder with a very average skill-set. I want us to get away from marginal players who lack pace and who don't have at least one aspect to their game that they do really well.

My 2 cents anyway.

Greg Seltzer said...

Quick question: How do you feel Davis would be faring if he was now closing up his first season in Ligue 1?

futfan said...

>Quick question: How do you feel Davis would be faring if he was now closing up his first season in Ligue 1?


EvertonBrian said...


I've been impressed with Bedoya (seen him maybe 4 times this Ligue 1 campaign). I really love his movement off the ball and his decision making has sharpened this season.

I'm not so much opposed to Evans getting the call into camp, just surprised you'd call for it at Bedoya's expense.

Greg, what back line do you wanna see against the Black Stars and why? I'm already having nightmares and we're over a month away.

Greg Seltzer said...


At least as we speak. Ask me next week and, like the camp 30, the answer could change.

Jolazo said...

What's your philosophy on how many CBs to take, Greg? Since Cameron can adequately fill in, do you see any reason to take more than 3? I've seen a lot of predictions taking 4 CBs plus Cameron, and I don't quite understand it.

Greg Seltzer said...

I do not consider Cameron as a CB at the WC level. So I would take four CBs and not have him in that scene at all.

justinwkoehn said...

Greg, if Cameron isn't a CB, would you move him to DM if Chandler shows well in camp?

I wouldn't mind seeing:

Greg Seltzer said...

At this point, the way things have gone in the late season, I have resigned myself to setting Cameron at right back. Part of this has to do with how well the three DMs are all playing right now.

Zach said...

Which 3 DMs? Report from Reading says Williams might be out, knee isn't improving.

ewocky said...

Question about Cameron. I haven't seen many Stoke matches this season, but I have read their forums a bunch to keep track. Common wisdom with Stoke fans there is that they like him, and particularly they like his willingness and ability to get forward, but they think he's a huge liability on defense. They really like they guy, and aren't saying he needs to go at all, but generally say that his natural position is CB or DM and he should be tried at DM and a natural RB brought in.

On the other hand, nearly everything I've read about Cameron from a USMNT perspective has been that he is solid defensively but not good or quick enough to push forward on attack.

Maybe I've completely misread something, but I'm pretty sure that the two fan bases have opposite opinions of the guy. So, help me out folks; what is GCam good at and what's his liability as RB? He certainly has the best credentials in the pool to play there. Why shouldn't he?

ewocky said...

To clarify, that looked like a loaded question, but really wasn't. Just looking for opinions from those who watch Cam more.

As a random side note, I was at PSG v Nantes a few months ago in Paris. I sat next to hard core traveling Nantes fans, and Bedoya came on around the 25th. They love the the kid and kept yelling to give him the ball more (they didn't know the guy next to them was American and curious yet, so weren't just being nice). That was neat - he's considered a go-to-guy by a decent French team's fans. Then again, Nantes was crushed 5-0 in the most dominating performance I've seen at Parc de Princes in the ten or so matches I've seen here. So, mixed bag I suppose.

Sorry for so many words, I'm bored and can't sleep.

Bernardinho said...

^ This definitely isn't apology-worthy - good questions, well put.

justinwkoehn said...

Today we need Gladbach to win and Bayer to lose so FabJo can get some Champions League action next season. Also Chandler/Nurnberg need to pull a miracle vs Schalke and Hamburg to lose in order to have a chance of staying up. No EPL today, so it's a great time to tune into some great Bundesliga matches and support some USMNT players.

seamus brooklyn said...

Re: Cameron [caveat: seen just a few Stoke games] he seems solid as a RB. His distribution and comfort on the ball are easily in the top third of any US roster. He's cool on defense and appears quick enough to handle the position, if not blazing fast, and he looks like he gets forward quite well. He scored against Aston Villa, just inside the penalty box on the opposite side of his wing position. Perhaps an anomaly, still.

His crossing seems a liability though, and how many deep possessions can we throw away against Germany, Portugal, Ghana? And I certainly do not want to see him at CB in the WC barring an emergency. It takes time to gel there. Look what happened to Brooks v. Ukraine? My $0.02.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ ewocky: I would not say Cameron has too many defensive deficiencies, though he is certainly not the fastest guy out wide. He gets beat sometimes, but so does everybody.

Jay said...

I'm guessing the Chandler transfer rumors start now, eh?

Greg Seltzer said...

That would seem a smart guess, yeah.

dikranovich said...

Chandler to MLS!!! I'm not sure if going to Nurnberg on free transfer means he is more likely to go, or less likely. History shows that this team goes down, and bounces right back up to the bundas league, and you don't do that getting rid of your better players. Chandler has shown a lot of loyalty to his club team. my guess is that he stays.

Scott Peterson said...

Boy, US Soccer have come a long way! Each World Cup our roster gets more and more diverse. I am proud of the progression. Go USA! Play your asses off!!

justinwkoehn said...

Re: Chandler...wonder if Gladbach needs a RB :) The only live bundesliga game I've been to was Nurnberg v Gladbach ironically enough.