Monday, June 11, 2018

Starting Over: #1

We are now about a month away from the official start of a new World Cup cycle. That means it's time for a new edition of my USMNT Clipboard, and as always we start in goal. For those new to this feature, these choices are my preferences, and not any sort of guess at how the actual coaching staff ranks each position. 

Now let's get the ball rolling...

Zack Steffen
Brad Guzan
Bill Hamid

In the frame: Tim Melia, Sean Johnson, Alex Bono

On the same day that Guzan annoyed the crap out of NYCFC, Steffen grabbed the top spot my depth chart with a fine friendly showing against France. I'd still like to see him level up with consistency and distribution, but for now he's my man to beat. We all know what we get with Guzan, and it's usually pretty good. But, sure, it would be dandy if the young'uns could pass him by over the next few years.

Then there's Hamid, who struggled badly against Ireland. That's likely because he's only had a couple starts since moving to FC Midtjylland in January. That's where he needs to beat out a keeper with great experience (as in two Superliga crowns, 41 Ligue 1 games and 23 European outings) and shore up his area command. Frankly, I'm this close to moving Melia ahead of him. The Sporting KC man may be four years older, but he certainly shows no signs of slowing his MLS Goalkeeper of the Year form anytime soon.

Johnson also isn't getting any younger, and it's pretty annoying that he hasn't seen any international action in over three years. After all, the guy has been killin' it for NYCFC for 17 months and has only conceded once in 315 USMNT minutes (including a nail-biter shutout of Costa Rica on the way to the 2013 Gold Cup crown). Meanwhile, Bono had next to nothing to do in his January debut cap, so we'll need to see more of him at some point if he wants to climb the ranks.

- Greg Seltzer

1 comment:

J.D. Springer said...

Question unrelated to the GK position but to the bigger picture: How close is Julian Gressel of ATL UTD to getting U.S. citizenship?

I know he spent four years at Providence and he speaks English better than I do. I also know he's never played for Germany, so he's not cap-tied.

Seems like he'd be a pretty solid addition to the USMNT pool.