Sunday, February 23, 2020

Firing It Up Again

Yep, it's time once more for the Clipboard. Next month will bring a pair of hearty overseas friendlies as the USMNT preps for June's Nations Cup final four.

Unfortunately, the greedy little injury bug is taking bites out of depth charts left, right and center, and straight from our get go - as you'll see below. As you may recall, I don't include players who are laid up long term in the ranks. In this keeper case, I'm also not including a signifcant name that may well not be ready for the March contests in Europe.

Sean Johnson
Bill Hamid
Brad Guzan

Definitely worth a look: Matt Turner
Find a new club, man: Ethan Horvath

Obviously, Zack Steffen would at the very least be the pencil starter here, but nobody is really sure when he'll return from the knee injury that has kept him out since the Bundesliga winter break. Honestly, all the three guys listed at the top are worthy of starts next month, but I lean toward Johnson because he's the best at playing out of the back. That will be important with the way Gregg Berhalter wants to play.

Hamid is the best shot-stopper (which may well get him the nod against Oranje). Guzan is the ol' dependable and probably the best area command guy of the three. It's a shame we can't roll them all into one netminder.

Meanwhile, Turner has spent much of the last two MLS season imitating a rude brick wall. Horvath has the game to compete with everyone else listed here, but sheesh, Club Brugge isn't even giving him Belgian Cup games since they splashed big cash (for a Jupiler League side, anyway) to grab regional hero Simon Mignolet from Liverpool. Harsh. The kid needs to move on to stick around this chart.   

- Greg Seltzer


willsaxton said...

Looks like William Yarbrough has no future with León. Any chance that Houston is still interested in his services?

Greg Seltzer said...

That's a very good question. The Dynamo have picked up Cody Cropper and a Marko Maric, a guy who spent the last two seasons in the Norwegian top flight. You'd think grabbing two guys with starting experience during a single offseason would put them off... but do either of them really inspire enough confidence to backstop a team up the Western table? Hmm, dunno.

Either way, barring an injury or significant transfer out, his most realistic MLS landing spot at this time is Colorado. The only GK with any league experience on the roster is Clint Irwin.

UnitedDemon said...

I don't get the argument that Johnson is better out of the back. I've seen more mistakes from him playing out of the back than any other keeper in MLS.