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23 Names for the 2015 Gold Cup Roster (October Edition)
   October 1, 2014 (6:10 AM) by John D. Halloran     Email This Post Email This Post


With the newest United States men’s national team roster due to be released this weekend, the attention of U.S. fans will refocus, however briefly, on the past. That’s because the U.S.’s match against Ecuador, to be played on October 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut, will be the final international match for American legend Landon Donovan.

And while paying homage to Donovan is fully deserved, the attention of most U.S. fans, and certainly that of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, is squarely on the future.

In the U.S.’s only match since the 2014 World Cup, an early September friendly against the Czech Republic, Klinsmann has already shown signs that he is willing to spend the next year experimenting with new personnel, formations and tactics and the October friendlies will likely be no different.

However, next summer, in the 2015 Gold Cup, results will be the focus because a championship by the U.S.—which has already won the 2013 Gold Cup—will earn the team automatic qualification to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the roster choices ahead.



With Tim Howard taking himself out of the running until next September, the goalkeeping duties for the U.S. men’s national team will fall to someone else next summer. The two front-runners are Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan and Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando.

Many tipped Guzan to take the reins without a fight, but Klinsmann has said he views it as an open competition between the two. And Klinsmann held to that view in the U.S.’s recent 1-0 win over the Czech Republic, in which Guzan and Rimando split halves.

Who the third keeper is behind Guzan or Rimando is anyone’s guess with frequent call-ups Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) and Bill Hamid (D.C. United) the likely candidates. Also in the running is Southampton’s Cody Cropper, who was called up for the match against the Czechs and practiced with the team this summer as they prepared for the World Cup.

Virtual locks – Guzan, Rimando

In the discussion – Hamid, Johnson, Cropper


Center backs

At center back, the U.S. has plenty of experience with World Cup veterans Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) and Geoff Cameron. Cameron recently underwent groin surgery—and was struggling for minutes at Stoke prior to his injury—but is still one of the U.S.’s best options.

John Anthony Brooks should also be in the mix, but according to recent reports has been demoted to Hertha Berlin’s second team and was publicly criticized by his club coach last week after some shaky performances.

Maurice Edu has been playing center back for the Philadelphia Union this season and has played the position for the U.S. in the past. Should the U.S. be looking for depth, Edu could be the man.

Also still in the picture is Puebla’s Michael Orozco, who started against the Czechs.

Long shots for the roster include Birmingham’s Will Packwood—who finally saw his first playing time for Birmingham City yesterday—as well as Tim Ream (Bolton), Chris Schuler (RSL) and Matt Hedges (FC Dallas).

Ream doesn’t seem likely to crack the first team by next summer, but did play the second half of the match against the Czechs.

Virtual locks: Besler, Gonzalez, Cameron, Brooks

In the discussion: Edu, Orozco

Long shots: Packwood, Ream, Schuler, Hedges


Outside backs

At outside back, Klinsmann should also have a number of World Cup veterans to rely on next summer, including DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach) and Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt). The real battle, assuming Klinsmann brings four outside backs and doesn’t decide to count Yedlin or Johnson as a winger, is who gets the fourth spot.

DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo) played well at left back in the World Cup, but may be left behind if Klinsmann opts to look for a younger choice. In his place could step Greg Garza, who has been getting regular minutes with Tijuana in Liga MX and was a second-half substitute in the U.S.’s recent match against the Czechs.

Robbie Rogers, who has been a revelation for the LA Galaxy on the left, could also make for an interesting selection.

After that, Klinsmann could opt for Edgar Castillo (Atlas) or Eric Lichaj. Castillo has never been particularly impressive on the international level as a defender, but does get forward well. For his part, Lichaj has never seemed to be one of Klinsmann’s favorites.

Virtual locks: Yedlin, Johnson, Chandler

In the discussion: Garza, Beasley, Rogers

Long shots: Castillo, Lichaj


Center midfielders

Michael Bradley, despite some ups and downs with Toronto FC and this summer with the U.S. in Brazil, is a lock. It’s also hard to believe that Mix Diskerud, who started the U.S.’s game against the Czech Republic, won’t be in.

After that, it’s a question or whether Klinsmann will value youth, or experience. Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution) and Kyle Beckerman (RSL) both played well in the World Cup and will both be viable options next summer. But both are also unlikely to make it to the 2018 World Cup and will need to be cycled out at some point.

If Klinsmann decides that the future is now, there are a number of interesting choices. Danny Williams, assuming he can get healthy and back to form with Reading, could get on the roster. So too could Emerson Hyndman, who already has five starts this year in the English Championship with Fulham, or Alfredo Morales, who has been a regular for two seasons for Ingolstadt in the 2. Bundesliga. Both Hyndman and Morales also got minutes against the Czechs in the U.S.’s last friendly.

A few other names may also be in the running, including Tigres’ Jose Torres, the Columbus Crew’s Wil Trapp and Wiener Neustadt’s Conor O’Brien. All three seem long shots, but there’s no doubt there will be some major turnover at this position for the U.S. in the next few years.

Finally, Stuart Holden, who is currently a free agent, has been told by Bolton that he can return to their team when ready.

Virtual locks: Bradley, Diskerud

In the discussion: Jones, Beckerman, Williams, Hyndman, Morales

Long shots: Torres, Trapp, O’Brien, Holden


Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

Despite the U.S.’s lack of attacking flair in Brazil this summer, there are a number of exciting options available as the Americans move forward.

Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), who played as a center midfielder in the U.S.’s last friendly, is still firmly in the picture, and it’s likely Klinsmann will continue to look at Graham Zusi (Sporting KC) in the next cycle as well. World Cup veteran Julian Green (Hamburger SV) will also be part of the squad barring injury, or an extremely poor run of form.

One of the most exciting prospects moving forward is Joe Gyau, who recently made his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund and started for the U.S. against the Czechs.

After that it’s a bit of a free-for-all. Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution) has been impressive this season in Major League Soccer and Klinsmann may use a cap or two looking at MLS youngsters Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Luis Gil (RSL), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids) or Nick DeLeon (D.C. United).

Tijuana’s Joe Corona is also still in the picture and his teammate, Paul Arriola, will be looking to break into the squad soon as well. Birmingham’s Brek Shea and 1860 Munich’s Bobby Wood also received call-ups for the U.S.’s last friendly.

Finally, there’s an outside chance Klinsmann could look at Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)—assuming his citizenship pans out in 2015 as planned—or Josh Gatt (Molde), should the latter make a return to form by next summer.

Virtual locks: Bedoya, Zusi, Green

In the discussion: Gyau, Nguyen, Corona, Shea

Long shots: Shipp, Rowe, Gil, Serna, DeLeon, Arriola, Wood, Nagbe, Gatt



At forward, Jozy Altidore, despite his lack of playing time with Sunderland, will be in and likely playing alongside Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders). Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar) and Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig), assuming both return to fitness and form, should also be in.

The rest of the forward pool is full of unknowns. Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) has had an impressive MLS season, but still hasn’t convinced some he is international caliber. Still, expect Klinsmann to give the youngster a look at some point before next summer.

Utrecht’s Rubio Rubin has been getting some starts in the Eredivisie, but with mixed results. Klinsmann could also continue to look at Stanford’s Jordan Morris, who was called up for the U.S.’s last friendly.

Finally, Juan Agudelo, who has been missing in action this club season, could make a return if he can find a new club and consistent playing time, but that seems like a long shot considering his current situation.

Virtual locks: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd

In the discussion: Gyasi Zardes

Long shots: Rubio Rubin, Jordan Morris, Juan Agudelo

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John D. Halloran

In addition to his contributions for Soccer Over There, John also writes for American Soccer Now, The Yanks Are Coming and Bleacher Report.
Categories: 23 Names, US Men's National Team

11 Responses to “23 Names for the 2015 Gold Cup Roster (October Edition)”

  1. Noah says:

    Good list. One note about Nagbe though:

    Nagbe got married in December 2012 to a US citizen, which shortens the wait time for applying to be a citizen to 3 years from that point. So he won’t be eligible until December 2015 at the earliest, and thus won’t be an option for this Gold Cup.

  2. John D. Halloran says:

    Thanks for that. Just found the exact date – 12/15/2015.

  3. Jim says:

    You can’t say that current club form is in any way key, and pick Jozy Altidore. He’s a good player for us, and these are only friendlies…..but Jurgen needs to adjust his criteria, or at least make it consistent.

  4. Gregory says:

    Any predictions on who Jurgen plays out of place and where?

    Jermaine Jones at RB would be extra Jurgen.

  5. Justin says:

    No Wooten as a long shot?

  6. Justin says:

    No Wooten as a long shot?

  7. daniil says:

    too much competition for wooten. we play 1 striker, will put 2 on competition rosters. striker pool right now: altidore, boyd, rubin, morris, agudelo, zardes, wood, parker and possibly johansson.
    zardes, morris, rubin, wood, maybe not as good as wooten right now but probably have higher ceilings

  8. Justin says:

    Parker has no experience with the US team though. It would purely be camp callup, as he would have to submit a one-time switch to play for USMNT. At least Wooten played for the U-23s. Juan doesn’t have a team, so not sure why he’d be called in before Andrew.

  9. Gregory says:

    Parker has zero USA experience, but he has 4 Bundesliga goals.

  10. Dinho says:

    No talk of Ibarra? 🙂

    Go ‘Eaters!

  11. William says:

    Gregory not a fan of Klinsmann still huh…???

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