With the U.S. Men’s National Team coming to Avaya on March 24th in a must win Hex qualifier against Honduras and a second qualifier versus Panama on March 28th in Panama, USMNT Head Coach Bruce Arena announced his preliminary roster.
- Forwards: Altidore, Dempsey, Morris, Wood
- Mids: Acosta, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Fab Johnson, Lletget, McCarty, Nagbe, Pulisic
- Defenders: Beasley, Brooks, Cameron, Gonzalez, Orozco, Ream, Villafaña, Zimmerman
- Goalies: Howard, Guzan, Rimando
The roster looks eerily similar to the squad that lost its first two qualifiers, including the 4-0 trashing by Los Ticos. Arena gave nods to a few younger players (Kellyn Acosta, Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, John Brooks, Walker Zimmerman), but the same faces that have been part of a deteriorating USMNT team since 2014 are still getting nods: Beasley, Bedoya, Bradley, Cameron, Dempsey, Guzan, Jones. I was hoping a Klinsmann-esque roster would have gone out with Jurgen, I was wrong.
Beasley: 34 years old. Seriously? Better option: play Yedlin as a inverted left-back. It may not be his natural position, but he’s got speed and experience. Or Zusi . . .
Bedoya: 57 caps, two goals. Why is he even considered for the team when Kljestan is available? Better option: Kljestan.
Bradley: Part of a Toronto FC team with Italian sensation Sebastian Giovinco that cannot win a title. Bradley is a total farce. The only reason Bradley is on the team is because his dad was named the USMNT coach in 2006, who put him on the team for his first cap. He happened to have World Cup success in South Africa (thanks in large part to Landon Donovan). Prior to that, Bradley barely got any caps with the U.S. youth teams, and hasn’t put up any mind-blowing numbers at any of the clubs he played. Better option as a defensive mid: Graham Zusi. Experienced at both fullback and midfielder.
Dempsey: The dude is just getting back into shape, and ain’t getting any younger. Better option: Julian Green. I’m hoping Morris gets his minutes and Dempsey never sees the pitch.
Geoff Cameron: Meh, the U.S. is really lacking in defenders. I’m just hoping Brooks and Zimmerman get quality minutes over Cameron.
Guzan: I don’t buy the hype that just because a guy plays in England, he’s USMNT gold. Guzan was the heir-apparent for Tim Howard, but never really materialized. Take your pick: Robles, Melia, Bingham.
Jones: 35 years old, and JJJ has never impressed me. What did he do in Frankfurt? Schalke 04? New England? Colorado? Not much. He is a wreckless player that seems to collect more cards than goals. In fact, he’s ineligible to play versus Honduras due to a red card suspension. Better option: Matt Besler.