United States national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann has this evening announced his preliminary 30-man squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. It is a squad full to the brim with talent however the most notable exclusion is Eddie Johnson, who played a key role in the States qualifying for the tournament itself.
The squad ordered by position is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (11) : DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6) : Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
There are still seven names to be crossed off before the final squad list for the tournament is submitted on June 2nd however the team is taking part in a training camp and a succession of friendly matches before Klinsmann makes a final decision in that regard.
The obvious names are there, the spine of the time. Tim Howard in goal, Michael Bradley in the heart of midfield and Clint Dempsey providing the craft and guile necessary to slot into the link position between the midfield and forward line.
As well as plucking for experience with several of his picks, Klinsmann has put a great deal of trust in youth with particular reference being made to one Julian Green. The eighteen year old was a subject of fierce debate earlier this year when it was announced he would take US citizenship as opposed to German in order to play for the US national team in Brazil this summer.
Green was born in Florida but spent much of his childhood growing up in Germany which enabled him to qualify for German nationality. It was widely reported that the German national team were aware of Green’s progress with Bayern Munich and had him in mind for the future however the player himself cited the positive vibe emitting from the US setup helped him make his choice,
“They’ve [US Players] obviously helped me and have welcomed me very well, Clint Dempsey gave me a jersey and said to me, the team would really like it if I chose the USA. That obviously showed me that they had a lot of trust in me.”
Green is an exciting winger and could have a potential impact for Klinsmann’s side this summer with pace likely to be a real problem for tiring defences in such sizable heat.
The ever reliable Landon Donovan is included once more with the LA Galaxy forward one of a number of today’s squad to be participating in their final World Cup. The work Jurgen Klinsmann has put into US Soccer has thus far been worthwhile with results beginning to show however you get the distinct impressing that this summer’s World Cup is merely the first step on the path towards a more consistently successful US national team with more outstanding players coming through.
Eddie Johnson was America’s third highest scorer in qualifying for the World Cup and was expected to be part of Klinsmann’s squad. It has come as somewhat of a surprise that the D.C. United forward has been omitted completely with the reaction to the decision on social media being one of confusion.
With Johnson at thirty years old it isn’t as if Klinsmann is keeping with a strict policy favouring younger players with Howard, Donovan and Dempsey all involved so you have to imagine there is a specific reason as to why Johnson hasn’t been selected to take part in the United States’ World Cup adventure.
Klinsmann himself spoke of the difficulties he faced in selecting the squad with the former Bayern Munich coach admitting, ‘difficult decisions’ had to be made,
“We had some difficult decisions to make, and we are very excited about the 30 players coming into camp. There is competition in every position, and these next couple of weeks will allow us to make the final determinations on the best 23-man unit to represent the United States in the World Cup.”
The 30-man squad will get the first chance to play together on May 27th when the USA take on Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park with a fixture against Turkey to come just five days after. The final squad to travel to Brazil will then have to be announced.