USMNT Releases Roster For Czech Republic Friendly
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The United States Soccer Federation and United States Men’s National Team Manager Jurgen Klinsmann announced on Thursday the squad that will represent the United States in their upcoming international friendly with the Czech Republic scheduled to take place next Wednesday afternoon in Prague. The squad is a very young and inexperienced as one would expect following the FIFA World Cup and there are plenty of names that opened a few eyes.
The first thing that is noticed is that only one player from Major League Soccer was called into this squad which was expected given that the match is in mid-week in Europe during the stretch run to the postseason. Other than that it was a nice mixture of players from clubs in England, Germany and Mexico that made up that squad.
Brad Guzan — Aston Villa (England) 25 caps, 29 years old
Nick Rimando — Real Salt Lake (United States) 14 caps, 35 years old
Cody Cropper — Southampton (England) 0 caps, 21 years old
Klinsmann pretty much had no choice but to bring Nick Rimando over as well. Tim Howard has decided to take a break from international football which is well-deserved and much needed especially at his age. Looking abroad though, other than Howard, Guzan and Cropper, there really are not many American goalkeepers out there. On top of that, there really aren’t any besides Cropper that could have a legitimate claim on the number one spot moving forward.
There are two goalkeepers that come to mind who could have possibly been the choice that allowed Rimando to stay in the United States but both have their major flaws. The first is French-American goalkeeper Quentin Westberg of US Luzenac. Westberg represented the United States at the youth levels but has not developed into a top-tier goalkeeper. He has spent all of his career bouncing around in the French Ligue system. On top of that, Westberg is currently 28 years old meaning that he’d probably only be good for one World Cup cycle.
The other goalkeeper is Kevin Piedrahita, he is a 23-year-old American of Colombian descent who plays his football in the First Division in Colombia for Aguilas Doradas. While he has the youth on his side, he does not have much experience considering he is the backup goalkeeper for his club.
The expectation is that Guzan will start with Rimando and Cropper following him in that order on the depth chart.
Geoff Cameron — Stoke City (England) 30 caps, 29 years old
Fabian Johnson — Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany) 26 caps, 26 years old
Timothy Chandler — Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany) 13 caps, 24 years old
Michael Orozco — Puebla (Mexico) 11 caps, 28 years old
Tim Ream — Bolton Wanderers (England) 8 caps, 26 years old
John Brooks — Hertha Berlin (Germany) 5 caps, 21 years old
Greg Garza — Club Tijuana (Mexico) 0 caps, 23 years old
The biggest question coming in for this group will be whether or not Geoff Cameron is able to play. He suffered an injury during a Capital One Cup match for Stoke City against Portsmouth on Wednesday; it is likely that he will miss this weekend’s action for his club. That could mean extended playing time for Tim Ream or Michael Orozco pairing up with John Brooks in the center-back spot unless Klinsmann decides to bring in a replacement.
Alejandro Bedoya — Nantes (France) 32 caps, 27 years old
Mix Diskerud — Rosenborg (Norway) 20 caps, 23 years old
Brek Shea — Stoke City (England) 26 caps, 24 years old
Joe Corona — Club Tijuana (Mexico) 11 caps, 24 years old
Julian Green — Bayern Munich (Germany) 3 caps, 19 years old
Alfredo Morales — Ingolstadt 04 (Germany) 1 cap, 24 years old
Emerson Hyndman — Fulham (England) 0 caps, 18 years old
It will be very interesting to see how Klinsmann decides to lineup the midfield. Looking at the group that he has he could use Diskerud and Morales as the two defensive midfielders with Diskerud being allowed more freedom forward. It is more likely that we’ll see a flat four in the midfield for this match.
Jozy Altidore — Sunderland (England) 71 caps, 24 years old
Bobby Wood — TSV 1860 Munich (Germany) 1 cap, 21 years old
Joe Gyau — Borussia Dortmund (Germany) 0 caps, 21 years old
Jordan Morris — University of Stanford (United States) 0 caps, 19 years old
Rubio Rubin — FC Utrecht (Netherlands) 0 caps, 18 years old
Jozy and ____? Your guess is as good as mine. Overall it is a very young group of kids that will be looking for make a mark for future use on the USMNT.
Matthew Evans is an editor and writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google