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The Yanks are Coming (#MURICA) (The Official USMNT World Cup Thread)


Uncle_Sam

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The 30-Man Preliminary Squad:

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)

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Some tough choices there, especially up front. The only obvious drop at forward is Wondolowski.

In midfield you drop Davis, probably Beckerman, and I would drop Diskerud but Klinsmann won't. Corona probably gets dropped. I drop Parkhurst and Evans from the back, and probably Yedlin. I know Brooks and Green probably won't feature much but I want them on the plane. They're the future and they're probably better than the guys you're dropping to get them in anyway.

So the Uncle Sam final 23:

GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando

D: Beasley, Besler, Cameron, Gonzalez, Brooks, Chandler, Goodson, FJohnson

M: Bedoya, Bradley, Corona (but it will probably be Diskerud instead), Edu, Green, Jones, Zusi

F: Altidore, Boyd, Dempsey, Donovan, Johnansson

Donovan and Dempsey can play in the midfield also.

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Great opening post. :D

About the character there (Merica Zord):

With the powers of America combined the mighty Merica Zord has the power to save the world like nothing else. Combining the powers of beer,burgers, pick up trucks, bald eagles the statue of liberty and the American Flag the whole world kneels to its power. This illustration shows the Merica Zord armed for glorious combat in the open desert in classic comic fashion.
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Some tough choices there, especially up front. The only obvious drop at forward is Wondolowski.

In midfield you drop Davis, probably Beckerman, and I would drop Diskerud but Klinsmann won't. Corona probably gets dropped. I drop Parkhurst and Evans from the back, and probably Yedlin. I know Brooks and Green probably won't feature much but I want them on the plane. They're the future and they're probably better than the guys you're dropping to get them in anyway.

So the Uncle Sam final 23:

GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando

D: Beasley, Besler, Cameron, Gonzalez, Brooks, Chandler, Goodson, FJohnson

M: Bedoya, Bradley, Corona (but it will probably be Diskerud instead), Edu, Green, Jones, Zusi

F: Altidore, Boyd, Dempsey, Donovan, Johnansson

Donovan and Dempsey can play in the midfield also.

I could maybe see Beckerman in place of Edu or the Corona/Dix combination, but otherwise I think you've probably nailed it.

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I don't much like this squad. Third in the group is pretty much our ceiling, I'd say. That back line looks pretty shaky.

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I could maybe see Beckerman in place of Edu or the Corona/Dix combination, but otherwise I think you've probably nailed it.
Yea, I suppose I'd rather they take Beckerman over Edu, but neither player is that good really. Beckerman is a decent ball winner against CONCACAF opponents but he would be hilariously exposed by the likes of Germany and Portugal, and probably Ghana too.
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I don't much like this squad. Third in the group is pretty much our ceiling, I'd say. That back line looks pretty shaky.

There is some potential there for 2018, but yea, this year we'll likely get shredded up back there. Still, crazy things happen. Our back line was shaky headed into 2002, so I guess you never know.

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Probably will be actually. It's more of a commentary of our forward situation than on his quality. Most people seem to think that this season was just a lot of bad luck and possibly a bad situation for him. I'm not sure, but he is probably our best #9, regardless of form.

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I honestly haven't seen him at Puebla so I don't know what he plays there, but Beasley has been playing left back for the US for the last few years. That experiment actually was started by Bradley.

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Altidore has been by far our best striker. It would be shocking if he didn't start every match. It's pretty clear he doesn't belong in England, but he's been excellent everywhere else he's played.

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Yea, it's also worth mentioning that he's been on two awful teams in England. Strikers have to have help behind them. I'm not saying it means he's world class, but it could be a factor in his poor results in England.

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I think Altidore is out of place in England, might be a step too high for him. Was pretty good in Holland, so he should focus on a bigger club in Holland/Belgium/Portugal or get himself into France.

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Altidore :D

Please tell me he's not a first teamer?

I hope people keep underestimating him. he's clearly not a world beater, but he's been stuck in terrible teams in both of his premier league stints so everybody thinks he's ****. it's no surprise that he actually does well when he's not surrounded by **** teammates.

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Yea, he's obviously not world class but he hasn't had very good squads behind him in England. Put him on Man City's squad and he may not have as many goals as Toure or Aguero but he would have more than he has with Sunderland.

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Without swearing, I agree. It's so easy to say: my grandma could do better. Altidore performed well in Holland, so we have to give him credit for that. Dutch league in seems his level, so he'll be able to put in performanced against teams like Ghana as well.

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Altidore should be decent indeed, he definitely did good at AZ. Interesting to see how Aron Johansson will play too.

What's the expected line-up?

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Altidore should be decent indeed, he definitely did good at AZ. Interesting to see how Aron Johansson will play too.

What's the expected line-up?

Honestly, the only certainties in the first XI are Howard, Bradley, and probably Dempsey. Pretty much every other position is up for grabs for one reason or another. I'm not even sure of the formation to be honest. During qualifying JK employed a 4-2-3-1 and various versions of a 4-4-2.

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Besler is probably pretty certain to be starting in defense, too.

The most likely starting XI (in my opinion, of course, and not necessarily the lineup I want to see)

GK: Howard

RB: Chandler

CB: Besler

CB: Gonzalez

LB: Fabian Johnson

CM: Bradley

CM: Jones

RM: Dempsey

LM: Bedoya (or Donovan if he can be bothered to get into form)

ST: Johannson

ST: Altidore

Johannson playing deeper than Altidore and interchanging fairly frequently with Dempsey and Bedoya/Donovan.

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That's a likely lineup but to be honest I think Chandler has got work to do. He's the best option in my opinion but he's the prodigal son while Cameron and Evans (bleh, stiff) have done the work. Bedoya is another one I'm not sure about. I could easily see JK going with Zusi or even Donovan. Klinsmann may also decide that Jones is too reckless and insert Beckerman.

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Does Onyewu never get a look in anymore?

Since Gooch won't be there, I'm going to post this video as a tribute to his USMNT career:

[video=youtube_share;vAj5anhJRJg]

Farewell, Gooch

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Landon Donovan NOT on the final 23.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg/Germany), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/Germany), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Julian Green (Bayern Munich/Germany), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas/Turkey), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland/England), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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There are obviously a couple of selections there I think are terrible. But whatever, that's the team so I'm behind them. Murcia!

With only 4 forwards, I think Klinsmann is going to run with a 4-2-3-1.

Altidore and Wondowlowski are target forwards. Deuce can play as an attacking midfielder (in FM parlance). Johannsson probably for one of the wings.

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Beat Ghana, draw Portugal and don't lose too heavily to a German side in a game that to them will be a dead rubber. I know it sounds hard but it's possible.

I have no idea why I'm suddenly so confident about the US.

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That's quite shocking dropping Donovan right? Just been reading about it on yahoo.

On a side note, saw a great quote in the comments section on that article: "Hopefully we classify beyond group stage and make a great world cup."

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That's quite shocking dropping Donovan right? Just been reading about it on yahoo.

On a side note, saw a great quote in the comments section on that article: "Hopefully we classify beyond group stage and make a great world cup."

Shocking in terms of how far he's fallen in a few years, yeah, but not shocking in terms of the selection. He simply hasn't played well recently.
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Altidore doesn't have any competition for his role. Donovan has been clearly worse than people like Zusi and Davis and Bedoya.

Look, Klinsmann's made some poor decisions on this roster. Julian Green doesn't make much sense, and cutting Goodson and Parkhurst in favor of Brooks and Yedlin is questionable. But Landon Donovan is a 32-year-old who's seen his form drop off drastically recently. Odds are pretty good that he's done at the top level, and he's never exactly been the most inspirational clubhouse presence, so bringing him to be a backup doesn't make much sense.

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It's like Klinsmann has decided to wave the white flag for this World Cup, is hoping to provide some experience for the 2018 cycle.

Maybe Donovan can't go 90 minutes at this level now, but I have more faith he could find a goal than some of the other picks. Granted, LD is wired differently than most other players, so maybe he didn't want to go at all if he was only going to be a backup/super sub.

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Not to mention Altidore (1 goal in 30 games for Sunderland) is ahead of a USMNT legend. Damn.

Altidore (and Wondolowski, really) is more of a target forward. Depends on service that Sunderland can't/couldn't provide, and that in this group the US will be hardpressed to give him.

(having said that, Donovan hasn't scored for club or country since October)

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Interesting article from Martin Rogers about what may have factored into Klinsmann's decision:

STANFORD, Calif. – Landon Donovan's decline as the United States' greatest soccer player ever ironically began with his adult life's defining moment of personal introspection.

As far back as the 2012 season, Donovan battled some internal struggles, and he vocalized as much during an interview later that year. So it wasn't a surprise when Donovan embarked on a sabbatical from the game that included a trip to Cambodia and saw him miss two months of action with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The recharging of batteries overseas seemed to have renewed Donovan's hunger for soccer, for a while at least. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann dropped him from the U.S. team and made Donovan earn his way back, and the motivational ploy seemed to work when Donovan regained his swashbuckling form during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was recalled for the Americans' remaining World Cup qualifiers.

But before long, the whispers were back, and the questions centered on whether Donovan had the same spring in his step as in those early hungry years of his career. That absence of drive and subsequent lack of form cost the USA's all-time leading scorer a place on Klinsmann's 23-man World Cup roster.

I didn't notice anything different about Donovan until we had a brief conversation in the Galaxy locker room following a game late last season. The tone of Donovan's words were striking in that he was so different than the Donovan I encountered on and off in previous years.

He spoke at some length of his trip to Cambodia, how the process of deciding and booking the trip for himself had been just as cathartic as the actual journey. He also asked about different places I had traveled, a little about the nature of my work and what a typical week involved. To me, his curiousness suggested he was envious less of those who got to travel but of those who got to do regular things for themselves.

Many athletes say they crave a normal existence, but in most cases they just really mean they would like a little more anonymity. At that moment, it felt like Donovan was genuinely wondering what life would have been like without his soccer talent as just a regular guy from California's Inland Empire.

Friends said Donovan was determined to become a better person, or at least a broader one, with a more worldly view and a wider range of experiences. It was said his conversations with many people, from colleagues to club workers and pretty much everyone he encountered, went through a slight but noticeable change in that his focus became more about establishing a connection with people on an intellectual level. Apparent to everyone was Donovan's desire to educate himself and broaden his horizons.

Perspective, experience and an ability to take a wider view can be huge positives for a soccer player. Unfortunately for Donovan, it seems that his interest in everything else may have taken something away from his game.

In interviews during this current Major League Soccer season, Donovan said all the right things publicly, but he appeared from the outside to be struggling to sustain a genuine passion for what he was doing. Klinsmann, in fairness, tried everything to snap him out of it, cajoling and criticizing when needed and giving a very stern and public warning at the start of the current pre-World Cup camp that Donovan's place was far from assured.

That assertion made for good headlines but was widely dismissed because, after all, how could the U.S. drop Donovan? He has been a fixture on the men's national team, and no U.S. fan under voting age remembers a World Cup without him.

Klinsmann said Thursday that other players were "slightly ahead" of Donovan in explaining the stunning omission, but he is no fool. He would have needed real, convincing and compelling reasons to take this action. Training sessions at Stanford are closed so information is limited, but word leaked out that Michael Bradley had won the grueling "beep" test last week, a physical challenge normally won by Donovan at past U.S. camps.

Klinsmann's choice could be seen as daring. There are plenty of international coaches who would have taken the big-name star regardless of form, knowing that to omit him would bring a torrent of doubt and controversy. But if Klinsmann was convinced in his mind that the player wasn't in the right place mentally, or didn't have the physical platform of fitness needed to get through a trying tournament, then in reality the decision was made for him.

Either way, Donovan was headed back to his home in Manhattan Beach on Thursday, and back to the Galaxy, which plays against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night. He is a complex man, who may never be fully understood and might some day write an autobiography that will be well worth reading.

At some point, Donovan realized soccer is not everything, that life offers other treats that can be worth his time and attention. Perhaps in the end, the events of Thursday were the price that had to be paid for that fresh outlook.

But that is an approach that leads to a clearer mind and a greater sense of happiness, then the current disappointment he feels might just be worth it.

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Here's Kinsmann addressing the team after the squad decisions.

Squad Decision Talk

Edit: And I think the article makes a valid point about having the 23 best athletes and not just 23 best players. This will be a grueling WC with all of the travel and heat, and Donovan himself has verbally conceded his body's performance to his age. I think he could overcome that with the right mentality, but I don't think he has it anymore.

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FACKT: donovan was no longer starting XI quality

FACKT: at best, he would serve a "super sub" role that some other players (johannsson, mixx) might already surpass him

so if he's not an automatic starter, and he's not automatic to come off the bench, then why take the 32 old pouty, out of shape, out of form player who has STATED PUBLICLY he's having difficulties finding his legs and being motivated to train? dumb journos and their tiny freaking brains have tried (mostly successfully) to turn this into a win now/play for 2018 binary choice. klinsi's picked his best players to win now, and at the back of the bench he's put the guys for the future to learn.

you didn't see all this crying when bob took jozy instead of brian ****ing ching

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