World Cup Profiles – Group G: United States

11 Jun

usUSA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! Ahem. uslogo I like to face problems head on (I’ve been called combative more than once) so let’s talk about the elephant in the room first.

Jurgen Klinsmann did not name Landon Donovan, perhaps the USA’s most recognizable name, to his final 23 player squad. No matter your opinion on the situation, I think it’s important to point out that Klinsmann picked players that he felt would benefit us most as a whole. And while obviously we have to focus on the here and now, it’s important to continue to build the squad for the future (much like Belgium did in the past few years. We’ll talk about that later). I think Klinsmann’s plan and attitude toward growing the sport as a whole in the United States will benefit the team going forward. The way I see it, it provides a good stepping stone for development of young players leading to competitive professionals down the line. Both individually and as a national team. But basically, he’s the coach and we’re not. (Insert insanely mature and professional act of sticking out my tongue)

Moving on…

Brazil 2014 welcomes the United States to their 10th World Cup and 7th in a row. They played in the first ever World Cup in 1930 earning their best ever finish of 3rd (yes, it shocked even me). In 2010 they (I’m really trying not to use “we” here) topped their group and moved on to the Round of 16 where they were beat by Ghana. And, semi-ironically, it is Ghana that they’ll have to face first in this tournament. It’s a must-win for the United States if they hope to keep momentum and possibly make it out of the group.

In the past the USA has been a team built around a fairly strong counter attack. They were content to sit back and defend. But Klinsmann has brought in a more possession based philosophy that has led to more offensive play. The USA also have a strong team spirit and the underdog mentality could actually help them. We all love a good underdog story, don’t we? The USA lacks in defense (can’t believe I’m saying that). They’re largely inexperienced against high-quality competition and quite disorganized. And after watching their friendly against Turkey (which Lozil was at! Yay! You got to see Nuri!), I would venture to say Klinsmann doesn’t really know who his starting backs are going to be yet.

All eyes will be on Bayern Munich midfielder Julian Green but watch for Fabian Johnson who scored a fabulous goal against Turkey last week. He’s a defender that likes to push forward, though sometimes he leaves gaps in the back. After a beautiful pass by former Roma midfielder Michael Bradley (quite possibly the USA’s best player), he placed a gorgeous shot on the half volley. PLACED. On the HALF VOLLEY. It was a shot even Pipita would have been proud of. Seriously, it was stunning.

The USA will be looking for Jozy Altidore to end his scoreless streak (he hasn’t scored since December but it’s not for lack of trying). And both friendlies played so far (at time of writing) have changed with the introductions of Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson.

United States Squad

Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany)

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)

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

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

For additional information on the United States, including World Cup 2014 match schedule & history check out these links.

– mygypsyspirit

3 Responses to “World Cup Profiles – Group G: United States”

  1. Anonymous June 11, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Gah! Jozy scored two this weekend! I forgot to ask you to update it before you posted it!

    -mygypsyspirit

  2. kfunk22 June 12, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    this post needs more clint dempsey love! he’s been on fire lately, for both club and country! and gosh, was i ever relieved about altidore’s brace –

    re: donovan – sad to see the back of him, sure, but frankly i’m more upset about being subjected to his monotone and insipid commentary on ESPN. ugh.

    • Anonymous June 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

      I adore Deuce! But I was trying to focus on some of the younger talent!

      I’m with you on the commentary. He’s SO boring. He has the personality of a potato.

      -mygypsyspirit

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