The past month has been quite eventful in the world of US soccer. Most noteworthy of course, is the hard-earned Gold Cup title, the first for the USMNT since 2007. Of course, hard-earned is a relative term, as a CONCACAF tournament that doesn’t even see the Stars & Stripes to go through Mexico — down as El Tri might be at the moment — is not the staunchest test of skill. Because of that, there is only so much that Jürgen Klinsmann can take away from the title going forward, fun as it was to keep up with.
That said, the squad called in for the tournament was pretty much designed for players to make their case for a flight to Brazil next summer, even if it would be in seat 42D and at the end of the bench. It featured veteran players looking to get one final hurrah (Oguchi Onyewu, Chris Wondolowski) and young guys trying to make a name for themselves (Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, etc.). After 11 straight victories and a number of noteworthy individual performances, some stood out while others had to move to the back of the line again.
Meanwhile, in the midst of the “B-Plus Team’s” run through the minnows, other players were making their case without even suiting up, as John Anthony Brooks and Aron Jóhannsson declared their intent to play for the USMNT.
Needless to say there are some new names — and old ones — on this edition of “23 for 2014.” Did Wondo do enough with six goals in three games to jump onto the roster? Did Mix manage to fight his way through the crowded midfield for the World Cup? If you need to hear our flawed logic, check out the latest episode of our American Soccer Junkies podcast.
The Squad (New Additions in Bold)
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timothy Chandler (Nuremberg), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
Midfielders (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (AS Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (RSC Anderlecht), José Francisco Torres (Tigres), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)
Dropped: Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Herculez Gomez (Tijuana)
What do you think of the latest update? Does the midfield overhaul make the USMNT better? DId any other members of the Gold Cup squad do enough to earn a spot in Brazil? Let us know your picks in the comments.