The Johnny Cash cover of Hurt still reverberates...any solace taken in being the answer to a trivia question?
At least we have the distraction of friendlies this week to help us forget, but it would have been nice if Jurgen Klinsmann would have given Matt Hedges an invite this week (seriously, what's it going to take). Here's the 25 man, facing up against Robbie Keane's Ireland and favored World Cup dark horses Colombia:
Defenders: Damarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
The defense is remarkably stable with this roster. We have the four bald/very well-shorn heirs to the Keller/Friedel/Keller/Howard lineage of keepers that England wishes they could naturalize for future World Cups. Regardless, we'll have a stud for the next
one million four years.
Of the nine defenders, eight of them were in Brazil, seven played well, and Garza (the lone World Cup absentee) has shown real promise in a position (left back) that has been a weak point for the USMNT. I want to see Matt Hedges get capped
now, sooner than later, eventually but I understand why he'll have to wait until January with this roster. Given his pack of goodies, he'll be in the mix if he stays healthy.
The midfield and attacker makeup are where we find the real head-scratchers.
1. Beckerman and Wondo. And Beasley to a lesser extent- I know some vets are useful in the process, but what does the US gain from having these 3 greybeards playing against Colombia and/or Ireland? Give me Will Trapp, Gyasi Zardes, and Robbie Rogers, please.
2. Nguyen-Win situation. Kudos to Lee taking the road
never ever less traveled to re-inject himself into the national team conversation. I'll be extremely interested to see how he's deployed in the next 7 days after a stellar season in MLS.
3. Nguyen guaranteed. But who else? The changing of the guard is a real thing. We'll see Lee, but is this the time we actually see Rubin, Morris, and/or Ibarra? For all of the old salt in the rear, it seems a foregone conclusion that we'll see some serious new blood against some tough competition. Will we see some late additions to the attack now that there's 4 left in the MLS playoffs? One more swan song for Donovan? A girl can dream...
Bonus Youth report: If anyone is not following the legendary Brian Sciaretta at this point, then you missed out on an ad hoc ticker from the Marabella Tournament where the 10 man Youth Yanks were busy winning their opening match against Russia, 4-3. The depth of the pool at this level is massively different than in years past. With the exception of Shaquell Moore (who might look pretty awesome in Hoops), the entirety of the roster is under professional contract. Keep your eyes peeled on this group (and several guys in the pool otherwise occupied) as it's almost assured that Klinsy brings some of these guys to Russia.
I'll be catching both of these games on replay, but honestly, I'd probably pass if we'd beaten Seattle.