Daily Archives: May 23, 2014

He’s Got 23 Tickets to Soccer Paradise

No Brad Evans.

No Clarence Goodson.

No Terrence Boyd.

No Michael Parkhurst.

No Landon Donovan.

These five players did not receive itinerary for Brazil. The omission of Landon Donovan from the final 23-man roster was the most shocking, but the other four left-out are curious and telling as well.

Coach Klinsmann is taking a chance with his back four, especially with the inclusion of Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron and DaMarcus Beasley (presumed 3 of the 4 starters). You can guarantee that if Beasley starts (who likely replaced Parkhurst or Evans), Ghana, Portugal and Germany will attack on that flank all game long. And they’ll only need to convert one chance on Beasley’s side to potentially sink the United States. Trading defense for a chance offensive counter-attack. Good decision?

No Goodson in the middle of the defense? Anybody else remember Jay DeMerit back in 2010? I do. It was embarrassing. There has to be a solid presence directly in front of Howard. Period. Goodson could have played that role. One concern is that both Gonzalez and Cameron have been caught off-guard on more than one occasion on the national team as central defenders…

No Terrence Boyd? It would have been fun to see a true forward come in late in a game and play without fear of his opponent, which seems to be the style of Boyd. He’s also athletic and can score in a variety of ways. They’ll need that presence in all three of their games and it seems like he would have been a logical option to come off the bench for the Americans.

And now Donovan.

Admittedly, I have criticized Donovan in the past for getting lost in big games, including 15 to 20-minute intervals at any given time. He never seems to play in just one position either, which contributed to the need for a GPS tracker to be wrapped on his ankle. Regardless, he is the leading scorer in USMNT history (57) and the leading scorer in World Cups (5), he has serious wheels, he can shoot and pass with precision, he’s won championships and this was his last shot at playing in a World Cup. Granted, he’s played in three World Cups already, but this was it. He’s done now with the USMNT. He’s 32. If he didn’t make it this time, there’s zero chance of him making the squad in four years. Klinsmann has made that clear.

The U.S. is still sending some talented players to Brazil (Tim Howard, John Brooks, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green, Graham Zusi, Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson and Clint Dempsey), but why not include Donovan? Even as a super sub (Algeria, Algeria, Algeria…)? It’s one spot. He’s easily better than half of the players who made the final roster. It makes no sense. There’s no logic to it, except if there’s some sort of personal issue between Donovan and Klinsmann. Either way, it’s just downright confusing.

This is only a quick reaction to the roster news that broke last night. There will be plenty more in-depth analysis between now and the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil right here at Jimmy’s Daily Planet for the United State and the rest of the talent-heavy field.

There were good selections and bad omissions on USMNT final roster.

In about a month, we’ll find out if Klinsmann handed out the right 23 tickets that made his trip to Brazil either paradise or a nightmare.