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Pros and Cons of the USA roster for World Cup qualifying

The good and bad of the squad

Trinidad & Tobago v United States - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images


Good form: Jozy Altidore comes into these games playing some of the best soccer of his life. He scored again last night for Toronto FC, playing a key role in their run to the MLS Eastern Conference finals. Julian Green is growing in confidence, both with the national team and at Bayern Munich. Tim Howard has regained his form and the #1 spot for the U.S.

Cameron Carter-Vickers: The 18-year-old will be joining the senior national team for the first time. He has started to break through at Tottenham Hotspur, making the gameday roster on a regular basis and earning two starts in EFL Cup play. He has featured regularly for U.S. youth national teams, captaining the U20’s last month in a tournament.

Sacha Kljestan: There was some concern about Kljestan’s role with the national team once the stakes rose in the Hex. Hopefully his importance in the last qualifiers and friendlies will continue against Mexico and Costa Rica, he gives the U.S. more options in the attack than anyone else in that position.


Darlington Nagbe situation: It is a shame to see a talented player like Nagbe have negative feelings towards the national team. Personally, he’s a player I think has deserved more of a chance than he has received so far in a national team shirt. It’s not a surprise that he is not part of this roster, but it’s still a shame.

Lots of center backs, few outside backs: This is a constant source of frustration for me with Klinsmann’s rosters. He likes to name lots of center backs who can slide outside, rather than an extra outside back. Is it just that he does not trust anyone at outside back on a regular basis other than Yedlin, Johnson, and maybe Chandler?

Geoff Cameron out due to injury: Cameron has been one of the most important members of the U.S. backline in recent years and his absence will be felt. Thankfully, Klinsmann did not spark a fight between managers by calling the injured center back in as his club manager Mark Hughes previously made his feelings felt about the situation.

What are your pros and cons? Let us know in the comments.