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Projecting the USMNT's roster for World Cup qualifiers in September

Who'll make the cut?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The United States men's national team has two World Cup qualifying matches during the international break at the start of September. The first is an away game to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, hosted in the capital, Kingstown on Friday, September 2. Then, the USMNT heads to Jacksonville, FL to take on current Group C leaders Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, September 6. Here's a look at who I think will be called in.

Goalkeepers (3)

Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids, MLS)

Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough, PL)

Bill Hamid (DC United, MLS)

I expect Klinsmann to be pretty conservative at 'keeper. His clear top two choice are Howard and Guzan, and I expect that to remain set. Hamid was the first choice as the third keeper before the Copa America Centenario, but dropped out due to injury. Frankly, I would like to see the USMNT switch up the starting spot for keeper and give Hamid, Ethan Horvath, or Zack Steffen a shot. But that probably won't happen. Probably.

Defenders (7)

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham, PL)

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City, MLS)

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City, PL)

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin, BUN)

Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt, BUN)

Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach, BUN)

Steve Birnbaum (DC United, MLS)

After the solid Copa America showing from the center backs, I expect the partnership of Cameron and Brooks to continue. The rest of the defense from the Copa similarly follows suit, with the exception of Orozco, who is left out. I don't know what Klinsmann sees in Chandler, but I expect him to be back in the lineup after his replacement, Edgar Castillo, failed to play a minute in the Copa.

Midfielders (8)

Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union, MLS)

Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, MLS)

Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids, MLS)

Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers, MLS)

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, BUN)

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City, MLS)

Emerson Hyndman (Bournemouth AFC, PL)

Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian, SPL)

Michael Bradley is Klinsmann's captain, while Jones has seen his career revitalized at 34. Bedoya remains the glue that makes any USMNT midfield work. Nagbe and Pulisic return as the "proclaimed future" of the USMNT, while Zusi returns as a sort of security blanket. The manager had enough faith to call up Kitchen in the Copa, so I have faith that he'll get called up here. Emerson Hyndman is probably the most controversial choice. I took a gamble and named him over Beckerman and Williams. Beckerman looked done to me when he took the field in June, and I hope that Klinsmann saw it too.

Forwards (5)

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders, MLS)

Bobby Wood (Hamburg, BUN)

Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders, MLS)

Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy, MLS)

Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC, MLS)

Dempsey, Wood, and Zardes are obvious picks for the USMNT (even if I, and many others, wish Deuce would sit out). Altidore has returned from injury and has scored 4 goals in 5 games for Toronto, mostly from the bench. The only outlier is Jordan Morris who was dropped for the Copa America Centenario in favor of Wondolowski. Wondo was terrible and Klinsmann got skewered for his choice, while Morris has continued to play well in MLS. Look to see that change be made for the upcoming qualifiers.


These are the last two matches before the Hexagonal. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have lost every single qualifying match, scoring only 3 goals and allowing 19 along the way. In the reverse fixture, the USMNT won 6-1. In the away match against Trinidad and Tobago, the US were held to a scoreless draw. If the USMNT can win at least 4 points, they are guaranteed to advance to the Hexagonal. Depending on the result in the match between Guatemala (the fourth team in the group) and Trinidad and Tobago, the US could only need 3 points to advance. However, the USMNT are far and away favorites in both matches. The team is expected to win both by at least a comfortable margin.