If you are a U.S. center back not named Matt Besler or Omar Gonzalez, you cannot be feeling too great today.
We always knew that U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann had the option of making up to four roster changes after group play in the ongoing Gold Cup.
Given a bit of flagging creativity during three group stage contests, there were some indication that perhaps a playmaker (i.e., Graham Zusi) might be summoned for the elimination stage.
But it landed as a surprise when Klinsmann added not one, but two center backs. Any way you slice it, that’s not great news for the guys now offering depth behind the two U.S. starters in central defense.
Oguchi Onyewu (pictured) was one of the four players released, along with Corey Ashe, Herculez Gomez, Jack McInerney.
Clarence Goodson may be that Klinsmann still trusts; he was among the top U.S. players in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica. Onyewu had little to do in his one Gold Cup start, and yet still managed to be on the hook (along with Edgar Castillo) for a Cuban goal.
Michael Orozco’s place on the team may be slipping, too. There’s still time to look at other center backs ahead of next year’s World Cup, although not much. Tim Ream is still out there, prepping for his next season at Bolton. And FC Dallas’ George John looks healthy again after a recent injury.
As for Klinsmann’s apparent disappointment, we could probably say the same thing for forwards, since the U.S. manager also added a pair of frontrunners (Alan Gordon and Eddie Johnson). This one is slightly different, however, since a bothersome knee issue had something to do with Gomez’s departure.
And McInerney was always a different situation; the young Philadelphia Union striker’s first mutual look at a U.S. camp was sure to include a period of adjustment.