Los Angeles Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has played with a lot of left backs, so it should carry some weight when the Irish international star makes a recommendation.
And despite only manning the position for a few months, Keane says Robbie Rogers is the real deal.
How good has he been? Keane says Jurgen Klinsmann will call him up if he’s worth his salt.
“For me, he’s been brilliant since he converted to left back,” LA captain Robbie Keane said after Rogers’ finest performance this season, in last weekend’s victory over FC Dallas. “He’s a player who has grown in stature in that position. If you’re looking at the best left backs in the league, certainly he’s up there. There’s no question about that.
“I’m sure if Mr. [Jurgen] Klinsmann was a very, very good manager and watching the games, there’s no question [Rogers] should certainly be in the [US national team] squads. I don’t know when the next game is, but he certainly should be looked at because he’s been brilliant. That’s how much he’s been on, if I’m touting that he should be in the national team.”
What did his coach, Bruce Arena, think? Obviously positive thoughts since he’s the guy who plugged Rogers into the defense back in June:
“The thing about Robbie in that position,” Arena said, “is he’s an excellent defender, which is the No. 1 box you need to check if you’re going to play as a defender, and he does that exceptionally well. The other stuff going forward is just icing on the cake.”
Despite the success of Rogers, but you’d imagine 14 games of career experience at left back won’t overwhelm Klinsmann (though he does think outside the box). Still, it wouldn’t be nuts to see Rogers get a chance at camp, especially considering Klinsmann will swing wing players into the back and vice versa.
Clearly, Klinsmann would prefer to have Fabian Johnson as an option on the left wing rather than use him at left back, and the USMNT isn’t teeming with depth at the position. Many of the Yanks can play that position — Eric Lichaj, Jonathan Spector, Timmy Chandler, Tim Ream, Johnson — but it’s not their primary spot, while DaMarcus Beasley is 32 and prefers wing.
What do you say, USMNT fans? Clearly, Keane’s supporting a teammate and hasn’t been asked by Klinsmann, but are you interested in seeing Rogers get a look at left back?