Jurgen Klinsmann said during his initial roster announcement that he is planning on making “several changes” to the USMNT roster following the match against Ecuador.
A whole bunch of young kids got the call against Ecuador, including Bill Hamid, Joe Gyau, Miguel Ibarra, Luis Gil, and Greg Garza. But others didn’t, and were left off.
Landon Donovan’s farewell is coming up in Hartford, but the United States has another date with Honduras to think about when that is over and done with.
Every player’s club situation is unique, and with that in mind it’s easy to envision a host of roster changes between matches. So, why not speculate what those changes could be? Great question! Let’s have some fun.
[MORE: US releases roster for Ecuador]
Matt Besler – With the ability to bring in several MLS players, Sporting KC players are in a particularly interesting situation. Their next match is – like the US squad – on Friday, giving them the potential to be fit for a call-in to the Tuesday game against Honduras.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann said that a number of the older players aren’t on the roster simply because he wants to give the kids an opportunity. While that may also be the case for Monday, Klinsmann could look to flip some vets out of the roster for some other vets to bring in. It’s unlikely he’d play someone like Omar Gonzalez twice over the weekend, conventional thinking says, so another central defender like Besler could come in.
Fabian Johnson – With the roster release today, Fabian Johnson was left off, and a quick look at the Borussia Monchengladbach fixture list could point to a reason why. With their last match Sunday instead of Saturday, Klinsmann may have decided he wants to give Fabian his run out in the second US match instead of the first. With Greg Garza in the squad, Jurgen may be planning to drop the kid after he plays, and call in a vet in his place for some minutes.
Michael Bradley – One of the MLS players who could come in to replace some European talent, Bradley would be a good be to get some minutes with the senior team to keep up with the guys going forward. Plus, you didn’t hear it here first.
Will Packwood – Klinsmann brought in a host of young defenders for the match in Hartford, but the Birmingham City defender wasn’t among them. He’s been getting regular minutes in the English Championship, but the team hasn’t been doing so great. However, with many of the changes likely to come in the defensive unit, Packwood would be one of the sensible inclusions.
Others: Someone like Kyle Beckerman seems to be potentially in the mix, but Real Salt Lake plays a match on the 17th, just three days after the Honduras match, so he’s less likely to get a call just because of how things shake out. However, Klinsmann did say he might look to fill in spots of some departing European players with a few MLS call-ups, so Beckerman certainly seems to be a guy who could feature. Chris Wondolowski fits that bill too, as does Brad Davis.
Tim Ream – As mentioned above, a number of changes could come in the defensive unit. Ream is playing regularly for Bolton, but much like Packwood, the club is having a horrid season so far. Klinsmann may look to bring one in and ship the other out to get an up-close look at both, so that change is logical.
Joe Corona and Greg Garza – They’re not in Europe, but the pair are teammates in the Liga MX. Their team Tijuana plays the next Friday, earlier than most other European games, so they could be prime candidates to make room for MLS players between games. If this is the plan, it’s likely we’ll see Garza play in Hartford to get a look at his ability.
Miguel Ibarra – The NASL sensation was a shock inclusion, but his team Minnesota United has a match next Wednesday, so Klinsmann would likely want him for a go in Hartford, say “well done lad” and ship him back to his club team.
Brad Guzan – The Aston Villa starter is the favorite to start in goal against Ecuador, but it would be surprising to see him go more than a half. At 32 years old and Klinsmann stating he could ship players back to Europe between matches, Guzan is a likely candidate. It would allow the US to run out a younger goalkeeper – or a few – for most of the minutes.