Joshua Gatt

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Minnesota United signs Gatt, trades for GK Shuttleworth

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Minnesota United added two significant pieces to their inaugural run in Major League Soccer on Wednesday.

First, the club signed USMNT winger Joshua Gatt from Molde, who signed him under former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

The 25-year-old Michigan native left the States in 2010, but has dealt with myriad injuries and was limited to just two caps with the national team.

[ MORE: NYCFC signs new DP ]

Joining Gatt in Minnesota is longtime New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who had been with the Revolution since 2009. The Loons sent Femi Hollinger-Janzen the other way.

Shuttleworth, 29, posted 34 clean sheets in 127 appearances for New England, starting in an MLS Cup Final.

Minnesota has three other goalkeepers on the roster in Swedish veteran John Rune Alvbage, well-traveled Patrick McLain, and Wake Forest standout Alec Ferrell.

The moves add differing reasons to feel good about the Loons. Shuttleworth will bring loads of MLS experience to the expansion team, while Gatt’s potential is huge if he can remain healthy.

Klinsmann talks USMNT player form, laments Gyau, Boyd, Gatt injuries

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As we wait for Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster call-ups for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala, the USMNT boss has given us a few names — albeit mostly obvious ones — in an interview on USSoccer.com.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Klinsmann says injured striker Jozy Altidore is coming with the team, while implying that usual obvious choices Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson and John Brooks will join red-hot Bobby Wood on the squad.

He also mentions players we haven’t seen in a while — or at all — as on his radar despite long-term injuries.

From USSoccer.com:

“We have players that are injured a bit longer than we thought. We feel for them, but we are also waiting for them, players like Terrence Boyd, like Joe Gyau, like Josh Gatt, or even Aron Johannsson out for a couple months. These players are not forgotten. They play a wider role in building our group, our core, for 2018 in Russia. So hopefully they get back on track as quickly as possible. But in the short run, like a hamstring with Jozy, we will manage it, we will make the best out of it, but it has an effect on the roster. There’s no doubt about it.”

To be fair to Klinsmann, that’s a good portion of an entire generation of potentially-impactful U.S. attackers there. Molde winger Gatt is back running after a third knee surgery in September, while the promising Gyau hasn’t played for the U.S. since tearing a meniscus against Ecuador in October 2014. Boyd had a small setback in his recovery when he had a cyst removed from his knee last month.

Wins in both matches will assure the States a spot in the Hex, which begins in November and will include six CONCACAF sides battling for three automatic berths in the 2018 World Cup (plus one inter-continental playoff berth versus Asia’s fifth-place side).

[ MORE: Fellaini defends himself against “thug” label ]

The U.S. is level on points with Trinidad and Tobago but leading on goal differential after a win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and a draw with T&T. Those latter two will play twice in the same window, and T&T will be expected to win both.

The States beat and drew Guatemala in the third round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, but needed to sweat out the round after entering the final match day with advancement in question. Klinsmann knows the challenge ahead in Guatemala City (March 25) before the home leg in Columbus four days later.

U.S. World Cup roster examination – Who is going to Brazil?: MIDFIELDERS

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Sometimes the choices can be confusing … and sometimes they can get downright dizzying.

When it comes to the U.S. midfield, there are so man moving parts at work here, easily more than any other position in the U.S player pool, so many ways Jurgen Klinsmann can configure his midfield personnel.

For starters, does he want to go back to something that looks more like a modified 4-3-3, which seems to be the U.S. manager’s preferred structure? That might mean trying to “force” a winger or two onto the roster, even if they haven’t exactly shined consistently.

Then he has a handful of midfield figures with talent, but also with flaws affixed to their games; so which flaws are less flawed than others? And how does that choic tie back into the formation discussion?

Similarly, he has several versatile men, Mix Diskerud and Sacha Kljestan as the best examples. Does he arrange a system more friendly to interchangeable parts or rely more on the specialists? How do these other choices affect whether Klinsmann takes an extra defensive midfield specialist (Kyle Beckerman?) or perhaps an extra attacking midfield type (Jose Torres or Joe Corona?).

Speaking of specialists, what about Brek Shea, a real wild card here, one of the few men in the U.S. pool who can motor past someone on the flanks. But wouldn’t Shea, still languishing on Mark Hughes’ bench at Stoke, come with his own issues?

And then there are the ‘tweeners, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. At some point, this is just an academic exercise; what does it really matter whether Donovan or Dempsey are listed as “midfielders” or “forwards?”

Then again, how these guys are ultimately used (more than their technical roster designation) does begin impacting the fates of others.

It’s all quite interesting, not to mention a big overwhelming, no?

MIDFIELDERS

(Estimated number of spot available: 8-9)

Start making plans, guys … you’re going to Brazil!: Graham Zusi, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan

Truly, those are the only figures who can tell their friends and families to start looking for good flight deals. Everyone else (and there’s a lot of “everyone else” here) is wading around in the mire of Klinsmann’s ample wiggle room.

Bradley (pictured) is this team’s most irreplaceable part. Period.

source:

Jones is on the charter – whether you like it or not. His turnovers are maddening. He’s a bad foul waiting to happen. He cannot be trusted to faithfully, consistently keep that screening position, sometimes bursting forward imprudently and forcing Bradley to make the fierce recovery run. We all know that. So does Klinsmann.

But the manager has long adjudged Jones’ leadership and contagious fearlessness as highly worthwhile, so he tolerates the man’s flaws.

Zusi? The only debate is whether he’s a starter; the creativity and speed of thoughts at international level can sometimes suffer, but his technical work is so usefully smooth. Some of that choice (starter or backup?) depends on how Klinsmann uses Donovan.

Speaking of “using Donovan:” His best spot is second forward, running off the target striker. But who can provide a little speed on the flank? Because Zusi just doesn’t have that one-on-one burner pace. Not that Donovan has much of it, not anymore, but he does have that signature burst.

Klinsmann has perhaps10-plus options for four or five spots, based on the men called into matches this year. (Remember, he has said there “aren’t many surprises coming around the corner.” Translation: If someone is healthy but wasn’t called for any of the recent qualifiers, his World Cup hopes would be better aimed toward 2014.)

Bedoya’s usage over the last five days is pretty interesting. If you look at the guy’s body of work, his best days were against that jayvee level Gold Cup opposition. He doesn’t really scream “international caliber,” does he? And yet, Klinsmann’s decision to give Bedoya two starts seems to underscore the manager’s desperation to find some flank play.

Same probably goes for Brad Davis, one of the few professional who seem to be finding their place internationally as he drifts past 30. Again, it’s about the lack of options – and trying hard to find them.

Torres or Corona? Klinsmann will probably take one of them.

Kljestan or Diskerud? Same thing – one goes, and Diskerud is slightly ahead, although Kljestan kept himself in the argument with a decent night in Panama.

Danny Williams, now a lineup fixture at Reading? He was a U.S. starter just one year ago, remember. Injuries and a bad spell allowed Beckerman to lap him in the pool. But what now?

On the bubble: Alejandro Bedoya, Kyle Beckerman, Joe Corona, Brad Davis, Mix Diskerud, Joshua Gatt, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Danny Williams

Still in the conversation … but just barely: Maurice Edu

(MORE: Where the goalkeepers of the U.S. player pool stand) 

(MORE: Where the defenders in the U.S. player pool stand)

National team camp convenes amid injury concerns for Ashe, Gatt

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As the U.S. Men’s National Team convenes upon San Diego ahead of July 9’s Gold Cup opener, new injury concerns cast doubt on two players who were expected to play a part in this month’s even. Unfortunately, though U.S. Soccer acknowledged the ailments in today’s update from San Diego, there are few new developments on the injuries to Corey Ashe and Josh Gatt.

Although he went the full 90 yesterday in New York, Ashe (pictured) was left frustrated in the moments after the game, having to be helped from the field by teammates while hobbled with a leg injury. Having joined his national teammates in San Diego, Ashe has been diagnosed with a thigh contusion and is preliminarily classified as day-to-day.

Gatt’s injury could be more serious, though with results of an MRI still pending, it’s impossible to estimate the damage to his knee. The Molde winger was taken from his Saturday league came just before half time and was evaluated on Sunday. His status for the Gold Cup and beyond is still unknown.

The U.S. is scheduled to play Guatemala on Friday, their only friendly before opening the Gold Cup next Tuesday against Belize in Portland. In between, the players will be subject to the training and testing that have characteristic of Jurgen Klinsmann’s camps. How Ashe and Gatt perform in those sessions could dictate their status for the Gold Cup.

Any prolonged absence would be a significant blow for either player, with the potentially three week-long Gold Cup giving each a chance to not only showcase their talents for Klinsmann but also illustrate how they can assimilate into the team environment. While both have been with the team before — Gatt capped twice; Ashe called in for a friendly before leaving with an injury — those were for shorter stints. Gold Cup call ups (as well as stretches like last month’s qualifying process) give players a chance to settle into a routine with the national team staff, a process particularly valuable for inexperienced players.

On the field, the U.S. may not miss either, with Klinsmann and company having a variety of options at their positions. But for the players, the Gold Cup represents a showcase, one that could win them consideration for the last four World Cup qualifiers as well as, in the long run, Brazil 2014.

Given the places Ashe and Gatt occupy in the national team pecking order, the Gold Cup could be the boost needed to get into the World Cup picture. Injuries would be a major setback.

Joshua Gatt picks up a knee injury abroad

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There isn’t much more information at this point, but the AP is reporting that young winger Joshua Gatt has picked up a knee injury playing for his club Molde in Norway Saturday.

Gatt came off in the 41st minute of Molde’s 3-1 victory over Sarpsborg in the Norwegian Tippeligaen.

Gatt is on the 23-man roster Jurgen Klinsmann selected for the Gold Cup, and the 21-year-old will be evaluated Sunday before the USMNT makes a decision on his status.

It will come as a major blow to the kid if he can’t play in the Gold Cup, as he had tweeted Friday how excited he was to potentially earn his first competitive cap with the United States.

https://twitter.com/JoshuaGatt/status/350583490808528896/

The former Wolverine has appeared in two friendlies this international season.  He came on as a 63rd minute substitute in a friendly against Russia in November for his debut, and got his first start against Canada in January where he came off at halftime.

If Gatt can’t go in the Gold Cup, Graham Zusi or Brad Evans could be poised to replace him.