db11
Well, after dropping the first two Hex matches in ugly fashion (and jettisoning Herr Klinsmann, while bringing back Bruce Arena), the USMNT finds themselves needing to get at least four, but preferably all six points from their upcoming matches at home vs. Honduras and away to Panama.

Here's the roster for these two matches (Club/Country/WCQ Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/ENG; 13/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 33/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER; 2/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 19/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 12/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 2/0), Jorge Villafa?a (Santos Laguna/MEX; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 1/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 6/0, Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 31/5), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy; 16/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia M?nchengladbach/GER; 15/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 0/0), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 3/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 5/2)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 33/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 36/13), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 8/3)

I, for one, aren't terribly confident, but I guess we'll see.
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db11
diener34 wrote:
My dumb soccer opinion based on what I'd like to see. For all I know this wouldn't even be feasible, heck even a 3-4-3 could be neat to see. I just want to see more punch on offense. Might as well lose 4-3 to if you are just going to lose 2-1 anyway. I'm sure I got some of these guys lined up incorrectly right-left, but you get the idea.

Guzan

Beasley - Brooks - Cameron - Gonzalez

Nagbe - Bradley - Pulisic

Altidore - Dempsey - Wood


OG wouldn't play outside. Cameron might. That could work against these opponents, but I'd think you'd want Johnson at LB making overlapping runs in this formation.
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db11
And so it begins...Fabian Johnson subbed off for Monchengladbach today after 15 minutes with yet another hamstring injury. This guy puts Clay Matthews to shame.

Guessing Kljestan or Feilhaber gets the call, and Pulisic slides back outside.
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diener34
My dumb soccer opinion based on what I'd like to see. For all I know this wouldn't even be feasible, heck even a 3-4-3 could be neat to see. I just want to see more punch on offense. Might as well lose 4-3 to if you are just going to lose 2-1 anyway. I'm sure I got some of these guys lined up incorrectly right-left, but you get the idea.

Guzan

Beasley - Brooks - Cameron - Gonzalez

Nagbe - Bradley - Pulisic

Altidore - Dempsey - Wood
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db11
Brad Guzan, expecting his second child any day now, will not be in camp, and has been replaced by San Jose Earthquakes GK David Bingham.
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-Pat McAfee
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db11
db11 wrote:
And so it begins...Fabian Johnson subbed off for Monchengladbach today after 15 minutes with yet another hamstring injury. This guy puts Clay Matthews to shame.

Guessing Kljestan or Feilhaber gets the call, and Pulisic slides back outside.


Graham Zusi was called in.

And now for the real killer...Bobby Wood is out with a mysterious back injury. Sacha Kljestan will replace him.

Matt Besler was also added to the camp roster.

The road gets rockier...
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db11
With Jordan Morris dealing with an ankle injury, and Clint Dempsey not quite up to 100% after off-season issues with heart problems, the Teflon man, Chris Wondolowski has been added to camp. The camp roster now stands at 26, with Jermaine Jones suspended for the Honduras match.
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db11
United States 6
Honduras 0

Final

Yeah...that was something. Completely flipped an awful goal differential in one game. Masterful performances from Pulisic, Altidore and Dempsey, the latter with a hat trick, including a brilliant free kick for the final goal. Defense a bit shaky at times with a lot of slips on slick field. Still not sold on Brooks with anyone but Cameron in the center.

It's only half the job though, a trip to Central America awaits. Those are never fun.
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db11
Some roster moves ahead of the Panama match. Paul Arriola has been added to the midfield while Sebastian Lletget, John Brooks, Michael Orozco and Jordan Morris have been released back to their clubs.

Lletget, who scored the opening goal last night, suffered an ankle injury from a rough tackle shortly thereafter. Brooks has been dealing with a sinus infection, and suffered a bout of dehydration leading to his substitution yesterday. Mildly surprised he was released, but his club is very whiny about international duty, so maybe they're throwing them a bone. Morris hadn't even practiced with an ankle injury. Orozco's release tells me Arena is comfortable with Zusi as a fullback.

With Brooks out, I'm now curious as to what the defensive lineup will look like on Tuesday. Does Zusi get the nod at RB, while Cameron slides inside?
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-Pat McAfee
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db11
United States 1
Panama 1

Final

More individual brilliance from Pulisic set up Dempsey for a 39th minute goal. Sadly that would turn out to be the Americans only threat on goal. Panama equalized a short time later after a failed clearance on a long throw-in.

Thought it was a very sub-par performance by the USMNT. Panama is not a good team.

You take the road points always, but it could have been more. Bright side is, the USMNT is in a lot better shape to qualify than it was after November.
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-Pat McAfee
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db11
db11 wrote:
United States 1
Panama 1

Final

More individual brilliance from Pulisic set up Dempsey for a 39th minute goal. Sadly that would turn out to be the Americans only threat on goal. Panama equalized a short time later after a failed clearance on a long throw-in.

Thought it was a very sub-par performance by the USMNT. Panama is not a good team.

You take the road points always, but it could have been more. Bright side is, the USMNT is in a lot better shape to qualify than it was after November.


Some sad news to report as Panamian defender Amilcar Henriquez, who played in this game just a few weeks ago, was gunned down in Nuevo Colon, Panama.

---

In other news, the USMNT will play one friendly before their all-important June qualifiers versus Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico, against Venezuela in Salt Lake City on June 4.
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db11
Camp roster for Venezuela friendly (June 3) and Trinidad (June 8) and Mexico (June 11) qualifiers.

U.S. MNT Roster By Position (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 13/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 35/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (11): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 11/1), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER; 3/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 20/2), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 3/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 14/0), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 0/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 4/0), Jorge Villafa?a (Santos Laguna/MEX; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 6/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 17/3)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 2/0), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 2/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 8/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 33/6), Fabian Johnson (Borussia M?nchengladbach/GER; 15/1), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 5/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 7/3)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 36/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 38/18), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 8/4)

--

Chandler has withdrawn due to a hamstring problem.

Brooks has set a record for most expensive transfer for an American int'l player with a reported $22 million move to Wolfsburg.
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db11
United States 1
Venezuela 1

Final

Experimentation saw the USMNT concede during a bad stretch in the first half, but equalize via Christian Pulisic in the second.

Things will have to be better come June 8th and especially June 11th.

---

In other news, the 40-man preliminary Gold Cup roster was released, and there are some talking points.

GOALKEEPERS (6): Joe Bendik (Orlando City SC), Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)

DEFENDERS (12): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Jonathan Spector (Orlando City SC), Jorge Villafa?a (Santos Laguna/MEX), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (15): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Tommy McNamara (New York City FC), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Kenny Saief (Gent/BEL), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS (7): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

GK Jesse Gonzalez has represented Mexico at the youth levels, and as late as a few days ago was reportedly committed to the Mexico senior team. That is apparently not the case, as according to his agent he would accept a USMNT call-up. Gonzalez is considered MLS's top young goalie.

In the midfield, we see that Gent's Kenny Saief has been called in. This has been rumored for well over a year (initially started by Saief himself), but in the interim, the Florida-born Saief has made two appearances for Israel. According to Stu Holden on tonight's broadcast, USSF has filed paperwork for the one-time switch in federations regarding Saief, so it sounds like a done deal.

England-born Dom Dwyer became a U.S. citizen within the last year, and this will be his first real opportunity with the national team.

MLS stalwarts McNamara and Roldan also get their first looks.

With the Gold Cup's rules allowing for roster changes after the group stage, it's highly likely some of the USMNT regulars (Howard, Pulisic, Dempsey, etc.) on this list wouldn't be called in until the knockout stage begins.
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The US gets three big points with a 2-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago last night. Christian Pulisic scores twice to lift the Yanks. Next they head to El Azteca to face off against Mexico.

Hex Standings

1. Mexico 4-0-1 (13 pts)
2. Costa Rica 2-1-2 (8 pts)
3. United States 2-2-1 (7 pts)
4. Panama 1-1-3 (6 pts)
5. Honduras 1-3-1 (4 pts)
6. Trinidad and Tobago 1-4-0 (3 pts)

Imperative that the Yanks get a few points (optimistic 3 points each) from the next two matchups against Mexico and Costa Rica to keep themselves above the fourth place inter-confederation playoff spot.
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The US get a 1-1 tie in El Azteca. They needed a result and got it. At the moment they are tied with Costa Rica (Los Ticos has the tiebreaker in goal differential) for the #2 spot in the Hex. The rest of the Hex plays tomorrow.
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