American Top 40: Projecting Klinsmann’s 2014 World Cup roster, 2nd edition

Juergen Klinsmann (Photo by Victor R. Caivano -- Associated Press)
Juergen Klinsmann (Photo by Victor R. Caivano — Associated Press)

With the World Cup approaching and Juergen Klinsmann weighing options for the 23-man roster, the Insider’s weekly roundup will examine U.S. players in contention for a ticket to Brazil this summer.

We’ve called it “American Top 40″ – 40 candidates for the coveted World Cup slots. Players are sure to rise and fall, drop off the list and resurface, leading to Klinsmann’s selections in May.

The U.S. winter camp for MLS players (as well as Norway-based Mikkel Diskerud) opens Monday in Carson, Calif., and will include 12 days in Sao Paulo before culminating with a Feb. 1 friendly against South Korea at StubHub Center. More than 15,000 tickets have been sold.

Using a positional breakdown, we’ve created a depth chart of sorts. Keep in mind several players serve hybrid roles. For example, Geoff Cameron plays primarily on the right side for Stoke City but is most comfortable in the center of the park (backline and midfield). Fabian Johnson prefers to attack but may be called to play on the backline. Landon Donovan can fill any midfield role or play withdrawn forward. Eddie Johnson is a striker in MLS but wide midfielder for the U.S. team.

The projections also take into account Klinsmann’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

With those disclaimers, here is our latest 23 on course for Brazil (and how they fared the past week), plus the 17 seeking to unseat them:

GOALKEEPERS

  1. Tim Howard (Everton): 90 in 1-1 draw at Stoke City, in the 18 but did not play in 4-0 FA Cup victory over QPR. Next: Norwich City on Saturday.
  2. Brad Guzan (Aston Villa): 90 in 1-0 victory at Sunderland, in the 18 but did not play in 2-1 FA Cup loss to Sheffield United. Next: Arsenal on Jan. 13.
  3. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake):  MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

DEFENDERS

Center back

  1. Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.
  2. Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.
  3. Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

— Contenders —

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin): Winter break. 8 Bundesliga appearances. Next: at Eintracht Frankfurt on Jan. 25.

Michael Orozco (Puebla): in the 18 but did not play in 2-2 draw at Pumas. Next: Monterrey on Sunday.

Tim Ream (Bolton): 90 in 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough, 90 in 2-1 FA Cup victory over Blackpool. Next: Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Right back

  1. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City): 90 in 1-1 draw with Everton, 90 in 2-1 FA Cup victory over Leicester City. Next: Liverpool on Sunday.
  2. Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.
  3. Steve Cherundolo (Hannover): Winter break, 2 Bundesliga appearances since recovery from knee injury. Next: at Wolfsburg on Jan. 25.

— Contenders —

Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg): Winter break, 0 Bundesliga appearances. Next: at Borussia Dortmund on Jan. 25.

Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest): 90 in 1-1 draw at Reading, 58 in 5-0 FA Cup victory over West Ham. Next: at Bolton on Saturday.

Timothy Chandler (Nurnberg): Winter break, 16 Bundesliga appearances. Next: Hoffenheim on Jan. 25.

Left back

  1. DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla): 90 in 2-2 draw at Pumas. Club scored twice in stoppage time. Next: Monterrey on Sunday.

— Contenders —

Edgar Castillo (Tijuana): Last 19 in 0-0 draw at Atlas. Next: Club America on Friday.

MIDFIELDERS

Defensive

  1. Michael Bradley (Roma): in the 18 but did not play in second-place club’s 3-0 loss at first-place Juventus. Roma red cards in 75th and 76th while trailing by two goals. Next: Sampdoria in Coppa Italia on Thursday.
  2. Jermaine Jones (Schalke): Winter break, not joining club for Qatar camp in anticipation of possible transfer.
  3. Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

— Contenders —

Daniel Williams (Reading): 90 in 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest, last 17 in 1-0 FA Cup loss at Brighton. Next: at Watford on Saturday.

Maurice Edu (Stoke City): No Premier League appearances this season. In need of loan/transfer and playing time.

Left side

  1. Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim): Winter break, 12 Bundesliga appearances. Next: at Nurnberg on Jan. 25.
  2. Eddie Johnson (D.C. United): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

— Contenders —

Brek Shea (Stoke City): Began one-month loan with second-tier Barnsley: 75 in 1-1 draw at Birmingham City, not in the 18 for 2-1 FA Cup loss to Coventry City. Next: at Charlton on Saturday.

Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

Jose Torres (Tigres): not in the 18 for 3-0 loss at Club America. Next: Pachuca on Saturday.

Right side

  1. Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.
  2. Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.
  3. Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes): in the 18 but did not play in 2-0 French Cup loss to Nice. Next: Lorient on Sunday.

— Contenders —

Joe Corona (Tijuana): 71 in 0-0 draw at Atlas. Next: Club America on Friday.

Central

  1. Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders): Began two-month loan with Fulham: 90 in 1-1 FA Cup draw at Norwich City. Next: Sunderland on Saturday.
  2. Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg): Norway offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

— Contenders —

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht): Winter break, 17 Belgian appearances, 7 goals. Next: at Mechelen on Jan. 19.

Stuart Holden (Bolton): Late stages of rehabilitation for knee injury suffered last summer. Sentimental choice remains longshot for Brazil.

FORWARDS

  1. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland): 23 in 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, 90 in 3-1 FA Cup victory over Carlisle. Next: Manchester United on Tuesday in first leg of League Cup semifinals.
  2. Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar): Winter break. 11 goals in 18 Eredivisie matches. Next: NAC Breda on Jan. 18.
  3. Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna): Winter break, 7 goals in 17 Austrian Bundesliga matches. Next: at Admira on Feb. 14. (Serving red card suspension Feb. 7.)

— Contenders —

Herculez Gomez (Tijuana): 90 in 0-0 draw at Atlas. Next: Club America on Friday.

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes): MLS offseason, called into U.S. training camp.

 

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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