American Top 40: Projecting Klinsmann’s 2014 World Cup roster, 3rd edition

Juergen Klinsmann (By Richard Drew -- Associated Press)
Juergen Klinsmann (By Richard Drew — Associated Press)

With the World Cup approaching and Juergen Klinsmann weighing options for the 23-man roster, the Insider’s weekly roundup examines 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.

Using a positional breakdown, we’ve created a depth chart of sorts. Keep in mind several players serve hybrid roles. The projections also take into account Klinsmann’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

The latest: Pleased with the fitness of his players in winter camp in California, Klinsmann will take all 26 of them to Brazil for 12 days of workouts and two closed-door scrimmages. … In anticipation of his official move to Toronto FC, Michael Bradley was not in the 18 for Roma, which posted this notice of the $10 million transfer. … Michael Parkhurst is returning to MLS after earning little playing time with Augsburg in the Bundesliga. Columbus acquired his MLS rights from New England for the fourth overall draft pick and allocation money. … John Brooks is out for another week or so with a knee injury. … Two-time World Cup defender Oguchi Onyewu, a long, long longshot for a national team return, signed with Sheffield Wednesday for the rest of the English Championship season after not appearing in any league matches at Queens Park Rangers.

Changes: Michael Orozco moves ahead of Brooks among center-back contenders.

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 2-0 victory over Norwich City. Next: at West Brom on Jan. 20.
  2. Brad Guzan (Aston Villa): Did not play. Next: Arsenal on Monday, at Liverpool on Saturday.
  3. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake):  MLS offseason, U.S. training camp.

DEFENDERS

Center back

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

— Contenders —

Michael Orozco (Puebla): 90 (assist) in 1-1 draw with Monterrey. Next: at Correcaminos on Tuesday in Copa MX, at Santos Laguna on Friday.

(Video of assist at 40-second mark of this video)

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

Tim Ream (Bolton): 90 in 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest. Next: at Reading on Saturday.

Right back

  1. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City): 90 in 5-3 loss to Liverpool. Next: at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
  2. Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders): MLS offseason, U.S. training camp.
  3. Steve Cherundolo (Hannover): Winter break. Next: at Wolfsburg on Jan. 25.

— Contenders —

Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew): MLS offseason.

Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest): not in the 18 (injured) for 1-1 draw at Bolton. Next: Blackburn on Saturday.

Timothy Chandler (Nurnberg): Winter break. Next: Hoffenheim on Jan. 25.

Left back

  1. DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla): 76 in 1-1 draw with Monterrey. Next: at Correcaminos on Tuesday in Copa MX, at Santos Laguna on Friday.

— Contenders —

Edgar Castillo (Tijuana): 90 in 1-0 victory over Club America. Next: at Pachuca on Saturday.

MIDFIELDERS

Defensive

  1. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC): MLS offseason.
  2. Jermaine Jones (Schalke): Winter break, did not join club for Qatar camp in anticipation of possible transfer.
  3. Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake): MLS offseason, U.S. training camp.

— Contenders —

Daniel Williams (Reading): 90 in 1-0 victory at Watford. Next: Bolton on Saturday.

Maurice Edu (Stoke City): No Premier League appearances this season.

Left side

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

— Contenders —

Brek Shea (Stoke City, on loan to Barnsley): at Charlton postponed (waterlogged pitch). Next: Blackpool on Saturday.

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

Jose Torres (Tigres): in the 18 but did not play in 0-0 draw with Pachuca. Next: at San Luis on Tuesday in Copa MX, at Morelia on Friday.

Right side

  1. Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): MLS offseason, U.S. training camp.
  2. Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy): MLS offseason, U.S. training camp.
  3. Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes): 70 in 1-0 victory over Lorient. Next: Nice on Wednesday in League Cup, at PSG on Sunday.

— Contenders —

Joe Corona (Tijuana): 80 in 1-0 victory over Club America. Next: at Pachuca on Saturday.

Central

  1. Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders, loan to Fulham): 79 at left MF in 4-1 loss to Sunderland. Next: Norwich City on Tuesday in FA Cup, at Arsenal on Saturday.
  2. Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg): Norway offseason, U.S. training camp.

— Contenders —

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht): Winter break. Next: at Mechelen on Sunday.

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

FORWARDS

  1. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland): 18 minutes in 2-1 League Cup semifinal victory (1st leg) over Manchester United, 24 in 4-1 victory at Fulham. Next: Southampton on Saturday.
  2. Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar): Winter break. Next: NAC Breda on Saturday.
  3. Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna): Winter break. Next: at Admira on Feb. 14. (Serving red card suspension Feb. 7.)

— Contenders —

Herculez Gomez (Tijuana): 68 in 1-0 victory over Club America. Next:  at Pachuca on Saturday.

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes): MLS offseason, 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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