Jozy Altidore encounters resistance from Newcastle's Mike Williamson Cheick Tiote in Sunderland's 3-0 victory at St. James' Park. (By Ian MacNicol -- Agence France-Presse) Jozy Altidore encounters resistance from Newcastle’s Mike Williamson and Cheick Tiote in Sunderland’s 3-0 victory at St. James’ Park. (By Ian MacNicol — Agence France-Presse)

With Juergen Klinsmann weighing World Cup roster options, the Insider’s weekly roundup examines U.S. players in contention for a ticket to Brazil this summer. I call it “American Top 40″ – 40 candidates for the 23 coveted World Cup slots.

Using a positional breakdown, I’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: A mostly MLS U.S. squad defeated South Korea, 2-0, at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The next friendly (at Ukraine) falls on the March 5 FIFA fixture date and will feature a blend of European, MLS and Mexican based call-ups. … Awaiting word on a proposed U.S.-Mexico friendly in early April (not a fixture date) in the Phoenix area. … ESPN.com reported the first send-off match will take place in late May at Stanford Stadium in northern California. Sports Illustrated identified Red Bull Arena for the second game, in early June, and a South Florida venue is widely expected to host the June 7 finale. The opponents are close to being finalized. … Brek Shea‘s loan to Barnsley from Stoke City was extended through April 3. … As expected, minutes-starved Maurice Edu landed in Philadelphia. … Starting at Sheffield Wednesday, Oguchi Onyewu is threatening to re-enter the mix. … Seeking employment (but out of the World Cup picture), Freddy Adu is on trial with Blackpool in England’s second tier.

Changes: Michael Parkhurst overtakes inactive Steve Cherundolo (sore knee, few appearances on active roster this season) for a spot on the backline, while Chris Wondolowski‘s two-goal performance against South Korea lifts him past Herculez Gomez for a contending role.

Eye on: Reading’s Daniel Williams has become a full-time starter and scored his first league goal Saturday.

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 2-1 victory over Aston Villa. Next: at Spurs on Sunday.
  2. Brad Guzan (Aston Villa): 90 in 2-1 loss at Everton. Next: West Ham on Saturday.
  3. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake): 90 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

DEFENDERS

Center back

  1. Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City): 62 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.
  2. Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy): 90 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.
  3. Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes): 28 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

— Contenders —

Michael Orozco (Puebla): 90 in 1-0 victory over Veracruz. Next: at San Luis in Copa MX on Thursday, Chivas on Sunday.

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin): not in the 18 for 3-1 loss to Nurnberg. Next: at Hamburg on Saturday.

Tim Ream (Bolton): 90 in 1-0 loss at Ipswich Town. Next: Bournemouth on Saturday.

Right back

  1. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City): 90 in 2-1 victory over Manchester United. Next: at Southampton on Saturday.
  2. Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders): 74 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.
  3. Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew): 90 at left back in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

— Contenders —

Steve Cherundolo (Hannover): not in the 18 for 3-1 victory over Moenchengladbach. Next: at Schalke on Sunday.

Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest): not in the 18 for 3-1 victory over Yeovil Town. Next: at Preston North End in FA Cup on Wednesday, at Blackpool on Saturday.

Timothy Chandler (Nurnberg): 90 in 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin. Next: Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Left back

  1. Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim): in the 18, did not play (hand injury) in 3-0 victory over Hamburg. Next: at Freiburg on Saturday.
  2. DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla): 90 in 1-0 victory over Veracruz. Next: at San Luis in Copa MX on Thursday, Chivas on Sunday.

— Contenders —

Edgar Castillo (Tijuana): 90 in 3-0 loss at Pumas. Next: at Merida in Copa MX on Wednesday, at Leon on Saturday.

MIDFIELDERS

Defensive

  1. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC): MLS preseason.
  2. Jermaine Jones (Besiktas): Just signed. Next: at Gaziantepspor on Friday.
  3. Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake): 90 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

— Contenders —

Daniel Williams (Reading): 90 (goal in 76th) in 3-0 victory at Millwall. Next: Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union): MLS preseason.

Left side

  1. Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy): 90 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.
  2. Eddie Johnson (D.C. United): 28 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

— Contenders —

Brek Shea (Stoke City, on loan to Barnsley): 90 in 1-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday. Next: at Reading on Saturday.

Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo): 75 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

Jose Torres (Tigres): 4 in 0-0 draw at Monterrey. Next: Correcaminos in Copa MX on Tuesday, Santos Laguna on Saturday.

Right side

  1. Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City): 81 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.
  2. Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes): 62 in 1-0 loss at Sochaux. Next: PSG in French League Cup on Tuesday, Lyon on Sunday.

— Contenders —

Joe Corona (Tijuana): not in the 18 (ankle injury) for 3-0 loss at Pumas. Next: at Merida in Copa MX on Wednesday, at Leon on Saturday.

Central

  1. Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders, loan to Fulham): last 25 in 3-0 loss to Southampton. Next: Sheffield United in FA Cup on Tuesday, at Manchester United on Sunday.
  2. Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg): 62 in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: Norway preseason.

— Contenders —

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht): in the 18, did not play in 2-0 loss at Lierse. Next: at Kortrijk on Saturday.

Stuart Holden (Bolton): Late stages of rehabilitation for knee injury. Trained with U.S. squad in Los Angeles. Sentimental choice remains longshot for Brazil.

FORWARDS

  1. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland): 90 in 3-0 victory at Newcastle. Next: Hull City on Saturday.
  2. Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar): 90 in 2-0 victory over Groningen. Next: at Vitesse on Tuesday, at Go Ahead Eagles on Saturday.
  3. Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna): Austria preseason. Next: at Admira on Feb. 14. (Serving red card suspension next weekend.)

— Contenders —

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes): 62 (goals in 4th and 60th) in 2-0 victory over South Korea. Next: MLS preseason.

Herculez Gomez (Tijuana): 74 in 3-0 loss at Pumas. Next: at Merida in Copa MX on Wednesday, at Leon on Saturday.