Jun 27, 2013, 4:43 PM EDT
With the never-ending relay race that an international soccer squad, youth must always take over for age at some point or another to keep the wheels turning and the squad supplied.
With the Gold Cup roster released, it’s already been heavily discussed how mixed the squad appears, with the presence of both fading veterans and untested youth.
However, not only is the squad balanced with both ends of the spectrum, the baton will almost literally be handed over in this year’s Gold Cup.
Jurgen Klinsmann has signified with his roster choices that he will almost certainly use the veterans in the defense (see: Onyewu, Oguchi) to lead the way and assist those new youngsters and find out who’s cut out for the future of the national team.
New names in the midfield and front line include Will Bruin, Jack McInerney, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, and Joshua Gatt. Those five have a combined 11 caps between them all.
Most eyes will be on the young tandem of Mix Diskerud and Jack McInerney. If they get significant time, it will give the country a wonderful look at what’s to come in the next few years. Diskerud is still not officially cap-tied to the United States, although he’s said his intentions remain with the Stars and Stripes and not Norway.
McInerney has torn up Major League Soccer winning two consecutive Player of the Month awards, tied for the league lead with 10 goals, and carrying the Philadelphia Union squarely on his shoulders.
Much has been discussed about Onyewu, who is at a crossroads, and could be on his last national team legs unless he makes an impact.
However, he’s not alone. The role of the veterans in this squad isn’t simply to carry the youth on their shoulders until they can support themselves. They have plenty of work to do of their own.
Also in support of the new kids will be the likes of Landon Donovan, Chris Wondolowski, Herculez Gomez, DaMarcus Beasley, and Clarence Goodson. Donovan has to prove he can contribute at a high level as he used to before his sabbatical – any drop in value and he could be replaced by the surging Graham Zusi. As Klinsmann put it, it’d Donovan’s “chance to prove where he’s at.”
Wondolowski must make it clear to Klinsmann that his spotty MLS season isn’t a sign that age is rearing its ugly head.
Gomez has never been a USMNT regular, and at 31 years old surely has his last opportunity to make a World Cup roster and contribute. He must show his performance in the early stages of this World Cup qualification cycle wasn’t a one-time deal.
And finally Goodson also has plenty of work to do if he has any hope to break into a suddenly crowded USMNT back line, with his contributions from South Africa a distant memory.
Whether they’re young or old, each player has plenty to prove in the Gold Cup this year.
While it’s not the most important competition on the United States’ calender, it is of vital importance to just about every member on the roster.
If the kids make their mark, the country will have watched the passing of the baton, assisted by some of the bigger names in United States soccer over the last decade who may fade into the shadow of youth.
Sep 3, 2015, 9:39 PM EDT
As it turns out, Candy Crush was worth a lot of money. So much money, in fact, that Mel Morris bought his boyhood football club.
Sep 3, 2015, 8:37 PM EDT
The USMNT returns to action for the first time since finishing fourth at the 2015 Gold Cup. Their playoff vs. Mexico is 37 days away.
Sep 3, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
This weekend, referees will begin dishing out green cards, which mean absolutely nothing.
Sep 3, 2015, 4:58 PM EDT
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Sep 3, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT
With Olympic qualifying less than a month away, final tune-ups are underway for the US U-23 squad.
Sep 3, 2015, 4:20 PM EDT
Jurgen Klinsmann’s latest comments confirm what we’ve assumed all along: he believes he is immune to criticism.
Sep 3, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
Red Devils have ripped apart their title-winning team from 2013. Will things settle down anytime soon?
Sep 3, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT
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Sep 3, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
JPW and Jenna dissect the Deadline Day dealings.
Sep 3, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT
German champs taking a stand to help the growing number of asylum seekers arriving in Munich.
Sep 3, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT
Who would’ve guessed it, the Gunners are short on strikers…
Sep 3, 2015, 9:36 AM EDT
After his game-winner from halfway last season, Cicerone is at it again.
Sep 3, 2015, 8:40 AM EDT
Klinsmann’s side move up, but remain out of the top 20.
Sep 3, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Chicharito has the following message for United’s fans after five years at Old Trafford.
Sep 2, 2015, 9:57 PM EDT
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Sep 2, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT
A fraction of the transfer fee has made its way to the lower division team in France that helped mold Anthony Martial into the $55 million player he is today.
Sep 2, 2015, 8:18 PM EDT
Rog and Davo break down Chelsea’s loss to Crystal Palace and Swansea’s stylish win over Manchester United. Plus, a recap of transfer deadline day.
Sep 2, 2015, 6:56 PM EDT
Tim Howard looked good for Everton last weekend, but the U.S. coach says it’s too close to the Mexico game to make a change.
Sep 2, 2015, 5:42 PM EDT
The former Chelsea defender is no longer listed on the team’s website and was left out of both the club’s domestic and European squads.
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