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Kyle Beckerman is the natural choice as U.S. Gold Cup captain

Jun 29, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT

Canada v United States Getty Images

Now that Jurgen Klinsmann has dropped the Gold Cup roster, only a few lingering questions are left unresolved in terms of personnel. Clearly, which players start in the July tournament is the biggie – and foremost under that big umbrella is how Stuart Holden and Landon Donovan fit into the rotation?

Which players, if any, will be used as reinforcements after the group stage – a threesome of matches that really should come and go without much muss or fuss from Klinsmann “B” team – provides another point for debate.

Then there is the question of the team’s captaincy, something that should be answered soon.

There seems to be just one clear choice: RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman.

Beckerman is among the most experienced players on Klinsmann’s 23-man roster announced Thursday, and until last fall was a starter for the U.S. manager. He’s been lapped in his position by Danny Williams and Jermaine Jones, the current top choice at holding midfielder, but remains just beyond the first-team pool.

Klinsmann likes Beckerman’s professionalism and the all-soccer, all-the-time mentality he brings to daily training sessions. Which is why the manager chose Beckerman to captain the United States earlier this year in a friendly with Canada (a 0-0 draw down in Houston).

Clarence Goodson, on the roster for World Cup 2010 and also on this year’s Gold Cup roster, is another reasonable choice. Nor would anyone turn up their nose at DaMarcus Beasley as captain.

Otherwise, the options begin looking a bit slim for different reasons. Landon Donovan, attempting to humbly demonstrate he can fit into the bigger group, probably isn’t the wisest of choices at the moment. Everyone respects Stuart Holden, but he’s got plenty on his plate just to demonstrate that the touch and fitness is still within him.

Chris Wondolowski has a lot of experience, but his form is just so-so, which means he may not be starting.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Jun 29, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    My vote is for Beasley to wear the C. His professionalism is every bit as high as Beckerman and Beasley is also a better player.

  2. franco7788 - Jun 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Is this a joke?
    There seems to be but “one clear choice” and that is Beckerman? Ok Steve

    No disrespect to Beckerman but this is a roster that includes Landon, Damarcus, Oguchi and Clarence Goodson as well. There are a few choices but the clear choice I would imagine would be arguably the best US player ever. (Disclaimer, I’m a noted Landon Donovan hater)
    Why would Landon Donovan not be the wisest choice? IIRC this is the Gold Cup roster not the WCQ roster. This is the B team(in some ways) so who gives 2 craps about “humbly fitting into the bigger group”? The goal is to help the team win matches while showing that the player(s) involved are playing at a level good enough to be considered for the WCQs. Landon is and has been a captain of his team(club and country) and anyone else getting the armband would be as big of an insult as having him play with the B team in the gold cup, imo. Let’s put Landon’s case to the side, there are other options, like Beckerman as you said, but Oguchi Onyewu and Damarcus Beasley would deserve the armband at this point a bit more than Beckerman. The Canada match should have little bearing, stalwarts like Donovan, Gooch and Beasley weren’t playing in the match.

    Nice post to start a dialogue but I think calling Beckerman the natural choice as Gold Cup captain is a bit much. Now, Klinsy might still go ahead and do so but that doesn’t make it the natural or clear choice.

    • mdac1012 - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Must be a really slow soccer news day for Steve, judging by a couple of these articles. Franco, your post is dead on. I like Beckerman in MLS, but not in international play, he struggles way too much against top level competition. I doubt he makes the WC roster and if he does, he will never see the field.

      I was all for LD being left off the main roster for the qualifiers. I felt he abandoned the team, and a captain and a leader doesn’t abandon his guys when they need him the most. With that said, the message has been sent to LD and I think he gets it. I think he is the clear choice to be captain of this team, while Dempsey should remain the captain of the whole team for the WC (though, personally I thought it should have went to Bradley).

  3. talgrath - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Beckerman? Hell no. His fouling ways might fly in MLS, but in international play you have two reasonable options, Landon Donovan and Clarence Goodson.

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