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Five players who could make late charge into USA’s World Cup squad

May 2, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

Ream is hoping to work his way back into Klinsmann's USMNT plans. Ream is hoping to work his way back into Klinsmann's USMNT plans.

First off, let’s start by summarizing that the U.S. national team squad looks in pretty good shape and hugely predictable ahead of Jurgen Klinsmann’s announcing his 30-man roster on or before May 13.

However, as always seems to be the case, players hit form at the right time of the season for their club and will be invited into the pre-tournament camp as part of the initial squad.

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It remains to be seen if that is the case before the 2014 World Cup but there are certainly plenty of players who many would regard are on ‘the bubble’ and on the outside looking in to the windows of the plane heading to Brazil.

Here is a quick look at five USMNT players who may not be automatic picks for the World Cup this summer but could be surprise late selections after their recent good form.

Tim Ream

After just being named Bolton Wanderers Player of the Season, to go along with the similar accolade he received from the fans, Ream has had a marvelous season in England’s second-tier. Okay, he took a while to adapt to the rough and tumble style but now he is used to the physicality of the league, plus we all know how good he is on the ball. Could Ream provide a good back-up option at CB?

Danny Williams

Another player plying his trade in the second-tier of English soccer, Williams is guiding former PL team Reading towards the playoffs and the Royals could be back in the big-time next season. Williams has added three goals in 32 appearances this season since switching Germany for England and is a solid and dependable option as a holding mid.

Maurice Edu

Talking about another option in the engine room, Edu has slotted into life back in MLS seamlessly with the Philadelphia Union. Many feel his experience could be key for the USA and his ability to break the player up and get around midfield could be a valuable asset in Brazil. The jury is still out though.

Juan Agudelo

The former New York Red Bulls starlet has been playing well in the Dutch Eredivisie  for FC Utrecht after being signed by Stoke City and then loaned out following work permit issues. Recently Stoke boss Mark Hughes went over to Holland to watch Agudelo and was impressed with how the pacey attacker performed. Could be a wild card up front, as Agudelo always seems to come up big when it matters.

Michael Parkhurst

Perhaps Parkhurst is already set for a spot on the USMNT squad but he certainly falls under this category of a player peaking at the right time of the season. The defender has been superbly solid for the Columbus Crew since returning to MLS this season and his versatility would be a big plus for Klinsmann in tournament play.

  1. tridecagon - May 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Please not Edu.

    • jimmycrackcorn99 - May 3, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      6 months ago I would have “thumbs up’ed” this, but I have a feeling he might be the better replacement for Jones (as opposed to Beckerman) when he gets into foul trouble, which is inevitable. I am not convinced, but I bet we will see a lot of Edu vs Beckerman in the next few friendlies.

  2. tariencole - May 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Interestingly, the article leaves out the best argument for Edu: His versatility. He’s one of the few people in the pool who can play either back or midfield. And while I don’t think he’s 2nd or even 3rd option at all the positions he ‘can’ play, the fact he can play them efficiently for 20-30 mins makes him valuable to have on a bench to preserve a lead or if you need to pull a defender and push more attack-oriented midfielders forward.

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