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Who’s most likely to rep the US in Brazil? Ranking the provisional 1-30

May 12, 2014, 8:57 PM EDT

Tim Howard and Michael Bradley both agree this USMNT is thriving thanks to great spirit and togetherness. Getty Images

This isn’t about who’s most important, or best-qualified to represent the United States at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. No, this is simply taking the 30 names Jurgen Klinsmann released today and evaluating which players, top to bottom, would be the most surprising omissions from the final 23.

For example, the three goalkeepers will be pretty high up on the list, as the Yanks will march into Brazil with three netminders.

Again, this isn’t a list of who I’d take, but who I feel is most likely to get the call. I’m not sure any player making the team would shock me, but cuts are another story. It’s an exciting time to support US Soccer and the next few weeks will be thrilling as Klinsmann culls his roster to 23 by June 2.

Without further ado, the most surprising cuts from US camp would be…

1. Michael Bradley — A two-way menace and the closest thing the States have to a world-class midfielder.

2. Tim Howard — 
Fifteen clean sheets at Everton and the most dependable player in his unit.

3. Jermaine Jones — At this point, if Klinsmann returned home to find his house on fire and Jones laughing while spraying a flamethrower all over his garden gnomes, I’d expect Klinsmann to say, “Hey, it happens,” crack open a beer and pat Jones on the back.

4. Geoff Cameron
5. Fabian Johnson — three players with versatility to burn/reliability to their games
6. Graham Zusi

7. Clint Dempsey — remains the face of the national team, has earned benefit of the doubt.

8. DaMarcus Beasley — still pacey after all these years, calm veteran influence.

9. Jozy Altidore — because “What if he puts it altogether?” isn’t limited to fans, but coaches.

10. Matt Besler
11. Omar Gonzalez — because you need to call your center back pairing well in advance.

12. Brad Guzan — because this is how it works.

13. Landon Donovan — many would put him further down the list, but cutting Landon Donovan would still be cutting Landon Donovan, right?

14. Kyle Beckerman — because center of the pitch depth is important, and Klinsmann has relied on him more often than not.

15. Nick Rimando — again, because this is how it works (though Southampton’s Cody Cropper sure wishes he could have a say here).

16. Michael Parkhurst — because form and experience matter, and he has both.

17. Aron Johannsson
18. Terrence Boyd — because it’s super hard to score 17 and 20 goals, respectively.

19. Julian Green — because Klinsmann sold him on this chance, and he’d have to clearly fail this chance.

20. Ale Bedoya — his form at Nantes dipped for a while, but he was still playing regularly in Ligue 1.

21. Brad Davis — again, this ranking is by surprise. He deserves to make this team and he will if healthy.

22. Chris Wondolowski — because of all the forwards, he’s the “easiest” one to dismiss (which is a shame)

23. Clarence Goodson
24. Brad Evans — because Evans either of these players being 23 on your 23 works just fine, but one gives you center back depth and more experience on the stage.

25. Maurice Edu
— just don’t see him making this much of a jump back into the side this late in a cycle.

26. Timmy Chandler — when healthy, so intriguing and so good, but coming off a torn meniscus and no matches at the end of the Bundesliga season?

27. Joe Corona a big unknown and X-factor in this group at age 23.
28. Mix Diskerud — at 23, may not be his time yet.
29. DeAndre Yedlin — youth is served… but just for camp.
30. John Anthony Brooks
— has looked out of place, but gets his camp invite.

  1. bellerophon30 - May 12, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    I’m curious as to what happens if one of the Keepers is hurt between now and Ghana? Are we down to two, or can we go outside the 30 to get Johnson/Hamid/Cropper/Robles/Whomever?

    • Nicholas Mendola - May 12, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      Actually, I believe you can go outside the 30 at any position if it’s an injury replacement. So if, and he won’t be, Rimando is cut and Guzan gets hurt you could bring up anyone.

    • josh907 - May 12, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      we can go outside the30

  2. shortbusrebel - May 12, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    If I wanted to watch a bunch of adults struggle to score for an hour and a half then I’d take my friends to the bar!

  3. braxtonrob - May 13, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Diskerud is going to Brazil, I promise you.

  4. overtherepermanently - May 13, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    Mix will go over Davis. Only one of Boyd, Johannson, Wondo is going.

  5. rafibomb10 - May 13, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    For the most part I agree, but there is not way you can leave Mix off the plane to Brazil. He is a classy distributer type midfielder. Brad Davis is an, eh, player. He has a left foot, sure, but lacks the class needed in the World Cup.

    Go Julian Green Go!

  6. tomcatfl - May 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    I’d bump Diskerud up a few notches, and bump Green down a couple. And Goodson higher than Wondo

  7. talgrath - May 13, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    You’re out of your mind if you think Diskerud isn’t going to Brazil this year; he’s played in just about every game for the USMNT in qualifiers, he’s started at times, he’s shown great skill and Klinsmann has shown that he trusts Diskerud quite a bit. Corona is probably not going, Edu is definitely not. If Klinsmann wants to trim one more player off the midfield, that battle is between Bedoya (who has been unimpressive) and Davis (who, despite his skilled left foot, hasn’t seen much favor from Klinsmann).

    What’s even more puzzling is you don’t think Klinsmann is going to cut a forward, I definitely think he will and I think Boyd is it; 13 appearances, no goals and he’s just never looked any good for the USMNT. Why take a striker who can’t striker for you?

    I can’t argue with the defensive cuts though, as much as I love Yedlin and Evans, it’s hard to see them going unless someone gets injured.

    • Nicholas Mendola - May 13, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      If you’re talking to me, this is a list of whose cut would surprise me the most, not who I think should be on the team.

      • talgrath - May 13, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        Which is exactly why I’m saying you’re mad if you think Diskerud isn’t going after all the praise and minutes Klinsmann has heaped on him. That’s also why I found it odd that you didn’t have a forward below the cut.

      • Nicholas Mendola - May 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        What I’m saying is that’s not a cut line.

      • talgrath - May 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        Okay…so you’ve got 30 players ranked 1-30 in order of who is most likely to go, that means your first 23 are most likely to go (barring injury), there’s 23 spots so everyone below that 23 is unlikely to go to Brazil (barring injured players) right? Since there is a cut line (you are aware of that, right?) and that line is 23 the top 23 on this list are players you think will make the final team…if you think someone is not likely to go then why put them in the top 23?

        Putting Diskerud at 28th place means is very unlikely to go in your opinion, I’d say that’s wrong, Diskerud would is almost certainly going and should be somewhere up around 12 or 13. What’s more, you think it’s likely that Klinsmann takes all of his strikers given that the lowest striker is at 22 (I’d switch Boyd and Wondolowski myself, as a note and put Boyd down further).

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