May 22, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Others who cross over: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
Last cuts: Joe Corona (Tijuana), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)
1. Geoff Cameron could be called on in the middle … – Rumblings from Palo Alto have Cameron as a dark horse to unseat Omar Gonzalez next to Matt Besler in central defense. With Maurice Edu cut from the team, however, Cameron could also be put into service in midfield.
Kyle Beckerman is clearly the third central midfielder on the depth chart, but he’s a very specific type of player. If Jurgen Klinsmann needs a more ranging option, Cameron will have to be that man.
2. … and expect Fabian Johnson or DaMarcus Beasley to have a say, too – U.S. Soccer lists both Johnson and Beasley as defenders, but with Brad Davis is only natural left-sider in this group, the two full backs will stay in the midfield picture (Johnson mores than Beasley). Julian Green can also play wide left, but it’s difficult to image him getting a start in Brazil. If Klinsmann wants somebody to track Philipp Lahm up-and-down that left flank, it’s more likely to be Johnson than Davis.
3. Klinsmann has his attacking options – None are favorites to start, but between Bedoya, Diskerud, and Green, the U.S. has a bench option for each spot across the width of its attacking midfield. Bedoya looks like the logical alternative on the right, Diskerud gives Klinsmann a natural central midfielder, while Green appears to be the option on the left. Whether it works out that way remains to be seen, but the variety gives Klinsmann options when he targets specific parts of opposing defenses.
Brad Davis, seemingly a bubble player, may end up playing a bigger part in this team than most predicted. With Fabian Johnson seeing time at right back in camp, the Dynamo captain could end up starting in Brazil. While the other spots in midfield appear to be set, Klinsmann’s given himself the flexibility to change things up. It’s an enviably balanced group.
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