May 26, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT
The presumed Matt Besler-Omar Gonzalez center back combination for the 2014 World Cup is far from certain.
The first part seems a lock, but MLSSoccer.com’s Nick Firchau is reporting that Jurgen Klinsmann has been experimenting with plenty of defenders alongside Besler during the run-up to Tuesday’s friendly with Azerbaijan.
John Anthony Brooks, Geoff Cameron and Gonzalez are getting their looks with Besler, and versatile Stoke City defender Cameron may end up playing in the middle for the U.S. after all.
Perhaps the biggest move on Tuesday — and potentially later in Brazil — could be the insertion of Cameron into a center back position with Besler amid lingering injury concerns for Gonzalez, who battled lingering knee problems that limited his training when camp opened earlier this month.
“Geoff’s a smooth player, and he’s comfortable playing center back,” Howard said. “He’s always wanted to play center back, and so if that’ the case, hopefully he gets a chance.”
Besler’s been relatively consistent, while Gonzalez has had a bit of “feast or famine” to him (regardless of health). Many thought Klinsmann saw Cameron as an outside back, even a holding midfielder, but using the 28-year-old Potter with Besler would have a natural feel. But why did it take until now?
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