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Building off positives: Which 2014 USMNT players will remain in 2018?

Jul 2, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

Doing our best to not simply toss out “Requiem for a Team” posts in the wake of the United States 2-1 extra time loss to Belgium in the World Cup’s Round of 16, let’s look forward to the 2018 World Cup for a few hundred words.

Assuming the States continue to qualify through CONCACAF, how many of the 23 players to make the trip to Brazil will have plane tickets to Russia? Let’s take a look.

[ MORE: Analyzing Jurgen Klinsmann’s first World Cup with U.S. ]

[ MORE: Three things we learned in U.S. loss to Belgium ]

This is assuming form stays relatively-strong and bodies are relatively-healthy. Would you have thought Stu Holden, Benny Feilhaber, Jonathan Bornstein and Jonathan Spector would all be on the outside looking-in come Brazil? Maybe, maybe not.

Goalkeepers (age at time of 2018 World Cup):
Tim Howard (39)
Brad Guzan (33)
Nick Rimando (39)

Analysis: Rimando will likely cede the third spot to someone, while Guzan will be back in some role. Howard’s return will be based largely on whether he wants to continue playing internationally. Many keepers switch to ‘club-only’ status by the age of 39; Kasey Keller played for the US until he was nearly 38, while Brad Friedel stopped at age 34.

Pipeline (club, age at time of 2018 World Cup): Cody Cropper (Southampton, 25), Bill Hamid (DC United, 27), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire, 29), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo, 33), Ethan Horvath (Molde, 23)

source:  Defenders:
DaMarcus Beasley (36)
Matt Besler (31)
John Brooks (25)
Geoff Cameron (32)
Timothy Chandler (28)
Omar Gonzalez (29)
Fabian Johnson (30)
DeAndre Yedlin (right, 24)

Analysis: It’s very difficult to believe Yedlin, Gonzalez and Brooks won’t all be on the scene in 2018, while the only name that seems a long shot for Russia duty, based on age, is Beasley. It’s reasonable to expect Cameron, Besler and Johnson will be in camp at the very least.

Pipeline (club, age at time of 2018 World Cup): Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC, 21), Will Packwood (Birmingham City, 25), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids, 24), Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas, 23), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact, 25), Miguel Palafox (Leon, 23).

source: APMidfielders:
Kyle Beckerman (36)
Ale Bedoya (31)
Michael Bradley (30)
Brad Davis (36)
Mix Diskerud (27)
Julian Green (23)
Jermaine Jones (36)
Graham Zusi (31)

Analysis: A tricky group to diagnose, but certain names seem gone by 2018 (Beckerman and Davis for sure, with Jones having a chance considering Klinsmann’s love for the midfielder). Bradley and Green seem certain, and you’d say the same for Diskerud if not for the lack of playing time this tournament. Bedoya and Zusi are X-factors, but Klinsmann is likely hoping others make his decision easier.

Pipeline (club, age at time of 2018 World Cup): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake, 24), Joe Corona (Tijuana, 27), Joshua Gatt (Molde, 26), Duane Holmes (Huddersfield Town, 23), Gedion Zelalem* (Arsenal, 21), Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake, 23).

Jozy Altidore (28)
Clint Dempsey (35)
Aron Johannsson (27)
Chris Wondolowski (35)

Analysis: Wondolowski’s wondrous run is likely done. It feels counter-intuitive to rule Dempsey out of anything, but 35 is a real obstacle for someone who gets abused as much as the Texan. Altidore should still be fine, while Johannsson has a really good look at coming back, too.

Pipeline (club, age at time of 2018 World Cup): Juan Agudelo (unattached, 25), Terrence Boyd (Red Bull Leipzig, 27), Shawn Parker* (FC Augsburg, 25), Jerome Kiesewetter (Stuttgart, 25), Boxi Yomba (Atletico Madrid, 21), Jack McInerney (Montreal Impact, 25), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich, 25), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo, 28)

*Not yet committed to United States.

  1. pdx84 - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Probably want to include Nagbe in the pipeline. He gets his citizenship very soon and will certainly get a look.

  2. midtec2005 - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Add Gyasi Zardes to the list (I probably misspelled his name).

    And Jack McBean could be the next McBride.

  3. jrocknstuff - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Agudelo and Green will be the go-to guys in 2018 and with a fairly easy group stage draw I’m really looking forward to Russia.

  4. thedeadlockvictim - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    No Andrew Farrell or Lee Nguyen?

    • mikeevergreen - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Nguyen will be 35. Farrell you have a point. Why not Kelyn Rowe? Harry Shipp and Benji Joya of the Fire?

      • thedeadlockvictim - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:29 PM

        35 would be a stretch, but Nguyen will only be 31, younger than a couple guys who got their first World Cup matches this year.

  5. eddie0710 - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Hopefully by 2018, Klinsmann can find a few wingers to implement into the lineup. We need guys like Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne.. At least we have one that we can trust for the next World Cup.. Julian Green.

  6. godsholytrousers - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Brek Shea needs to be in the rotation.

    • jaxfootballing - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      Not really. The guy has minimal talent – couldn’t barely get a game in at Stoke with 1st team.

      Never have been too impressed with his performance and attitude.

    • booger1234 - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Brek Shea is another Bornstein! Terrible player, got lucky a few times and does nothing but play for the other team when on the field!

  7. mikeevergreen - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Harry Shipp and Benji Joya of the Fire. Clint Irwin of the Rapids. Luis Robles of RBNY for the Gold Cup next year.

  8. goal141 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    I would include Patrick Mullins in the pipeline for strikers .

  9. jrocknstuff - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I don’t like Shea. Wouldn’t invite him back, especially if he comes back to MLS. I like Robles, but I wouldn’t start him over Guzan

  10. granadafan - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    What about Freddy Adu, the hope for US Soccer?

    (Just kidding)

  11. merseysideoc - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Joe Gyau just signed on w/Borussia Dortmund, add his name to the list as well, especially since he’s playing at a German club. Marc Pelosi at Melwood is another player that’s gone unnoticed since his move to Liverpool over a year ago.

    The mere mention of Brek Shea is disturbing. Struggling for time at Stoke & really fading out of the limelight, I see his return to MLS imminent. Truly a wasted talent there.

  12. konmtu - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    I’m pretty sure I recall Tim Howard saying his current contract with Everton is his last. It runs through 2017. That would make Guzan the first choice keeper in 2018.

  13. booger1234 - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    You Really mentioned Johnathon Bornstein’s name in this article? That guy down right sucks! I cant believe Bob Bradley ever let him near the squad. He did nothing but stink it up and screw the team over so many times.

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