The USMNT roster is facing some serious questions in the wake of some very significant losses to their lineup. Clint Dempsey is out after being benched to undergo medical evaluations for an irregular heartbeat. This leaves the team to suck it up in the meantime—hopefull Dempsey will be back in action in no time; and at least for the next two weeks, the absence should be negligible. We are, after all, playing Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Nonetheless, what is to become of USMNT and the rest of its players?
Can Jozy and Bobby be effective together?
Altidore, for one, is in the prime of his career. He’s an all-around threat embodying athleticism, field awareness, and deft skill who strikes fear into the heart of his opponents. Wood is already raising the bar (check out his goal here). Over the last year, Bobby and Dempsey worked together very well, playing off of each other to make the most of situations.
The same goes for Jozy and Wood. Yet, Wood and Jozy may not produce the same results. Considering both are center forwards and have no secondary position, their play may be hindered significantly. Each of them plays in center channels, engages in hold-up play, and when they drop back to pick the ball up, it’s with their back to the goal so they can turn to let other players pass.
As can be implied, if they’re playing the way they have in the past, they’re bound to step on each other’s toes, maybe even literally. Dempsey, though, was not confined to a single manner of play and that’s partly why he was so successful. He has been a box-to-box midfielder, an inverted winger, a second forward, and even a lone center forward. That’s not to say he was a superstar in every position, but he definitely always got the job done; and he wasn’t doing that, he was surpassing expectations. What Dempsey was particularly wonderful at (that Jozy and Wood may not be so fantastic at) was dropping into midfield to take off some of the pressure and initiate long passing sequences.
Is this the official roster?
It seems Bill Jamid, David Bingham, and Vincent Yarbrough have been intentionally left off of the goalkeeper depth chart. There is no real rush to replace Brad Guzan and Tim Howard, anyway. Kellyn Acosta has been selected to play left back which should prove interesting.
Paul Arriola and Caleb Stanko have been selected for mid-field. Arriola is a wing player from Tijuana and has only played just over a hundred minutes over five games (he hasn’t scored just yet). Caleb is on loan from SC Feiburg of the Bundesliga to FC Vaduz of the Swiss Super League at the moment. As for forwards, Rubio Rubin will be worth keeping an eye out for. He has so far played three games with FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie and hasn’t scored yet either.
Whether or not this roster will do us well remains to be seen. There are obvious questions, like why is Stanko ahead of Perry Kitchen when he just lost his starter position and was subbed out with an injury when Kitchen actually started and already scored for the Hearts. Regardless, there’s not much we can do but trust in Jurgen and hope for the best.