Home > MNT Lineups > 2014 is only 4 years away

2014 is only 4 years away

Even though the World Cup continues, fans of the USMNT have already turned their thoughts to who will make the trip to Rio in 2014.  One of our favorite bloggers, Ives Galarcep, took his first shot at the 2014 roster with this post here, another one of our favorites, Greg Seltzer, took a guess over here, and if you head on over to the message boards at Big Soccer there is a huge thread on the potential 2014 squad members.

Although it’s fun to speculate on the potential 23 golden tickets, it’s difficult to project for those of us who don’t have the time to hunt down Leyton Orient matches to see if Eric Lichaj can dethrone our current RBs, or to seek out Mainz reserve matches to see how Jared Jeffrey is progressing.  What is interesting however, is to take a look at Setlzer’s predictions and Ives’ predictions and to see how many of those are the same.  Those guys are going to be the core of the 2014 team.  Everyone else is fighting.

GK: Both Seltzer and Ives agree that Tim Howard and Brad Guzan will be on the 2014 team.  They disagree on who the third choice keeper will be, but quite honestly nobody cares who the #3 keeper is, so let’s move on.

D: Both of our experts predict that Onyewu will return (preferably at 100%), as well as Spector.  Both guys also predict big things for 2009 MLS rookie of the year Omar Gonzalez and a strong contender for this year’s rookie of the year, Ike Opara.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=ike+opara&iid=9285418″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9285418/united-san-jose/united-san-jose.jpg?size=500&imageId=9285418″ width=”234″ height=”313″ /]

MF: Both experts have Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Edu, and Holden on their rosters.  These seem to be the easiest picks on the team.  All five are in their primes now or will be in four years, and all are getting consistent playing time in Europe (or in the case of Donovan and Holden, will be soon).  Somewhat surprisingly, both experts also predict that Sacha Klejstan and Alejandro Bedoya make the trip to Brazil.  That’s right, despite the midfield seeming to be the deepest spot on the roster, our two experts agree on 7 of the 8 open slots.

F: Jozy Altidore and Charlie Davies are chosen by both the experts.  I should also note that Ives puts Dempsey up top on his roster, but for now I’m going to count him as a midfielder.

Overall, the two experts already agree on 15 of the 23 spots.  Quite honestly, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for any up and coming 18 year old phenoms in the United States talent pool.  However, I doubt that anyone would have predicted after 2006 that Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozul were going to start for Germany in 2010.  So who knows, maybe one of the U-17 kids will develop into the next big thing by 2014.  And I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one in 2006 who thought that Freddy Adu would be directing the offense by now.  So whether it’s a younger guy like Freddy finally establishing himself in Europe, an older guy like Bocanegra hanging around longer than expected, or someone in his prime rediscovering his form, there will hopefully be a reason for all of the projected 23 to continue to worry about the guys below them on the 10 deep depth chart.

Realistically though, how many of these 15 are locks?  Certainly less than 15.  Howard and Guzan would appear to be locks for 2014, even given Guzan’s current back-up status, but how many defenders are actually locks?  Presumably only Onyewu and Spector.  And in the midfield I would only expect Donovan, Dempsey, Edu, and Bradley to be locks at this point.  Holden and Sacha have just moved over to Europe and may end up stuck on the bench (a.k.a. the Eddie Johnson).  Bedoya has hardly figured in the squad’s plans, so it’s presumptuous to call him a lock for 2014.  Up top, Jozy is a lock.  Despite everyone’s hopes, we don’t have a lot of evidence yet that Charlie Davies can come back at 100%.  If he’s permanently slowed by his knee injury, he may not be a difference-maker anymore.  Here’s to hoping that this pessimistic attitude will be proven wrong after a month or two of the new season.

So there you have it, 9 current locks for 2014.  15 spots up for grabs.

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Categories: MNT Lineups
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