I watched most of the Gold Cup and here is my analysis of the current player pool and what we have to look forward to for World Cup 2014:
Howard: Solid, sometimes spectacular. His comedic failure at the feet of Gio can be excused for the shambolic defending in front of him. Does tend to yell a lot. Surely you yell before the problem develops?
Lichaj: Became a big fan. Provides width, pace and edge to balance Cherundolo. Suspect defensively, his gaffe for
Bornstein: Wynalda made some interesting points on his appearance @beyondthepitch podcast, but let’s face it, no one believes in this guy.
Bocanegra/Goodson: This pairing will probably get them through qualifying but not much further. I still worry about Bocanegra’s age come 2014, but seems better than the alternative. Onyewu, please pick up a white courtesy phone. Ream, maybe in 2 years he will have developed.
Cherundolo: His performances got me on his bandwagon. Solid going both ways, he revealed the biggest takeaway from the tournament—he can never go off again—but he will be pushing almost 35 in
Dempsey: Take way the Guadeloupe game, and he was probably the first or second best player for the
Donovan: Very hit and miss couple of weeks. He is a good player but maybe the
Bradley: Well positioned, pulls the strings, high work rate. Heartbeat of the team. Just need to find him a partner.
Jones: Just not good enough. Feel there are deficiencies in each part of his game. Why is Edu not getting a run?
Kleijstan:. Don’t see how he starts but decent sub option.
Altidore: Play two years, every day at a high level and we’ll talk. Until then, stay away.
Agudelo: Meh. Young, raw, needs more playing time as well. There is something there, just not sure he is every match starter. Feel he should continue to be impact sub.
Bedoya: Not sure what his position is but was serviceable. May have a future because he has enough tactical flexibility to contribute.
Going forward we have to shore up the center of midfield and defense. I’m not too worried about the attack really because I think Bradley has found that the 4-2-3-1 is the way to go and the US has got enough attacking talent to make this work (imagine Stu Holden back in the squad!!), assuming the backline is not being overrun and just whacking the ball out and into touch. The next World Cup cycle will be interesting because Donovan’s position is under threat, the forward role needs to be sorted out and the CB pairing must become rock solid.