No Klinsmann, no problem. USA 1-0 Panama.

I watched the Gold Cup final two years ago. IT WASN’T FUN.

But this year, with a new coach, and a new team, not much changed — EXCEPT A TROPHY.

And what a way to win the Gold Cup. Albeit the 1-0 final, the USMNT tore through this tournament: 6-1, 4-1, 1-0, 5-1, 3-1. Considering that this was essentially Jürgen Klinsmann’s “B-Team,” it’s all the more impressive. Going into World Cup Qualifying with four games left, the squad looks much deeper than it did back in February. Just about every position on the field has a guy challenging for it, and here are a few guys I can see booking a ticket to Brasil:

  • Mix Diskerud: Cap-tied himself to the USA for life. Proved an invaluable member to this squad. Moved from fringe player to challenging a guy like Sacha Kljestan for a spot (not a bad problem to have.) More luscious Norwegian locks!
  • Stu Holden: He returns! Hopefully he comes back from what looked like a pretty bad knock to the knee in the final. If anyone can do it, it’s Super Stu.
  • Michael Parkhurst: It’s not impossible. He was a capable right back when he had proper reinforcement ahead of him. Book him a ticket if either Cherundolo or Timmy Chandler spontaneously combust.
  • Nick Rimando: GK #3. Can’t see Sean Johnson (and especially not Bill Hamid) taking that spot. Mando will add some hair to our ‘keeper team in Brasil.
  • Kyle Beckerman: He’s not the best player, but he did the job. I’m inclined to include mostly because of the leadership he brings as a club captain. Plus, the dreads might be confusing to the opposition.
  • Joe Corona, José Torres Torres, Alejandro Bedoya: It feels like I’m splitting hairs trying to choose. Fight it out, you guys.
  • Brek Shea: Don’t start him never seems to work out. But subbing him? That’s a way to go. Against Mexico, against Costa Rica, and against Panama. And taking a page from the Beckerman playbook, the space unicorn haircuts will be disorienting.
  • Clarence Goodson: Cameron, Gonzalez, and Besler all look likely to go. Not so likely for Onyewu and Michael Orosco Fiscal. Goodson gives us depth and experience.
  • Landon Donovan: Just kidding. Was there ever a doubt?

Danke für die neue Trophäe, Klinsi. Let’s get some more.


Look at all that freedom!
Look at all that freedom!