Predicting the US Squad to Go to World Cup 2014 in Brazil
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is less than a year away, and that means speculation about who will be on the 23-man United States roster for the tournament is as healthy as it will be in the next year.
Some first-team regulars like Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Tim Howard are locks to make the trip down to South America, but who else deserves a chance to play on the world's biggest stage?
Here is a position-by-position breakdown of how the 23-man United States roster should look in a year's time.
Players: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando
The goalkeeper position is probably the easiest to figure out of all the positions on the United States roster.
Tim Howard will start in Brazil, and Brad Guzan will be his trustworthy No. 2.
The fight for the third keeper position is between a few MLS-based players, but expect the veteran Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake to get the call ahead of Bill Hamid, Tally Hall and Sean Johnson.
Players: Steve Cherundolo, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley, Clarence Goodson, Geoff Cameron, Michael Parkhurst, Fabian Johnson
In the past few months, the American back four has started to find its own feet with Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler at center-back.
Expect the MLS-based duo to start in Brazil and for DaMarcus Beasley to hold on to the left-back spot over Fabian Johnson.
At right-back, veteran Steve Cherundolo should be fully fit and ready to be named to his fourth consecutive World Cup roster.
As for the reserves, Clarence Goodson should be called in the squad as cover at center-back, while Michael Parkhurst will have to fight with Brad Evans for the honor to be named the final defender to the squad.
Johnson and Geoff Cameron are listed as defenders, but as we have seen in the recent World Cup qualifiers, both can shift into the midfield and excel when called upon.
Points: Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi, Stuart Holden, Landon Donovan, Sacha Kljestan, Brad Davis
Let's get the obvious out of the way first, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Graham Zusi will all be starting for the United States in Brazil.
Now to the big unknown that is Landon Donovan's national team status.
Donovan's absence from the United States squad has been well-documented, but no matter what hard feelings he has toward manager Jurgen Klinsmann and vice versa, he must travel to Brazil next summer.
Stuart Holden should be rewarded for his long road back from injuries with a spot on the roster as long as he stays healthy.
Sacha Kljestan and Brad Davis are both players who are in good form at the club level and will provide a boost off of the bench.
Players: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson, Terrence Boyd
Although Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are in spectacular form at the moment, it would be wise of Klinsmann to bring five proven goalscorers with him to Brazil.
Eddie Johnson has been one of the most inconsistent players for the national team in the past year, but his speed on the wing will be an attribute that eventually books his ticket to Brazil.
Herculez Gomez will become a viable option off of the bench if anything happens to Altidore, while Terrence Boyd will be lucky to see the pitch in Brazil.
Two names to look out for at the forward position that could steal Boyd's roster spot away are Juan Agudelo and Jack McInerney.
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