The 2013 Gold Cup has been very kind to the Americans thus far. They are on their way to the semi-finals after a dominant 5-1 performance over El Salvador.
The Gold Cup is also providing players on the roster a chance to impress head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. With the rest of the 2014 World Cup Qualifying coming up soon, and the World Cup itself around the corner, it is important they make their presence known.
Klinsmann has no doubt had his eyes and ears open for who can fill out the roster for the upcoming matches.
Stock Up: Chris Wondolowski
Wondolowski is shooting up the list at forward thanks to his performance at the 2013 Gold Cup.
The striker opened the tournament with a hat trick, a brilliant way to boost one's international goal total.
He has not always performed up to task, but he is definitely playing better on this stage than he has in the past. It is earning Wondolowski more playing time, and ultimately could lead to him being placed on the World Cup roster. Klinsmann loves offense, and Wondolowski is providing more of it.
Stock Down: The Entire Backline
This may be disingenuous to some individual players who have had singular solid performances during the Gold Cup, but all-in-all the backline needs to shape up.
During their four matches in the tournament they have only posted one clean sheet (vs. Costa Rica). That would be alright if they were taking on top level teams, but that's not the case. Belize, Cuba and El Salvador have all found the back of the net. Things can get ugly in a hurry in front of the goal.
The defenders performing at the Gold Cup are hoping to prove their worth to Klinsmann, and they are failing. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of chances to make the necessary improvements. Unfortunately for them, there are not as many open spots on the World Cup roster.
Stock Up: Eddie Johnson
Cut prior to the 2010 World Cup, Johnson has made a resurgence.
He has been an excellent role player during the 2014 World Cup Qualifying, and he has made an impact at the Gold Cup.
In the quarter-final match against El Salvador, Johnson came in during the 60th minute and immediately scored. It put the U.S. up 3-1, and he provided more support throughout the rest of the match. Johnson's consistency is one of his best attributes.
He isn't a threat to take a starting role, but if he continues to make a difference coming off the bench he will definitely put his name on the shortlist for the World Cup roster.
Stock Up: Joe Corona
The past two years have seen Joe Corona make a name for himself for the USMNT.
He was one of the few bright spots during Olympic qualifying, and now he finds himself on the senior squad. He is doing everything right at the Gold Cup to put his name at the top of the list for inclusion on the World Cup roster.
Corona is the kind of midfielder Klinsmann has been trying to develop. He helps keep possession, makes the right passes and can assist in the offensive attack. He has already posted two goals in the Gold Cup.
Where the defense is failing at the Gold Cup, the midfield is excelling. Corona and company are going to force Klinsmann to make some difficult roster decisions as the U.S. looks towards Brazil.
Stock Down: Herculez Gomez
Gomez started to see more playing time when Klinsmann took over, and he performed admirably. That has gone away.
Gomez has been a forgettable part of the USMNT in recent times, and the influx of other strikers has only done more to force Gomez back. Wondolowski and Johnson are just two of those names, and with Jozy Altidore shoring up his starting role there are not many spots left.
Gomez needs to step it up if he wants to travel south with the squad when they hit Brazil.
Stock Up: Stuart Holden
Midfield play has long been a question mark for the United States, but Stuart Holden may help sure that up heading to Brazil.
Outside of Michael Bradley, the midfield is a wide-open game just waiting for players to step up. Holden is doing just that.
His performances in the Gold Cup have been solid, and he has even been crucial at times. Holden is quickly becoming a name to watch. We will likely see more of him as 2013 winds down.
He is well on his way to not only making the roster for Brazil, but to be a starting member when the World Cup begins.