World Cup Winners and Losers for USMNT After Draw with Mexico
On Wednesday night, the United States men’s national team tied Mexico 2-2 in an international friendly. But far more important than the result was the fact that this was the team’s last match before it opens up its World Cup training camp in May.
That means it was the last chance for players to impress manager Jurgen Klinsmann before he selects his provisional 30-man World Cup roster in just a few weeks.
Here are your winners and losers.
Winner: Chris Wondolowski
If Chris Wondolowski had any chance at the World Cup roster, he needed a big performance on Wednesday and got it by scoring the USA’s second goal. Wondolowski’s been a top-class poacher in Major League Soccer for years, and his goal Wednesday kept alive his World Cup hopes.
Winner: Michael Parkhurst
More than any other player on Wednesday night, Michael Parkhurst improved his stock.
While he didn’t get forward to help out the attack much, Parkhurst locked down the left side of the U.S. defense for most of the match. His versatility and ability to play any position along the back line was proven again as the right-footed Parkhurst, who plays center-back for the Columbus Crew, had a solid game at left-back.
After last night, he's almost a certainty to, at the least, get invited to the World Cup training camp.
Winner: Maurice Edu
Maurice Edu is going to have a tough time working his way into an already-crowded midfield pool, but he showed on Wednesday—after a 13-month break from international play—that he can be useful to the team.
However, fighting his way through Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud and a number of other fringe center midfielder players might be too much to ask.
Loser: Brad Davis
Brad Davis didn’t have a poor game; he just failed to make much of an impact. Davis is likely in competition with Brek Shea, Julian Green and a few others for a spot on the team and didn’t do much to separate himself from the pack.
Loser: Omar Gonzalez
Omar Gonzalez continued a string of poor performances in 2014 with another bad effort against Mexico on Wednesday night by being culpable on both of Mexico’s goals.
While he’ll certainly still make the roster at this point, Klinsmann will likely be looking at different options to start at center-back between now and Brazil.
Loser: Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey didn’t have a poor game (on several occasions he linked up play on transition quite nicely), but he also didn’t do anything to quell the talk about his poor goalscoring form.
After struggling for the last eight months at the club level, Dempsey could conceivably be dropped from the starting XI before the World Cup—an unimaginable thought just a year ago.
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