Much time has been spent over the past few months speculating over who United States men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will name to his 23-man World Cup roster.
On the other hand, not nearly enough attention has been paid to the players that likely aren't even under consideration for a roster spot, but who could actually help the team in Brazil.
Here are five players Jurgen Klinsmann will mistakenly leave off the USMNT roster.
No one really knows for sure why Carlos Bocanegra was so immediately, and unceremoniously, dropped from the USMNT roster last winter. At the time, he was still one of the U.S.'s most consistent defenders, despite an up-and-down club situation.
In the U.S.'s disastrous outing against Honduras last February, Bocanegra was benched and his replacements struggled, as the U.S. lost 2-1 to open up the final round of World Cup qualifying. Then, the next month, for the U.S.'s qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, Bocanegra was not even called into the squad—and hasn't donned the U.S. jersey since.
There's no doubt that at 34 years of age, a changing of the guard in the back was going to happen at some point for Bocanegra. But, considering how Bocanegra's replacements have fared and the fact that he was still playing at a consistently high level, only to be replaced by players with little international experience, the question of why he is no longer a part of the team still deserves examination.
Considering the recent play of Omar Gonzalez and everyone's understanding that Clarence Goodson is a good, but not great player, it's a bit puzzling to understand why Michael Orozco hasn't been given a bigger chance at winning a center-back job for the U.S.
To be fair to Klinsmann, Orozco has at times struggled when played wide, but he played well centrally in the Gold Cup this summer. In 2013, he even had two goals in just five starts for the U.S.—not too shabby for a defender.
Save Matt Besler, no U.S. center-back has locked down his spot for the World Cup, and considering that John Anthony Brooks and Oguchi Onyewu seem to be Klinsmann's back-up plan, the coach could have done himself a big favor by taking a longer look at Michael Orozco.
Jose Torres has gotten many chances with the USMNT over the years, but only rarely as a No. 8, the position at which he excels the most. Under Klinsmann and former manager Bob Bradley, Torres has been used primarily as a left midfielder and even as a left-back and left wing.
When playing centrally, Torres is an excellent box-to-box midfielder, linking the back line with the rest of the midfield and the forwards. He can also contribute the odd goal himself and his possession skill set is something the U.S. seems to be desperately missing at times.
He also seems a much more capable fit for the No. 8 role than Jermaine Jones, who often gets the nod there. Jones' offensive forays are often haphazard, resulting in the loss of possession and wasted opportunities. If Torres had been given a bigger shot at playing his preferred position, he could have proven his potential value to the squad.
It's understandable why Jurgen Klinsmann has had an up-and-down relationship with Timmy Chandler. Chandler has often seemed to get "injured" right before USMNT camps, despite playing both the week before and the week after for his club. Much has also been made of his fear of flying and he's also been painted as a player who lacks commitment to the U.S.
Chandler's last appearance for the U.S. was against Honduras last February where he struggled with the near 90 degree heat, especially considering that at the time he was acclimated to 30 degree temperatures in the Bundesliga.
Still, considering the U.S.'s challenges in finding a capable and consistent right-back since Steve Cherundolo's injury and subsequent retirement, Chandler still could have played an important role for the U.S. in Brazil. As it stands, he probably won't even make the U.S.'s provisional roster in two weeks.
Much discussion has been made about the U.S.'s need for a spark plug off the bench with the primary focus on Julian Green and Brek Shea. However, the U.S. already has a player capable of making a difference in such situations in Joe Corona.
Corona played well for the U.S. this summer in the Gold Cup, but since then, he's only played 27 minutes with the U.S.
Corona's skill set, as well as his creative passing, could help the team in a big way, but he seems a long shot, at best, to be representing the U.S. in Brazil.
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