Despite a disappointing performance during his first two gold cup games, Tim Ream is only 23 and in his second season as a professional. He had a very strong rookie season in the MLS for the Red Bull and is currently partnered with Mexican International and former Barcelona man Rafa Marquez.
Eighteen-year-old Juan Agudelo, who also plays for the Red Bull, looks like the real deal. His on ball skills are impressive, and he seems to have the goal scoring touch. He has scored timely goals against South Africa, Argentina and for his club against the Seattle Sounders. His goal against DC United (above) has also drawn comparisons to teammate Thierry Henry. For a team who has failed to score a goal from the striker position at the last two World Cups, Agudelo could be the answer.
Eric Lichaj had a bad final, but was solid during the majority of the Gold Cup. At 22, he is a definite US defensive prospect. He made 16 appearances on loan for lower league side Leeds United, a former top division powerhouse, as well as five appearances at his home club Aston Villa. This included a game against Tottenham, where Lichaj preformed well containing Gareth Bale.
The former 14-year-old prodigy Freddy Adu, now 22, seems to have come full circle. He looked extremely impressive versus Mexico and was one of the teams few bright spots in the Gold Cup final. He has finally learned to watch his time on the ball and use his skill sparingly. As a result, he’s moving the ball on before a second defender can come and take it off him. He did an admirable job hiding behind the striker and acting as the team’s playmaker, a role he could reprise in Brazil.
Sacha Kljestian (25) and Alejandro Bedoya (24) also played well in the USMNT’s stacked midfield during the Gold Cup and could easily be part of the 2014 World Cup Roster.
We can also hope for 21-year-old German born Nuremburg Right Back Timothy Chandler’s return. He asked not to be called for this year’s Gold Cup squad, citing nagging injuries and a desire to prepare himself for his first full professional season. Though he may want to test his German National Team prospects, considering he is not yet tied to play for the US.
The team can also look to recent USMNT call-ups defenders Omar Gonzalez (22, LA Galaxy), Norwegian born midfielder Mikkel Diskerud (20, Stabæk), forward Teal Bunbury (21, Sporting KC), Togo born Gale Agbossoumonde (19, Djurgården) and midfielder Brek Shea (21, FC Dallas).