US Men's National Team: Juan Agudelo and 5 Young Players Who Need a Chance
Under Jurgen Klinsmann, the United States men's soccer team has had difficulty winning and scoring on a consistent basis. In fact, they've only come out on top in one of the five games they've played under Klinsmann.
One way to try and get this team on track might be to shake the roster up a bit and give some of the younger players a chance to compete in a few friendlies before the team heads to London for the 2012 Olympics.
There's quite a few young guys who could be called upon to give the squad some new blood. Read on to find out about the five of them that could make a big impact.
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Juan Agudelo is a young man who reminds many US soccer fans of Jozy Altidore. The young forward has already proven himself capable of scoring in international play. In fact, in his debut against South Africa he became the youngest player to ever score for the senior team.
Agudelo is one of the players on this list who currently plays on the national squad, so it's obvious Klinsmann is giving him a look. That said, it might be a smart move to play him and try and find a way to get more points on the board.
Agudelo has the tools to become a very good player for the US national team, he just needs chances to prove himself. Considering the US has had difficulty scoring under Klinsmann, they should look at giving Agudelo more opportunities to prove himself.
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Brek Shea is the other young player on this list that can also claim to be on the current US roster. The imposing midfielder has shown off insane amounts of versatility in his early career. He's best when he is in the middle of the attack, but has been known to drop back and play defense at times.
He recorded his first international start against Costa Rica earlier this year and has seen a fair share of playing time under Klinsmann. He hasn't disappointed, as his great touch and passing abilities have given the US side plenty of scoring chances. They just haven't followed them up with goals often enough.
Shea is likely to see his playing time continue to increase moving forward. The mid-fielder is simply too good to keep on the sideline very long. Look for him to continue to make an impact for the squad and possibly settle into a starting role as we get closer to the Olympics.
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When Juan Agudelo scored his first international goal, it was off of an excellent pass from Mikkel Diskerud. Diskerud hasn't been on the national team since March, but the young midfielder could see himself getting called up soon.
Diskerud has been proving himself to be a very good midfielder during his club play this year, and it will difficult for the US national team to ignore him much longer. His skill level is very high for a player so young and Klinsmann could be missing out on an opportunity to groom a great young mid-fielder.
Another benefit of bringing him in now could be that the US would have a chance to develop a great combo with Diskerud and Agudelo. The two have already shown that, even with limited time together, they make a solid team.
If the US could get those two together more often, they might have a future star duo on their hands.
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If there's one position the US has been set at for the last decade it's goalkeeper. Current keeper Tim Howard has been a fixture on the squad and has turned himself into one of the best goalies in the world. The crop of players coming up behind him aren't too shabby either.
Leading the pack is 22-year-old Sean Johnson. The young man has only made one appearance for the senior team so far, but that's mostly due to the excellent play of Howard. He's been starting for his MLS team, the Chicago Fire, since his rookie year when he won back-to-back "Save of the Week" honors.
Johnson is an athletic marvel and will leave US fans sleeping well when they think about the future of their squad. He has all the tools to become the next great US goalie, he just has to wait for Tim Howard to retire. Until then though, we'll just have to enjoy watching him develop into something great.
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Teal Bunbury surprised a lot of people when he decided to play for the US team instead of Canada. His father is one of the best players to ever suit up for the Canadian national team and many thought he would follow in his footsteps.
Luckily for US fans, he didn't and now we get to enjoy watching the young forward work his magic for our squad. Bunbury has only made two appearances so far, but he's made the most of them, scoring the equalizer against Chile earlier this year.
Bunbury is an attractive forward for any squad, and if Klinsmann decides to pair him up with Agudelo in the near future, the US could have a pair of stars on their hands.
Many US fans already know the young forward from his days at Akron where he dominated the college game, but soon, fans around the world will know all about this young goal-scorer.