June 11, 2014
By Brian Trusdell
MEET THE TEAM
A look at the U.S. World Cup squad
Soccer News Net Contributor
Here's a look at the 23 players U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has taken to Brazil for the World Cup.
|DaMarcus Beasley is at his fourth World Cup
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Jozy Altidore, 24, 6-1, 175, Sunderland (ENG)
The United States’ main scoring threat, Altidore started in MLS with the New York Red Bulls but has played in Europe since 2008 with seven different clubs. He led AZ Alkmaar in scoring and was fourth in the Dutch first division in 2013 with 23 goals, but he transferred to Sunderland in England for this past season and scored only one goal in 31 games. Altidore led the United States in scoring in 2013 along with Landon Donovan with eight goals. His two goals in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly victory over Nigeria were the first in six months and ended a 27-game scoreless streak.
Clint Dempsey, 31, 6-1, 170, Seattle Sounders
With Landon Donovan not selected for the World Cup roster, Dempsey is the most prominent face on the U.S. team. He led the Americans in scoring during World Cup qualifying with eight goals, but was chastised – along with Michael Bradley – by coach Juergen Klinsmann for returning to MLS from Europe in the past year. A member of the U.S. national team since 2004, Dempsey has played in 105 games (10th most in U.S. history) and has the second-most goals 37 behind only Donovan.
Aron Johannsson, 23, 6-0, 165, AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Born in Mobile, Ala., Johannsson moved to his parents’ native Iceland when he was 3. Spent year in Bradenton, Fla., as part of U.S. Soccer’s first Development Academy season as a teenager and then earned 10 caps for Icelandic U-21 team before switching allegiance to United States. He joined the U.S. national team for the first time last year and has two goals in eight games, three caps and one goal in World Cup qualifying. He was third in Dutch first division in scoring this past season with 17 goals.
Chris Wondolowski, 31, 6-0, 165, San Jose Earthquakes
After equaling MLS’ single-season scoring record with 27 goals in 2012, Wondolowski helped the United States win the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year for the first time since 2007, scoring five times to share the team lead with Landon Donovan. In three years with the U.S. national team, Wondolowski has nine goals in 852 minutes, just under a goal a game. Playing in his 11th season in MLS, “Wondo” will be making his World Cup debut at 31.
Kyle Beckerman, 32, 5-10, 165, Real Salt Lake
Beckerman was a member of the 1999 U.S. team that finished fourth at the U-17 World Cup along with Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu. A defensive or holding midfielder, Beckerman has played in MLS since 2000, with Miami, Colorado and, since 2007, Real Salt Lake. He was captain of the 2009 RSL team that won the MLS Cup and also was a key member of the side that reached the final of the CONCACAF Champions League finals in 2011.
Alejandro Bedoya, 27, 5-10, 160, Nantes (FRA)
A native of Englewood, N.J., Bedoya attended Fairleigh Dickinson and Boston College, earning MAC Hermann Trophy consideration twice, before joining Swedish club Obrero SK in 2009. He moved to Rangers in Scotland in 2011 and then back to Sweden with Helsingborg a year later. He played the past year with Nantes. His father played for Millonarios in Colombia and his grandfather played for Deportes Quindio.
Michael Bradley, 26, 602, 175, Toronto FC
A mainstay of the U.S. national team since his father, Bob Bradley, became coach in 2007, Bradley has remained one of the handful of indispensable players under Juergen Klinsmann. Only DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard have more caps than Bradley’s 86 on the U.S. World Cup roster. He also has the fourth-most goals (12) on the roster. Without Landon Donovan, Bradley has assumed the central, offensive midfield role playing at the tip of Klinsmann’s “diamond” formation. After two seasons in MLS, Bradley transferred at 18 to Europe and played in the Netherlands, Germany, England and Italy before returning earlier this year.
Brad Davis, 32, 5-11, 165, Houston Dynamo
An MLS stalwart since he entered the league with the New York-New Jersey MetroStars in 2002, Davis very rarely played with the U.S. national team until last year. He played only five games between his 2005 debut and 2013, when he played in seven, including four in World Cup qualifying. At 32, Davis is one of the oldest members of the World Cup team. Primarily a left-sided midfielder, Davis is a specialist on set pieces and is known for his accuracy on crosses.
Mix Diskerud, 23, 6-0, 150, Rosenborg (NOR)
Mikkel Diskerud was born in Oslo, Norway, to an American mother and Norwegian father. He played with Norway’s U-18s and U-19s before joining the United States for the 2009 U-20 World Cup. Diskerud has played his entire club career in Norway except for a half season with Gent in Belgium. After playing only once in each year between 2010 and 2012, Diskerud played 13 times for the United States last year, including helping the Americans win the Gold Cup and qualify for the World Cup.
Julian Green, 19, 5-7, 140, Bayern Munich (GER)
Green is probably Juergen Klinsmann’s most questioned inclusion on the U.S. World Cup roster. Although a professional in the Bayern Munich system for two years, he has only played two minutes in one game with the first-division club. He scored 15 goals in 23 games for the club’s reserve side in the German third division this past season. Green was born in Tampa to a German mother and American father and played for Germany during qualifying for the U-19 European Championship. He received permission from FIFA to switch allegiances to the United States in March and has played 58 minutes in two games since.
Jermaine Jones, 32, 6-0, 170, Besiktas (TUR)
Jones, who first played for the United States in 2010, has been the primary defensive midfielder since Klinsmann’s arrival in 2011. He played for Germany in qualifying for the 2001 U-20 World Cup and also was capped three times by the full German team. Jones, the son of a German mother and American father, was born in Chicago and also spent time in Greenwood, Miss. He has played his 15-year professional career in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and Frankfurt, save for a loan stint with England’s Blackburn and his most recent transfer this past season to Besiktas in Turkey. He has 12 yellow cards in 41 games for the United States.
Graham Zusi, 27, 5-10, 160, Sporting KC
Despite making his national team debut in January 2012, Zusi became a mainstay in Juergen Klinsmann’s midfield during the latter half of 2014 World Cup qualifying, scoring two goals in 12 games. He scored six goals and had eight assists to lead Sporting KC to the MLS Cup last year. Zusi became a hero of Mexican fans when he scored in injury time against Panama on Oc.t 15, 2013, to give the United States a 3-2 victory, and resurrect El Tri’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.
DaMarcus Beasley, 32, 5-8, 145, Puebla (MEX)
Beasley was a starter the last time the United States played Portugal, and won, in 2002, and if he steps on the field in Brazil he’ll be the first American to play in four World Cups. Beasley has resurrected and extended his career on the national team by retreating from midfield to outside back. After being a mainstay from 2002 to 2008, he played only 15 games from 2009 to 2012. In 2013, he played 17 times, all starts. His club career has taken him from MLS to the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Germany and now Mexico.
Matt Besler, 27, 6-0, 170, Sporting KC
A 2008 graduate of Notre Dame (and former roommate of quarterback Jimmy Clausen), Besler joined Sporting KC a year later in central defense, was chosen MLS Defender of the Year in 2012 and became a regular with the U.S. national team last year. He made 11 starts in 12 games in 2013 for the United States, including six games in the final stages of World Cup qualifying. He played the third-most minutes of any defender for the United States last year while also anchoring the defense for SKC in winning the MLS Cup.
John Brooks, 21, 6-4, 170, Hertha Berlin (GER)
The youngest defender, and third-youngest overall, on the U.S. World Cup roster, Brooks has played his entire career with Hertha Berlin, beginning in the youth system and joining its reserve side in 2011. He has played this past season in the Bundesliga (German first division), having spent the previous two in the lower leagues. He played with the U.S. U-20s in 2010 and U.S. U-23s in 2011 before also playing with the German U-19s. His father is an American serviceman from Chicago and his mother is German. He first played for the United States in August and has four caps.
Fabian Johnson, 26, 6-0, 155, Borussia
Johnson played in the Germany youth national team system since 2003 and was a member of Germany’s 2009 European U-21 championship team before switching to the United States two years later. Like several of his U.S. teammates, he is the son of an American father and a German mother. He has played 22 games since, scoring his first goal against Turkey on June 1. Johnson has played for 1860 Munich in his hometown, Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim. He has transferred to Moenchengladbach for next season.
Geoff Cameron, 28, 6-3, 185, Stoke City (ENG)
Cameron played four-and-a-half seasons for the Houston Dynamo before transferring to Stoke City in 2012. A midfielder in college at West Virginia and Rhode Island, he shifted to defender and was the Dynamo’s Defender of the Year in 2009 and selected to MLS’ Best XI in only his second season. After his transfer during the summer of 2012, the Boston-area native has established himself as a regular at Stoke City. Used primarily in central defense by Klinsmann, he also has played wide for his club.
Timothy Chandler, 24, 6-1, 180, Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
Another former German youth national team product, Chandler has played for the United States since 2011, earning 13 caps (one in World Cup qualifying) since. He came up through the Eintracht Frankfurt youth system until 2008 when he was promoted to the club’s reserve team. He transferred to Nurnburg’s reserve team in 2010 and moved up to the senior club a year later. He scored four goals in 93 appearances in the Bundesliga but has transferred back to Frankfurt. His father is American and mother German.
Omar Gonzalez, 25, 6-5, 210, LA Galaxy
Gonzalez has been a starter in the pros since he was drafted early out of the University of Maryland in 2009, only months after helping lead the Terrapins to the NCAA College Cup. The MLS Rookie of the Year (2009), Defender of the Year (2011) and a three-time Best XI selection has won the MLS Cup twice and was MVP of the 2012 MLS Cup final. He has played 20 times for the United States (eight in World Cup qualifying) since making his national team debut in 2010. He had the second-most minutes (1,172) for the United States last year behind only DaMarcus Beasley.
DeAndre Yedlin, 20, 5-8, 150, Seattle Sounders
The second-youngest player on the team with only one-and-a-half seasons as a pro, Yedlin has been noted for his flank speed by Klinsmann. He played as a member of the United States team at the U-20 World Cup in 2013, started 32 of 33 games with Seattle Sounders last year (leading the team in minutes) and also was named a MLS All-Star.
Brad Guzan, 29, 6-4, 210, Aston Villa (ENG)
Guzan has played with the U.S. national team since 2006, was the starting goalkeeper in the 2008 Olympics and is the heir apparent for the starting job when Tim Howard is done. He started in MLS with Chivas USA before moving to England, beginning with Aston Villa, moving to Hull and then back to Aston Villa, where he has been the regular keeper for the past two-and-a-half seasons.
Tim Howard, 35, 6-3, 210, Everton (ENG)
Howard has played for the United States since 2002 and been its No. 1 goalkeeper since 2007. Saturday’s game against Nigeria was his 100th match in a U.S. uniform, tying him with Tony Meola for second-most in U.S. history and two behind Kasey Keller. The 2-1 win was his 55th for the United States, two more than Keller’s previous record. A New Jersey native, Howard started his pro career with the then MetroStars (now Red Bulls), moved to Manchester United in 2003 and then in 2006 to Everton, where he has remained.
Nick Rimando, 34, 5-11, 180, Real Salt Lake
Clearly the third-choice goalkeeper on the roster, Rimando has 14 caps with the United States since making his national team debut in 2002. He was the goalkeeper in five of six games as the United States won the 2013 Gold Cup. Rimando has played his entire career in MLS, twice winning MLS Cup, once each with D.C. United (2004) and Real Salt Lake (2009).