Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron today got the news he had been waiting for, learning that he had been called into US National Team manager Juergen Klinsmann's first qualifying camp for World Cup 2014.
Of course, Cameron is not a sure thing to stay in camp for very long, they I really do wish him all the success in the world. Today's call-ups brings the roster to 27, which means there will be a cut of four players later this week. Klinsmann is set to unveil the final 23-man roster Friday afternoon, the day before the friendly with Scotland on Saturday in Jacksonville, which will air at 7 p.m. Central (Why does anyone list any other time zone anyway? You'd think they'd learn by now.) on NBC Sports Network and Galavision.
The plan is for the 23-man group to remain together for friendlies against Brazil on May 30 at FedEx Field in Maryland, and Canada (and Andre Hainault) on June 3 in Toronto, as well as qualifiers with Antigua on June 8 in Tampa and at Guatemala four days later.
Today's call-ups were:
DEFENDERS: Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland).
MIDFIELDERS: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
As for the omissions, first, I have looked and looked and still I see no sign of Brad Davis on these call-ups. Personally, I am not surprised, but still disappointed for ol' Big Ears, who we all know just bleeds red, white and blue. The guy is tough as nails, the best set piece deliverer in MLS and a leader of men. Too bad he never played for a German club.
Here are some other notable omissions: FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea (whose brain-power, I think, gets less and less with the weirdness of each successive haircut), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton. I wonder, if Bolton had stayed up, if Ream had gotten this call), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) and Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht). Now, I, or one, have never been a big Kljestan fan, but he has put together a rather solid season, so his omission seems kind of puzzling to me. And really, I think we can all safely say that this is the end of DMB era at the USMNT. As for the Brekster, well, kick a ball towards a ref and bad things happen. Does he really need to get a lesson in this?
US Soccer released a quote sheet of Klinsi's, and here's what he had to say about Shea:
"We have watched Brek during the last few months, and given his performances and some of the other issues we felt he should be on the standby list. He’s still a young player with a lot of talent, and also a lot to learn."
Here's the whole roster, of which 16 are based in Europe, seven in MLS and four in Mexico:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hanover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland).
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
As for what this means for the Houston Dynamo, well, as happy as I am for those guys, this is just going to decimate our back line. Haniault and Cameron have been called in, and I really do not think Geoff will get cut Friday. And any day now, expect Je-Vaughn Watson and Jermaine Taylor to get called up to the Reggae Boyz as well, especially since Taylor has been Jamaica's captain. The less said about Watson's absence (or presence) the better, however, I am thinking we're about to see this back line: Kofi Sarkodie (assuming his foot gets better, and fast!), Bobby Boswell, Nathan Sturgis, Corey Ashe, with Warren Creavalle and Oscar Recio as subs.
In the midfield, meanwhile, not to sound like a broken record or anything, but this is nothing but opportunity for Alex Dixon. The two games our call-ups will miss are this Saturday against the Gag-me-axy and June 10 at Vancouver. The game in between is a friendly here vs. Valencia, so I do not count it. I fully expect Dixon to start one of those games, if not both, or at least play in both. We'll see.
What do you think about this roster?