No Landon Donovan or Michael Bradley
The USA return to World Cup qualifications today with their match against Jamaica at Kingston. They are without Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley who are out with injuries. Amongst the midfielders, Bradley has an established reputation for his box to box contribution and link up with the strikers up top.
The others like Maurice Edu and Kyle Beckerman are more traditional holding midfielders with Jermaine Jones occasionally roving up. Klinsmann can call upon Jose Francisco Torres but he’s played in a number of different positions including out on the flank without imposing himself. Without Bradley, the midfield is missing speed and counterattacking strength through the centre but with Fabian Johnson and Brek Shea on the wings the US can get the ball to the box rapidly.
A more conservative 4-4-2 might be favoured with Jozy Altidore using his strength and aerial ability to knock the ball down to Hercules Gomez.
A rapidly improving Jamaican team is sure to sniff out some opportunities here. The Reggae Boyz have never defeated the USA but they have managed to fight them to a number of stalemates and the World Cup qualifiers have been no exception. All four matches played in Jamaica have resulted in draws.
Clint Dempsey is back and this will be his first match since joining Spurs from Fulham. However, his minutes maybe limited because of match fitness concerns. The USA will also feature Carlos Bocanegra having moved from Rangers to new club Racing Santander, fellow Ranger Edu leaving for Stoke to join Geoff Cameron.
Michael Orozco Fiscal also returns to the squad for his first World Cup qualifier since 2008 and his goal was the one that made history as the USA won against Mexico in Mexico for the first time back in August. Also included Graham Zusi who has been outstanding topping MLS with 12 assists.
Seems like just yesterday we were talking about Timothy Chandler, Juan Agudelo, Tim Ream, Eric Lichaj, Sacha Kljestan, Alejandro Bedoya, and Freddy Adu. But they have disappeared for one reason or the other. Klinsmann has reposed faith in wingback Johnson, Shea and striker Terrence Boyd as part of his revamped squad.