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April 5, 2012

USMNT Hopefuls - April 2012

(Falling a bit behind on the MLS Goalie stuff but that was to be expected I guess...)

Good news! I entered 2012. These are the spreadsheets I'll be using to post players' progress and predictions.

The Latest
  • Gyau, along with Corona and Adu, were the most highly praised following the Olympic qualifying (que loud exhale). Personally, I thought our defensive woes were more worrisome than lack of offensive firepower. Either way, Gyau's speed and ability to get in and out of tight positions was encouraging. I'd like to see his field vision continue to rise but for right now I'm very pleased.
  • More up and downs for Woods. He starts making appearances (a cool three caps) after getting cleared to play but suffers yet another injury that requires knee surgery. I've been a big fan since the summer but the amount of time off the field is not encouraging.
  • Corona enjoyed a goal-happy tournament and seemed to really be the major drive in the team's offense. Back to Mexico for now.
  • Gatt scored in the opener for Molde and is looking forward to the Champions League this summer.
  • Diskerud gave a surprise interview over on There were mixed reviews on his play from the tournament, with me more on the positive side.
  • Johnson was the main scapegoat from the debacle in Nashville but before the El Salvador game I thought he had been looking sharp and still promising. The Hamid fan club is strong right now but I think Johnson has more than a slimmer of a chance to get to Brazil in '14.
  • Hamid looks to be relying on pure athleticism to get by over mental preparation before a shot. He's a tad chaotic with shot saving in recent games. The first goal in the Canada game is a good example in that he was just putting himself out in the mix and not really thinking about the best way to handle the ball. He'll be fine when it's all over but that's his biggest hurdle to clear at the moment.
  • McInerney has gathered modest time from the Union. He's scrapped 65 minutes in the three games he's played but as the Union has only scored two goals in four games they may be looking to change things up.
  • Duka is still recovering from an hamstring injury he suffered in the first game of the season.
  • Gil picked up his first goal of the season back on the 18th and has been called into Ramos' camp that runs from the 9th-16th.
  • Rowe scored his first goal of the season as well back on April Fool's Day. The highlight shows him playing a great ball to ex-international hopeful Lee Nguyen. Nguyen's attempt on goal is cleared out but the ensuing throw-in gave Rowe a one-on-one with Sounders. Rowe really didn't shoot the first shot as much as he just placed it on goal but the follow up was definitely clutch.
  • Garza wrote for about his journey to Tijuana. The LB has received some time for the club but only at the end of the game.
  • Chandler is getting regular minutes and his play, minus as of late, has been above average.
  • Lletget was the expected fill-in for Porter and the U23s after Gatt dropped out but missed the cut. BigSoccer rumored of fitness problems but West Ham's site praised him for recent good play with the reserve squad.
  • Lichaj recovered from the injury rather nicely with a goal and an assist in his second game back. The public opinion was liking the push forward but defending was a little weak.
  • MacMath has struggled for Philadelphia, which is really unfortunate because he's made some great heads up plays for them too. The goalie pipeline in America will be fine with time.
  • Jeffrey was bad on all accounts against Canada. His defensive game seems to be a big liability at the moment. Maybe an attacking center-mid position would fit him best.
  • Pelosi is still recovering...
  • Kitchen received mixed reviews at the OQs. Has solidified a starting spot at DC United, apparently.
  • Oliver was called into the most recent U20 camp with Gil. Oliver has committed to Indiana University for the fall.
(Drop outs)
  • Hertzog has had trouble cracking the starting lineup for NY. He's seen time in reserve games though.
  • The 18 year old Daniel Potts is with the reserves but his American ties are so weak I'm not torn up that he dropped from the 20.
I also started charting the "Old Guys" progress. Some interesting stuff...

Again, these are all just guesses, not facts. But that said, some interesting things I noticed:
  • Bocanegra, Beasley, Cherundolo, Goodson, Jones, and Buddle are not projected to make it to Brazil.
  • Adu is projected to reach 67 caps (he has 17 now) but of those next 50 only 4 will come the next two years.
  • Chad Marshall still has eight caps left in him.
  • The MLS is deceivingly represented in the list. 9 of the 32 players are currently in the MLS (with three of them looking at only one more cap). But most of the players started in the MLS. Steve Cherundolo and Jose Torres are the only one in the top fifteen that didn't play in the MLS at some point. Yes most of those players have left the MLS but the MLS isn't the same in 2012 as it was in 2002. But that's an argument for another day. (I will never argue that.)
  • Charlie Davies is still looking at 29 caps, which is surprising. The almost 26 year old will be towards his peak around the World Cup but I don't think anyone really knows what to expect.
The biggest question is how many coaching caps will Caleb Porter receive after the unfortunate exit... No rating system to guess that.

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