2019 Gold Cup roster/starter predictions?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by RalleeMonkey, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It’s hard to predict a 23 when a bomb needs to be dropped on the team and totally rebuilt.

    But no fun in saying that....

    Starter: Ethan Horvath
    Back-ups: Zack Steffen, Jesse Gonzalez
    Alternate: Bill Hamid
    Contenders: Sean Johnson, Alex Bono

    Comments: Really, the #1 spot is up for grabs between Horvath, Steffen, Gonzalez, and Hamid. All 4 should get a shot and whoever ends up on top should be the starter in 2019. That said, my bet is Horvath ends up on top.

    Right Back:
    Starter: DeAndre Yedlin
    Back-up: Shaq Moore
    Alternate: Timmy Chandler
    Contenders: Matt Polster, Desevio Payne, Eric Lichaj, Marlon Fossey, Reggie Cannon, Matthew Olosunde, Jakob Nerwinski, Sergino Dest

    Comments: Not much is sure about this team except Yedlin is a starter; whether at RB or RW in a 352. Who backs him up? Moore might be the leading contender at this point.

    Left Back:
    Starter: Jorge Villafana
    Back-up: Antonee Robinson
    Alternate: Greg Garza
    Contenders: Brandon Vincent, Danilo Acosta, Nick Lima, Marlon Hairston

    Comments: Wide open. Villafana is getting the nod at this moment because of his call up and that he brings experience. Hopefully, someone will knock him off and at best, by 2019, he’ll be an alternate. Kellyn Acosta may slide back to LB. Hopefully, Robinson progressss. We just need SOMEONE to step up, because if we are depending on Villafana, it’ll be because we’re hurting.

    Center Backs:
    Starters: John Brooks, Matt Miazga
    Back-ups: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Eric Palmer-Brown
    Alternate: Justen Glad
    Contenders: Tim Parker, Walker Zimmermann, Aaron Long, Eriq Zavaleta

    Comments: The one position I have some hope for, although we need to season some of these prospects. Brooks should be ready for a leadership role; then it’s a matter of who partners him. Best bets are Miazga, but there’s stiff competition. Note that it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a 352 would be our best formation; especially since fullback (outside of Yedlin) is by far our weakest link.

    Defensive Midfielder:
    Starter: Jonathan Gonzalez
    Back-up: Wil Trapp
    Alternate: Marky Delgado
    Contenders: Chris Durkin, Russell Canouse, Perry Kitchen

    Comment: Gonzalez is the front runner, and I’m shocked to say that Trapp is quietly putting up a case to be the back up. In the post-Bradley era, this might seem shaky at first, but even outside of this group, we could pull from one of the other midfield spots, if needed, which should inspire some confidence.

    Center Midfielder:
    Starter: Weston McKennie
    Back-up: Cristian Roldan
    Alternate: Kyle Scott
    Contenders: Chris Goslin, Emo Hyndman, Gedion Zelalem, Juan Torres, Djordje Mihailovic, Danny Williams

    Comments: let’s go ahead and get ready for the McKennie era, as this team will be the McKennie-Pulisic show. The question is who backs him up? Roldan is good enough that we should find a spot in the starting XI for him, but I feel ready confident, having him as an option on the bench. After Roldan and McKennie, there may be a budding star in Scott, who keeps making Chelsea’s bench but no appearances yet. After that we have some prospects, but they need to take their game to the next level, and we have an aging Williams we could rely on in need.

    Right Midfielder:
    Starter: Paul Arriola
    Back-up: Tyler Adams
    Alternate: Brooks Lennon
    Contenders: Alfredo Morales, Seb Lletget, Gyasi Zardes, Ethan Finlay

    Comments: I don’t know why he was left out of Sarachan’s roster, but he was about the only bright spot on the poor showing in qualifying. Arriola should get his shot to cement his place as a starter. Then? Does Adams fill in as a RM instead of a CDM or RB. He may need to, as it starts to get slim afte that, unless Lletget returns to form, Lennon takes his game up a level, or one of the other cats makes a name for himself between here and then.

    Left Midfielder:
    Starter: Kellyn Acosta
    Back-up: Lynden Gooch
    Alternate: Darlington Nagbe
    Contenders: Kekuta Manneh, Kenny Saief, Jonathan Lewis, Nick Taitague

    Comments: Where is Acosta’s best position? We’ll need to figure that out between here and then, and only if he gets over his 2017 slump. I have him at LM now, although he’s a poor man McKennie, as LB he might get too exposed. Either way, that needs to be sorted out. Gooch and Nagbe are in the dugout, where Gooch needs to step up and Nagbe needs to show up. After them, there’s still some possibility in the other guys, but we need to see some improvement.

    Starter: Christian Pulisic
    Back-up: Josh Sargent
    Alternate: Andrew Carleton
    Contenders: Kelyn Rowe, Jordan Morris, Joe Corona, Juan Agudelo

    Comments: Okay, so there’s not a Pulisic replacement, and this team needs to be built around him. In this case, we’re taking three forwards, and Pulisic is his own thing. Sargent is hoping, but we need to see him to continue to perform and show he can perform against men. Carleton is another in that same boat. Rowe had a GREAT 2017 Gold Cup showing and could reclaim his spot if he can quit being so inconsistent. Then, we need Morris also to show some consistency and the same for Corona. That said, when looking for this position, we’re looking for that player who can play off the main striker and add some creativity to the team.

    Starter: Bobby Wood
    Back-up: Haji Wright
    Alternate: Dom Dwyer
    Contenders: Tim Weah, Christian Ramirez, CJ Sapong, Jozy Altidore, Jordan Siebatcheu

    Comments: A lot can change. Wood needs to pull his head out of his butt because right now, he’s anything but secure as the starter, or even on the team. What’s holding that change back, is no one else seems ready to knock him off. Either way, the hot hand makes the roster.
  2. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Arsenal FC
    I think this thread needs a little perspective.

    All I heard last cycle was that Bradley and Jones had to play every game because we couldn't experiment and there was plenty of time to get others integrated. No, there wasn't. When Acosta fell thru, Arena was grasping at straws like Arriola who is a winger to play in cmid instead of the best player in MLS like Roldan, Delgado, EPB, etc.

    I come to this thread and I see US5 saying Bradley will play because let's face it he hasn't aged out and he's the captain.

    Here's and idea. Let's start planning for 2022 from this day forward.

    Consider this: The biggest problem we face in shaping a team right now is not lack of players which is coming out of our ears at the moment but rather any meaningful competitions on the horizon. That being the case, why would we squander the first opportunity on playing Bradley?

    Let's look at the Gold Cup and why we should start planning for it on Nov 14 against Portugal. If we win Gold Cup 2019 we go to Confed Cup. If we lose we have a playoff with the winner for a spot in Confed Cup (disclaimer: I believe Confed Cup in Qatar 2021 isn't set yet and there is talk of cancelling it). So, Mexico will be bringing their A team and I could see playing them twice in 2019 in a meaningful game. That means we have a meaningful benchmark by 2019. Why would we dirty it up with players who will not be around in 2022?

    Generally, the Gold Cup roster has been tilted towards stateside players because the Euros are on vacation, in club competitions, recovering from end of season fatigue/knocks, relegation battles etc. whereas MLS players are in mid season form. I.o.w., rosters with Euros on them are pretty tenuous.

    For Jan camp 2018 with 2019 in mind.

    -------------morris ---Ramirez
    -----------------gk: Klinsmann

    2nd team
    ----------------------gk: Steffen, Gonzalez

    LeJet is on the mend, I hope.

    For me it looks like we should be headed towards playing a scoring midfield and back line because forwards are a bit thin. That would mean having Adams and Lletget and Rowe in the wb type midfield and guys like Carleton and Zardes in the mix somewhere, in addition to expecting Roldan to add some goals. Have to hope Arriola's finishing improves.

    The players I see adding form Europe eventually in a playoff would be Pulisic, McKennie, EPB, Yedlin. I'm not so sure about Brooks. Brooks is the best when he's good but his drop off can be bad in off performances.
    rashaverak1961 repped this.
  3. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I took a crack at projecting the 2019 Gold Cup roster in this thread last month:http://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/go...xpectations-and-wishes.2076866/#post-36014009

    Here's my guess - I'm assuming that we'll want to put our best foot forward to win the tournament while also keeping an eye toward building for 2022. I expect to see a few veteran holdovers here to provide some stability (hence the inclusion of guys like Michael Bradley, Matt Besler and Brad Guzan).

    Brad Guzan (34), Bill Hamid (29), Ethan Horvath (24)

    Alternates: Zack Steffen (24), Alex Bono (25), Sean Johnson (30)

    DeAndre Yedlin (26), Matt Miazga (24), John Brooks (26), Fabian Johnson* (31), Brandon Vincent (25), Cameron Carter-Vickers (22), Matt Besler (32), Erik Palmer-Brown (22)

    Alternates: Timmy Chandler (29), Omar Gonzalez (31), Shaq Moore (22), Justen Glad (22), Danny Acosta (22), Antonee Robinson (21), Walker Zimmerman (26), Tim Parker (26), Matt Hedges (29)

    Michael Bradley (32), Kellyn Acosta (24), Darlington Nagbe (29), Christian Pulisic (20), Kenny Saief (25), Paul Arriola (24), Weston McKennie (21), Danny Williams (30),

    Alternates: Tyler Adams (20), Jonathan Gonzalez (20), Sebastian Lletget (27), Gyasi Zardes (28), Emerson Hyndman (23), Andrew Carleton (19), Kelyn Rowe (28), Marky Delgado (24), Wil Trapp (26), Alejandro Bedoya (32), Kyle Scott (21)

    Bobby Wood (27), Jozy Altidore (29), Jordan Morris (25), Haji Wright (21)

    Alternates: Dom Dwyer (29), Juan Agudelo (26), Josh Sargent (19), Aron Johannsson (28), Christian Ramirez (28), Andrew Wooten (29)

    I could envision a 4-2-3-1 line-up here, with Bradley and Acosta as the holding midfielders, Pulisic as a central attacking midfielder, and Nagbe and Arriola as nominal wingers.

    * I put this next to Fabian Johnson's name because who knows if he will still be playing for the USMNT two years from now. If not, I think Chandler or Moore will be added in his place.

    Here's my guess at a starting line-up based on this roster:

    RalleeMonkey and Eleven Bravo repped this.
  4. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    Good work. Love 90% of this roster and ideas how to use them.

    For me, it's all working towards the next WC. Gold Cup means little to me in the big picture. And with that focus I don't invite Bradley, Nagbe, Altidore, Guzan or FabJo. All will be well into their 30's by the next WC and we have to start sooner than later to look at the next wave.
    olephill2 repped this.
  5. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks. And you make a good point about building toward 2022 as the principal focus. But I could envision our next coach (whomever that is) keeping a few veterans around in 2019 and possibly even 2020 to help facilitate a transition between generations. Some of those veterans (Bradley, Besler, Guzan) I'm projecting because they're good locker room guys, they're steady, and they have experience. Others (Altidore, Nagbe) actually will have a legit shot to make a World Cup roster in 2022. Altidore and Nagbe will be 32. That isn't out of the realm of possibility, especially if some of our younger prospects don't step up and take their spots.
  6. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    It seemed they didn’t like this discussion in the YA thread and seemed like a reasonable place to continue it.

    The two biggest concerns I have with this front 6 is I haven’t been convinced with Acosta and Wood’s form hasn’t been great lately. Hopefully, BW turns things around (tough for a forward without service) and Acosta makes a move abroad and raises his game.

    I’m leaving Wood on as I don’t think we currently have a better option and his work rate on both sides the ball will still be very helpful. I’m replacing Acosta with Hyndman because I love his game and think he will sort out his career in the next year (a loan in the spring and either breaks through Bournemouth next year or finds a better spot).

    Wood is stretching the defense, Pulisic has freedom to go wherever he wants, the midfield is a skinny diamond where Gonzalez mostly sits deep and WM or KP cover for him whenever he goes forward, the three in front of them rotate however plays develop, and our outside backs get forward as much as possible.


    LB - I can’t wait until we have a couple of strong players to fill this traditional weakness. For now, I’d have to go with unknowns or converted midfielders... Saief, Adams, Acosta.

    We could easily go with 3 in the back. I’d throw on CCV (maybe EPB) and pull of Hyndman as he is the speculative one at this point.


    @DHC1 , would you think it would reasonable to play a more possession and attacking style with these players if they continue to develop? I think there is nice balance in technical ability and physicality.
    justinpaul10 repped this.
  7. justinpaul10

    justinpaul10 Member+

    Sep 2, 2013
    Fair enough. My issue was that I was trying to keep a very high work rate in the back 3 in the midfield, thus Acosta. He also brings an excellent set price delivery that I don’t see anyone else on the field having.

    I like your lineup but I am not sure Parks work rate is high enough for the RCM spot, you could replace Acosta with Danny Williams also.
  8. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    The high work rate makes sense. I could obviously be wrong on Acosta, and project Adams to have a higher ceiling (and covers more ground), but may need him out wide and where I think he’ll be better. Agree completely DW, but was trying to go younger and obviously don’t have to completely do that in the next couple of years. I think the 3 man back line with JG, WM, and KP as 6/8/10s would be a better option. Also, Parks is only a few months past his 20th birthday, so still possible that his work rate can improve. Of course all of this is very speculative!

    Back to Hyndman... I desperately want a player like him on the field. He is such a smart player and touches are about as clean as they could be. He hasn’t been in our side because he is ambitious to play in a top league and very competitive for minutes. He was an outlet for every player on u20s in 2015 and rarely lost ball, even when getting tough passes under pressure. Later that year he was one of best players against the u23 Colombian side and showed he could handle their physicality. He did fine in the championship as a 18/9 yo. He’s sat for the first half of the last two seasons, but made the most of time with Rangers. He struggled against Celtic, but at least part of it being such a more talented and physical side than the rest of the league and the nature of those games. Hoping for a good loan after the break. The ide of EH playing in front of the three other midfielders with CP roaming in front seems like it could be quite dangerous.
    justinpaul10 repped this.
  9. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    United States
    May 4, 2017


  10. rashaverak1961

    New England Revolution
    United States
    Jul 23, 2017
    Well said.

    I appreciate everything that the generation of Bradley, Dempsey, Howard, Jermaine Jones, Zusi, O Gonzales, Cameron, Beckerman, Wondo, et al did for the team.

    But there is zero benefit in playing any of these folks moving forward.

    We need to give the younger generation playing time.

    We knew we were going to have to go backward for a bit before we started moving forward. Playing The Old Guard longer delays the start of moving forward towards the future.
    Excellency repped this.
  11. wrench

    wrench Member+

    May 12, 2007
    Arsenal FC
    Miazga Cameron Brooks

    Yedlin McKinnie Parks Gonzalez Saief

    Pulisic Wright

    Cameron has not played much. He will provide experience and should be fresh for 60 mins. Yedlin provides cover and can get forward. Saief needs to be integrated and that's where he plays for club. WMcK n Gonzalez are a little more defensive while Parks seems to thrive as an orchestrator. The two up top need to get familiar with each other.

    All this is contingent on moving to three at the back. Flexible, of course. Personally, we need to use this tourney for bringing the new wave together. The way it's going, there are many more options at every position. This is just what I have seen live and from highlights. I hope we can find a coach who has a stomach for change and balls for trusting these younger guys. Even if we go four at the back, we have lots of tools to go 433 or 442. In this setting and considering our time frame for learning, let's go for it.

    Btw, I just noticed this whole team is euros. I think it's worth goin.
  12. USA2010?

    USA2010? Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Way, way more painful than funny. Too soon? Uh...yeah.
  13. TheFalseNine

    TheFalseNine Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Jul 15, 2014
    Norman, Okla.
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #38 TheFalseNine, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Little over a year until our next competitive match :eek:, so I'm bumping this thread. Should get a better idea of the pecking order after these 3 upcoming friendlies.
  14. comoesa

    comoesa Member+

    Aug 13, 2010
    Christen Press's armpit
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Guys like Cameron, Bradley, and Bedoya will be 32+ come next year nd aren't Dempsey/Donovan level so there is no need to keep them around imo.

    The only player I see making it form that cohort is Altidore.

    So, I'm predicting a roster of guys all under 30 except maybe Guzan.
    Winoman and TheFalseNine repped this.
  15. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    On My Squatty Potty
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Would be cool. Means a bunch of youngsters broke thru and had good 2018-19 seasons.

    Left out the GK as I don't care about the GK at this point.
    TxEx, Winoman and TheFalseNine repped this.
  16. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    I think things are very slowly starting to take shape, especially with Copa America off the table.

    At the end of qualifying, I thought the only surefire starters going forward were Pulisic, Yedlin, and Brooks. Now, I'd add McKennie and Miazga to that. Then, I'd say Adams and CCV are definitely on the roster, though I'd need to see more before I commit to them as starters. So, my partial starting 11 (in a 4-2-3-1) would be:


    GK, LB, and Forward are totally up in the air. I feel like there are good potential options for the remaining midfields spots, but it depends on who steps up and who develops in the next year.
    TheFalseNine repped this.
  17. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    I only want players on the roster who have earned their spots. This is even more important for competitive tournaments like this one. So if in a year everyone's raving about de la Fuente or Booth, I don't want them on the NT, unless they somehow breakthrough at the first division pro level. I'll disagree that they should play for the NT. But all players should be given the chance to earn a spot on the NT with their club play, so if they somehow do, they can earn a spot.

    Only current spot earners:

    GK: Hamid, Steffen, Guzan
    DF: Yedlin, Chandler, Besler, Brooks, Miazga, EPB, Glad, Robinson
    MF: Trapp, Bradley, McKennie, Adams, Delgado, Pulisic, Saief, Lletget, Mueller
    FW: Altidore, Agudelo, Morris

    Projecting spot earners (best case scenario IMO):

    GK: Hamid, Steffen, Guzan
    DF: Yedlin, Chandler, Besler, Brooks, Miazga, EPB, Acosta, Adams
    MF: Trapp, Durkin, McKennie, Parks, Amon, Pulisic, Carleton, Saief
    FW: Agudelo, Weah, Sargent, Wright
  18. Eighteen Alpha

    Eighteen Alpha Member+

    Aug 17, 2016
    Stoke City FC
    You repeat this on every thread and then unfailingly include Agudelo on every roster you post, regardless of circumstances.
  19. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    'Earned' as defined how, exactly? This term is so arbitrary for a program like the USMNT that needs a complete overhaul. For my money, several on your list haven't earned anything but a gold watch and retirement. What I think is needed is a good 2-3 years of seeing who wants to earn it with the USMNT and not with club.

    We probably should be focused on potential at this point. What we've seen recently is severe mediocrity with some talented youth mixed in. Makes me like the current roster for Bolivia more than yours.

    That said, all I want is a coach with a clue to recent USMNT woes and zero bias for or against the MLS and Europe.
  20. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    On My Squatty Potty
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agudelo has done absolutely nothing to warrant a callup.

    1 goal/1 assist in 9 games?

    Zardes has 8.
    Bunbury has 5 and 1.
    Dwyer has 6.

    Mueller a 21 yr old rookie already has 3 and 1 while largely playing at RM/RW.
  21. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012

    He always does earn his call ups. Just because some of you dislike him based on very faulty narratives doesn't mean your opinions that are not factually based should have to be ones that everyone should hold.

    The audacity you have to try to call me out is pretty astonishing, given where the facts lie in this case.
  22. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    If we play only those who earned their spots we better convince opponents to play 5 on 5 with no keepers.
  23. laxcoach

    laxcoach Member+

    Borussia Dortmund
    United States
    Jul 29, 2017
    Really, the audacity to have an opinion not based on MLS stats for an international team....oh the travesty.
  24. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Maybe you should look at who started the disagreement. I didn't say he couldn't have a different opinion.

    However, he shouldn't call me out as if I was contradicting myself when there is a valid argument and he just disagreed with it. Thats a difference of opinion, not a contradiction.
  25. Eighteen Alpha

    Eighteen Alpha Member+

    Aug 17, 2016
    Stoke City FC
    I'm audacious like that. And I never said I didn't like Agudelo. And that is some illustrious company he is keeping in the above tweet.
    You're hyper defensive about me calling you out for picking Agudelo and throw up some stats to shut me down but, at least since I have been lurking he has made every roster you post and there is no way you can argue he earned it every time throughout that period.
    Being an adopted Colombian, I had high hopes for Agudelo and neither am I completely writing him off. I was calling you out for this "rule" you keep harping on that gives us the likes of Bradley. At this point I could care less if we win friendlies. We need to look at new players and cut loose of the entitled losers that won't be around to play in '22 in the first place.
    Show some intellectual honesty. Everyone knows you love Trapp, Besler, Hamid and Agudelo and that is perfectly fine. But you tie yourself in verbal knots justifying their presence on every roster you put out whether they have objectively "earned" it, in that specific instance, or not. And now you have this arbitrary rule that excludes prospects who are getting minutes on some of the biggest teams in the world (for friendlies, no less). And that is absolutely your right as well - more power to you. But if you are going to be so opinionated you should expect people to call you out. Grow a skin. Peace.
    Patrick167 repped this.

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