The USMNT named its 30-man preliminary roster for this summer's World Cup today. This group will convene in Palo Alto, California, later this week for a training camp that will trip the roster to the FIFA-mandated size of 23 players by the June 2 deadline.
All told, half of the 30 players currently play in Major League Soccer, as Jurgen Klinsmann's reliance on domestic-based players continues to increase. This includes six of my projected Starting XI for Brazil (see below).
Below is the breakdown of the 30 players selected today, listed by position with each player's club team in parentheses:
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (11) : DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6) : Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
My three surprises from today:
1. Eddie Johnson's absence - EJ scored some important goals for the US in qualifying, but his struggles to find good form for D.C. United this MLS campaign cost him.
2. Timmy Chandler's inclusion - Chandler continues to be an enigma for US soccer fans, as he is in and out of rosters. His inclusion speaks more to the weak outside back depth for the US than his own prowess.
3. Joe Corona's inclusion - Corona has shown flashes of promise, but he still seems raw. If he makes the 23-man roster, it will be a big surprise.
My projected Starting XI for the World Cup:
Howard; F. Johnson, Besler, Gonzalez, Cameron; Bradley, Jones; Zusi, Dempsey, Donovan; Altidore
My projected seven-man bench for the World Cup:
Guzan, Beasley, Goodson, Bedoya, Green, Johannsson, Wondolowski
My projected remainder of the 23-man roster:
Rimando, Parkhurst, Beckerman, Diskerud, Boyd
(meaning my seven cuts from the 30-man roster are Brooks, Chandler, Corona, Yedlin, Davis, Evans, Edu)