Having qualified – on September 10th in the now-almost comical scoreline (the fourth time it’s happened in Columbus, OH) of 2-0 (Dos a Cero) beating Mexico – for 2014’s World Cup in Brazil, the US Men’s National Team will have two more World Cup Qualifiers to play in October.
Although the man behind the plan – Jurgen Klinsmann – has stated that he will bring the best players for the remaining two World Cup Qualifiers, I think it’s time for some of the benchwarmers to have a bit more playing time, or at the very least, get the call up for the squad to get more involved with the team. So it looks like we’ll be seeing some of the younger, fresher-faced players with minimal caps to go along with the veterans.
Also, US Soccer relayed the news to the American soccer faithful that the US would have a rematch of sorts in Glasgow against Scotland, the second meeting in a year and a half, with the first being a 5-1romp for the Good Guys.
Here are a few players to keep an eye out for in the coming month for both World Cup Qualifiers and friendly:
Aron ‘I’m a Machine and Score When I Want’ Johannsson – The Icelandic-American AZ Alkmaar Forward will look to get more of a 15-minute substitute nod.
***John ‘Don’t worry Americans, I’ll get cap-tied eventually to the US’ Brooks – The German-American defender played in the Bosnia friendly (the USMNT won 4-3), and his playing was well-received. Here’s hoping for his first US cap for the World Cup Qualifiers. ***I wrote this snippet about John Brooks before he was injured on Sunday. With most recent reports, he should be out of commission for about 2-3 weeks because of an arm injury sustained in a match with his club team, Hertha Berlin. At least my nickname for him is more humorous now, no?***
Mix ‘Just call me the arctic fox with great hair’ Diskerud – The Norwegian-American was cap-tied this year and has already made an impression on opposing teams, the USMNT and staff, and Americans fans alike. Here’s Diskerud’s first goal for the USMNT:
And here’s Mix’s cheeky little chip that led to his assist to Donovan for the second goal of the Dos a Cero match in September’s World Cup Qualifier:
Sacha ‘I’m the American in Belgium with the fancy moustache’ Kljestan – One of two Americans in the Champions League (Jermaine Jones is the other), the Anderlecht midfielder has been playing on the top of his game (maybe to impress Klinsi?) and by snagging his first goal for Anderlecht this season – the first game of the season – we’ll see if that means playing time for the former Chivas USA player.
Eric Lichaj – The US International, who is currently at Nottingham Forest, is in need of getting a look from Klinsmann, as the defensive options aren’t as plentiful as previously thought. Also, the more the defender plays in the Championship in England, the more refined his playing has become. As a matter of fact, his first cap only came three years ago:
Bobby Wood – Though I don’t know about him as much as I’d like, he’s intriguing to me. The Hawaiian-born American plays for 1860 Munich in 2. Bundesliga and, though he’d been injured in 2011 and 2012, Wood has come back with an eye for the goal – as he should seeing he’s a forward. Wood has a somewhat scrappy demeanor for a forward, but has the tenacity that a striker needs to flourish. Here’s hoping he can see some time – or at the very least gets called up – during the Scotland friendly.
One player who I want to see, at least for the friendly in Scotland – because let’s face it, Klinsmann’s not going just cap-tie him because Mexico wants him, too – but is an unlikely showing: Luis Gil. The 19-year-old Real Salt Lake midfielder made it to the number 2 spot on this year’s MLSsoccer.com’s 24 Under 24 list. Now that’s something special.