USMNT: Five MLS Defenders That Could Play a Part in Brazil 2014
The current crop of United States Men’s National Team defenders play their trade outside of the US borders.
Captain Carlos Bocanegra plays in the Spanish second division for Racing Santander.
First choice right back Steve Cherundolo is the captain for German side Hannover 96.
Both central midfielders turned center backs, Maurice Edu and Geoff Cameron, are struggling for time with Premier League side Stoke City.
Denmark is the home to the remaining two first choice defenders Michael Parkhurst and Clarence Goodson.
Even the first choice reserves of Fabian Johnson (Germany), Edgar Castillo (Mexico), Jonathan Spector (England), and Michael Orozco Fiscal (Mexico) are playing for clubs abroad.
That back line is far from permanent though with age creeping up on a few and limited club appearances questioning the spots of others. That’s where MLS can play a part. There is a plethora of American defenders playing solid 90 minute shifts for clubs at home that could see their chance at international glory in the coming months. Any of these players can look to Geoff Cameron for inspiration. A year ago he was playing with the Houston Dynamo and begging for a chance on the USMNT. Not only did he prove his worth in the January camp, but used it to springboard to a Premier League contract.
- Omar Gonzalez – Center Back, Los Angeles Galaxy
If the last year had gone differently Gonzalez could have been a big part of the first team offense. However, as things worked out Gonzalez had a major set back with a knee injury during a loan stint abroad. That time missed during the 2012 LA Galaxy season has hurt his team as much as his international hopes. He seems to have come back strong after the injury and should be called in soon.
- Matt Besler – Center Back, Sporting Kansas City
It is Besler’s center back partner Aurelien Collin that gets most of the publicity, but Besler showed real skill and level of play when Collin was out injured this season. The 25-year-old offers decent size and has played in the US Youth National Team setup in the past. Breaking through to the USMNT first team could open up some doors abroad to play at a higher level.
- George John – Center Back, FC Dallas
It’s no secret that the big center back is pushing himself to play at a higher level. The last two off seasons have been filled with rumors of a move abroad and an unsuccessful loan spell at West Ham. Returning from that loan spell during the season meant he was not on the same page as his teammates. In 2013 he either needs to find a place to play abroad permanently or stick around Dallas and have a solid 34 game season.
- Steven Beitashour – Outside Back, San Jose Earthquakes
There is talk of the Iranian National Team being hot on the heels of Beitashour because of his parents birth in the country, but Klinsmann has been quick to bring him in to a camp already. The short stint in training could lead to further inclusion in the first team. A solid 2013 season for San Jose, much like his 2012 season, will go a long way in keeping his name on the USMNT coach’s lips.
- Sheanon Williams – Outside Back, Philadelphia Union
Williams is much more of a wild card than the other names on this list. He has been a very solid member of the Philadelphia Union for two and a half years with consistent play the entire time. A history within the US Youth National Team setup is also a plus. A very physical back, he also likes to push up the field and can send in very dangerous crosses. A bit of a temper is the only knock on the up and coming outside back.
Catch up with our complete series:
- Five MLS Goalkeepers That Could Play a Part in Brazil 2014
- Five MLS Midfielders That Could Play a Part in Brazil 2014
- Five MLS Forwards That Could Play a Part in Brazil 2014