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October 29, 2011Posted by on
The Right-Back spot is one of the deeper spots on the roster and one of the most talented. New players are coming in to break through old players and we could feasibly have three players who play right back for club being forced into other positions because they’re too talented to leave on the bench. A position of strength and a position of promise. The Left Back spot has been a troubling one, but that’s exactly why I decided to list this as one spot. I highly doubt that Jurgen will call in a worse LB instead of just switching a young RB over. Even if he would, a lot of these players are so versatile its not even an issue. Bob had switched players back and forth between both sides and Jurgen has continued to do so. These positions aren’t different enough to count separately.
Steve Cherundolo-32 Hannover
Obviously Dolo’s the incumbent. He’s got the spot until somebody steps up and grabs it out of his hands. Of course another right back playing in Germany has had a few attempts to do so. The biggest concern about Dolo going forward is his age. He’s 32 now. He’ll be 35 by 2014. I haven’t seen a single thing to show me that Steve’s going downhill by any meas. He’s still one of the best and probably the most under-appreciated American soccer players of this generation.
Timothy Chandler-21 Nurmberg
One of the key points of interest in the recent “Germerican” movement. Johnson and Williams haven’t looked bad in their time with the team. Jermaine Jones was a nice addition. Even counting Klinsmann leads to a bit of an up and down view of it. Chandler is why people are excited about the sudden influx of German players. At least for me its more about the sudden influx of players who can play like Timmy Chandler. As young as he is, as versatile as he is, and as talented as he is I honestly expect Timmy Chandler to not only be starring in the 2014 World Cup. I expect him to be the best player on the field in most matches by the time 2018 comes around.
Eric Lichaj-22 Aston Villa
A lot of us have pegged Lichaj as most likely to fill the Left Back spot, and he really doesn’t have much of a shot behind the two players above. When he gets back from injury he should be competing more for the left back spot which puts more pressure on both of the players above him. A good player whos got a spot on the team for sure.
Zach Loyd-24 FC Dallas
Also a natural Right back having a very sucessfull season with FC Dallas, and building report with Brek Shea(which may make him a good option on the left), Loyd has been one of the many players who are considered to have a shot at stepping into the hole at Left Back. Although Timmy Chandler has filled that well I can’t imagine Klinsi wants to keep him there long term. Loyd should definitely get a serious look.
Jonathan Spector-25 Birmingham City
Specs has had his high points and his low points but I really do love having a player like him as a 12th man. Need a CB? He could fill in. Need a RB or LB? He could fill in. CDM? CAM? Anywhere along the back line and up the core of the middle of the field Spector could play. I expect most of his time to come at the outside back position but he could just as easily vie for a role farther up the field.
Sheannon Williams-21 Philadelphia Union
Sheannon has really come on this year with the club. He showed a few flashes last year but nothing as good or consistent as he’s done this year. If you want offense from the back he can give you a ton of that. There’s been many times this season that Sheannon has led the attack and even gone on breakaways all by himself. He, along with Loyd got a lot of talk when Dolo went down in the Gold Cup and the hole at Left Back opened even wider.
Danny Williams-22 Hoffenheim
He just joined the team and is expected to fill in the central midfield, but he was also considered an option at Left Back by many. I had assumed he’d fill one of the holding Midfield spots, but when Jurgen used him along the right flank it brought that question back to my mind. Danny could play RB if we needed him to. I don’t think we need him to but he looked good enough to earn another look somewhere on the field in his little playing time with the team.
Fabian Johnson-23 Hoffenheim
We’ve seen very little of Johnson too, but as with Williams I believe from what I have seen and read that he’ll earn a spot on the team easily and quickly compete for a starting spot somewhere. The influx of talent to this team is exciting. Bob saw a lot of these players so I’m by no means blaming him, but we are still at a point where the USMNT is growing rapidly. As for Johnson, he’s been mentioned mostly at LB, but thats where the hole is. I’m very interested in seeing where he ends up being played.
Bobby Convey-28 Earthquakes
I’m not saying Bobby Convey has no chance of ever making the team, but as with many of the names mentioned in BigSoccer Left Back threads, it seems pretty hopeless. He’s pretty old to bring in. Convey’s a relatively good defender in MLS now and had a small place on the USMNT roster for a short time, but he’ll be 33 by 2014 and there’s so much depth at right back that there’s no need for him. Or most other players on BigSoccer threads whether too old, too young or just not good enough.
So here’s my suggestions. I’m going to give one depth chart for this spot assuming that the top two will be the starters and everyone from there on will be depth. Very few of these players can only play one side so there’s no reason to draw a line between them. They’re almost all better on the right side anyway.
WCQ: basically the team I would play in a game tommorow
3.Lichaj (I know he’s injured but he still has a spot pretty comfortably).
4.D. Williams and Johnson (I haven’t seen either enough to choose but if I had to I’d go with Williams purely because he’s played with the team already).
WC2014: the team as I project after a few years of settling, for whatever that’s worth.
2. Cherundolo (unless he voluntarily retires he’s not going anywhere).
A few other notes, I expect Danny Williams to be on the team but I’d still probably peg him as a midfielder which is the only reason I left him out of the top ranks here. Chandler could do the same thing of course and slide up to RW. Also I expect Spector to be on the team because of his versatility. He’ll show up on about every list I do except Keeper. Sheannon will definitely get a chance to prove himself and I wouldn’t put it past him to step farther up in to the battle but I just don’t see it as of yet at least. Any one else you think might get a shot? Or should?