Soccer requires 22 players on the pitch (playing field), 11 for each team.
One goalie – the player directly in front of the net/goal who can use his hands to block the other teams attempts to kick the ball into the net/goal.
Four defenders – players spread across the pitch in front of the goalie who inhibit the other team from advancing the soccer ball close to or into the net/goal.
Five mid-fielders – players in front of the four defenders charged with protecting their own goal as well as attacking the opposing teams goal box.
One striker (forward) – plays in front of the midfielders close to the opposing teams goal and tries to facilitate the soccer ball going into the opposing teams goal.
More about the positions
Defenders – two are centrally located another on the left side and the fourth on the right side. Wide defenders often advance up the field kicking balls to the center of the pitch creating scoring chances for teammates. Central defenders are usually big strong tall blokes, wide defenders maybe speedy for racing down the pitch.
Mid-fielders – are tireless, they run up and down the pitch defending their goal and attacking the opponents. In this group there maybe defensive midfielders and more offensive mid-fielders.
Forwards – maybe big strong guys who receive and hold the ball in front of the opponents goal then pass to teammates to score or more agile and quick afoot for scoring themselves.
In the 4 years leading up to The Final Jurgen Klinsman, America’s head coach, has auditioned about 60 players for the team. This May he selected 30 players for the final audition. From this May camp he will select 23 players to compete this June in Brazil.
(Players in red made the final 23)
Goalie – FIFA the organization that puts on The World Cup mandates 3 goalies per team.
There are just 3 goalies in the May camp Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando
Defenders – America’s backline (defenders) is a bit unsettled presently hence 11 defenders were brought into the May camp.
Matt Besler – probably a lock for starting at Central Back, he plays for Sporting Kansas City the current Champions of Americas Premiere Soccer League, Major League Soccer (MLS).
Geoff Cameron – also probably a lock for making the final 23. He can play centrally or on the right flank for defense. He can also play as a mid-fielder. He’s a big lad who starts for Stoke City a team in England’s Premier League, the best soccer league in the world.
Omar Gonzales – another tall strong lad. He plays for the LA Galaxy in the MLS. He was thought to be a lock for starting in central defense with Besler but a late season injury and poor performances for the Galaxy this year make him a question for making the 23.
Clarence Goodson – plays for the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS. He is close to a lock for the 23 man roster and may end up starting if Omar Gonzales can’t find his form.
Fabian Johnson – plays in the Bundesliga, Germany’s premiere soccer league. He is a lock for the 23 man roster. He can play on either flank defensively and also as a mid-fielder. He has speed and is good offensively and defensively. He will likely start somewhere on the field.
Demarcus Beasley – plays in Liga MX, Mexico’s premier soccer league. Probably a lock for the 23 due to his speed and his left footedness.
Brad Evans – plays for the Seattle Sounders in the MLS. He was on track for starting at Right flank but a late season injury and poor performance for the Sounders has him a question for the final 23.
Tim Chandler – plays in Germany’s Bundesliga arguably the best soccer league in the World. He didn’t seem to have a chance to make the final 30 until he showed great form for his German club recently and now may end up starting for America on the Right flank.
DeAndre Yedlin – plays for the Seattle Sounders. He is only 20 but has great speed and strength which gives him a chance at making the team. Most think he won’t make the 23. I wanna see him starting on the Right flank (hehe).
Michael Parkhurst – plays in Holland’s premiere soccer league. He is a strong defender and can play anywhere across the back line but doesn’t offer as much in the attack due to a lack of speed.
John Brooks – Is a 21 year old playing in the Bundesliga. He has shown good form for his club team lately. He is 6 foot 4 and plays central defense.
Mid-fielders – probably the strongest part of the US team excluding the goalies.
Michael Bradley – Plays for Toronto FC in the MLS. He is the son of the 2010 USA World Cup team coach Bob Bradley. He is probably America’s best and most important player.
Jermaine Jones – Plays in Turkey’s premiere soccer league after falling out of favor with his German premiere league team Schalke ‘04. He is a strong destroyer in the mid-field but sometimes makes reckless fouls. Most pundits think he will be starting in the central midfield with Bradley.
Kyle Beckerman – Plays for Real Salt Lake in the MLS. He is a very steady defender with good passing distribution but not real fast. He is likely to be battling Jermaine Jones for the starting mid-field position next to Bradley. Tough call between he and Jones for the start.
Graham Zusi – plays for Sporting Kansas City. He plays on the Right side of mid-field. He’s probably a lock for the 23 and I think he will start as well.
Brad Davis – plays for the Houston Dynamo in the MLS. He is left footed and provides pinpoint service to the center of the pitch with his crosses but lacks pace. Most pundits don’t think he will make the 23. I say he starts against Ghana (Bam! Yea baby).
Alejandro Bedoya – plays in Ligue 1, France’s premiere league. Had a good season for his club team Nantes. Likely to make the 23. Will be competing with Graham Zusi for starting at Right midfield.
Maurice Edu – Plays for the Philadelphia Union in the MLS. He’s fast and strong and can play as a central defender as well as mid-field. He’s a toss-up for making the 23.
Mikkel (Mix) Diskerud – plays in Norway’s premiere league the Tippeligaen. He is an offensive type mid-fielder with good ball distribution skills but has not been starting for his club team regularly of late. Klinsman seems to like him.
Julian Green – plays for Bayern Munich champions of the Bundesliga. He has great speed and quickness but at 18 is inexperienced. Will be interesting if he makes the 23.
Joe Corona – plays for Club Tijuana in Mexico’s Liga MX. He’s a long-shot to make the 23.
Forwards – probably America’s weakest position
Clint Dempsey – plays for the Seattle Sounders of MLS. Will captain the team. Good player.
Jozy Altidore – plays for Sunderland in the English Premiere League. A big strong forward but a real question mark as to how he will perform. Near the end of his club season he was removed from the starting line-up. Is pretty much a lock for the 23 and almost certain starter.
Aron Johannsson – plays in the Eredivisie, Holland’s premiere league. Has a really strong shot towards goal but is a little slight of frame.
Terrence Boyd – plays in Austria’s Bundesliga. Has been scoring goals for his club team of late. Is a similar type player as Jozy Altidore in size and style but less experience. Probably makes the team to back up Jozy.
Chris Wondolowski – plays for the San Jose Earthquakes. A great nose for the goal in the American soccer league but most are not sure how this will translate at the World Cup level. I would love to see him make the 23 and get a chance to show what he can do. Would be a great story.
Landon Donovan – last but not least. Plays for the LA Galaxy. America’s greatest soccer player ever but at 32 is feeling the ravages of his long career. Most can’t see him being left off the 23. I’m not so sure.
Stay tuned – Coach Jurgen Klinsman will have to name the cuts by Monday June 2.
My starting eleven for Ghana Monday June 16, 2014 5:00 PM Central Time
Tim Howard (Goalie)
DeAndre Yedlin Geoff Cameron Matt Besler Fabian Johnson (Defense)
Graham Zusi Jermaine Jones Michael Bradley Brad Davis (Mid-field)
Jozy Altidore (Forward)