USMNT / World

Potential new faces for 2014 World Cup qualifying

Bobby Convey against Brazil

Sacha Klejstan, Justin Mapp, Bobby Convey, Jermaine Jones, and Charlie Davies all missed out on playing for the US at the 2010 World Cup earlier this summer. Each of them is talented, and some are obviously in another class. However, all of them have the talent to help the US during the next World Cup qualifying cycle.

With the exception perhaps of Jermaine Jones all of them are young enough to play for the US at the 2014 World Cup. Jermaine Jones would be 32 and might still be playing well enough to be considered. Both Jermaine Jones and Charlie Davies would have been locks to go to South Africa if long term injuries hadn’t kept them out.

Charlie Davies is on the road to recovery and recently started for Sochaux in a pre-season friendly. Jermaine Jones also appears to be further down the road to recovery as he was also involved in a pre-season friendly at Schalke 04. Davies’ speed and finishing would really help the US team against tough opponents like Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras during World Cup qualifying, while Jermaine Jones’ defensive qualities could help break up the attacking flair of these opponents.

Sacha Klejstan appeared to be headed to South Africa until a late dip in form saw him out of the team. He is still young and could be important to the US. He is currently playing for Anderlecht in Belgium. He recently scored in a Champions League qualifier against a Welsh club called the New Saints. Hopefully Klejstan will get his mind right and flourish in Europe. Belgium seems like an excellent place to start because it isn’t a great league, but it is still good enough to challenge Klejstan. In addition Klejstan might get time in the Champions League or the UEFA Cup.

Justin Mapp has shown flashes of brilliance before for the US National team in friendly matches, however, he seems to drift in and out of games. If he can become a more consistent player, then he should really help his new team, the Philadelphia Union, and ought to be able to contribute against CONCACAF opposition. When Mapp is on his game he is fun to watch because he can take players on and beat them. Let’s hope he steps up his game after coming to Philadelphia.

Bobby Convey used to play for Reading and showed some incredible flashes of brilliance, however, injuries have knocked him out of English soccer for the time being. His first season back in MLS for the San Jose Earthquakes was mediocre, but he has been on fire this season. If Bobby Convey can get back to his old form, then he should be able to light up MLS and possibly get back to playing in Europe. He could be an excellent winger for the US and could really hurt CONCACAF opposition.

Do you think Charlie Davies will get back to his prior form? Has Justin Mapp peaked or can he get better? Will Klejstan ever be a consistent US National Team starter? What do you think of these players?

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