Potential Gold Cup lineup of youngsters
Along with qualification for next year's Hexagonal, among the most useful spoils of the U.S. men's national team's win in Kansas City on Tuesday was the right to look ahead.
For Jurgen Klinsmann's team, 2013 now brings plenty to look forward to. Failure in the 2011 Gold Cup means there'll be no Confederations Cup in Brazil, but the yearlong qualification process and the midsummer 2013 Gold Cup will provide plenty of chances to compete.
The fixtures will be so numerous, in fact, that Klinsmann has already dropped some hints at sending a B team to the Gold Cup. We'll defer the discussion for now on whether that's a good idea -- let's just say Mexico managed to turn its whole program around three years ago in the 2009 Gold Cup by trouncing a U.S. B team with most of its starters, and the opportunity is ripe for the Americans to do much the same -- but the idea of a backup squad at least lends the chance to give the whole national team picture a rethink.
Klinsmann has talked a good game about attractive play since coming on board, but it's been pointed out frequently of late that the American style of play still has a long way to go to get to the level where U.S. soccer leadership and fans seem to want it.
Starting from scratch, then, with players specifically designed to fit into a more attractive 4-3-3, might even help things along. So let's try that exercise, creating a 23-player B team for next summer built primarily of younger players on the fringes of U.S. national team.