The US Men's National Team has always had quality defenders. However, there have been quite a few issues with the national team defenders lately. Following this week's past two US Men's National Team games, against Scotland and Brazil, I noticed issues on the defensive side of the team. I'll begin with Geoff Cameron. While Cameron is a great player with the Houston Dynamo, he hasn't shown that same impact with the national team. Between his red card against Panama, and then his Own Goal against Scotland, I think it's fair to say that Cameron isn't the most liked player by most American fans right now. Albeit, his goal didn't end up changing the result of the game, it still proved Cameron has a long way to go before he can be counted on in a match of great importance. Next, I'll mention Onyewu. 'Gooch' has not been performing or playing very well lately. In the game against Brazil yesterday, Onyewu was caught walking, staring, and standing still as opposed to being his typical menacing self. Remember the Onyewu that broke Imbrahimovich's rib and was scary and menacing when playing teams such as Mexico? He doesn't seem to exist anymore. The same goes for captain Carlos Bocanegra. 'Boca' was off his game ately, especially against Brazil. Bocanegra, like Onyewu, didn't seem to have the same drive or determination as usual, and played rather poorly yesterday. Continuing on to Steve Cherundolo. Cherundolo is a very good right back, however I have one major problem with him. Cherundolo is always running the whole length of field, often going to the opponents box with the ball. I don't understand why 'Dolo' does this, as a defender. There are plenty of capable midfielders and forwards on the team that can do this as opposed to Cherundolo, yet he does it every game. When the ball is stolen, the 33 year old defender has to double back to cover the backline that he left exposed. Michael Parkhusrt hasn't played enough, and Clarence Goodson hasn't even played at all, to be fairly be judged.
The two bright spots I have seen lately on the defense are in Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo. Johnson has been called one of the best defenders/midfielders in the Bundesliga and he has shown that same skill on the field for the USA. Klinsmann has said that Tim Ream is not very high on his list at this time, which is understandable seeing that he has gone through quite a bit this past year: between his marriage, moving to the UK, his trade to Bolton, and Bolton's relegation from the EPL.
I believe Jay Demerit deserves a call up. Before anybody says Jay is too old, I have a few things to say. Jay is 32 - a year younger than Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo. Jay is a strong defender, is built like a true centerback, and could be mistaken for linebacker. He is exactly what is needed in my opinion. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann was recently quoted as saying, "the team needs to be nastier". Jay is the type of player that would fit this role, in my opinion. Seeing as things with the current defenders aren't optimal, it can't hurt to try something new.
Is it right or fair to automatically give these players, including Bocanegra, a starting position every game, even though they didn't necessarily earn it with their play lately? Who should Klinsmann call up as a defender for the USMNT next? Give me your opinions below.