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ASN Weekly Debate

Will These Players Make it Back to the USMNT?

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon debate the chances that Chris Wondolowski, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, DaMarcus Beasley, and Benny Feilhaber will wear the Stars and Stripes.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
February 15, 2013
10:35 AM
Noah Davis: Okay, today we're doing Lightning Round debates, because it's dramatic and I'm running out of ideas. Ryan, will we ever see Chris Wondolowski in a U.S. uniform again?

Ryan O'Hanlon: Oh wow, this is tough, since I don't like answering questions in the actually-answering-the-question sense... but I'll say NO. Maybe he gets a Gold Cup or a January camp call-up again, but being subbed out at halftime is a terrible sign for his future, I''d have to think.

Davis: I don't think we're going to see him with the first team again, but I wouldn't bet against him missing the Gold Cup, which is a lot like saying I think he makes the Gold Cup roster. He might not play much, but it makes sense to bring him on in a leadership/smiley capacity.

O'Hanlon: Yeah, I could see him on a roster, but I could also see him not leaving the bench while on whatever roster that is.

Davis: I just hope the Earthquakes pay the man. Okay, moving on. Next person: Oguchi Onyewu.

O'Hanlon: Barring more injuries, which is almost like saying "if it never rains ever again" I guess, I'll say YES.

Davis: Man, did you know he's 30? That seems really old, writes the 30-year-old behind this keyboard. And I don't think he's coming back. There's too much distance to cover, he's not playing, and the U.S. has other options. Not good options, but options.

O'Hanlon: I did not know he was 30. You are old. He is old, but he's sort-of-playing for Malaga, which means there's something there -- I have no idea what—and something—again, I don't know—that those other options don't have.

Davis: He's not playing but whatever, details. Even if he starts playing, I don't see him jumping past Cameron, Bocanegra, and Gonzalez. And it doesn't make sense to bring Onyewu to the Gold Cup since that should be for younger players getting experience. I realize I made the opposite argument for Wondolowski, but I'm not sure Onyewu is the same type of locker room presence, especially after such a long absence.

O'Hanlon: Character assassination. He has played soccer for Malaga multiple times this season. That is a fact. But, Gonzalez (in only one game) and Bocanaegra (over the past year-plus) haven't done anything near enough to shut the door on anyone. That would be my argument.

Davis: I'm shutting the door on this mini-debate. I'm right, you're wrong. Staying in the back, what about Jay DeMerit?

O'Hanlon: No.

Davis: Why not?

O'Hanlon: He is 33, for one. Two: he's playing in MLS, which doesn't necessarily help. Three: he's not a Klinsmann-type player. Four: He hasn't been called up by Klinsmann. Five: He needs to be manning the sidelines with a bullhorn, anyway.

Davis: I think I agree with you that he's not coming back. The better question, perhaps, is would he help the team if he was on the field. I'm torn there. I actually think he might be perfect besides Cameron.

O'Hanlon: I'd love to see it because I love Jay Demerit. It also seems like it might make sense—organizing madman with the cool-on-the-ball guy with cool hair—but that depends on where Demerit's game is at right now.

Davis: Okay, next: DaMarcus Beasley. I keep reading that he's going to get back on the team. Can we talk about the goal at the 3:15 mark first?

Como se dice "unimpressed" in Espanol? I love watching the Mexican league. No one ever bothers to play defense. It's like the NBA in the 1970s. With, uh, less cocaine, I suppose.

O'Hanlon: He didn't have to pass. I bet he could've just continued dribbling in a straight line all the way into the goal and scored. But also, his other goal in that game was really nice. Controlled the ball with his chest and ripped a waist-high volley into the far post.

Davis: I'm still not impressed.

O'Hanlon: Are you also all McKayla Maroney on Beasley's National Team prospects?

Davis: Exactly. He's also 30. And there's something weird about his stride. And I'm just not sold.

O'Hanlon: I'm not sure I am either. He's never been a conventional-looking player but he has been a good one at times. The U.S. needs some wide players in the team who aren't fullbacks, so I think we'll see him in a US jersey again. I might prefer Gatt and Shea, but I wouldn't be upset about Beasley getting another shot.

Davis: I agree. Final guy: Will Benny Feilhaber make another start with the first team?

O'Hanlon: I think he will, which is maybe a ridiculous thing to say considering I could also see him never again making the roster for a first-team, but he's really good when he's good, and he's so much more creative than, well, basically any other American player.

Davis: Man, I don't know. There are a lot of people in front of him. I could see him as a substitute, but it's really hard for me to see him starting ahead of Bradley, Jones, Williams, Edu, etc.

O'Hanlon: Well, that's sort of why. All of those guys are similar players (this is oversimplifying, but: work hard, win balls, pass balls to someone else, occasionally get on the end of things), and Feilhaber does different things, like, create chances for other players.

Davis: "Creating chances is overrated."—Jurgen Klinsmann, 2013.

O'Hanlon: "That is stupid."—Ryan O'Hanlon, Right Now.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Sometimes, there's poutine.

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