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Oct 24, 2013

U.S. needs only two target strikers

Jozy Altidore has played well for the U.S. in qualifying.

With World Cup qualification out of the way, United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann must now take on the difficult task of compiling a 23-man roster to take to Brazil next summer (check out Doug McIntyre's projection). Klinsmann has communicated his expectations to the players in his Brazil pool, and even though he is unlikely to tip his hand about the specifics of the roster, it is likely that he has some internal clarity on how he would like to fill out a good portion of this team.

Given his tactics throughout World Cup qualifying, Klinsmann likely has a quota (or a rough idea of one) for every position. But one position where Klinsmann should not look for immense depth is at target forward, where Jozy Altidore is looking like the established starter while upstart Aron Johannsson is quickly becoming a popular choice to make the roster as well. Because of this talent, and the need for depth in other parts of the field, Klinsmann should reserve the added space on the roster for midfielders or defenders that may be able to help the team in specific situations and add much needed depth.

The selection of just two forwards for a 23-player World Cup roster may sound like an overly cautious, or even reckless, strategy at first glance. But with the talent ...