TORONTO — Show me. That’s US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s challenge to players vying for the unclaimed spots in the starting lineup.
“That’s what I tell them: Build your case with your performances,” Klinsmann said after the US’ 0-0 draw with Canada on Sunday at BMO Field.
WATCH: US tired, but ready to move ahead
One player who seems to build his case every time he steps on the field for the US is Brondby center back Clarence Goodson. He was solid again against Canada, helping preserve the clean sheet and nearly snatching a stoppage-time winner on a powerful header that Canadian 'keeper Lars Hirschfeld tipped over the bar.
“I think I played well tonight,” Goodson said. “I think I did a good job.”
With Carlos Bocanegra practically cemented as one of the starting center backs, Goodson is competing with Oguchi Onyewu, who started against Brazil, and Geoff Cameron, who started against Scotland, for that second starting center back position.
The trio, at this point, are all in the running to get the starting nod when the Americans start 2014 World Cup qualifying against Antigua and Barbuda on Friday. In assessing the Canada match, Goodson appears already to be in qualifying mode.
“It was a difficult game on the road,” Goodson said. “If this was World Cup qualifying, it’s a point on the road, which in most cases is something you’re satisfied with.”
So what will Klinsmann do? It’s one of the most intriguing questions ahead of Friday’s match, and one that will be even more important when the US travel to face a much stronger Guatemala side the following Tuesday.
Goodson's fine showing against Canada is, ultimately, all Klinsmann can ask for.
“It makes it more difficult for us as coaches who decide who’s going to be the duo on Friday as center backs,” Klinsmann admitted. “He did well. He built his case.”