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Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG
Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG
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USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32005617 Looking out Looking+out USA

Nobody needs to be reminded that this is a World Cup year. Except the United States men’s national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann perhaps, who is still trying out new players and tinkering with formations. And by his count, there are at least a half dozen World Cup jobs up for grabs. That means we’re likely to see some unexpected names make it to Brazil in June. A few might even take unexpectedly big roles. So, with that in mind, we bring you 10 under-the-radar US players who could break out at the World Cup:

 

--Leander Schaerlaeckens

Christian Hofer - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G1_20140118193539624_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G1_20140118193539624_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32003491 DeAndre Yedlin, D, Seattle Sounders DeAndre+Yedlin%2C+D%2C+Seattle+Sounders USA

It isn’t often that a player looks the most enticing option at his position while just one year into his professional career. Yet the 20-year-old Yedlin might be exactly that. Brad Evans has been playing in his spot on the national team for a spell, but he isn’t a right back by trade, or even a defender. Timmy Chandler, meanwhile, has proved far too flaky to count on, as his commitment to the program never ceases to waver. And Steve Cherundolo has been beset by injuries, will turn 35 soon and hasn’t played on the national team in more than a year. Yedlin, then, for all his inexperience, could rocket to the top of the depth chart by virtue of his sound defending and scintillating charges up the wing.

Jaime Valdez - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G11_20140118193745644_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G11_20140118193745644_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32005623 Brek Shea, W, Stoke/Barnsley (England) Brek+Shea%2C+W%2C+Stoke%2FBarnsley+%28England%29 USA

Klinsmann is plainly enamored with the 23-year-old Shea. And it isn’t hard to see why. He is that rare player to combine American size and brawn with a finely-honed skill set. His crosses from the left wing leave a lot to be desired, but his acceleration and dribbling can be devastating in a way that no American has ever really been. The soft-spoken Texan, who paints masterfully in his spare time, is maddeningly inconsistent though. And since insisting on an ill-advised move to the Premier League, he has found playing time hard to come by.

Clive Brunskill - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G10_20140118193733642_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G10_20140118193733642_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32005622 Mike Magee, F, Chicago Fire Mike+Magee%2C+F%2C+Chicago+Fire USA

Throughout his tenure, Klinsmann has taken his time in calling in certain players observers clamored to see on the national team. Omar Gonzalez, Herculez Gomez and Sacha Kljestan all had to wait far longer than most thought reasonable before they got their shot. Mike Magee has been similarly overlooked for the last few years. An integral part of two MLS Cup-winning Los Angeles Galaxy teams in 2011 and 2012 and the league MVP with the Chicago Fire in 2013, he’s the sort of instinctive striker the US produces a precious few of. At 29, he could still have an impact as a late-game substitute.

Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G9_20140118193722640_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G9_20140118193722640_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32005620 Chris Klute, D, Colorado Rapids Chris+Klute%2C+D%2C+Colorado+Rapids USA

Coming seemingly out of nowhere, the 23-year-old left back led the Rapids in assists last year, streaking up the wing and evidently catching Klinsmann’s eye, too. He was called up to his first national team camp this January. But the state of the left back position is so dire that it’s hardly a stretch to imagine Klute getting a crack at it. The incumbent, DaMarcus Beasley, is new to the spot and it shows. Klinsmann prefers Fabian Johnson on the left wing. And Edgar Castillo isn’t suitable to the international level. So, yeah: maybe Klute.

Isaiah J. Downing - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G8_20140118193707637_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G8_20140118193707637_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32005621 Aron Johannsson, F, AZ (Netherlands) Aron+Johannsson%2C+F%2C+AZ+%28Netherlands%29 USA

Johannsson, 23, who transferred his international eligibility from Iceland to the United States in the middle of last August, was perhaps the biggest revelation on the national team in 2013. He appeared in six of the seven remaining A-team games after his switch, scoring the winner over Panama in the final World Cup qualifier, his first international goal. Ripping through defenses with his dribbles from out wide, he proved one of the rare Americans capable of taking on an opponent one-on-one. He seems a lock to play a bigger role in 2014.

VI Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G7_20140118193659635_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G7_20140118193659635_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32005619 Luis Gil, M, Real Salt Lake Luis+Gil%2C+M%2C+Real+Salt+Lake USA

Truth be told, Gil is a long shot to play any sort of role on the senior national team at the World Cup. But he’s perhaps the best prospect of the next wave. At 20, he has played in every youth national team down to the under-17s and has already been a regular for one of Major League Soccer’s best teams for three years. His comfort and tidiness on the ball perfectly fit the vision Klinsmann has for a fluid, proactive team. So don’t rule out the possibility that Klinsmann brings him along to Brazil for the experience, even if Gil has yet to make his senior debut and is currently in his first camp.

Ed Zurga - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G6_20140118193643634_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G6_20140118193643634_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32003490 Mix Diskerud, M, Rosenborg (Norway) Mix+Diskerud%2C+M%2C+Rosenborg+%28Norway%29 USA

During a break-out 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Diskerud, 23, showed himself proficient in both a box-to-box role and as an the advanced central midfielder. He has the engine and defensive lust for labor to execute in the former and the shrewd passing for the latter. As such, he can be plugged into all three spots in central midfield, improving his chances to play serious minutes. And it isn’t hard to see him making the 10 position on his own long-term.

Ragnar Singsaas - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G5_20140118193627632_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G5_20140118193627632_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32003489 Joe Corona, M, Tijuana (Mexico) Joe+Corona%2C+M%2C+Tijuana+%28Mexico%29 USA

The American talent pool holds very few central attacking midfielders. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, who typically plays in the 10 spot, are really more effective on the wings and Sacha Kljestan has become a deeper-sitting box-to-box man in recent years. Yet Klinsmann likes to play with a central attacking midfielder in the shadow of his advanced forward. That’s what makes Corona such an intriguing option. At 23, he plays regularly for an elite Mexican league team and has the technical ability to break open games.

Ramiro Fuentes/Straffon Images/LatinContent - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G4_20140118193615629_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G4_20140118193615629_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32003488 John Brooks, D, Hertha BSC (Germany) John+Brooks%2C+D%2C+Hertha+BSC+%28Germany%29 USA

Klinsmann has a soft spot for tall central defenders who can play the ball, and Brooks fits that mold perfectly. At 6-foot-4 with a well-rounded skill-set, he has made enough of an impression with Hertha to get regular minutes in spite of being just 20. In his two appearances for the USA, he flashed his defensive potential but also showed his immaturity with several mental mistakes. Once he irons out those issues, he could challenge for a starting job.

Boris Streubel - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G3_20140118193603627_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G3_20140118193603627_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 2341 Team USA - Breakout Players to Watch in 2014 32003487 Terrence Boyd, F, Rapid Wien (Austria) Terrence+Boyd%2C+F%2C+Rapid+Wien+%28Austria%29 USA

The national team is chronically short on forwards. That’s particularly true of target men, the sort of big, burly strikers Klinsmann needs to hold up the ball at the top of his 4-5-1-ish formation and get teammates involved. It’s no wonder Jozy Altidore has 66 caps at age 24, in spite of only having matured into his considerable potential in the last two years.

 

At 22, Boyd is still raw too, even though his scoring record with Hertha BSC II, Borussia Dortmund II and Rapid Wien is strong. He could be an Altidore injury away from getting an extended run on the team.

SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G2_20140118193549625_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/01/18/011814-SOCCER-USA-PROSPECTS-TO-WATCH-DC-G2_20140118193549625_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 26, 2014 8:47 AM ET 1 16 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their... Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. Familiar faces may rejoin United States men's national team conversation. Feb 25, 2014 2:41 AM ET 1 16 /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germai... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win Giant thumping brings Ibrahimovic and Co. back to our top ten list. Feb 22, 2014 1:50 PM ET 1 16 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM ET 1 16 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714