United States Vs. Venezuela, 2012 International Friendly: Who Wants To Be USA's Second Striker?

There is no doubt that Jozy Altidore is the United States' number one striker. Sure, that's largely because the Yanks don't have a single good striker at their disposal, but it is what it is and Altidore is the U.S.'s number one guy. So who is the number two guy? That remains unclear, but it could become a little more clear in the team's next two matches.

Nobody puts much stock in January camp, but it could help determine who the Yanks' second choice striker is. Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury, two-thirds of the trio that Jurgen Klinsmann has called in to battle it out for that second striker spot, are a part of this January camp. Only Edson Buddle is missing. That's two players with 180 minutes to stake their claim to the second spot up top.

Bunbury case rests largely on the fact that he's the only striker the U.S. has who can really play effectively by himself up top. Klinsmann likes to play with a lone striker and Bunbury can do it, using his large frame to shield defenders. Most importantly, he has the good first touch to hold the ball up that is so rare among U.S. strikers. Yes, Bunbury can score and run and all that other good stuff, but his finishing and work rate can come and go at times. His claim is his ability to play alone up top.

Agudelo is battling in ankle injury and might not play, but assuming he does, the 19-year-old appears to have the inside track on the second spot on the totem pole right now. He can finish and is good on the ball. He's been touted as the striker of the future for the U.S., but in the present he still has some work to do. He dribbles with his head down too much and is a victim of inexperience. Until he shows he's grown up, his spot will remain vulnerable, but as long as he's as cool a finisher as he is now, he'll always be in the conversation.

January camp may not mean a lot to most and there may only be a handful of people watching, but it means something to the strikers this time around. There's a second choice striker role to be had and Bunbury and Agudelo are going to make their run at it in the next two matches.

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