Over the last week it has been suggested many times that Chris Klute should be considered for the U.S. Mens National Team. While Klute has seemingly locked down the role of Colorado Rapids left back; a position that the Rapids have struggled to lock down since the days of Jordan Harvey, he is still a rookie and at times makes mistakes that might be detrimental to the national team. However, with Klute continuing to progress with his skills; both defensively and offensively, he might be the best option that the USMNT has for the future.
The big question now is: is the future now? With the World Cup coming up next summer and Klute playing at the level that he has been so far this season, we very well could see him as part of Jurgen Klinsman's January camp. Would this be the best thing for Klute, the Rapids, and/or the USMNT.
Chris Klute has started 16 of the Rapids 20 games so far this season and has assisted on 5 goals. If he were to join Klinsman's camp in January the experience that he would gain would be unparalleled to anything that he would be able to get with the Rapids. Not only would this help Klute; playing against and with a higher caliber player, but it would help the Rapids, in that he would definitely be a better skilled player and be able to contribute even more than he already has for the Rapids.
The biggest question is do the skills that Klute currently posses make it necessary for him to be a part of the USMNT. The current (Gold Cup) roster for the USMNT consists of Corey Ashe, DaMarcus Beasley, Tony Beltran, Edgar Castillo, Clarence Goodson, Oguchi Onyewu, Michael Orozco Fiscal, and Michael Parkhurst. If you add in Steve Cherundolo, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Fabian Johnson; Klute would have a long way to go before cracking the USMNT roster.
With how Klute has been playing, however, it might not take much to find a way into the January camp at the very least. One of the things working against Klute, as shown above, are the players ahead of him. DaMarcus Beasley has locked down the Left Back position as a starter, and Klute is definitely not on his level yet. But, if he were brought into camp and was able to learn from someone of Beasley's caliber, he would assuredly be a possible option in the future.
Is it too soon for Klute to be considered for the National Team? Yes! Is it too soon for him to be brought into Klinsman's camp? No! If Klinsman is truly interested in making the National Team successful one of the things that he needs to do is identify young talent that will be able to contribute for years to come. The way that Klute has been playing so far this season for the Rapids has shown that he could be an integral part of the USMNT for many years to come.