Shea, Rogers highlight MLS list for upcoming US friendlies
Many of the faces that highlighted Jurgen Klinsmann’s first roster earlier this month will be back for more when the US national team lines up in friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium in early September.
The 24-man roster announced by US Soccer on Thursday includes 11 players from Major League Soccer, including LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan, New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo and the tandem of FC Dallas winger Brek Shea and Columbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers, who stole the spotlight during a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10.
The roster also includes Chivas USA defender Heath Pearce, New York defender Tim Ream, Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman, FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd, and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, all of whom were called into camp last month. Beckerman was the only one of that group to play, logging a full 90 minutes in the draw against El Tri.
Shea and Rogers connected for the lone American goal of the draw against Mexico, with Shea setting up Rogers on the back post for an easy tap-in in the second half after the Americans fell behind before the break. The cap was the third for Shea and the 15th for Rogers.
“We are excited to get the group back together and to see some fresh new faces,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “We will continue to get to know the players and gather some valuable information during our 10 days together. Hopefully we can continue where we left off from the game against Mexico.”
The latest group offers a return to the US spotlight for Colorado Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Teal Bunbury, both of whom were called on by former US coach Bob Bradley earlier this year. Bunbury scored the lone goal of the US’ 1-1 draw against Chile on Jan. 22, but this marks his first call back to the US camp.
Larentowicz also earned a cap in that match, but has not played for the US team since.
Klinsmann’s list also includes regular faces like Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Clarence Goodson, Sacha Kljestan and Jozy Altidore, while defenders Edgar Castillo and Michael Orozco Fiscal will also get a second look under Klinsmann’s new regime after each logging a full 90 minutes against Mexico.
FC Nürnberg pro Timothy Chandler also makes his return to the pool after missing the Mexico game with an injury, and newcomer Fabian Johnson also adds some depth at left back and in the midfield. The only newcomer of the group, Johnson is the son of an American serviceman and plays for Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga.
Among the notable exclusions from the roster were Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Ricardo Clark, all of whom appeared in the Mexico game. Klinsmann said he left them behind as they dealt with their respective futures during the summer transfer window.
“All three of these players are trying to sort out their club situations, and the deadline for transfers is a week away," he explained. "They have also not been playing matches, so for these reasons we decided to select different players for this roster.”
The US will play Costa Rica at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Sept. 2 (11 pm ET, ESPN2) before they travel to face Belgium in Brussels on Sept. 6 (2:30 pm ET, ESPN2).
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton, England)
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers, Scotland), Edgar Castillo (Club América, Mexico), Timmy Chandler (FC Nürnberg, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brøndby, Denmark), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Maurice Edu (Rangers, Scotland), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), José Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)