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Did USMNT's Jurgen Klinsmann decide his 23-man roster before camp? Players have their doubts

Michael Parkhurst, Columbus Crew (May 24, 2014)

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports Images

Did US national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann have his mind made up on his 23-man World Cup roster before training camp even started?

One of the seven players he cut on Thursday seems to think so.

"I just think that his mind was set up even before the camp was started." Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst told The Post-Dispatch after his MLS team's 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night. "That makes it a little easier to swallow knowing I don’t think I could have done anything else.”

His USMNT teammate Brad Evans, who says he mainly played center back during the 10 days he was in World Cup camp, also has his doubts about whether Klinsmann already knew his 23-man squad.

“I don’t know. Part of me says yes. Part of me says no. I don’t know," Evans told reporters on Saturday in Vancouver. "It’s something I haven’t even thought about. It’s tough to think about that. It can drive you nuts.”

If there's one thing Parkhurst and Evans didn't have a clue about, it was the timing of the cuts. Most observers outside the squad assumed that one or two warm-up matches would be played before Klinsmann decided on his 23. And the players were also apparently in the dark when the axe came down Thursday.

“We didn’t know that the cuts were coming that day, so no expectations there," Parkhurst said.

“I had no idea,” said Evans. “We were walking into the locker room, got pulled aside and that was it. Chop, chop and you’re out of there.

"[Klinsmann] just said, ‘I have to make a roster decision today and you’re not a part of it,’" Evans continued. "So that’s where we left it. I got up and said goodbye to the players and that was it.”