US national team fans who were expecting a dose of life and fresh perspective with the naming of Jurgen Klinsmann as new head coach won’t be disappointed by the German icon’s first USMNT roster.
Klinsmann unveiled his 22-man squad on Thursday for next week’s friendly against Mexico in Philadelphia, and the surprise list of names is a mix of trusted veterans, former US cast-offs and a stunning infusion of youth.
Among the biggest surprises are that the squad includes a handful of late snubs from last year’s World Cup roster, such as Kyle Beckerman and Heath Pearce. It also includes players who had brief cups of coffee with the senior team, such as Edgar Castillo and Michael Orozco Fiscal, two of four players based in Mexico.
And perhaps most surprising is the inclusion of 20-year-old D.C. United Home Grown goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who will back up his longtime idol Tim Howard.
Klinsmann also continued his predecessor Bob Bradley’s trend of selecting German-born players, recalling Jermaine Jones and Timmy Chandler. They are among six players who ply their trade in Klinsmann’s native country, joining 2010 World Cup veterans Steve Cherundolo, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark and Edson Buddle.
Other returnees from South Africa include DaMarcus Beasley, captain Carlos Bocanegra, all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan, Maurice Edu, Clarence Goodson and José Francisco Torres. Freddy Adu also returns to the team on the back of his strong CONCACAF Gold Cup performance.
Major League Soccer is well-represented on the squad, with seven players. In addition to Beckerman, Pearce, Hamid and Donovan, MLS also counts on FC Dallas star Brek Shea and New York Red Bulls teammates Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream.
“One of the goals of the roster for this game and moving forward is to create competition at each position,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “There are many players who are established as well as many players who will get opportunities, and we want there to be a healthy contest for spots on the roster. We will get a good look at where each player is as quickly as we can during the short time in camp, and we will finish with an exciting game against Mexico.”
The US and Mexico kick off on Aug. 10 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia at 9 pm ET (ESPN2, Univisión). The US are seeking their first win against their archrivals since February of 2009, when the Americans beat El Tri 2-0 in World Cup qualifying in Columbus, Ohio.
The US have lost three straight to Mexico in all senior competitions, their worst spell in 12 years. El Tri rallied on the Americans in June’s Gold Cup final, turning around a 2-0 first-half deficit into a 4-2 victory in Bradley’s final game in charge.
FULL USA ROSTER:
Goalkeepers (2): Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton/England)
Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne/France), Edgar Castillo (Club América/Mexico), Timmy Chandler (FC Nürnberg/Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brøndby/Denmark), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis/Mexico), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielders (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany), Maurice Edu (Rangers/Scotland), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca)
Forwards (5): Freddy Adu (Benfica/Portugal), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt/Germany), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)