Jurgen Klinsmann’s latest roster for the US national team was released on Monday ahead of two upcoming friendlies in Europe over the next eight days, and the US boss has opted to keep MLS players still alive in the postseason at home.
Klinsmann selected seven players from the MLS ranks to the 23-man camp, including three Seattle Sounders players recently dumped from the postseason and one from the LA Galaxy, also eliminated last week.
The Sounders trio consists of US regulars Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans, while Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez is back after the team’s bid at a third straight MLS Cup was cut short in the Western Conference Semifinals. Galaxy star Landon Donovan was left off the list while battling a reported nagging ankle injury.
The US face Scotland in Glasgow on Friday (3 pm ET, ESPN2/UniMas) and then take on Austria four days later for the first time since 1998 at Ernst-Happel-Stadion on Vienna (2:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN/UniMas).
Players like Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) and Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) were all left off the squad while their teams face the second leg of their respective Conference Championships later this month.
"We are excited about the group we have coming in and the big opportunity to finish the year on a high note," Klinsmann said in a statement. "We want to use these games to prove a point and see that our players are continuing to improve as we build towards the World Cup.
"The results in MLS wound up fitting in with our roster plans,so we didn't need to call in any guys who are still in the playoffs. There are some injuries issues that now give other players the chance to step up."
The bulk of the latest US roster consists of team regulars who helped seal the top spot in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying last month, including goalkeeper Tim Howard, defender DaMarcus Beasley, midfielders Mix Diskerud and Jermaine Jones and forward Jozy Altidore.
Midfielder Michael Bradley is also back in camp after missing the final four qualifying matches with an ankle injury, while midfielder Fabian Johnson also returns after injury cut his qualifying campaign short of the finish last month.
Former MLS star Brek Shea is also back after an injury-riddled year for Stoke City, while Nottingham Forest defender Eric Lichaj has earned his first call-up under Klinsmann’s watch.
USMNT ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (7) : DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/England), Michael Orozco (Puebla/Mexico)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France), Michael Bradley (Roma/Italy), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke/Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium), Brek Shea (Stoke City/England)
FORWARDS (6) : Jozy Altidore (Sunderland/England), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)