Klinsmann: US national team "always has an open-door policy" for new talent

Jurgen Klinsmann - fist pump - Copa America

New faces are always welcomed to the US national team, but they'd better make the most of the chance when they get the call. 

That was Jurgen Klinsmann's dominant message as he announced his latest roster ahead of this month's friendlies vs. Cuba and New Zealand.

New York Red Bulls playmaker Sacha Kljestan and Borussia Dortmund teenage sensation Christian Pulisic seized the opportunities Klinsmann handed to them in the USMNT's last gathering, the back-to-back World Cup qualifying wins over St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago. Now they stand alongside the likes of Bobby Wood as poster children for one of the coach's favorite mantras.

“The national team always has an open-door policy. Young, old, it doesn’t matter,” said Klinsmann in a Q&A with ussoccer.com released on Sunday. “But if you come in and get the opportunity, then you have to grab it. You have to put a stamp on it. That’s what Sacha did, that’s what Pulisic is doing. He’s making a difference when he comes on the field, it doesn’t matter if it’s from the bench or from the beginning.

“These types of games are there to have players compete for their spots on the national team. I think Sacha Kljestan is a very good example. He took that chance. He really jumped on it, and that’s what we expect from players when they come in.”

The USMNT boss has brought in several intriguing new faces for this camp, some new and some familiar. Now they have a little over a week to prove that they deserve another call when the Yanks reconvene for massive qualifiers vs. Mexico and Costa Rica in November.

“Obviously we have our core of players that took us through a very successful Copa America and the recent games, but at the same time you constantly evaluate and observe what the players are doing that are knocking on the door,” he said. “Some of the players really deserve a look.

“Lynden Gooch is a very talented, young player coming through at Sunderland. Danny Williams has had an outstanding season so far for Reading. So you have some players that you would just love to have a closer eye on for those 10 days, and this is the opportunity now to do that. We’re very curious to see how they perform.”

Klinsmann makes it clear that he expects them to make their presence felt immediately.

“We expect those that aren’t in the starting XI to push to be difference makers. Players who get a chance to come can’t just accept going with the flow. We need to see whether or not they are able to make a difference. That’s how you make your case,” he said.

“Now when the players come in they know it’s a competition, and at every position we have very good competition.  So if they want a spot, I expect them to get their message across. I’m sure everyone wants to be in the starting XI in Columbus on November 11.”