US national team fans clamoring for a glimpse into the future just might get what they’re after the next time Jurgen Klinsmann’s team takes the field.
With veterans like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo all left off the 20-man roster for the team’s international friendly against Russia in Krasnodar on Wednesday (10 am ET; ESPN2), Klinsmann’s group is decidedly younger this time around, including four field players from the USA’s failed Olympic bid last summer.
Two players are making their first appearance in the senior team camp, including promising Norway-based winger Josh Gatt (above), who was left off the Olympic team due to injury, but just this weekend clinched the 2012 Norwegian Tippeligaen title with Molde.
Hoffenheim’s Joe Gyau is also in the senior side for the first time after a run with the Olympic team last year, along with two Olympic teammates with some senior team experience: Rosenborg’s Mix Diskerud and Chivas USA striker Juan Agudelo.
The latter two combined for the lone goal in a 1-0 win for the US over South Africa in Nov. 2010, but Diskerud has been largely absent ever since and Agudelo (right) has battled injuries and a tough pecking order of strikers following an extended time in the spotlight during the 2011 Gold Cup.
The US are looking for their first-ever victory against Russia, who hold a 2-0-2 advantage in the series that dates back to a 1-0 Russia win on Feb. 13, 1993, in Orlando, Fla.
"We ask for these games because they are big learning curves for us," Klinsmann said in a statement. "We need to measure ourselves against the best teams out there and build even more confidence. We want to close the year in a very positive way and then go into a busy 2013 that includes World Cup qualifying, the Gold Cup and some exciting friendlies.
Also back in the mix is promising Nuremberg right back Timmy Chandler (below, right), who has not played with the US since a 3-2 win over Slovenia in Ljubljana a year ago. Chandler has not yet made a final decision to represent the United States or Germany and has yet to play for either in an official FIFA competition.
The friendly against Russia won’t solve that dilemma for either Chandler or his US coach, who has actively touted the German-born youngster as the heir apparent to the Bundesliga veteran Cherundolo in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup.
The bulk of the remaining roster is heavy with Klinsmann’s regulars, including names like captain Carlos Bocanegra, Hoffenheim left back Fabian Johnson, Roma midfielder Michael Bradley and AZ Alkmaar striker Jozy Altidore, who appears to have earned his way back into the fray after he was left off the roster for two crucial World Cup qualifying matches last month.
Klinsmann bypassed a number of players who competed in the MLS postseason including Donovan, who will suit up for the LA Galaxy in the second leg of the Western Conference Championship against forward Eddie Johnson and the Seattle Sounders on Nov. 18.
Other MLS players who were involved in the MLS postseason were left off the roster, including Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi and Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
Agudelo is joined by two other MLS players on the roster, both as backups to Tim Howard in goal: Chicago’s Sean Johnson and RSL veteran Nick Rimando.
US ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton/England), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander/Spain), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg/Germany), Maurice Edu (Stoke City/England), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/Denmark), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/Germany)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Roma/Italy), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Joshua Gatt (Molde/Norway), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim/Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/Germany)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna/Mexico)