CARSON, Calif. — As next week's friendly with Canada nears, the US national team has shifted gears in its Southern California camp, with training sessions evolving from position-specific work to game-like situations and intense evaluations.
Jurgen Klinsmann will select his roster for the Jan. 29 match in Houston from the 25 players called into camp at the Home Depot Center, and he has said “probably six, eight, nine players maybe” from the list could be included in the group that heads to San Pedro Sula for the Feb. 6 showdown with Honduras to start CONCACAF's World Cup final-round qualifying, a.k.a. the Hexagonal.
“I told the players this morning: 'Now we've been together for two weeks and we've seen already a lot of stuff,' ” Klinsmann told media after Monday's session. “'Now we're starting to scrimmage more, and by the end of the week, before we go to Houston, we're going to sit down with every one of you and tell you kind of how we evaluate you and where you're at, so you get an objective — as much as possible — opinion from your coaching staff.' ”
Before leaving for Houston, the US will get a first test against outside competition on Tuesday with a closed-door scrimmage — US Soccer has termed it a “training session” — against Mexican champion Club Tijuana. The Xolos say they will have all healthy players who did not feature in Sunday's victory at Pumas UNAM.
The roster for the Honduras game likely won't be announced until after the team has arrived in San Pedro Sula on Feb. 3.