On a special program televised by FOX Soccer Channel Sunday, USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann declared his 25-man roster for the January camp. The training period kicked off today at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. It transcends to a friendly match with Canada on the 29th, 9 PM at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Of the 25 players selected, 21 are employed in the MLS. 12 of the 19 clubs sent a player to the training camp. The roster is full of youth and inexperience, with eight of the players awaiting their first U.S. cap. Many of them will get their chance during the Canada match, to be broadcast on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. According to manager Jurgen Klinsmann, this is an honor for the young first-timers: “This is absolutely a huge opportunity, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”
The most experienced goalkeeper is Bill Hamid, accompanied by Sean Johnson and Tally Hall. Hamid and Johnson have received callups before, but this will be Hall’a first cup of tea with the team. Protecting them will be nine defenders, a plethora of them also joining the team for the first time. Among them are polarizers Omar Gonzalez of LA Galaxy, Alfredo Morales of Hertha Berlin, and Matt Bessler of Sporting KC. Bessler was selected to the 2012 MLS Best XI.
Of the eight midfielders, Kyle Beckerman of RSL, Mix Diskerud of Rosenburg, and Graham Zusi of Sporting KC have shined in previous caps. Benny Fielhaber also sprinkles experience into the squad, earning starts in the 2010 FIFA World Cup under Bob Bradley. Eddie Johnson of Seattle Sounders and “young gun” Juan Agudelo of Chivas USA headline the five forwards for the trip. All except Will Bruin of Houston Dynamo have played for the U.S. Eddie Johnson leads the bunch with 14 goals in 44 appearances for Team USA.
This camp is vital in preparation for the Canada game, as well as the hexagonal opener with Honduras shortly after, Klinsmann noted in his FOX Soccer Channel interview, “We are getting ready for the friendly against Canada, and also the big World Cup qualifier in Honduras, so these are going to be an important few weeks of preparation…There’s a good chance of six, seven, eight guys out of this group making it to the Honduras game.”
Goalkeepers (3): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
Defenders (9): Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde/Norway), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards (5): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Photo: The Foxboro Report