Monday, August 31, 2015

Klinsmann Calls 23 Players for CONCACAF Cup Tune-Ups Against Peru and Brazil

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann 

From our friends at U.S. Soccer...

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has named the initial 23-player roster that will gather for friendlies against Peru and Brazil in the final preparation games before the decisive October 10 playoff against Mexico at the Rose Bowl for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The U.S. faces Peru, which finished third in Copa America this summer, on September 4 at RFK Stadium in Washington DC. (7 PM ET; FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network) and four days later meets five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (8 PM ET; ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network).

"The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for the Mexico game a month from now," said Klinsmann. "Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10. Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl."

A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

Matt Besler and Jermaine Jones could see action for the first time since February and fellow 2014 World Cup teammates Geoff Cameron and Tim Howard are back in the mix for the first time in 2015. Meantime, SV Sandhausen forward Andrew Wooten will make his first appearance in an MNT camp, the 25-year-old having scored five goals in the first five games this season.

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey will be added to the U.S. roster for the match against Brazil, and goalkeeper William Yarbrough will return to his club and be replaced by Chicago Fire 'keeper Sean Johnson. Any additional changes will be determined following the game against Peru.

U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

While the MNT works on the east coast, the U-23 Men's National Team will hold a camp of its own in England , where it will play both England and Qatar in its final preparation before it competes for a spot in the 2015 Olympic Games in Rio at the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, which runs from October 1-13 in the United States.

Roster Notes:
• Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes.

• Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer's Gold Cup. He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.

• DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.

• Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States.

• Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team's 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June,burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.

• The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT's Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

• Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster - along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.

• John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA's 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT's three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.

• Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.

• Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City's 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

• Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco - who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT's comeback win.

• Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.

• Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer's Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.

• Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team's first three matches.

• Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley's five.

• Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.

• Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team's last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder's match against Hertha BSC.

• This will be the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.