U.S. national team roster for May and June games announced
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has announced a 26-player roster for a training camp ahead of a big stretch of five games in late May and early June.
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has announced a 29-player roster for a training camp ahead of a big stretch of five games in late May and early June.
The team will convene in Cleveland on May 26, ahead of a game there against Belgium on May 29. After that, there's a glamorous clash with Germany - Klinsmann's native country - on June 2 in Washington, then three big World Cup qualifiers between June 7 and June 18.
Although Landon Donovan isn't in the squad, plenty of other high-profile names are, including Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley.
Altidore set a new single-season goals record for an American in Europe this year, scoring 31 times for Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. He has yet to translate that form to the national team, especially under Klinsmann, but he likely won't lack for more opportunities.
It's likely that Altidore will move on to a bigger club this summer, and he could command a large transfer fee in doing so. Out of fear of Altidore getting hurt, AZ tried to keep him from leaving for the national team until the last possible moment. But the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that Altidore will be in camp when it begins.
Dempsey's club season with England's Tottenham Hotspur will conclude on Sunday. Tottenham still have a chance to make next season's UEFA Champions League, but must beat Sunderland and hope rivals Arsenal lose at Newcastle United. Dempsey has scored seven goals for Spurs this season, and seven for the national team in the current World Cup qualifying cycle.
Another forward on the U.S. squad who's currently enjoying club success is Hérculez Gómez. The Las Vegas native helped Mexico's Santos Laguna reach the final of the CONCACAF Champions League a few weeks ago, and the team is now in the semifinals of the Mexican league playoffs.
Top midfielders in the squad include Bradley, Joe Corona, Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan.
There's also a return to the national team for midfielder Stuart Holden, who was out injured for most of the last year and a half. He has not played for the U.S. since October of 2010, but has recently returned to full fitness and some game action.
Nine of the 26 players on the roster currently play in Major League Soccer. Among them are defenders Omar González (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), who started together in the U.S.' scoreless tie at Mexico in March. They could be paired again in the upcoming games, with Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) aand Clarence Goodson (Brøndby) the other options.
In a somewhat unusual move, Klinsmann named six goalkeepers to the squad. Stalwarts Tim Howard and Brad Guzan will be the mainstays, with four others rotating through the camp.
As for Donovan, the word got out a few days ago that he wasn't going to be in the squad. Though he's the U.S.' all-time leading scorer, his four-month winter sabbatical knocked him down Klinsmann's depth chart.
Donovan delivered an impressive performance for the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 4-1 rout of the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, but by his own admission it was the first time in a while that he felt he had played at his best.
It's likel that Donovan's return to the national team will come later this summer, when the U.S. turns its attention to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
As for World Cup qualifying, the road to Brazil resumes on July 7 when the United States visits Jamaica. The U.S. is currently in a three-way tie for second place in the six-team final stage of World Cup qualifying. Panama is in first place, with Costa Rica holding a goal differential tiebreaker over the U.S. and Honduras.
The top three teams in the group will qualify automatically for the World Cup. The fourth-place team will have to win a home-and-away playoff with the top team in Oceania.
U.S. National Team Roster for May and June Games
Goalkeepers (6): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo/MLS), Bill Hamid (D.C. United/MLS), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire/MLS), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/MLS)
Defenders (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City/MLS), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/MLS), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Omar González (Los Angeles Galaxy/MLS), Clarence Goodson (Brøndby/Denmark), Fabian Johnson (TSG Hoffenheim/Germany), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg/Germany)
Midfielders (10): Michael Bradley (AS Roma/Italy), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo/MLS), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor/Turkey), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers/England), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium), Brek Shea (Stoke City/Engalnd), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/England), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City/MLS)
Forwards (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Hérculez Gómez (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders/MLS)
Eight players on the roster are carrying yellow cards from World Cup qualifiers, and will be suspended for the next game if they receive another: Beasley, Bradley, Besler, Davis, Dempsey, Edu, Fabian Johnson and Zusi.
U.S. National Team Schedule (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, May 29: vs. Belgium at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio (8:00 p.m., ESPN2/UniMás)
Sunday, June 2: vs. Germany at RFK Stadium, Washington. D.C. (2:30 p.m., ESPN2/UniMás)
Friday, June 7: vs. Jamaica at National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica (9:30 p.m., beIN Sport)1
Tuesday, June 11: vs. Panama at CenturyLink Field, Seatle, Wash. (9:30 p.m., ESPN/UniMás)1
Tuesday, June 18: vs. Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah (9:00 p.m., ESPN/UniMás)1
Tuesday, July 9: vs. Belize at JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Ore. (11:00 p.m., TV TBA)2
Saturday, July 13: vs. Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah (3:30 p.m., TV TBA)2
Tuesday, July 16: vs. Costa Rica at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn. (8:00 p.m., TV TBA)2
Friday, September 6: vs. Costa Rica at National Stadium or Estadio Saprissa, San Jose, Costa Rica (time TBA, beIN Sport)1
Tuesday, September 10: vs. Mexico at Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio (8:00 p.m, ESPN/UniMás)1
Friday, October 11: vs. Jamaica at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (time TBA, ESPN or ESPN2/UniMás)1
Tuesday, October 15: vs. Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernández, Panama City, Panama (time TBD, beIN Sport)1
1 - World Cup qualifying game.
2 - CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage game. The quarterfinals will be played on July 20 and 21 in Atlanta (the Georgia Dome) and Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium); the semifinals will be played on July 24 in Arlington, Texas (Cowboys Stadium); and the championship game will be played on July 28 in Chicago (Soldier Field).