Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann found a way to add three extra seats for their trip to Brazil this month.
Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer announced on Sunday that they’ve decided to bring the entire 26-man January training camp squad down to Brazil for a 12-day “dry-run” in Sao Paulo, where the USMNT will be based during the 2014 World Cup. Originally, Klinsmann had planned on bringing a 23-man squad to Sao Paulo, meaning that he would have had to cut three players from the traveling squad.
The USMNT departed Los Angeles on Monday morning for Brazil.
“We have been extremely pleased with the performance of the group in the first week,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “The players came in very fit and have done really well in training. Therefore, we believe they have all earned a chance to go to Brazil for these next 12 days. We are excited about getting down to Sao Paulo and continuing the work. This is a huge opportunity to get to know our environment for the World Cup.”
While in Brazil, the USMNT will hold two closed-door scrimmages, expected to come against players on Sao Paulo FC, in Brazil’s Serie A.
The team will return from Brazil on Jan. 24 and prepare for their end-of-camp friendly match at StubHub Center against South Korea on Feb. 1.
Here’s a look at the USMNT training camp roster headed to Brazil:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
What do you think of this news? Agree with Klinsmann’s decision? Glad to see players like Gil, Klute, and O’Neill earn valuable experience training with the USMNT in Brazil?
Share your thoughts below.