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MLS MVP Magee headlines 26-man USMNT roster for January camp

MikeMageeFireCrew (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

After winning MVP honors on the back of 21 goals in his 11th Major League Soccer season, Mike Magee has finally received a coveted USMNT call-up.

Three days into the World Cup year, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named an MLS-heavy squad of 26 players set to take part in the annual January camp. The camp will run from Jan. 6-Feb. 1, with a 23-man roster traveling to Sao Paulo from Jan. 13-25 to test the World Cup facilities. The camp will close with a friendly match against South Korea on Feb. 1 at the StubHub Center.

With Mexican- and European-based players left off the roster, plenty of chances have been awarded to youngsters on the way up (Shane O’Neill, Luis Gil, DeAndre Yedlin) and veterans who have put in their time in MLS (Magee, Michael Harrington, Chance Myers).

Defending MLS champion Sporting Kansas City lead the group with five players in the squad, including Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic, and Benny Feilhaber, in addition to Myers.

The only player on the roster playing outside of MLS is Mix Diskerud, who’s club Rosenborg is currently on its winter break.

In addition to O’Neill, Gil, and Yedlin, this camp represents the first call-ups for Harrington, Myers, Sinovic, Magee, and Chris Klute. Interestingly enough, of the six full backs called into the January camp, only Brad Evans has any previous USMNT experience.

Also of note, Benny Feilhaber parlayed his strong form in the MLS Cup playoffs into another call-up, while New York Red Bulls pair Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander make their return to the squad for the first time since Klinsmann became manager.

Here’s a closer look at the 2014 January camp USMNT roster:

2014 USMNT JANUARY CAMP ROSTER

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 roster? Excited about the lineup possibilities with this group? Glad to see Magee earn a call-up? Who do you think missed out?

Share your thoughts below.

321 comments
  • Shurls

    I may have missed something, but I was surprised to not see Juan Aguedelo on the roster. Any update on his transfer status.

    Like

    • RBNY

      I believe he was originally on the roster, but was later pulled. I guess that goes to show that he might be getting his move to Europe sooner rather than later.

      Like

    • Helium-3

      You bet. I wouldn’t be flying and playing there on my own dime.

      I believe the USMNT players union (?) have some sort of basic pay agreement with the USSF. At the very least they get per diem, free USMNT gear, and also some sort of appearance fee.

      Like

  • timothy

    I, like pretty much all soccer fans, didnt pay attention to chivas last season. Did bocanegra play poorly? Veteran presence is usually desired. Also, it would be kind of cool if klinsman could also bring in guys like Henry and Robbie Keane, just to train with the guys and fagundez just to make him feel like part of the team in case he is performing at a high level when he gets his citizenship. I’m not sure if those ideas would fly though

    Like

  • Roman Lewandowski

    I think O’Neill ultimately will play for Ireland. He probably has a better chance to break into Ireland’s defense, and he will get European exposure.

    Like

    • user222

      Agree… too bad because the kid has potential.

      At the moment there is too much competion in the US defense with Gonzo, Besler, Brooks, Cameron, Goodson, Orozco and possible Shuler… but I can see him being the solid #3 or #4 CD.

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      • shawn

        sorry but if he has potential then he should easily beat goodson and orozco in the future

        Like

      • user222

        he will beat Goodson and Orozco in the future, but not enough time to show Jurgen that he deserves a ticket to Brazil.

        I heard a rumor that Shane said if he doesnt go to Brazil with the US then he will pursue playing for Ireland in the Euro 2016.

        the problem is O’neill doesnt want to wait til 2018.

        Like

  • user222

    Is Pontius just unlucky? or he just doesnt want to play for the USMNT?

    he’s always got an excuse….

    and for Josh Gatt, if he’s on the field and playing in Denmark in April/May then he should be called up.

    Like

  • Wispy

    I think it speaks volumes that JK brought in six FBs (seven if you count O’Neill). It’s obvious to me that these are positions that he is wary about, i.e., he likes Evans and Beasley but still feels that those are spots where he needs to get as much depth as possible. If (1) Dolo can’t stay healthy, (2) Cameron is needed at CB, (3) Fabian Johnson is needed further upfield, (4) Chandler can’t get his act together, and/or (5) Parkhurst can’t get some PT (all of which are real possibilities), JK may need to rely on some of these new FBs he’s bringing into Jan camp.

    Like

    • biff

      I think you might be right about Klinsmann seeing the light, that Evans is not capable of playing right back at a very high level in Brazil. That said, it is clear to me that Evans has great fighting spirit and chemistry and could be an asset for the Brazil roster. This January camp would be good opportunity for Evans the club midfielder to be tested in the USMNT midfield. I have a feeling Jurgen is going to do this.

      Like

      • Wispy

        I think Evans makes the Brazil 23, just not as a starter. He’s a great locker room guy, capable of cover at RB and any of four MF spots, and he’s now been (plenty) blooded at the international level. I still think Cherundolo ends up being the starter.

        Like

      • biff

        I would love to see dolo start if he can regain his absolute top form, because that is what it will take for him to move past Cameron, who is a very good right back, the first American ever to do so in the premier League. I am doubtful dolo will be able to bounce back to that high level.

        Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        biff: Is Cameron currently the starting RB? Part of me hopes yes, part hopes no.

        Like

      • biff

        for Stoke he is and only Klinsmann knows for the USMNT. but I have felt for the past few months and posted on this board that I think Cameron and Fabian will be our starting fullbacks in Brazil. I think a lot of fans overrate Fabian’s attacking capabilities as a left winger. We have better left wingers, one of whom is DaMarcus Beasley but Klinsmann keeps playing Beez at LB. But when cunch time comes, Klinsmann will wise up.

        Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        biff: I hope you’re right about FabJo. I do think he is a very good LW, but agree that we have better options (Landy, Zusi, Bedoya, DMB) and FabJo is our best LB.

        As for Cameron, I would be happy with him at RB except that I really liked how he played alongside MB as CM (i.e., instead of Jones). Not that JK is ever going to bench Jones, of course.

        Like

  • dude

    Dillon powers maybe should have gotten a look. Without question one of the most impactful CM’s in MLS this year.

    Like

    • timothy

      Agree. His talent will transition very well in the international game. Though we may have to wait for a nice transfer to Europe before that happens

      Like

  • Isaac

    Pretty good group. I hope Diskerud gets the start, personally. I really think that he could be something in that second forward role just off of Jozy. We tried him there against Bosnia-Herzegovina and he worked well with Jozy, and probably should have drawn a penalty. With support from guys like Donovan this time around (rather than Eddie Johnson and Alejandro Bedoya on the wings…), he should be more dangerous.

    I also hope Benny Feilhaber gets the start. The kid has been dynamite in just about every tournament we’ve used him in, even if it’s just off the bench. He’s got a knack for saving our ass, plain and simple.

    I’d want to see a Mix underneath EJ, flanked by Donovan and Feilhaber. That said, Feilhaber hasn’t really played on the left for SKC, even though he has for the U.S. plenty of times. We’re probably more likely to see Zusi and Donovan on the flanks, which wouldn’t cause me to riot.

    I’m a big fan of Dax McCarty as well. He and Beckerman through the center of midfield might be a real treat and a very balanced pairing.

    We could even add Benny Feilhaber into the middle and go 4-3-3, playing Donovan and Zusi out wide and, which is a lot like what Kansas City trotted out for most/all of their season (if i’m not mistaken).

    Wouldn’t be mad if we just saw Mike Magee starting underneath Eddie Johnson, either. I’m interested to see how the guy does at the international stage, personally. Guy’s got an interesting skill set, and is definitely an intelligent player. Congrats to him for finally getting this chance (he’s only had one other cap, right?)

    I dig the camp. Losing to South Korea wouldn’t be horrible, but we should put up a good fight, and learn a few things. That’s really what January camps (and friendlies in general) are all about

    Like

  • shawn

    Am i the only who thinks ej isnt as good as he’s made out to be? Other than heading and decent finishing he cant do anything magee, agudelo etc cant do the same if not better. I much rather have agudelo than ej

    Like

    • GW

      shawn,
      when ej has been called upon in this qualifying campaign he has generally responded well.the typical response to that is so he scores against concacaf small fry.well he scored against mexico who are theoretically the best concacaf have to offer. and if you don’t beat the small fry you never get to the big boys agudelo may have more upside but he hasnt done anything yet in a competitive game for the usmnt.i dont know if ej is the player he, as you say, is made out to be but he has been good enough for the us.

      Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        GW: I really don’t like EJ’s style of play so I have always wanted him to not be good enough. I’ve looked for any reason I can to drop the guy from the roster. Which is why I just hate that what you say is true: EJ often contributes crucial goals.

        I can objectively drop him from the starting lineup (he’s not better than Jozy and he’s not great as a winger), but he’s certainly the 2nd in line as forward.

        Like

    • John

      It depends on how you want to use these players. EJ is best as a striker, holding the ball up, pressing the back line, and winning flick on headers. I think the match in Costa Rica showed how important having someone in that target forward role is to the US. He also showed he can combine well with Donovan during the Gold Cup.

      The problem I have with Magee is where do really play him? He isn’t really a forward and isn’t really a midfielder either. Like a number of US players he is somewhere in between. I think this is a good chance for Magee however because he’ll have an extended period to find his place.

      Like

  • user222

    I’d take Marvell Wynne to Brazil…. just to shut down Ronaldo, Muller, Reuse, Gotze, and the speedy africans. Eventually, after group play, we gotta face Belgium and Argentina.

    Wynne can shadow and shut Messi down for 90 minutes; his physical attributes are suited for defending not so for entertaining the audience.

    Like

    • sir coble

      in 2010 I suggested USMNT play a high line with Wynne facing backwards to take care of countes. I too was lambasted…for good reason. cheers.

      Like

  • rainORshine

    when there are better options and players with with more upside why does JK call guys who have such little chance of EVER contributing anything meaningful?

    — sheanon williams >> myers
    — rico clark >> mccarty
    — kelyn rowe >> alexander

    before going ape$@#! about clark, think about this… kyle beckerman and mix diskerud have never played outside of MLS and norway (not counting 6 apps on loan in belgium) respectively nor do either have WC experience. clark, still in his prime and coming off one of best seasons has bundesliga and WC experience. might be nice to have in your back pocket, at the very least. but yea, lets take beckerman-lite (dax) instead. im positive he can hang physically with the best players in the world in an emergency

    Like

    • PauseTheGameRealQuick

      Dax has earned this call up. You’re arguing for RICARDO CLARK? Seriously?? LOL

      Like

      • rainORshine

        NYRB results in 5 games DAX missed in 2013:

        W-W-W-T-W

        sure looks like they missed him

        DAX will NEVER make the USMNT better. rico clark, a WC and bundesliga veteran could jump in and give you a better option than beckerman right now

        Like

      • rainORshine

        clark also missed 5 games for houston – a playoff team that finished 3 games over .500

        results: W-L-T-L-L

        clark on field – 1.04 goals against per 90
        clark not on field – 2.00 GA / 90

        Like

      • PauseTheGameRealQuick

        Clark plays on a crappier team than Dax. When McCarty was out, RBNY could still rely on Sekagaya, Cahill, even Alexander to step in. I don’t know what you’re trying to prove besides Dax playing for a better club.

        Clark is terrible and does nothing to improve our National Squad. He has actually historically killed us. Imagine Clark vs Ghana? Oh wait, I don’t have to… **giggles**

        Like

      • rainORshine

        hmm if only there was a recent home and home playoff series with everything on the line between NYRB and houston to put your theory to test

        wait DONT HAVE TO

        GIGGLES!!!

        Like

  • Joamiq

    I… I have no complaints. The first teamers who need to stay sharp during the break, the intriguiging longshots we wanted to see – they’re all there. Hopefully the guys take hold of the opportunity.

    Like

  • Joe A.

    Aside from the obvious ones I feel like there’s disappointing choices on this squad.

    Wouldve liked to see okugo get a shot

    Like

    • John

      I don’t see anyway that EJ doesn’t go, if he is healthy. Not even worth talking about really. If he plays well in DC and Jozy continues to struggle I could even see Klinsmann starting EJ as he did before.

      Like

      • shawn

        If you think we can beat anybody in our group with eh starting then your dulusional

        Like

      • John

        I’m sure a number of people would say US fans are delusional for thinking we can beat anyone in our group either way. Honestly Jozy is the starter but I think EJ is the most likely to step in if anything happens to him. Then I don’t know who is next on the list, Boyd perhaps. AJ of coarse but the US would have to change to a more counter attacking style to get the best production out of him.

        Like

      • John

        I just don’t think he provides as much with his back to goal in holding the ball up to bring the midfield into play like Jozy or EJ can. You wouldn’t have to change but I just think he is most deadly when you can get on an odd number break. Certainly the US is going to have less of ball then they did against Concacaf teams. So looking at players who are good on a counter could be important.

        Like

      • Swifty

        IMO, AJ brings more to the table than you give him credit for. Every player fairs better when they can get in an odd number situation. AJ seems capable and confident enough to function in any role asked of him. Not as good as JA or even EJ yet, but certainly capable.

        Like

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