Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISIphotos.com
Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 20 players for the U.S. men's national team's January camp, and the neglected ones from the past few months will finally get their chance to perform in front of the U.S. coach.
Centerbacks Omar Gonzalez, George John and Geoff Cameron and attacking midfielder Benny Feilhaber are all part of the crew that will train in Phoenix and at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., prior to friendlies against Venezuela in Phoenix on Jan. 21 and against Panama in Panama City on Jan. 25. Camp begins on Jan. 3.
Other notable names on the roster include Sporting Kansas City forward C.J. Sapong and midfielder Graham Zusi, who earned their first call-ups after stellar MLS campaigns and will join teammate Teal Bunbury on the roster.
In terms of non-MLS players, FC Nordsjaelland's Michael Parkhurst and Eintracht Frankfurt's Ricardo Clark both got the call. Parkhurst has enjoyed a strong season in Denmark, while Clark has struggled for playing time and has been rumored to be a loan candidate come the winter transfer window.
Here is the full roster for the camp:
USMNT JANUARY CAMP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), George John (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Klinsmann addressed the call-ups to players like Gonzalez, John and Cameron in an interview on U.S. Soccer's website, saying:
"We have an internal ranking of players in each position based on how we want to play, and many of these players are next in line. The European-based players and the Mexican-based players aren't available, so this is their shot. Their goal has to be to move ahead of the guy in front of him in their position, and the only way they can do that is to show how good they are. This is a big opportunity for them, and at the end we will give them a straight forward answer as to where they stand."
What do you think of the roster? Surprised only 20 players got called in? Relieved that the likes of Gonzalez, John and Cameron will get their shot? Is there anybody that you think got snubbed?
Share your thoughts below.