photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has added 11 players to the group currently partaking in a camp in Orlando, Fla., and he has summoned a mix of veteran and inexperienced players to round out the roster.
Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu are some of the more seasoned players added by Klinsmann to the 16-man roster he announced earlier this week, while Graham Zusi, Geoff Cameron and Terrence Boyd were among the more inexperienced guys included. Forwards Chris Wondolowski and Herculez Gomez were also summoned by Klinsmann, who will trim the roster on May 25 to 23 players.
Here is the full 27-man roster with the latest additions in bold:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting CP), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Clarence Goodson (Brondby IF)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar)
Among the more surprising players not called into camp are Brek Shea, Eric Lichaj, DaMarcus Beasley, Sacha Kljestan and Tim Ream. Klinsmann specifically addressed Shea's absence, saying several factors resulted in the the winger (who has played in every U.S. game since Klinsmann took over as head coach) being left off.
"We have watched Brek during the last few months, and given his performances and some of the other issues we felt he should be on the standby list," Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. "He’s still a young player with a lot of talent, and also a lot to learn."
Klinsmann did bring in six forwards to the roster in Donovan, Boyd, Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski, Jozy Altidore and Herculez Gomez. Agudelo's inclusion may be surprising to some given his recent trade to from the New York Red Bulls to Chivas USA, but Klinsmann touched on Agudelo's current situation.
"We have Juan Agudelo coming in after a difficult first part of the season for him." said Klinsmann. "Not qualifying for the Olympics, struggling with an injury, and now with the trade to Chivas USA that we hope gives him a lift because he couldn’t pass by Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper at the Red Bulls. He has an opportunity now, and we want him to grab it and make clear to everyone that he deserves to be a starter no matter where he plays.”
Agudelo being called into camp means he will miss a chance to take on his former club on Wendesday, when Chivas USA visits Red Bull Arena.
Other MLS players added to the roster include Cameron, Zusi, Wondolowski. Klinsmann was impressed by the former two's performances during January's month-long camp, while Wondolowski's torrid scoring pace was part of the reason he was included.
"Graham Zusi left a very strong impression in the January camp," said Klinsmann. "Geoff Cameron is a guy that is really knocking at the door, with a very strong January camp but also very strong performances for Houston. You have Chris Wondolowski who is scoring and scoring. This is what he loves to do and his attitude and his spirit is just great for a team to have."
Klinsmann will cut four guys before the Americans play in their first friendly this summer against Scotland at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. on May 26. The U.S. head coach admits that part of the process is not fun, but necessary.
"There is the displeasure obviously of having to tell players that it was great to bring them and they brought everything to the table that they could, but now we have to choose the final 23 for the games," said Klinsmann. "Those are very honest and straight forward discussions. Still, it’s important for the guys that don’t make the cut that they still feel a part of this process. They are knocking at the door to become part of the roster.
"Similar things will happen two years down the road. You start with a bigger group and step by step you cut it down, and basically on the last day you have to name the final 23. Now we have the advantage going into these four weeks that even if a player doesn’t make the cut, he’s still on the standby list in case something happens."
What do you think of the roster? Surprised by anyone's inclusion or omission? Which four players do you see getting cut from the final roster?
Share your thoughts below.