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Youngsters headline USMNT squad for Russia friendly (Update with a closer look at the roster)

Jurgen Klinsmann called in a young squad of players for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s upcoming friendly vs. Russia on Wednesday,including five players from the U.S. Under-23 national team that fell short in Olympic qualifying last spring.

Joe Gyau, Mix Diskerud, Juan Agudelo and Sean Johnson were all called into the squad, as was Timmy Chandler, who returns to the team after more than a year away.

The squad does have a strong nucleus of veterans, including Michael Bradley, Tim Howard and Carlos Bocanegra, but Clint Dempsey has been left home for the match.

Here is the full squad:

GOALKEEPERS– Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS– Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
MIDFIELDERS РMichael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS– Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna)

Here are some thoughts on the roster, and a projected starting lineup:


The missing regulars like Clint Dempsey and Graham Zusi shouldn’t be considered snubs. Dempsey has played quite a bit with Tottenham and could use a rest (and has a big game against Arsenal on Saturday), and Zusi is coming off the busiest and toughest year of his young career so he can also use a rest.


Jozy Altidore is back, putting to rest any notion of a serious issue between him and Klinsmann. It is obvious Klinsmann wanted to send a message by leaving him out of the October qualifiers, but now Altidore is back and should be motivated to prove he should never be left out again.


Juan Agudelo finished the regular season with Chivas USA on a good run so his return shouldn’t come as a major surprise.


Timmy Chandler is in full damage control mode after his past snubs of USMNT call-ups. He insists that he is now fully ready to commit to the U.S. national team.


Klinsmann is in dire need of some new blood on the flanks, and the speedy combo of Josh Gatt and Joe Gyau can provide that. It shouldn’t be expected that either of them start against Russia, but the call-up will allow Klinsmann to see them up close, and against national team defenders.


It should be noted that this is a short camp, so there isn’t a ton of time to work with the players, but the call-up gives the young players a good experience of being in with the national team and around some veteran players.


Here is the lineup we could see face Russia:






So why Agudelo? He’s well-suited for a wide forward spot in the 4-3-3, though we could also see a 4-4-2 against Russia:







What do you think of this squad? What player are you most happy to see in the camp? Who are you disappointed to not see in the camp?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I like this group for the friendly as I think JK gets to look at some players that might be in the mix next year and in 2014 assuming the US qualifies.

    I was thinking about the 23 man roster I would put together both for now and looking towards 2014, considering formation and styles of play.

    IMO, the US has the personnel to be more effective in a 4-4-2 than in some form of 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 or 4-5-1.

    The US simply does not have the high level #10 that is required in the other systems. IMO, the US is better playing Altidore with a quick forward who likes to stretch the defense ala what Davies did before his injury. Right now I see either Gomez or Agudelo filling that role. Dempsey is better on the left where he can pinch the space between the mids and defense supported by a LB that can overlap (Johnson).

    With that in mind, here is a projected 23. Players with an * are locks in my opinion for the next 2 years.

    Keepers: *Howard, *Guzan, Ramondo
    Defense: *Dolo, *Chandler, *Cameron, *Boca (lock for Hex but not 2014), Edu, Goodson, *Johnson, Castillo
    Mids: *Dempsey, *Bradley, *Jones, *Williams, Donovan (not a lock until he decides he will be there), Zusi, Gatt, Shea
    Forwards: *Altidore, *Gomez, Boyd, Agudelo

    There are a number of players that may end up in the mix in the midfield; Holden if he gets healthy, Gyau because of his pace, Kljestan, Mix. Also if JK decides we will play with some type of 4-2-3-1 then I can see a forward dropping off and another midfielder (hopefully a #10) that would be added to make 3 forwards and 9 midfielders.

    What does everyone think?

  2. Love the Roster, but why no Freddy Adu?? He played great during the Gold Cup and is still extremely talented, who is starting to play better. Also any word if Stu Holden could be back in the mix?


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