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Pulisic, Gooch, Green headline USMNT roster for October friendlies

Christian Pulisic USA Bolivia 05282016Ahead of the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying, Jurgen Klinsmann is going to get a look at several young stars in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s October friendlies.

Christian Pulisic, Lynden Gooch and Julian Green headline the USMNT’s 23-man roster for the pair of upcoming friendlies. The U.S. will kick off the international break with a visit to Cuba on Friday before taking on New Zealand four days later in Washington, D.C.

“These two games are very important for us because it’s the last time we can see certain players before making the decision on the 23 going in to represent us for the Mexico and Costa Rica clashes,” said Klinsmann. “There’s a lot at stake for the players to make their case, to show where they are right now. We have the opportunity to bring some players back that haven’t been with us for a little bit, and we want to see if they can put a stamp on this camp and have a chance for being in the roster next month. The bigger picture behind this is definitely Mexico and Costa Rica, and these two games will show us a lot about individual players.”

In addition to the trio of young outfield players, the U.S. will feature a younger group of goalkeeping options. Regular starters Tim Howard and Brad Guzan have not been named to the roster, as David Bingham, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough have been selected to hold down the goalkeeper position.

“Obviously we have the two experienced guys with Tim Howard and Brad Guzan,” Klinsmann said. “Both are in different situations right now – Tim is obviously very busy with the Colorado Rapids and Brad is not getting the opportunity to play at Middlesbrough. I think it’s a perfect time to give an open window to three younger goalkeepers with William Yarbrough, Ethan Horvath and David Bingham. That’s why we decided to leave the two older guys out and give these three youngsters a chance to prove their point.”

Of the 23 players called in, 15 were a part of the USMNT roster for recent September qualifiers, incluiding regulars Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood. Gooch is the lone completely new face, as the Sunderland midfielder joins the senior team for the first time.

Here’s a closer look at the USMNT roster:

GOALKEEPERS: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

DEFENDERS: Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)

MIDFIELDERS: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Danny Williams (Reading)

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)


  1. I hope Green gets some minutes. He needs some actual game time. Not sure what Bayern are trying to accomplish with him by not giving him a single minute of action.

    • Win games.

      Lewandowski is one of the top strikers in the world and he is in incredible physical condition and doesn’t tire. Second, Bayern generally doesn’t develop players they buy players. Finally, they have no reason to give Green experience for experience sake if he isn’t signed for next season.

      • So they’re better off just letting him take a spot on their 18, instead of giving him some time in their bi-weekly blowout games?

      • Its like they expect him to simply be happy being in the 18. Green needs to give up on the idea of making it at BM and go play some football. Hes wasting prime years on this fantasy of being a star at BM.

      • Chris: Bryan asked what they were thinking, and I tried to answer that question as best I could, I have no inside knowledge. I don’t agree with their strategy, but if Lewandowski is available he pretty much is going to play no matter what. This has been their way since he joined them, and was Dortmund’s strategy when he was there. He’s in the 18 most nights because if Lewandowski went down with an injury he could step in.

        Bryan he’s in the last year of his contract and thus not worth much of anything on the transfer market. It would be highly unlikely that he would get a loan or a transfer in the January window, so he will have his pick of interested spots next Summer.

  2. if this was fifa17 i would play:

    but they will be in a 442:

  3. vs Cuba
    vs New Zealand

  4. Would have liked to see some other guys called in, but not gonna fret too much about it as it’s only a friendly. I would have liked to see howard but kinda get it, don’t get why hamid isn’t included in there, see him as the future of the position. Besler and ream should both be in as left footed CBs as brooks is still banged up and shouldnt be called up. Honestly, would have liked to see bornstein for depth at LB.Also just a note that cameron has been playing center mid for stoke the past 3 games, which should really be his national team position. I see nagbe opted out, but what about ethan finlay, guy can run at people which we struggle with, especially with zardes out. Lastly, why doesnt lee nguyen get more looks, would really be good competition with kljestan for that no. 10 spot.
    My lineup for friday

    Would like to see yarborough get a half, then see chandler, bedoya, kitchen, arriola and wood off the bench.

  5. ASN is reporting that Nagbe was left off the roster for personal/family reasons. Really wish he was in camp so that he could compete with Kljestan and build more chemistry with the rest of the squad.

  6. I searched the internet, but finding info on Liga Mx matches seems almost impossible. Villafana had started every match this season and had played almost every minute and then suddenly doesn’t dress on Saturday seems like a possible injury.

    According to Brian Sciaretta, Nagbe opted out for personal/family reasons

    Also, read that several others are expected in after the Cuba match as some players return to their clubs (likely Morris).

  7. I’m pretty sure Villafana was caught talking to Benny Feilhaber or something. I don’t think he’s getting a callup.

  8. disappointed Villafana was not on the roster, but otherwise like this. Hoping Williams and Kitchen get games and give MB a rest.

  9. I like Wondo, but I think 1) He has not been that productive this MLS season and 2) He is on the down slope of his career.

    OTOH, I would prefer him over Agudelo who has shown not so much improvement since Bradley first called him in,( he has scored 6 goals this year the same as in 2010 and is at the goal-scoring level of Mullins, Sapong, Peterson and other forwards), that trajectory is more or less flat.

    AJ and Rubin should stay with their clubs

    So Wondo makes some sense,though I expect he will not play a full game or even 90 minutes total.

    • Of course Wondo has scored the 2nd most goals of any US player in MLS behind Morris and ahead of Jozy. I do not think either Morris or Wondo can lead the attack for the US, but there is really no MLS player any better and the euro-based players are either being called in, are injured or are fighting for some playing time with their clubs.

    • Since these two friendlies are against two very weak teams we should beat even with a C level squad, the inclusion or lack of inclusion of Wondo has no importance except that it means some other player is not being called in. While there are several players I’d like to see instead of Wondo, it’s hardly worth getting bothered about.

      • Agreed, would like to see some new faces as depth up top, we’re kinda getting that with morris. But I’d like to see sapong or aguelo if he’s grabbing from MLS.

    • DLOA my friend don’t make me fact check you too. Jozy is right at a goal per 90, if you only take his time since injury. His 0.61 is still best among Americans in MLS, and one of the better averages in the league (8th)

    • Actually, with the villafana injury, i thought bornstein should have been called up, really has nailed down a spot at quaretaro, and not like we’re super deep there.

  10. Kinsmann understandably did not go for Aguedelo due to MLS playoffs. However, over Wondow he should of went with Siembatcheu or try to snatch one of the Parker brothers.

    • If you can’t spell it you probably shouldn’t call for someone’s call up. Theoson Siebatcheu has scored once in the last twelve months, in a French Cup match his team lost by three goals. He hardly played the second half of last season for a team that was being relegated. And all we know about his desire to play for the US is he made an off handed comment that he was born in America and maybe would think about playing there if France didn’t work out.

      The Parker brothers haven’t done anything on the professional level, and I believe both would have to file switch paperwork since they have represented Germany at the youth level. So they would not be eligible for call ups at this time.

  11. For the most part I like this roster. It has a good mix of experience and youthful potential. What I don’t like about this roster:
    1) Wondo’s inclusion. He’s a worthless player at the international level. He’s proven time and again that he cannot contribute to this team except when we are playing weak opponents. Would have much rather seen ArJo, Agudelo, or Rubin called as they still have potential to contribute.
    2) Kljestan’s inclusion. I’m not a fan of Sacha. He’s a decent player, but don’t think his speed of play will be effective against better teams. I’d have much preferred to see Nagbe given some time during these friendlies.
    3) Villafana’s exclusion. We need depth options at LB, and Jorge is one of the few LB’s we’ve not tried. Since he’s not available for January camps, this was the last chance to test him until Feb/March time frame.

    Otherwise a good squad which will give experience to young players while also re-enforcing the chemistry of players ahead of the November Qualifiers.

    • I agree on 1 & 3, but I think that now is Kljestan’s time. His passing and game management for the Pink Cows has been pretty spectacular this year. He leads the league in assists this year and had 16 last year. I’m fine with letting him run the offense for us.

  12. Here’s my take away, as if anyone cares. Since he didn’t call in Villafana or any other natural LB, this means he is keeping Fabian at LB and probably going with Pulisic and Bedoya at wing during the first round of the Hex. That means we will probably line up with FJ, Books, Cameron and Yedlin along the back line, Pulisic, Bradley and Bedoya in the midfield and Altidore and Wood up top. The only question is the last midfielder–Jones, Kljestan or? In Costa Rica he may go with 5 in midfield and one up top and play for the draw and hope to hit them on the counter with Pulisic. I think these two games are mainly to fill out the roster and see who makes the bench since most of the spots are set unless there is injury.

  13. I have to agree with others that Agudelo is due for another call-up. Since he’s finally healthy and in form, he has been excelling for an average Revs team. There’s no question he is a superior choice over Wondo, but it’s not good timing with the Revs in a tight playoff battle. With Dempsey out for the foreseeable future, it’s time for JK to review all of his options.

  14. The lineup with the new players we all want to see (4-4-2 diamond):


    I put Chandler over Yedlin just to piss some of you off. Haha. Also because Yedlin is still a bench player for the most part.

      • That was his position back in the day, you know when he was 16. He played inside at times last year for BvB as well, but he has been used almost exclusively on the wing this season

      • The middle is where he belongs. Dortmund has too much depth in the center so he usually ends up out wide, but he has been played inside with them at the youth level and with the USYNTs. He’s as natural a #10 as we’ve ever had in the US. Equally good on either foot, can finish inside or outside the box, can drift to either side to provide service, good weight on his passes, great vision, great dribbling, can link up passes quickly and into dangerous positions…

        His versatility may make him a more attractive option playing outside as we have many players who can play in the middle but are not effective on the wings.

  15. I hope Bill Hamid is staying behind because of the playoff race. Because it’s absolutely crazy if these other young GKs are being rated above him. Yarbrough looks shaky at best when you watch him play – especially on claiming crosses. Horvath is basically still a prospect at this point. Bingham is an all-around solid – but unspectacular – GK. Hamid always always looks like a man amongst boys out there.

    I personally think he’d easily claim and retain the #1 US keeper spot if he were ever given some starts. I think he’s the best US goalkeeping shot-stopper EVER – including all of our great keepers. And he’s improved incredibly with his distribution and positioning. Unfortunately, it seems like he might be another in a long line of players in the US pool that Klinsmann rates completely differently for essentially no reason – (Wondo, Lichaj, Mix, Feilhaber, Orozco, etc). It’s a real shame, and I hope it changes soon. There’s still time for him to come around.

    • “Unfortunately, it seems like he might be another in a long line of players in the US pool that Klinsmann rates completely differently for essentially no reason”. Hamid was a regular JK call up until he got injured earlier this year. I think it has more to do with more the fact that DC is in the middle of a playoff push.

    • Hamid lacks leadership and consistency. Great keepers bring calm. Shot stopping is only part of the job. Also, you’re certifiably insane if you even halfway believe that Bill Hamid is in the same league with Keller, Friedel, Howard, or even Marcus Hanneman as a shot stopper. Pure lunacy.

      • purely on shot-stopping abilities, i’d actually rank guzan first, and i do think that hamid is up there with the best that we’ve had. but i agree he’s still lacking in leadership, consistency, and positional awareness.

        he’s still relatively young for a keeper, so those could come (and his positioning has improved), and i also don’t think he’s noticeably worse than horvath or yarbrough; in any case, i’m glad he wasn’t called up for these matches–just wish birnbaum was left at home, too.

  16. Effing Wondo again? At this point, I’m taking this personally: JK is doing this just to piss me off.

    (Nothing personal against Wondo: he’s a good guy and works hard, but we KNOW he’s not good enough at the International level unless he’s playing against crap teams.)

      • Cuba & New Zealand are crap teams….but we should be building towards the future with these types of matches and not bringing players who were poor in the past and have no future.

        ArJo, Agudelo, Rubin, or any number of other striker options would have been a much better selection than Wondo.

      • They are crap teams. Doesn’t mean you bring a player that has no place against good teams and is too old to expect meaningful future improvement or contribution. Play the younger player and let them build experience and confidence as they integrate into the team.

  17. No need to call wondo in. Would have been nice to see Villafana. He only called in 3 fullbacks (not including cameron)

    • Villafana didn’t dress over the weekend so perhaps there is an injury he had played all, but 43 minutes of the season before that.

    • That surprised me at first too, however, if you look deeper it makes some sense. Agudelo has probably the strongest case, but they are in the heat of a playoff battle, Mullins is hot right now, but hadn’t shown much promise until a few weeks ago and again playoff battle. The U20 strikers are in camp in England, so youth strikers would drop to 18 years olds like Haji Wright and Brandon Vazquez. Then you go European guys AJ did not dress so perhaps an injury, Rubin hasn’t seen the field since mid August and was just with the Nats in Sept., Boyd is still reaching match fitness, Kiesewetter is more a wing than a forward,

      And finally Wondo is a good team guy, and JK will take good character over potential every time, many managers are that way.

      • I’m not a fan of Wondo, but this time it makes some sence. With the lack of leadership, No Demps, Jones, and Howard, Wondo can help set the tone of practice and locker room presence

    • You make good points Johnny but I still don’t like Wondo being on the roster. Anybody else, a new younger option, would have been better.

      I actually really like this Klinsmann roster. Only changes I would have made are Morales or Nagbe over Bedoya, and anyone over Wondo.

      • I wonder if he’s hoping to give him a sendoff, so his last memory of the USMNT isn’t fouling Messi.

    • Some will claim locker room leadership. I think that bringing in marginal players, just for leadership, you actually hinder the developement of future leaders. Let the young guns figure it out in meaningless friendlies against subpar competition. His (Wondo) MLS scoring is meaningless, as he doesn’t contribute at this level.

    • I am a Wondo lover. He is a very good/great player.

      But I agree it is mindboggling. He is not the answer with the youth coming up.

  18. I actually like Jurgen’s thinking on the GK position. It makes no sense to bring in either Timmy or Guzan and not play them. Leave them both out and let the youngsters fight for the role.

    • Totally agree, especially if he’s thinking both of them have a spot secure and he’s really looking for who’s the #3 GK and the GK of the next WC cycle. BTW: Was I the only one confused for at least a sec. when I saw that Gooch was named to the USMNT roster?

  19. Doesn’t seem like JK is as high on Nagbe and many others. He’ll have to go to the SPL I guess if he wants to get called up.

    • Portland has had a very heavy schedule with CONCACAF CL and with its push to the playoffs. Its more likely that Caleb Porter asked for him to remain with the club. With the exception of Morris the other MLS guys are either already qualified for the playoffs or are basically out of the playoff race. I doubt Morris will play the game against NZ either since Sounders have a match Wednesday the 12th.

      • “With the exception of Morris the other MLS guys are either already qualified for the playoffs or are basically out of the playoff race.”

        birnbaum 🙁 but hopefully it shouldn’t affect his fitness too much for our next match on the 16th.

      • I wanted to see Hamid in here as well – he’s been playing lights out recently – but apparently still in JK’s doghouse? Still don’t know the reason why though.

    • He’s with the U20s that have a big prep tournament in England ahead of qualifying for U20 WC in February. Since he likely won’t be released for qualifying as it doesn’t match an international window this is the only time for him to play with the squad before the WC in May.


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