Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t the only German switching to the U.S. men’s team.
Fabian Johnson, who started for Germany in the final of the Under-21 European Championship just two years ago, switched allegiance to the United States and was among 24 players chosen by Klinsmann on Thursday for exhibitions against Costa Rica and Belgium next month. The midfielder joins right back Timmy Chandler, a German-born defender who made his U.S. debut earlier this year.
Chandler was on Klinsmann’s original roster for the Aug. 10 game against Mexico, his first game as U.S. coach after being hired to replace Bob Bradley. But after talking with Chandler, Klinsmann decided it was better the 21-year-old stay with club team Nuremberg for its Bundesliga opener against Hertha Berlin.
Klinsmann also will get his first look at Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, two of the Americans’ most potent scorers. Altidore scored twice in AZ Alkmaar’s 6-0 win over Aaselund in Europa League play Thursday, giving him five goals with his Dutch team. Dempsey scored twice in Fulham’s 3-0 victory over Dnipro last week in the Europa League.
While Klinsmann continued his pledge to give new players a look, he bypassed veterans Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Ricardo Clark.
”All three of these players are trying to sort out their club situations, and the deadline for transfers is a week away,” Klinsmann said. ”They have also not been playing matches, so for these reasons we decided to select different players for this roster.”
Freddy Adu wasn’t selected, either. The former phenom recently returned to Major League Soccer, and is still adjusting to his new Philadelphia Union team.
The U.S. and Costa Rica meet frequently in CONCACAF play, but this is their first exhibition since 1995. The Americans have an 11-11-6 record overall against the Ticos, including a 2-2 draw on Oct. 14, 2009, that cost Costa Rica a spot in last year’s World Cup. The tie dropped Costa Rica to fourth in North and Central American and Caribbean region qualifying, and the Ticos then lost to Uruguay in a playoff for the spot shared by CONCACAF and South America.
This will be the fourth game against Belgium, and first since 1998. Belgium has won the last two meetings.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Bill Hamid (DC United).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Edgar Castillo (Club America, Mexico), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Zach Loyd (Dallas), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht, Belgium), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado), Robbie Rogers (Columbus), Brek Shea (Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New York), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Teal Bunbury (Kansas City), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles).