United States head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has named a 25-man squad for the upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Ireland.
Klinsmann included Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron, Houston defender DaMarcus Beasley and Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman for the first time since the World Cup as part of the delegation to face the Colombians at Craven Cottage on Friday and the Irish at Aviva Stadium next Tuesday.
The inclusion of those experienced figures creates a balance with several younger players — including Minnesota United FC forward Miguel Ibarra and Stanford forward Jordan Morris — also named in the team. Klinsmann said he wanted to lean on the experience of players like Beckerman, Beasley, Jermaine Jones and Nick Rimando to help guide a side with 12 players under the age of 24.
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"We want to have these guys telling them these things, to have an education off the field," Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. "We have 10 days now together in London, and then we go to Dublin. This is what we coaches will watch very carefully – how the experienced players play that role and not their own role. They’ve played enough caps, they know what to do. For me, it’s really important to see how much they pass on, and can these younger players become more alert, more urgent and understand that they have to break through and not miss the train."
Seattle forward Clint Dempsey will miss out on his return to Craven Cottage with Sounders FC scheduled to face FC Dallas in the second leg of the Western Conference semifinal on Monday night. Michael Bradley (foot surgery) is also absent, while Terrence Boyd and Aron Jóhannsson are both omitted after recently returning from long-term injury complaints.
New England midfielder Lee Nguyen is included in the squad for the first time in seven years. Nguyen, 28, made three appearances for the U.S. in 2007, but he fell out of the side after featuring in the Copa America that year. The in-form midfielder received a recall after his sterling displays for the Revolution this season.
"It’s definitely a dream to be able to come back and represent your country," Nguyen said after the Revolution’s 3-1 victory over Columbus on Sunday night. "I’m very honored and very happy. I can’t wait."
Nguyen is one of 10 MLS players included in the squad. Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson join Rimando and Brad Guzan in goal, while Matt Besler, Chris Wondolowski (fresh off a training spell at Fulham last week) and DeAndre Yedlin complete the domestic contingent.
USA roster to face Colombia and Ireland
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)