USA names 28-player roster for upcoming friendlies vs. Chile, Panama
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named a 28-player roster for the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Panama.
Klinsmann opted to blend youth and experience in the first camp of 2015 with a mixture of familiar faces providing the foundation for a squad including 14 uncapped players.
"The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year," Klinsmann said in a statement. "We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio."
Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones lead a contingent of seven World Cup holdovers, while recent Orlando City signing Brek Shea receives an opportunity to stake his claim for a regular berth in the side. Out-of-contract midfielder Mix Diskerud is also included as he continues his search for a new club after his contract with Norwegian side Rosenborg expired.
In addition to those regulars, the group also includes a mixture of MLS standouts and Olympic hopefuls as Klinsmann weighs his options moving forward.
D.C. United duo Steven Birnbaum and Perry Kitchen earned their first callups to the national side, while promising forwards Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas) and Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) also earned the chance to impress.
Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill and Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp highlight the list of players expected to feature during Olympic qualifying. Klinsmann also included Club Leon midfielder Dennis Flores, Tepic forward Julio Morales and Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi as part of a foreign-based continent of Olympic prospects.
Klinsmann will summon the group to Carson, Calif. for a 12-day training camp before heading to Santiago ahead of the friendly against Chile on Jan. 28. The squad will then return to California ahead of the buildup to the second friendly against Panama at StubHub Center on Feb. 8.
28-man USA roster by position:
Goalkeepers: Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
Forwards: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)