Klinsmann mixes it up with 1st roster as US coach
New coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t the only one who could use
nametags when the U.S. men play Mexico next week.
Klinsmann left no doubt this is a new era Thursday when he
announced the roster for his first game as head coach, mixing
veteran mainstays such as Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and captain
Carlos Bocanegra with up-and-comers Brek Shea, Edgar Castillo,
Michael Orozco Fiscal and Bill Hamid. He also brought back DaMarcus
Beasley for the first time since last year’s World Cup in South
Africa, and gave another shot to Freddy Adu, the onetime phenom
whose slumping career was rejuvenated with his stellar play at the
”One of the goals of the roster for this game and moving
forward is to create competition at each position,” Klinsmann
said. ”There are many players who are established as well as many
players who will get opportunities, and we want there to be a
healthy contest for spots on the roster. We will get a good look at
where each player is as quickly as we can.”
The game against El Tri on Wednesday in Philadelphia is a
rematch of the Gold Cup final in June, a flop that led to
Klinsmann’s hiring. The U.S. blew a two-goal lead against its
biggest rival, and the latest in a series of lackluster showings
proved to be too much for coach Bob Bradley, who was fired last
Thursday. Klinsmann, who had long been linked with the job, was
hired the next day.
Klinsmann, one of the greatest players Germany has ever
produced, transformed a stodgy German squad in his brief stint as a
coach of his native country’s national team, and U.S. Soccer hopes
he can do the same here. He spent much of his introductory news
conference talking about player development and is wasting little
time seeing if there are other players out there who could help the
U.S. when World Cup qualifying begins next year.
Defense has been an area of concern the past two years, and
Klinsmann will take a look at youngsters Orozco Fiscal, Castillo,
Timmy Chandler and Tim Ream.
The German-born Chandler was impressive in his debut in March
against Argentina, but Bradley left him off the Gold Cup roster to
recover from the taxing Bundesliga season. Orozco Fiscal, who plays
for San Luis in Mexico, was a key member of the U.S. Olympic team
in 2008, starting all three games and getting an assist on a goal
against Japan. He’s made one appearance for the U.S., starting and
playing all 90 minutes in an Oct. 15, 2008, loss to Trinidad and
Tobago in a World Cup qualifier.
Castillo plays left back, a position that’s been particularly
difficult for the U.S. to fill. He has played for the U.S. just
once, a November 2009 exhibition against Denmark, after
representing Mexico early in his career.
Ricardo Clark and Jose Torres were included on the roster for
the first time since the World Cup in South Africa, joining
midfield regulars Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones.
Klinsmann also called up Shea, who is third in scoring in Major
League Soccer with nine goals this season. The 21-year-old made his
U.S. debut last October against Colombia.
Adu was one of the few bright spots for the Americans at the
Gold Cup, setting up the lone goal in the semifinal win against
Panama and getting an assist on the opening goal in the final.
Klinsmann also selected 18-year-old Juan Agudelo, who has scored
twice in 10 appearances since making his U.S. debut last
With the U.S. traveling to Brussels for a Sept. 6 exhibition
against Belgium, Klinsmann left several European-based players off
his roster, including Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore. Dempsey was
in Fulham’s starting lineup Thursday for its Europa League game
Klinsmann also announced that Tab Ramos, Thomas Dooley, Martin
Vasquez, Mike Curry and Mark Verstegen will be his first group of
assistant coaches. Klinsmann has said he will use a variety of
coaches over the next few months – the U.S. also has a Sept. 2
exhibition against Costa Rica in Carson, Calif. – before deciding
on his permanent staff.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Bill Hamid (DC
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne, France), Edgar
Castillo (Club America, Mexico), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg,
Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson
(Brondby, Denmark), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Heath
Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley
(Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht
Frankfurt, Germany), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland),
Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Brek Shea (Dallas), Jose Torres
Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal), Juan Agudelo (New
York), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt,
Germany), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles).