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

Gold Cup.

”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

November.

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

against Split.

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.

Roster:

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Bill Hamid (DC

United).

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

(Pachuca, Mexico)

Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal), Juan Agudelo (New

York), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt,

Germany), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles).