Jurgen Klinsmann makes big changes to USMNT roster for New Zealand friendly

BY Ryan Rosenblatt • November 15, 2016

The United States team that takes on New Zealand in a friendly on Tuesday will be very different than the one that beat Cuba, 2-0, on Friday. That's because Jurgen Klinsmann has sent nine players back to their clubs and added seven to the roster for the upcoming match, changing nearly half of the team.

Klinsmann's moves serve largely to get European-based players back home with a full week to rest before resuming their club seasons. Of the nine players he let go, seven play in Europe. And of the seven players he called up, all but one plays in MLS or Liga MX. That leaves the U.S. with a 20-man roster to take on New Zealand, with 15 players who play in MLS or Liga MX, and two of the European-based crop (Terrence Boyd and Julian Green) aren't part of their club's regular first team anyway.

Christian Pulisic is the big name reporting back to his club, which makes sense considering how much he has played for club and country over the last month and the need for him to continue developing at Borussia Dortmund. He's joined by John Brooks, who needs to get back to Hertha Berlin and stay fit so he can rejoin their starting lineup. Ethan Horvath, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson and Bobby Wood will all go back to their European clubs too, with Chris Wondolowski and Jordan Morris the two MLSers who were sent home.

Joining the U.S. in those players' places are Bill Hamid, Kellyn Acosta, Matt Besler, Michael Orozco, Tim Parker, Juan Agudelo and Terrence Boyd.

Klinsmann has talked about trying to get a look at the next set of goalkeepers in this international window with Tim Howard and Brad Guzan not part of the team. Hamid could make a breakthrough here, having been one of MLS's best goalkeepers for years. Juan Agudelo's inclusion on the team is also notable after a long spell out, while Terrence Boyd's recovery from an ACL tear continues. He suffered the injury in December 2014 and has been sidelined ever since. He hasn't played for RB Leipzig yet this season, but will get a chance to continue his recovery with the U.S.

After the U.S. plays New Zealand, they won't gather again until they square off against Mexico on November 11 in their first match of the final round of World Cup qualifying.

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