[USA MEN]Timmy Chandler was among the 20 players U.S. national team coachJurgen Klinsmann called into training camp for Wednesday's game against Russia in Krasnodar (TV: ESPN2, 10 am ET). Also back in the squad is striker Jozy Altidore, whom Klinsmann didn't pick for the two World Cup qualifiers in October, and Juan Agudelo, who was used early in Klinsmann's tenure but has not played for the USA since his trade from the New York Red Bulls to Chivas USA. For the complete roster and Klnsmann's take on the moves ...
Chandler missed all of the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying. He last appeared for the United States in the 3-2 win against Slovenia on Nov. 15, 2011, in Ljubljana.
“Timmy was always committed to the team," said Klinsmann. "With his dual citizenship situation and having a choice, it’s a big, big decision. Timmy is maturing now. He’s becoming a better pro and a more mature player, and he knows now that once he makes the final decision that’s going to be his life. So I don’t want to put any pressure in a situation like that. The choice should come from the player. Obviously, there comes a time when there is no time left, and he knows that. We are thrilled that he is now back in the group. The group welcomed him with open arms. He gives us quality on our roster. He’s maturing in the Bundesliga and he’s one of the best players in Nuremberg. It’s good to have him when we play one of the best teams in Europe.”
Altidore, 23, is tied for second place in the Dutch Eredivisie with nine goals for AZ. Klinsmann was not happy with with some of his previous national team efforts but is happy to have him back.
“Obviously, he was left out of the last games against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala because of the way he played in Jamaica and maybe a couple other things from the previous months that I wasn’t so happy about," said Klinsmann. "I mentioned it to him, and now having him back in the group gives us an opportunity to talk through that stuff and also to see his total commitment on the field. He’s an important player for us. He’s fighting his way through the Dutch league and doing well there, and we hope he brings the same energy into our group. We often forget that Jozy is not a 30-year-old player that you already expect to be kind of perfect and mature. He’s still going through ups and downs, which is totally normal. So when a down period comes and I leave him out of the roster, that’s not the end of the world. But it’s also a little signal to say ‘Hey Jozy, maybe there were things we didn’t like before.’ Now we can catch up and see how it goes.”
Also back camp are Agudelo, the only MLS-based field player called up, and Norwegian-American Mix Diskerud, who played on the U.S. under-23 national team that failed to qualify for the Olympics.
Two players making their first appearance in a senior team camp are former U-23 internationals Josh Gatt and Joe Gyau. Gatt’s club, Molde, just clinched its second straight Norwegian Tippeligaen title this past weekend. Gyau is playing for St. Pauli in the German Second Division on loan from Hoffenheim.
Klinsmann hopes the call-ups will be a motivation for the players to take on bigger roles at their clubs.
"It also means for them that they go back to their clubs with bigger expectations," he said. "We will tell them that now we expect you to become starters in your club team, break through there and get even hungrier. So it’s important that we give these guys the opportunity to join us.”
European-based regulars who were not picked include Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey. The other starters not called up from the team that beat Guatemala in the final World Cup qualifier are Eddie Johnson, who is still involved in the MLS Cup playoffs, Graham Zusi, whose MLS season just ended, and Michael Parkhurstof Danish club FC Nordsjaelland.
GOALKEEPERS (3):Tim Howard (Everton/ENG), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS (6):Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander/SPA), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg/GER), Maurice Edu (Stoke City/ENG), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/DEN), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Roma/ITA), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/NOR), Josh Gatt (Molde/NOR), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim/GER), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/BEL), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/GER).
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ/NED), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Herculez Gomez (Santos/MEX).