[USA MEN'S TRAINING CAMP]U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann called in 25 players for the team's January camp beginning Monday at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif. He says 6-8 players could be on the plane to Honduras for the start of the Hexagonal on Feb. 6 in San Pedro Sula.
The big omission was Landon Donovan whom he did not invite. The move effectively rules Donovan out for the Honduras game.
"Well, Landon has not been invited, because, obviously, he is taking his break," Klinsmann said on Fox Soccer's Goals on Sunday. "He is thinking about his future … and he is not at a point yet where he knows what he wants to do. So it is as simple as that. That is why we didn’t invite Landon. We are as curious as everybody else about what his decision will be in the future time, but right now he is not part of this camp."
The team will train together until Jan. 27, when it departs for Houston to play Canada two days later at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match is the only game prior to the start of the Hexagonal. Klinsmann said 6-8 players could on the plane to Honduras.
GOALKEEPERS (3):Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire).
Real Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando was not called in because of a shoulder injury. The three keepers will be battling for one spot -- as the No. 3 keeper behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan.
DEFENDERS (9):Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union).
The nine defenders have five caps between them. Beitashour, Beltran, Besler, Lade, Morales and Morrow are all uncapped. This camp will be Gonzalez's big chance to convince Klinsmann he is ready to play at the international level. With little depth in the middle of the backline, at least two or three players in camp could make the cut for the Honduras roster. Only last fall, DeLaGarza was set to play for Guam. Of the six uncapped players, the player to watch is Besler, the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year.
MIDFIELDERS (8):Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsingborg), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
With Donovan unavailable, this camp will be a chance for Zusi to solidify a starting job. He'll arrive a week late after training at West Ham United. The needs are out wide so Scandinavian-based players Bedoya and Gatt will look to impress Klinsmann. Injuries kept Chris Pontius and Brek Shea out of the camp. The camp squad's two unsettled players are Diskerud and Bedoya, both looking to switch clubs after short spells in the fall at Rosenborg and Helsingborg, respectively. Unlike last year when he was suspended, Jermaine Jones was not called into the camp. There is a chance Maurice Edu (who isn't even dressing at Stoke City) and Jones could join the January camp later or be called up for the Canada game.
FORWARDS (5):Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
Buddle's inclusion was the big surprise. He's been in the mix since Klinsmann took over but struggled with injuries upon his return to MLS in 2012. Like Zusi, Agudelo, the youngest player at 20, is spending the week at West Ham before returning to Carson. Johnson and Zusi are the only players in camp who started in the October World Cup qualifiers. Bruin gets his first call-up, while Klinsmann called Wondo a role model. Alan Gordon was ruled out with an injury. Johnson is the only player with a ticket to San Pedro Sula. With Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Jozy Altidore and Terrence Boyd all ahead of them, it's unlikely Klinsmann would take six forwards for an away game.