[USA MEN] Jurgen Klinsmann named a 24-player roster for the U.S. game against Ukraine in Larnaca, Cyprus. All but one player (Michael Bradley) is currently based in Europe or Mexico. Will Packwood (Birmingham City) earned his first call-up, as did Bayern Munich teen phenom Julian Green, though he is not eligible to play for the USA and is only with the team to train.
Klinsmann called in just about every European-based player who is
available, though many have little or no chance of going to Brazil.
European-based players who have been sidelined include right backs Timmy Chandler
and Steve Cherundolo and midfielders Stuart Holden and Josh Gatt.
Just back from injury are Eric Lichaj and Jonathan Spector from the English League Championship, but neither was
called in for the Ukraine game. Lichaj was called in for the November 2013 friendlies; Spector was supposed to be called into the March 2013 qualifiers but was a last-minute scratch because of an
ankle injury. Klinsmann also did not call up Bobby Wood of 1860 Munich.
Packwood, Spector's Birmingham City teammate, would have started for the
USA at the Under-20 World Cup but suffered a broken leg. He has since returned to action for the Blues and is considered one of the top young prospects in the back.
Edgar Castillo was the only player based in Mexico called in for the game. He plays for Tijuana along with Joe Corona and
Herculez Gomez, both of whom have seen their World Cup prospects fade in the last six months.
Xolos play Saturday, allowing Castillo to catch a
flight to Europe on Sunday. The only other Mexican-based players likely still on Klinsmann's radar for 2014 are DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco. Both play for Puebla whose game Sunday against Queretaro would make it very difficult to get to Europe.
Klinsmann can still see them on April 2 when the USA
plays Mexico in Glendale, Ariz. Castillo won't be available if Tijuana beats the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League. The semifinals will be held the week of the USA-Mexico
Bradley did not play in the Feb. 1 friendly against South Korea. Facilitating his call-up is the fact Toronto FC doesn't play on the opening weekend of MLS play March 8-9. The only
teams that are off are San Jose and Colorado. The Earthquakes play in the Concacaf Champions League the following week.
The Ukraine-USA match was previously set to be played in Kharkiv,
Ukraine, but the location was changed due to current conditions in Ukraine. Kickoff at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca is set for 2 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast on
ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas.
The USA will assemble in Frankfurt on Monday for two days of training before heading to Cyprus.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood
(Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian
Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo
(Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)