Klinsmann mixes things up for Donovan 'testimonial'

[USA MEN] Jurgen Klinsmann said he was wanted the "strongest squad possible" for the two October friendlies, but only two starters from the USA's World Cup game against Belgium -- Omar Gonzalez and Alejandro Bedoya -- were included in the team he named for Friday's match against Ecuador, which will be Landon Donovan's final game with the national team (7 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas).

MLS conflicts limited the roster to six MLS players: two goalkeepers, Tim Rimando and Bill Hamid, defender DeAndre Yedlin and midfielder Luis Gil, in addition to Gonzalez and Donovan. The USA also plays Honduras four days after the Ecuador game, and Klinsmann plans on making a number of changes for the second game.

"For this first game, we are mixing things up with MLS players and with players that are coming from overseas," Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer Q&A, "but they are not as established yet as we would like them to be, so maybe we let a few ones go after the Friday game back to Europe so they have a whole week of preparation for the next game, bring in some MLS players to fill in the blanks, and continue to grow this culture of competition and also of accountability."

Regulars like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler could be called in following their MLS games for the Honduras match. But Klinsmann said other World Cup players were still part of the national team picture he wanted to look at younger players.

“We left quite a few of the experienced players out because we want to give the younger players a chance to break in," he said. "Guys like Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis, Chris Wondolowski and others are not in this roster, not because they aren’t part of the national team moving forward, simply because we want to see the youngsters make their point.”

Ten of the 11 starters who played in the 1-0 win over the Czech Republic return for the Ecuador match. The only player missing is Fabian Johnson, who has been suffering from an Achilles' tendon injury.

The surprise callup for the Ecuador game is Miguel Ibarra of NASL leader Minnesota United FC. He is the only player earning his first callup.

CROWD COUNT. More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the match, which Klinsmann termed Donovan's "testimonial."

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)
2 comments about "Klinsmann mixes things up for Donovan 'testimonial'".
  1. Mike Jacome, October 6, 2014 at 5:50 p.m.

    who's Tim Rimando? A hybrid between Nick Rimando and Tim Howard???

  2. Terry Ellis, October 6, 2014 at 11:20 p.m.

    That would make him a very GOOD keeper :)

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