MLS MVP candidate Lee Nguyen
from MLS Eastern Conference finalist New England was the only player to get his
first call-up from Jurgen Klinsmann
in the 25-player U.S. national team roster for matches against Colombia Friday in London and Ireland four days later in
Dublin. Otherwise, as is his style, Klinsmann stuck with the established order, bringing back such veterans as DaMarcus Beasley
and Kyle Beckerman
for the first time since the World Cup. The Opponents: Colombia: Roster Ireland: Roster
Nguyen and Revs teammate Jermaine
and DeAndre Yedlin
of the Seattle Sounders were the only players still alive in the MLS called in for the two friendlies, though it is likely
they'll be released after Friday's Colombia match to prepare for the MLS conference finals that resume Nov. 23. Geoff Cameron
, whom Klinsmann
watched on Sunday in action for Stoke City, was also recalled. He had been called up for the match against the Czech Republic in September but was scratched as he was injured. Cameron, Jones, John Brooks
and Matt Besler
are the players expected to split time in the two games at center back. Rubin Rubio
, the 18-year-old FC Utrecht sensation, and Jordan Morris
, the Stanford University sophomore, were also recalled.
In Morris' case, he'll likely miss the No. 1 Cardinal's game Sunday against Cal in which it will have a chance to clinch its first Pac-12 title since 2001.
Rubio and Morris were called in
for the Czech Republic match but did not play, making them the only uncapped players in the current squad. They are among five players eligible for the 2016 Olympics as U-23 players along with Julian Green
, Brooks and Yedlin. (Miguel Ibarra
, who earned a second call-up after Minnesota United FC was upset in the NASL
semifinals, is 24.)
Klinsmann stressed the importance of keeping the veterans around to help mentor the young players in the squad.
“I think if you look at these
veterans -- Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Nick Rimando
, Jermaine Jones -- I think those are all players that have to help get the younger players to another
Klinsmann in an interview with USSoccer.com.
“It’s literally their jobs; it’s what we’re asking. I know everybody is busy with themselves and wants to play and show what they have, but in a transition phase after a World
Cup, having a year until you play that Gold Cup in July, we need these older players. Beasley is a very important player in this going forward, and Beckerman and Rimando. They have to show what it
takes to become consistent and a real professional."
Sixteen of 23 World Cup players were called up. Klinsmann did not call up captain Clint
, Omar Gonzalez
, Michael Bradley
, Brad Davis
, Graham Zusi
and Aron Johannsson
, while not currently accepting call-ups is goalkeeper Tim
Both Dempsey and Gonzalez are still involved in the MLS playoffs. After Monday's Seattle-FC Dallas match, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid
said it was agreed between the Sounders and the national team that Dempsey be given rest.
Bradley just underwent surgery to repair nerve damage in his foot, while Johannsson just returned
to action for AZ after a long layoff. Zusi was called in for the October friendlies, while Davis has not been recalled since the World Cup.
The biggest surprise in the U.S. squad was the
return of Bobby Wood
, who has played all of five minutes for struggling German second division club 1860 Munich since the October friendlies, where he played in
both matches against Ecuador and Honduras. U.S. Roster: GOALKEEPERS (4):
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG),
Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) DEFENDERS (9):
DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler
(Sporting KC), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Greg Garza (Tijuana/MEX), Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER), Jermaine
Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders). MIDFIELDERS (6):
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), Mix
Diskerud (Rosenborg/NOR), Julian Green (Hamburg/GER), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt/GER), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution). FORWARDS (6):
(Sunderland/ENG), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford Univ.), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht/NED), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich/GER), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).