The countdown to the Oct. 10 winner-take-all match against Mexico at the Rose Bowl began in earnest with Jurgen Klinsmann
's selection of players for friendlies
against Peru and Brazil. There was heavy turnover with the return of Tim Howard
and Geoff Cameron
, who have not played
in 2015, and Matt Besler
and Jermaine Jones
, who have not played since February. Out for the Peru game at least are
nine players who started at the 2015 Gold Cup.
"This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation we’re in because of what
happened in the Gold Cup," Klinsmann said in an interview with USSoccer.com
. "These games
are not about developing things for the future. This is about proving a point towards the Mexico game.”
It's a good thing the 2017 Confederations Cup playoff
game is more than five weeks away as injuries have taken a toll on the U.S. squad. Over the weekend, Timothy Chandler
and DaMarcus Beasley
were injured, joining Fabian Johnson
on the injury list.
didn't play for the Seattle Sounders though he is scheduled to join the team for the match against Brazil. Neither Nick Rimando
nor Kyle Beckerman
was selected as Klinsmann said the players, both of whom played 90 minutes for Real Salt Lake Saturday night, were nursing injuries.
When you add in
Klinsmann's decision not to bring back Brad Evans
, that leaves only one of the five outside backs who played at the Gold Cup in the squad, Greg Garza
, who was in the team for the group stage, was called up even though he has not been dressing recently for league
games at his new Mexican club, Atlas.
The situation at outside back is the most dire, but throughout the lineup are major question marks.
"Some positions are definitely there
to grab," Klinsmann said, "but you've got to grab them with a lot of determination and a lot of ambition and that's why bringing back Tim Howard now and Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron kind of
signals the fight and the competition now happening between the older established ones and the new wave of players."
Klinsmann signaled an intense training camp ahead of the two
"We will just want to make it very, very intense and competitive from the first day on in training," he said, "so the veterans need to set the tone and they need to understand
that there's a high energy there." U.S. Friendlies: FRIDAY, SEPT. 4
USA vs. Peru, RFK Stadium in
(7 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1, Fox Sports Go, UniMas, UDN) TUESDAY, SEPT. 8
USA vs. Brazil, Gillette Stadium in Foxborough,
(8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas, UDN). U.S. Training Camp Roster: GOALKEEPERS (3):
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG), William Yarbrough (Leon/MEX) DEFENDERS (8):
Ventura Alvarado (Club
America/MEX), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Greg Garza (Atlas/MEX), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX), Tim Ream
(Fulham/ENG D2) MIDFIELDERS (7):
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), Joe Corona (Veracruz/MEX), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England
Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt/GER), Danny Williams (Reading/ENG D2), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham/ENG) FORWARDS (5):
Jozy Altidore (Toronto
FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen/GER), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER D2), *Andrew Wooten (Sandhausen/GER D2), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy).
*Uncapped. Note: Michael Bradley
(Toronto FC) and Clint Dempsey
(Seattle Sounders) will be added to the U.S. roster for the match against Brazil. William Yarbrough
will return to his club and be replaced by Sean Johnson