U.S. call-ups: Klinsmann gives players new chance

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a 26-player roster for the World Cup 2018 qualifying series against Guatemala that begins Friday in Guatemala City. The extra players will give him room to maneuver as players are evaluated for fitness. Fabian Johnson was included in the squad but strained his groin on Friday and was listed as out "for the time being" by Borussia Moenchengladbach.

U.S. Callups, by League:
5 Liga MX (Mexico)
4 Premier League (England)
2 Bundesliga (Germany)
1 2. Bundesliga (Germany)
1 Ligue 1 (France)

Back after missing the November qualifiers is Clint Dempsey. Of the 13 MLS players called up, veterans Chris Wondolowski, Kyle Beckerman and Dempsey were the only players who did not attend January camp.

“Having Clint Dempsey back," Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer interview, "is very, very important for us as well. He’s a tremendous goalscorer and when we play teams like Guatemala, you need to figure out ways to score just one or two goals that make the difference. Clint is a guy that can get that done. We are happy to have him back in our group. He started well in the Concacaf Champions League with two goals, but he hasn’t scored yet in MLS. Hopefully, he will score with us before he goes back to MLS.”

Of the MLS field players who played in the two winter friendlies, only Brad Evans, who is injured, Jermaine Jones, who is suspended, and  Tony Tchani, who was called up by Cameroon, weren't selected for the national team or the under-23 national team that will play Colombia.

The squad includes Edgar Castillo, who has not played for the USA in two years, but Klinsmann said he deserved the call-up for his play for Monterrey, the Liga MX leader after 11 games.

“It’s been exciting to watch Edgar Castillo for quite some time at Monterrey play very consistent and on a very good level," he said, "so that’s why he deserves to come back in our group because he’s proving that week in and week out in the Mexican league. We’ve always been in touch. He’s very patient. He was disappointed he was not called in the last couple of occasions, but he made his point, he made his mark and that’s why we are happy to have him back in our group.”

Also picked were defenders Ventura Alvarado and Michael Orozco even though they do not play regularly for their Mexico clubs. Alvarado made his first appearance in almost two months, coming off the bench in Sunday's 2-1 win over Leon. Orozco hasn't played a league game for Tijuana in four months.

"The reason why we brought in a little bit of a bigger roster is," said Klinsmann, "because of the fact that it is the last time before we decide on the roster for the Copa America. We want to have the opportunity to see a couple more players. For example, we brought in four goalkeepers because we want to see where David Bingham is right now, where William Yarbrough -- who is playing very consistent with Club Leon -- is right now. Obviously, we want to see other players as well. This is the only chance we have from a national team perspective to see a couple guys, so that’s why we chose to bring in 26 players. On the roster sheet there can only be 23, but it’s definitely worth it for us to get a close look at a couple of players that we think of in terms of Copa America as well."

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG; 9/0), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG; 30/0), William Yarbrough (Leon/MEX; 0/0).
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America/MEX; 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting KC; 8/0), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 0/0), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER; 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 15/1), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey/MEX; 4/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 8/0), Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX; 4/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland/ENG; 0/0).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake; 6/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA; 3/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 26/5), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC; 3/0), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC; 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER; 11/1), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 2/0), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution; 0/0).
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 28/12), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders; 34/13), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER; 2/1), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 2/1).
Note: In parentheses are games played and goals in World Cup qualifying.

Nov. 13

Canada 1 Honduras 0.
Goal: Johnson 38.
Nov. 13
Mexico 3 El Salvador 0.
Goals: Guardado 7, H.Herrera 42, Vela 64.
Nov. 17

Honduras 0 Mexico 2. Goals: Corona 67, Damm 72.
Nov. 17
El Salvador 0 Canada 0.
Standings: Mexico 6 points; Canada 4; El Salvador 1, Honduras 0.
March 25
El Salvador vs. Honduras
Canada vs. Mexico
March 29
Honduras vs. El Salvador
Mexico vs. Canada
Sept. 2
El Salvador vs. Mexico
Honduras vs. Canada
Sept. 6
Mexico vs. Honduras
Canada vs. El Salvador

Nov. 13 in San Jose
Costa Rica 1 Haiti 0.
Goal: Gamboa 29.
Nov. 13 in Kingston
Jamaica 0 Panama 2.
Goals: Cooper 43, own goal 52.
Nov. 17

Haiti 0 Jamaica 1. Goal: Donaldson 62.
Nov. 17
Panama 1 Costa Rica 2. Goals: Tejada 72; Ruiz 66, Urena 69.
Standings: Costa Rica 6 points; Panama, Jamaica 3; Haiti 0.
March 25
Jamaica vs. Costa Rica
Haiti vs. Panama
March 29
Panama vs. Haiti
Costa Rica vs. Jamaica
Sept. 2
Haiti vs. Costa Rica
Panama vs. Jamaica
Sept. 6
Costa Rica vs. Panama
Jamaica vs. Haiti

Nov. 13

USA 6 St. Vincent & Gren. 1.
Goals: Goals: Wood 11, Johnson 29, Altidore 31, 74, Cameron 51, Zardes 58; Anderson 5. Nov. 13
Guatemala 1 Trin. & Tobago 2.
Goals: Mejia 90; Hyland 67, K.Jones 8.
Nov. 17

Trin. & Tobago 0 USA 0.
Nov. 17
St. Vincent & Gren. 0 Guatemala 4. Goals: Cincotta 23, M.Lopez 32, D.Lopez 48, Tinoco 81.
Standings: USA, Trin, & Tobago 4 points; Guatemala 3; St. Vincent & Gren. 0.
March 25
St. Vincent & Gren. vs. Trin. & Tobago
Guatemala vs. USA
March 29
Trin. & Tobago vs. St. Vincent & Gren.
USA vs. Guatemala
Sept. 2
St. Vincent & Gren. vs. USA
Trin. & Tobago vs. Guatemala
Sept. 6
USA vs. Trin. & Tobago
Guatemala vs. St. Vincent & Gren.

11 comments about "U.S. call-ups: Klinsmann gives players new chance".
  1. Jake Lammi, March 21, 2016 at 10:29 a.m.

    Why is Kyle Beckerman and Chris Wondolowski on this roster? Or, why have they been on any USA roster ever...Anyways, I thought they would have been DONE with the National team after their crap performance in the last cup and mainly because they just aren't anywhere near good enough to hack it at the International level. Give some other guys a chance, ANYONE else.

  2. Raymond Weigand, March 21, 2016 at 12:06 p.m.

    Cheers. Sometimes I wonder if it is even about winning.

  3. Dan Phillips, March 21, 2016 at 1:29 p.m.

    And why is injured Jozy Altidore on roster. A wasted spot. JK must be in love with him. And with Fabian Johnson injured, why isn't Timmy Chandler brought in? And where is Brek Shea? He should be included. Also Charlie Davies would be a good option at forward. But JK keeps bringing back the same old tired faces! Why???

  4. Wooden Ships, March 21, 2016 at 2:49 p.m.

    I'm tiring of watching many of these players, but I'll continue. I'm also ready for a coaching change if Jurgen doesn't start changing our personnel and style of play. If I'm Sunil, I have the termination letter and press release, written and ready if we don't get the better of Guatemala. And, in a convincing manner, not some fortuitous restart in the final minutes.

  5. j bapper, March 21, 2016 at 3:36 p.m.

    If Beckerman plays one minute of either game of this Guatemala series, Klinsmann should be fired on the spot. What does he see in this guy?

  6. Jim Ngo replied, March 24, 2016 at 9:04 a.m.

    He sees a defensive midfielder that can, depending on formation, allow Bradley more freedom to extend deep into the attacking space.

  7. Bob Ashpole, March 21, 2016 at 4:18 p.m.

    For better or worse, JK is the coach. Having the Olympic and World Cup qualifying matches coincide will be an interesting test of the US men's player pool. It may also be an answer to a lot of the above questions. This is also a very good time for JK to be looking closely at both the older and younger ends of the player pool. Hopefully this will lead to some progress in moving the men's program forward.

  8. Wooden Ships replied, March 21, 2016 at 4:37 p.m.

    I share in your optimism and wished JK well from the start. However, for many of these players we have witnessed what you might call their terminal abilities, more than one and two and three years ago. Jurgen stays with much of the same in style and personnel and here's the tragedy, he is expecting different results. Largely, I've expected better professionalism from our players and Captains. In that regard Deuce and Bradley aren't the right stuff.

  9. Dan Phillips, March 21, 2016 at 5:47 p.m.

    And why wasn't Danny Williams included? He is certainly the better midfielder than Ethan Finley or Mix Diskerud.
    Just cannot understand Klinsmann's idiotic choices!

  10. Eric Dibella, March 22, 2016 at 11:45 a.m.

    I still do not understand why he does not bring in Sebastian Lletget.

  11. Jim Ngo, March 24, 2016 at 9:02 a.m.

    Klinsmann: "He’s a tremendous goalscorer and when we play teams like Guatemala, you need to figure out ways to score just one or two goals that make the difference."

    Translation: Call in the divemaster.

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