Klinsmann opens U.S. camp of second chances

U.S. men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has decided to shake up his roster, at least for Friday's match against Cuba in Havana. Many familiar faces -- including veteran goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan -- were not called in for the Cuba camp. But instead of bringing in a lot of new players, Klinsmann is giving another chance for several players who have done well in recent months.

Also not called in were four players who started against St. Vincent & The Grenadines in September -- Kellyn Acosta, Kyle Beckerman, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi -- as well as Darlington Nagbe, who has earned eight caps in 2016, not to mention veterans Clint Dempsey (out for the year with a heart condition) and Gyasi Zardes and Jermaine Jones (both injured).

In all, seven of the 11 starters from the team that lost to Mexico, 3-2, in the Concacaf Cup will not be in camp.

UPDATE: Alejandro Bedoya withdrew after being injured in his MLS game on Saturday.

1. The search for a successor in goal begins.

Klinsmann will test David Bingham, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough --  three caps among them -- in the two friendlies.

"I think the goalkeeper position is unique," he said. "Obviously we have the two experienced guys with Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Both are in different situations right now -- Tim is obviously very busy with the Colorado Rapids and Brad is not getting the opportunity to play at Middlesbrough. I think it's a perfect time to give an open window to three younger goalkeepers with William Yarbrough, Ethan Horvath and David Bingham. That's why we decided to leave the two older guys out and give these three youngsters a chance to prove their point. That kind of opportunity is very rare."

2. Another chance for German-Americans.

Klinsmann recalled Timmy Chandler, Julian Green and Danny Williams, bringing to five the number of German-Americans currently in the team.

Chandler and Green went to 2014 World Cup, while Williams had been in the picture for much of Klinsmann's first three years in charge of the national team.

Chandler, who has been starting for Eintracht Frankfurt, was a late scratch for the Copa Centenario. Green has only played three games for the USA since the 2014 World Cup but made the Bayern Munich first team after spending much of the 2015-16 season with its "B" team. Williams has started 10 of 11 games for Reading, currently eighth in the English League Championship.

“For Danny Williams," Klinsmann said in a Q&A released on Sunday, "we recognize his good performances over the last two months with Reading. Now the task is to come in here and show us you’re a difference maker when you get on the field. Timmy Chandler is playing a good role at Frankfurt right now, and he has a similar possibility. Now coming into the national team, they know what that have to do. The national team always has an open-door policy. Young, old, it doesn’t matter. But if you come in and get the opportunity, then you have to grab it. You have to put a stamp on it. That’s what Sacha [Kljestan] did, that’s what [Christian] Pulisic is doing."

3. Gooch gets his call-up.

Born and raised in California to an English father and Irish mother, Lynden Gooch spent most of his vacations as a kid traveling to England, where he worked out with Sunderland. That resulted in an offer to enroll in the Black Cats' academy and at the age of 20 his debut with the first team in the EPL.

He told the Guardian recently he has a lot of pride representing the USA for which his only previous appearance came in 2015 Concacaf U-20 World Cup qualifying.

With Guzan not called in and Cameron Carter-Vickers and Gedion Zelalem called into the U.S. U-20s, Gooch and veteran Geoff Cameron are the only players from the EPL in the U.S. squad.

"Some of the players really deserve a look," Klinsmann added. "Lynden Gooch is a very talented, young player coming through at Sunderland. Danny Williams has had an outstanding season so far for Reading. So you have some players that you would just love to have a closer eye on for those 10 days, and this is the opportunity now to do that. We’re very curious to see how they perform.”

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR), William Yarbrough (Leon/MEX).
DEFENDERS (7): Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle/ENG).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Paul Arriola (Tijuana/MEX), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG), Perry Kitchen (Hearts/SCO), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Danny Williams (Reading/ENG).
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich/GER), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER).

10 comments about "Klinsmann opens U.S. camp of second chances".
  1. Eric Shinn, October 3, 2016 at 8:54 a.m.

    So he calls in a bunch of guys that deserve a shot to show what they can do...and includes Chris Wondolowski? Really? Haven't we had pretty much definitive proof by now that he's a wasted roster spot? I swear sometimes I think Wondo and Beckerman have some kind of compromising pictures of Klinsmann.

  2. Dan Phillips, October 3, 2016 at 11:11 a.m.

    Wondo again??? JK is a complete idiot.

  3. Michele Marez replied, October 3, 2016 at 12:12 p.m.

    Told you Daniel that JK would take Wondo!

  4. Ginger Peeler, October 3, 2016 at 12:05 p.m.

    Wondo is coming in because "instead of bringing in a lot of new players, Klinsmann is giving another chance for several players who have done well in recent months"...as stated in the first paragraph of this article. Wondo was also on the team for the last couple WC qualifying games, but I don't think he ever got off the bench. Klinsmann sees something in him that we are missing. You and I, Dan, have not been particularly fond of Altidore for the last couple of years. Yet, JK keeps choosing him and all Jozy's done lately is score goals! So, I bow to Klinsmann! JK does seem to have a good eye for choosing talent. I'm waiting to see if Julian Green comes through for him. He's been on the back burner for awhile. I really do look forward to watching this group play.

  5. Wooden Ships replied, October 3, 2016 at 2:45 p.m.

    Ginger, I too am looking forward to watching the friendlies. Like Peurto Rico, Cuba and New Zealand are head scratchers. Those are JK decisions, bad ones in my thinking. JK has dramatically expanded player pool during his tenure, feather in the cap. Improved the competitiveness for playing time, another feather. Has been somewhat reluctant to committ to the more skilled-possession player, take away a feather. Has been wedded to a few players that slows the transition to a more dynamic-fluid play, remove another feather. I do want to like him as our manager but he has been disappointingly cautios. Some of his player inclusions he was compelled into. JK has been scoring, but again, how effect is he really against quality teams? There is no, IMO, justification for taking Wondo any longer, again remove a feather. Another one that I can get past is two fold, after all this time he is still preferring Fabian as a back, when he is one of the better mids in the Bundesliga. Not deciding upon, after 5 years, a left back, remove another feather. Not in camp is Nagbe, personal, unrelated to USMNT reasons, yet has he really been given a chance. He is more skilled and dangerous than MB for sure, again in my opinion. I'm good with the Keeper decisions as I believe Horvath is already superior. Finally Aaron can help in the Hex and Russia more than Chris. We don't need mentors on the roster. I do appreciate the forum.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, October 3, 2016 at 2:57 p.m.

    JA scoring, not JK.

  7. John Lander, October 3, 2016 at 2:20 p.m.

    Hey Eric Shinn, i agree with you totally. In all the games Wondo and Backman has played for the US they have porved time and time again that they are not of the quality yet they continie to take up valuable roster spots. Experience and training time that could greatly benefit a young player who could be of some value later.

  8. Pasco Struhs, October 3, 2016 at 3:23 p.m.

    Tend to agree with everyone on Wondo, but recognize as Ginger points out re: Altidore that maybe JK has a better eye than me. Does Anyone think that Luis Robles deserves a shot? Seems like an awfully good keeper for the Red Bulls.

  9. Bob Ashpole, October 3, 2016 at 4:32 p.m.

    I cannot figure out why JK doesn't call up Bill Hamid. He is healthy this year and back in form. He is exactly the type of player that should be called to a camp at least once a year to further his development.

  10. Ginger Peeler, October 3, 2016 at 4:42 p.m.

    Quite honestly, I gave up on Klinsmann as the right coach for the USMNT following our failure in the Gold Cup. I didn't grumble about his pre-Cup player decisions (who he played and where he positioned them) because he said his actions were to ensure that he fielded the very best team to win the Gold Cup. Okay, I could support that. But his Gold Cup decisions seemed, to me, just as whimsical as those he made in the games leading up to the Gold Cup. Then, even though we finished poorly, a lot of people stopped calling for his head and didn't let out a peep. Go figure. I have to give the man props for his pulling-rabbits-out-of-hats moves that lead our team to favorable results. For the first time since almost forever, our team has depth. We have had a couple players that I consider world class (admittedly near the bottom of the list) and now a couple possible world-class-to be players. So, I do look forward to our upcoming friendlies. I do think he has had some success in identifying younger and, hopefully, more technically talented players to replace our stalwarts as they age out. It's a beginning...As Ric likes to say, PLAY ON!

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