Jurgen Klinsmann named the 22-player roster for the U.S. Men's National Team for Wednesday's friendy against Mexico, and there are several new faces in the mix.
Newly-crowned U.S. Open Cup champions Graham Zusi and Matt Besler were among the players chosen to take on Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday in a rare friendly in Mexico between the two rivals. Besler is a newcomer to the national team set-up, as is fellow call-ups Steven Beitashour.
Here is the full roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steven Beithasour (San Jose Earthquakes), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes)
Here are some quick thoughts on the roster:
As you can see, Klinsmann has left several veterans out for this trip. Players like Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley and Steve Cherundolo have been left out. It is clear Klinsmann wants to give some young players some playing time, or at the very least the experience of being with the team in a hostlie environment like Azteca. It is still a bit surprising to see Klinsmann go with a younger squad than expected.
Tim Chandler is NOT on the squad. There were rumblings out of Germany in the summer that Chandler would be part of this group. Now it's safe to say that if he isn't called up by Klinsmann for September's qualifiers against Jamaica then it may be time to close the door on the German-born defender.
Brek Shea is back. Apparently his recent club team issues didn't dissuade Juergen Klinsmann from calling him back into the mix. Shea has looked good since returning from being benched by FC Dallas Schellas Hyndman.
DaMarcus Beasley is also back. He's earned a look after playing so well for Puebla in the Mexican League. He's someone who won't be fazed by the atmosphere at Azteca, which is why it wouldn't be a shock of he started on Wednesday night.
Besler and Beitashour are the new faces as Klinsmann looks for some new defensive blood. Both have had outstanding MLS seasons and could help in the long-term at centerback and right back. Besler is also a young left-footed centerback, something there aren't many of in the pool.
The two players who didn't get calls that are probably surprising to some are Chris Pontius and Eddie Johnson. Johnson shouldn't be a big surprise because right now there are several other forward options. Pontius seemed like a better bet because of his versatility and ability to fit in well into Klinsmann's 4-3-3 system.
Here's a quick look at what the USA starting lineup could be on Wednesday night:
Howard; Beitashour, Cameron, Orozco Fiscal, F. Johnson; Beasley, Jones, Torres; Gomez, Boyd, Donovan
The USA takes on Mexico in the first meeting between the teams since a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Philadelphia in Klinsmann's U.S. national team coaching debut in August of 2011.
What do you think of the squad? Who are you happy to see make the team? Who are you disappointed not to see on the roster?
Share your thoughts below.