USMNT Notes: Roster takes shape ahead of Belgium friendly, Holden discusses Rogers’ return, and more

Herculez Gomez Clarence Goodson

By FRANCO PANIZO

CLEVELAND — The U.S. Men’s National Team took the field at FirstEnergy Stadium amid a light drizzle on Monday afternoon, and the roster continued to fill out even as the training session went on.

Sixteen players started the practice that continued the U.S.’s preparations for Wednesday’s friendly with Belgium, but forward Terrence Boyd arrived via a shuttle form the local airport midway through the session and suited up to join his teammates. With Boyd included, 17 players took part in Monday’s training ahead of what will be the first of of five summer games for this group of Americans.

Seattle Sounders tandem Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans and LA Galaxy centerback Omar Gonzalez are expected to arrive in Cleveland on Monday night to round out the 20-man roster that will face off against Belgium. The three players all took part in the Galaxy’s 4-0 mauling of the Sounders on Sunday night.

As for Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona, they will meet up with the U.S. in Washington D.C. at the end of the week ahead of the Americans’ friendly with Germany at RFK Stadium.

Here are more notes from U.S. practice on Monday:

HOLDEN TOUCHES ON ROGERS’ RETURN

Stuart Holden was fighting to not fall asleep late on Sunday and with good reason.

Along with several others in the U.S. camp, Holden was watching the Galaxy-Sounders game with the hopes that former teammate Robbie Rogers would make his return to professional soccer. Rogers did just that for LA in the 77th minute of the game and in the process became the first openly gay male to play in a major sport.

Holden could not have been any more happy for his friend.

“Obviously, proud of him as a friend but as a competitor it’s nice to see him back,” Holden told SBI, “because I think if he’d left the game as he hinted at it before, it would have been a shame and a waste of such a talented player.”

TICKET SALES UPDATE

As of Monday, more than 22,000 tickets had been sold for the U.S.’s friendly with Belgium while the upcoming exhibition with Germany had surpassed 40,000. The World Cup qualifier against Panama at CenturyLink Field in Seattle had more than 32,500 tickets sold.

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Think this 20-man U.S. roster can knock off Belgium on Wednesday? Happy to see Holden and the U.S. team showing support to Rogers? Surprised by any of the amounts of tickets sold?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to USMNT Notes: Roster takes shape ahead of Belgium friendly, Holden discusses Rogers’ return, and more

  1. Fredo says:

    I guess I’m happy that a couple of left backs will eventually show up in time for the Panama game.

  2. OB Rick says:

    I am really disappointed in Seattle’s low ticket sales. Everybody has been screaming for a Seattle WCQ and that haven’t even passed 35,000 yet. Really weak Seattle!

    • jp992751 says:

      I have to agree. I ask not a Seattle basher but to have a Sounders game sell more tickets than a wcq is sad. If they don’t draw at least 45000 they shouldn’t be rewarded another one. They begged and pleaded and bragged about how they could sell out the stadium south ease and are looking to have less than a Sounders match????

      • Iggy says:

        +1. Step it up Seattle.

      • Jared says:

        It would be very disappointing if Seattle didn’t deliver in terms of tickets sold. They always claim to be great fans of soccer but if they don’t sell out for the USMNT then that claim is in major doubt.

    • divers suck says:

      Disappointing? Perhaps. The only press and advertisement in the PNW, unfortunately, is word of mouth. Is that an excuse? Probably not, but true nonetheless.

    • Shane says:

      I thought Gulati said all the WCQ had already sold out.

    • Edwin in LA says:

      I wonder if peeps in Portland are not going to the game? Seems like they would have…even when there was talk about playing in the Pacific Northwest the people from Portland would say “agreed, I would love nothing more than a pair of games in this region so we can have one at Jeld-Wen Field but Seattle is the way to go as we can easily make the trip to Seattle as Portland fans”

      I kept reading that reaction thinking a nice 5 to 7K might go up there….I still have hopes and hope that they get to 40K by the time we play Jamaica and eventually get close to 50K

  3. biff says:

    Well, as the roster takes shape, story in the Bild newspaper saying that Klinsmann has asked Timothy Chandler to participate in the Gold Cup. And, yes, I am glad Klinsmann took myadvice :-)

    The story also notes how bad Chandler was on the field for Nurnberg in recent months, with the coach finally giving up and putting him on the bench. Story says Chandler is training to return to fitness until the middle of this week, then will jet off to Greece for vacation. Timmy relaxing at the beach while other USMNT players are fighting in World Cup qualifier games to win a spot for WC 2014. I just love Chandler’s committment to the USMNT and I have no doubt he will accept Klinsmann’s invitation to the Gold Cup.

    link to bild.de

    • Edwin in LA says:

      Okay I was pissed at how he didn’t show up for the Gold Cup, which might of helped us beat Mexico in very much a reality of things….and then to the Qualifiers last summer….but if he isn’t called up right now? He has every right to go on vacation as he pleases tho? He just finished his club season….and the Gold Cup isn’t for another 6 weeks almost

  4. ThaDeuce says:

    Great stuff Panizo.

  5. ATX_Colin says:

    I am traveling up for the Seattle match; it will be my first USMNT game. I assumed it would be a pretty raucous crowd based on the Sounders games, that’s why I choose that game. I hope the crowd brings it. What’s capacity at that stadium?

    • Edwin in LA says:

      If they open up the upper tier of seating it’s like 67K….normally they open up like a 3rd of that upper seating and they Sounders get like 38-40K