Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Ahead of friendly matches against Scotland (Friday) and Austria (Nov. 19), U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected a mixed squad of European-based and Major League Soccer-based players, with a few familiar faces back in the team.
U.S. Soccer announced the 23-man roster for the two friendlies on Monday, which includes AS Roma’s Michael Bradley, Hertha Berlin center back John Brooks, and Nottingham Forest wing back Eric Lichaj returning to the USMNT setup. Bradley and Brooks have been out with injuries, while the 24-year-old Lichaj could make his first appearance since the 2011 Gold Cup final.
With their teams out of the MLS Cup playoffs, Klinsmann selected seven MLS-based players and two more based in Mexico (DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco with Puebla) who’s season is over as well. One glaring omission though is Landon Donovan, who along with Clarence Goodson, Brad Guzan, and Edgar Castillo, are all recovering from various injuries.
Another player returning after some time out due to injuries is Fabian Johnson, who missed the October World Cup qualifiers, and Brek Shea, who hasn’t played for the USMNT since scoring in the 2013 Gold Cup final. Shea hasn’t been able to find regular playing time at Stoke City and is reportedly looking to move out on loan in January.
Despite MLS taking a break in action during the international break, Klinsmann chose to leave Sporting Kansas City duo Matt Besler and Graham Zusi behind, as well as the Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis and Will Bruin. All four have been in USMNT squads in the last five months.
Here’s a closer look at the full USMNT roster for the November camp:
USMNT ROSTER FOR NOVEMBER FRIENDLIES
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Michael Orozco (Puebla)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
What do you think of this squad? Happy to see Lichaj, Brooks, and Bradley back? Do you expect to see Brooks start in central defense? Do you feel confident that this squad can defeat Scotland and Austria?
Share your thoughts below.