U.S. Men's National Team

Fresh Faces Abound in U.S. Roster for Puerto Rico Game

From Eric Lichaj to Fafa Picault to Julian Green, the U.S. squad that will face Puerto Rico on Sunday will feature a number of players on the fringe of the squad—players eager to make a positive impression.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 16, 2016
1:10 PM

JURGEN KLINSMANN today named a 22-player roster for the opening of the United States' Copa America Centenario camp and Sunday’s friendly against Puerto Rico (12pm ET, FS1). It is not the Copa America roster, as some players in Europe and Mexico are still with their clubs and Major League Soccer players will not join the rest of the team until May 23.


Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)


John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland) 


Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes FC), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg), Danny Williams (Reading) 


Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Fabrice "Fafa" Picault (FC St. Pauli), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)

There are seven players on the roster who are not part of the 40-player preliminary Copa America roster. For five players, it is their first national team call-up: Paul Arriola, Amando Moreno, Fabrice Picault, Caleb Stanko, and Zach Steffen. The other two players are Emerson Hyndman and Julian Green.

The list includes many interesting names, starting with Eric Lichaj. The Nottingham Forest right back has been a consistent starter in the English Championship but has only earned one U.S. call-up, and two caps, under Klinsmann—back in November 2013.


Perry Kitchen will also join the team fresh off his move to Scottish side Hearts of Midlothian. The Indianapolis native will try to make a case for the defensive midfield spot as a backup/insurance policy for 34-year-old Kyle Beckerman.

Among the younger players on the list, Tijuana’s Arriola and St. Pauli’s Picault both made the team after earning consistent minutes in recent months for their clubs. Picault’s inclusion should come as no surprise as the New York City native earned public recognition from Klinsmann after a recent two-goal performance in the 2.Bundesliga.

Hyndman earned his first cap in 2014 against the Czech Republic and will now aim for his second. The Fulham midfielder has been a staple of U.S. youth national teams and captained the U-20 World Cup team in 2015. It should mark the start of an interesting summer for the Dallas native who is likely to move to a new club (with a list of suitors rumored to be in Europe’s top leagues).

Some key players are missing from this roster. Christian Pulisic is preparing for the German Cup final with Borussia Dortmund; Timothy Chandler is in the relegation playoff next weekend with Eintracht Frankfurt; Ethan Horvath is still with Molde; and Ventura Alvarado, Edgar Castillo, and Omar Gonzalez are all still in the Liga MX playoffs.

It is unclear which of these players will make the Copa America team. Klinsmann must submit that roster by May 20th.

Do you like Klinsmann's makeshift squad? Who are you surprised to see? To not see? Share your take in the Comments section below. 

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