32215_greenjulian_usmntjd111614053 John Dorton/isiphotos.com
U.S. Men's National Team

Klinsmann Experiments With March Friendly Roster

No Matt Besler. No Omar Gonzalez. No Geoff Cameron. No Graham Zusi. But yes to Brek Shea and bench-warmer Julian Green. Jurgen Klinsmann's latest U.S. roster will certainly spark many conversations.
BY Brooke Tunstall Posted
March 22, 2015
2:11 PM
JURGEN KLINSMANN'S ROSTER for the U.S. men’s national team’s upcoming friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland is as notable for who isn’t included on it as who is.

No Geoff Cameron, who is playing regularly in England. No Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, starters at center back for the U.S. last summer at the World Cup and regulars for their MLS teams. And no Graham Zusi or Kyle Beckerman, World Cup starters in Brazil who appear to be no longer in Klinsmann’s plans.

And finally, no Mix Diskerud, despite starting regularly for New York City FC and scoring in the team's opener.

Here's the complete roster:

GOALKEEPERS: Cody Cropper (Southampton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Hamburg), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht)

“Similar to the situation with Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler coming out of MLS and not being on the roster for these two games is Geoff Cameron. Geoff is obviously in a good swing with Stoke City and the Premier League, but I had long conversations with him and explained that just now I would love see other players coming in and proving to us how good they are,” Klinsmann said in a release. “So here and there, there are these 50-50 decisions where you have to leave a player out that is usually a regular on your team.”

Julian Green continues to be rewarded with call-ups to the senior national team despite A) not playing for a terrible club and B) being young enough for the U-23 youth national team, which is having a camp simultaneous to this one.

“For Julian, it’s important that he has reconnected with us. At the moment Julian struggles with Hamburg. It’s been a very, very difficult time since he came back after the World Cup, with injuries and not breaking in yet, so I decided to have a first look at him,” Klinsmann said. “We will have a serious talk and serious look at him and we want to understand exactly what happened in his club situation, but also he needs some support from the senior national team group.”

Green is one of five U-23 eligible players on this roster, joining World Cup veterans Jonathan Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin, the latter of whom has yet to play a first-team game at Tottenham Hotspur; uncapped goalkeeper Cody Cropper (who also hasn’t made his first team debut); and Utrecht forward Rubio Rubin, who is actually young enough for the current U-20 national team, which is also having a camp in England this week.

“As we juggle the rosters for the different groups, we maybe even have players go between teams at a certain point. Julian Green is a good example. He’s one of those players that can also play for the U-23s. He can play for the U-20s,” Klinsmann said. “It’s similar for other players like a John Brooks and a DeAndre Yedlin, Emerson Hyndman, and Rubio Rubin. Those are all players that we consider for each of those teams, and we want to make the best decision over the next couple of months with these players in order to get the right results when it really matters in the upcoming tournaments.”

With Guzan not included, Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando is the de facto No. 1 and he’ll likely be backed up by Club Leon’s William Yarbrough, who was born and raised in Mexico to missionaries from Texas and is making his first appearance at any U.S. national team level.

The other uncapped player in this camp is Ventura Alvarado, 22, of Mexican champion Club America, where he plays both center and right back. He is part of a fairly inexperienced group of defenders for these games.

“We also wanted to see what specific players there are that were not connected yet with us. Ventura Alvarado from Club America is a case, and also William Yarbrough, the goalkeeper at Club León that we had a very close look at over the last several months,” Klinsmann said. “It’s exciting for us to bring them in.”

With 29 caps, Brek Shea has the most caps of the group but most of them have come as an attacker. Shea will likely battle Tijuana’s Greg Garza, with all of five caps, to be the starter at left back.

Brooks has played in a World Cup—and scored a memorable goal—but still only has eight caps while Timothy Chandler and Tim Ream, who have been in and out of Klinsmann’s daug haus, now appear to be out of it.

The midfield is much more experienced, led by stalwart Michael Bradley and fellow World Cup veterans Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Johnson (who is listed as a midfielder but has often played as a full back) and Green. Of note, Danny Williams of Reading returns to the national team for the first time in over a year. The forwards will be anchored by MLS veterans Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, while Aron Johnannsson returns for the first time since battling injuries last year. Gyasi Zardes, the pleasant surprise of this year’s annual January camp, has earned another look.

The U.S. faces Denmark Wednesday in Arhus (3:00 ET, ESPN2) and Switzerland March 31 in Zurich (12pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1).

Brooke Tunstall is an American Soccer Now contributing editor and ASN 100 panelist. Follow him on Twitter.

Post a comment