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Jurgen Klinsmann opts for Euro-heavy squad for friendlies with Scotland, Austria

Nov 11, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT

Geoff wants to see core MLS players rewarded for their hard work. AP

Fans of the U.S. national team have been anxiously waiting for this news to drop over the weekend, and USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has sprung a few surprises in his 23-man squad.

For the upcoming friendlies with Scotland and Austria next week Klinsmann has left out the likes of Brad Guzan, Clarence Goodson, Edgar Castillo and most notably Landon Donovan but U.S. soccer say all four players are unavailable due to injury.

Some of the other notable omissions are Sporting KC’s duo of Matt Besler and Graham Zusi who are involved in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference final, while similarly Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando are also allowed to stay with their club sides as they prepare for massive second legs of their playoff series’ after the international break.


Once again there’s a good mixture of U.S. and European based players with seven of the 23 players hailing from MLS, two from Liga MX and the rest from around Europe. Having 14 players involved who play their soccer in Europe make sense and hands Klinsmann the perfect opportunity to work with this squad, without the constraints of overseas travel which usually stand in the way.

Klinsmann has included red-hot AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannsson once again, as the Icelandic-American looks to further reinforce his claim to make the World Cup squad. Their is also a call for Gold Cup stars Chris Wondolowski and Brek Shea, as these games will likely have a massive bearing on if they make the final cut to Brazil.

Interesting times ahead, as the U.S. begin their European tour on Friday November 15 at Hampden Park, before jetting to Vienna to play Austria on November 19. You can watch the Austria game live on NBC.

U.S. national team squad for friendlies with Scotland, Austria

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid.

Defenders: Brad Evans, Erich Lichaj, Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, DaMarcus Beasley, Geoff Cameron, Michael Orozco

Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Mix Diskerud, Fabian Johnson, Brek Shea, Sacha Kljestan,

Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Aron Johannsson, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Chris Wondolowski

  1. supercoop8 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Hopefully Shea gets a few minutes off the bench, plays well, expedites his transfer/loan hopes.

    • bear06 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Shea shouldn’t have gotten called up since he hasn’t even made the damn bench for Stoke City so far this season in the BPL.

      • midtec2005 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        That might be precisely why he was called up, to get him some PT and maybe some confidence, these are friendlies after all.

      • supercoop8 - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        That is exactly why he is called up and it is impossible to tell if he doesn’t get wrecked by an MLS hack whether he would have earned better regard at Stoke. Klinsman likes Shea and wants him playing somewhere, a stong national team cap can aid that.

        The fact that most of Klinsman’s regulars are versatile, can be slotted in at multiple positions, leaves a few spots open to specialist players. Shea is a strong natural winger with pace and a heavy shot, a skill set unique to him amidst the USMNT. Shea is a dark horse candidate, understood, but much can change in a few months. If you don”t understand the call-up you don’t understand Klinsmanns vision for the team, or the fact that the midfield pool needs more than a few defense first guys and a group of above average playmakers.

      • bear06 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:18 AM

        Shea is one dimensional so I doubt he makes the WC roster.

      • supercoop8 - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        You grossly missed the point.

      • bear06 - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        I got your point but I still don’t think he deserved to get called up. He’s been mediocre for the last 2 years.

  2. hildezero - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    “…Brad Guzan, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Castillo and most notably Landon Donovan…”

    What? Who’s Fabian Castillo? I know a Fabian Castillo, but he’s a Colombian.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Hah. Thanks for flagging up, Edgar obviously!

      Maybe if Fabian Castillo stays in the USA long enough with FC Dallas he can get citizenship and switch allegiances? Although he seems to be highly thought of in some circles in Colombia.

      Sidenote: Are you pleased with this squad from Klinsmann?

      • tridecagon - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        Having MB back in the middle should be enough for anyone to be pleased.

        Has the US ever had so deep a player pool?

  3. creek0512 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Glad he decided to let the guys still playing for MLS Cup get some rest .

  4. mkbryant3 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Hamid and Johnson? I can’t really see why Klinsmann considers them National Team quality. And, as Jeff Bradley mentioned, bummer for Mike Magee. That guy deserves at least a cup of coffee. Well, in Austria. Scottish coffee is probably horrible.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Nov 11, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Forget the coffee, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties is where it’s at. Not sure that will be of any consolation to Mike Magee though.

      I agree, Magee can feel very hard done by. Any other players we would’ve liked to have seen in the squad?

      Tim Ream and Danny Williams not worth a look?

    • bear06 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      It’s a good decision by Klinsmann. Hamid and S. Johnson are young GK’s who have a lot of potential. There are really no other young GK’s that are playing regularly who have a big upside like them. Also if Magee was ever going to get a U.S. MNT call up it’s going to be in the January camp cupcake.

  5. danielofthedale - Nov 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    We know Wando can’t cut it at the international level. I dont think Magee can either but give the a guy a shot to prove what he can. He is way more deserving of Wando and is play that can give you something from out wide or centrally.

    Also a lot of people having been asking about Eric so now we can get see what he can bring to outside back party.

    • mdac1012 - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      I don’t think Magee is an international player either but the guy deserves a call up and a shot to prove people wrong based on the season he had. Plus he is a more versatile player than Wondo who is rather one dimensional. Magee can play up from and in the midfield, plus he has more foot speed and is a better passer than Wondo and would provide better service in my opinion.

    • midtec2005 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      I think Magee is much more of a footballer than Wondo. I think he’d be fine, he doesn’t get over the top but he’s clever.

  6. hildezero - Nov 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    @Joe Prince-Wright,

    Meh. I think the roster is okay and pretty interesting. I think Magee needs a look.

  7. konmtu - Nov 11, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    It’s ironic that the MLS decides to take a break during this international break and none of the USMNT players still involved are called up, meaning they could still play the games without the impact of missing players. But during the less important part of the season, i.e. NOT the playoffs MLS doesn’t stop and players are called away from their teams usually taking an important player or three away from the teams during a season where the standings were very tight down to the end. It all seems very twisted to me.

    • bostonredsoccer - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      But MLS can’t do anything about the *other* federations calling up players, even if it’s just for friendlies. As MLS becomes the destination for CONCACAF players as well as other mostly non-UEFA talent, we will see more of it.

      And Soony Saad has been called up for Lebanon with Boniek García called up for Honduras. It looks like Canada didn’t call up any playoff players for this round. I’m sure MLS tried to negotiate, but there’s only so much they can do.

  8. lavatomy - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Were other MLS players that dont play for the USMNT called for international duty?

    • konmtu - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      I dunno. Since the bulk of the games this break are friendlies, I would bet that not many if any were called up.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t break. They should; every time. I think it’s dumb to disrupt the flow of a playoff home-and-home for this break by waiting two weeks for the next game while cramming 2 to 3 games into about 5 to 10 days, but never break during the season. In a WC qualifier year, no less.

    • bostonredsoccer - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      As a minimum, Boniek Garcia and Soony Saad were called up. While they could have opted out (Soony’s matches are AFC Cup, so I’m not sure how important they are), it always puts players in an awkward situation with their feds if they need to prioritize club over country during a FIFA window.

      • konmtu - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:40 AM

        I guess my point is that they should break all of the time not just now. Or at least set the season up so that the break during the playoffs doesn’t impact a home-and-home while cramming the opening round games into a week and a half. MLS needs to fix this if they really want to be taken seriously as a top league. They aren’t the straw that stirs the drink in world soccer so they need to follow a little more before they try to lead.

      • bostonredsoccer - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        The bigger question if they do take the other breaks (and I think they should), is how they handle the Gold Cup in the future. With so many players coming from CONCACAF involved, it really hurts the teams who have NT players getting called in.

    • bear06 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      They are in teams that are still in the MLS playoffs.

  9. talgrath - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    My biggest gripe is that none of these games are on when I can actually watch them. They’re both on at about noon on the west coast, unless I take a day off I can’t catch a bit of them.

    • bear06 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Get a DVR.

  10. player169 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Not to be a Troll, but they have DVR’s in California…

    • bear06 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM


    • bishopofblunder - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Yes, but they don’ t know how to set them. (Ha!)

  11. tjromanello - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Would have liked to see Corona included. Also would like to see the pairing of Bradley and Mix in the CM.

    • bear06 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Unfortunately Corona hasn’t gotten a lot of PT for Tijuana in the last couple of months.

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