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Klinsmann makes cuts to USMNT roster for January camp, Korea friendly

Jan 24, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT

In addition to being the national team's all-time leading scorer (56 goals), Donovan is the program's all-time leader in World Cup qualifying appearances (38). Getty Images

After a grueling January training camp, the U.S. national team has been whittled down to 22 by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

On Friday U.S. soccer released the final roster for a training stint back in California, after the team has spent the last 12 days in Brazil on a ‘dry run’ for this summer’s World Cup tournament.

Klinsmann has decided to send Colorado Rapids defenders Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill, Sporting Kansas City defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall back to their clubs.

While one addition sees Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst added to the roster, as he will join the team in LA.

Youngsters DeAndre Yedlin and Luis Gil both survived the cull and many U.S. fans will be excited to see how the two Major League Soccer prospects get on when the U.S. face the Korea Republic on Feb. 1 at the StubHub Center, in a friendly match that marks the end of the January camp.

How many of the following 22 players will be on the plane to Brazil?

GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS: Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

  1. dfstell - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Does it strike anyone else as weird that there are no more left backs left on the roster? I mean, even if he didn’t think Klute or Sinovic as “the answer” at left back, someone has to play there versus the Koreans, right? Who is going to play left back? Beasler? Brad Davis?

    I’m intensely curious now. I figured one of the objectives at this camp was to see if any of these fullbacks could help the full national team, but the only true full back on the roster is Yedlin. I mean, why not try those other dudes out?

    Weird….

    • jay1934 - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      The only one I don’t recognize on the roster is Yedlin. All the others are good backs.

    • mlsconvert88888 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Michael Harrington plays left back, or at least I’m pretty sure he played there for the majority of the season for Portland.

    • danielofthedale - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      I thought that was odd too. Maybe Harrinton or Parkherst will play LB? But LB is a far bigger issue than RB to me as Cameron has had a very solid season at Stoke there and should be starting over midfielder Brad Evans come Brazil.

    • midtec2005 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      Harrington is a left back….

    • schmutzdeck - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      dfstell,

      It is not weird.

      In the NFL draft they speak about drafting the best available athlete vs. drafting for need. The USMNT player pool is much better than it used to be but it is still short on proven quality.

      JK is looking for the best available soccer players. If all of them are midfielders and none of them are left backs then that is what he goes with.

      He simply converts the midfielders to fullbacks.

      Many USMNT fans get all hot and bothered about USMNT players not playing their “natural” positions or their club positions. I suspect it is because most American sports feature specialized positions. But soccer players are generally more versatile.

      Asking Brad Evans to play right back is not like asking Peyton Manning to play defensive end. Or like asking Derek Jeter to be a starting pitcher.

      I’m sure JK would love to have a world class US player for every position but he does not have that option. So he compromises. Such compromises have long been common place in soccer especially with national teams.

      This does not necessarily compromise performance. The awesome Dutch Total Football teams of the 70’s often had players switching positions back and forth constantly during the course of the game. It was fun to see Cruyff at right back.

      Go back over the history of the German teams that JK played on. His 1990 WC winning team, for example, had a back four with a converted midfielder playing left back and the other three positions were filled by center backs or defensive midfielders.

      When he said anyone can play left back, he was joking but not really. National teams often have to make compromises since your player pool is a lot more limited than a club where you can buy players to fill needs.

      More to the point, because the World Cup limits you to 23 players and asks you to play a lot of games in a short time frame, injury and card issues can be huge. Therefore, the importance of durability and versatility should the durable thing fail, is magnified.

  2. discojoe - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Since Klinsmann only has 22 on the roster right now, any chance he’s saving the 23rd spot for Bradley?

    • mlsconvert88888 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      As soon as I read “…down to 22…” I had the exact same thought

    • Sgc - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      You know, could be. . .

    • bear06 - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      Marc Stein said on the ESPN Dallas Soccer Today podcast last Sunday that Bradley will not join the national team for the game against South Korea.

  3. player169 - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    Harrington is a hard worker, but he sat the bench at KC behind Sinovic. That doesn’t mean that Sinovic is better. Good for Harrington. Neither is an answer at left back…at the full team level. Chance was the one I thought might break through. Sad to see he was cut :(

  4. thatkiderin - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Shouldn’t Klinsmann have done this last year, 6 months till the WC shouldn’t the team be pretty much set and allow the players as much time as possible to play together? Obviously there’s a few in Europe we can’t attend this camp, but he’s changed rosters and lineups in all must every camp and match, doesn’t there need to be some consistency in order to go far in WC?

    • bear06 - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:13 AM

      Umm the January camp which is almost all MLS players is done every year to see which of the fringe players can step up, impress and possibly get a chance with the first team.

  5. jdfsquared - Jan 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Ok, shot in the dark here… My best guess is that it’ll be 11 of the current crop bound for Sao Paulo. Mostly from the defender category.

    Keepers: Rimando
    Defenders: Besler, Evans, Gonzalez, Goodson
    Midfielders: Beckerman, Diskerud, Zusi
    Forwards: Donovan, Johnson

    That’s 10, then it’s a wild card for Parkhust, Davis, Feilhaber & Yedlin (the upstart). I’m leaning to Parkhust.

    • bear06 - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      Not sure about Beckerman and Goodson. Also I rather see the wild card be a young promising player like Green.

  6. lecoqsportif101 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Let’s just give Klinsmann credit for what and how is he doing (it). He is 100% REAL PRO and has REAL eyes for performance and results, something the USA will never have at a coaching level, just give me an example of an US coach that ever coached at club level in Europe and in a 1st division level.
    The USA has a HUGE disadvantage, something that a lot of people don’t take in consideration, the fact that most National Teams are always playing with a core 5-8 players from the same Club team, (and these players have been playing together for over 4-6 years, not 1-2 years). Where as a National Team like USA does not have that nucleus/molding, and Klinsmann is working on that.
    Thus Klinsmann’s results will show more in 2-6 years, what he has done so far in such a short period is quite impressive.

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