Monday, August 13, 2012

Klinsmann's Roster Includes Some Surprises

Article by Luke Lohr 

Ahead of their match against Mexico, Jurgen Klinsmann has released the full roster for the US Men's National Team. Nine MLS players were selected to the 23 man roster and they will have their hands full against a powerful Mexican team at Azteca Stadium in Mexico.

Mexico's Olympic team is coming off an impressive gold medal win at the Olympics and their full national team has reasserted dominance over CONCACAF with Gold Cup titles and friendly wins. Beyond that, it has been evident that the USMNT has struggled to adapt to Klinsmann's style. Nonetheless the group will be in Mexico on Wednesday (8pm ET, ESPN2) to test their skills.

Six players selected are professionals in the Mexican leagues, including Edgar Castillo and Michael Orozco Fiscal who have long been considered fringe players.

Klinsmann's roster though is not without some surprises. Excluded from the roster is are national team stalwarts Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey. Included in the roster are first time call ups Steven Beithasour and Matt Besler, while Geoff Cameron returns to the group despite only just completing a move to Stoke City.

Perhaps most surprising though is the inclusion of San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon. Gordon is a longtime journeyman of MLS, but has always been talented. Injury trouble and trouble finishing has held him from Golden Boot contention since his inclusion in the league, though few would have included him in national team conversation. Gordon will join fellow Earthquakes striker and MLS league leader Chris Wondolowski on the roster. Some have cried foul as Sounder's forward Eddie Johnson and Red Bulls striker Kenny Cooper have both scored more goals in the league and have made a lasting impression on the season thus far.

Johnson's revitalization has been recently reward with an MLS All-Star selection, where he scored against Chelsea FC.

Overlooked for the roster and what some may call snubs, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy continues has been his usual self, standing on his head to make incredible saves. If not for Kennedy, Chivas USA would be a non-issue in the West. Also passed over is DC United forward Chris Pontius, whom this writer believes has a serious future in the national team picture.

Full US Roster

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Steven Beithasour (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Terrance Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wonodolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes)

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