Jurgen Klinsmann has released his 23 man roster for the re-located March 5 U.S. MNT friendly versus Ukraine, and as expected European based players dominate.
But the coach has called in two Major League Soccer standouts for the match, which was moved away from the political unrest in Ukraine, to Lamaca, Cyprus. National team captain Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC’s big winter signing, Michael Bradley, join Tijuana, Mexico based Edgar Castillo, as the only North American based players in the group.
None of the three were in the national team’s January camp that split time between California and Brazil, before ending with a 2-0 friendly win at the StubHub Center over South Korea.
U.S. U20 goalkeeper Cody Cropper (Southampton) was handed an invite as were youthful defenders, John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), and Will Packwood (Birmingham).
Packwood’s experienced and versatile teammate Jonathan Spector, just back from injury, did not get a call, nor did Eric Lichaj, who like Spector has been battling the injury bug for his club (Nottingham Forest).
Jermaine Jones (Besiktas) and Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday) have also been on the injured list of late, but that didn’t cost either a call up. Jones has yet to make his debut for Besiktas, having moved to the Turkish side on a January loan from Schalke. Onyewu gets his first chance with the nats since lining out last July in the Gold Cup.
Danny Williams (Reading) and Tim Ream (Bolton) have also been out of the national team picture of late, and will be looking to make the most of this recall.
18 year old Bayern Munich attacker Julian Green has been invited to train with the team, although the German-American is not eligible to play for the U.S. at this time.
This is the only FIFA date on the calendar between now and May, when Klinsmann will select his final 23 man roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)