Jurgen Klinsmann has called 22 players into what is being billed a transitional camp ahead of next month’s Copa America Centenario.
A highlight of the camp will be the May 22 friendly in Bayamon, Puerto Rico although the game will come too late for players hoping to impress Klinsmann, with final Copa America rosters due on May 20.
Seven players in this group are not part of the 40 man preliminary roster for the Copa America and so are ineligible for the final 23 man roster that will host the special expanded 100th-anniversary edition of the South American (CONMEBOL) Championship taking place across the United States throughout the month of June.
With MLS in full swing, the transition camp roster is limited to European and Mexican based players, minus players busy competing in the Liga MX playoffs.
Also, otherwise engaged is 17-year-old sensation Christian Pulisic, who scored the opening goal on Monday in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 victory that qualified his club for the German U19 Championship match versus Hoffenheim. With the Norwegian league in season goalkeeper, Ethan Horvath could not be spared by his club Molde, where the 20-year-old is the club’s number one.
The most interesting player on the Klinsmann’s list is undoubtedly Fa Fa Picault, the 25-year-old Manhattan-born Haitian- American forward who has been scoring goals of late for FC St Pauli in the Bundesliga 2.
Picault spent six years in Italy as part of the Cagliari youth set up, leaving without making the transition to the senior side. After a stint in the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Picault moved to the Ft Lauderdale Strikers of the same league, where he notched 12 goals in 24 matches.
A subsequent transfer to Sparta Prague fizzled but after signing a one-year deal with St. Pauli, the striker/winger did enough to earn an extension with the Hamburg club, earning a closer look from Klinsmann in the process.
Freiburg goalkeeper Zack Steffan, midfielders Emerson Hyndman and Caleb Stanko and forwards Paul Arriola, Julian Green, and Amando Moreno round out the seven “ineligibles” called in by Klinsmann.
The Puerto Rico game is the first of three friendlies as the U.S. MNT prepare for the Copa America Centenario in June. After visiting Puerto Rico, the Yanks welcome Ecuador to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on May 25 (7 p.m. CT; ESPN2 and UniMas), and then Bolivia, May 28 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (7 p.m. CT; FS1 and Univision networks).
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Zach Steffen (SC Freiburg)
DEFENDERS (7) : John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (5) : Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Fabrice Picault (FC St. Pauli), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)
40 man preliminary roster for Copa America Centenario.
GOALKEEPERS (5): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Ethan Horvath (Molde), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (15): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea FC), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Danny Williams (Reading FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (8): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund),Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)