Tuesday, August 30, 2011

U.S. Roster for Upcoming Friendlies

As the U.S. Men's National team gets ready for upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica (9/2) and at Belgium (9/6), let's take a quick look at Jurgen Klinsmann's squad. Some notable absences from this group as Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Freddy Adu were all left off the roster for this go around.


Tim Howard - The 32 year old Everton goalkeeper is back between the pipes in the Premiership once again starting both of Everton's matches thus far. In Saturday's 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, Howard made 7 saves including a stop of a Junior Hoilett penalty to preserve the shutout. Howard started all 6 Gold Cup games for the U.S. this summer and had 4 shutouts. He also played the full 90 in Klinsmann's coaching debut against Mexico. For his international career, Howard has 66 Caps and has 24 shutouts.

Photo Credit: soccerbyives.net

Bill Hamid - The 20 year old D.C. United goalkeeper has been named to the roster for the second straight camp apparently thanks to some serious lobbying from incumbent Tim Howard. The youngest goalkeeper in MLS history to win a regular season game, Hamid has started 19 games for D.C. United this year posting a record of 5-4-8 with 6 shutouts. He's allowed 23 goals, just 1.31 per 90 minutes. He is still looking for his first career appearance with the National Team.


Carlos Bocanegra - The U.S. Team captain just signed a 3-year contract to play with Glasgow Rangers after playing the past three seasons in France. The 32 year old defender immediately jumped into the Rangers starting lineup and scored his first Rangers goal in the 2nd leg against Maribor during Europa League Play. Bocanegra started all 6 Gold Cup games and was also in the lineup in the recent friendly against Mexico. Bocanegra has 94 caps and 12 goals in his National Team career dating back to 2001.

Edgar Castillo - Castillo started and played a full 90 minutes against Mexico earlier this month in his first National Team action since 2009. The 24 year old left back plays professionally for América in the Primera Division of the Mexican Professional football league having appeared in 5 of their 6 matches during the 2011 Apertura. With the left back position still wide open right now for the U.S., Castillo hopes to build on his respectable performance against Mexico and make a case for more playing time.

Timmy Chandler - Chandler wasn't available for the match against Mexico but the 21 year old German-born defender once again gets the call from Klinsmann. The FC Nürnberg defender has started all 4 of their Bundesliga matches and had an assist in a 2-1 loss to Hannover 96. Chandler made his National Team debut back in March against Argentina and earned his first start three days later against Paraguay.
Photo Credit: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Steve Cherundolo - Hannover 96's captain is once again back for National Team duty. The 32 year old outside back has been steady, turning in a solid Gold Cup and playing a full 90 minutes against Mexico earlier this month.  A member of the last 3 U.S. World Cup teams, and captain of the 2009 Gold Cup squad, Cherundolo has 73 career appearances and a pair of goals for the U.S.

Clarence Goodson - Goodson missed the recent Mexico game due to a hamstring injury, but the 29 year old 6'4" central defender is back in the mix for Klinsmann once again. Playing for Brøndby in Denmark he has started 6 of the team's 7 games. He was most recently seen for the U.S. during the Gold Cup even scoring a goal in the loss to Panama. He has 3 goals in 24 career appearances for the National Team.

Michael Orozco Fiscal - Orozco Fiscal made his first National Team appearance since 2008 when he started and played the full 90 minutes against Mexico earlier this month. The 25 year old San Luis defender has worked his way into the starting lineup for his club after spending the 2010 season on loan to the Philadelphia Union. It remains to be seen if Klinsmann sees him as a long term solution in the back, but with Bocanegra and Cherundolo not getting any younger, now's as good a time as any to see what other options he has.

Tim Ream -  One of MLS's bright young stars, the 23 year old central defender for the New York Red Bulls has started 50 games for New York over 2 seasons. His solid play in MLS finally got him some National Team attention, but he lost his spot in the starting lineup on the Gold Cup Squad following the U.S.'s loss to Panama. Ream has 6 career national team appearances.

Jonathan Spector - Signed by Manchester United as a teenager, Spector has spent his entire professional career in England playing for United, Charlton Athletic, West Ham and now Birmingham. A member of the 2010 World Cup squad, Spector has made 31 career appearances for the National Team, most notably starting at right back throughout the 2009 Confederations Cup. Spector was a late add to the U.S. roster following injuries to Zach Loyd and Heath Pearce.


Kyle Beckerman - Beckerman played well as a defensive midfielder against Mexico earlier this month, and as a result the 29 year old Real Salt Lake Captain is back on Klinsmann's squad again. The MLS veteran has 2 goals and a career high 7 assists for Real this season. His national team appearance earlier this month was just the 13th of his career.

Clint Dempsey - The 28 year old from Nacogdoches, Texas is listed as a midfielder on the U.S. roster, but can also play up top. Dempsey has scored 22 goals in 77 matches for the U.S. and recently became Fulham's all-time leading scorer in the English Premier League. He had 12 goals last season, becoming the first American to break double digits in a Premier League Season. He scored in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups for the United States and tallied 3 goals during the U.S.'s recent run to the Gold Cup Final. Dempsey will miss the game against Costa Rica, but is expected to join the team in Belgium.

Maurice Edu - The Rangers midfielder missed the Mexico game due to an injury, but he's on Klinsmann's roster once again. A regular starter for his Scottish club where he teams up with fellow Americans Bocanegra and Alejando Bedoya, he has Rangers undefeated and atop the table right now scoring 1 goal in the 4 league matches he's played so far this year. He's scored once for the U.S. in 25 career matches, but had a goal discounted on a questionable call that would have beaten Slovenia in the World Cup.

Fabian Johnson - The 23 year old German-American spent time with the German youth National Teams and was a surprising addition by Klinsmann to the U.S. roster. Used primarly by German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim as a defender, it appears Johnson will be pursuing an International Career with the U.S. instead of continuing on with Germany, however his availability for this match is in doubt as his paperwork still hasn't gone through.

Sacha Kljestan - The 25 year old midfielder netted the 11th hat trick in U.S. history in January of 2009 when he tallied 3 goals against Sweden. Not selected for the 2010 World Cup team, Kljestan was an integral part of the 2011 Gold Cup squad that lost to Mexico in the finals. Playing in his second season for Anderlecht in Belgium, Kljestan has one goal in four matches. Kljestan has 4 goals in 33 international matches for the U.S. in his career.

Jeff Larentowicz - The 7-year MLS veteran made his National Team debut in January against Chile, and now it appears he has the attention of new coach Jurgen Klinsmann getting invited to camp. The Rapids midfielder is in the midst of his best MLS season tallying a career high 6 goals in 28 matches, a year after helping lead Colorado to the MLS Cup.

Chris Pontius - Pontius was another late add to camp following the injuries to Zach Loyd and Heath Pearce. Primarily a left midfielder, Pontius is enjoying his best MLS season with a career high 7 goals for DC United. after scoring just 6 goals in 45 games over his first two MLS seasons. Pontius has never before appeared for the National Team.

Robbie Rogers -  Rogers was the hero in Klinsmann's coaching debut as he got on the end of a Break Shea cross for an easy one touch finish clinching a draw with rival Mexico. Coming on as a second half substitute in the match, Rogers also nearly added second goal getting in behind the Mexican defense on a ball over the top from Juan Agudelo ,but he was hauled down on the play forcing a free kick instead. The 24 year old midfielder for the Columbus Crew has 2 goals and 5 assists in 21 matches this season. Rogers has 2 goals in 15 career National Team appearances.

Brek Shea - The versatile Shea has done a little bit of everything for FC Dallas this year tallying 10 goals and 3 assists in this his breakout season. Just 21, Shea made his first All Star team this year and has Dallas in 3rd place in the Western Conference, as well as off to a 2-0 start in Champions League action. Shea came on as a sub in the recent match against Mexico and it was his superb individual effort that set up Rogers' goal.  The appearance against Mexico was just his third for the National Team.
Photo Credit: ussoccer.com

Jose Torres - Torres started the recent game against Mexico getting his first action since the World Cup. The Pachuca midfielder, just 23 years old, now has 12 appearances for the National Team and is one of only a handful of Americans who is highly gifted with the ball at his feet. Torres nearly gave the U.S. a victory against Mexico but his strike from the top of the box curled just wide.


Juan Agudelo - The youthful, energetic striker continues to get National Team attention despite only starting 11 games for the Red Bulls this season. Just 18 years old, he's still a bit raw, but he's shown the ability to make plays, particularly off the bench. In the Mexico game he came on as a second half substitution for Edson Buddle and had a hand in the goal and nearly sprung Rogers for another. He has 5 goals and an assist for New York this season and a pair of goals in 11 career appearances for the National Team.

Jozy Altidore - The 21 year old striker has finally found some success overseas. After spending the last few years on loan from Villareal, Altidore joined AZ Alkmaar this summer and has already found the back of the net 5 times for the Dutch club. Altidore scored a pair of goals during the Gold Cup and has 12 goals in 39 career matches for the Americans. U.S. fans are hopeful that Altidore will continue to hone in on his finishing ability in Europe and finally give the U.S. the goal scorer they've been searching for.
Photo Credit: nj.com

Teal Bunbury - Yet another talented young striker for the U.S., the Americans basically "stole" Bunbury from Canada last year. 21 years old and in his second season with Sporting Kansas City, Bunbury made his debut with the U.S. in November of last year after playing for Canada's youth National Teams prior to. In just his second match for the U.S. National Team, he scored his first goal converting a penalty against Chile. Bunbury suffered a dislocated elbow in this year's MLS preseason, but has recovered to score 5 goals with 3 assists in 23 games.

Landon Donovan - What needs to be said about Captain America? The 29 year old striker for the Los Angeles Galaxy is second in the league in goals this year with 11 despite missing time for the Gold Cup. Donovan has 114 career MLS regular season goals to go along with 94 assists and is the U.S. Men's National Team's All Time Leading Scorer with 46 goals in 137 appearances.

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