U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called in 20 players to the training camp roster that will run Jan. 3-26 in the United States and Panama. The USA will host Venezuela on Jan. 21 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Four days later, it faces Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.
The squad includes Omar Gonzalez, who was voted the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year, and fellow defender A.J. DeLaGarza from the MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy and Geoff Cameron from the runner-up Houston Dynamo.
Also called up was 2011 MLS Best XI pick Brek Shea from FC Dallas and 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong from Sporting KC.
A pair of 2010 FIFA World Cup veterans return to team: unsettled Ricardo Clark and Benny Feilhaber, who appears for the first time under Klinsmann.
Clark is one of two European-based players on the roster, along withMichael Parkhurst.
The came will begin in on Jan. 3 and move to the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Jan. and then return to Arizona to finalize preparations for Venezuela.
“This is a very important opportunity for these players,” said Klinsmann. “They are the next in line behind the established players, and this is a chance to prove themselves. We will spend the next few weeks introducing them to our ideas on how we want to play and what it means to be a part of the national team. Ultimately, it will create more depth for us, which you need at this level. I’m very curious and excited to see this group.”
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), George John (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
by Paul Kennedy