DAVID SMITH - Thursday, February 27, 2014
US National team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann announced the roster for the upcoming training camp in Frankfurt and subsequent friendly game against Ukraine today.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, but a last-minute move to neutral grounds - Larnaca, Cyprus - was forced due to recent civil unrest in the former Soviet state.
The biggest talking point and worst-kept secret of the 24-man roster is the inclusion of FC Bayern youth product Julian Green in the camp on a training-only basis. The Florida-born attacker has suited up for both US and German youth teams, however has yet to be permanently tied to either country.
While having only clocked in two official minutes with the current German and European champions Bayern, Green is highly regarded, and the brief training stint in Frankfurt will give Klinsmann and the senior staff the opportunity to evaluate the young German-American first-hand.
The Europe-heavy roster only includes three North American-based players: Michael Bradley will be making his first appearance in the US uniform since joining FC Toronto in the January transfer window, Clint Dempsey will return to Seattle's pre-season preparations following the game after a brief loan with his former team Fulham, and Tijuana defender Edgar Castillo links up with the team after a string of starts for the Liga MX team.
Youngsters Cody Cropper and Will Packwood, both of whom ply their trade in England, will be hoping for their first-ever senior caps. Cropper will likely be third in line at the keeper position behind veterans Brad Guzan and Tim Howard, while central defender Packwood could see his way to the field blocked by national team returnees Tim Ream and Oguchi Onyewu.
Two Holland-based strikers could provide some pressure to presumed starter Jozy Altidore, who is enduring a tough season at English club Sunderland.
AZ's Aron Johannsson is having a monster season in the Lowlands, bagging more than 20 goals in all competitions so far. Juan Agudelo is still in the early stages of his loan spell at Utrecht, but has worked his way into the starting lineup and has shown positive signs after his January move to Europe.
The players will convene for the pre-game training camp in Frankfurt, Germany, and will play in the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca at 2pm EST on Wednesday, March 5.
Cropper, Cody - Southampton (England)
Guzan, Brad - Aston Villa (England)
Howard, Tim - Everton (England)
Brooks, John Anthony Hertha Berlin (Germany)
Cameron, Geoff - Stoke City (England)
Castillo, Edgar - Tijuana (Mexico)
Morales, Alfredo - Ingolstadt (Germany)
Onyewu, Oguchi - Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Packwood, Will - Birmingham City (England)
Ream, Tim - Bolton Wanderers (England)
Bedoya, Alejandro - Nantes (France)
Bradley, Michael - Toronto (MLS)
Diskerud, Mikkel - Rosenborg (Norway)
Johnson, Fabian - Hoffenheim (Germany)
Jones, Jermaine - Schalke (Germany)
Kljestan, Sacha - Anderlecht (Belgium)
Shea, Brek - Stoke City (England)
Williams, Danny - Reading (England)
Agudelo, Juan - Utrecht (Holland)
Altidore, Jozy - Sunderland (England)
Boyd, Terrence - Rapid Vienna (Austria)
Dempsey, Clint - Seattle Sounders (MLS)
Green, Julian - FC Bayern (Germany)
Johannsson, Aron - AZ Alkmaar (Holland)