KENYA BROWN - Monday, October 3, 2016
Jurgen Klinsmann will get a look at some fringe players ahead of November's Hexagonal World Cup qualifying round as he announced his 23-man roster for games against Cuba and New Zealand.
The team is comprised of a mix of players that played in the previous round of qualifiers and those who are making their return after long absences.
"These two games are very important for us because it's the last time we can see certain players before making the decision on the 23 going in to represent us for the Mexico and Costa Rica clashes," said Klinsmann in a statement on the US Soccer website. "There's a lot at stake for the players to make their case, to show where they are right now. We have the opportunity to bring some players back that haven't been with us for a little bit, and we want to see if they can put a stamp on this camp and have a chance for being in the roster next month. The bigger picture behind this is definitely Mexico and Costa Rica, and these two games will show us a lot about individual players."
One of the biggest surprises in the roster is at the goalkeeper position as both Tim Howard and Brad Guzan are missing from the team. In their place Klinsmann has called up David Bingham, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough. According to the coach, their call ups give them an excellent opportunity to make an impression.
"I think the goalkeeper position is unique," said Klinsmann. "Obviously we have the two experienced guys with Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Both are in different situations right now - Tim is obviously very busy with the Colorado Rapids and Brad is not getting the opportunity to play at Middlesbrough. I think it's a perfect time to give an open window to three younger goalkeepers with William Yarbrough, Ethan Horvath and David Bingham. That's why we decided to leave the two older guys out and give these three youngsters a chance to prove their point. That kind of opportunity is very rare."
In defense, John Brooks and Timmy Chandler will make their returns to the team. The former appears to have recovered from a back injury that sidelined him for a few games with Hertha Berlin, while the latter has seen regular playing time with Eintracht Frankfurt so far this season.
In the midfield, Lynden Gooch gets his first call up to the senior team as he has seen playing time at Sunderland. Danny Williams also makes his return to the team as he has played very well for Reading in the English Championship. Perry Kitchen makes the team after his recent appointment as captain at Hearts.
Many eyes will be on the wunderkind Christian Pulisic as he has received another call-up to the team. The 18-year-old's performances in the previous international break were followed up by excellent displays for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and in their first two games in the Champions League.
Up top, Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood have been included once again along with Chris Wondolowski. Jordan Morris makes his return to the team as he has played quite well with the Seattle Sounders in the absence of teammate Clint Dempsey. Julian Green rounds out the players in the forward positions. The 21-year-old makes his return to the team after earning a spot on the Bayern Munich first team roster.
The US will first head to Havana to face Cuba on Friday and then play New Zealand four days later in Washington, DC.
Bingham, David (San Jose Earthquakes)
Horvath, Ethan (Molde FK)
Yarbrough, William (Club Leon)
Birnbaum, Steve (D.C. United)
Brooks, John (Hertha Berlin)
Cameron, Geoff (Stoke City)
Chandler, Timmy (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Gonzalez, Omar (Pachuca)
Johnson, Fabian (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Yedlin, DeAndre (Newcastle)
Arriola, Paul (Club Tijuana)
Bedoya, Alejandro (Philadelphia Union)
Bradley, Michael (Toronto FC)
Gooch, Lynden (Sunderland)
Kitchen, Perry (Hearts)
Kljestan, Sacha (New York Red Bulls)
Pulisic, Christian (Borussia Dortmund)
Williams, Danny (Reading)
Altidore, Jozy (Toronto FC)
Morris, Jordan (Seattle Sounders FC)
Wondolowski, Chris (San Jose Earthquakes)
Wood, Bobby (Hamburg SV)
Green, Julian (Bayern Munich)