January #USMNT Roster Named


Coach Jurgen Klinsmann named the USMNT roster for the upcoming January training camp and matches against Venezuela and Panama earlier today. Training will begin on January 3rd and progress until the first match on January 21.  The prevailing themes of the players may be unproven and from Major League Soccer.  Twelve MLS teams contribute players and 11 players have two or fewer games played on the national team roster.

“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.”

The coach sums it up pretty well as selection of players for this training session runs against many club teams beginning their respective stretch runs.  This is a time that new potential can be showcased and Jonathan Bornstein, Landon Donovan, and Sacha Kljestan all have fond memories of the January training period.  Here is a closer look at the roster unveiled today.


Bill Hamid has been a part of recent camps but has not played any time on the pitch.  He figures to be the first keeper choice this time around.  The D.C. United keeper played 36 matches for the MLS team this year.

Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire is a Generation Adidas player that has been training with Everton.  He played half a match for the national team in January 2011 and also holds dual citizenship in Jamaica.

Nick Rimando rounds out the goalkeeper selections.  Rimando may be considered the veteran of the goalkeeping trio having played every game for D.C. United in 2002.  He moved to Real Salt Lake along with Freddy Adu in 2006 and subsequently traded to New York and then back to RSL.


Geoff Cameron of the MLS runner-up Houston Dynamo will get a chance to make his second appearance for the national team.  He is coming off a great season being named to the MLS all-star team.  This will be his fourth camp in total, including one limited by injury.

A.J. DeLaGarza of the champion LA Galaxy is among those potentially making his debut in the coming month.  He also helped the University of Maryland win two national championships.

Omar Gonzalez will finally get his shot with the national team.  Gonzalez has been vocal about playing with the team to the point of threatening to instead play for Mexico.  This isn’t the first call up for Gonzalez, but he was getting impatient over the last few months.

George John is a relative unknown compared to other names getting a shot.  He has now been called up to train with both the United States and Greece.  Blackburn recently bid on John, but the transfer fell through keeping him at FC Dallas.

Zach Loyd is the teammate of John and has a chance to make his second appearance.  He won man of the match honors on January 22, 2011 against Chile.  He has adapted to the center midfield position and tends to be regarded as a versatile player.

Michael Parkhurst is originally from Rhode Island but has been playing in the Danish Superliga.  Parkhurst has nine caps with the national team including time with Gold Cup and Summer Olympics squads.  He moved to right back this past year with his squad currently in second spot in the table.

Heath Pearce is one of the most experienced players in the squad.  He is also a veteran of the Danish Superliga, but currently plays for Chivas USA.  Pearce was temporarily suspended from Hansa Rostock for coming back late from a national team appearance and fully dismissed from the senior team for reportedly faking an injury to avoid training.   Pearce played at left back under Bob Bradley and this roster could allow him to fill in there again.


Kyle Beckerman has been accruing the national team appearances in 2011.  The captain of Real Salt Lake is known for his eccentric hairstyle,  but has been on and off the national team since 2007, including scoring in the 2009 Gold Cup.

Ricardo Clark is tied for the most goals for the national team with two among this group of players.  Clark plays for the recently relegated Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany after having played the majority of his matches in the MLS.  He time in Germany has been riddled with injury.

Benny Feilhaber has the most caps among this group of players and is a three year veteran of the Danish Superliga.  He played the 2011 season with the New England Revolution.  Feilhaber was part of the 2010 World Cup team and may be best known for his passes up field to the attackers.

Jeff Larentowicz of the Colorado Rapids has been training with Bolton in the English Premier League.  This will be the third call up for the “ginga ninja”, a nickname earned after a goal scored in 2007.

Brek Shea is another player training overseas finding a place at Arsenal.  The MLS MVP candidate gained early playing time under Klinsmann and seems to be a key in the national team moving forward.

Graham Zusi is a collegiate champion from the University of Maryland that has found a home with Sporting Kansas City.  He is known for his attacking style, but remains a midfielder on the outside looking in.


Juan Agudelo has had plenty of attention in the last year, but that has began to fade.  Many wonder if he was over hyped, but is deservedly getting another chance to prove himself.  Agudelo has been training with both Stuttgart and Liverpool.

Teal Bunbury is still relatively young in his national team career having scored his only goal on a penalty kick conversion against Chile.  His notoriety comes partially from the goal call of announcer Pablo Ramirez giving him the Boon-Boo-Ree moniker.

C.J. Sapong is the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year after being drafted tenth overall by Sporting Kansas City.  Sapong is very athletic and is getting a great opportunity to learn the ways of the national team.

Chris Wondolowski is the 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner that is among those that gained their first cap in January 2011.  Wondo missed a wide open net against Panama in the recent Gold Cup and most certainly would like to make amends.  Regardless, Wondolowski’s play in the MLS over the past two seasons is hard to ignore.

We will have much more on the upcoming January training period, so stay tuned to The American Pitch.