The Soccer Desk

Klinsmann Names January Camp Roster

USA win 5-1

Earlier today, Jurgen Klinsmann named his 26 man roster that will report to camp on January 6th.  After the first six days, 23 players will break off from the original 26 to setup a “base camp” in Sao Paulo, getting a feel for the conditions in Brazil come World Cup time.  Those 23 players will then return to the US Soccer National Training Center on January 25th.  With any camp roster announcement, there are always some shocks and snubs, but it seems especially so this time, but more on that later.

On his mix of both veteran and youth talent joining the January camp, Klinsmann, who recently had his contracted extended through 2018 and another World Cup cycle, had this to say, “We are all very excited for this camp because, as a team, it will give us our first taste of Brazil.  This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup. It’s important for the players to continue developing their bond and sense of urgency for the tournament. It’s important for us to see how they do in Brazil, how the new players fit with the group and to make sure everyone is focused on reaching the highest level for next summer.”

Onto the players, this is who Jurgen Klinsmann has called into camp:

GOALKEEPERS (4):
Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Bill Hamid seems to be the one shocker here, as he nor his club side had a very good season to put it lightly.  While some called for Zac MacMath of the Philadelphia Union to be in his place instead, the 22 year old keeper still has some learning and growing up to do.  Having said that, he’ll get his number called sooner rather than later.  Does that mean Hamid should have been called into this camp?  Probably not.

DEFENDERS (10):
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

The choice to add Shane O’Neill and DeAndre Yedlin to the January camp roster comes off as both questionable and insulting to two players in particular: Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams.  Two players who many thought were a shoe in have been suspiciously left off the roster.  Yes, O’Neill and Yedlin both played in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs, but that doesn’t automatically mean they deserve call-ups.  Yedlin, minus his weekly hairstyles, was specifically unimpressive this season.

Williams meanwhile was and is one of the best Americans at the right back position right now, while Okugo is quite possibly the best center back in the league (MLS), if not, than at least in the top five.  One has to wonder if Klinsmann’s choice to call up Yedlin is because he’s a high profile player in a high profile market.  Shane O’Neill…that’s a question in itself.

Midfielders (8):
Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Unlike the defenders Klinsmann has called in , the midfield is unsurprisingly predictable and that’s a good thing.  Players like Graham Zusi and Mix Diskerud have already proved themselves at the national level, while other players like Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander of the New York Red Bulls all had very good season’s with their club.

Forwards (4):
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Again, no shocks here.  It’s nice to see Mike Magee finally getting a call up and the recognition he deserves.  He honestly should have been called up before now, but at least it’s happened.  No Jozy?  No Johannson?  No problem.  These two are in the middle of their club seasons while all the forwards called up are MLS regulars.  The only name missing that was being talked about as a very remote possibly of being called up is Jack McInerney after getting a Gold Cup call up, but his drop off in form upon returning severely hurt his chances.  Still, with the MLS season around the corner, the Union forward still has a chance to make Klinsmann notice him before the World Cup.

January’s preparation sets up a contest against South Korea at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA on February 1st.  Kick-off is set for 11:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2.  Make sure to follow us on twitter @soccerdesk come game day for full up to the minute coverage.  TSD will also have a full match preview and recap before and after the game.  Have some players you would have liked to see make this roster?  E-mail us at tsdmailbag@gmail.com or tweet us!