KENYA BROWN - Monday, June 1, 2015
U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Sunday announced a 21-man roster for the team's European friendlies against the Netherlands and World Cup champions Germany.
The roster initially included Jermaine Jones but the New England Revolution midfielder has been scratched with a groin injury.
The team, which will play the Dutch on June 5 and the Germans on June 10, is a mix of veterans and younger players as the German-born coach continues to stress that the U.S. is in a transition period ahead of the qualification stage for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"Our time since the World Cup has been in a transition period which now winds down before the Gold Cup," said Klinsmann on the U.S. Soccer website. "Playing against top teams like Germany and the Netherlands provides valuable experience, especially for the younger players here. More and more they must understand we come to meet these opponents eye to eye. Obviously it's a bit tricky when we are without some of our core players, but that creates a huge opportunity for the guys here to benchmark themselves against some of the best players in the world. "
Some notable omissions from the team are Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Graham Zusi. U.S. captain Clint Dempsey will miss out due to the impending birth of his fourth child, while Jozy Altidore continues to sit out with a hamstring injury. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya will also not dress for the team as he recovers from a knee injury.
The U.S. will be looking to get their first win over the Dutch on June 5 as they have suffered four losses and only scored one goal in previous encounters. They will meet the Germans for first time after a 1-0 loss to Die Mannshcaft in the final Group G game at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
These are the last two friendlies before Klinsmann and his staff select a final roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
Defenders (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading)
Forwards (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Bobby Wood (Erzgebirge Aue), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)