The first week of the 2017 January Camp for the U.S. Men’s National Team is in the books.
Check out all the storylines that came from a productive first seven days at the National Training Center, and be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram @ussoccer, as well as the official Facebook Page
Behind the Crest
Go behind the scenes with Bruce Arena as he welcomed players to January Camp and led his first training session back in charge of the MNT.
Knowing the Boss
Of all the players in camp, DaMarcus Beasley and Gyasi Zardes have featured the most for Arena. Both players give insight into how the MNT boss operates.
Eight Players Familiar with Bruce Arena
While most the January Camp roster is working with Arena for the first time, eight players have previously played for him either at the club or international level. Can you name them?
A New Chapter for Benny
After years on the outside looking into the National Team picture, Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber is grasping his second chance with the MNT during January Camp.
Dropping Some Wisdom
Veteran MNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya discussed what to expect from January Camp with first-timer and Philadelphia Union teammate Keegan Rosenberry upon their arrival to Los Angeles.
Plenty to Say
Lots of media descended on the National Training Center for the MNT’s first training session on Jan. 11 and the players responded in kind. Check out their first day reactions.
Star Spangled Manneh
Gambian-born winger Kekuta Manneh is one step closer to representing the United States after it was confirmed he gained his U.S. citizenship last week.
Jozy Primed for 2017
Coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career, veteran forward Jozy Altidore is hoping to replicate his January Camp form from 2016 ahead of a big year for both the MNT and Toronto FC.
Agudelo - Never Forget the First
MNT forward Juan Agudelo was gracious in hosting a Facebook Live chat last week and fondly remembered scoring his first international goal as a 17-year-old in a 1-0 friendly win against South Africa in 2010.
Five Things to Know About MNT January Camp
Did you know the idea of January Camp was formalized by MNT head coach Bruce Arena during his first tenure in charge? Learn more about the history and the number of players that have jumpstarted their international careers during the annual MNT camp.
Five Great Moments at January Camp
From hat tricks, to a regional title and an all-time scoring record, plenty of history has been made during MNT January Camp. Learn more about who has made their mark throughout the years.
While Arena originally announced a 32-player roster, that number decreased when D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was forced to withdraw from camp with a knee injury. Fellow goalkeeper Stefan Frei also departed camp with an ankle sprain, but was replaced by LA Galaxy backstop Brian Rowe.
On The Mend
While rostered players are going through the paces, injured defender Geoff Cameron has also been around the group the past week, rehabbing and getting treatment with MNT medical staff with hopes of returning soon for both Stoke City and the USA. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Tim Howard also popped into camp on Sunday and gave a status update on his injury recovery.
When the roster for the annual January Camp is announced, most of the focus usually settles on the new faces whose domestic league success has earned them a shot with the National Team. This time around, however, it was a World Cup veteran who turned most heads with his inclusion – or more specifically, with the position listed next to his name on the sheet.
Veteran midfielder Graham Zusi, who has carved out a solid career as a winger for both Sporting KC and the MNT, has been added to the group of defenders called into the National Training Center for the camp and two friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica.
Zusi’s debut at right back actually came against then LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena on May 1 at Sporting Park. The MNT winger gave an assured performance in that match, causing trouble up the wing when he provided the assist to Brad Davis’ 30th minute strike before locking down the right side in a 1-1 draw.
- READ MORE: Tim Howard Gives Injury Update
Arena remarked post-game that decision to play Zusi there “was interesting” and it seemed to have left an impression.
“To be honest with you, I enjoyed playing right back quite a bit,” Zusi told ussoccer.com during the first week of camp. “It’s something that I’m embracing for sure.”
Vermes deployed Zusi there a second time in Sporting KC’s Aug. 20 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, saying the 30-year-old “was outstanding” in the 2-0 win.
Zusi’s certainly not the first outside midfielder that has moved to defense. Four-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley filled in at left back at different points in his international career before making the full-time switch there for the U.S. in 2013. The crafty winger went on to make the position his own the next two years, featuring there during all four matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Recalling his own conversion, Beasley said the most challenging part is learning to work as an overall unit with the other defenders.
“Mostly it’s just being in sync with your line – syncing with your center back and the entire back four – that part takes time,” he told ussoccer.com. “Obviously, you have individual qualities you can bring to that position, but the most important part is making sure you’re in sync with your left or right center back. That’s the battle you have to overcome.”
MNT assistant coach Kenny Arena worked on exactly that with the team’s defenders during Sunday’s training session, with both Beasley and fellow left back Greg Garza providing Zusi tips on how to work in the setup.
“He’s learning,” Beasley said. “He’s smart and experienced enough that he’ll be fine. He’s good going forward, defending one-on-one and he’s quick as well, so he shouldn’t have a problem making the switch.”
For his part, Zusi also recognizes the shift could ensure he sees more playing time going forward.
“In the National Team there’s quite a bit of competition, especially in the midfield, so the more positions I can play, I think the better for me,” he said. “I do enjoy the position -- it brings some freedom to my game. Outside backs see a lot of the ball and going forward I think Bruce is expecting to get me into the attack, so that fits my game as well.”Read more
As the U.S. Men’s National Team rolled into lunch following Sunday morning’s training session, a familiar face was there to greet them.
After speaking at the NSCAA Convention on Saturday, MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard stopped by to catch up with his teammates and the new coaching staff.
“It was great to see everyone,” Howard told ussoccer.com. “I have a few media obligations for MLS out here in LA. It just happens that it coincided with the January Camp. I’m in touch with all of these guys – Michael [Bradley], Jermaine [Jones] and Beas [DaMarcus Beasley]. I speak to them all the time, and obviously I’ve spoken to the coaching staff quite a bit – Bruce [Arena] and Dave [Sarachan] and Matt Reis – and so it was good to get out here, have lunch and just catch up with the guys I haven’t seen in a while. I’m like a little kid again.”
The three-time World Cup veteran had to leave November’s 2-1 World Cup Qualifying defeat to Mexico in the 40th minute after suffering a fracture of the right adductor longus. The injury required surgery about a week later and forced him to miss the remainder of the M.L.S. Cup Playoffs with the Colorado Rapids.
More than two months on from that injury, Howard is on the road to recovery.
“My progress is good. This has always been a 16-week injury and I’m almost at nine weeks now, so I’m looking forward to getting back to preseason training with Colorado and getting fit. I’ve missed the field, so it’ll be good.”
One of a handful of players in the current pool that has experience with Arena, Howard indicated the returning head coach is best suited for helping the MNT rebound on the road to qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“It’ll be a good change for this group,” Howard said. “We didn’t start out qualifying the way we wanted, so the time is now for us. We have to get some results quickly and right the ship. Everyone’s on board with that, so I think it’s exciting to have fresh blood and a new outlook on how we want to play and what we want to do.”
Capped 16 times by Arena from 2002-2006, Howard also gave a view into what all members of the player pool should expect from the winningest coach in MNT history.
“He’s got a very low key demeanor, but Bruce Arena always makes sure that whoever is on the field is pushing themselves and is committed. I think that’s the interesting part about him. He’s soft spoken, and when he asks something of you as an individual or the team he expects it and nothing less than 110 percent. That commitment and the wholeheartedness of this team, which is what we’ve always been about, is exciting.”Read more
CHICAGO (Jan. 15, 2017) —U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named 24 players to his January Camp roster. The training camp, taking place from Jan. 15-23, will be held at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California.
The camp marks the first official gathering for the U-20 MNT in 2017. The team’s last assembly came in December when the U-20s traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica – the site of next month’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship – for a foreign training camp and pair of friendlies vs. the host nation.
As the team continues to prepare for the U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament, January Camp will serve as an opportunity for Ramos and his coaching staff to provide supplemental player development to the pool in addition to what players receive in their club environments.
“We are very excited to be getting closer to competing for a U-20 World Cup spot,” Ramos said. “We are now working with players within our core group of 35, and I am confident that with the hard work during this camp we will be closer to achieving our goals.”
The team’s final meeting before heading to Costa Rica will be a training camp in Orlando, Florida from Jan. 31-Feb 10. The first game for the United States at the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship is set to kick off on Saturday, Feb. 18 against Panama.
- Josh Sargent, currently in Residency with the U-17 U.S. Men’s National Team, is making his roster debut with the U-20 player pool
- Three players were selected in the M.L.S. Superdraft on Jan. 13: Miles Robinson (2nd overall by Atlanta United FC), Jonathan Lewis (3rd overall by New York City FC) and Jeremy Ebobisse (4th overall by Portland Timbers)
- Erik Palmer-Brown, the only player on the roster to play in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, rejoins the U-20 roster for the first time since 2015
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.), Brady Scott (De Anza Force; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (9): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy; Norwalk, Calif.), Marcello Borges (Michigan; Kearny, N.J.), Marlon Fossey (Fulham F.C.; Surbiton, ENG), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Herrera (New Mexico; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Media, Pa.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, UT), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappingers Falls, N.Y), Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, TX), Jonathan Gonzalez (CF Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Jonathan Lewis (NYCFC; Plantation, Fla.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Ut.), Jonathan Suarez (Queretaro F.C.; Orange County, Calif.), Eryk Williamson (Maryland; Alexandria, Va.)FORWARDS (4): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers, Bethesda, Md.), Brooks Lennon (Liverpool; Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Josh Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallen, Mo.), Brandon Vazquez (Atlanta United FC; Chula Vista, CA) Read more