Since taking over as head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the summer of 2011, Jurgen Klinsmann has preached the need for U.S. internationals to play at the highest level possible, against the toughest competition and in pressure situations. Regional cup competitions certainly meet all that criteria, and in that regard this past season was a successful campaign for Americans after 11 players made their mark in some of the most prestigious cup competitions around the globe.
UEFA Champions League
JERMAINE JONES (Schalke): Jones played a crucial role for Schalke during its run in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League. The German-American played in all but one fixture, helping them win Group B and remain unbeaten through the group stages of the tournament. In the knockout round, Jones scored a crucial equalizing away goal in the first leg against Galatasaray. However, Schalke couldn’t capitalize on their home grounds and were eliminated 4-3 on aggregate.
MICHAEL PARKHURST (Nordsjaelland): Parkhurst started and played every minute of all six group games against Chelsea, Juventus and Shakhtar, and earned a spot on the Champions League Team of the Week from MatchDay 3 following a 1-1 draw against Juventus.
SACHA KLJESTAN (Anderlecht): Played in five of six group games for the Belgian Champions, competing against AC Milan, Malaga and Zenit St. Petersburg.
CLINT DEMPSEY (Tottenham Hotspur): Appeared in all six group games as Spurs went unbeaten and finished second in Group J against Lazio, NK Maribor and Panathinaikos. He missed the third round against Olympique Lyon due to injury but returned for the quarterfinals against FC Basel. He scored two goals in the second leg away to Basel and sent the game to extra time with his 82nd minute equalizer; however, Spurs ultimately fell in penalties.
CONCACAF Champions League
HERCULEZ GOMEZ (Santos Laguna): Gomez played a crucial role for Santos as they reached the CONCACAF Champions League final before losing to rival side Monterrey 4-2. Herc torched his former league in the tournament, scoring all three of his goals against MLS clubs.
OMAR GONZALEZ (LA Galaxy): Gonzalez played a big role for the Galaxy defense as the reigning MLS Champions made it all the way to the semifinals, where they lost to eventual champions Monterrey. The Galaxy outscored their opposition 12-4 in the early stages of the tournament and Gonzalez anchored the backline and scored on a header in the dominant 4-1 victory in the quarterfinals against Costa Rican side Herediano.
EDDIE JOHNSON (Seattle Sounders): Johnson was a key factor in Seattle’s high octane offense in Champions League play this year. Johnson found the back of the net for a key goal in the Sounders historic 3-2 comeback win against Mexican side Tigres in the quarterfinals, and also scored in the tournament’s early going against Honduran side Marathón.
BRAD DAVIS, TALLY HALL (Houston Dynamo): Davis scored one of the most dramatic goals of the tournament with a last-second tally to give the Dynamo a 1-0 win in the first leg against Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall performed fantastically in that match, making three impressive saves to keep the clean sheet. The Dynamo duo couldn’t duplicate their home-field success on Mexican soil, however, and Santos eliminated Houston 3-1 on aggregate.
EDGAR CASTILLO, JOE CORONA (Club Tijuana): The Mexican-American duo have helped lead Club Tijuana on a run through the Copa Libertadores and are currently in the quarterfinals after an upset win against Brazilian side Palmeiras in the Round of 16. Castillo and Corona started in both legs of the 2-1 aggregate victory, including the 1-0 win in Sao Paolo. Xolos came out flying in their first entrance in the tournament, winning its first three group games including a 1-0 win at Millonarios in Colombia. Tijuana will play top-seeded Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro in their quarterfinal fixture.
When U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann addressed the players for the first time at the start of this camp, the message was clear: we are here to get ready for the World Cup qualifier on Feb. 6 in Honduras, and every player in the room has a shot at making the roster.
Along with this huge carrot, the January camps have always been about opportunity: for veteran players to demonstrate their progress and for new faces to have a chance to shine following an extended look in front of the National Team coaching staff. It’s a three-week showcase that offers the prospect of a future role in international football.
“This is a very important year with World Cup qualifying, the Gold Cup and U.S. Soccer’s 100th anniversary, and to have a possibility to be a part of that is exciting,” said Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. “Every one of us has an opportunity to be on the roster and establish themselves in the team. It’s an honor to be here, and I’m looking forward to the competition.”
The history of the January camp tells many tales of players who snatched this opportunity and made a name for themselves. In 2002, Pablo Mastroeni entered the January camp having not appeared in a single World Cup qualifier in the campaign to reach Korea/Japan. Five months later, he started against Portugal in the opening game of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
More recently, last year’s January camp saw the introduction of Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi to the National Team fold, as well as the return of Geoff Cameron, who entered 2012 with only one cap to his credit. Both players earned starts in the consecutive 1-0 wins against Venezuela and Panama, with Zusi striking home the game-winner in Panama City. By year’s end, Cameron had collected 10 appearances and the second-most minutes of any field player on the team, while Zusi played in six games that included starts in the final three World Cup qualifiers in the semifinal round in which the United States posted a perfect 3-0-0 record.
For others like Kyle Beckerman, who is now participating in his sixth January camp, he not only continues to establish himself as part of Klinsmann’s core group, but also serves as a role model for the next generation.
“You expect the guys who have been here before, like Kyle, to pass on their experience as quickly as possible to the next group,” said Klinsmann. “They become your right hand, your communicators and your connectors.”Beckerman welcomes the responsibility, and sees these three weeks as a chance to hit the ground running.
“I look at the January camps as a chance to be the first players seen in the new year, so in that sense you have a head start,” says the hard-working center midfielder. “I’ve been in these camps at different stages of my career, and now as an older guy you take on more responsibility. You make sure that everybody is getting ready and doing the right things on and off the field. It doesn’t matter of it’s a friendly or a World Cup qualifier. It’s important to our fans, and the younger players need to understand that every national team game is big.”
The coach thinks as many as six to nine players from this group could make the flight to San Pedro Sula next month as part of the first World Cup Qualifying roster in 2013. Ultimately, the aspiring internationals hope to establish themselves as future contributors on a team building towards 2014 in Brazil.
“I think there will be another couple guys who emerge from this roster and hopefully make our National Team environment even stronger. We hope with the January camp that the players understand that if they really grow, become personalities and take their lives and careers in their own hands, they can make the jump like Graham or Geoff or others before. We hope that will be the case in this camp, as well.”
CHICAGO (Feb. 25, 2008) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Peter Nowak has named 24 players to participate in the team’s final training camp before 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. The camp will take place in Bradenton, Fla. from March 1-9, before the final 20-player roster travels to Tampa, the location of the first-round games in the qualifying tournament for Group A.
The final 20-player roster may include players not in the Bradenton training camp, and will be announced prior to the team’s arrival in Tampa on March 9, two days before the U.S. opens the qualifying tournament against Cuba on March 11 at Raymond James Stadium. The U.S. will then face Panama on March 13 at 8 p.m. ET and Honduras on March 13 at 7 p.m. ET.
Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23. The tournament will send its two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Tickets priced from $18 to $65 for each of the eight doubleheaders in the tournament are now on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 813-287-8844 (Tampa), 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles) or 615-255-9600 (Nashville) and at local Ticketmaster ticket centers in the venue cities (Tampa | Los Angeles | Nashville).
ESPN Deportes will broadcast all 16 matches of the tournament as the exclusive Spanish-language rights holders. In addition, ESPN360.com will also show all 16 games live online, and will have a replay of each game available on demand for 48-hours following its completion. English-language broadcast information will be announced later this week.
"We are very excited to begin the final phase of preparations before the qualifying tournament begins," said Nowak. "The work over the past couple months has been very good. We have confidence in the ability of our group, and we will now spend the next 11 days putting the finishing touches on the roster so we can select the best players to help us achieve the goal of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing."
There are 10 players on the roster who have earned full-team caps, with Benny Feilhaber leading way with 15 total appearances for the senior side, while Eddie Gaven and Sacha Kljestan have five each. Jozy Altidore is coming off of his first start for the MNT, scoring his first goal against Mexico in February.
Altidore was also the fourth-leading scorer at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last summer, netting four goals in five games. He is among 14 players with Under-20 World Cup experience, including Freddy Adu and Nathan Sturgis, who are veterans of both the 2005 and 2007 tournaments.
Of the 24 players called into camp, seven will join the team from abroad, including Charlie Davies, Kamani Hill and Sal Zizzo, who each earned their first caps with the Men’s National Team in 2007. Hill and Zizzo both ply their trade in Germany, for Vfl Wolfsburg and Hannover 96, respectively, while Davies, who plays in Sweden, is one of two Scandinavian-based players on the roster with goalkeeper Tally Hall, who plays for Esbjerg in Denmark. Along with Feilhaber (England) and Adu (Portugal), Michael Orozco rounds out the foreign contingent, joining the U.S. squad from San Luis in Mexico.
Of the 17 Major League Soccer representatives, Real Salt Lake sends the most to Florida with the trio of Robbie Findley, Chris Seitz and Sturgis. Six teams will each send two players into camp, including the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo and Toronto FC, while Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy will each send one.
Maurice Edu, who earned 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year honors as a midfielder for Toronto FC, may move into a position on the back line, where he could play beside with Toronto teammate Marvell Wynne, the Dynamo’s Pat Ianni, Orozco or Hill.
The U.S. also boasts a strong selection of midfielders in Arturo Alvarez, Stuart Holden, Feilhaber, Gaven, Kljestan and Dax McCarty, who will prove to be an important link to a powerful attack. Along with Adu and Altidore, the two youngest players on the roster, Chad Barrett, Robbie Findley and Charlie Davies provide Nowak with a number of dangerous options.
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (out of contract), Tally Hall (Esbjerg fB), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Hunter Freeman (New York Red Bulls), Kamani Hil (Vfl Wolfsburg), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Mike Randolph (LA Galaxy), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Sal Zizzo (Hannover 96)
FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), Jozy Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire),
Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
National Team Staff:
|Head Coach:||Peter Nowak||Naples, Fla.|
|Assistant Coach:||Lubos Kubik||Prague, Czech Rep.|
|Assistant Coach:||Mike Sorber||St. Louis, Ill.|
|Goalkeeper Coach:||Tim Mulqueen||Bradenton, Fla.|
|Team Coordinator:||Alfonso Cerda||Carson, Calif.|
|Team Coordinator:||Jon Fleishman||Pittsburgh, Pa.|
|Equipment Coordinator:||Gabe Vogler||Shoreview, Minn.|
|Athletic Trainer:||Dave Andrews||Gig Harbor, Wash.|
|Athletic Trainer:||Marcus Holliday||Bradenton, Fla.|
|Strength and Conditioning:||Randy Rocha||Washington, D.C.|
|Press Officer||Kate McMaster||Chicago, Ill.|
|Videographer:||Alejandro Becker||Los Angeles, Calif.|
CHICAGO (January 24, 2008) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Peter Nowak has named 23 players to participate in the team’s second training camp of 2008 from Jan. 26 – Feb. 2 in at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.
The week-long camp will be Nowak’s final chance to train and evaluate players before selecting the team that will compete in CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualification from March 11-23, 2008, in Los Angeles, Tampa and Nashville. The U.S. will play their three games of the group stage in Tampa against Cuba on March 11, Panama on March 13 and Honduras on March 15. The eight-team tournament will send the two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
“With the qualifying tournament approaching quickly, this is an important camp for us to train and evaluate players,” said Nowak. “Having another chance to train in Bradenton will be valuable as we prepare for very challenging Olympic qualifying games in nearby Tampa.”
Thirteen of the players called in were part of the Under-23s latest camp from Jan. 6-20, and will be returning to Bradenton after a two-week sabbatical. Josmer Altidore, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan and Marvell Wynne will re-join Nowak’s squad after training with the Men’s National Team leading up to their January 19 friendly against Sweden, in which the U.S. picked up a 2-0 win. Two additional players, Adam Cristman and Nathan Sturgis, were part of the U-23’s December training camp, though neither made the trip to China due to injury.
Dominic Cervi will be joining his second-ever National Team camp, while Michael Orozco will be part of his first camp since a trip to Dallas with the Under-20 MNT in April of 2004. Orozco, who plays for San Luis in Mexico, is one of four players who play professionally outside of Major League Soccer, along with Charlie Davies of Hammarby IF (Sweden), Tally Hall of Esbjerg fB (Denmark) and Kamani Hill of Vfl Wolfsburg (Germany).
The U.S. plays in the late game in each of the three doubleheaders at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (tickets), playing Cuba at 8 p.m. ET on March 11, Panama at 8 p.m. ET on March 13 and finishing the round-robin tournament against Honduras on at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, March 15.
Group B, which will begin on March 12, features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, and will be played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
After group play, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals which will be played on March 20 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. LP Field will also be the location for the third-place and championship matches on Sunday, March 23. The two finalists will advance to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
U.S. Under-23 MNT Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Dominic Cervi (Chicago Fire), Tally Hall (Esbjerg fB), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS : Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Chance Myers (Kansas City Wizards), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Mike Randolph (LA Galaxy), Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS :Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS: Josmer Altidore (New York Red Bulls), Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Adam Cristman (New England Revolution), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
U-23 MNT Schedule
Feb. 21 Japan U-22s
Feb. 23 TBD (J-League team)
U-23 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tally Hall (Esjberg FB), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake), Justin Hughes (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (9): Adam Cristman (New England Revolution), Sean Franklin (Cal State North University), Hunter Freeman (Colorado Rapids), Michael Harrington (Kansas City Wizards), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Nathan Sturgis (Los Angeles Galaxy), Julian Valentin (Wake Forest University), Rob Valentino (University of San Francisco), Tim Ward (Columbus Crew)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Arturo Alvarez (FC Dallas), Nico Colaluca (Colorado Rapids), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Will John (Kansas City Wizards), Quavas Kirk (Los Angeles Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Peter Lowry (Santa Clara University), Ryan Solle (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (3): Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire), Jacob Peterson (Colorado Rapids), Jamie Watson (Real Salt Lake)
Date of Birth
May 12, 1985