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Andrew Wooten

U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team
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Klinsmann Talks MNT Players at European Clubs and Potential Deadline Deals

The return of foreign-based U.S. MNT players to their clubs following July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup always had the potential to present challenges for the players trying to win starting spots. Missing the full preseason on international duty puts their club teammates ahead of the curve, and so far results have been a mixed bag, with some players growing into new situations while others have work ahead to earn back their places in the first team.

“What we’ve seen after the Gold Cup is a little similar to what we saw after the World Cup last summer in Brazil,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann explained. “Some players struggle to get back into rhythm and get their starting spots right away.”

The time away with the National Team while clubs were going through their preseason paces has left the likes of John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Ventura Alvarado (Club America) – all starters for during last month’s Gold Cup – on the bench to begin their respective league campaigns.

“It’s kind of a consequence of maybe that they came late into the preseason of their club teams and the coaches gave the other players a head start first. They have to fight their way back; it’s as simple as that.”

On the positive side, the former Germany striker has seen forward Aron Johannsson make a summer transfer splash.

Having battled back from injury to help Dutch club AZ Alkmaar qualify for the UEFA Europa League last season, Johannsson secured the biggest summer move among his U.S. teammates, transferring to German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen earlier this month. 

After seeing the 24-year-old striker score 29 goals in 58 appearances for the Dutch side, Klinsmann was pleased to see the budding striker rise to a bigger club challenge.

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