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Klinsmann Calls 23 Players for CONCACAF Cup tune-ups against Peru and Brazil

CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named the initial 23-player roster that will gather for friendlies against Peru and Brazil in the final preparation games before the decisive Oct. 10 playoff against Mexico at the Rose Bowl for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The U.S. faces Peru, which finished third in Copa America this summer, on Sept. 4 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. (7 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network) and four days later meets five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (8 p.m. ET; ESPN Networks, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network).

“The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for the Mexico game a month from now,” said Klinsmann. “Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

Matt Besler and Jermaine Jones could see action for the first time since February and fellow 2014 World Cup teammates Geoff Cameron and Tim Howard are back in the mix for the first time in 2015. Meantime, SV Sandhausen forward Andrew Wooten will make his first appearance in an MNT camp, the 25-year-old having scored five goals in the first five games this season.

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey will be added to the U.S. roster for the match against Brazil, and goalkeeper William Yarbrough will return to his club and be replaced by Chicago Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson. Any additional changes will be determined following the game against Peru.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

While the MNT works on the east coast, the U-23 Men’s National Team will hold a camp of its own in England, where it will play both England and Qatar in its final preparation before it competes for a spot in the 2015 Olympic Games in Rio at the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, which runs from Oct. 1-13 in the United States.

ROSTER NOTES

  • Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup.  He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.
  • DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States
  • Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team’s 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June, burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.
  • The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT’s Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster – along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.
  • John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA’s 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT’s three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.
  • Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT’s comeback win.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.
  • Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer’s Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team’s first three matches.
  • Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley’s five.
  • Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.
  • Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team’s last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder’s match against Hertha BSC.
  • This will be the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.

MNT on TV: A Baker’s Dozen of Matches Featuring 25 MNT Players this Weekend

Behold the rising action. Another weekend of soccer brings about 13 matches featuring 25 current MNT players. It’s a sure bet that Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. MNT coaching staff will be tuned in with the team just two weeks away from huge friendlies against Peru and Brazil, which prelude the decisive USA-Mexico playoff on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. Here’s a look at the action featuring U.S. Men’s National Team players around the world this weekend.

Bundesliga
Aron Johannsson is settling in nicely with his new club Werder Bremen. A week ago he made his debut, coming on in the 57th minute against Schalke. This week Bremen will look to snare all three points against Hertha Berlin on Friday, where Johannsson will hunt for his first Bundesliga goal. Trying to stop him will be his MNT teammate and Hertha center back John Brooks. Brooks, who is still getting into a club rhythm after missing preseason while on international duty, entered in the 84thminute of Hertha’s 1-0 win against Augsburg a week ago.

Like Brooks, Timmy Chandler is also working hard to get back into form with his club after returning from the Gold Cup. He’ll look to seize the opportunity as Frankfurt tries to rebound from its 2-1 loss to Wolfsburg with a positive result against Augsburg on Saturday.


Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/21

2:30 p.m. ET

FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2go.com

Hertha Berlin vs. Werder Bremen

Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

8/22

9:30 a.m. ET

FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2go.com

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Augsburg

Timmy Chandler (Frankfurt)

Premier League
On Saturday morning, a trio of matches features MNT players in Premier League action across the pond. Watch them simultaneously as Tottenham and DeAndre Yedlin seek their first win of the season when they face Leicester City, Brad Guzan marshals Aston Villa’s backline in its road matchup with Crystal Palace and Geoff Cameron and Stoke City meet Norwich City. Guzan has looked sharp early on in the season, posting a clean sheet in Villa’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth in the club’s season opener and limiting Manchester United’s potent offense to a single goal.

On Sunday, Tim Howard will lead the Everton defense when it goes up against the goal-happy Manchester City attack, which has produced a Premier League leading six goals in its first two games. Klinsmann officially revealed that Howard will be back in the mix when the MNT takes the field in September, and after posting a shutout a week ago against Southampton, the ‘keeper will look to maintain his form.


Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Live Extra

Leicester City vs. Tottenham

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Live Extra

Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Extra Time

Norwich  City vs. Stoke City

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

8/15

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Everton vs. Manchester City

Tim Howard (Everton)

Liga MX
A pair of MNT players will clash in Saturday night Liga MX action as Ventura Alvarado and Club America challenge Joe Corona and Veracruz. Alvarado and the America defense have held opponents scoreless their last three games.

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Liga MX debutant Miguel Ibarra have already recorded a win this week. The team defeated Correcaminos on Monday and will look to increase their lead as the top team in Liga MX when they tackle Chivas on Saturday.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/22

5 p.m. MT

UniMas, UDN

Club America vs. Veracruz

Joe Corona (Veracruz), Ventura Alvarado (Club America)

8/22

8 p.m. MT

Telemundo

Leon vs. Chivas

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon)

MLS
On Friday night, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis and the Houston Dynamo enter the cauldron which houses the Portland Timbers. Earlier this week, Klinsmann reviewed the conversation he had with Beasley following the Gold Cup, and it’s now clear that Beas is fully back on board with the MNT.

Saturday kicks off with Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore hosting Orlando City SC, where Brek Shea is nearer to returning from sports hernia surgery. Toronto has stumbled to back-to-back losses, but its last win came against the Lions. While that game is going on, down in the nation’s capital MLS Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United will see Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen host Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes. The ‘Quakes are coming off a 5-0 rout of Sporting KC on Wednesday in which Wondo scored twice, increasing his career total to 100 league goals.

Thirty minutes after that game begins, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi will lead Sporting KC against Columbus Crew SC. Sporting had been riding a four-match unbeaten streak (3-0-1), before the loss to San Jose at Sporting Park. In Utah, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake square off with MNT teammates Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans of Seattle Sounders FC. The meeting is the first between the two teams this year. The clubs share similar territory in the Western Conference standings, as both have won seven games this season.

On Sunday, LA Galaxy and New York City FC meet for the first and only time this season. The MLS marquee matchup pits Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes against fellow U.S. international Mix Diskerud. The Galaxy sits atop the Western Conference table, while NYC FC is battling for a playoff spot in the East.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/21

8 p.m. PT

UDN, UniMas

Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo

DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis (Houston)

8/22

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

Toronto FC vs. Orlando City SC

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City)

8/22

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

D.C. United v. San Jose Earthquakes

Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

 8/22

 7:30 p.m. ET

 MLS Direct Kick

Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City

Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/22

8 p.m. MT

MLS Direct Kick

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)

8/23

Noon PT

ESPN, ESPN Deportes, MLS Direct Kick

LA Galaxy vs. New York City FC

Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Mix Diskerud (NYC FC)

Ready, Set, Watch: 22 Televised Games Feature MNT Players this Week

With the huge friendlies against Peru and Brazil on the horizon next month set against the backdrop of the massive USA-Mexico match on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl, you can be sure Jurgen Klinsmann and the coaching staff is keeping a close eye on the player pool. Their job is made a lot easier thanks to the impressive number of games being televised this week involving MNT players. A total of 22 matches featuring more than 30 current MNT players will be broadcast. Here’s a look at what to watch for in the action around the world.

Bundesliga Begins

Let the games begin in Germany. With the highest average attendance of the top leagues in Europe, Bundesliga play for the 2015-16 season begins this weekend, as does the first season of these matches being broadcast on FOX. A number of MNT players will look to get off on the right foot.

Fabian Johnson helped lift Borussia Mönchengladbach to a third-place finish in the league last year, which ultimately earned the club a spot in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side went 10-0-2 with Johnson in the starting lineup in the first half of 2015, and begins this year’s run on Saturday against rival and traditional powerhouse Borussia Dortmund.

John Brooks is back for his third year at Hertha Berlin. Brooks has earned 71 appearances there since debuting in 2012, becoming a regular starter in the latter stages of the season. Berlin begins its season against Augsburg on Saturday.

Timmy Chandler, who scored his first international goal this summer in the MNT’s match against Guatemala, is back for another year at his hometown club Eintracht Frankfurt. The team begins the year against Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Aron Johannsson makes his debut in the German top flight. He finished the year at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, recording four goals in his final three matches as his former club snatched the third spot and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Now Johannsson takes his talents to Werder Bremen, which opens its campaign on Saturday against Schalke.

Alfredo Morales March 31 Match DenmarkAlfredo Morales

Alfredo Morales led FC Ingolstadt to a first place finish in second Bundesliga a year ago which promoted the team to the premier division. Ingolstadt debuts against Mainz on Saturday.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/15

9:15 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com, FOX Deportes

Augsburg v. Hertha Berlin

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

8/15

9:15 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com

Werder Bremen v. Schalke

Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)

8/15

9:30 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com

Mainz v. FC Ingolstadt

Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

8/15

12:30 p.m. ET

FOX Sports 2, FOXSoccer2go.com

Dortmund v. Borussia Monchengladbach

Fabian Johnson (‘Gladbach)

8/16

9:30 a.m. ET

FOX Sports 1, FOXSoccer2go.com

Wolfsburg v. Frankfurt

Timmy Chandler (Frankfurt)

Premier League Continues

The English Premier League got started last weekend and play continues across the pond this week.

Brad Guzan, who earned the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper in the 2015 Gold Cup, posted a clean sheet in the season opener. Now he’ll stand between the posts against perennial Premier League powerhouse Manchester United on Friday. Fellow netminder Tim Howard will also be in action for Everton, as the Toffees take on Southampton.

Brad Guzan

DeAndre Yedlin continues to challenge for a spot at Tottenham Hotspur. The club hosts its home opener against Stoke City, where Geoff Cameron started at centerback in his side’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/14

2:45 p.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

8/15 7 a.m. ET NBC Sports Network Southampton vs. Everton Tim Howard (Everton)

8/15

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Tottenham vs. Stoke City

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham), Geoff Cameron (Stoke)

Vamos Vamos

Liga MX is in full swing now and a number of MNT players will be in action south of the border.

Ventura Alvarado scored his first goal of the season last week in Club America win against Motagua in the Champions League. This week the team will look to keep up the momentum when it faces Santos on Friday night.

Joe Corona, coming off a sweet assist that led to the game-winner last week, plays with Veracruz on Tuesday night against his former team Club Tijuana and the current home of defender Michael Orozco.

Greg Garza and Atlas can be seen twice on TV this week. The first game is against Pumas on Wednesday, the second is Saturday night against Puebla.


Greg Garza

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Liga MX debutant Miguel Ibarra have a pair of games this week. Leon takes on Tigres on Tuesday night, then can be seen Saturday night when they travel to Morelia.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/11

7:50 p.m. PT

Azteca

Club Tijuana v. Veracruz

Joe Corona (Veracruz), Michael Orozco (Tijuana)

8/12

8 p.m. MT

Galavision

Pumas v. Atlas

Greg Garza (Atlas)

8/12

7:30 p.m. CT

NBC Universo

Leon v. Tigres

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon)

8/14

7:20 p.m. CT

Azteca

Club America v. Santos

Ventura Alvarado (Club America)

8/15

7:20 p.m. CT

Azteca

Atlas v. Puebla

Greg Garza (Atlas),

8/15

11:30 p.m. ET

Azteca

Morelia v. Leon

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon) 

MLS Heating Up

With the playoff race heating up, the MLS season is getting very interesting.

A quartet of MNT players will be in action Wednesday in the semifinal of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup when Sporting Kansas City hosts Real Salt Lake. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando will do their best to push RSL through, but their MNT teammates Matt Besler and Graham Zusi from Sporting KC stand in the way.

League MLS matches continue on Thursday, when New York City FC hosts first place D.C. United at Yankee Stadium. Mix Diskerud is in a New York state of mind, while D.C. United’s Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen will try to pick up another road win.

On Friday, Chris Wondolowski will try to score his 10th goal of the season when San Jose Earthquakes host Colorado Rapids.

MLS Saturday is MNT Saturday. Captain Michael Bradley, who scored a brilliant MLS Goal of the Week nominee last weekend, and Jozy Altidore travel with Toronto FC to Harrison, N.J., for a match against the Red Bulls. Shortly after that game kicks off, New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo play in a game featuring five MNT players (Juan Agudelo, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis, Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones). Moving westward, the LA Galaxy with Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez visit FC Dallas, while up in Kansas City, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Sporting KC host Western Conference leaders Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The night concludes with Real Salt Lake taking on Portland Timbers in Sandy, Utah, where Kyle Beckerman will captain RSL with Nick Rimando between the posts.


Brad Evans

On Sunday afternoon, Seattle Sounders FC featuring Clint Dempsey and their team captain Brad Evans will do their best to hold off the visiting Orlando City SC.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/12

7:30 p.m. CT

youtube.com/ussoccer

Sporting KC v. Real Salt Lake

(Open Cup Semifinal)

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/13

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New York City FC v. D.C. United

Mix Diskerud (NYC FC), Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (D.C. United)

 

8/14

 

8 p.m. PT

 

UniMas

 

San Jose Earthquakes v. Colorado Rapids

 

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

8/15

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New York Red Bulls v. Toronto FC

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)

8/15

7:30 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New England Revolution v. Houston Dynamo

Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen, Jermaine Jones (New England), DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis (Houston)

8/15

8 p.m. CT

MLS Direct Kick

FC Dallas v. LA Galaxy

Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

8/15

8 p.m. CT

MLS Direct Kick

Sporting Kansas City v. Vancouver Whitecaps

Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/15

7 p.m. PT

MLS Direct Kick

Real Salt Lake v. Portland

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

8/16

2 p.m. PT

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

Seattle Sounders FC v. Orlando City SC

Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)

 

New Cycle, New Roster for USMNT

Transition Year

With every training session, with every international friendly and with every tournament, the goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team is to advance and improve as a competitive nation in international soccer.

With the CONCACAF Gold Cup as the next benchmark in the aftermath of a 2014 FIFA World Cup where the team advanced out of the “Group of Death”, U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann set a course for a year of transition. In the 10 games since Brazil, there have been 13 newly-capped players among the total of 46 who have been given minutes, while the core of the team is strengthened and new players tested.


The USA's starting XI against Mexico in April was comprised of a variety of players with varying degrees of international experience from first time starters to World Cup vets.

In fact, six of the U.S.’s most familiar faces, Jozy Altidore, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones have not played in a game together since the first World Cup match in Ghana. There have been nine different strike partnerships, five different central defender pairings, and numerous players tried in different roles, all ultimately in an effort to ready a larger group of players while zoning in on those who will be nurtured and polished for the campaign ahead.

Youth is Served

Nineteen-year-olds Emerson Hyndman and Rubio Rubin both earned their first caps with the senior team recently, with Hyndman coming on in the second half of the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic in September 2014, and Rubin starting against then No. 3-ranked Colombia this past November. The pair is currently applying the experience they gained from playing with the senior team with the U-20 MNT at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Hyndman is the captain of the squad and scored the game-winning goal in the tournament’s opening match off of an assist from Rubin.

Rubio Rubin
Rubio Rubin, currently at the U-20 World Cup, has seen action at multiple levels for the USA in recent months, including as a full international and with the U-23 Olympic squad.

Pairing Up

The most obvious of partnerships on the field occur in the center of the park. Whether choosing to experiment at times, as with Jermaine Jones at centerback, or through the unavailability of players, Klinsmann has capitalized on these 10 matches and explored the options. There have been five different pairings in central defense. The only two that have played together on multiple occasions are Jones and Matt Besler (3), and John Brooks and Michael Orozco (2). The search for strikers has been even more diverse. Altidore has played in nine of the 10 matches since Brazil, and only once has he had the same man next to him.

Getting Their Reps

Among the other growing talents that have had their opportunities with the MNT in this transition period are Greg Garza, DeAndre Yedlin, and Gyasi Zardes. Yedlin garnered attention during the World Cup in 2014, spring boarding him to a move to Tottenham Hotspur. Along with Brek Shea and MNT veterans Michael Bradley and Nick Rimando, he is the only player to have appeared in all five U.S. matches in 2015. Meanwhile, Shea has made the most of his return to the U.S. fold. The converted left back has started in three games and is tied with Altidore as the team’s leading goalscorer this year with two goals. His second came through a stunning free kick which helped the USA draw No. 12-ranked Switzerland in Zurich in March. Garza made his debut last September against the Czech Republic, appearing in all five matches to close out the year. He’s started in two games so far in 2015, including the win against Mexico in San Antonio.


Brek Shea celebrates scoring a stunning free kick against Switzerland with his teammates who together earned a solid 1-1 result against the then No.-12 ranked Swiss.

Bienvenido

A pair of players from Liga MX earned their first caps with the U.S. MNT in 2015, and both showed immediate promise. Ventura Alvarado came on as a late sub in the game against Denmark in March, and followed up with another appearance against Switzerland. He shined when he made his first start, coincidentally against Mexico, by helping the team secure a 2-0 win with his play earning him Budweiser Man of the Match honors. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough made his debut in the second half of the March game against Switzerland. The backstop from Club Leon was a wall when he entered in the second half of the Mexico game, making a pair of second half saves to preserve the shutout.

William Yarbrough y Ventura Alvarado
Young U.S. starlets William Yarbrough (left) and Ventura Alvarado have built on highly successful Liga MX showings over the past couple years by breaking into the senior USMNT player pool in 2015.

MNT Ready for Mexico Showdown in San Antonio

Watch how the ‪#‎USMNT‬ prepared in this short camp before ‪#‎USAvMEX‬ presented by AT&T.

A commanding, intelligent center back, Besler broke into the U.S. MNT in 2013 after four impressive seasons in MLS with his hometown club Sporting Kansas City. After a good showing at the team’s January Camp in Houston, U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann handed Besler his first cap in a friendly against Canada. The 2012 MLS Defender of the Year then distinguished himself in the USA’s 0-0 draw against Mexico at Estadio Azteca, helping the team earn its first ever point in World Cup qualifying at the formidable venue. In total, Besler made 12 appearances for the U.S. in his first year with the team, starting 11 matches and his 996 minutes played were second on the team among defenders only to center back partner Omar Gonzalez. 


  • Has played and started in 10 matches in 2014, including all four games of the FIFA World Cup 
  • In total, Besler made 11 starts for the U.S. in central defense in 2013, and 12 appearances in all, including six of the ten World Cup qualifiers, and the quarterfinals, semifinals and final of this summer’s Gold Cup, which the USMNT won at the end of July
  • Helped the team showcase it regional dominance by anchoring a defense that did not allow a goal on home soil as it finished atop the group in the final round of World Cup Qalifying for the 2013 tournament in Brazil
  • Prior to 2013, he had zero caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team 
  • Called into January 2013 camp, he debuted in a 0-0 friendly against Canada on January 29 
  • He did receive a call-up for a friendly in Mexico in August 2012, but didn’t play that game
  • His World Cup qualifying debut came on March 26 at the Azteca, where he picked up just his second cap 
  • Besler is only the second player to receive a WCQ start with less than two prior Caps 
2014: Has played and started in 10 matches in 2014, including all four games of the FIFA World Cup ... 2013: Began his U.S. MNT career with a good showing at the team’s January camp in Houston, where he then received his first cap in a friendly against Canada … Started 11 of the 12 matches he appeared in, including six World Cup Qualifiers, helping the U.S. keep a sterling defensive record by not allowing a goal on home soil and qualify for the FIFA World Cup atop the Hex for the third cycle running … Parachuted in to partner Clarence Goodson in the final three matches of the USA’s run to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown … First Appearance: Jan. 29, vs. Canada … First GoalNone
2013: Played every minute of SKC’s five-match playoff run to the MLS Cup title … Appeared in 23 regular season matches for SKC, notching two assists … Started two of the team’s four CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches … 2012: Started 30 of 31 matches played on the way to being named MLS Defender of the Year and to the MLS Best XI … Also played in all five of SKC’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches, converting his shot in the team’s PK shoot-out win against Seattle … 2011: Had a break out year, playing the full 90 minutes in all 32 matches in which he featured … Scored his first MLS goal on March 26 vs. Chicago and his second was the game-winner against D.C. United on Oct. 22 that secured SKC top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs … Voted an MLS All-Star for the first time … 2010: Started 10 of 12 matches he played in, solidifying his path to becoming SKC’s starting center back … 2009: Started 26 of 28 matches played in as a rookie both as a right back and center back …
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