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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
The USMNT trained at Trinity University on Monday in advance of Wednesday's USA-Mexico match, Presented by AT&T. Kickoff for the 64th edition of one of international soccer's best rivalries is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.
USMNT players began arriving in Texas on Sunday in advance of Wednesday's USA-Mexico match, Presented by AT&T. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 22 players into the U.S. squad, most of whom ply their trade in MLS or Liga MX. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.
CHICAGO (April 12, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected a 22-player roster for the 64th edition of the USA-Mexico rivalry, presented by AT&T, on Wednesday, April 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.
With the game occurring outside of an official FIFA international fixture date, the U.S. roster is mostly comprised of players that compete with North America-based clubs. Thirteen players play their trade in MLS, while league rival Liga MX contributes five to the group.
The U.S. contingent, which continues preparations for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, includes nine players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster.
The United States will be without the services of team captain Clint Dempsey, who is sidelined with a hamstring strain, and forward Jozy Altidore, who is required to serve a one-match suspension following a red card he received in the USA’s last friendly, a 1-1 draw against Switzerland on March 31 in Zurich.
Klinsmann’s side has not lost to its archrival since he took the helm in the summer of 2011, going 2-0-3 in that span. The results include the USA’s first victory against Mexico at Estadio Azteca and the 0-0 away draw in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Currently ranked No. 18 in the world, Mexico brings a 19-player roster with all members based in Liga MX. Mexico comes into the match having won both friendlies it has played this year against Ecuador and Paraguay by matching 1-0 score lines.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
- The U.S. MNT is coming off a March camp in Europe that featured a last-minute, 3-2 loss to Denmark in Aarhus, and concluded with a 1-1 draw with then No. 12-ranked Switzerland in Zurich.
- Ten different MLS teams are represented on the roster, with no team having more than two members.
- Five players from this roster come from Liga MX: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco (Puebla) and William Yarbrough (Club Leon).
- A total of nine players on the roster were members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster that traveled to Brazil and helped the USA advance out of the “Group of Death.”
- Bradley has scored four goals against Mexico, and scored a double against Mexico in a World Cup Qualifier on Feb. 11, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio.
- Bradley and Chris Wondolowski both scored goals in the USA’s last match with Mexico on April 2, 2014, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., which ended in a 2-2 draw.
- Brek Shea has scored two goals in four matches to start 2015, including a free kick stunner against Switzerland. Bradley is the other goalscorer on this roster.
- Michael Orozco scored the game-winning goal in the U.S.’s historic first win against Mexico on Mexican soil in Estadio Azteca on Aug. 15, 2012. It was Orozco’s first international goal.
- Julian Green made his international debut for the USA against Mexico, coming on as a second-half sub in a similarly time friendly last year on April 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
- Liga MX based Alvarado and Yarbrough both earned their first caps with the U.S. during the MNT’s March training camp in Europe.
- Yarbrough, 26, was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents and earned his first cap for the U.S. MNT on March 31 against Switzerland. He marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles.
- Kyle Beckerman returns to the team for his first international action of 2015 since playing against Ireland on Nov. 18, 2014 in Dublin. He played a role in the USA’s World Cup run in 2014, starting in all three of the group stage matches.
- Juan Agudelo’s last appearance with the U.S. MNT came when he was subbed on in the second-half of the game against Ukraine on March 5, 2014.
- Six players are alumni of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy: Bill Hamid (D.C. United Academy), DeAndre Yedlin (Crossfire Premier & Seattle Sounders Academy), Corona (Nomads SC), Agudelo (New York Red Bulls Academy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy) and Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy Academy).
- Michael Bradley is the leading cap-winner from this group having played 95 international matches.
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
Date of Birth
Feb 11, 1987
Overland Park, Kan.
Sporting Kansas City