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Photo Gallery: MNT Trains in Chile

Photos from the U.S. MNT's first training session in Chile ahead of its first international friendly of 2015 against Chile at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

Klinsmann Names 23-Player U.S. MNT Roster for Friendlies against Chile and Panama

CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named a 23-player roster for the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Panama, including nine players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster.

The group will travel to Santiago on Saturday morning in advance of the USA’s opening match of 2015 when it takes on Chile on Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Rancagua. Kickoff at Estadio El Teniente is set for 6 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and the Univision Deportes Network.

“These guys have put in a lot of work these past two weeks of training for what is essentially their preseason, and now it’s time to focus on getting a result against a difficult opponent in Chile,” said Klinsmann. “We know it’s going to be a challenging situation, but these are the types of opportunities we need to keep growing.”

The camp that began on Jan. 12 at the National Training Center in Carson, California, included 28 players. Jozy Altidore and Matt Hedges were brought into the group, while Brad Evans was forced to depart with tendinitis in his left knee. Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin will meet the team in Chile.

Meanwhile, six players have been released back to their clubs: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dennis Flores (Club Leon) Julio Morales (Tepic) and Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy), and Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi will remain in the area and rejoin the group when it returns to Los Angeles.

“This was a really important experience for these U-23 players,” Klinsmann said. “They got a great introduction into the senior National Team program, and had the opportunity to work with Andi Herzog and our staff as we build toward Olympic qualifying in the fall. They put in a tremendous amount of work and we learned a lot about them. We appreciate the effort and will continue to monitor them in their club situations.”

The camp culminates with a friendly against the Panama on Sunday, Feb. 8, in Carson. Kickoff at StubHub Center is set for 1 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow U.S. MNT matches live on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

Fans can purchase tickets through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT).

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

ROSTER NOTES

  • Nine players on the camp were members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster that traveled to Brazil and helped the USA advance out of the “Group of Death”: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Jermaine Jones, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin
  • Dempsey, Besler, Bradley and Jones were the only four who started in all four matches for the USA during the World Cup.
  • Dempsey became the first U.S. player to score in three World Cups after scoring seconds into the USA’s opening game against Ghana on June 16. Dempsey’s goal is the fifth-fastest in World Cup history.
  • Jones scored his first World Cup goal and fourth with the U.S. MNT against Portugal on June 22, an equalizer in the 64th minute from well outside the box after he picked up a loose ball from a U.S. corner kick.
  • Fourteen different Major League Soccer teams are represented on the roster, with no team having more than two members each.
  • After Dempsey (110 caps/39 goals), Bradley is the most experienced member of the camp with 91 career caps and 12 goals. Conversely, eight players will be looking to earn their first cap for the senior team.
  • Rimando, who is participating in his seventh January camp, has 16 caps in his career and boasts a 10-0-2 record with four shutouts.
  • Gyasi Zardes is making his first camp appearance for the USA.
  • After a terrific 2014 MLS season, midfielder Lee Nguyen was named to the MLS Best XI and was a finalist for the MLS MVP award. He returned to the U.S. MNT on Nov. 14, 2014, during a friendly against Colombia at Craven Cottage in London when he replaced Diskerud in the 78th minute. It marked his first appearance since 2007 and his fourth cap overall.
  • The camp marks the third-straight January camp call-up for Besler and second-straight for Luis Gil and Shane O’Neill.
  • Miguel Ibarra, who earned his first caps for the U.S. team in 2014, is the reigning MVP of the North American Soccer League.
  • Gil, O’Neill, Wil Trapp and Yedlin were all part of the roster that traveled to Turkey to represent the USA in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U-20 MNT was unable to advance out of the group stage, but it did play eventual tournament champion France to a 1-1 draw. During the tournament in Turkey, Gil scored against Spain and O’Neill against Ghana. Gil, Trapp and Yedlin started all three matches of the tournament while O’Neill started the final two.
  • Gil, Jon Kempin, O’Neill, Dillon Serna, Sorto, Trapp, Bobby Wood and Yedlin would all be age-eligible to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.
  • Nine players have ties to the Development Academy: Steve Birnbaum (Pateadores), Gil (Pateadores), Kempin (Sporting KC), O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Serna (Colorado Rapids), Trapp (Crew Soccer Academy), Wood (Strikers FC), Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC) and Zardes (LA Galaxy).

Hollywood Treatment: MNT at Staples Center for LeBron vs. Kobe

Courtside at the Staples Center for a Los Angeles Lakers game is always a heavyweight affair. With LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in town, Thursday night’s nationally televised Cavs-Lakers matchup was no exception. Hollywood’s “A-listers” showed up in spades – including sideline spottings of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jack Nicholson and Rihanna (appearing on the Jumbotron with a mega-sized tub of popcorn) – all eager to enjoy the show.

With coach Jurgen Klinsmann scheduling an afternoon off for the players, the U.S. MNT got the red-carpet treatment with everything from valet parking outside of the Staples Center’s back entrance to a luxury suite to host the players.

The MNT might have been split as far as allegiance to one of the pair of high-profile U.S. MNT supporters – LeBron James or Kobe Bryant – with birthday boy Wil Trapp clearly loyal to Ohio, while lifelong purple-and-gold fan Nick Rimando proudly displayed a gifted Lakers bandana around his neck.

In the final minutes, Bryant did his best to bring the Lakers within striking distance before King James drove to the hoop with 20 seconds left to deliver the knockout blow.

Regardless, a fleeting departure from the hard work of January Camp provided the U.S. MNT players the perfect chance to sit back, relax, see two all-time greats do battle, and at least in this case, watch LeBron James hold on to his throne.

Photo Gallery: Training Camp Picks Up for MNT

Photos from the U.S. MNT's midweek training session at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. The team's month-long camp that includes a Jan. 28 match against fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup side Chile in Rancagua, followed by the USA’s first home international friendly of the year against Panama on Feb. 8 in Carson (TICKETS).

MNT January Camp: Next Starts Now

Like many in Prairie Village, Kansas, Matt Besler’s day began with a 6 a.m. wake up call.  Welcomed by the harsh realization of 14-degree temperatures, and with the generous help of his wife, Amanda, he ventured outside to scrape the inch-thick ice off of his windshield and begin his ride to work.  That’s where the similarities with his neighbors end.

Fourteen hours later, Besler’s work-day finished up with him on the lush green fields beneath the palm trees in Carson, California – the culmination of a spirited first U.S. MNT training session at StubHub Center.

Joining Besler on his flight to LAX was fellow Overland Park, Kansas, native, and Sporting Kansas City teammate 21-year-old goalkeeper Jon Kempin.  With first-team minutes under his belt for Sporting, yet embarking on his first senior National Team call-up, the talented Kempin didn’t need to look far for advice from his World Cup veteran teammate.

“At the airport we were just talking about camp and what we were going to do, and he was giving me the rundown,” said Kempin. “It helped ease some pressure off of me and made me feel comfortable.”

Another pair flying west to warmer climates was Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, alongside teammate and midfielder Luis Gil. Rimando has seen first-hand the evolution of the young playmaker, already a key cog in the Real Salt Lake midfield.

“I was with Luis when he first came to the team, and he was just this little, very humble kid,” said the 2014 FIFA World Cup vet. “I’ve seen him grow playing soccer, and obviously he’s matured just body-wise, and playing-wise getting a lot of minutes has helped his confidence.”

For emerging players such as Kempin and Gil, camp insights are available everywhere – from the airport, to the team hotel, and of course on the training ground.

“Coming into this camp I know we have a lot of young guys for the U-23s and we’re trying to build on that,” Gil said. “So having guys like Nick around, he’s been there and done that. He’s been to the World Cup and he’s a great leader."

Under-20s: Heading into the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Gil has two goals and an assist in five games. Both goals came during the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. He tallied a penalty kick during the USA's opening 2-1 win against Haiti on feb. 18, 2013, adn scored the first goal of the tea's 4-2 victory against Canada on Feb. 26 in the all-important quarterfinals to clinch a spot in the U-20 World Cup. Gil was named to the 2013 CONCACAF Championship All-Tournament Team. In 2012, Gil tallied a goal and an assist in three games with two starts. He became part of the U-20 picture in 2011, scoring a goal in two matches. Earlier in 2013, Gil played the full 90 minutes in a match against Panama. He debuted with the U-20s on Jan. 22, 2010, with a 90-minute effort in the first game of the Copa Chivas tournament against Pachuca in Guadalajara, scoring the USA’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss … Under-18s: In 2010, Gil played for the U-18s at the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal from May 21-31 and captained the team during a May 27 loss to Norway. Also at the tournament, Gil set up the game’s lone goal during a 1-0 win against Romania on May 28 … Under-17s: Gil scored five goals in 32 appearances for the U.S. U-17 MNT after joining the Residency Program for the spring of 2008. In 2009, Gil tallied four goals and an assist in 18 games and was named U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Athlete of the Year. Gil had an assist and played in the USA’s four games at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria and was the youngest member of the U.S. squad at the tournament. His four goals ranked second-best on the U-17 MNT in 2009. During the group stage, Gil played the full 90 minutes in wins against Malawi and United Arab Emirates and a 2-1 loss to Spain, and his performance in Nigeria garnered attention from European clubs such as Arsenal and Real Madrid.

Gil is in the midst of his fourth season with Major League Soccer's real Salt Lake in 2013. Before joining the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team, Gil had logged 13 starts and 14 games, 1,016 minutes, two goals and an assist. In 2012, his third season with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, Gil set career highs in games started (19), games played (19) and assists (3) while also contributed a goal. In 2011, Gil started in 14 of his 25 regular-season games and scored two goals. He made his RSL debut on March 26, 2011, against the LA Galaxy as a second half sub during a 4-1 win. Though Gil did not play in a regular-season match for RSL in 2010, he did play in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match and in CONCACAF Champions League action. Salt Lake acquired Gil from the Kansas City Wizards in February of 2010.

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