CHICAGO (March 22, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will bring 23 players to Europe for important friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland in preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The U.S. faces Denmark on March 25 in Aarhus in the first meeting between the teams since 2009 (3 p.m. ET - ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas, UDN). Six days later, the USA meets Switzerland – one of the eight seeded teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup – on March 31 in Zurich (Fox Sports 1, UniMas, UDN).
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The matches fall on FIFA fixture dates and come in conjunction with camps for the U-23 Men’s National Team, which will play Bosnia-Herzegovina and Denmark in preparation matches for Olympic qualifying, and the U-20 Men’s National Team that is getting ready for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer in New Zealand.
Denmark sits atop Group I in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship. The teams last met in the same town six years ago, with the Danes collecting a 3-1 victory.
Currently ranked No. 12 in the world, Switzerland boasts 13 players with experience in the current Champions League season. The last match between the U.S. and Switzerland occurred on Oct. 17, 2007 with the USA running out 1-0 winners in Basel.
“This is a really exciting time for our National Teams, because it’s not only our games with the senior team, it’s also the U-23s now playing two friendlies and the U-20s playing a friendly with England,” said Klinsmann. “From a senior team perspective, we have a very competitive roster. It’s a great opportunity to look at our many players based in Europe and Mexico while the MLS players are still getting into a rhythm. We are here to challenge ourselves against two strong opponents, and at the end of the day we also want to get results.”
The roster is heavy on U.S. players based in Europe in Mexico with a total of 16 players on the roster plying their trade outside the United States. Six players, including team captain Clint Dempsey, hail from MLS, while Miguel Ibarra represents the NASL. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan has been left off the roster while he and his wife await the birth of their first child.
Two players based in Mexico – defender Ventura Alvarado from Club America and goalkeeper William Yarbrough from Club Leon – are making their first appearance in a U.S. National Team camp. Meantime, AZ Alkmaar forward Aron Johannsson returns for the first time since the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Reading midfielder Danny Williams is back after more than a year.
- A total of 11 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,” including three goalscorers.
- Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley were the only two players who started in all four matches for the USA during the World Cup.
- Dempsey is the leading capwinner on the roster with 112 appearances. Bradley is next in line to reach the century mark, having played 93 games.
- Bradley’s first career goal proved the game-winner in the 1-0 win against Switzerland on Oct.17, 2007, in Basel.
- Seven countries and nine leagues are represented on the roster: Canada, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, and the United States
- Jozy Altidore, Bradley, Dempsey and Brek Shea are the goalscorers for the U.S. in 2015. Dempsey has three goals from the first two matches of the MLS season, while Altidore netted a pair in his first match for Toronto FC.
- Rimando boasts an impressive 10-1-2 career record with four shutouts.
- Greg Garza started the last five games of 2014 following the World Cup. The Club Tijuana left back has been a part of every level of National Team programming, beginning with the U-14s.
- Aron Johannsson has the chance to make his first appearance since replacing Jozy Altidore in the first half of the USA’s 2-1 win against Ghana in their opening match of the World Cup in Brazil. He has been hampered by injuries since then and is fighting his way back into the lineup at AZ.
- Miguel Ibarra, who earned his first caps for the U.S. team in 2014, is the reigning MVP of the NASL.
- Danny Williams also has the opportunity to get his first action since March 5, 2014, when he started against Ukraine in Cyprus.
- Rubio Rubin is the only age-eligible player on the roster for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The F.C. Utrecht forward, who scored on the weekend, earned his first senior team cap and start on Nov. 11, 2014, against then No. 3-ranked Colombia.
- William Yarbrough, 26, was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents. He has marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles.