CHICAGO (Jan. 6, 2016) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 23 players to Carson, California, for the first training camp of 2016, with the possibility of additions as the week progresses.
The camp, which runs from Jan. 11-Feb. 6 and contains a mix of Senior Team members and a host of players age-eligible for the U-23 MNT, will culminate with friendlies against Iceland on Jan. 31 and Canada on Feb. 5. Both matches will be played at StubHub Center in Carson [TICKETS].
“We start out our year with a January camp where we give the opportunity to the next wave of players to come in and make an impression and see if they are ready to step it up into international level, if they are ready to understand what it takes to become a National Team player,” said Klinsmann. “This camp will be a little bit different because we’re going to mix it almost half-and-half with senior players that are already National Team players or some that are older and maybe get the chance to play their first cap, and a lot of the Under-23 players that hopefully qualify us for Rio de Janeiro. This will be more of an identification camp and a development camp. We want to give those players a head start into their very busy year 2016, but we also want to make it clear to them that it’s a huge opportunity that you have to understand what it takes to step it up and to become an international-level player.”
The youthful roster – with an average age of around 24 years old – is anchored by five veterans from the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster, led by U.S. captain and 2015 U.S .Soccer Male Player of the Year Michael Bradley. He is joined by Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Mix Diskerud and Jermaine Jones. At the other end of the spectrum, it features many fresh faces with 11 players who are age-eligible for the U-23 Men’s team that will compete in an Olympic-qualifying play-in against Colombia this March. Among the Olympic hopefuls is Matt Miazga, the 2015 U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year.
As usual, the January camp roster is loaded with MLS players, with a total of 20 players plying their trade in the domestic league. Among the players looking to gain international experience are several players recognized with end-of-season awards, including two members of the MLS Best XI in midfielder Ethan Finlay and goalkeeper Luis Robles, who also collected Goalkeeper of the Year honors. D.C. United netminder Bill Hamid was a finalist for that award, while San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Fatai Alashe and Chicago Fire midfielder Matt Polster were in the running for Rookie of the Year. Will Trapp, who captained the U-23 MNT in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, was a finalist for the Comeback Player of the Year award.
U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Marc Pelosi (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (Unattached), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
- A total of 13 players enter camp having previously been capped. After Michael Bradley (109 caps/15 goals), Jozy Altidore is the most experienced member of the camp with 89 appearances and 31 goals. Conversely, 10 players will be looking to earn their first cap for the Senior Team.
- Following his MNT debut at last year’s January camp, Gyasi Zardes earned 19 appearances in 2015, tying Claudio Reyna in 1994 for most caps by a U.S. player in their debut year with the National Team.
- Jordan Morris will hope to build off a highly successful campaign in 2015. Having scored his first international goal in the MNT’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15, Morris capped the year by leading Stanford University to the 2015 NCAA College Cup. A finalist for the MAC Hermann Award, Morris will go on a training stint with German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen prior to joining camp.
- Jermaine Jones enters camp as the oldest player on the roster at age 34, while two players - defenders Kellyn Acosta and Matt Miazga – are just 20 years old.
- 17 of the 24 players on the camp roster were born in the 1990s, including four in 1990, one in 1991, seven in 1993, two in 1994 and three in 1995.
- Miazga and Darlington Nagbe both made their U.S. MNT debuts on November 13, 2015 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
- A total of 20 of the 23 players on the camp roster represent 14 different Major League Soccer teams, including three from Columbus Crew SC.
- Columbus midfielder Ethan Finlay and New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles were both named to the 2015 MLS Best XI. Robles was also named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
- Fatai Alashe, Jerome Kiesewetter, Miazga, Morris, Marc Pelosi, Matt Polster and Wil Trapp were all members of the Under-23 Men’s National Team that recently placed third in CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying. Kiesewetter and Morris tied for the team lead with six goals each in 2015.
- A total of 11 players are age-eligible to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio: Acosta, Alashe, Kiesewetter, Miazga, Eric Miller, Morris, Tim Parker, Pelosi, Polster, Kiry Shelton and Trapp.
- Twelve players have ties to the Development Academy: Acosta, Alashe, Bill Hamid, Miazga, Miller, Morris, Nagbe, Parker, Pelosi, Shelton, Trapp and Zardes.
- Eight players were also in attendance at last year’s January camp: Matt Besler, Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Jones, Lee Nguyen, Pelosi, Trapp and Zardes.