“Every time someone is missing because of an injury, it’s a huge opportunity for the next one to come in and get that shot,” Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer’s official site. “If an Edgar Castillo can’t come, then suddenly Eric Lichaj has an opportunity to show where he’s at. He hasn’t been with us since I took over two-and-a-half years ago. We love these kinds of situations because it gives a special kind of energy to the group because it’s full of guys that want to prove something.”
Lichaj, the Nottingham Forest fullback, was called by Klinsmann for the first time as the Americans prepare for friendlies against Scotland and Austria. But he isn’t the only player who will be hoping to impress Klinsmann.
After Jozy Altidore, and depending on the classification of Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, there are opportunities for forwards to break into the team. Two young forwards playing in Europe, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd, are on the roster and eager to perform in the Stars and Stripes. They too contribute to a deeper roster, according to Klinsmann.
“If you look at players like Aron and Terrence, like Mix Diskerud for example, you can see that they become more consistent professionals,” he said. “You can see that they are week-in, week-out challenged. Not everything goes perfect. Terrence Boyd sits on the bench, he gets a lesson and then he’s back and he scores.
“Overall, you see over time then that they start to produce, they start to deliver, they start to make an impression and become more confident. That’s why it’s so important to never lose track with players.”
Fans may wonder if Klinsmann has lost track of Timmy Chandler. The Nurnberg fullback hasn’t been with the national team since a 2-1 loss to Honduras in February. After positive performances the past several months in the Bundesliga, the November friendlies seemed to offer a prime time for a return, but the German-American remains on the outside looking in with 2014 approaching.