Two MLS stars and a Liga MX player are the only non-Europe based players in the squad set to face Ukraine in Cyprus.True to his word, USA national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann called in a roster composed mostly of players who play in Europe for a March 5 friendly against Ukraine.
Clint Dempsey, of the Seattle Sounders, new Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and Club Tijuana's Edgar Castillo are the only players based outside Europe to be named to the roster.
“Having Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey in for Ukraine is very important to us," Klinsmann told the federation's official site. "Clint has played these two months at Fulham and Michael is coming off preseason camp with Toronto, so for us it’s very important to see both back in the team and putting their stamp on the game.”
The team will begin gathering in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday and head to Larnaca, Cyprus, where the match was moved after political uprisings in Ukraine caused the U.S. federation to request a change of location.
“Finding a solution and moving the game outside the country and playing in Cyprus is helpful for both of us,” Klinsmann said in a news release. “It’s definitely a very good ‘Plan B,’ and we very much appreciate it and say thank you to the Ukraine Federation and the Cyprus Federation."
Reading midfielder Danny Williams is in camp for the first time in more than a year while Brek Shea, currently on loan from Stoke City at Barnsley, is making his first apperance since the 2013 Gold Cup, as is Oguchi Onyewu. Birmingham City's Will Packwood is joining the senior setup for the first time.
Julian Green, a German-American who plays in Bayern Munich's youth team, will join the U.S. for the training in Frankfurt.
"We are thrilled Julian accepted our invitation and comes into these two days in Frankfurt. We want to show him how things work with the United States team and with our environment," Klinsmann said. We want him to meet the players, to meet the staff, obviously to meet us coaches, and we want him to feel comfortable in our environment.
"With a lot of players who come through the ranks with dual citizenship, it’s going to be very difficult for those kids to choose which country they want to play for if they have this enormous talent to play at the highest level possible."
Two of those dual nationals, John Anthony Brooks and Fabian Johnson, have recently recovered from injury and are seeing time again with their Bundesliga clubs. Another, Norwegian-American Mix Diskerud, saw Klinsmann and staff recently. Diskerud was the only player on the roster to particpate in the 2-0 friendly win against Korea that capped the USA's January camp.
The full roster is below:
Goalkeepers: Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
Defenders: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)