USA Soccer: A Look at the Squad That Will Face Venezuela and Panama

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IJanuary 3, 2012

USA Soccer: A Look at the Squad That Will Face Venezuela and Panama

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    Today, the United States national team will report for its training camp before facing both Venezuela and Panama for friendlies later on in January.

    Most of the players that are in this training camp play in MLS and have very little national team experience.

    Even though some of these players will probably never become full-time starters for the national team, some of the players that are on this squad will be joining the Yanks within the next several years.

    Here is a look at all 20 players on the roster.

    Note: Both George John and Omar Gonzalez were originally part of the roster, but both withdrew due to club issues. Gonzalez has since gone on loan to FC Nuremberg, where he tore a knee ligament in a challenge with fellow American international Timmy Chandler.

Bill Hamid

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    Club: DC United

    He is one of the top rising young goalkeepers in MLS and Bill Hamid once again has earned a call-up to the national team for these upcoming friendlies.

    Hamid has been called up five times for the national team, most notably in the American's last two friendlies against France and Slovenia.

    This winter, Hamid trained with Premier League side West Bromwich Albion for ten days.

    Hamid has yet to earn a cap with the national team, but he could certainly get an appearance in either of these friendlies.

Sean Johnson

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    Club: Chicago Fire

    After an impressive 2011, Sean Johnson has another chance to play for the Americans after coming in as a substitute against Chile during a friendly last year.

    Johnson has impressed with the Chicago Fire during his first full season in 2011, and was able to train with Everton in December.

    Johnson is also eligible to play for Jamaica because both of his parents are from there. Since he has yet to have an appearance in a FIFA or CONCACAF competition, he could still play there.

Nick Rimando

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    Club: Real Salt Lake

    One of the top goalkeepers in MLS, Nick Rimando is the third and final goalkeeper that has been called into the national team's camp for January's camp.

    Rimando has been very efficient in goal for Real Salt Lake throughout the last several years, and has normally earned call ups for these MLS heavy camps that happen every year.

    Considering how strong of a keeper he is, don't be surprised if he starts at least one of these friendlies. 

Geoff Cameron

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    Club: Houston Dynamo

    A key component of the Dynamo side that reached the MLS Cup final in 2011, Geoff Cameron has earned his first call-up for the United States in nearly two years.

    Cameron scored five times and added five assists last year for the Dynamo and was also named to the MLS All-Star roster against Manchester United.

A.J. DeLaGarza

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    Club: Los Angeles Galaxy

    One of the best young defenders in MLS, A.J. DeLaGarza logged in over 3,000 minutes for the Galaxy last year and has now earned his first call-up to the national team.

    DeLaGarza was a rock in the defense last year for the Galaxy, starting 34 matches and earning only three yellow cards in the process. Due in part to his great play, the Galaxy were able to win the MLS Cup.

    With an uncertain future in the back for the national team, don't be surprised if this is the first of many times that we see the Maryland native playing for the Yanks.

Brad Evans

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    Club: Seattle Sounders

    He was a part of the national team back at the 2009 Gold Cup and Brad Evans has since earned another call-up to the national team thanks to the the departure of both Omar Gonzalez and George John.

    Evans has played for the Seattle Sounders for the past three years after helping the Columbus Crew win their only MLS Cup back in 2008.

    Evans has continued to be a very important part of the Sounders throughout his three years in Seattle, and will look to have a strong impact in his first call-up in two and a half years.

Zach Loyd

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    Club: FC Dallas

    Another up-and-coming defender, Zach Loyd has been impressive in his two years in MLS and has earned his second call-up to the national team after a fantastic performance against Chile last January.

    Loyd played in 31 matches last year, registering over 2,500 minutes for FC Dallas and was also an extremely versatile player.

    Last January, Loyd put in a man of the match performance against Chile in his first appearance with the national team while starting at left-back. Loyd will probably start again during this January's friendlies.

Jeff Parke

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    Club: Seattle Sounders

    A member of the Sounders during the last two years, Jeff Parke was a huge part of the Sounders squad last year. Parke played over 2,500 minutes and was one of the best defenders on the club.

    This is Parke's first appearance on the national team, and at the age of 29, he is the oldest outfield player in this training camp.

Michael Parkhurst

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    Club: FC Nordsjaelland

    Once one of the top young players within the national team ranks and in MLS, Michael Parkhurst has moved to Denmark, where he has practically fallen off the map for the national team.

    It's not to say that Parkhurst still is not playing at a strong level. He has helped Nordsjaelland succeed in the Danish Cup and has them in second place in their league.

    Parkhurst's recall to the national team could rekindle interest in the Rhode Island native, but he will need a fantastic performance in order to do so.

Heath Pearce

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    Club: Chivas USA

    Heath Pearce was once a player that played in nearly every match for the U.S. national team due in large part to the Yanks' problem at left-back. Even after playing a huge role in World Cup qualifying, Pearce did not make the World Cup squad in 2010.

    Pearce has played in MLS over the last several years, which has given him a much more secure club position after bouncing around in Europe for several years. 

    Considering how weak the Americans can still be in defense, and with Jonathan Bornstein probably no longer in the mix for the Americans due to Bob Bradley's departure, this could mean a new beginning for Pearce at the international level.

    However, Pearce will certainly need to put in an impressive performance at this training camp in order to do so.

Kyle Beckerman

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    Club: Real Salt Lake

    One of the most recognizable faces in MLS, Kyle Beckerman has already appeared in six matches under Klinsmann and will get even more playing time during these two upcoming friendlies.

    Beckerman has been impressive in the midfield since Klinmann has taken over, and it appears that he could have a future in World Cup qualifying with the national team based off of some of his stronger performances.

    Already this winter, Beckerman was able to train with Bundesliga side Kaiserslaughten, which will only help out the RSL player in the future.

    With Real Salt Lake, Beckerman was able to register nine assists, the most he has ever had in any season in MLS. Furthermore, Beckerman logged over 2,700 minutes with RSL, the most he has had in any year since 2008.

Ricardo Clark

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    Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

    He is the only player in Germany who has been recalled to the national team for winter training camp, and Ricardo Clark will look to impress Jurgen Klinsmann like he was able to impress former coach Bob Bradley.

    Clark has one previous experience with Klinsmann, which was last August against Mexico where he was only given six minutes to prove himself.

    Clark will look to improve on some subpar performances with the national team in this call-up. The main question: Will he be able to play well in his call-up or will he commit some sort of major error?

Benny Feilhaber

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    Club: New England Revolution

    He is one of the best offensive midfielders that the American's have, and Benny Feilhaber will look to make a favorable impression on Jurgen Klinsmann in this training camp after not playing on the national team since 2010.

    Feilhaber moved to the Revolution from Denmark last year, and helped to bring some offensive flair to one of MLS' least offensive sides. Feilhaber played a helping hand in 28 percent of New England's goals last year despite playing in 23 matches and battling nagging injuries all year.

    In this training camp and friendlies, expect Feilhaber to make a favorable impression. He will probably provide some much needed help to a national team that has lacked a scoring punch under Klinsmann in World Cup qualification.

Jeff Larentowicz

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    Club: Colorado Rapids

    This is his second call-up to the national team under Jurgen Klinsmann, and Jeff Larentowicz will look to again impress Klinsmann in this training camp.

    Larentowicz trained with Bolton Wanderers in December, one of six players on the American roster to train with a European club this winter.

    If all goes well this January, Larentowicz could find himself playing with the national team during World Cup qualifiers. It looks like Klinsmann has taken a liking to Larentowicz and a strong performance certainly will not hurt him.

Brek Shea

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    Club: FC Dallas

    Since Klinsmann has taken control of the national team, Brek Shea has found himself with plenty of playing time after making only two appearances under Bob Bradley.

    Shea has continuously shone under Klinsmann and has been constantly linked to many clubs in Europe over the past several years, even though he is going to stay at Dallas for at least another year. Shea was able to train with Arsenal during this winter, which should only further help his development.

    In MLS, Shea raked in over 2,700 minutes and scored 11 times to help make Dallas into one of the best sides in the league during the regular season.

    Shea will have numerous chances to shine in these two upcoming friendlies and will certainly be a major part of Klinsmann's plans over the next few years.

Graham Zusi

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    Club: Sporting Kansas City

    He is one of the most dangerous long range shooters in MLS and after a fantastic year with Sporting Kansas City, Graham Zusi has earned his first call-up to the national team.

    Last season, Zusi played nearly 2,500 minutes and tallied five goals and seven assists. Zusi was fantastic with his crosses and helped Sporting to have one of the most dynamic offenses in all of MLS.

    Without any normal starters on the wings for these friendlies, Zusi will have his chance to impress Klinsmann. If he succeeds, he could be a contributor for the Americans during World Cup qualifying.

Juan Agudelo

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    Club: New York Red Bulls

    Juan Agudelo busted onto the scene with his goal against Argentina in a friendly last year and the teenage sensation will look to become a full-time starter with the national team with strong performances in these friendlies.

    This winter, Agudelo trained with both Stuttgart and Liverpool and has only improved his game from his experience in Europe.

    Agudelo has not been able to become a full-time starter yet with the Red Bulls due to the presence of Thierry Henry and Luke Rogers on the roster, but will hope his experience will allow him to become a starter.

    Agudelo will already have a role in World Cup qualifying. The question that remains is how large that role will be.

Teal Bunbury

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    Club: Sporting Kansas City

    Teal Bunbury is one of the highest ranked young strikers in MLS and had a fantastic season for Sporting Kansas City, nearly getting them into the MLS Cup final.

    Bunbury registered over 1,700 minutes in 2011 and his offensive impact for Kansas City was tremendous. However, his future with the national team is confusing.

    Bunbury has already played (and scored for the national team), yet he didn't have an appearance with the national team in nearly a year. Bunbury can also play for Canada because he has not appeared in a World Cup qualifier or the Gold Cup.

    If Bunbury is able to impress, he should get a call-up to the national team for World Cup qualifying. The pool for strikers on the national team is still suspect, and Bunbury could thrive on top for the Yanks.

C.J. Sapong

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    Club: Sporting Kansas City

    Last year's MLS Rookie of the Year, C.J. Sapong has earned his first call-up to the national team for this winter training camp.

    Sapong proved himself to be a strong offensive weapon throughout the year with Sporting Kansas City, tallying six goals and five assists in over 2,300 minutes. Sapong's teammate Teal Bunbury worked well with Sapong, and both are now on the national team for these friendlies.

    Considering how weak the striking core can be, Sapong will have more chances to play with the national team after these friendlies. The question that remains is whether he will impress enough to become a permanent member of the national team.

Chris Wondolowski

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    Club: San Jose Earthquakes

    He has been one of the top strikers in MLS over the last several years, and after a disappointing performance in the Gold Cup, Chris Wondolowski will look to redeem himself in this training camp.

    Wondolowski scored 16 more goals last year for San Jose, a year after he broke out with 18 goals. Wondolowski also took the most shots on goal in MLS (52) and nearly doubled his career assist total with three (he had four going into last season).

    A strong performance will help Wondolowski's long term prospects. However, he will probably not have a large impact in World Cup qualifying.

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