Geoff Cameron, Houston Dynamo, One Cap
AJ DeLaGarza, Los Angeles Galaxy, Uncapped
Zach Loyd, FC Dallas, One Cap
Jeff Parke, Seattle Sounders, Uncapped
Michael Parkhurst, FC Nordsjaelland (Denmark), Nine Caps
Heath Pearce, Chivas USA, 33 Caps
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire, One Cap
Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake, Five Caps
Bill Hamid, DC United, Uncapped
Clearly Klinsmann is using these friendlies to scout out some of what the MLS has to offer in terms of defense. A lot of these defenders have been on the cusp of National Team call-ups for a few years now and have finally been given the shot to prove their national team worth.
While it would have been fun to see Omar Gonzalez and George John out there (Both were permitted to pursue club matters instead of attend camp), this defense still has some interesting characters.
As for Goalkeeper, the lack of Tim Howard and Brad Guzan mean that young stoppers Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid may get the chance to earn the start. While Rimando is bound to be in front of goal for at least one game, I expect at least one of these keepers to get a cap this January.
Here is how I see the back five looking on Saturday night:
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando- With such a young and inexperienced defense, Klinsmann is going to need all the leadership he can get and Rimando is the best keeper in that department. Don't be surprised however if Hamid or Johnson get a tryout against Panama.
Left Back: Heath Pearce: The second most capped player on the January roster and an absolute lock at Left Back for the Yanks against Venezuela. Klinsmann has to have his leadership and experience on the field.
Center Back: Geoff Cameron: Jurgen Klinsmann has proven that he does have a soft spot for great distributing defenders like Tim Ream since he took over. Cameron is a stronger, more disciplined Ream and will fill this role beautifully.
Center Back: Zach Loyd: Loyd’s first USMNT cap was against Chile last January when he won Man of the Match honors. Considering the other defending options Klinsmann has, he will have the opportunity to keep that streak going.
Right Back: AJ DeLaGarza: The obvious choice at Right Back is the Los Angeles Galaxy star defender. He has the speed to push up the flanks like Timothy Chandler, but is also very disciplined in the defending third. He will get the nod.