With an eye toward challenging the current first team players on the U.S. Men’s National Team, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a Major League Soccer heavy 25 man roster on Sunday ahead of Monday’s training camp. Included among the 21 players from MLS are three representatives from the 2012 Supporters’ Shield winning San Jose Earthquakes: forward Chris Wondolowski and defenders Steven Beitashour and Justin Morrow.
The trio of Quakes will make their way to Carson, CA starting today and meet up with the other players invited to the camp. Following three weeks of training, the team will play Canada in a friendly at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium on January 29.
A week later, the USMNT faces Honduras in their first game in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The roster for that match on February 6 is presumed to consist primarily of players currently in season in Europe and Mexico, but Klinsmann did hint that of the January camp participants he could envision, “six, seven, eight guys out of this group making it to the Honduras game.”
Of the Earthquakes invited to camp, only Wondolowski has featured for the national team before. Both Beitashour and Morrow will be looking to earn their first cap for the U.S., with both targeting the friendly against Canada as a chance to make their mark. Looking ahead to the Honduras game roster, the odds are long for all three Earthquakes players. Having a three week audition in front of the USMNT coaching staff may be the best opportunity they will have to show they are ready to help the team reach the World Cup.
Wondolowski, Beitashour, and Morrow are all coming off career seasons for San Jose. The trio was among the MLS Starting XI for the mid-summer All-Star match against European Champions Chelsea and constituted half of the USMNT eligible players starting the game. Wondolowski, the 2012 MLS Golden Boot winner, scored the opening goal in MLS’s 3-2 win over Chelsea.
With the Earthquakes opening preseason training camp on January 21, the three USMNT camp participants will miss at least the opening week of the team’s preparation for the 2013 regular season. Each of the three is expected to return to San Jose when their obligation to the national team is completed. San Jose opens the 2013 MLS season against Real Salt Lake on March 3 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
U.S. JANUARY CAMP ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (9): Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)