The U.S. men’s national team may have a new coach in Bruce Arena, but the 32-man roster for the team’s annual January camp will feature a lot of familiar faces. Two San Jose Earthquakes players that saw call-ups under former coach Jurgen Klinsmann — forward Chris Wondolowski and goalkeeper David Bingham — will join an all-MLS cast in Carson, CA for the camp that begins on January 10 and ends with a friendly against CONCACAF rivals Jamaica on February 3. The Quakes’ MLS regular season opener is a month later on March 4.
Wondolowski, who has made 35 appearances for the USA since his first call-up in 2011, has scored 11 goals for the national team, most recently last October against Cuba in a 2-0 victory in Havana. Wondo finished the 2016 MLS season with 12 goals — the seventh straight season he has notched double-digit goals — and has been a fixture in Klinsmann’s rosters over the past five years.
Bingham earned his first national team invitation a year ago, joining the squad as part of last January’s camp. He earned his first cap at the conclusion of that gathering, posting a clean-sheet 1-0 victory over Canada on February 5. In the two years he has featured as the starting goalkeeper for the Earthquakes, Bingham has appeared in every one of the team’s 68 MLS games. He was recently named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year by Soccer America.
At age 33, it would seem that Wondolowski’s best years are behind him, but Arena definitely sees the Quakes talisman forward in much the same way predecessor Klinsmann did — a driving force on the practice field and in the locker room. With Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey still out, Wondolowski will assume the role as veteran forward on the 32-man squad.
The 27-year-old Bingham represents the future for the U.S. national team, and with Arena in charge, he will want to impress the new boss this January. The USMNT has a pair of 2018 World Cup qualifying matches on the horizon, and with regular starter Tim Howard still out injured, Bingham is in the perfect position to make his case for inclusion on the roster. The Quakes’ keeper will be competing with Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), and Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) for Arena’s good graces.
“With games at the end of the month and the World Cup Qualifiers in March, this is going to be a critical time for us,” Arena said in a statement. “It’s important that we come in and quickly establish an understanding of what we are about and how we go about building our team. As for the players, we are coming into this with an open mind, so it’s a huge opportunity for them.”
In addition to the USA match against Jamaica in Tennessee to end the camp, the team will face Serbia on January 29 in San Diego. The next World Cup qualifier is on March 24 against Honduras, reportedly at the Earthquakes home Avaya Stadium. The team then travels to Panama on March 28 for the fourth game of CONCACAF’s final round of qualification. After two games, the USA sits in last place in the “Hex” following losses to Mexico and Costa Rica.
The Earthquakes welcome players back for preseason training on January 23, and the season begins six weeks later when San Jose hosts the Montreal Impact in the 2017 MLS regular season opener.
Complete 32-man U.S. Men’s National Team January Camp Roster
Goalkeepers (5): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls).
Defenders (10): DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached),Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Taylor Kemp (D.C. United), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Midfielders (12): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas),Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC).
Forwards (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy).