Philly Sports Live

Klinsmann Names 24 to First Hex Roster

Canada v United States

US Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann today named 23 of the top US eligible players and Brad Evans to the roster for the Americans’ first Hex match, Wednesday in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The team will gather in Miami before making the trip.  With almost no camp time prior to the match, the roster is heavy on veteran presence, as well as player seeing steady playing time with their club team.  Also Evans will be there… for some reason.  The roster is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

Howard will start, Guzan will back up, Sean Johnson will have a lovely view of the field from the press box and Bill Hamid will wonder where it all went wrong.

DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)

Look for Cameron and Bocanegra to start in the center of the line, though Klinsmann could pull a surprise on US fans and give Gonzalez his first qualifier start.  Expect Fabian Johnson on the left, backed up by Castillo, and Chandler on the right, deputizing for the injured Mayor of Hanover, backed up by Parkhurst.  Minutes in this match would finally cap tie Chandler, putting the seemingly endless saga of his national loyalties to bed.  Brad Evans will stay at the hotel and watch the luggage.

MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Jose Torres (Tigres), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Michael Bradley is a sure starter, paired with either Danny Williams or Jermaine Jones.  Graham Zusi is expected to take the gone-walkabout Landon Donovan’s spot on the right, leaving the left wing to either Jose Torres or Brad Davis.  The selection between these two will indicate the sort of match Klinsmann expects; Torres provides better ball control and timekeeping, Davis’ superior set pieces and crosses.  Sacha Kjlestan covers for Zusi.

FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

Altidore has been tearing up defenses for AZ all season, and should see a return to Klinsmann’s good graces after a true show of maturity in response to racist chants in a recent Dutch Cup match.  Expect him to play alone up front, with Dempsey slightly withdrawn.  Hercules Gomez will remain a second half threat, with EJ offering a change of pace on late set pieces.

None of the names, outside of Evans, are terribly unexpected, though the exclusion of Josh Gatt, the speedy Molde winger, is notable.  Seven players to make the roster played in last week’s friendly against Canada.  MLS is the best represented league, with seven players named.  The Bundesliga has five, the EPL four, the Mexican Primera three, and the Eredivise, Belgian Superliga, Spanish Segunda and Turkish first division each providing a single player.  Interestingly, 18 of the 24 names on the list are current or former MLS players.

Head over to American Soccer Now to make and share a starting eleven for the Honduras match, or to see what the PSL writers came up with, and Stick with Philly Sport Live for continuing Hex coverage.