The U.S. men’s national team has trimmed its roster from 27 to 23 players ahead of the first of five games over the next two and a half weeks.
While some of U.S. men’s national team head coach Juergen Klinsmann’s original omissions aren’t totally understood – particularly Sacha Kljestan, perhaps Eric Lichaj – there’s little to argue with in the four players he’s dropped: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), and Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Agudelo, at some level, was a perplexing call in, given his recent move from New York to Chivas. What the 19-year-old forward needs most is club games. Now he’ll get the chance.
Morales, 22, is also young and is still working his way into the full national team, and Williams is coming off a shoulder injury. Zusi is also inexperienced and falls way down the depth chart in the midfield, but he can now be an impactful presence for Kansas City in Saturday’s MLS game against San Jose.
U.S. Soccer says more than 36,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s game against Scotland at EverBank Field (NBC Sports Network, 8) in Jacksonsville, a record for a men’s national team game in Florida. The U.S. then plays Brazil on Wednesday at FedEx Field (ESPN2, 8) and Canada at BMO Field on June 2 (NBC Sports Network, 7) before World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda on June 8 in Tampa (ESPN, 7) and at Guatemala on June 11 (pay-per-view, ustream.tv, 10).
The U.S. team will hold an open practice at Maryland's Ludwig Field on Monday afternoon from 5-6 p.m. Admission is free, with gates opening at 4:30.
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)