December 22, 2011
Klinsmann calls in youngsters for January camp
CHICAGO--New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber is among 20 players invited to January training camp with the U.S. National Team.
The annual camp held in January for players in their offseason is a largely domestic-based group that includes 18 players who ply their trade in the United States. More than half the players have two caps or less for the full National Team, and five will be seeking their first appearance.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named 20 players to the training camp roster that will prepare for games against Venezuela on Jan. 21 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. and four days later, against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. The camp opens in Phoenix on January 3.
Major League Soccer is well represented, with 12 clubs contributing players. Two come from the MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy, including starting defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez, who was voted the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year. FC Dallas sends a trio, led by midfielder Brek Shea, who along with Gonzalez is part of the 2011 MLS Best XI. Shea is one of only three players to appear in all seven matches coached by Klinsmann thus far. Sporting Kansas City also contribute three, including frontliners Teal Bunbury and 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong, who makes his debut on a National Team roster. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando join from Real Salt Lake, with Beckerman having enjoyed a renaissance with the U.S. team since Klinsmann took the helm by appearing in six matches, five as a starter.
A pair of 2010 FIFA World Cup veterans return to the fold, as Ricardo Clark and Benny Feilhaber appear for the first time in more than a year. Feilhaber had been named to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster, but withdrew after suffering an ankle injury prior to the start of the tournament. Clark is one of two European-based players on the roster, along with Michael Parkhurst.
After becoming the first U.S. Soccer Development Academy alumnus to play for the full National Team, Juan Agudelo made his first appearance memorable by becoming the youngest player in the modern era to score for the United States when he tallied the lone goal in the 1-0 win on Nov. 17, 2010, against South Africa. Agudelo played in 14 matches for the National Team in 2011, second most on the squad.
Six of the players spent time in the offseason training with clubs in Europe: Agudelo (Stuttgart, Liverpool), Beckerman (FC Kaiserslautern), Bill Hamid (West Bromwich Albion), Sean Johnson (Everton), Jeff Larentowicz (Bolton) and Shea (Arsenal). Additionally, five players on the roster are age-eligible to compete in qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games: Agudelo, Bunbury, Hamid, Johnson and Shea.