Coach Juergen Klinsmann called up a 22-player roster composed almost entirely of Major League Soccer players for the U.S. national team’s April 2 friendly with Mexico in Phoenix.
But the most interesting selection is one of the three non-MLS players: Bayern Munich teenager Julian Green, a dual citizen who earlier this month decided to play internationally for the U.S. With Green’s change of association having been approved by FIFA, Green is likely to see some playing time in the final U.S. match before May, when preliminary World Cup rosters are due.
“Everyone knows the clock is ticking,” Klinsmann said. “This is a huge opportunity for our players to show where they are at and to make their case. They need to prove now that they badly want to go to Brazil.”
Among the MLS players called up are Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan and teammate Omar Gonzalez, a defender; Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley; and Seattle forward Clint Dempsey. Players in need of a standout performance to improve their World Cup chances include San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski and defender Michael Orozco of Mexican club Puebla.
Among the roster omissions is former Galaxy standout Mike Magee, the reigning MLS MVP who tied for the league scoring title last season. Magee, who has been called into national team camps but has yet to earn his first international cap, was expected to compete for a national team job this winter but did not play in February’s friendly with South Korea, an absence the team said was caused by illness.
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).