With FIFA's international break falling directly in the middle of the Major League Soccer playoffs, U.S. national team Coach Juergen Klinsmann largely steered clear of postseason participants when selecting the 25 players for U.S. national team friendlies with Colombia and Ireland over the next eight days.
Although Klinsmann called up 10 MLS players, only New England's Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen and Seattle's DeAndre Yedlin came off teams still alive in the postseason entering Monday. Yedlin's Sounders play FC Dallas on Monday night in an elimination game while the Revolution has already clinched its place in the Eastern Conference championships, which begin Nov. 23.
The two matches -- the U.S. plays No. 3 Colombia on Friday in London and Ireland four days later in Dublin -- will be the final two of the year for the U.S., which is 6-3-4 in 2014.
"We want to finish 2014 on a high note and continue to try to meet the top teams eye-to-eye," said Klinsmann, one of 10 finalists for FIFA coach of the year. "In these last two games we want our veterans to really become mentors both on and off the field and we want to see our youngsters take advantage of the opportunity to make their case and grow from the experience.
"These performances will set the tone for 2015."
Sixteen of the 25 players called up were part of the World Cup team that advanced to the round of 16 last summer in Brazil, although Jones and Yedlin are likely to be returned to their MLS squads after Friday's game. At the same time nearly half the team -- 12 of the 25 players -- has 10 or fewer caps with the national team.
Among those left off was defender Omar Gonzalez of the Galaxy, which advanced to the MLS Western Conference finals Sunday, and Seattle forward Clint Dempsey.
Jones, 33, who starred in the midfield in the World Cup, is listed as a defender on Klinsmann's roster after making his debut at center back against Honduras last month. DaMarcus Beasley, who was also called up, made a similar transition with the national team late in his career, going from the midfield to left back.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)