The United States has their 23-man team for their friendlies against Chile and Panama. Jurgen Klinsmann has some of the teams bigger stars, but has mixed that with some kids as he continues to emphasize youth development and the U-23 Olympic team.
Because the match does not fall on a FIFA international date, Klinsmann couldn't pick any American he wanted. Clubs did not have to release players so Klinsmann was limited to out-of-season players, like those who play in MLS, and youngsters who do not play big roles for their clubs.
Klinsmann has had 29 players in training camp in California for the last two weeks, but he was never going to take them all into the friendlies. The U.S. manager said when he picked his camp roster that he wanted it to be at a high level, which is why the likes of Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones were involved, but that he also wanted to give some emerging talents a look, as well as bring in a slew of players that would be part of the Olympic team. That is reflected in the roster for the friendlies as well.
The big names will lead the team, while Perry Kitchen, Gyasi Zardes and Steve Birnbaum have been excellent in MLS and could become part of the first choice senior team before long.
Then there is Jon Kempin, Shane O'Neill, DeAndre Yedlin, Luis Gil, Dillon Serna and Wil Trapp, who are all young enough to be U-23s at the Olympics next year. Yedlin is already established first teamer, but the rest are fringe players getting their first extended exposure to the senior team and had to impress to make the friendly roster. They did that, and now they've been earmarked not just to be part of the Olympic core, but also as promising youngsters who could force their way into the senior team over the next year or two.
Alex Bono, Christian Dean, Oscar Sorto, Dennis Flores, Tesho Akindele and Julio Morales are the training camp players who were left off of the friendly roster. All of them are youngsters who were called in more to get experience than to make an impact right away and now they will return to their clubs. Marc Pelosi also missed out on the friendly roster, but he will stay with the team and train.
The U.S. will play Chile on January 28 in Rancagua. Then they will return to the U.S. for a February 8 contest against Panama at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA.
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)