USMNT Coach Jürgen Klinsmann has chosen his 21 man roster for the upcoming friendly against Italy on February 29 in Genoa. Six of those players are on Bundesliga rosters, including Hannover captain and long-time U.S. right back Steve Cherundolo, Nürnberg’s Timmy Chandler, Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson of Hoffenheim, Jermaine Jones of Schalke and, surprisingly, Terrence Boyd of Borussia Dortmund. If you don’t recognize Boyd’s name, he has yet to play for Dortmund’s senior team but has excelled with the reserve side. This is Boyd’s first U.S. senior team callup. (Former Gladbach midfielder Michael Bradley and forward Edson Buddle, who played the last year at FC Ingolstadt, are also on the roster).
Klinsmann, after a slow start when first taking the coaching reins of the American national team in June, has won his last three friendlies against Slovenia, Panama and Venezuela.
“We’re looking forward to having all the European-based players back in the roster and picking up where we left off with them from the Slovenia game,” said Klinsmann, who is on a three-match winning streak dating back to the 3-2 victory on Nov. 15, 2011, against Slovenia. “I’m excited about getting everybody together and challenging a world-class team like former World Cup winner Italy on their home soil. I think we have put a very competitive roster together. This roster was co-developed with the U-23 team because we wanted them to have a great preparation game before they go into Olympic qualifying in March. Our roster is highly competitive and ready to give them a real fight.”
Klinsmann will have both Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy for the friendly against Italy. The two American star attackers have yet to be available for a match together for USMNT matches in Klinsmann’s first year coaching the Americans.
And he will have Terrence Boyd. Although he 21 year-old forward has yet to make his senior team debut at Dortmund, he’s excelling with the reserves, scoring 11 goal in 17 Regionalliga West matches this year, and scored against both Bochum and Leverkusen in winter friendlies with the Americans training in Germany. But Boyd has made the bench for Dortmund and has been training with the big boys.
“I’m training with the pros two times a week,” Boyd said in a MLSsoccer.com interview a few days back. “If somebody gets injured, I might get a chance. I just have to keep on working. I think, one day, I’ll get my chance and I hope that I will use it.” Boyd learns a lot practicing with Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski, and cited the difference in going up against Neven Subotic in practice and then playing against fourth division rivals in matches. The Italy friendly will be Boyd’s first chance to earn a senior U.S. cap, rather unbelievable considering he’s yet to play a game for his club’s first team. But Boyd has obviously made an impression when in U.S. U-23 camps, and the 6-footer from Bremen also is likely to make the U.S. Olympic roster.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7) : Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (6) : Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (5) : Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)