Friday, May 25, 2012
U.S. World Cup qualifier roster set
ESPN.com news services
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Forward Juan Agudelo, defender Alfredo Morales and midfielders Danny Williams and Graham Zusi were cut Friday as U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann picked his 23-man roster for upcoming exhibition games and 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
"We have chosen the 23 players who are in the best form right now and ready to get the job done," Klinsmann said. "These guys have put in a tremendous amount of hard work in the last 10 days, and they are hungry to get started with the matches."
Joe Corona is the only player on the roster for the first time. He scored four goals in qualifying as the U.S. under-23 team failed to make the London Olympics.
Klinsmann picked only seven defenders for his roster to go along with seven midfielders, six forwards and three goalkeepers. After Timmy Chandler's refusal to commit to the U.S. -- he also is eligible for Germany -- and Klinsmann's decision not to select Eric Lichaj -- the Americans appear thin at outside back, where Steve Cherundolo appears set to start on the right and either Hoffenheim's Fabian Johnson or Tijuana's Edgar Castillo on the left.
Johnson started his club's final six-to-eight games on defense and Klinsmann said he "actually became one of the best left backs in the Bundesliga."
Michael Parkhurst can provide coverage at right back after playing the position over several months for Nordsjaelland, which won its first Danish league title and qualified for next season's Champions League.
Agudelo was traded to Chivas USA on May 17 from the New York Red Bulls, where he was stuck behind Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper. The 19-year-old Agudelo requested the deal.
"Now he's got to prove it. He's got to score goals. He's got to play every game," Klinsmann said. "It's now down to him to show everybody that he belongs."
Williams was dropped after reporting to camp with a shoulder injury.
Klinsmann said 21-year-old forward Terrence Boyd, whose 20 goals helped Borussia Dortmund's second team earn promotion to Germany's third tier, will likely be with another club next season.
"They see he's ready for the next big step," Klinsmann said.
Five players are from Major League Soccer. Four each are based in Germany and Mexico, three in England, two each in Scotland and Denmark, and one apiece in Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.
The Americans have exhibitions against Scotland Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.; Brazil on Wednesday in Landover, Md.; and Canada on June 3 at Toronto.
Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will miss the Scotland match. Dempsey is still recovering from a groin strain that caused him to miss the ninth-place Cottagers' season finale at Tottenham on May 19, and he might not be ready for Brazil.
Dempsey and Landon Donovan have not played together since Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as coach last July.
Altidore had been blocked from reporting until Monday by AZ Alkmaar. Even though the Dutch club's season ended May 6, AZ stuck to the last day to release him under FIFA regulations.
"They were not open to change their opinion," Klinsmann said, "which is not very nice for us."
Defenders Clarence Goodson and Parkhurst also won't play against the Scots after arriving at training camp in Kissimmee, Fla., late Thursday following the end of their Danish clubs' season the previous day. The U.S. will have five games in 18 days, including a June 3 exhibition against Canada in Toronto, followed by the Americans' opening qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Fla., then at Guatemala on June 12.
Seeking their seventh straight World Cup berth, the Americans open qualifying June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Fla., then play at Guatemala on June 12.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake);
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland, Denmark)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona, Italy), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna, Mexico), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.