Julian Green, DeAndre Yedlin young highlights to USA World Cup provisional squad
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann named his 30-man provisional squad on Monday from which he’ll select his 23-player World Cup finals squad.
The most notable omission is DC United forward Eddie Johnson, a regular in the United States’ qualifying campaign in North and Central America who has experienced a dip in form.
Johnson scored the key first goal in a 2-0 victory over Mexico in September that clinched the Americans’ seventh straight World Cup berth.
“It was a very difficult decision based on what he’s done with me the whole time,” Klinsmann said.
The German said Johnson was a victim of numbers as he viewed veteran Landon Donovan as a pure forward rather than a midfielder in this squad and included only six forwards.
The United States is drawn in Group G along with Ghana, who reached the quarter-finals in the 2010 edition, Euro 2012 semi-finalists Portugal and one of the favourites for the trophy Germany. They will kick off their campaign on June 16 against Ghana.
The 30 players will gather in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday for a training camp at Stanford University, with the final 23-man squad to be decided by June 2.
Among the veterans, Donovan is joined by goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, defenders Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, midfielders Michael Bradley and Graham Zusi, and forwards Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.
Among the less expected inclusions were 18-year-old Julian Green and 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin.
Green was born in Florida, but raised in Germany and had the option to play for Germany before pledging his allegiance to the States this year.
Yedlin, a right back for the Seattle Sounders, has just two international caps, but has been outstanding in Major League Soccer play.
“With Julian and DeAndre, we have two huge talents being part of the 30-man roster and it will be interesting to see how they take that challenge,” Klinsmann said.
“Because they obviously don’t have the experience that other players have it will be interesting for our coaches to see how they take it on and how they now compete for the 23 roster.
“We’ll see clearly over the next three weeks if they’re ready for a World Cup or not.”
Klinsmann said he’ll be looking hard at current form in making his final decisions as well as how players compete in training camp.
“There is competition in every position, and these next couple of weeks will allow us to make the final determinations on the best 23-man unit to represent the United States in the World Cup,” said the German, who guided his home country to the semi-finals in the 2006 renewal which was hosted by Germany.
Prior to departing for Brazil, the team will play three warmup friendlies, taking on Azerbaijan on May 27 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Turkey on June 1 in Harrison, New Jersey and Nigeria in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 7.
Provisional US World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders (11): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nurnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders (10): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
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Published: May 13, 2014 04:00 AM