Jurgen Klinsmann has named his roster for the upcoming friendlies, and while most of the names should be familiar, there are a couple of new faces. The USMNT squares off against Honduras on October 8th at 5PM CST. The match will be played at Joe Robbie/Pro Player Park/Pro Player Stadium/Dolphins Stadium/Dolphin Stadium/Land Shark Stadium/Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. Yes, the stadium has really had that many names in the 24 years it has been open. It's also not the most aesthetic of places either. The match will be televised on Fox Soccer and Univision.
The Ecuador matchup will be played on October 11th at 6PM CST at Red Bull Arena. You can catch the action of ESPN3, ESPN3.com, and Univision. Join me after the break for the roster and a couple of thoughts.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
I don't get the Bill Hamid repeated call ups. I will admit he is a young talent that can be great, but I need to see more. Obviously I am a bit of a homer for Sean Johnson, and it's not like he has multiple seasons of experience either. However, Jurgen continues to look at young talent to get a feel for everyone, so I am not sure why SJ has not gotten a look from Jurgen yet. I know the talent pool for current US keepers that are good enough to play internationally is small, so he should get a shot soon hopefully. Please, Sean has definitely shown he can make athletic, amazing plays just like Hamid. And Sean has been steadily progressing in terms of learning ever since he came back from his benching. Hopefully this playoff push and a clean sheet Tuesday will show Jurgen what he is missing. If Jurgen is going to keep calling Hamid up, he at least needs to be getting more playing time than he has thus far. Might as well see what the kid has at the international level with a good chunk of playing time. Thus, I look for us to see more Hamid than we have in these 2 friendlies. Maybe even a little Rimando too.
It's nice to see Gooch called back up to the defender pool. He certainly has had his fair share of adversity with moving clubs and injuries the past couple of years. It's also interesting to see Fiscal called up again, he hasn't looked very good to my eyes yet.
Jeff Larentowicz and newcomer Danny Williams are surprises for the midfield. I am excited to get a look (hopefully) at Williams. I know what Larentowicz can do, and when he is on, he can be pretty good. The international level is of course a different animal than the MLS. Hopefully Beckerman can control his urge to recklessly headbutt people so the USMNT doesn't have to play with 10 men. Showering and cutting his hair would help a lot too.
It's always good to see former Chicago Fire player DaMarcus Beasley on the squad. It will be interesting to see how Teal Bunbury performs as well. After a hot start out of the gate with the USMNT, he has battled through a bit of a dip to springboard back onto the USMNT. Let's hope he picks back up where his earlier form left off. All in all it seems like a formidable squad with a few new faces to get a look at.