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USMNT roster announced for friendly vs. Italy

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The march towards the 2014 World Cup is nearing
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) The march towards the 2014 World Cup is nearing
Getty Images

Jurgen Klinsmann has announced his USMNT roster for the upcoming February 29th friendly against Italy. The game will be played at 1:30 PM CST and you can catch the action on ESPN2, ESPN3, and Galavision. As per usual, HTIOT will also be featuring a gamethread during the match. Please join us to talk all things USMNT during the match. Follow me after the break for the announced roster...

Goalkeepers (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timothy Chandler (Nürnburg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Michael Bradley (Chievo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

Forwards (4): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)

As you can see, this roster is a much more senior balanced roster than the previous few matches in terms of players normally included in our "A" squad. As you will see with the upcoming friendlies heading into the start of World Cup Qualifying (WCQ), the roster we will see will be a much more familiar one than most of the young faces we have seen gain caps recently. While it's great that Jurgen called up so many young players and got them valuable playing time and experience on the international level in recent months, it's now a vital time for the older players heading into WCQ. While our "A" team certainly has a lot of experience playing together, they have the added task of assimilating a new system into their game heading into some very important soccer matches. And we really haven't had our full team play together yet. Now is the time for them to get on the pitch at the same time and get some playing time together under Jurgen's system.

For me, the lineup is pretty typical for what I expected to see as we near WCQ. It's nice to see Jose Torres back. He certainly put in some good time with the senior team last year. Hopefully he shows the flashes of form he revealed last year yet again. One surprising name I did see in the lineup is Terrence Boyd. He is a 21 year old German-American that plays for the reserve team of Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. He had an impressive strike rate with Hertha BSC's reserve team, scoring 15 goals in 44 appearances. He has notched 11 goals in 17 appearances with Borrusia's reserve team. It's always nice to see young striking talent pull on that USMNT jersey.

The main omission that many soccer pundits continue to marvel over is the omission of Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan. The dude is straight tearing up the Belgian First Division. He is certainly in really good form right now, and it seems like he has been for awhile now. I agree with other soccer writers that he deserves a call up, and hopefullly he will get one soon. I don't know why Jurgen continues to overlook him, but if he keeps playing well sooner or later you would think that Jurgen will make the call. Here's to hoping at least.