Klins­mann names ros­ter for match vs. Mexico

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY STEVEN GOFF steven.goff@wash­post.com

Jur­gen Klins­mann on Satur­day un­veiled the U.S. na­tional soc­cer team squad for the CONCACAF Cup against Mexico, turn­ing to a vet­eran corps for one of the most an­tic­i­pated matches against its archri­vals next Satur­day.

Nar­row­ing the list to 23 from a 35-man pre­lim­i­nary ros­ter, Klins­mann se­lected 16 mem­bers of the 2014 World Cup squad and, in some cases, chose sea­soned in­ter­na­tional play­ers over younger can­di­dates for the match at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

“A one-off al­ways has its own dy­nam­ics, and that’s why you need a ros­ter of 23 guys where you re­ally feel as a coach that in this one spe­cific op­por­tu­nity that they are the right ones to get the job done,” Klins­mann said. “That’s why this ros­ter is ob­vi­ously full of ex­pe­ri­ence. There are a lot of play­ers that ex­pe­ri­enced dif­fer­ent chal­lenges over their ca­reers and man­aged them and bring now their ex­pe­ri­ence.”

For ex­am­ple, World Cup for­ward Chris Won­dolowski, 32, re­ceived the nod over Bobby Wood, 22, who has scored in three of his past four Ger­man sec­ond-di­vi­sion matches and starred for the U.S. squad in sum­mer friendlies against the Nether­lands and Ger­many.

There were ex­cep­tions to the vet­eran theme, though, as de­fender Ven­tura Al­varado, 23, beat out World Cup starter Omar Gon­za­lez.

Two sure picks, Ger­man-based de­fender John Brooks and for­ward Aron Jo­hanns­son, were scratched be­cause of in­juries.

Aside from Wood and Gon­za­lez, the most no­table omis­sion was World Cup midfielder Mix Diskerud.

The most sur­pris­ing se­lec­tion was English-based de­fender Jonathan Spec­tor, 29, a 2010 World Cup mem­ber who had not gar­nered se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion for 18 months un­til a late call-up for the Septem­ber friendlies against Peru and Brazil.

“The com­pe­ti­tion [for ros­ter spots] is very, very tight,” Klins­mann said.

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