Klinsmann names roster for match vs. Mexico
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.