Jurgen Klinsmann has decided to bring the entire 26-man January training camp squad to Brazil for a 12-day “dry run” in Sao Paulo.
The US Men’s National Team coach originally planned on cutting the 26-man squad down to 23-men before heading to Brazil but US Soccer announced Sunday that Klinsmann has decided against that move, increasing the competition for spots.
The training camp squad, made up entirely of players from Major League Soccer with the exception of Rosenborg’s Mix Diskerud, departed Los Angeles on Monday morning for Brazil.
In a statement released Sunday, Klinsmann noted the decision to include all 26 players in the traveling squad was based on merit in the prior week’s training sessions.
“We have been extremely pleased with the performance of the group in the first week,” Klinsmann said. “The players came in very fit and have done really well in training. Therefore, we believe they have all earned a chance to go to Brazil for these next 12 days. We are excited about getting down to Sao Paulo and continuing the work. This is a huge opportunity to get to know our environment for the World Cup.”
Between now and January 24th, the USMNT is expected to play two closed-door scrimmages against Brazilian Serie A side, Sao Paulo FC. Upon returning to the States, Klinsmann’s squad will begin focusing their training for the friendly match against South Korea on February 1st at the StubHub Center.
The USMNT roster for Brazil is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)