Early U.S. national team roster talking points for upcoming friendlies and World Cup qualifiers

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U.S. Soccer released its full roster for two upcoming friendlies and three World Cup qualifiers over the next six weeks. Here are the major discussion points:

  • As expected, the roster is beefier than usual, including 28 invitees. That is mostly to account for eight players sitting on yellow cards, which threatens to leave Klinsmann’s side short if a couple of the wrong men pick up bookings during one of the first two World Cup qualifiers in June. (The team plays three qualifiers in June.)
  • The camp opens in Cleveland on May 26 rather than a few days earlier in California as previously planned. With so many players preparing to stagger into the camp late anyway (mostly due to ongoing club commitments), and recognizing a need for extra rest for others, Klinsmann adjusted his original intent.
  • Jozy Altidore reports on May 26, which means U.S. Soccer the young striker’s Dutch club did reach accord after all. Isn’t it great when all the kids play nicely in the sandbox?
  • Sean Johnson (May 26-30), Bill Hamid (May 30-June 2), Tally Hall (June 2-June 8) and Nick Rimando (June 9-19) will all rotate through camp as the third goalkeeper behind Tim Howard (pictured along with Eddie Johnson) and Brad Guzan. It’s a novel approach – but one that helps keep the players in the U.S. fold, while helping to minimize distraction to their clubs.
  • As expected, Landon Donovan is not on the roster. We’ve chewed up that ground pretty good … but why let that stop us. Stay tuned for more on that one …
  • Steve Cherundolo is not on the roster. More on that later, too(UPDATED: More on that right here)

A whole kit and caboodle of roster notes from U.S. Soccer can be found here. Meanwhile, the U.S. roster announced today:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)

Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)

Look for updates and for more on Thursday’s announcement later today at PST.