Klinsmann to pick “strongest squad” for October friendlies, hails US youngsters

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The U.S. national team will pick their strongest squad available for the upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras in October.

That was the message from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday, as the USMNT will use players based in both Major League Soccer and overseas for the two friendlies.

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For now the names on that roster remain a mystery but Klinsmann is certain on one of the players he is calling up, U.S. national team legend Landon Donovan who is being honored in the Oct. 10 friendly vs. Ecuador in Hartford, CT. The U.S. then travel to Miami to play Honduras on Oct. 14 as fans of the Stars and Stripes get the chance to see their team on home soil for the first time since the 2014 World Cup.

Revealing plenty about the current state of the national team, Klinsmann spoke at length to U.S. soccer as he reflected on the September friendly vs. the Czech Republic and how well his young squad performed in Prague to grab a 1-0 win.

Here are a few snippets from the Q&A with Klinsmann, which you can read in full right here.

On the makeup of the U.S. squad for the October friendlies…

“Looking toward the October games against Ecuador and Honduras, we definitely look at the strongest squad possible. It’s exciting for the fans and for us. We look at bringing the players back that won in the Czech Republic, and also to mix them with the players here in MLS. We can make our comparisons and see where they are at.”

The contributions of youngsters in the win vs. Czech Republic…

“The young players that were part of the camp in Prague and won against the Czech Republic sent a very strong message out there to the more established players. They sent a message of competition. They sent them a message to say we are coming through the ranks. They put themselves back in line, but they want to climb the ladder of hierarchy within the team and be part of the success going forward.”