Anthony Brooks

Caution: do not read TOO MUCH into some of today’s surprise U.S. call-ups

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If you are a fan of Oguchi Onyewu or Tim Ream (pictured) or Juan Agudelo, obviously there is reason to be a little excited today; being summoned by Jurgen Klinsmann for the training camp in Frankfurt and subsequent trip into Cyprus can only be a good thing.

But don’t get carried away. An invitation into this camp is a little like a first date; you’re in the game … but a long, long, long way from wedding bells and beach-side honeymoons.

“Wedding bells” in this case means a World Cup roster spot.

Here’s why this 24-man camp (which is really a 23-man camp, plus potential U.S. man Julian Green) is a thin representation of what the World Cup roster will look like: Most MLS men at the top end of the U.S. pool aren’t jetting across the ocean for this one, not with MLS openers set for a few days later.

(MORE: Klinsmann names squad for Frankfurt camp and Ukraine friendly)

Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey are the exceptions. But there are at least eight MLS men (and potentially as many as 10 or 11) who will be on the World Cup roster but won’t be gathering in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Remember, whereas the last U.S. World Cup roster (For World Cup 2010 in South Africa) included just four MLS players, the land’s highest tier of professional soccer will carry a far greater representation this time around.

On the center backs, specifically, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler and Clarence Goodson, all in MLS, are almost sure to gobble up three spots more or less allocated for central defense. That leaves (again, more or less … none of this is “hard math”) one center back spot, and the best guess here is that it’s going to Anthony Brooks.

Michael Bradley, Anthony Brooks out, but Clint Dempsey probably in for Thursday’s U.S. roster announcement

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U.S. linchpin midfielder Michael Bradley and emerging defender Anthony Brooks are not far enough along in their respective injury recoveries and will not be among the players named Thursday for the remaining pair of U.S. national team final round World Cup qualifiers.

That’s according to U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, whose comments to a small group of reporters during Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final were confirmed Wednesday morning by a U.S. Soccer spokesman.

Klinsmann also said he expects to name Clint Dempsey, who has missed the Seattle Sounders last two MLS matches with a hamstring injury. Same goes for U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones, who was benched recently at Schalke but is otherwise healthy, despite reports that said otherwise.

The United States, already with a berth secured in next summer’s World Cup finals, faces Jamaica next week in Kansas City, then plays its World Cup qualifier finale (the last of 16 along the way) at Panama four nights later.

The U.S. manager had hoped to field a top squad for both contests, even though they are essentially meaningless from an official standpoint. Klinsmann, however,  has stressed the opportunity for fine tuning, given the lack of time he will have his top group between now and next summer’s World Cup.

The loss of Bradley (pictured) is the most damaging, given his essential, linking role.

(MORE: Klinsmann’s plans for naming a top team in peril due to mounting injuries)

(MORE: U.S. Soccer refutes Jermaine Jones “injury news”)

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