Jurgen Klinsmann has brought in a handful of extras to help fill out the U.S. men's national team roster for its Copa America Centenario tune-up friendly against Puerto Rico on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas).
After releasing a 40-man preliminary roster preceding this Friday's deadline to cut his Copa team down to 23, Klinsmann had to bring in players who are not in the Copa America mix to complete his squad for the first meeting between the USA and Puerto Rico. With some seasons still going on, both in the U.S. and abroad, players who may be part of the final Copa America squad won't be able to take part in Sunday's match.
For example: Ventura Alvarado, Edgar Castillo, and Omar Gonzalez are still active in the Liga MX playoffs; Timmy Chandler is playing for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga's relegation playoff; Christian Pulisic has this weekend's German Cup final with Dortmund against Bayern Munich; and goalkeeper Ethan Horvath is still in season in Norway.
As a result, Freiburg goalkeeper Zach Steffen and midfielder Caleb Stanko; Fulham midfielder Emerson Hyndman; Bayern Munich forward Julian Green; St. Pauli forward Fafa Picault; and Tijuana forwards Paul Arriola and Amando Moreno have been called in. They are not eligible to play at Copa America after being omitted from the binding preliminary roster. For all but Green and Hyndman, it will be their first appearance in a senior national team camp, according to U.S. Soccer.
“We are doing this week in Miami and finishing off the week with a game in Puerto Rico because it’s really important in terms of transitioning our players coming in from Europe and some who are already done in Mexico to keep them in a flow, to keep them in a rhythm,” Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer statement. “One of our lessons from last year’s Gold Cup was because the tournament was pushed into July, we couldn’t transition our European-based players and some of the Mexican players perfectly. We added some players coming from the younger side to look at them and to get a roster together, but the main purpose of this camp is to keep the rhythm, keep going and to transition perfectly into the preparation for the Copa America Centenario.”
MLS players selected on the final roster will be released to join the U.S. on May 23, ahead of the May 25 friendly against Ecuador at FC Dallas's Toyota Stadium. The U.S. will also play Bolivia at Sporting KC's Children's Mercy Park on May 28 before the June 3 Copa opener against Colombia at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Here is the U.S. roster for Sunday's match:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Zach Steffen (SC Freiburg)
DEFENDERS: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes FC), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Fabrice Picault (FC St. Pauli), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)