Landon Donovan and Graham Zusi are among the headlining players called into the U.S. men's national team's January camp. (Moises Castillo/AP)
The U.S. men's national team's Camp Cupcake Camp World Cup Preparation includes a number of A-Team staples and a horde of internationally untested players with points to prove.
The January training camp roster released by U.S. Soccer Friday contains the likes of LA Galaxy pair Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez and Sporting Kansas City duo Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. But it also includes young Colorado Rapids defenders Chris Klute and Shane O'Neill, Seattle Sounders young right back DeAndre Yedlin, reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee and burgeoning Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil.
“We are all very excited for this camp because, as a team, it will give us our first taste of Brazil,” Klinsmann said in a U.S. Soccer statement. “This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup. It’s important for the players to continue developing their bond and sense of urgency for the tournament. It’s important for us to see how they do in Brazil, how the new players fit with the group and to make sure everyone is focused on reaching the highest level for next summer.”
As is customary, the European-based players remain with their clubs. That group includes U.S. captain Clint Dempsey, who is on loan from Seattle to Premier League side Fulham through February. The only non-MLS player on the roster is Mix Diskerud, whose Norwegian club Rosenborg is in its winter break (the initial roster release included out-of-contract Juan Agudelo as well, but a U.S. Soccer spokesman said that while Agudelo was on the preliminary roster, he was mistakenly left on the final edition).
The 26-player camp will commence in Carson, Calif., at the StubHub Center on Jan. 6 before 23 players depart for Sao Paulo from Jan. 13-25 to get a glimpse into what life will be like this summer (the USA will be based in Sao Paulo during the World Cup). A U.S. Soccer spokesperson told SI.com that the USA will play two closed-door scrimmages while in Brazil.
Klinsmann & Co. return to California on Jan. 25, where training will resume ahead of the Feb. 1 friendly against fellow World Cup participant South Korea.
Here is the U.S. camp roster in full:
GOALKEEPERS: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: 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: 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: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Video of Klinsmann speaking about the camp and the roster can be seen here: