Aron Johannsson (right), shown against Panama in a World Cup qualifier last month, was one of 23 players named to the United States roster for a pair November friendlies in Europe. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO – The United States has called in 23 players to camp as it prepares for its final two matches of 2013, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday.
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad faces Scotland on November 15 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and, four days later, will play Austria in Vienna’s Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
"We are excited about the group we have coming in and the big opportunity to finish the year on a high note," said Klinsmann. "We want to use these games to prove a point and see that our players are continuing to improve as we build towards the World Cup. The results in MLS wound up fitting in with our roster plans, so we didn't need to call in any guys who are still in the playoffs. There are some injuries issues that now give other players the chance to step up."
The Americans are concluding a year that contained many highlights. It qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil by topping the CONCACAF Hexagonal, captured the CONCACAF Gold Cup for a fifth time, triumphed in a team-record 12 consecutive games winning streak and has already won a team-record 16 games.
“I think, if you look at the group now, it is a very good team and everybody’s hungry to prove a point here in Europe,” Klinsmann added. “Many are based here in Europe. Some are doing really well; some struggled a little bit over the last couple weeks. There’s an opportunity to show that they are ready for the World Cup. Overall, these are a very valuable 10-11 days together with a group of 23 players that have a good chance of going to the World Cup.”
The roster is highlighted the inclusion of in-form AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannsson, who has struck for nine goals in 13 Dutch Eredivisie games this season, including both against Feyenoord in a 2-2 draw on Sunday
UNITED STATES ROSTER
(International friendlies: November 15, 2013, away v Scotland; November 19, 2013, away v Austria)
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/England), Michael Orozco (Puebla/Mexico)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France), Michael Bradley (Roma/Italy), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium), Brek Shea (Stoke City/England)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland/England), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Holland), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)