United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a mix of Olympic and senior team players in a 23-man training camp ahead of the friendlies against Iceland and Canada.
Columbus Crew SC duo Ethan Finlay and Tony Tchani received their first call-ups to the national team after performing well in MLS last season, whileNew York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles returned to the squad for the time during Klinsmann’s reign.
The new trio joined a small contingent of regular fixtures — including U.S. captain Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Mix Diskerud and Jermaine Jones — and a raft of Olympic hopefuls preparing for the two-legged playoff against Colombia in March.
“This will be more an identification camp,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “It will be more a developmental camp. We want to give those players a head start into their very busy year 2016, but we also want to make it clear to them that it’s a huge opportunity that you have here to understand what it takes to step it up and to become an international-level player.”
The exact blend for the final roster to face Iceland (Jan. 31) and Canada (Feb. 5) remains uncertain at this time. Several veteran players were placed on stand-by for potential selection ahead of those matches, depending on how this camp proceeds.
Jones is included in the initial squad as he continues his search for a new club. The veteran midfielder is eligible to participate in training camp and play in the friendlies against Iceland and Canada as long as he remains unattached. He is in line for a six-match suspension — a ban prevents him from playing international soccer during its duration, according to U.S. Soccer regulations — once he signs with another team.
Morris is also expected to join the camp after it starts in Carson, Calif. on Monday. The promising forward announced his decision to turn pro on Tuesday ahead of a training spell with Werder Bremen in Turkey next week.
United States roster for January training camp
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
Defenders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City),Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Eric Miller (Montréal Impact), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps), Marc Pelosi (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire)
Midfielders: Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (unattached), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)