US coach Bob Bradley will give unheralded talents an early chance to show they can contribute to the World Cup side next June in South Africa at a training camp that opens January 4 in Los Angeles.
The Americans, set for a sixth consecutive trip to the global football showdown, will look at 30 players based on Scandinavian or US clubs for a camp that culminates in a January 23 friendly against Honduras.
The camp lineup features 23 players with 10 caps or less, nine seeking a first-ever US appearance, the most capped players being Aarhus midfielder Benny Feilhaber with 30 and Dallas defender Heath Pearce with 28.
“This is the start of six months of preparations for the World Cup and it is important that we get started off heading in the right direction,” Bradley said. “We are continuing to evaluate the player pool as we move towards finalizing our roster.”
Among those on hand will be Major League Soccer goalkeeper of the year Zach Thornton of Chivas USA, defender of the year Chad Marshall of Columbus and rookie of the year Omar Gonzalez, a defender for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Another defender in the camp will be Jonathan Bornstein, who scored the equaliser in the dying seconds of extra time in a 2-2 home draw with Costa Rica that put the US squad atop regional qualifying and ousted the Ticos from the World Cup.
A more veteran lineup filled with European-based US talent is expected to play in the US friendly on March 3 against the Dutch at Amsterdam.
The Americans will open their World Cup campaign on June 12 against England at Rustenburg and also face Slovenia on June 18 and Algeria on June 23.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!