After taking twenty-six players with him to Brazil, Jurgen Klinsmann has finalized a twenty-two man roster for the remainer of January camp in Carson, California ahead of the United States' match against the Republic of Korea. Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez remain in camp, although five MLS players were sent back to their clubs.
Colorado Rapids defenders Chris Klute and Shane O'Neill, Sporting Kansas City defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall are the players returning to their clubs. Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst has been added and will join up with the rest of the team at the StubHub Center.
It's interesting that the players culled were all on the defensive side. Perhaps this means Jurgen is going to give his back line extended minutes together as all preparations focus on the upcoming tournament in Brazil. Former Galaxy player Mike Magee is still in camp, trying to earn a place in Brazil after almost a decade out of the national team spotlight.
"All of the players have put in a tremendous amount of work and effort these past two weeks," said Klinsmann. "We had a great opportunity to introduce some new players into the Senior National Team Program and they have done extremely well. I think they have a bright future, and now they go back to their clubs with a better understanding of what it takes at the international level. We now move forward with the chance to finish off the camp with the goal of getting a result against Korea."
The Korea match will be an interesting test, as it's not often the January friendly has this level of competition. Landon Donovan's play, after spending much of the offseason rehabbing an injury, will be particularly of note. There's not as much as stake as their was during qualifying, but the players do need to maintain that level of form through the next coming months.
Donovan missed the early part of the national team schedule after his sabbatical, but he ended up with his best goal total for the national team since the Gold Cup year of 2007. In fact, it was his second biggest goal total with the national team.
Not only did the Gold Cup pad his goal total, but he had key goals like this one against Mexico.
While the debate rages on about the effectiveness of MLS at getting national team players on form, Donovan's 2013 is certainly an argument in MLS' favor.