LA Galaxy defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez have been named to the twenty five man roster for the United States national team January camp ahead of a friendly with Canada in Houston January 29th. The camp begins at The Home Depot Center today, and will continue until January 27th.
The two defenders were also named to last year's January camp, but Gonzalez chose to skip out on camp and go on loan in Germany where he picked up a knee injury that kept him out half the season. DeLaGarza got his first two caps at that January camp, playing the full 90 in a pair of matches against Venezuela and Panama.
It is the third straight year the two defenders have been named to the US January camp, which is held annually for up and coming players. Which is why it's surprising that Landon Donovan was brought up concerning the January camp. Donovan hasn't been named to a January camp in any of the last three years that Gonzalez and DeLaGarza have been getting called up.
The January camp can be a stepping stone. Chris Wondolowski and Juan Agudelo have been in these last three camps and both have gotten time with the senior squad. A somewhat surprising call-up this time around is former LA forward Edson Buddle, who feel out of far in 2012 an was eventually traded to Colorado. Buddle was called up to the 2010 World Cup squad, but has been in and out of the squad since then.
The 2013 MLS season begins on March 3rd, with CONCACAF Champions League following on the coattails. Robbie Keane recently turned down rumors of a January loan, so it appears everyone should be available for February pre-season activities for the first time in a number of years.