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Klinsmann close to finalizing pre-World Cup roster
Question of the Day
Just three weeks remain before the start of the United States’ pre-World Cup training camp, and coach Jurgen Klinsmann is close to finalizing the players he’ll invite.
Preliminary 30-man rosters are due to FIFA by May 13, the day before the Americans start to arrive for the camp at Stanford University.
They can have up to 30 players, and must submit their final 23-man roster to FIFA by June 2.
Klinsmann says the last 2½ years of evaluations will count equally with a player’s current form in determining the preliminary roster.
Klinsmann said in an interview posted on the U.S. Soccer Federation website that he doesn’t think someone could play his way off the training camp list at this point.
“If it was tomorrow, I’d give you the 30 names,” Klinsmann said. “But, obviously, we want to see a couple of more things over the next couple weeks. But we are close, very close to have a really clear idea about those 30 guys.”
The Americans play three exhibition games leading into the World Cup: Azerbaijan on May 27 at San Francisco; Turkey on June at Harrison, N.J.; and Nigeria on June 7 at Jacksonville, Fla.
ALTIDORE RISING: One player whose 23-man roster spot is almost certainly secure, despite intense scrutiny this season, is forward Jozy Altidore.
Altidore has just two goals in 35 games with Sunderland this season, but in his first appearance since March 26 he drew an 81st minute penalty kick that led to the tiebreaking goal in the Black Cats’ 2-1 upset at Chelsea last weekend.
In a controversial decision, referee Mike Dean ruled Cesar Azpilicueta clipped the left leg of the 24-year-old Altidore in the penalty area, and Fabio Borini converted the kick. Sunderland is last in the Premier League with four games left and likely needs at least three wins to avoid relegation.
“He’s a very, very important part of our team, Jozy, going into this summer’s World Cup, and so I’m convinced that he’s going to do well there,” Klinsmann said.
BOYD’S BREAKOUT: One American in need of a push to ensure his roster spot helped himself last weekend.
Forward Terrence Boyd scored twice for Rapid Vienna against Groedig in the Austrian Bundesliga.
The goals were for the first in seven games for the 23-year-old, who now has 16 goals in all competitions for Vienna this season.
Boyd has 12 international appearances and was on the roster but didn’t play for the Americans’ loss against Ukraine last month. Other forwards competing for roster spots include Aron Johannsson, Eddie Johnson, Chris Wondolowski, Herculez Gomez and Juan Agudelo.
By Richard Rahn
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