By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
Three Seattle Sounders were included on the United States national team’s 22-man roster announced Wednesday in advance of the April 2 the friendly with Mexico.
Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin will report to camp next week for the match at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
“Clint’s always an obvious one,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “Brad right now still needs to get 100 percent healthy. It’s a good honor for DeAndre. To have three guys representing your club with the national team in a game against Mexico is a nice honor.”
Schmid also indicated that the honor should come at little cost to the club, as the friendly is tucked midway between Seattle’s home match Saturday against the Columbus Crew and the April 5 game at Portland.
“They’ll be available for the Columbus game, with the exception of Clint,” Schmid said. “Then they’ll be available for the game against Portland. It’s always a function of how many minutes they play on the Wednesday night. At least the travel is not a major issue, so that makes it easier.”
Dempsey is unavailable this week while serving the last of his two-game MLS suspension due to violent conduct in the March 15 match against Toronto. Evans suffered a calf injury in that game, which kept him out of the 2-0 road win at Montreal on Sunday.
However, Evans said he felt better Wednesday and that his top priority is playing 90 minutes Saturday. After that, he said he would look forward to his first taste of the USA-Mexico rivalry.
“It’s in my hometown, too, so that would be a big deal,” Evans said. “Anytime you play a rival like that (it’s exciting). Especially in Arizona: It’s going to be a packed house; hopefully family there as well.”
Also named to the USA roster were goalkeepers Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago) and Nick Rimando (Salt Lake); defenders DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Clarence Goodson (San Jose), Michael Orozco (Puebla) and Michael Parkhurst (Columbus); midfielders Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Brad Davis (Houston), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia), Luis Gil (Salt Lake) and Graham Zusi (Kansas City); and forwards Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose).
Neither Evans nor Yedlin were willing to say their selection indicates that they’ll be part of USA roster for the FIFA World Cup this summer in Brazil.
“I’m just taking it game by game, camp by camp,” Yedlin said. “Hopefully if I get to that point, I think it would be a great experience for me. But if you look too far ahead you start getting caught up in things, and that’s not what I want to do at that point.”
USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann indicated this camp and match will play a key role in his roster decisions.
“Everyone knows the clock is ticking,” he said in a press release. “This is a huge opportunity for our players to show where they stand, where they are at, and to make their case. … They need to prove now that they badly want to go to Brazil.”
MLS has credited Lamar Neagle with a goal and Gonzalo Pineda with an assist in Seattle’s first score at Montreal. The play initially was ruled an own goal off keeper Troy Perkins. “It was my shot, it went off of him, they gave it to me,” Neagle said Wednesday. “To finally get on the board— however it happens— I’ll take it.” … The MLS Disciplinary Committee on Wednesday added a game to the normal one-game red-card suspension Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was issued Saturday at Colorado. The additional punishment means Ricketts will be ineligible for the Timbers’ April 5 game against Seattle.