By John Boyle
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced his 23-man World Cup roster Thursday, and it included two Seattle Sounders, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin. Brad Evans, who was part of the 30-man preliminary roster training with the team at Stanford University, was one of seven players cut.
That two Sounders made the squad is hardly a shock—Dempsey, the U.S. captain, was a lock—but Yedlin’s inclusion is somewhat surprising. The 20-year-old who is a graduate of Seattle’s O’Dea High School is in only his second professional season, and the prevailing wisdom was that he was something of a long-shot to make the final cut. By being included, Yedlin will become the first player in Major League Soccer’s “homegrown player” system to play in a World Cup.
Their inclusion also illustrates how much things can change in a year. If you’d have said at this time last year that the Sounders would have two players in the World Cup, it would have been completely believable. Eddie Johnson was playing well for the U.S. team, Obafemi Martins was still a regular with the Nigerian national team, there was still hope Osvaldo Alonso might get cleared to play for the U.S., and Evans was beginning to get in the mix with the U.S. team. But Dempsey? He was playing with Tottenham in the English Premier League, seemingly years away from a possible return to MLS, while Yedlin was a teenager two months into his rookie season. Yet it will be Dempsey and Yedlin representing the Sounders, as well as their country, in Brazil next month.
The most notable omission from the roster was that of Landon Donovan, one of the top players in U.S. soccer history and a veteran of three World Cup squads.
Here’s the full team, as well as the list of those who were cut:
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP – U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
After naming the 30-man preliminary roster on May 12, the following seven players have been released from the U.S. MNT’s training camp: forwards Terrence Boyd and Landon Donovan, midfielders Joe Corona and Maurice Edu, and defenders Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson and Michael Parkhurst.
The seven remaining players have been placed on a standby list and are returning to their respective club teams.