Klinsmann, US Men’s National Team Get Ready for Hexagonal

In preparation for the U.S. Men’s National Team opening match against Honduras in the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,  head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 24 players into training camp to prepare. The tough road to Brazil kicks off Feb. 6 in San Pedro Sula at 4 p.m. EST.

The U.S. trained earlier this morning in Miami and will now travel to Honduras.

 “We want to have a sense of urgency right from the start of the Final Round,” said Klinsmann. “We have a lot of respect for Honduras, but our message to the team is that we are going there to get three points. One thing we learned from the Semifinal Round is that you have to bring the right mentality to play in the tough games on the road, and I’m confident we are ready to do that.”

With the match falling on a FIFA international fixture date, Klinsmann was able to call upon a full squad that includes a total of 17 players based in Europe and Mexico. The roster is loaded with experience, including five players with 50 caps or more.

Klinsmann’s group is filled with talent as expected for a match with such large expectations. Big-Names players that have been included are Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey, AZ Alkmaar forward Jozy Altidore, Roma midfielder Michael Bradley and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Along with all the International players, a handful of MLSers have also been called for the Hexagonal. That group includes reigning MLS Defender of the Year Matt Besler from Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo winger Brad Davis, Seattle Sounders handyman defender Brad Evans and MLS Cup MVP, Omar Gonzalez.

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, Sporting Kansas City midfield Graham Zusi and Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson have also been called. a total of 18 players on the roster have MLS experience.

Notable players left off the list this time around include Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, who tied a single-season scoring record in 2012 with 27 goals.

As expected, Landon Donovan was not called up as he takes time off from the game following the LA Galaxy’s MLS Cup victory.

The United States holds a 12-3-3 lifetime record against Honduras in a series dating back to 1965. Both the United States and Honduras earned a place in the Final Round by virtue of winning their respective Semifinal Round groups. The Catrachos qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after only losing once at home in nine qualifiers throughout the cycle. That lone loss came against the United States.

The U.S. and Honduras are part of the six-team Hexagonal along with Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama. The 10-game, round-robin format will be contested from Feb. 6-Oct.10. The top three teams will automatically advance to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-place team will compete in a two-leg playoff against the champion from the Oceania Confederation.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals)

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa – 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton – 22/9 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander – 31/5), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 5/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg – 0/0), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders – 0/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim – 3/0), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg – 3/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma – 19/5), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 9/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 5/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 12/0), Jose Torres (Tigres – 9/0), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim – 4/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 3/0)

FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 17/6), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 26/10), Herculez Gomez (Santos – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders – 11/10)

Pedro Heizer

The founder, editor and publisher of 90 Minutes Stong, Pedro is credentialed member of U.S. Soccer, Orlando City Soccer Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and others, as well as a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.

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