13 October 2014 16:41
Jurgen Klinsmann has recalled a host of his more experienced United States players for Tuesday’s friendly with Honduras in Florida.
Having impressed at this year’s World Cup, America will welcome back some of their star performers for this week’s friendly in Boca Raton, with many having not feature for their national side since Brazil.
The US have beaten the Czech Republic and drawn with Ecuador since bowing out of the global showpiece against Belgium at the first knockout stage in July.
However, six players – including captain Clint Dempsey and experienced midfielder Jermaine Jones – will bolster the US as Klinsmann’s side look ahead to the Gold Cup in 2015, the Copa America on home soil in 2016 and the World Cup two years later.
Dempsey, Jones, Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson will bolster the squad that drew 1-1 with Ecuador on Saturday in Landon Donovan’s farewell game.
As well as Donovan: John Brooks, Luis Gil, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan, and Joe Gyau make way for the States’ penultimate friendly of the year.
After that strong showing at the World Cup, striker Jozy Altidore believes the players must build on that with a string of important campaigns on the horizon.
“It’s a transition period. You’ve seen the team [in] the last couple games. It’s been a young team and it’s important now for the guys like myself, who have been involved, to kind of not let the level drop,” he is quoted by Sports Illustrated.
“To understand [younger] guys need time, but at the same time it’s on us to pick up the slack a bit for them. We get that. It’s part of the process.
“But I think the future is very exciting.”
Klinsmann will also be accutely aware of next year’s Gold Cup – to be held in the States – as he continues to finesse his side following some high-profile departures.
With Donovan retiring from international football and Tim Howard currently on a break from national team duties, Toronto FC midfielder Bradley feels this is the ideal time for his coach to experiment.
“It’s normal that after one cycle ends, the beginning of the next cycle is used to kind of assess things,” he added.
“There’s younger guys who are given a chance to come into it with older guys, you’re trying to see still where guys fit in and everything, so that’s where we are at the moment.”
Since Honduras’ World Cup campaign came to an end with a third-place finish in Group E under Luis Suarez, Hernan Medford’s reign has brought a fifth-place finish in the recent Copa Centroamericana.
Wins against Belize and Nicaragua were the bright points of Honduras’ campaign in the US last month and Medford will hope to spring a surprise on their return to the country this week.