Jurgen Klinnsman has announced the roster for the 2016 January Camp. Headlining the roster are California natives Marc Pelosi, who returned to San Jose Earthquakes from an ill-fated stint with Liverpool FC in 2015 and LA Galaxy Homegrown star Gyasi Zardes. 2015 was a break out year for Zardes. After making his debut in the friendlies following the 2015 January camp, the striker went on to make 19 appearances for the senior team, tying a record set by Claudio Reyna in 1994 for most caps in a debut year with the National Team. The 2016 debutant class will be looking to emulate Zardes’ rise to regularity in the senior side as well.
“We start out our year with a January camp where we give the opportunity to the next wave of players to come in and make an impression and see if they are ready to step it up into international level, if they are ready to understand what it takes to become a National Team player,” said Klinsmann. “This camp will be a little bit different because we’re going to mix it almost half-and-half with senior players that are already National Team players or some that are older and maybe get the chance to play their first cap, and a lot of the Under-23 players that hopefully qualify us for Rio de Janeiro. This will be more of an identification camp and a development camp. We want to give those players a head start into their very busy year 2016, but we also want to make it clear to them that it’s a huge opportunity that you have to understand what it takes to step it up and to become an international-level player.”
This MLS-heavy roster will look to put a thoroughly disappointing 2015 firmly in the rear-view mirror. Games against Iceland and Canada at the conclusion of the camp will give this group a chance to begin an important 2016 on a good note. The USMNT U23s take on Colombia in March in an Olympic Qualifying playoff and several of the players in the January Camp are eligible for that group. Jordan Morris, Jerome Kiesewetter, Matt Miazga and Kellyn Acosta are all likely to be included in the Olympic squad and will benefit from the experience of playing with senior internationals like Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones.
In the summer of 2016 the U.S. also hosts the Copa America Centenario and competition for places in that team starts now.
U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (5) : Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
MIDFIELDERS (11) : Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (5) : Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (Unattached), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)