Juergen Klinsmann mines the German American connections as the Bundesliga gets top billing in his 21 man roster named for the Italy match on March 29th. The latest entry, 21 year old forward, Terrence Boyd from the Borussia Dortmund reserves. In now a very familiar path to national selection, Boyd's father is an American serviceman and his mother German. He was originally selected for the U23 squad against Mexico for a match to be played on the same day till Klinsmann elevated him to the MNT.
The other less surprising selections are midfielder Jermaine Jones (Schalke), right back Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), midfielder/left back Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), midfielder Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), and right back/ winger Timothy Chandler (Nurnberg).
Klinsmann also kept faith in Michael Parkhurst and Geoff Cameron, both featuring in the Panama game played a month ago. The shape of the national team is still evolving but under Klinsi, the duo along with Jermaine Jones are getting very decent face time.
After matches against Venezuela and Panama, the roster again features Michael Bradley, last seen in the victory against Slovenia. Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra also return to give this roster an experienced look at the back.
The midfield sports a decidedly defensive look with Jones joining Maurice Edu and Fabian Johnson. Michael Bradley gives box to box qualities and Jose Francisco Torres brings his play making abilities. The latter's selection is particularly gratifying because against the Italians it will be important to match them in the midfield and try and break a stubborn Italian defense.
Torres last played in the loss against Belgium on September 6th, 2011. Undoubtedly, Klinsi has been inspired by Germany's revolution as a creative fount spearheaded by a new generation of attacking midfielders like Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, Marko Marin, Toni Kroos following in the footsteps of Mesut Oezil. This is an area sorely in need of development in the US as it needs to shrug of its reliance to hit on the counterattack to settle into a more all around game to match the elites in the sport.
Up front, Clint Dempsey re-unites with Landon Donovan. The inclusion of Donovan will be a huge boost after his bright sojourn at Everton. Dempsey has been his usual productive self for Fulham. They can look forward to combining with Jozy Altidore or Edson Buddle. Altidore reclaimed his starting spot for AZ Alkmaar after being kept on the bench for a while following an injury to Charlison Benschop, the striker finding favour with coach Gertjan Verbeek.
Here is Brian Sciaretta of Yanks Abroad discussing the growing influence of Germ-Americans in the national team.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)