Jurgen Klinsmann Calls 21 Players to Face Four-time World Cup Champion Italy on Feb. 29 in Genoa

U.S. Soccer Federation

U.S. Soccer Federation

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named a squad of 21 players to prepare for the match against four-time World Cup champion Italy on Feb. 29 in Genoa. Kickoff for the teams’ first meeting on Italian soil since 2002 is set for 8:45 p.m. local time (2:45 p.m. ET). 

The match takes place on the first FIFA international fixture date of 2012, which allowed Klinsmann to select all available players. 

GOALKEEPERS (3) :Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (7) :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 (6) : Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

FORWARDS (5) :Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) 

“We’re looking forward to having all the European-based players back in the roster and picking up where we left off with them from the Slovenia game,” said Klinsmann, who is on a three-match winning streak dating back to the 3-2 victory on Nov. 15, 2011, against Slovenia.

“I’m excited about getting everybody together and challenging a world-class team like former World Cup winner Italy on their home soil. I think we have put a very competitive roster together.  This roster was co-developed with the U-23 team because we wanted them to have a great preparation game before they go into Olympic qualifying in March. Our roster is highly competitive and ready to give them a real fight.” 

Roster Notes: 

A total of 13 players return from the group that defeated Slovenia 3-2 in Ljubljana, including all three goalscorers: Edson Buddle, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.

The goal was Dempsey’s 24th career strike, tying him for fourth all-time in goals scored for the United States along with Joe-Max Moore. The 2011 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year is having a record-setting season at Fulham; his 16 goals in all competitions include two hat tricks.

In the Slovenia match, U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra earned his 100th career cap. 

Michael Bradley is the lone U.S. international playing in Italy, becoming a fixture in the lineup for Chievo in Serie A since moving there this summer. Bradley has started 22 straight league matches and was named Man of the Match in the 1-0 win against Genoa last weekend. 

Jose Torres returns to the U.S. fold after recovering from a foot injury he suffered last September. 

Brad Guzan makes his debut in a camp under Klinsmann, the goalkeeper last appearing for the United States in the 1-0 win against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010, in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.

Altidore, Steve Cherundolo and Jermaine Jones remain involved in Europa League action, as AZ Alkmaar, Hannover and Schalke 04 all have reached the Round of 32.

Terrence Boyd is the only player on the roster who will seek to earn his first cap. The Borussia Dortmund-based striker has been a regular part of the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team. Boyd originally was named to the U-23 roster heading into the team’s Feb. 29 match against Mexico in Frisco, Texas, but he had not joined the team yet.

Nine leagues in eight different countries are represented on the roster. 

The U.S. has collected three consecutive victories, including a pair of shutout wins against Venezuela and Panama to open the 2012 campaign. In addition to providing a series of activities designed to develop individual player pathways, Klinsmann has given 41 players at least one cap through his nine games as head coach. 

The team has lined up a series of friendlies for this summer in preparation for the start of World Cup qualifying. The U.S. Men’s National Team returns to Jacksonville for the start of its critical summer campaign when it faces Scotland on May 26 at EverBank Field. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Following the match against Scotland, the U.S. continues its competition against the world’s top teams when it hosts five-time World Cup champion Brazil on Wednesday, May 30, in Landover, Md. Kickoff for the USA’s first ever match at FedExField is set for 8 p.m. ET. 

For the last game before the start of World Cup qualifying, the United States will make a rare visit to Canada when it renews the rivalry June 3 at BMO Field in Toronto. Kickoff for the USA’s first match on Canadian soil since 1997 is set for 7 p.m. ET. 

The United States will kick off the effort to qualify for its seventh-consecutive FIFA World Cup when it hosts Antigua & Barbuda on June 8 at Raymond James Stadium. The semifinal round opener begins at 7 p.m. ET. Along with these two teams, Group A is comprised of Guatemala and Jamaica. The top teams from each of three groups will advance to the final round of qualifying, which will take place in 2013. Three teams will automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the fourth-place team will play in a two-leg playoff against the winner of the Oceania region. 

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