CHICAGO — New coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t the only one who could use nametags when the U.S. men play Mexico next week.
Klinsmann left no doubt this is a new era Thursday when he announced the squad for his first game as head coach, mixing veteran mainstays such as Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and captain Carlos Bocanegra with up-and-comers Brek Shea, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco Fiscal and Bill Hamid. He also brought back DaMarcus Beasley for the first time since last year’s World Cup in South Africa, and gave another shot to Freddy Adu, the onetime phenom whose slumping career was rejuvenated with his stellar play at the Gold Cup.
“One of the goals of the roster for this game and moving forward is to create competition at each position,” Klinsmann said. “There are many players who are established as well as many players who will get opportunities, and we want there to be a healthy contest for spots on the roster. We will get a good look at where each player is as quickly as we can.”
The game against El Tri on Wednesday in Philadelphia is a rematch of the Gold Cup final in June, a flop that led to Klinsmann’s hiring. The U.S. blew a two-goal lead against its biggest rival, and the latest in a series of lackluster showings proved to be too much for coach Bob Bradley, who was fired last Thursday. Klinsmann, who had long been linked with the job, was hired the next day.
Klinsmann spent much of his introductory news conference talking about player development and is wasting little time seeing if there are other players out there who could help the U.S. when World Cup qualifying begins next year.
Defense has been an area of concern the past two years, and Klinsmann will take a look at youngsters Orozco Fiscal, Castillo, Timmy Chandler and Tim Ream.
Ricardo Clark and Jose Torres were included for the first time since the World Cup in South Africa, joining midfield regulars Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones. Klinsmann also called up Shea, who is third in scoring in Major League Soccer with nine goals this season.
Adu was one of the few bright spots for the Americans at the Gold Cup, setting up the lone goal in the semifinal win against Panama and getting an assist on the opening goal in the final. Klinsmann also selected 18-year-old Juan Agudelo, who has scored twice in 10 appearances since making his U.S. debut last November.
With the U.S. traveling to Brussels for a Sept. 6 exhibition against Belgium, Klinsmann left several European-based players off his roster, including Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore. Dempsey was in Fulham’s starting lineup Thursday for its Europa League game against Split.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Bill Hamid (DC United).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne, France), Edgar Castillo (Club America, Mexico), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Brek Shea (Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)
Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal), Juan Agudelo (New York), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt, Germany), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles).