The USA's Fabian Johnson (white jersey) and Mesut Özil of Germany battle for possession during their 2014 FIFA World Cup encounter. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO – The United States announced Sunday that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen a 22-man roster for away friendlies against a pair of European giants.
The CONCACAF champion will face the Netherlands on June 5 in Amsterdam, before traveling to Cologne for a June 10 meeting against 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany.
"Our time since the World Cup has been a transition period which now winds down before the Gold Cup," said Klinsmann. "Playing against top teams like Germany and the Netherlands provides valuable experience, especially for the younger players here. More and more they must understand we come to meet these opponents eye to eye. Obviously it's a bit tricky when we are without some of our core players, but that creates a huge opportunity for the guys here to benchmark themselves against some of the best players in the world. "
Eight players on the roster have 10 caps or less, while nine have made 20 appearances or more. The selection is highlighted by the inclusion of defender Ventura Alvarado and midfielder Fabian Johnson.
Alvarado helped Club America to the 2014/15 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League title in April, while Johnson made 24 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach as it finished third in the German Bundesliga to earn a place in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League.
The U.S. will be without the services of forwards Jozy Altidore (hamstring) and Clint Dempsey (awaiting birth of child) and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (knee).
Klinsmann is preparing his team to defend its CONCACAF Gold Cup crown this summer, when it will square off against Honduras (July 7), Haiti (July 10) and Panama (July 13).
UNITED STATES ROSTER
(International friendlies: June 5, 2015, away v Netherlands; June 11, 2015, away v Germany)
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Leon/Mexico)
DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America/Mexico), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/Germany), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Orozco (Puebla/Mexico), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur/England)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/Canada), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt/Germany), Danny Williams (Reading/England)
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich/Germany), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)