Klinsmann calls on European elite
© AFP

Fulham striker Clint Dempsey and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard were among 16 European-based US players named to the 21-man USA roster for next Wednesday's international friendly against Italy.

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Landon Donovan could play alongside FIFA World Cup™ frontline partner Dempsey for the first time since German legend Jurgen Klinsmann took over last year as coach in the match at Genoa.

The Azzurri will be playing their 2012 opener ahead of the UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. The Italians have been drawn alongside world champions Spain, Croatia and Republic of Ireland.

The Americans enter on a three-game winning streak that began with a 3-2 victory over Slovenia last November and continued with 1-0 triumphs last month over Venezuela and Panama respectively. "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.


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.
Jurgen Klinsmann, USA coach

"It's very important we get these games and in particular playing them on the road. That's when you really get players out of their comfort zone and they have to deal with a difficult environment on a physical and psychological level. Our roster is highly competitive and ready to give them a real fight."

Midfielder Michael Bradley is the only member of the US squad who is playing in Italy, having started 22 Serie A matches for Chievo. "It's going to be a special game for Michael Bradley," said Klinsmann, who replaced Bradley's father Bob [Bradley] as coach. "It speaks well for him that he has already established himself as a consistent starter in a difficult league."

The Americans will prepare for their start of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying in the CONCACAF region with friendlies on 26 May against Scotland, 30 May against Brazil, and a 3 June match verse Canada.

The first CONCACAF regional qualifying match for the Americans will be held in Tampa on 8 June against Antigua and Barbuda. Guatemala and Jamaica are also in the group, which will send two teams into next year's final qualifying round for the Brazil 2014.

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/SCO), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg/GER), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/DEN), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland/DEN), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City/ENG)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Chievo/ITA), Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER), Jose Torres (Pachuca/MEX), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/GER)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)