Juergen Klinsmann’s 21-man roster for the U.S. national soccer team’s friendly against Italy next Wednesday (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Galavision, ESPN3.com) includes primarily European-based players — not a surprise given the location abroad (Genoa), opponent (world power), timing (late in MLS preseason and under-23 friendly vs. Mexico the same day) and, well, most of the best Americans do play in Europe. So here’s the list:
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hanover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City).
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Chievo), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim).
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (L.A. Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (L.A. 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, citing the 3-2 victory in November. “I’m excited about getting everybody together and challenging a world-class team 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.”
Sporting Lisbon center back Oguchi Onyewu (knee injury last weekend) and Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden (returning from a knee injury) are not available.
Surprise absence: Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who is in fine form and playing regularly.
Boyd was initially scheduled to attend U.S. under-23 camp, but Klinsmann called him into the senior national team. He is the only player on the squad without a cap.
Italy will announce its roster Sunday.
Your thoughts on the U.S. list are welcome in our comments section.