Updated ticket sales figures for upcoming U.S. national team matches:
Scotland friendly May 26 in Jacksonville: 25,500
Brazil friendly May 30 in Landover, Md.: 43,300
Antigua World Cup qualifier June 8 in Tampa: 5,800
(The men will also play a June 3 friendly at Canada in Toronto and a June 12 qualifier at Guatemala.)
China friendly May 27 in Chester, Pa.: 11,700
Canada friendly June 30 in Sandy, Utah: 9,000
(The women will also visit Sweden for friendlies against the host nation June 16 and Japan two days later.)
Excerpts from Juergen Klinsmann’s USSF Q&A regarding the roster selection process for friendlies and qualifiers:
On scouting U.S. players.....
“We look at their physical shape, their technical game, and all their elements to try to see it in the bigger picture. And then when we bring the players into our camp, we know exactly how they fit into our picture. What we’re looking for, really, is a leader. We look for our players to take the next step and stand out in their club teams because only when you stand out in your club team will you get attention to determine if you’re a player that represents the U.S. team.”
On center back Oguchi Onyewu’s recent return from a knee injury.....
“We need to know now where he’s at. Next week, [scout] Andy Herzog is planning to go down to Portugal to see him train, to see him in his normal environment. We need to know that he’s sharp and he’s fit and that he’s already in a rhythm. There’s a big difference between being healthy and fit.”
On player selection ahead of these important matches.....
“It’s really about delivering. ... In such a stretch, you do not risk bringing in players who are injured. You do not risk bringing in players you think need more time to develop. It’s not an introduction camp for players. It’s not a time period where you try things out. It’s a time period now -- in essence very different to all the previous friendlies we’ve had so far -- where you want to attack on the field. You’ve got to get a job done, so you’re not taking risks on players.”
Klinsmann is probably at least 10 days from naming his roster for training camp, which will open around May 15 in Florida.