Both the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams unveiled rosters today for upcoming friendlies.
First: the men, who will face South Korea on Feb. 1 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Juergen Klinsmann dropped five players from the group that has been together all month in California and Brazil: Colorado Rapids defenders Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill, Sporting Kansas City defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.
He also added Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst, who recently moved to MLS from Augsburg in Germany. Michael Bradley also returned this month, but with his place in the squad secure, he was not called up for this second-tier friendly.
Four players are in position for their first cap: Seattle right back DeAndre Yedlin, 20; Real Salt Lake wing Luis Gil, 20; Portland left back Michael Harrington; and Chicago forward Mike Magee, the 2013 MLS most valuable player.
Buoyed by the large Korean community in Los Angeles, ticket sales are approaching 22,000 — a much larger response than for typical U.S. friendlies during the winter camp. Capacity is around 27,000. ESPN2 and UniMas will provide coverage, starting at 5 p.m. ET.
Looking ahead to the March 5 friendly, Ukraine has set the venue: 40,000-seat Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, the nation’s second-largest city. Kickoff time and TV have not been finalized.
With the match falling on the only FIFA fixture date before World Cup training camp opens in May, Klinsmann will summon most, if not all, of his first-choice charges. MLS call-ups will miss the final days of club training camp and return just in time for regular season openers, March 8-9.
Meantime, USSF officials say they are monitoring unrest in Ukraine. For now, however, plans remain in place.
On the women’s front …
Tom Sermanni named 24 players for a showdown with Canada on Jan. 31 in Frisco, Tex., and a pair of friendlies against Russia, Feb. 8 in Boca Raton, Fla., and Feb. 12 in Atlanta.
Fox Sports 1 will carry the Canada game, starting at 9 p.m. ET. The Russia matches are available on a live stream via the USSF website.
The roster includes Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, the No. 1 pick in last week’s National Women’s Soccer League draft, and Virginia junior midfielder Morgan Brian, the 2013 Hermann Trophy winner. UCLA midfielder Samantha Mewis is the only other player not affiliated with an NWSL club.
Alex Morgan will not play because of an ankle injury. Tobin Heath remains sidelined with a foot ailment. Kelley O’Hara (ankle) is aiming to make her first U.S. appearance since last spring.
A new name (of sorts) on the roster: Rachel Van Hollebeke. That’s veteran defender Rachel Buehler, who will now go by her married name, pronounced “van HALL-ah-beck.”
Looking ahead to the World Cup qualifying tournament in October, CONCACAF is evaluating potential locations and expects to reach a decision soon. The USSF did not submit a bid. As 2015 World Cup host, Canada does not need to qualify; hence, it will not stage the qualifying competition.