Juergen Klinsmann has created deeper intrigue with his U.S. World Cup roster by announcing he will invite all 30 players named to the provisional list to training camp at Stanford University.
Initially, he had planned to summon between 26 and 28 players, with the rest on stand-by in case of injuries or other issues. Under the new arrangement, all 30 will vie for the 23-man final roster, which must be submitted to FIFA by June 2.
Klinsmann will name the 30 no later than May 12, one day before the FIFA deadline. Players will be notified well in advance of the announcement and begin reporting to camp May 14.
“We definitely will go with 30 players,” he said on a video released by the U.S. Soccer Federation on Thursday. “These 30 players will all go into Stanford because of the situation. The timing is still complicated: Some come back from injuries, some we still need to see and evaluate in the camp. So we decided to take advantage of this whole 30-man roster. It makes it a little more tricky with the training sessions, but we have good quality work prepared for them.”
The U.S. squad will train at Stanford ahead of a May 27 friendly against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the first of three tune-ups before arriving in Brazil. It is unclear when Klinsmann will begin trimming the roster and whether he will have his final list in place before the second friendly, June 1 against Turkey at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. The last test is June 7 against Nigeria in Jacksonville.
“It’s really, really important to see every one of them in every training session, in scrimmages and over the stretch of 2 1/2 weeks to be sure we really have the right 23 going into Brazil. In soccer, it’s a lot about the momentum, it’s a lot about timing. We are very curious about the performances in camp. That way, we want to make sure we cover all of our bases and then have a good feeling about the 23.”
The larger camp roster would allow younger players, such as Bayern Munich’s Julian Green, and those who have not played regularly for their clubs in recent weeks to make a late impression on the coaching staff.
Most slots on the final roster are, in essence, already occupied. However, Klinsmann will have to sort through the remaining candidates. Players on the bubble include 2010 World Cup midfielder Maurice Edu, defender Tim Ream, and forwards Green, Chris Wondolowski and Terrence Boyd.
Once the 23-man list is submitted to FIFA, teams may make changes only in event of serious injury up to 24 hours before their first match. The replacement does not have to come from the 30-man provisional roster. A FIFA medical committee must certify that the injury is significant enough to prevent participation in the tournament.