Can EJ recreate the magic he found last time out for the stars and stripes?
Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans have been called up to the January US Men’s National Team Camp, manager Jurgen Klinsmann announced this morning.
This is Johnson’s second consecutive call-up and Evans’ first since last January’s camp.
Johnson made his return to the USMNT spotlight in the red, white and blue’s final World Cup Qualifying Group Stage matches against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala. Johnson had the only two goals for the US in the 2-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda and had the game-winning assist against Guatemala.
Although the call for EJ really comes as no surprise, Klinsmann giving Brad the chance is a bit more of a shock. January camps traditionally tend to be MLS heavy since it’s mid-season in Europe, but it’s impressive that the brain trust at the USMNT saw the improvement in Evans over the last few months of the season.
Former Sounder center back Jeff Parke also got the call up onto the 25 man roster, 21 of which play in the MLS.
Johnson may contend for a starting lineup in the two matches this camp will play, while Evans may be used off the bench — if at all.
Camp starts tomorrow for the players in Carson, Calif. and culminates with a friendly against Canada Jan. 29 in Houston. The Americans then travel to Honduras Feb. 6 for their first WCQ Hex round match where Klinsmann said that some of the players in the January camp could have the chance to join the full national team for the match — one of which you’d expect to be EJ.
“There’s a chance of six, seven, eight guys making it out of this group to Honduras,” Klinsmann said.
Here’s a look at the entire roster — who’s your starting XI?
Goalkeepers (3): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
Defenders (9): Steven Beitashour (SJ Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), AJ De La Garza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (NY Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (SJ Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards (5): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (SJ Earthquakes)