Earlier today, Jurgen Klinsmann announced the 24 players that he’s called to training camp in Frankfurt, Germany as the USMNT prepares for its match versus Ukraine on Wednesday, March 5 in Cyprus (live on ESPN2 at 2pm ET).
Twenty one of the 24 players called to Frankfurt for the training camp are players who are currently playing in Europe. The only exceptions are Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley, Seattle Sounders’ Clint Dempsey, and Club Tijuana’s Edgar Castillo.
In addition, Klinsmann has invited 18-year old Bayern Munich forward Julian Green to camp. Green, who was born in Tampa, Florida, is German-American and eligible to play for either Germany or the United States, and has been a hot coveted prospect by both countries.
The 18-year old Bayern Munich forward has played for the German U-19 squad and must now file a one-time switch in order to play for the United States. However, Green has publicly state that he is not ready to do so. According to Jeff Carlisle of ESPN, Green will practice for two days with the USMNT in Frankfurt.
“We want to show him [Green] how things work with the United States team and with our environment.” Explained Klinsmann on his decision to call the German-American. “We want him to meet the players, to meet the staff, obviously to meet us coaches, and we want him to feel comfortable in our environment.”
Klinsmann acknowledged that its hard for players with dual citizenship to decide what nation to play for, and Green won’t be any different. “Julian is an exceptional talent not only because he’s playing for Bayern Munich, but he’s shown that already over the past two years in the senior team environment there against the “older guys.”
This camp will be huge for the European-based players as they try to prove to the coaching staff that they are willing to work hard for a spot in the 2014 World Cup squad, since this is the only chance most of these players will have prior to World Cup preparation camps begins.
“With this game being the only chance for these players before our World Cup preparation camp begins, it’s even more important they have a good showing,” explained Klinsmann.
The match versus Ukraine was previously set to be played in Kharkiv, but the location was changed due to current conditions in the country. Kickoff at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca is set for 2 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast on ESPN2.