Klinsmann Taps 21, Including First-Timer Boyd, for Italy Friendly

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected 21 players yesterday for next Wednesday’s friendly against four-time world champion Italy in Genoa (2:45 ET, ESPN2, ESPN3, Galavision).

The roster’s biggest surprise was 21-year-old German-American striker Terrence Boyd (above), who had been set to join the U.S. U-23s ahead of their match against Mexico, which kicks off at 10:00 p.m. ET (Univision) the same day as the senior team’s game with Italy.

Klinsmann selected four MLS players (Nick Rimando, Geoff Cameron, Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle) and one based in Mexico (Jose Torres). The remaining 16 ply their trade in Europe.

This game marks the first time Klinsmann has had both Donovan and Fulham striker Clint Dempsey on a roster since he took the U.S. coaching reins in July 2011.

Here’s the complete roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (7) : Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)

MIDFIELDERS (6) : Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

FORWARDS (5) : Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)

Klinsmann said the roster was “co-developed” with U-23 coach Caleb Porter in part to give Porter’s team optimal preparation before it enters Olympic qualifying in March. Juan Agudelo, Brek Shea, and Teal Bunbury—all three of whom have featured in Klinsmann’s previous rosters—will train with the U-23s and play in their match against Mexico.

There are some other noteworthy absences. Oguchi Onyewu injured his knee last weekend and is out for two months. Sacha Kljestan has been having a standout season at Belgian side Anderlecht, but did not get the nod. The same goes for winger DaMarcus Beasley at Puebla in the Mexican top flight. Some observers have also suggested New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber deserved a call.

As for the players he did choose, and next Wednesday’s match, Klinsmann had this to say:

“I’m excited about getting everybody together and challenging a world-class team like former World Cup winner Italy on their home soil,” Klinsmann said. “I think we have put a very competitive roster together.

“It’s very important that we get these games, and in particular playing them on the road. That’s when you really get players out of their comfort zone, and they have to deal with a difficult environment on a physical and psychological level. Italy is a very smart and experienced team, and there is a lot to take away from an experience like this.”

After the Italy match, the senior U.S. team doesn’t play again until May 26 against Scotland. The U-23s begin Olympic qualifying on March 22, taking on Cuba in Nashville (9:00 p.m. ET, Universal Sports Network, Telemundo).

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