U.S. Soccer tweeted the news today that new coach Jurgen Klinsmann will not announce his first roster as U.S. boss until tomorrow. He was originally slated to name his team today for the Aug. 10 friendly with Mexico, but is still in the process of contacting players personally.
Klinsmann is expected to call 20 players, one of whom, according to Soccer By Ives, which cited a report from Germany, will be Timothy Chandler.
SBI also reported that Jonathan Spector and Eric Lichaj will not be on Klinsmann’s first roster. Spector just signed a two-year deal with Championship side Birmingham City and will take the time to settle in with his new club. Lichaj suffered a slight hip injury in Aston Villa’s preseason trip to Hong Kong and is reportedly not an option for Klinsmann at left back for next Wednesday’s game.
Left back has long been a problem area for the USMNT, and while Lichaj has shown promise there in his few appearances for the national team, if he can’t go next week, there may be another, recently neglected option ready to step in: Bobby Convey of the San Jose Earthquakes.
For reasons that have never been made explicit, Convey and former coach Bob Bradley did not get along, and the Premier League veteran, now 28, has not appeared in the U.S. shirt since February 2008. If you doubt that there was bad blood between Convey and the departed coach, take a look at what Convey told the MLS website about Klinsmann:
“He bases [selections] on playing ability. I think that’s a great thing for everyone, not just myself. He will play the best players and not just the people that he likes the most.”
Convey was initially reluctant to play left back, but has recently accepted the role with his club team, a development that could revive his national-team career. As he told MLS recently:
“Obviously, left back has been the weakest position for the national team, and for a long time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to play last year. That spot’s open and I started there in the All-Star Game, so we’ll just see.”
That we will, possibly as early as tomorrow.