About time, Jürgen. Gyasi Zardes has finally been called up to a USMNT camp along with fellow homegrown LA Galaxy teammate Oscar Sorto. On Friday morning Klinsmann announced his 28-man roster for the first training camp of 2015 to be held in Carson ahead of friendlies against Chile and Panama.
“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” Klinsmann said. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
“We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program.”
After a breakout season of 16 goals, 6th best in the league and the most ever for a homegrown player, LA Galaxy fans every where will be relieved to see Zardes is finally getting the national team love that he deserves. He’ll be playing in his own backyard along with Oscar Sorto, whose name is perhaps a little bit surprising to see, except that the Olympic squad is made up of players 23 years old and younger with the exception of 3 players above that age limit.
Sorto played most of this season with LA Galaxy II, featuring for the first team just once, but at just 20 years old has a huge upside and has played for the USMNT U18 and U20 squads before, making him a perfect fit for the USMNT Olympic side.
The January training camp is a mix of World Cup veterans like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones with 14 young national team rookies, and playing in a familiar environment is a perfect way to introduce Zardes and Sorto to the international level. Although Zardes is too old to play in the Olympics and probably won’t be used for one of the 3 over 23 year old spots, Galaxy fans all know that this is the first of many call ups for the striker. Make sure you get tickets to see him in action on February 8th against Panama at our very own Stubhub Center so we can all say “I told ya so” when he scores a hat trick on his debut.
Here’s the full roster:
Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) DEFENDERS (8):
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy) MIDFIELDERS (10):
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC) FORWARDS (6):
Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)