Crofton native Kyle Beckerman and former Terps stars Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, Graham Zusi, and Maurice Edu were all named Monday to the United States’ 30-man provisional roster ahead of next month’s World Cup in Brazil.
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann must cut the squad down to 23 players by June 2, but all five could easily find themselves on the plane to Brazil should they put in good performances at the training camp in Palo Alto, Calif., which begins next week.
Beckerman, 32, played at Arundel before signing with Major League Soccer in 2000, and has featured heavily for the national team in recent years. He anchored the team’s midfield in the Gold Cup victory last summer, and has developed into one of the stars of MLS with Real Salt Lake.
Gonzalez, a 25-year-old from Texas, played three years at Maryland and helped lead the team to its 2008 national championship. The Los Angeles Galaxy defender has been a frequent starter at the heart of Klinsmann’s defense for the U.S., to the point that it’s hard to imagine the squad going to Brazil without him.
However, he suffered a knee injury this week that could keep him out of training with the Galaxy until the World Cup camp begins. That injury leaves the opportunity for a veteran like Goodson to prove his worth and convince Klinsmann to bring him along as defensive depth.
Goodson, who plays for the San Jose Earthquakes, was a member of the 2010 World Cup squad, but did not appear in a game. He has international experience in the Danish Superliga with Brondby IF, and also played in Norway. The Virginia native played with Maryland from 2000-2003.
Zusi, 27, gained acclaim all across North America when his late goal in the United States’ final World Cup qualifier last October secured Mexico’s place in the next qualifying round. He has contributed three goals in 20 national team appearances, but also has a place in Maryland lore for his game-winning goals in the semifinal and finals of the 2008 College Cup.
Zusi will be fighting for a spot in a crowded midfield for the U.S., but his creativity and guile could help him secure a plane ticket to Brazil.
Edu, another veteran of the 2010 squad, will also fight for a place in the American midfield. His appearance in the Slovenia game is memorable for all the wrong reasons, as he had a potential late game-winning goal waved off for reasons the referee never fully explained. Edu, who played for Maryland from 2004 to 2006, has experience in England and Scotland, and currently plays for Philadelphia Union.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (11): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun