On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. the US will take on Bosnia-Herzegovina in an international friendly. Normally, friendlies aren’t very exciting, but this one has grabbed my attention due to the players that Jurgen Klinsmann decided to call up. Let’s take a look at the most interesting ones, starting with the young players:
Cropper is a goalkeeper who currently plays for Southampton in England. Previously, he had only appeared for the US u20 team. Cropper has a chance at being the goalkeeper of the future for the US. The fact that he has already caught on with a foreign team is huge, and hopefully he can find playing time on loan this season. It’s unlikely that he will play, however, as Tim Howard wouldn’t be leaving Everton just before the start of the season if he wasn’t guaranteed to play the entire match. For a demonstration of Cropper’s unique talents, see here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/usa-u20-keeper-cody-cropper-did-not-enjoy-julio-gomezs-acrobatic-golazo-for-mexico/
John Anthony Brooks
John Anthony Brooks’ decision to accept the call-up for this game is the biggest story surrounding this friendly. The 6′ 4″ left-footed center back- who has lived in Germany his whole life- is another one of the many German-Americans who have become so vital to the US as of late. Brooks may end up being the best of them all–high praise considering the success that Fabian Johnson, Timothy Chandler, and Jermaine Jones have had. Although the friendly is not binding, it is a huge step towards getting Brooks to commit to playing for the US. He recently accepted a call-up to a German u20 camp, forcing US fans to recall the painful memories of Neven Subotic and Giuseppe Rossi. Hopefully, this friendly will help convince Brooks that his future lies with the US.
Johannsson is the other big story surrounding the friendly. Just today, FIFA officially cleared Johannsson to switch his nationality from Iceland to the US, binding him to play for the Stars and Stripes. Johannsson was brought in by AZ Alkmaar in the January transfer window as the team anticipated the loss of Jozy Altidore. So far, Johannsson has lived up to the task, scoring five goals in seven games for the Dutch side, including one in the team’s recent 3-2 upset victory over Ajax. Just 22, Johannsson could be a force for years to come.
Klinsmann’s decision to give Wood a chance to earn his first international cap was the most surprising choice that Klinsmann made with the roster. The 20 year old Hawaiian plays for 1860 Munich in the German Second Division. Wood looks quite promising, and hopefully he can team with Johannsson to provide a deadly young scoring duo for the US in the years to come.
A few other players are also deserve mentions. Jozy Altidore, Danny Williams, and Alejandro Bedoya are all making their first appearances for the US since moving to new clubs (Sunderland, Reading, and Nantes respectively). Centerback Tim Ream returns to the US squad for the first time since October 2011, back in the early days of Jurgen’s reign, before the backlash against him (which fellow blogger Tim was a part of) started, and thus before all the haters realized their stupidity and started loving him, as we all should.
That’s all for now. A sure-to-be-ridiculed Premier League Preview will be posted this Friday, and some sort of transfer wrap-up can be expected at the end of the month. Until then, goodbye, or- as the French would say- “I am smelly Frenchman who hates Americans and is constantly on strike.”