On Thursday, U.S. Soccer announced Jurgen Klinsmann‘s 24-man roster for the upcoming friendly against Ukraine. Of the 24, only two players — Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley — come from MLS. This does not show his distaste of MLS, but rather the opposite. Instead of taking away more players, he is showing the league respect.
MLS kicks off their season on March 8, so those players will miss key preparation time with their respective squads. Therefore, Klinsmann did not call up critical MLS players who do not make up the core of the USMNT. This shows Klinsmann’s now favorable opinion of MLS. He has gone from disrespecting MLS when Dempsey transferred to the Seattle Sounders to Thursday’s decision, and Klinsmann was smart to call up a European-heavy roster.
In addition, by not having players like Landon Donovan and Brad Evans on the roster for the upcoming Ukraine friendly, fringe players like Oguchi Onyewu will be auditioning for a spot on the 2014 World Cup squad. That said, this friendly squad includes a majority of players who will be on the 2014 World Cup USMNT roster.
Klinsmann showed his respect for MLS Soccer by not filling the Ukraine friendly roster with MLS players, but rather only calling up very key players to maintain some type of roster consistency. Stay tuned to Rant Sports for more analysis ahead of the Ukraine friendly on March 5.
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