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Relive the highest of highs and lowest of lows from the United States’ rather tumultuous 2017.
San Jose Earthquakes defender Nick Lima discusses his first ever U.S. call-up after a successful first season in MLS.

Acting United States men’s national team manager Dave Sarachan has called in a youthful 30-man squad for the team’s annual January camp, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Monday.

The camp, which starts on Jan. 10, will conclude with a match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 28 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

The roster includes 21 players aged 24 and under, while half the group is comprised of uncapped players. A conscious decision was also made to leave out more veteran players such as the Toronto FC duo of captain Michael Bradley and forward Jozy Altidore.

“Obviously, this is a unique January camp in that we’re solely preparing for the future and to give opportunity to players that have a future in the program. We didn’t bring in a lot of the veteran players for that reason,” Sarachan said.

Only four of the players on the roster have more than 10 appearances with the U.S., led by LA Galaxy attacker Gyasi Zardes (37 caps), New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo (27), Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris (24) and D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola (15).

With the Bosnia match taking place outside a FIFA international window, the USSF needed the permission of clubs for players to be released. Among overseas players, only FC Midtjylland goalkeeper Bill Hamid was released by his club.

Conversely, FC Dallas denied the USSF permission to include any of its players, including midfielder Kellyn Acosta. FCD is one of five Major League Soccer teams that will play in the CONCACAF Champions League before the start of the MLS season, but it was the only to take this approach.

Christian Ramirez
Minnesota United forward Christian Ramirez is one of 15 uncapped players on the U.S. squad.

All but two players come from MLS clubs, and now the chance for those players to make an impression awaits.

“The message to this group is, ‘You belong here, and always take advantage of any opportunities that you have with the national team,'” Sarachan said. “We have 18 days before we play our game against Bosnia.

“The whole idea for this group of players is to take advantage of the training, take advantage of getting to know one another and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself because this is going to be part of our future going forward.”

The roster announcement comes on a day on which sources confirmed to ESPN FC that Monterrey and U.S. youth international midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez plans to file a one-time switch with FIFA to represent Mexico

Sources told ESPN FC that over the last month both Sarachan and U.S. Under-20 manager Tab Ramos tried to reach out to Gonzalez, and that he was among the list of call-ups for the January camp.

While it seemed nearly impossible that Monterrey would release him during its season, it was a way of letting the player know he was in the U.S. team’s thoughts. However, sources said Gonzalez never responded to Sarachan or Ramos.

The full U.S. squad (club and caps): 

Goalkeepers: Alex Bono (Toronto FC, 0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland, 4), Cody Cropper (New England Revolution, 0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC, 0)

Defenders: Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake, 0), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake, 0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes, 0), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC, 3), Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City, 0), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps, 0), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire, 0), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire,1), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC, 1)

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls, 1), Paul Arriola (D.C. United, 15), Russell Canouse (D.C. United, 0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC, 0), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids, 0), Ian Harkes (D.C. United, 0), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake, 0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders, 1), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution, 3), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC, 2), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy, 37)

Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution, 27), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City, 4), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders, 24), Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United, 0), Rubio Rubin (Unattached, 4), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union, 3)

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.


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