USMNT Rotates Lineup Ahead of New Zealand Friendly

Oct 09, 2016 by Alex Baker

Jurgen Klinsmann has introduced major rotations for the United States men’s national team’s upcoming friendly with New Zealand on Tuesday. Six starters and a total of nine players who were in the squad for Friday’s 2-0 win over Cuba have been allowed to return to their club teams.

A group of the team’s European-based players formed the core of the departing group with John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Bobby Wood (Hamburg), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Ethan Horvath (Molde) all rejoining their European teams.

Julian Green (Bayern Munich) and Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian) have remained with the squad. Major League Soccer’s Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) and Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) have also left to rejoin their teams.

Klinsmann has called up seven additional players as reinforcements ahead of Tuesday’s game. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid (DC United) steps in along with defenders Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Michael Orozco (Tijuana) and Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps).

Strikers Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution) and Terence Boyd (Leipzig) have also joined the team. Boyd’s call-up is his first since he was cut from the provisional squad ahead of the 2014 World Cup, while Agudelo’s is his first since 2015.

The USMNT came away with a 2-0 win from their historic friendly in Havana on Friday night. After a difficult first half Wondolowski and Green scored in the second half in a game played on a bumpy, potato patch of a pitch.

In addition to scoring his first goal for the U.S. since the 2014 World Cup, Green provided an assist for Wondolowski and looks to be realizing some of the potential he was lauded for when Klinsmann surprisingly included the then 19-year-old in his World Cup plans.

New Zealand are likely to prove a sterner test for the Yanks than the Cubans did. The All-Whites were impressive against Mexico on Saturday and despite losing 2-1, looked organized, pressed hard, and were very dangerous on the counterattack.

The friendly will be the USA’s final tune-up before next month’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico. Watch the United States friendly against New Zealand this Tuesday, October 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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