The United States roster for Wednesday's game against Mexico has been announced, and there are a lot of very interesting names on the list.
Two players who seemed to be in former coach Bob Bradley's doghouse, Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman and Mexican-American José Francisco Torres, have been given a new chance by Jürgen Klinsmann.
Veteran midfielder DaMarcus Beasley is also back in the fold, while Freddy Adu gets another chane to show that he has improved in recent months.
On defense, young wing backs Edgar Castillo and Timmy Chandler are likely to get a good look from Klinsmann, as the search begins to replace Steve Cherundulo and Jonathan Bornstein.
But perhaps the biggest surprise name on the list is one that Philadelphia fans will be very familar with: former Union midfielder Michael Orozco Fiscal. He has been mostly off the radar since returning to Mexican club San Luis, after his loan to the Union expired at the end of last season.
Here is the full 22-player U.S. roster. Mexico's roster is expected to be unveiled later today:
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Edgar Castillo (Club America), Timmy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), José Torres (Pachuca)
Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
By the way, it was reported yesterday by the Washington Post that only around 21,000 tickets have been sold for this game. That is a surprisingly low number considering the large Mexican population in our region, and the fact that the game is Klinsmann's debut.
I know that the tickets are expensive, and that it is a weeknight, and that people have jobs and lives that are more important. But if this game doesn't draw well, I suspect that the U.S. Soccer Federation will combine that with the low attendance for the Colmbia game last fall, and not look upon Philadelphia too kindly for future events.
Granted, there will probably be a big walkup crowd, especially of Mexican fans; and now that the U.S. roster has been announced, the buzz can build over players like Beasley, Torres and Orozco.
So we'll see what the final attendance number turns out to be. Considering that the Phillies are in Los Angeles next Wednesday (and playing in the afternoon, no less), the U.S.-Mexico game should be the marquee event on the local sports scene on the day.
Already, there has been reaction among fans on Twitter that the roster lacks star power because Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore aren't on it. I understand that. But if Torres, Shea, Agudelo and Beasley all play, this squad has the potential to be a lot more entertaining than a lot of sides Bob Bradley put out there in recent times.
A few hours after the U.S. roster was released, Mexico announced its 20-player squad. A lot of top names are on the team, including Rafael Márquez, Andres Guardado and Giovanni Dos Santos. But superstar forward Javier Hernández is not on the list.
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (AJ Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
Defenders: Efrain Juárez (Real Zaragoza), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (VfB Stuttgart), Héctor Moreno (RCD Espanyol), Carlos Salcido (Fulham), Rafael Márquez (New York Red Bulls), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres)
Midfielders: Gerrardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Cruz Azul), Jesús Zavala (Monterrey), Pablo Barrera (West Ham United), Antonio Naelson Sinha (Toluca), Andrés Guardado (Deportivo de La Coruña), Giovani Dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur), Christian Bermúdez (Atlante)
Forwards: Oribe Peralta (Santos), Paul Aguilar (América), Omar Arellano (Chivas de Guadalajara), Javier Aquino (Cruz Azul)