Philadelphia Union defender Jeff Parke called up to United States men's national soccer team winter training camp
For the first time ever, the Philadelphia Union will be officially represented on the United States senior men's national soccer team.
Defender Jeff Parke has been named to coach Jurgen Klinsmann's latest squad. Parke is the first Union player to ever receive a call-up to the senior national team while on the team's roster.
"It's an honor to be in camp representing our country and also the Philadelphia Union," Parke said.
It is the second time that Klinsmann has summoned Parke to the national team. The Abington native and product of Drexel University was also part of Klinsmann's last winter training camp. He played in the ensuing game against Panama as a substitute.
Two other players currently on the Union roster have U.S. national team experience, though they earned their callups before coming to Philadelphia. Midfielder Freddy Adu made 17 appearances from 2006 through 2011, and and forward Conor Casey made 20 appearances from 2004 through 2009.
In addition, former Union defender Michael Orozco Fiscal has made five U.S. national team appearances, including four under Klinsmann. He famously scored the decisive goal in the U.S.' first ever win at Mexico last August.
Adu and defender Amobi Okugo also were members of the U.S. Under-23 team that failed to qualify for this past summer's Olympics.
But until now, that was as close as the Union had come to being represented on the senior squad.
Parke and the rest of Klinsmann's selections will participate in a three-week training camp in Carson, Calif., later this month. At the end of the camp, the U.S. squad will travel to Houston to face Canada on January 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Twenty-one of the 25 players summoned by Klinsmann play in Major League Soccer. Among the notable names are Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis and Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson.
The international contingent includes highly-touted midfield prospects Mikkel "Mix" Diskerud and Joshua Gatt, as well as up-and-coming defender Alfredo Morales.
Not on the squad is Landon Donovan, MLS' highest-profile American and the U.S. national team's all-time leading scorer. He is taking some time off after helping the Los Angeles Galaxy win their second consecutive MLS Cup, and has not given any indication as to when he will return.
"We are as curious as anybody else as to what [Donovan's] future decision will be," Klinsmann said in a televised interview on Fox Soccer Channel. Klinsmann added that he does not expect Donovan to be on the roster for the U.S.' first game of the final round of World Cup qualifying, at Honduras on February 6.
Here is the full U.S. roster for the winter camp.
Goalkeepers (3): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
Defenders (9): Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards (5): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Edson Buddle (Colorado Rapids), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)