The 2014 World Cup begins in about a month, which means the national squads are taking shape. And today, Team USA released its 30-man roster, the next to last step before the World Cup team is finalized.
There aren't a ton of surprises here. The core veterans Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Tim Howard are all here. But so is 18-year-old midefielder Julian Green and 20-year-old defender DeAndre Yedlin. Green is a bit of a surprise name on the roster, in part because of his age but also because he suffered a shoulder injury in a friendly against Mexico in April and has been out of action since then.
Green and Yedlin — a player with little international experience but who is a standout for the Seattle Sounders — could add some excitement to the US' World Cup team. Or they could be left off in the final round of cuts. They, and we, will know when the final 23-man roster is released June 2. For now, we have the 30-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu(Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Next up for Team USA is a two-week training camp at Stanford that opens on Wednesday, and then will play scrimmages against Azerbaijan in San Francisco (May 27), Turkey in New Jersey (June 1), and Nigeria in Jacksonville (June 7). The team then heads to Brazil, where it will scrimmage against Belgium on June 12 then open its World Cup play on June 16 against Ghana.
What do you think of the 30-man Team USA preliminary roster? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photo: Team USA poses for a group photo before the International Friendly against Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 2, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)