SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and defenders Steven Beitashour and Justin Morrow were among 25 players named to U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s January camp on Sunday.
The group will be stationed at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif. starting Monday, Jan. 7. The camp culminates with a friendly against Canada on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium (6 p.m. PT / ESPN2, WatchESPN).
“There is a tremendous amount of talent in the player pool. We follow these players very carefully, and the group coming in is the next line to challenge the players ahead of them in the National Team,” said Klinsmann. “This is absolutely a huge opportunity, and we’re looking forward to working with them. We are getting ready for the friendly against Canada, and also the big World Cup qualifier in Honduras, so these are going to be an important few weeks of preparation.”
San Jose’s trio tied Houston and Sporting Kansas City for most January camp representatives. They were each key pieces for an Earthquakes squad that posted the third-highest point total in league history with 66 thanks to a 19-6-9 record. The club took home its second Supporters’ Shield and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
Wondolowski, 29, will make his third consecutive January camp appearance. He is coming off one of the best campaigns of any player in MLS history, having tied the league mark for goals in a season with 27 while tacking on seven assists. For his efforts, Wondolowski was voted Volkswagen Most Valuable Player and was named to the MLS Best XI for a third-consecutive year. Entering camp, he has eight caps with the U.S. National Team.
Beitashour, 25, is aiming to build on his first U.S. National Team call-up in Aug. 2012. The San Jose native was with the Americans ahead of a friendly against Mexico at Azteca Stadium on Aug. 25. He is coming off a breakout campaign that included a career-high 33 starts and six assists as well as a starting nod in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea on July 25. A graduate of Leland High School, Beitashour hopes to earn his first cap when the U.S. faces Canada.
Morrow, 25, is in camp for the first time in his career after enjoying his best season as a professional in 2012. He scored one goal and had four assists in 33 starts for the Supporters’ Shield winners, each career bests. He also started in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Like Beitashour, Morrow is shooting for his first appearance with the USMNT.
The Earthquakes begin their 2013 season on March 3 against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium in a battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference from a year ago. Players will report to San Jose for the club’s training camp on Monday, Jan. 21 (Note: Any player participating in national team camp will report at a later date).
U.S. JANUARY CAMP ROSTER BY POSITION
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)