US youngsters aiming to impress Jurgen Klinsmann
Jurgen Klinsmann is taking the long view in his first USA football training camp of 2015, with half of the 28 players called up seeking their first caps.
Klinsmann said he was focusing on the future, and on the 2016 Rio Olympics, in selecting the players who will train in California from January 12-February 8, then head to Santiago, Chile from January 25-29.
The United States will play their first friendly of the year against Chile on January 28 in Rancagua.
The squad includes seven veterans from last summer`s World Cup, including captain Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley.
At the other end of the spectrum it features 14 players who have never represented their country at senior level.
The training camp squad also includes 12 Olympic-age players who would be eligible to represent the USA at next year`s Summer Games in Rio.
"The prize in 2015 for the senior national team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year," Klinsmann said.
"We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio."
Klinsmann said he wants the group to be competitive in the friendly in Chile as well as in a home friendly against Panama in Los Angeles on February 8.
"We want to do well in those," Klinsmann said in an interview with USSoccer.com.
"The other big thought was, `How can we continue building the Olympic team cycle early enough to build that group toward the Olympic team qualifiers by the end of the year?` That`s kind of how we put the process together."
The United States failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympic football tournament.