Only two MLS players were among the 24 called up by U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for a March 5 friendly against Ukraine, a game to be played in Cyprus due to the political unrest.
Sounders FC’s Clint Dempsey was one and Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley was the other.
That means Seattle is really the only MLS team affected by the game since Toronto has a Week 1 bye while the Sounders host Sporting Kansas City on March 8.
The friendly kicks off at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The U.S. will train in Frankfurt, Germany, before the game.
Asked about calling in the two MLS players, Klinsmann told the federation website:
“This is a huge game. We play Ukraine, which (barely) missed out on going to Brazil. They had a playoff against France, one of the best teams in the world. So you want to have a very strong team against Ukraine, and as I often mention our team is defined in its spine. The core group of the team is Tim Howard and then Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones in midfield, Clint Dempsey in front of them and then Jozy Altidore up front. These five players build our spine.
“Having Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey in for Ukraine is very important to us. Clint has played these two months at Fulham and Michael is coming off preseason camp with Toronto, so for us it’s very important to see both back in the team and putting their stamp on the game.”
Here is the roster:
* * *
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)