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 Posted by Doug McIntyre
Jun 3, 2014

Foreign exchange

Jurgen Klinsmann has accumulated a collection of European-based players in his tenure.
Jurgen Klinsmann has accumulated a collection of European-based players in his tenure.

CONSIDER JURGEN KLINSMANN an import mogul. On his 23-man World Cup roster are eight footballers who compete in continental Europe, seven of whom grew up playing there too. The five Germany-based players are sons of U.S. servicemen, Mix Diskerud has an American mom and Aron Johannsson was born while his parents were studying in the States. European-based players helped the U.S. go 16-4-3 in 2013, tops in the side's 101-year history. Here's what to expect from the Euro-ballers in Brazil.

1 ALEJANDRO BEDOYA M
FC Nantes, France
Born & raised: Englewood, New Jersey, and Weston, Florida

Last summer, Bedoya's improved two-way play on the right wing helped the Yanks 
win the Gold Cup, and it also landed the now-27-year-old a transfer from Sweden's Helsingborgs to the tougher French league -- further boosting his U.S. stock. "He's taken 
a big step forward over the past 12 or 18 months," Klinsmann said. "Now comes another."

5 Goals scored in 31 Ligue 1 appearances in 2013-14. He's scored only once in 26 caps for the U.S. since his 2010 debut.

3 Match-winning goals scored for Nantes in a seven-game span between October and December.

2 JOHN BROOKS D
Hertha BSC, Germany
Born & raised: Berlin, Germany

The rangy 6-foot-4 lefty has just three U.S. caps, all since last August. He struggled in a 2-0 friendly loss to Ukraine in March, but Klinsmann's system demands central defenders who are comfortable on the ball and can pass out of pressure. Brooks made 14 starts as a Bundesliga rookie in 2013-14 (despite a January knee injury). Not bad for a kid who turned 21 midseason. He'll back up Matt Besler in Brazil.

6.1 Clearances per 90 minutes in Bundesliga.

7.8 Defensive touches on the left half per 90 minutes, best on his club team.

32 Minutes it took him to score in his top flight debut.

Since inheriting Landon Donovan's No. 10 shirt, Mix Diskerud has become one of the Americans' most creative players.
Since inheriting Landon Donovan's No. 10 shirt, Mix Diskerud has become one of the Americans' most creative players.

3 MIX DISKERUD M
Rosenborg, Norway
Born & raised: Oslo, Norway

Since Diskerud's U.S. debut in 2010, his playmaking skills have been his strongest suit. But his on-the-ball strength and attention to defensive detail are another story. Fortunately, the 23-year-old has improved his fitness and defensive game greatly. Diskerud, whose mom is from Arizona, will be seen as a go-to sub when the Americans need to unlock opposing defenses in Brazil.

633 Additional minutes Diskerud played for the U.S. in 2013, compared with 2010-12 combined (117 minutes).

.853 The United States' winning percentage when he plays (13-1-3), including September's 2-0 win over Mexico that clinched a Cup berth.

4 TIMMY CHANDLER D
Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany
Born & raised: Frankfurt, Germany

Chandler's habit of turning down U.S. invites hasn't pleased Klinsmann. But the 24-year-old is also an ideal right back: A strong, lightning-quick wide player who can overlap and send crosses into the box with either foot. And with his 81 Bundesliga appearances over the past three seasons, Chandler has the big league pedigree to make him an obvious fit for all-world play.

65 Number of Chandler's open-play crosses for Nürnberg this season, 12 
of which he completed. Both stats rank second on the team.

10 Caps for the U.S. since 2011. The team's record in those games is 2-6-2 (.300).

Julian Green was highly recruited by the national teams of both the U.S. and Germany.
Julian Green was highly recruited by the national teams of both the U.S. and Germany.

5 JULIAN GREEN M/F
Bayern Munich, Germany
Born & raised: Tampa, Florida, and Munich, Germany

What the quick, technical Green lacks in on-field experience, he makes up for in aptitude. "He's still an 18-year-old kid," U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley said, "but he's an 18-year-old kid with a lot of talent and ability." Look for Green, who moved to Germany when he was 2 and plays on Bayern Munich's development team, to add a spark off the bench, either up top or as a left mid.

23 Appearances with Bayern Munich II in 2013-14. He had one appearance with the senior team in November (six minutes) and debuted for the U.S. (37 minutes) against Mexico in April.

15 Goals netted for Bayern II last season.

6 JERMAINE JONES M
Besiktas, Turkey
Born & raised: Frankfurt, Germany

Jones, 32, is an automatic starter for Klinsmann because of his vast Champions League experience and take-no-prisoners style. The downside to his hard-tackling approach is that he lacks discipline, often roaming out of position and taking unnecessary yellow cards. It's a risk Klinsmann seems willing to take. "Opponents have a lot of respect for Jermaine," Klinsmann said.

27 Career Champions League games, tied for tops with the U.S.'s DaMarcus Beasley, who played in Europe from 2004 to '11.

39 caps for the U.S. since 2010, the most of all Euro-bred players.

Fabian Johnson can play on either flank, but expect him to line up at right back in the World Cup.
Fabian Johnson can play on either flank, but expect him to line up at right back in the World Cup.

7 FABIAN JOHNSON D/M
Hoffenheim, Germany
Born & raised: Munich, Germany

Like Jones, the versatile Johnson is a lock to start in Brazil. But where? He can play in defense or midfield and is equally adept on the right flank, where he played for his club, and on the left, his usual spot for the U.S. The slick-passing Johnson, 26, has the speed and tactical chops to provide width when the Americans have the ball and the endurance to offer stout defending when they don't.

1 ranking on Hoffenheim for touches (3,229) on the left half since the start of the 2011-12 season. That's in the top 20 among all Bundesliga defenders.

.632 U.S.'s winning percentage when he's on the field. He's played four positions since his 2011 debut.

8 ARON JOHANNSSON F
AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands
Born & raised: Mobile, Ala., and Reykjavik, Iceland

When Johannsson chose to play for the U.S. national team instead of his parents' homeland of Iceland last July, Nordic fans weren't happy. And with good reason. The 6-foot forward's mobility and foot skills allow him to create his own scoring chances rather than rely on teammates for service. The 23-year-old will be key off the bench in Brazil whenever the Yanks need a goal.

26 goals Johannsson scored for AZ Alkmaar in the 2013-14 season.

3 goals scored in 3 minutes and 50 seconds for his former club AGF Aarhus in 2012, a Danish Superliga record.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Goalkeepers:
Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando.
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin.
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski.
Coaching staff: Jurgen Klinsmann (head coach), Andreas Herzog, Berti Vogts, Chris Woods.

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