If you wanted to design a player who would thrive on a United States national team -- a squad that prevails through equal parts athleticism, toughness and skill -- and succeed on the world stage, that man might look a lot like Jermaine Jones. And this goes beyond the fact that manager Jurgen Klinsmann constantly praises the midfielder and values his contributions to the squad.
Jones, who grew up in Germany but qualifies for the American side due to his serviceman father, played at the highest club...
As important as U.S. national team's just-concluded training camp was in identifying new talent for Jurgen Klinsmann's senior squad, the month-long get-together was probably even more valuable for U.S. Under-23 coach Andi Herzog.
The U-23s face a decisive two-leg playoff against Colombia next month for a berth in this summer's Olympics, and Herzog needs to bolster a roster that missed its first chance to reach Rio de Janeiro versus lesser competition last October during CONCACAF's Olympic qualifying tournament.
"This is our big wish, that Andi Herzog really benefits now from this camp in terms of his Under-23 players because that opportunity to have those two playoff games with Colombia and then hopefully go into Rio de Janeiro is just so big," Klinsmann recently told US Soccer. "We really hope that all the work we put in now these four weeks for these younger players will eventually pay off in the qualifiers with Colombia."
Here are five players -- including four who boosted their stocks in camp -- who weren't with Herzog's team in October but who could be key contributors next month.