With the draw in Port of Spain against Trinidad and Tobago, the United States Men's National Team brought its 2015 calendar to a close. With most of the USMNT's European-based players still in the midst of their seasons, the January camp is a chance for Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann to bring in some players who may not normally get an invitation. While surely a few U.S. regulars will be brought into the camp in order to prepare for the March World Cup qualifiers, some old and new faces will have the chance to join them and fight for their spot on the March roster.
Here are five players who may get another chance to get back in the fold, or to make their first U.S. camp.
The Orlando City man was in attendance at this year's January camp and really made his time count by scoring the opening goal in the January friendly against Chile. Shea battled a sports hernia in July that hampered him for the second half of the 2015 season and a chance to get back into training at a high level, such as a U.S. camp, could see the 25-year-old enter the 2016 campaign in nice form for City. The likely friendly at the end of the camp, which has yet to be announced, will be an opportunity for Shea to get back into Klinsmann's starting XI and could set him up for a chance to start against Guatemala in March.
There was a time when a teenage Agudelo was scoring big goals against South Africa and Argentina while supporters and writers alike pondered whether or not he could be the Yanks' main striker for years to come. Fast forward to present day and January's camp could give the New England Revolution man a shot at putting his name back in the race for playing time up top. Agudelo scored seven goals this season and bagged one with the U.S. in April against Mexico. A camp that will most likely not feature European-based strikers Aron Johannsson and Bobby Wood will allow Agudelo a chance to get significant minutes. Klinsmann thought Agudelo was good enough to play against world champion Germany over the summer, so he should make this camp as well.
Pop into any discussion online between USMNT fans and you are sure to see someone talking about when Ethan Finlay will get his shot with the Stars and Stripes. Finlay is having an amazing season with the Columbus Crew with 12 goals and 13 assists, with one, and possibly two, games left this season. Finlay could be an instant impact for the U.S. midfield. His knack for getting forward would take the pressure off of Michael Bradley to do so and allow the U.S. captain to return to the deeper lying midfield position in which he thrives. The January camp would offer Finlay a substantial amount of time to acclimate to national team life without getting thrown too far into the deep end. With many U.S. regulars like Altidore, Bradley and Dempsey plying their trade in MLS, the Creighton University product could get a chance to instantly build chemistry with the veterans. Finlay could very well be in the starting XI when Russia 2018 rolls around, but he needs time to grow and there's no better time to start the process than January.
Like Finlay, Feilhaber would be a welcome addition among U.S fans at the January camp. Feilhaber put up 10 goals and 15 assists in 2015 for Sporting Kansas City and if the U.S. is to finally play the progressive, attacking style of soccer Klinsmann has preached since his hiring, Feilhaber could be the key to doing so. Feilhaber controls games from the midfield and is another attacking midfield option that would allow Bradley to go back to his more traditional holding midfield role. Feilhaber is an established veteran who will have no problems re-acclimating to a U.S. camp. His experience from the 2010 World Cup shows that Feilhaber has what it takes to play at the highest level. After such a strong season in MLS, now is the time for the 30-year-old to get back into the fold and prove to the coaching staff that he can contribute in March's qualifiers, but will his age prevent his inclusion?
Miazga got his first taste of senior team action against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and handled himself well. The 20-year-old New York Red Bulls defender is a regular on the back lines of the youth national teams and by the time 2018 rolls around it would be no surprise to see him starting for the USMNT. But, just like Finlay, he needs time to get settled into playing at the highest level of soccer. Playing a half hour against a lowly SVG side was a good start, but being able to participate in one of the longest camps of the year would be priceless for Miazga. The addition of the Polish-American to the camp would also add another option for Klinsmann at center back, which has been one of, if not the most fluid, positions on the field in terms of personnel. With Ventura Alvarado struggling for playing time at Club America and John Brooks sent to go play with the U-23 team during the senior team's recent qualifiers, Miazga could slip in as Klinsmann's third best center back. With Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler not getting any younger, a strong showing in January could see Miazga starting full-time for the Yanks before 2016 reaches a close. That said, Cameron will most likely not be at the camp as well while he plays for Stoke City, so a chance for Miazga to get the start in a January friendly is a big possibility.
Who else would you like to see called up in January?