Jurgen Klinsmann is looking forward to a busy 2013 with the U.S. national team.
His team will be busy in the coming year with World Cup qualifying, the Gold Cup, and what the coach referred to as "some very special friendlies" all on the card.
The USA will open play on Jan. 29 in Houston with a match against Canada, using a side consisting of out-of-season players from MLS and Europe. While the winter camp is generally viewed as a way to keep fit in the offseason, Klinsmann says this year's has a different feel about it.
“I think we all are very energized about 2013. There’s so much on the plate," Klinsmann said in an interview on USsoccer.com. "Obviously the biggest thing is World Cup qualifying. It’s our 100th Anniversary of U.S. Soccer so there are going to be some very special friendlies, and there is the Gold Cup again in the United States which is fantastic, too.
"We’re beginning already with the January camp, which is a jump start because we go straight into a World Cup qualifier. That changes the dynamics of everything. This camp, which has traditionally been like a preseason camp for a lot of MLS players to bridge the gap from a long break, now becomes a preparation camp for a World Cup qualifier.”
The camp does not include many of the USA's regular stars, with the majority of the European and Mexican based players in season and unavailable, but Klinsmann believes he will have a few players from the group step up and earn a place on the full roster.
“I think from this roster there will be another couple guys who emerge out of it and hopefully make our national team environment even stronger," he said. "We hope with the January camp that the players understand that if they really grow, become personalities and take their lives and careers in their own hands, they can make the jump like Graham Zusi or Geoff Cameron or others before.
"We hope that will be the case in this camp, as well. Whether it’s Omar Gonzalez, a Brad Davis, a Brad Evans … there are so many guys that are mature enough to make that jump. It’s for them to take the next step."
After facing Canada at the end of the month the USA will return to World Cup qualifying with the first match of the Hexagonal on Feb. 6 against Honduras in San Pedro Sula.
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