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Klinsmann looks at new defenders for U.S. team

The SportsXchange

Six defenders who have never played for the U.S. men's national team will participate in the squad's 25-man camp ahead of the next round of World Cup qualifying, U.S. Soccer announced Sunday.

Defenders Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin) and Justin Morrow (Earthquakes) each hope to make their debuts in 2013. Forward Will Bruin and goalkeeper Tally Hall, both of the Houston Dynamo, are also newcomers at coach Jurgen Klinsmann's camp, which will run from Monday through Jan. 27 in Carson, Calif.

Klinsmann has reason to take a long look at prospects for his back line, as veteran defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo will turn 35 before the 2014 World Cup, which will be played in Brazil.

The Carson camp also will include Major League Soccer MVP Chris Wondolowski, who tied the league's single-season record with 27 goals last year. Wondolowski has made a few undistinguished appearances for the national team.

All but four of the players in Klinsmann's camp play in MLS, which is in its offseason. Many of the national team's top players, including forward/midfielder Clint Dempsey, midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Tim Howard, are tied up with commitments to their European club teams.

The biggest-name domestic player in MLS, 30-year-old Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy, isn't on the list for Carson camp.

"(Donovan) is thinking about his future," Klinsmann said of Fox Soccer. "We stayed in touch after the MLS Cup final. He's not at a point yet where he knows what he wants to do. It's as simple as that. That's why we didn't invite Landon. We are curious as anybody else what his decision will be in the future, but right now he's not part of our camp."

The U.S. team will open the final round of regional World Cup qualifying Feb. 6 at Honduras.
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