US World Cup Roster 2014: Players, Bios, Photos of the US Men’s Soccer Team

By Zack
June 22, 2014 3:01 pm Last Updated: July 1, 2014 3:17 pm

The U.S. men’s national soccer team has the chance to capture the nation’s heart on Sunday night if they can get a win against Portugal in the World Cup.

The team, known as the USMNT, got a 2-1 win over Ghana during its opening match.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann got some flack for not including Landon Donovan in the final 23-man roster, but he did include some interesting choices, including some younger players who may be the face of the team next team around and for years to come.

Check out players, bios, and pictures below.

Strikers

Jozy Altidore

Altidore, 24, is known as a tall and strong player who can hold the ball up front. He has 21 goals in 70 career matches for the USMNT, although none in five appearances in the World Cup.

Altidore joined the U.S. youth national team at age 14, the youngest ever player at that time.

The Boca Raton, Florida native currently plays for Sunderland in England. He was drafted by the Metrostars in the MLS in the 12th round in 2006.

Altidore has had his challenges, including the recent injury in the World Cup game against Ghana as well as needing surgery for a toe problem several years ago.

He was also infamously subjected to racist chants during a 2013 match, but he and others convinced the referee to allow the game to go on despite them.

Altidore sees his career as one of a role model for black kids, he said in an interview on the official website. I hope that it {my career} is helping. A lot of those kids play sports in the hopes that eventually they will make them and their family comfortable. I think many kids are intrigued; they just need role models,” he said.

“It’s important to me to be able to show these kids that soccer is a sport that can take them places. This is a sport that they can excel at and do something great.”

Clint Dempsey

Dempsey, 31, has become known by more people after his goal against Ghana in the recent World Cup match. It has also emerged that the Nacogsoches, Texas native just released a rap album after dropping a single several years ago.

Dempsey enjoys the outdoors and one day wants to buy land in Texas. He likes to fish and go hunting with his father and siblings.

Among Dempsey’s many tattoos are ones that commemorate his sister, who he lost as a teenager. e has tattoos of her tombstone, a tennis racket and a steer, keeping her interests in mind. On his chest he has an eagle perched on tree stump, signifying patriotism and the idea that home is where the heart is. On his ribs he has his kids and their birthdays. On his ring finger he has his wife’s name because his wedding ring doesn’t fit over his once disconsolate finger. He has an infinity sign on his neck and the state of Texas on his elbow.

His family supports Dempsey and attend almost every game he plays.

The striker currently plays for the Seattle Sounders in the MLS, having joined in 2013. He has also played for a host of teams overseas, including Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur.

Aron Johannson

Johansson, 23, is one of the young players on the team, having appeared in just eight games before he came on the field against Ghana following Altidore’s injury.

Johansson didn’t play for the U.S.-youth teams–instead, he played for the Iceland U-21 team.

The Mobile, Alabama native nearly played for the senior Iceland team but injuries prevented him. He actually met Altidore at AZ Alkmaar, and the U.S. striker encouraged him to play for the United States. In the summer of 2013, Johansson announced that he was going to.

Chris Wondolowski

Wondolowski, 31, has made himself a name as a goal scorer. he’s scored three goals this year for the USMNT in four games. He scored many others last year, including a hat trick against Belize in July 2013.

“Wondo” scored 11 goals in the MLS, including 8 game-winning goals, in 2013, recording double-digit goals for the fourth consecutive season.

He attended Chico State, where he scored 39 goals and also had 23 assists in 84 games. 

Wondo’s awards are many, including the MLS MVP and Golden Boot in 2012.

San Jose coach Frank Yallop said regarding Wondo’s play after the awards were announced:

“There’s not a more deserving person to win this. We’re going to talk about his goals and what he’s done on the field, but off the field he’s a terrific person. I think it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. He’s such a team guy. Doesn’t always think about himself, although he looks like he does when he scores the goals and finishes things off. He just wants to win. That’s important to know. He’s unselfish. He’ll do anything for his teammates, all the things you want in a player.”

He has never played outside of the United States professionally. He was selected in the final round of the 2005 draft.

Midfielders

Kyle Beckerman

Beckerman is not a prolific goal scorer–he’s had none in 36 games for USMNT–but he helps set his teammates up, tallying three assists in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in six matches.

Beckerman , a native of Crofton, Maryland, became a regular on the squad after playing for then-new coach Klinsmann in August 2011.

Beckerman’s professional career has also been fully in the United States. He currently plays for Real Salt Lake.

Besides soccer, Beckerman enjoys listing to raggae music and fishing. He also plays the guitar and ukulele.

Beckerman is also a big reader, and can envision himself as a teacher someday.

Michael Bradley

Bradley, 26, is a fixture on the USMNT, playing 84 games so far, including six World Cup games. He’s scored 12 goals so far. 

Bradley notably played every minute of the five games in the 2010 World Cup.

The Manhattan Beach, California native currently plays for Toronto FC.

Before that, he played for teams including Chievo Verona in Italy and Heerenveen in the Netherlands.

Bradley is known in part for being multilingual, picking up new languages as he has moved around. He knows German, Italian, Dutch, and English so far, and knows some of other languages. 

Even from a young age Bradley was focused on soccer, his uncle Jeff recalls in an interview on the team’s website.

“I can remember when Michael was about seven, I decided to take him to one of my favorite places to eat, Chick-Fil-A. When we got there, I ordered my usual fried chicken sandwich and fries. Michael ordered grilled chicken and a salad. He said to me, ‘Uncle Jeff, grilled chicken is better for a soccer player than fried chicken.'”

Jermaine Jones

Jones, 32, is also a longtime fixture of the USMNT, having appeared in 43 games so far. The game against Ghana was his first World Cup match. The appearance was a good one for Jones, as he assisted on Dempsey’s opening goal.

Jones has played for multiple teams in Europe professionally, and currently plays for Besiktas in Turkey. His distinctions include becoming the second U.S. player to score in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.

The Chicago, Illinois native is a large player, standing 6’0″ and weighing 170 pounds, and uses his frame to his advantage.

Jones says that he’s a family man, spending time with his wife–former Miss Germany Sarah Gerth–and their five children.

I think I am judged superficially sometimes,” he has said to the German press. “When they see me, they say I’m a tattooed bad boy. David Beckham is tattooed and people don’t call him a street kid.”

Alejandro Bedoya

Bedoya, 27, has played 27 games for USMNT and clocked one goal. The game against Ghana was the first World Cup game for the Weston, Florida native.

Bedoya signed his first professional contract in 2009 with Sweden’s Orebro, transferring to Scotland’s Rangers in 2011 before returning to Sweden in 2012.

Bedoya currently plays for Nantes in France.

Bedoya played in college at Boston College and Farleigh Dickenson University, earning the 2009 and 2008 NCAA All-American award.

Bedoya’s parents Adriano and Julieta are from Cololmbia–his father player professionally there, as did his grandfather.

Adriano said in an interview posted on the USMNT website that Bedoya always wanted to play soccer.

“Alejandro always wanted to continue playing. I’d ask him to come into the house for dinner or to leave the practice field to go eat, but he always wanted to continue playing. He was also not especially interested in playing video games…he’d rather be on the field. I felt he had the desire and discipline to be a good player, and provided whatever I could to help him develop.”

Graham Zusi

zusi

Zusi, 27, is one of the first players off the bench for the USMNT, coming in against Ghana. He has three goals in his 23 games so far.

The Longwood, Florida native currently players for Sporting Kansas City in the MLS, being an all-star last year.

The team won the MLS Cup, partly behind Zusi’s two assists in five starts. He had 15 assists total in 2012 and was a finalist for the 2012 MLS MVP.

He was picked 23rd overall in the second round of the 2009 MLS draft.

Before that, Zusi played four years at the University of Maryland.

Zusi’s hobbies including hiking, camping, and listening to music.

Brad Davis

Davis, 32, didn’t get off the bench for the Ghana match but could come in later in this World Cup. The St. Charles, Missouri native has played in 14 games for the USMNT and currently plays professionally for the Houston Dynamo.

Davis was drafted in 2002 in the MLS draft and has played his whole career in the United States. His awards include being an all-star for five years, and being runner-up for the MLS MVP in 2011.

Davis, after receiving a call that his cousin was hit by an IED, started a nonprofit to provide morale-boosting events for American military members, injured veterans, and their families.

“Given my connection and experience, I felt it was my duty to find a way to give back,” Brad said in an interview on the USMNT website.

His wife Heather added: “Brad isn’t in the military, but he feels such a sense of patriotism and ‘making his country proud,’ when he plays for the US. His entire focus right now is on Brazil.”

Julian Green

Green, just 19 years old, is one of the latest additions to the USMNT roster. The Tampa, Florida native, who currently plays for Bayern Munich in Germany, has played just two games for the U.S. squad.

FIFA approved Green’s one-time switch on March 24, 2014. The switch allows players with dual nationalities to change country eligibility once in his career.

It came after Green played for Germany at the youth level.

Green played for several youth systems, including SG Hausham and the Bayern Munich youth system, until he was called up last year.

Mix Diskerud

Diskerud, 23, is another young player who could be a staple of the roster by the time of the next World Cup.

The Oslo, Norway native–who currently plays for Rosenborg in his home country–has played in 17 games for USMNT, scoring two goals.

He made his debut in 2010 and notched an assist.

Diskerud also played for the U.S. youth teams, and also appeared once each for the Norwegian U-18 and U-19 teams in 2008.

“The U.S. national team has allowed me to shake Nelson Mandela’s hand, and to listen to his advice live. They have let me pull an equalizer against Russia in Russia while Putin allegedly spilled hot coffee on his tie,” Diskerud said in an interview on the USMNT website.

“The USMNT has both surprised me, and let me surprise them. Looking back, before I look forward, I bet we are not through surprising each other.”

Defenders

Fabian Johnson

Johnson, 26, is another German-American who decided to play for the USMNT. The Munich native has played 23 games for the squad, scoring once so far.

He plays professionally for Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany.

He started playing at the senior level professionally in 2006 for 1860 Munich.

He grew up in the southern suburb of Munich called Giesing. 

Johnson was the first player to utilize the new FIFA rule change to switch allegiance to the United States.

Though Johnson hasn’t scored many goals, he plays a big part setting his teammates up, getting a number of assists–including two game-winning assists to Jozy Altidore in World Cup qualifiers against Panama on June 11 and Honduras on June 18

DaMarcus Beasley

Beasley, 32, is one of the older players on the squad in what will likely be his last World Cup. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native has played 115 games for the USMNT, and notched seven goals.

He’s the first American to play in four World Cups after starting against Ghana.

Beasley currently plays professionally for Puebla in Mexico. His career has also included stops in the United states, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere in Europe.

Beasley’s father was an athlete, playing football and basketball in college. Henry helps DaMarcus run soccer camps.

Matt Besler

Besler, 27, is a relatively recent addition to the USMNT, and became the second player to receive a World Cup start with less than two prior starts.

Besler has become a mainstay on the team despite debuting in January 2013. He never appeared for a U.S. national team.

Besler was chosen in the first round of the 2009 MLS draft after playing for Notre Dame, and has played his whole career in the league.

The Overland Park, Kansas native was a roommate of Zusi’s for several years after both entered the MLS.

Besler’s wife said in a USMNT interview:

“Be it raquetball equipment, slingshots or dogs, it seemed Matt and Graham were always doing things together. The slingshot was a particularly poor decision, as they broke a window at Matt’s parent’s house.” Graham also has a standing bet, once his playing days are over, that he can’t jump from the roof of the Besler house into the pool.

If Besler didn’t become a soccer play, he planned on becoming a doctor.

Geoff Cameron

Cameron, 28, was named a starter for the Ghana game after appearing in 27 games for the USMNT.

He was prevalent in the squad in 2013, shuffled between several appearances.

He started every game for the rest of 2012 after debuting in World Cup qualifying on June 12. 

Cameron plays for Stike City in the English Premier League. He played for several years in the MLS, nearly getting the Rookie of the Year award, and being an all star in 2009 and 2011.

Geoff’s father told the USMNT that his son, whom he coached for a spell, has worked hard.

Looking back, I’ve also added a fourth…Dream. As a little kid, playing soccer was fun, but he ran into Ernie Stewart at a demonstration. At that event, he got to juggle with the U.S. MNT player. With that event, and a brand new Stewart-signed Nike ball, he had a dream to follow. He ended up playing with that ball, rubbing the name off of it.

“Geoff is fun, a pretty loose guy. He’s very fortunate and he knows it. From an early age, Geoff new he wanted to be a pro soccer player and he’s living that dream.”

John Brooks

Brooks, 21, made a name for himself after scoring the winning goal against Ghana. He’s one of the recent additions to the USMNT, having played in just four games so far. 

A Berlin native, Brooks chose the U.S. squad over the Germany squad. He currently plays for Hertha Berlin in Germany.

“My biggest goal [for the USA] is of course to be there and to play, and to contribute as much as I can,” he said in a USMNT interview.

“I will give 110 percent to reach that goal and practice hard.”

DeAndre Yedlin

Yedlin, 20, is another young addition to the World Cup squad. He’s appeared in four USMNT games so far.

Yedlin was only called up to the senior team on January 3 of this year, making his first appearance on February 1 against South Korea.

Yedlin plays for the Seattle Sounders in the MLS.

Timmy Chandler

chandler

Chandler, 24, is another German-American who plays for a German club but for the USMNT.

He is the son of an American serviceman and a German mother.

Omar Gonzalez

omar

Gonzalez has played 18 games for the USMNT. He started in eight of 10 final round qualifiers.

He made his debut in August 2012 against Brazil. 

Gonzalez plays for the LA Galaxy in MLS.

Goalkeeper

Tim Howard

Howard, 35, is known as a great goalkeeper.

The North Brunswick, New Jersey native currently plays for Everton in England.

In 101 appearances for the USMNT, he has had 35 shutouts.

He has the most wins of any USMNT goalkeeper, with over 55.

Howard has also played for the MetroStars in the MLS and Manchester United.

If he didn’t play soccer, Howard wanted to try to play professional basketball.

–All photos from USMNT, except for Zusi, Gonzalez, and Chandler, which are from AP.