Coach Juergen Klinsmann called up 26 players for the first training camp of 2014 on Friday as the U.S. national soccer team begins ramping up its preparations for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
The monthlong camp, which begins Monday in Carson, will be split between Southern California and Brazil and will end with a Feb. 1 friendly against South Korea at the StubHub Center.
"This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup," said Klinsmann, whose team will hold twice-daily training sessions at its World Cup base in Sao Paulo on Jan. 13 to 25. "It's important for the players to continue developing their bond and sense of urgency for the tournament. It's important for us to see how they do in Brazil, how the new players fit with the group and to make sure everyone is focused on reaching the highest level for next summer."
The U.S. national team's winter camp roster has traditionally relied on domestic players because soccer leagues in Europe and Mexico are in full swing — and this month's roster is no exception. All but one of the players summoned Friday plays in Major League Soccer, among them the Galaxy's Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez and former teammate Mike Magee, the league's MVP who was traded to Chicago in May.