Today, U.S. Soccer and coach Jürgen Klinsmann released the 25-man roster that will head to Europe for the next set of men’s national team friendlies. On Friday, the U.S. will take on Colombia at London’s Craven Cottage, with the squad facing Ireland at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, November 18.
Klinsmann’s selections feature an expected mix of youth and experience, with both North American and European-based players. Since this is the beginning of a new cycle, it’s the usual time for roster experimentation and bringing new blood into the squad. That means there are bound to be more than a few guys that fans couldn’t identify if the players walked by them wearing their jerseys and holding up their passports.
Then there are the fans (and writers and pundits) that claim to have deep knowledge of every player presently kicking a ball for money; the types that claim to scour German military bases and 6.Bundesliga (it’s a thing, don’t bother checking) for scouting reports and game footage of dual-citizens not even on Klinsmann’s radar.
These are terrible people. You certainly don’t want to be grouped in with these scoundrels.
To help you validate your knowledge of the American game, we developed this quiz to test your expertise on some of the team’s lesser-known additions. (Note: We could have added Mix Diskerud, because if you’re honest with yourself, you don’t don’t know anything about him that isn’t hair-related.)
One of the three options for each player is true, the others, not so true. Keep track of your score. You’re going to be judged.
1. John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)
A. Assistant night manager at Dairy Queen famous for singing while serving soft serve ice cream
B. Singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar player/vocalist for German rock band Panda Skin
C. Was at one point temporarily sidelined after getting an in-season back tattoo
2. Greg Garza (Club Tijuana)
A. Stand-up comedian best known for destroying on roasts
B. Tijuana-based fullback who was once a part of São Paulo FC’s youth system
C. Freddy Adu’s former Bradenton roommate
3. Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)
A. Los Angeles-based police officer picked up by the LA Galaxy from open tryouts
B. Peruvian-German-American midfielder born in Berlin
C. Recently naturalized, former Peruvian youth international forward excited to play for Klinsmann
4. Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC)
A. 16-year-old high school phenom who played JV last year
B. Forward for the NASL’s Minnesota United
C. Academy player for DC United, recently signed by Borussia Dortmund
5. Jordan Morris (Stanford University)
A. Younger brother of the man who inspired Saved by the Bell character Zack Morris
B. Seattle Sounders academy product
C. Scored big on X-Factor covering John Legend’s “All of Me”
6. Rubio Rubin (Utrecht)
A. Currently averaging 9.4 points and 10 assists with the Minnesota Timberwolves
B. Oldest of the Lost Boys, took over leadership duties when Peter Pan left Neverland
C. Named U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year in 2012
7. Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)
A. Middle name means “soar” or “fly” in Japanese
B. Named after his father’s favorite acid jazz drummer
C. Has more professional goals than Jozy Altidore since 2013
8. Dieter Delgado
A. German born son of U.S. Naval engineer who emigrated to Edwards, Calif. from Mexico
B. Six starts at left back for FSV Frankfurt in Bundesliga II
C. Brought to Klinsmann’s attention through Instagram videos shown to him by his son
Have your answers written down? Click here for the key and to see what your score says about you, Unduly Hardcore U.S. Soccer Person.
Or, you may just be tired of all this and want to see the roster. Click here for that, Eeyore.