HARRISON, N.J. (Jan. 3, 2014) – New York Red Bulls midfielders Eric Alexander and Dax McCarty were called up to the United States national team's January training camp by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the team’s first FIFA World Cup preparation camp in 2014. Alexander and McCarty, both integral players in New York’s 2013 MLS Supporters' Shield-winning season, will report to the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., on Monday along with 24 other players.
The camp, which runs from Jan. 6-Feb. 1, will be conducted across two continents. After six days in California, a 23-player group will base in São Paulo from Jan. 13-25 to give the players and staff a dry run of next summer’s tournament in Brazil. The team will then return to the U.S. Soccer National Training Center. The camp culminates with a friendly against South Korea on Feb. 1 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET.
“We are all very excited for this camp because, as a team, it will give us our first taste of Brazil,” Klinsmann said. “This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup. 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.”
In his first season as a Red Bull, Alexander had a career year. After being acquired on Feb. 11, 2013, from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money, the 25-year-old went on to become the only field player to appear in each of New York’s 34 regular-season matches. Serving mainly as a right and central midfielder, Alexander recorded personal highs in games played (34), starts (30), and goals (4). Alexander also appeared in both of the Red Bulls' playoff games and scored a goal in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against Houston on Nov. 3. New York signed Alexander to a new contract on Dec. 4, 2013. Alexander has earned one cap for the United States, coming on as a substitute against Chile on Jan. 22, 2011.
McCarty, 26, has been one of the Red Bulls’ standout players since his midseason arrival in 2011. Last year, McCarty made 30 regular-season appearances (29 starts), scoring a career-high four goals to go along with four assists. The Winter Park, Fla., native also featured in New York’s two playoff matches last year. Acquired by the Red Bulls on June 27, 2011, from D.C. United, the central midfielder has amassed 79 regular-season appearances (76 starts), seven goals, and 11 assists as a Red Bull. McCarty started his career with FC Dallas in 2006 and, along with Alexander, was part of the side that made the MLS Cup Final in 2010. A former U.S. youth international at the U-20 and U-23 levels, McCarty has earned five senior caps for his country, with his most recent coming when he captained the team in the 1-1 tie with Chile on Jan. 22, 2011. He made his senior national team debut on Nov. 14, 2009 against Slovakia.
All you can ask for is an opportunity to prove yourself. Thankful to be getting another chance w/ the #USMNT. Appreciate all the kind words!— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) January 3, 2014
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)