USMNT’s first test of 2016 is against rising Euro 2016 qualifier Iceland

January camps for the U.S. Men’s national team are always a time for experimentation. It’s a chance for young players to impress and veterans to prove they still belong in the squad.

That’s the backdrop for today’s match with Iceland (3:45 ET, ESPN2) in Carson City, Calif., at the Stub Hub Center.

“It’s certainly not the roster that’s going to play Guatemala,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “It’s not going to be the roster that’s going to play the Copa America.”

Guatemala is the opponent for a pair of World Cup qualifiers in March and the Copa América Centenario, a 16-team tournament featuring teams from North, Central and South America, is set for June.

No matter what happens today, the roster for those events will look far different than it does today, and for next week’s match against Canada (Friday, Feb. 5., 10:15 ET, FS1).

But, that doesn’t mean that today’s match doesn’t matter. Every friendly is important to someone.

Here’s who can play today:

United States

GK: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

DEF: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC)

MID: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (unattached), Perry Kitchen (unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

FWD: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)


GK: Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson (Breiðablik) and Ögmundur Kristinsson (Hammarby IF)

DEF: Birkir Már Sævarsson (Hammarby IF), Ari Freyr Skúlason (OB), Hallgrímur Jónasson (OB), Jón Guðni Fjóluson (Sundsvall), Hjörtur Hermannsson (PSV) and Diego Jóhannesson (Real Oviedo)

MID: Arnór Smárason (Hammarby IF), Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson (GIF Sundsvall), Guðmundur Þórarinsson (Nordsjælland), Kristinn Steindórsson (GIF Sundsvall), Aron Elís Þrándarson (Aalesunds), Aron Sigurðarson (Fjölnir) and Ævar Ingi Jóhannesson (KA)

FWD: Eiður Guðjohnsen (Shijiazhuang Ever Bright), Kjartan Finnbogason (Horsens) and Garðar Gunnlaugsson (ÍA)

Players to watch

Kellyn Acosta — Acosta has had an impressive camp, by all accounts, and may get a look at left back today. If he does, it will be his first career appearance for the national team for the 20-year-old Texas native.

Gyasi Zardes — Zardes made 19 appearances for the national team in 2015, and he’s put himself in the conversation for a spot on the 2018 World Cup roster. A good performance at his home park today will help him keep that momentum going into the more important matches later this year.

Hjörtur Hermannsson — Hermannsson, a 20-year-old defender that plays for PSV, is one of five uncapped players on this experimental Iceland roster. He and Real Oviedo defender Diego Johannesson will be looking to impress manager Lars Lagerback in the hopes of earning a spot on the Euro 2016 roster this summer.

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.