The U.S. men’s national team, like many squads throughout the world, has taken on a decidedly international feel for the 2014 World Cup.
The 30-man preliminary World Cup roster features players six players who grew up in Germany, a forward who grew up in Iceland, and a midfielder who was born in Norway. It also includes multiple U.S.-born players who were eligible to play for Mexico.
The team mirrors the multicultural nature of the country itself. It’s something Jurgen Klinsmann vowed to do when he took over in 2011 after a series of high-profile American players snubbed the U.S. to play for the likes of Italy and Serbia.
Here’s a map showing the hometowns of all 30 players. For the purposes of this map, we put the three players who grew up in both the Europe and the U.S. (Julian Green, Jermaine Jones, and Aron Johannson) in their European hometowns.
More than a quarter of the roster (8 out of 30 players) grew up outside the U.S.:
Germany is the country that stands out here. There are six German-Americans on the 30-man roster. The explanation for this is simple: the U.S. has had tens of thousands of troops stationed in Germany for 60 years — creating a pool of U.S.-eligible kids who grew up in a soccer-mad culture.
Klinsmann is a German soccer legend. He won a World Cup for West Germany as a player in 1990, and coached the German national team to a surprisingly deep 2006 World Cup run. He made it a priority to identify Germans with U.S. eligibility and recruit them into the national team once he took over the USMNT.
This has been a source of controversy at times. For example, 18-year-old Julian Green — who was born in Tampa but grew up in Germany — made the 30-man roster despite having virtually no top-flight professional experience.
It also created a rift in the team that went public after a poor result against Honduras in World Cup qualifying last year.
But it also grew the player pool and gave the U.S. depth at a number of positions.
Here’s the state/country breakdown of all 30 players:
- California (6 players): Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Landon Donovan, Maurice Edu, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski
- Germany (6 players): Terrance Boyd, John Brooks, Timothy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Julian Green, Jermaine Jones
- Florida (3 players): Jozy Altidore, Alejandro Bedoya, Graham Zusi
- Texas (2 players): Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez
- Norway (1 player): Mix Diskerud
- Iceland (1 player): Aron Johannsson
- Washington (1 player): DeAndre Yedlin
- Kansas (1 player): Matt Besler
- Illinois (1 player): Brad Guzan
- Indiana (1 player): DaMarcus Beasley
- Missouri (1 player): Brad Davis
- Virginia (1 player): Clarence Goodson
- Maryland (1 player): Kyle Beckerman
- Arizona (1 player): Brad Evans
- New Jersey (1 player): Tim Howard
- Massachusetts (1 player): Geoff Cameron
- Rhode Island (1 player): Michael Parkhurst
Unsurprisingly, southern California dominates domestically, putting them on par with Germany as the primary source of U.S. talent.
The roster will be trimmed to 23 players before the team takes off for Brazil.
The North America-only map:
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