California talent to play in friendly international soccer match

If you watch Wednesday’s friendly soccer match between the men’s national teams of the U.S. and Russia, your may see three Latino players from the Golden State playing in prominent positions.

Chivas USA’s Juan Agudelo, Racing Santander’s Carlos Bocanegra and Santos Laguna’s Herculez Gomez are on the 20-man roster selected by Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The players began reporting Sunday night into Frankfurt,Germany, according to a press release from Chivas USA. The team will train twice today before departing Tuesday morning for Russia.

The Nov. 15 game will take place at the Kuban Stadium, in the Russian city of Krasnodar. It will be broadcast live at 7 a.m., local Pacific Time, on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision.

Wednesday’s friendly will be the final match for the Stars and Stripes in 2012.

“It’s amazing to be back with the national team,” said Agudelo in a press release from the Goats. “I’m feeling great, feeling in form, finally. I’ve worked very hard for this during rehab and to finally be back with the guys is amazing.”

Juan Agudelo (Photo: Chivas USA)

Agudelo’s inclusion in the national team comes almost as a birthday present: He turns 20 on Nov. 23. The Chivas forward made his first appearance with the senior team in 2010, becoming the youngest player in the modern era to score a goal for the national team in a 1-0 win against South Africa in the 2010 Nelson Mandela Challenge. Agudelo, born in Manizales,Colombia, has recorded 15 caps with the senior team, recording two goals and two assists in 713 minutes, according to the Goats.

Bocanegra, born in Upland,California, is a Mexican-American and plays defense with the Racing Santander. He was a member of the Chicago Fire from 2000 through 2003 before jumping the Atlantic to join England’s Fulham FC through 2008. He has also played with France’s Stade Rennes and AS Saint Étienne.

Bocanegra has played with the U.S. national team in more than 100 matches, helping the Americans to win CONCACAF’s Golden Cup in 2002 and 2007, according to his bio on the Racing Santander’s website. He also played the U.S. team in the World Cup in South Africa.

Herculez Gomez (Photo: Santos Laguna)

For his part, forward Gomez was born in Los Angeles and has played with MSL and other teams, like the San Diego Gauchos, San Diego Sockers, Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards. Since 2010, he has been playing in Mexico with the teams Puebla, Pachuca and now Santos Lagunas, starting with the latter earlier this year, according to the Santos’ website.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (RealSaltLake)

DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna)



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