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Bill Hamid, Steve Birnbaum, and Taylor Kemp called into USMNT camp

Bruce Arena wants to see what three of United’s best players can do

Bruce Arena announced the roster for the US Men’s national team’s January camp, commonly known as Camp Cupcake. There are three D.C. United players on this roster: goalkeeper Bill Hamid, fullback Taylor Kemp, and center back Steve Birnbaum.

Birnbaum featured heavily for Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT over the course of the past year, starting with his emergance at last year’s January camp. Hamid, on the other hand, seemed to have fallen out of Klinsmann’s plans for unknown reasons, with the German putting the 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in the top seven or eight of American keepers.

The shock callup is Taylor Kemp, who receives his first-ever invitation to the senior men’s national team. Fullback has been an area of weakness for the USMNT, and Kemp had the best season of his career this year, so it is a welcome reward.

The camp will start January 10 and will conclude with friendlies against Serbia on January 29 and against Jamaica on February 3. This means that United’s defensive trio will miss the beginning of D.C. United’s preseason. The first part of the team’s preseason is usually dedicated to trialists and draft picks, so I don’t see it being much of a problem for these two veterans to miss it.

The January camp has been a staple of the USMNT’s development for the past decade, allowing the coach to see players in MLS and Scandinavia who he might not otherwise get a chance to try out, as well as to try veteran players in new situations and combinations. As this is not an official FIFA window, only players who are out of season are eligible for this camp.

The full list of players invited to the camp is below:


GOALKEEPERS (5): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

DEFENDERS (10): DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Taylor Kemp (D.C. United), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (12): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)