McCarty, Alexander get January USMNT Call-Ups

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The two Red Bulls will report to Carson, Calif. for the men's national team's January camp.

United States' Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has extended call-ups to Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander.

The call-up -- albeit to the so-called "camp cupcake," where USMNT brass gets to kick the tires on various fringe players and MLS-types -- is a long time coming for McCarty, who at one point wore the captain's armband for the Yanks. Alexander earned his first, and only, cap the same game.

How seriously Klinsmann and company will look at McCarty an Alexander is anyone's guess, as the team is flush with defensive midfielders and wingers don't seem to be the team's biggest need. McCarty, though, seems like he could build a case for making the World Cup roster, so long as he can prove at least as useful as Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman, who also got the call.

Alexander's call is surprising, and feels a bit like Connor Lade's January call-up last year, a reward for some fine play, but little more. Lade trained with the squad, but didn't dress for the United States' match with Canada. But it's an honor any time you get to put on your country's jersey, even if it's only in training. Plus, so long as he's in camp, he's got the shot at turning some heads.

Camp runs from Jan. 6 to Feb. 1, with the first six days of camp held in California. From there, Klinsmann and company will make three cuts, bringing 23 players to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The camp ends with a Feb. 1 match against South Korea at the Stub Hub Center (nee the Home Depot Center).

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