The US national team squad Jurgen Klinsmann will field to face Venezuela on Jan. 21 in Arizona likely comprise a good deal of domestic-based faces, as is customary following January camp.
As it turns out, the other guys are taking the same route. The Venezuelan federation on Monday released the names of the traveling squad La Vinotinto will take north to face the US near Phoenix and then Mexico in Houston four days later, and 20 of the 24 players summoned ply their trade in the Venezuelan Primera División.
But two of those foreign-based players are no strangers to MLS fans: Chivas USA’s Alejandro Moreno and Columbus’ Emilio Rentería. Both strikers made the list for the pair of friendlies and both have been regular calls by manager César Farías. Moreno (above) was part of the Venezuela team that made a stunning run to the semifinals of last summer’s Copa América.
One of the other foreign-based players is defender Gabriel Cichero of French Ligue 2 side RC Lense, on loan from Caracas FC. MLS fans may remember Cichero from his brief loan to the New York Red Bulls in 2008 under Juan Carlos Osorio.
Venezuela will meet the USMNT at The University of Phoenix Stadium on Jan. 21 (9 pm ET, ESPN3.com, Galavisión), then will face El Tri at Houston’s Reliant Stadium on Jan. 25 (9 pm ET).
FULL VENEZUELA ROSTER
Goalkeepers (2): José Leonardo Morales (Deportivo Anzoátegui/Venezuela), Alan Liebeskind (CD Lara/Venezuela)
Defenders (5): Gabriel Cichero (RC Lens/France), Carlos Salazar (Deportivo Anzoátegui/Venezuela) Carlos Rivero (Deportivo Anzoátegui/Venezuela), José Manuel Velásquez (Mineros/Venezuela), Andrés Rouga (Deportivo Táchira/Venezuela)
Midfielders (11): Francisco Flores (Deportivo Anzoátegui/Venezuela), Joel Casseres (CD Lara/Venezuela), Miguel Mea Vitali (CD Lara/Venezuela), Edgar Pérez Greco (CD Lara/Venezuela), Rubert Quijada (Monagas/Venezuela), Agnel Flores (Mineros/Venezuela), Alejandro Guerra (Mineros/Venezuela), Javier González (Deportivo Petare/Venezuela), Diomar Díaz (Deportivo Petare/Venezuela), Diego Guerrero (Deportivo Táchira/Venezuela), Ángel Chourio (Deportivo Táchira/Venezuela)
Forwards (6): Richard Blanco (Deportivo Petare/Venezuela), Emilio Rentería (Columbus Crew), Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA), Hermes Palomino (Chernomorets/Bulgaria), José Reyes (Deportivo Anzoátegui/Venezuela), Darwis Machís (Mineros/Venezuela).