Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski were called to United States Men’s National Team duty by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Friday in the Americans’ first 2014 FIFA World Cup preparation camp of the year. Both are NPSL alumni as Klute was a member of the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves and Chris Wondolowski spent time with the Chico Rooks, leading the league with 17 goals in 2004.
The duo reports to Carson, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 6 and will remain with the U.S. through their friendly against South Korea on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the StubHub Center. The Americans will train in Southern California from Jan. 7-12 before departing for Brazil for two weeks in Sao Paolo. They will return stateside on Jan. 26 ahead of their friendly against South Korea.
“We are all very excited for this camp because, as a team, it will give us our first taste of Brazil,” said Klinsmann. “This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup. It’s important for the players to continue developing their bond and sense of urgency for the tournament. It’s important for us to see how they do in Brazil, how the new players fit with the group and to make sure everyone is focused on reaching the highest level for next summer.”
Klute, 23, came to the Rapids on loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL in late 2012, and made his MLS debut in the final match of that season. He signed permanently for Colorado in the middle of the 2013 season, a year in which he played 31 matches for the Rapids (30 starts) at left back, leading the team with seven assists and being named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. In 2007, Klute played with both the U.S. Under-17 and Under-20 National Teams, including one match at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Wondolowski, 30, has 17 caps with the U.S. and six goals, each of which came during a month-long stretch in July. He took home the CONCACAF Gold Cup’s Golden Boot after tying Landon Donovan and Panama’s Gabriel Torres for the tournament lead in goals with five. The potent striker led San Jose with 11 markers in 2013, eight of which were game-winners.