Portland Timbers defender Michael Harrington begins #USMNT January Camp

Portland Timbers defender Michael Harrington got to work early on his preseason as he joined 25 other players at U.S. Soccer's men's national team January camp in Southern California earlier this week.

“We’re all excited to get here,” said Sporting Kansas City’s Matt Besler. “We usually play against each other but now we’re coming together.”

As USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his staff began to put the team through their paces at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on Tuesday, the camp presented a way to work with a slew of players new to the senior squad pool. Nine members of the team participating--including Harrington--have yet to receive an international cap though many have appeared with U.S. national youth teams.

But with the camp also including a trip to Sao Paulo to train and take part in some scrimmages while there, Klinsmann is eager to get the national team acclimated to the environment in Brazil ahead of next summer’s 2014 World Cup.

“We'll try things out there,” Klinsmann told MLSsoccer.com. “We want to get to know the people. We want to build relationships, if it's at the hotel, at the training ground. We want to get a feel for how things work there – for the Brazilian lifestyle, in a certain way – and this is a good opportunity.

“So we connected it because no other [World Cup] team really has that January camp happening. It's because of the schedule that MLS has gives us that opportunity.”

Klinsmann is planning an intense month of training that concludes with a friendly against South Korea on Feb. 1 (2pm PT, ESPN2).

“It will be a hard-working camp,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of sessions planned with the guys.”