Nagelsmann, 36, was named Germany coach in September after former boss Hansi Flick became the first manager in the country's history to be sacked. Flick was let go with Germany administrators fearing a humiliation in the home tournament, the coach having overseen a group stage exit at the Qatar World Cup and a run of five winless games.
Flick's Germany conceded 13 goals in that five-game run, including four against Japan in what became the 58-year-old's final match in charge. Nagelsmann took over Germany ahead of the US tour in October.
Germany beat the US 3-1 and drew 2-2 with Mexico, showing Nagelsmann the side still have defensive improvements to make.
When Germany won the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, the side conceded just four goals in seven matches, shutting out Portugal, USA, France and runners-up Argentina. Speaking when announcing his squad on Friday, Nagelsmann called the team's habit of leaking goals was "a construction site" saying "we want to build a stable defense."
It is a sentiment well understood throughout Nagelsmann's charges, with midfielder Leon Goretzka saying on Wednesday "it is still too easy to score goals against us." "Everyone is aware that defense is the key to success in tournaments. We haven't been able to do it so well in the past few tournaments."
Germany last kept a clean sheet at a major tournament in 2016 in a 3-0 win over Slovakia. Known for his tactical flexibility, Nagelsmann wants to understand his options at the back, saying his side "need to become more variable defensively."
Nagelsmann brought back 2014 World Cup winner Mats Hummels, who has had an impressive season at Borussia Dortmund, while regulars Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Suele and Jonathan Tah have also been selected.
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