CHICAGO (Aug. 28, 2016) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named 26 players to the roster that will train in advance of the decisive World Cup qualifiers of the Semifinal Round. The team begins gathering Sunday in Jacksonville.
The U.S. travels first to face St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2 in (3:30 p.m. ET - beIN SPORT). Four days later, the MNT closes out Group C action against Trinidad & Tobago (8 p.m. ET – FS1, UniMas) [TICKETS].
ALL TO PLAY FOR
Heading into the last two matches, the United States sits in second place in the group on seven points, three behind T&T and one ahead of Guatemala. The MNT has its destiny in its own hands, since two wins would guarantee a spot in the Hexagonal. However, the only way the U.S. can qualify on Matchday 5 is beating St. Vincent AND Trinidad winning at home against Guatemala. Any other combination means that the matches on Sept. 6 will determine which two teams advance out of the group [STANDINGS & SCENARIOS].
CONSISTENCY FROM COPA AMERICA
After taking fourth place in Copa America Centenario this past June – tying the USA’s best finish in the tournament - Klinsmann has kept most of the group together, recalling 19 of the 23 players from the roster.
“We definitely think that the group that got fourth in the Copa America deserves a certain priority going on to the next World Cup qualifiers because they did tremendously well in the Copa America,” Klinsmann said. “It was an exciting tournament with great games. The whole group learned a lot, playing teams like Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. This is a big stage, and they deserve to come back and confirm what they did in the tournament in these upcoming, very important World Cup qualifiers. We are preparing for these two games very seriously, with a lot of urgency because we want to finish off our group in first place if possible, and this group of players gets the chance to do that.”
STRONG STRIKE FORCE
Despite the absence of Clint Dempsey due to health concerns and Gyasi Zardes due to injury, the U.S. attacking corps enters in fine form. Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore is back with a vengeance, tallying five goals in his last six matches. Bobby Wood began his Bundesliga career at Hamburg by scoring the team’s opening goal of the campaign. San Jose captain Chris Wondolowski has recorded nine goals in 21 matches, while Jordan Morris is tied at the top of Seattle Sounders FC strikers with eight goals.