CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2008) — U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 20 players to train in advance of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala on Nov. 19 in Commerce City, Colo. Kickoff at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the USA’s first-ever World Cup qualifier in the state of Colorado is set for 6 p.m. MT, and the match will be shown live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
“This match gives us an opportunity to test many of our players in what will be a very hard game,” said Bradley. “Guatemala will certainly be pressing for a victory, and we want to end this round on a positive note. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is one of the finest soccer facilities in the country, and we are looking forward to our first appearance there.”
Brian Ching leads a mostly domestic-based group, the Houston Dynamo forward having amassed four goals in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni is the leading capwinner on the roster, the two-time World Cup veteran having 61 international appearances to his credit. He is joined by Rapids teammates Conor Casey and Cory Gibbs, who are both making a return to the national team fold after long absences. Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan has made a career-high seven appearances for the full team this year, and is one of five players on the roster who represented the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan is one of five foreign-based players called into Colorado. The former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year has posted two shutouts in World Cup qualifying so far. Former U.S. Olympic team members Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu return after making starts in the USA’s previous World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago. Troy Perkins and Clarence Goodson, both of whom were part of the training camp in Commerce City last week, round out the European-based contingent.
Three players on the roster are in search of their first cap with the full team, including the 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year in Sean Franklin. He is one of three players on the roster to have earned that honor, along with fellow defenders Jonathan Bornstein and Michael Parkhurst.
In addition to Ching, there are two other players who finished in the top 10 in scoring in MLS this year. FC Dallas striker Kenny Cooper finished one behind Golden Boot winner Landon Donovan with 18 goals, while Chris Rolfe scored nine for the Eastern Conference finalists Chicago Fire.
The U.S. has locked up first place in Group 1 of the Semifinal Round of FIFA World Cup qualifying, holding 12 points from five matches. The other participant from the group to advance will be determined on the final matchday, as Trinidad & Tobago holds a three point lead over Guatemala. The Guatemalans will be pressing for a victory against the U.S. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, needing a win to keep their dreams of advancement alive. T&T will be hosting Cuba on the same day.
The draw to determine the placement of teams in the CONCACAF Final Round hexagonal for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying will take place on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. local time in Johannesburg. Teams will learn their opponents as well as home and away dates for all 10 Final Round qualifiers that will determine the three automatic berths for CONCACAF in 2010 in South Africa. The United States, Costa Rica and El Salvador have already advanced to the Final Round, with the remaining three teams to be determined on Nov. 19 on the final matchday of the semifinal phase.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cory Gibbs (Colorado Rapids), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Drew Moor (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)