CHICAGO (March 20, 2016) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 26 players to Miami to prepare for the team’s pivotal pair of semifinal round World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala.
The U.S. travels to take on los Chapines at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City on Friday, March 25 at 10 p.m. ET (beIN Sport and NBC Universo). The teams then head to MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio for USA-Guatemala, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network).
“Our goal definitely for the two Guatemala fixtures is six points. We badly want to get the job done before the Copa America Centenario if possible,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We know it’s going to be very difficult, especially in Guatemala City, but it’s also going to be difficult in Columbus, and there we have a great crowd behind us. We tried to make sure there’s the right mix of players, and we are convinced that this roster is strong enough to get the job done.”
The U.S. roster holds 18 players having previous experience in FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches, with seven having already appeared in two or more FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycles. Eight players will hope to earn their first World Cup Qualifying cap in the pair of matches.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa; 9/0), Tim Howard (Everton FC; 30/0), William Yarbrough (Club Leon; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America; 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 8/0), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 0/0), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin; 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; 15/1), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey; 4/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca; 8/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 4/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake; 6/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes FC; 3/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 26/5), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC; 3/0), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC; 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach; 11/1), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers FC; 2/0), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution; 0/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 28/12), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 34/13), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin; 2/1), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 2/1)
Tickets for the game can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Central Ohio (including many Kroger stores), as well as the MAPFRE Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Purchases are limited to eight tickets per household. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
The MNT is 15-4-6 all-time against Guatemala and is currently enjoying a 21-match unbeaten streak – the team’s longest current run against any international opponent. The U.S. is 7-0-5 all-time in World Cup Qualifying games against los Chapines, and has never lost at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, going 7-0-3 all-time.
Following the first set of two Semifinal Round World Cup Qualifying matches last November, the United States sits atop Group C with four points. Click here to view full standings for all three semifinal round CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying groups.
- 15 players from the USA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup roster are a part of this group: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Chris Wondolowski, DeAndre Yedlin
- 18 players have previous World Cup Qualifying experience.
- Four players on the roster have played in 25+ World Cup Qualifying games: Dempsey (34), Howard (30), Altidore (28), Michael Bradley (26)
- Eight players have the chance to appear in their first qualifier: David Bingham, Steve Birnbaum, John Brooks, Ethan Finlay, Lee Nguyen, Chris Wondolowski, William Yarbrough
- Seven players have taken part in a World Cup Qualifying match in Guatemala: Altidore, Beckerman, Bradley, Cameron, Dempsey, Howard, Johnson
- Eight players have registered goals in a World Cup Qualifier: Altidore, Bradley, Cameron, Dempsey, Johnson, Orozco, Wood, Zardes
- With 13 total, Dempsey is tied with Landon Donovan for most World Cup Qualifying goals by a U.S. player. Altidore is right behind them with 12.
- With five goals, Dempsey is the USA’s all-time leading scorer against Guatemala. He has tallied four of those in his last three appearances vs. los Chapines.
- Both Wondolowski and Bedoya scored their first career international goals against Guatemala in a 6-0 win on July 5, 2013 in San Diego, Calif. Wondolowski has scored in both of his appearances against the Central American nation, with the other coming in a 4-0 win on July 3, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn.
- Goalkeeper Brad Guzan made his MNT debut in a 4-0 friendly win against Guatemala on February 19, 2006. The Aston Villa net minder holds a perfect 3-0-0 record and has never conceded a goal to Guatemala.
- Monterrey defender Edgar Castillo returns to the squad after last appearing in the MNT’s 2-0 defeat to Ukraine on March 5, 2014 in Larnaca, Cyprus.
- Having scored in his World Cup Qualifying debut in last November’s 6-1 win vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Union Berlin striker Bobby Wood comes into camp sitting third on the Second Bundesliga scoring chart with 14 goals this season.
- Having signed a contract extension with Hertha Berlin in January, Brooks has appeared in 11 competitive matches since the German winter break, helping the club to third place in the Bundesliga and a spot in the semifinals of the DFB Pokal.
- Fabian Johnson has continued his strong form tallying two goals and two assists in 10 matches for Borussia Monchengladbach since the new year, helping the club to fifth place in the Bundesliga.
- French-based midfielder Alejandro Bedoya has also seen an inspired start to 2016, racking up four goals and two assists in 14 competitive appearances, while helping Nantes to sixth place in the tight Ligue 1 table.
- DeAndre Yedlin has hit his stride for Sunderland of late, starting in each of the Black Cats’ last six league matches while helping the club to a six-game unbeaten streak including wins against Manchester United and West Ham United.
- After earning his MNT debut in January’s 3-2 win vs. Iceland and first assist in the 1-0 win against Canada on Feb. 5, Columbus Crew SC midfielder Ethan Finlay has the chance to play for the USA on his home field at MAPFRE Stadium.