Arena Calls 24 Players for Critical World Cup Qualifiers vs. Honduras and Panama

19 Players with World Cup Qualifying Experience Gather for USA-Honduras, Presented by Volpi Foods

CHICAGO (March 15, 2017) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena has called 24 players to San Jose, Calif., in advance of the critical World Cup Qualifiers against Honduras and Panama.

Arena will discuss the roster during a Live Q&A at 3:20 p.m. ET on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook page.

Players begin reporting to San Jose on March 19 ahead of USA-Honduras, presented by Volpi Foods.  The match will take place on Friday, March 24, at Avaya Stadium. The first Final Round FIFA World Cup Qualifier in the Bay Area since 1997 is set for 7:30 p.m. PT, and will be broadcast live on FS1, UniMás and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow the game live on Facebook and Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

“We put together a roster that we think has balance and one that gives us an option in playing a number of different ways,” Arena said. “It’s a roster where the primary rationale is to help us be successful in these two games, but we’re also looking down the road and bringing in some young players that we think have an opportunity to be an important part of the National Team program as well. Our approach to these games is simple: We want to win.”

NOTE: Since initially announcing a 24-player roster on March 15, injuries have forced replacements as well as additional players to be added. As of March 20, the official camp roster stands at 26 players. Replacement and addition notes can be found below. 

U.S. MNT Roster by Position (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0)*, Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 33/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (10): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6), Matt Besler (Sporting KC; 10/1)%, John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER; 2/0),  Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 19/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 12/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 2/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; 0/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC; 15/3)^

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 1/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 6/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 31/5), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy; 16/0), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; 18/2)% Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 0/0), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 3/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 5/2)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 34/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 36/13), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes, 0/0)#

* David Bingham replaced Brad Guzan, who is expecting the birth of his second child in the coming days, on March 16.
^ Graham Zusi replaced Fabian Johnson who withdrew on March 17 after suffering a hamstring injury.
$ Sacha Kljestan replaced Bobby Wood (back injury), while Matt Besler was also added on March 19.
# Chris Wondolowski was added to the roster on March 20.

EXPERIENCE APLENTY

The roster features 19 players with previous World Cup Qualifying experience. A total of 10 players on the roster have 12 or more World Cup Qualifying appearances while five of those have played in more than 30 previous qualifiers: Clint Dempsey (36), Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley and Tim Howard (33 each), and Michael Bradley (31). 

FIRST FULL GATHERING SINCE NOVEMBER

The camp next week marks the first gathering of the full group since last November and the losses to Mexico and Costa Rica. The annual January Camp was made up almost exclusively of M.L.S. players since the European leagues and Liga MX were in season and those clubs were not required to release their MNT members. Arena has made two trips outside the United States to meet with players and has been in constant contact. He will work with many of them on the field for the first time when they report this weekend.

TRIO RETURNS

The U.S. will be boosted by the return of three veteran players from the injury list. After being sidelined due to an irregular heartbeat, Clint Dempsey rejoins the MNT for the first time since last June’s Copa America Centenario. Tim Howard is also back after recovering from an adductor fracture during November’s 2-1 World Cup Qualifying defeat against Mexico. Having recovered from an MCL strain while playing for Stoke City, Geoff Cameron returns to the USA roster for the first since a 2-0 friendly win at Cuba on Oct. 7, 2016, in Havana.

#GET3

The MNT enters these matches with no points from the first two games of the Hex, shrinking the margin of error with eight games remaining. Historically, qualifying for the World Cup through CONCACAF virtually requires earning results at home, so the focus right now is firmly on getting three points against Honduras in San Jose.

ROSTER NOTES