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.
- PREVIEW: U.S. Looks to #Get3 From Honduras March 24
- PREVIEW: MNT Visits Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez March 28
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The roster features 19 players who have previous World Cup Qualifying experience and 11 eligible players that have represented the USA at the FIFA World Cup.
- A total of 11 players on the roster have 10 or more World Cup Qualifying appearances while five of those have played in more than 30 previous qualifiers and sit in the top six of the MNT’s all-time qualifying caps list behind only Landon Donovan (40): Clint Dempsey (36; second all-time), Jozy Altidore 34 (third all-time), DaMarcus Beasley and Tim Howard (33 each; tied for fourth all-time), and Michael Bradley (31; tied for sixth all-time).
- While 16 players on the roster were part of January Camp, defenders Jorge Villafaña and Walker Zimmerman and midfielders Sebastian Lletget and Dax McCarty were the big winners, with all four looking to make their qualifying debuts.
- Midfielder Jermaine Jones will serve a one-game suspension for the March 24 match vs. Honduras
- Three players are carrying yellow cards into these matches: Altidore, Bradley, and Brooks. Their next caution will result in a one-match suspension.
- Ten eligible players have previous World Cup Qualifying appearances against Honduras: Howard (4), Altidore, Bradley and Dempsey (3 each), Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez (2 each), Beasley, Matt Besler, Sacha Kljestan and Graham Zusi (1 each).
- Altidore has two career strikes against Honduras, including the game-winner in the USA’s 1-0 shutout in the Final Round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- Twelve players have previous World Cup Qualifying caps against Panama: Dempsey (3), Altidore, Besler and Howard (2 each), Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya, Bradley, Cameron, Gonzalez, Kljestan, Michael Orozco, Zusi (1 each).
- Four players have scored against Panama, with three in qualifying. Orozco scored the opening goal and Zusi tallied the first stoppage-time strike in the MNT’s memorable 3-2 comeback win in Panama City on Oct. 15, 2013, while Altidore also tallied the game-winner in the USA’s 2-0 win on June 11, 2013, in Seattle.
- Dempsey scored the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 Semifinal victory against Los Canaleros in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal on June 22, 2011 in Houston.
- Fresh off becoming the youngest U.S. player to score in the UEFA Champions League, Christian Pulisic is set to come into his fourth World Cup Qualifying camp. The 18-year-old has racked up five goals and eight assists in 30 competitive appearances for BVB this season.
- Having tallied three goals in four competitive appearances for FC Dallas this season, Kellyn Acosta will look to make his second World Cup Qualifying appearance after he made his debut on Sept. 2, 2016 at St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
- After being sidelined due to an irregular heartbeat, Dempsey rejoins the MNT for the first time since last June’s Copa America Centenario.
- Howard also returns to the MNT for the first time since suffering an adductor fracture during November’s 2-1 World Cup Qualifying defeat vs. Mexico. The veteran goalkeeper comes off a seven-save performance in Colorado Rapids’ 1-0 victory against New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
- Having recovered from an MCL strain while playing for Stoke City, Cameron is back on the MNT roster for the first since a 2-0 friendly win at Cuba on Oct. 7. Cameron has appeared in the Potters’ past two league matches, helping the club earn a 2-0 shutout win against Middlesbrough on March 4.