United States head coach Bruce Arena has selected his 26-man roster ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The USMNT sit in third place of the Hexagonal standings and are one step closer to booking their ticket to Russia. Under Arena the stars and stripes is undefeated (2-0-2) and has great momentum heading into the qualifiers after hoisting its fifth Gold Cup over the summer.
The United States will face Costa Rica on September 1 in New Jersey and Honduras on September 5 at the Estadio Olimpico. The USMNT is three points away from second place Costa Rica making the clash with Los Ticos that much more exciting. Depending on that result, and if they snag a positive result in Honduras, the U.S. could see themselves securing a World Cup berth with one round remaining.
“I think we’re bringing in a good roster, one that has depth in every position and in which all 26 players have been with the National Team in 2017,” Arena said. “I think we have the right understanding as a group as to what needs to be done, and hopefully we can be successful in these next two games.”
Here are the 26 players selected:
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana and Graham Zuzi
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic and Cristian Roldan
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski and Bobby Wood
Bruce Arena opted to bring a very experienced group to the qualifiers with 12 of the 26 players boasting 10 or more World Cup Qualifier appearances under their belt. Eighteen of the selected players were on the Gold Cup-winning side which ensures the United States means business.
Clint Dempsey has an opportunity to surpass Landon Donovan as the U.S.’s all-time leading scorer if he scores his 58th goal during these upcoming matches. Meanwhile Altidore and Wood are coming into camp having scored for their respective clubs which could factor into Arena’s starting unit thinking. Bedoya also notched a goal over the weekend while Pulisic has started off his Bundesliga campaign on a good note scoring two goals for Borussia Dortmund.