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USMNT: Arena Selects Experienced Roster For World Cup Qualifiers

USMNT during National Anthem | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | March 24, 2017

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

USMNT Tim Howard

USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard at 2017 Gold Cup Final | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | July 26, 2017

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafana and Graham Zuzi

USMNT Omar Gonzalez

USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez warming up before 2017 Gold Cup Final | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | July 26, 2017

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic and Cristian Roldan

USMNT Christian Pulisic

USMNT attacker Christian Pulisic gazing at his shot with Honduras defender Ever Alvarado contesting during World Cup Qualifier | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | March 24, 2017

Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski and Bobby Wood

USMNT Jozy Altidore

USMNT forward Jozy Altidore battling Jamaica midfielder Oniel Fisher during 2017 Gold Cup Final | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | July 26, 2017

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.

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