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USMNT: Arena calls in 26-man WCQ roster

The United States Men’s National Team has their roster set for upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches against Costa Rica and Honduras.

Bruce Arena called in 26 players for the match. He has three goalkeepers, nine defenders, nine midfielders and five forwards.

Leading the roster in appearances in 2017 are Jorge Villafaña and Graham Zusi.

Arena decided to call in a hefty roster, due to the fact that Jozy Altidore, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley and Geoff Cameron are on caution watch. If they are to receive a yellow card during any match, they will be forced to miss the next qualifying match.

“I think we have a good roster,” Arena said. “The decisions are simply based on the fact that we need our best roster possible in order to achieve what we want to achieve here, and that’s to earn points in both games. I think we’re strong in the goal, up top very strong, and I like our midfield combinations. Our back line has had some injuries over the past month that will hurt us a little bit, but I think if everyone comes into camp healthy, we have good options in our back line and good depth.”

“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.”

Also of note for the United States, if Clint Dempsey scores a goal, he will take lone ownership of the goal-scoring record he tied Landon Donovan with during the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The two teams met already this summer, in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. The United States claimed victory in the match, with a final score of 2-0 with goals from Dempsey and Altidore.

“We have to make sure we’re the team that secures points at home and hopefully get some points on the road,” Arena said. “If we do that, we’re getting a lot closer to Russia. No one is safe, at this point and a lot of things are going to happen over this next weekend.”

Below, the full roster is listed.

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard and Nick Rimando.

Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafaña and Graham Zusi.

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.

The USMNT will face Costa Rica on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Honduras on Sept. 5 at 5:30 p.m. ET. The first match will be available on ESPN and the second on BeIN Sports.

 

Photo of Michael Bradley and the USMNT courtesy of Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all USMNT coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist
Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.
A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search "McKriger Photography" on Facebook, to see her photos.
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