CHICAGO (Aug. 29, 2013) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 23 players to begin preparations for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.
The team will begin gathering Sept. 1 in Miami and will depart Sept. 3 for San Jose, three days ahead of the match against Costa Rica where it will seek its first ever away win in qualifying against the Ticos (10 p.m. ET, beIN SPORT and ESPN Deportes Radio). In the USA’s last road qualifier, Brad Evans scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to deliver a 2-1 win against Jamaica on June 7 in Kingston, the first ever road victory in qualifying against The Reggae Boyz.
“The Costa Rica game in San Jose is the biggest game in 2013 for all of us because we want to win there,” said Klinsmann. “We want to qualify as soon as possible for the World Cup in Brazil. We want to get the first ever three points in World Cup qualifying in Costa Rica. Everyone needs to understand there will be a lot of tension. We need to be very well prepared mentally and physically and give them a real game. And if you look at the quality of our roster and our players, we have the quality to get the three points.”
On Sept. 10, a sold-out crowd that includes more than 9,000 fans in the supporters clubs sections will watch USA-Mexico, presented by AT&T. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.
U.S. team captain Clint Dempsey is set to earn his 100th cap for the United States. Dempsey has 12 career goals in World Cup Qualifying, which ties him for first place on the USA’s all-time list. He is the only U.S. player to appear in all 12 matches in this qualifying cycle.
The United States currently sits in first place in the Final Round of qualifying, collecting 13 points from six matches. There are two scenarios in which the U.S. could qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup following the Costa Rica match. In order for that to occur, the U.S. must beat Costa Rica, Mexico must tie Honduras, and Panama must lose or draw against Jamaica.
The U.S. is riding a record-setting 12-match winning streak that began June 2 with a 4-3 victory against then second-ranked Germany in the Centennial Celebration Match and includes three wins in World Cup Qualifying and six straight victories en route to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
Klinsmann just passed the two-year anniversary of his tenure with the U.S. Men’s National Team and has compiled some impressive results, including a record-tying winning percentage in 2012 (.750) and a record-setting winning streak that has utilized 38 different players.
- A total of eight players on the U.S. roster are carrying yellow cards. Their next caution will result in a one-match suspension: Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Brad Evans, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones.
- Altidore has scored in his last five matches for the United States, becoming the only player in U.S. history to accomplish this feat. He is coming off a Budweiser Man of the Match performance in the USA’s 4-3 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina, in which he scored three goals and recorded an assist.
- Altidore, Bradley, Dempsey and Omar Gonzalez are the only four players to have started all six games in the Hexagonal.
- Dempsey’s seven goals in this qualifying cycle leads all U.S. scorers. His most recent strike in the campaign proved the game-winner in the 1-0 win against Costa Rica on March 22 in Commerce City, Colo. [WATCH SNOWCLASICO HIGHLIGHTS]
- A total of 11 players were part of the Gold Cup winning squad: DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Edgar Castillo, Mix Diskerud, Landon Donovan, Gonzalez, Eddie Johnson, Michael Orozco and Nick Rimando.
- Donovan returns to World Cup Qualifying action for the first time since June 12, 2012, the 1-1 draw in Guatemala, an absence spanning 10 matches.
- He is the USA’s all-time leader in World Cup Qualifying appearances (37), and currently sits on 21 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 2013. He owns the single-year point record of 22 set in 2007 (9 goals, 4 assists).
- Eddie Johnson leads all U.S. players with 13 appearances in 2013, and has accumulated four goals and one assist. Beasley, who captained the team in the Gold Cup, has started the most games (12).
- Besler and Gonzalez have been the center back pairing for the last four qualifiers, beginning with the historic 0-0 draw against Mexico on March 26 in Mexico City.
- Evans has started at right back for the last five games in which he was available, including three World Cup Qualifiers.
- Bedoya, who recently transferred to Nantes in Ligue 1 in France, got on the scoresheet for the first time in his international career when he tallied in the 6-0 win against Guatemala on July 5 in San Diego.
- Two players on the roster made their senior team debut in the win against Bosnia. John Brooks, a dual citizen of the United States and Germany, started at center back. AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannsson, born in Mobile, Ala., completed his change of association from Iceland in time to enter as a substitute in the 63rd minute. The 22-year-old has four goals for AZ thus far.
- With two straight clean sheets in March, Brad Guzan now has five shutouts in seven matches played in qualifying in his career, posting a 4-1-2 record.
- Guzan was voted the 2013 Aston Villa Player of the Year by both players and supporters.
- Leagues from eight different countries are represented on the roster.