Bruce Arena has called in his first roster for games that matter in his second go around as U.S. Men's National Team head coach. A total of 24 players from around MLS, Mexico and Europe were called up for the crucial World Cup Qualifiers against Honduras and Panama.
For the first time in a number of years, no Sporting Kansas City players are on the roster. Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi were both in the January camp and performed well. Matt Besler had off-season surgery and missed that camp but was a known quantity for Arena.
Arena tested Zusi at right back in the January friendlies and he has played there in both matches for Sporting KC in the season so far.
The U.S. faces Honduras on Friday, March 24, at Avaya Stadium and travel to Panama for a match on March 28th.
"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 via press release. "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."
In a Facebook live video Arena stressed the need to get three points versus Honduras and at least a point against Panama. The U.S. lost their first two matches in the hex and sit on zero points which is what prompted the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann.
After getting a chance in January, Feilhaber was on a lot of analyst’s rosters for who they expected to be called up.
U.S. MNT Roster by Position (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6), 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)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 1/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 6/0, Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 31/5), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 15/1), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy; 16/0), 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; 33/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 36/13), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 8/3)
Bruce Arena was in attendance at Sporting KC’s draw with FC Dallas last Saturday to get a first hand look at several players.
Was it a surprise that Arena did not call up any Sporting KC players?
Did the result versus Dallas play a role in that decision?