With a week to go until the U.S. men’s national team faces Honduras in a must-win 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, head coach Bruce Arena announced his 24-man squad. The players will begin assembling this Sunday for a week-long training period ahead of Friday’s important match and next Tuesday’s away qualifier against Panama.
“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 in a statement to U.S. Soccer. “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.”
The original announcement included goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who currently plays for Middlesbrough in England and will be transferring to Atlanta United this summer, but the he will miss the qualifiers to be with his wife as they welcome the birth of their second child. Goalkeeper David Bingham, who as the San Jose Earthquakes #1 calls Avaya Stadium home, will replace Guzan on the roster.
“The last few days have been a whirlwind but I’m looking forward to helping the team in the upcoming qualifiers,” said Bingham in a club statement. “We all know how important these matches are and to be able to represent your country in front of friends and family will be an exciting opportunity.”
The Earthquakes starting goalkeeper since the start of the 2015 season, and currently on a two-game winning streak to start this year, the 27-year-old Bingham has earned three caps for the U.S. national team, most recently on February 3 this year against Jamaica. He is expected to be third on the depth chart for the U.S. in these crucial qualifiers, behind projected starter Tim Howard and veteran Nick Rimando.
If Bingham is called into action this Friday, he will be protecting some very familiar goal frames, as the Quakes ‘keeper has posted an impressive 0.67 goals against average at Avaya Stadium. In all, Bingham has earned 21 clean sheets in 70 MLS appearances, with 16 of those being at Avaya.
With the addition of Bingham to the squad, MLS sees 15 players get selected by Arena. Notable among the group is Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey, who last featured for the national team in last summer’s Copa Centenario. An irregular heartbeat sidelined Dempsey from all soccer activities — including Seattle’s MLS Cup championship run — until his recent return to start this season.
U.S. Men’s National Team 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), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy; 16/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 15/1), 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).