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MLS representation hits 31 players
by Paul Kennedy, May 14th, 2014 4:48PM
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TAGS:  men's national team, mls, world cup 2014


[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] The 30-player short lists World Cup finalists have sent FIFA include 31 MLS players. That's a far cry from, say, the 132 players from the English Premier League or 99 from Italy's Serie A, but it represents a big jump from four years ago when just six MLS players went to South Africa.

Update: Alexander Lopez of the Houston Dynamo was also named as an alternate for Honduras.

World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia (30) | Mexico (23)
Group B: Australia (30) | Chile (30) | Netherlands (30) | Spain (30)
Group C:
Colombia (30) | Greece (29) | Ivory Coast (28) | Japan (23)
Group D
: Costa Rica (26) | England (23) | Italy (30) | Uruguay (25)
Group E:
Ecuador (24) | France (23) | Honduras (23) | Switzerland (23)
Group F: Argentina (30) | Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | Portugal (30) | USA (30)
Group H: Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (30) | South Korea (23)

Not all the 30 players will go to the World Cup. Fifteen are with the USA at Stanford University, and perhaps 12, maybe 13 players will survive the two-week camp and at least one friendly before Jurgen Klinsmann gets his roster down to 23 players on June 2.

Of the 15 players named to other teams, four are on standby, including Toronto FC star Jermain Defoe, who was not among the four strikers picked by England coach Roy Hodgson for his 23-player squad. Teams are almost evenly split between those that named a 30-player short list and announced reduced squads. Eight teams came out and announced 23-player squads (subject to change until June 2).

MLS World Cup Candidates:
Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake
Matt Besler, Sporting KC
Michael Bradley, Toronto FC
Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo
Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders
Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
Maurice Edu, Philadelphia Union
Brad Evans, Seattle Sounders
Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy
Clarence Goodson, San Jose Earthquakes
Michael Parkhurst, Columbus Crew
Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake
Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes
DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders
Graham Zusi, Sporting KC

Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls
Julio Cesar, Toronto FC
S-Jairo Arrieta, Columbus Crew
Giancarlo Gonzalez, Columbus Crew
Waylon Francis, Columbus Crew
Roy Miller, New York Red Bulls
Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
S-Oswaldo Minda, Chivas USA
S-Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC
Jerry Bengtson, New England Revolution
Victor Bermudez, San Jose Earthquakes
Marvin Chavez, Chivas USA
Oscar Boniek Garcia, Houston Dynamo
S-Johnny Leveron, Vancouver Whitecaps
S-Alexander Lopez, Houston Dynamo
Steven Beitashour
, Vancouver Whitecaps

There are 45 matches until MLS breaks for the first two weeks of the World Cup, beginning after a pair of games on June 11 involving teams that coincidentally don't have players headed off to prepare for the World Cup. Just six of the 19 MLS teams don't have players on World Cup rosters.

MLS play resumes June 27, the day after the USA closes out group play against Germany, so whether or not the USA advances teams will be without their U.S. World Cup players for at least a fifth weekend.

U.S. Soccer gave Sporting Kansas City permission to use Matt Besler and Graham Zusi for tonight's game against Philadelphia. The Union's Maurice Edu was released to join the USA in Stanford as he is suffering from a concussion.

MLS Representation:
4 *Columbus Crew
3 Real Salt Lake
3 San Jose Earthquakes
3 Seattle Sounders
3 *Toronto FC
2 Houston Dynamo
2 LA Galaxy
2 New York Red Bulls
2 Sporting KC
2 *Chivas USA
2 *Vancouver Whitecaps
1 New England Revolution
1 Philadelphia Union
0 Chicago Fire
0 Colorado Rapids
0 FC Dallas
0 D.C. United
0 Montreal Impact
0 Portland Timbers
*One of their players is on standby.

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