In the eyes of most American soccer fans, playing Barbados in a
qualifying round is a formality, yet U.S. Soccer has named a 21-man roster stocked with players who've just faced England, Spain and Argentina in preparation games. The U.S. hosts Barbados
Sunday (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2 & Galavision) at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in the first leg, with the second leg scheduled for June 22.
The last time the teams met, in 2000,
the U.S. won by 7-0 and 4-0 scores in the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. Landon Donovan
, who earned his 100th cap Sunday at the
Meadowlands in a 0-0 tie with Argentina is one of six MLS players named who will miss league matches this weekend.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley
added Houston forward
to the squad after he scored two goals for the Dynamo in a 3-1 vanquishing of Toronto last weekend.
Bradley also added defender Carlos
, who captained the USA in losses to England May 28 and Spain June 4 but wasn't in the squad for the scoreless tie against Argentina June 8.
Bocanegra are two of 13 players with World Cup qualifying experience named to the roster.
Keeping a spot is forward Eddie Johnson
, who has scored seven goals in his
seven qualifying matches but has netted only twice in his last 14 appearances, dating back to the start of 2007.
Johnson, like most of the Americans, struggled against England, but
scored a goal that was disallowed for offside against Spain and looked lively again last Sunday against the Argentines.
Dropped from the original squad of 22 named prior to the
England game were forwards Josh Wolff
and Nate Jaqua
. Two players added for the Argentina game, forward Kenny Cooper
and defender Drew
of FC Dallas, were also released to their MLS club.
Bradley did not summon forward Jozy Altidore
, who is awaiting completion of paperwork to
consummate a transfer from Red Bull New York to Spanish club Villarreal. The European registration/transfer window opens July 1.
In 2000, the U.S. beat Barbados, 7-0, on Aug. 16 in
Foxboro, Mass., before winning, 4-0, in the final group match on Nov. 15 to clinch a place in the Hexagonal. Eddie Lewis
, who replaced Claudio Reyna
in the 59th minute of the first leg and played the first 51 minutes of the second leg, is the only current squad member to play in those matches. (Donovan sat on the bench for the second
Donovan leads the U.S. squad in qualifying appearances with 20, Lewis is second with 17.
Changes to the squad are likely if the Americans win big in the first leg
even though they failed to score against England (2-0), Spain (1-0) and Argentina. They scored seven goals against Sweden (2-0), Mexico (2-2) and Poland (3-0) earlier this year prior to playing
the three major powers.
Yet judging by the squad he's picked for the first game, Bradley isn't taking any chances. USA
ROSTER For Barbados June 15 World Cup qualifier (Club & all-time World Cup Qualifying appearances/goals in parentheses.)
Dominic Cervi (out of contract: 0/0)
Brad Guzan (Chivas USA: 0/0)
Tim Howard (Everton/ENG: 3/0). DEFENDERS
Carlos Bocanegra (out of contract: 11/1)
Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland/DEN: 1/0)
Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER: 14:0)
Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG: 0/0)
(Columbus Crew: 11/1)
Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege/BEL: 7/0)
Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock/GER: 0/0) MIDFIELDERS
Freddy Adu (SL Benfica/POR: 0/0)
DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers/SCO: 14/4)
Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen/NED: 0/0)
Maurice Edu (Toronto FC: 0/0)
Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 0/0)
Eddie Lewis (Derby
Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 9/0) FORWARDS
Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 6/2)
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 20/7)
Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG: 7/0)
Eddie Johnson (Fulham/ENG: 7/7) USA ROSTER
Alphabetical with all-time caps/goals
Adu, Freddy 7/0
Beasley, DaMarcus 75/15
Bocanegra, Carlos 57/9
Bradley, Michael 19/1
Califf, Dan 19/1
Cervi, Dominic 0/0
Cherundolo, Steve 47/2
Ching, Brian 26/5
DeMerit, Jay 8/0
Dempsey, Clint 41/9
Donovan, Landon 100/35
Edu, Maurice 7/0
Guzan, Brad 7/0
Hejduk, Frankie 78/6
Howard, Tim 31/0
Johnson, Eddie 35/11
Kljestan, Sacha 6/0
Lewis, Eddie 78/9
Mastroeni, Pablo 59/0
Onyewu, Oguchi 33/4
Pearce, Heath 14/0