U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named 26 players who will train in advance of the start of the Hexagonal, which begins Friday with USA-Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.
He named Tim Howard as his starting goalkeeper. Howard, who starred in the Colorado Rapids' playoff series win over the LA Galaxy on Sunday, had recently alternated with Brad
Guzan after being the No. 2 at the Copa Centenario.
Guzan is stuck as the No. 2 at his new club Middlesbrough and hasn't played a competitive game for 'Boro since August.
Klinsmann cited that fact as a reason he brought in four keepers. Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough were brought in from clubs in Norway and Mexico, respectively.
expected, injured Geoff Cameron was not called in, leaving one starting spot at center back up for grabs. The other is expected to manned by John Brooks.
manager Mark Hughes had been vocal about his displeasure with the idea of Cameron even traveling to the United States for evaluation. Klinsmann said on Sunday that Cameron had called him and
told him he wasn't ready.
Klinsmann recalled Jermaine Jones for the first time since the Copa Centenario, and Jones' strong performance in his first start in four months on Sunday
in the Colorado Rapids' win over the LA Galaxy should make him a favorite to start in the U.S. midfield against Mexico if not both games to start the Hexagonal. The Costa Rica travels to Costa Rica
While the performances of Jones and Howard on Sunday were good news, Klinsmann got bad news Sunday night as Jordan Morris had to be pulled from Seattle's game against FC
Dallas with a strained hamstring. Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said it was too early to know Morris' status for the qualifiers.
Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes are
out and with Morris' availability in question, that could leave just three forwards on the roster: projected starters Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood and Aron Johansson, who returned
from a long injury layoff at Werder Bremen but has not started in the last two months.
The squad includes 15 holdovers from the 2014 World Cup. The only uncapped player is 18-year-old
Cameron Carter-Vickers, who has played in the English League Cup for Tottenham and dressed for most of Spurs' EPL and Champions league matches.
"Obviously, the Mexico clash is a
six-pointer to start the Hexagonal right away," said Klinsmann. "We badly want to continue the tradition of beating them in Columbus. Having 26 players coming in gives us many different options for
both games. It allows us to evaluate certain players, like a Jermaine Jones, to see how far he has come along fitness-wise. Bringing in the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Lynden Gooch and
Caleb Stanko proves that the younger players are pushing through."
U.S. Roster: GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan
(Middlesbrough/ENG), Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), William Yarbrough (Leon/MEX). DEFENDERS (9): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C.
United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham/ENG), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER),
Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG) MIDFIELDERS (9): Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG),
Julian Green (Bayern Munich/GER), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (NY Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz/SUI), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas
City). FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen/GER), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER).