USMNT: Arena adds extra players as Hex insurance

U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena named 26 players for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Costa Rica on Friday and Honduras and four days after that. Three extra players provide cover in case of injuries or suspensions.

Hexagonal: TV schedule, standings and past results

Injuries: John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Michael Orozco are all unavailable due to injury.

Yellow cards: Six players will carry yellow cards into the Costa Rica game: Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Michael Bradley, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya and Jozy Altidore.

Arena did not have a lot of tough roster decisions: The toughest likely took place on the backline:

RB: Eric Lichaj, who is not starting for Nottingham Forest, was preferred over Timmy Chandler, which is starting for Eintracht Frankfurt;
CB: Matt Hedges was picked ahead of Matt Miazga, in a battle of defenders who both were backups at the Gold Cup;
LB: DaMarcus Beasley, who goes back with Arena to 2002 World Cup qualifying, was selected over Toronto FC's Justin Morrow.

Hexagonal September rosters:

Bruce Arena overview: “I think we’re strong in the goal, up top very strong, and I like our midfield combinations. Our backline has had some injuries over the past month that will hurt us a little bit, but I think if everyone comes into camp healthy, we have good options in our backline and good depth. I think overall we have a pretty solid roster here. We’ve called 26 players because we come into camp with six guys that have yellow cards, and we also have some players that are dealing with injury so we have to be smart.”

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United; 14/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 36/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0).

DEFENDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 34/6), Matt Besler (Sporting KC; 11/1), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 22/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 15/0), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 0/0), Eric Lichaj (Nott. Forest/ENG; 0/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 5/0), Jorge Villafana (Santos/MEX; 3/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC; 18/3).

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 4/0), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 3/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 9/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 35/7), Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER; 16/1), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 7/0), Christian Pulisic (Bor. Dortmund/GER; 9/5), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 0/0).

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 38/16), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders; 39/18), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 3/0), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 10/4).

Note: Caps and goals in World Cup qualifying in parentheses.

21 comments about "USMNT: Arena adds extra players as Hex insurance".
  1. E Velazquez, August 27, 2017 at 5:52 p.m.

    Rimando and wondoloswski should not have been called. Does the coach know they are old and finished players?

  2. Paul Estrada replied, August 27, 2017 at 7:07 p.m.

    Wondo is a great locker room presence. Rimando is not that bad at all, though sure others could have been called in. Both are still starters for their clubs.

    I would be more worried about Matt Hedges who looked *horrible* in the Gold Cup.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, August 27, 2017 at 11:32 p.m.

    Perhaps Wondolowski's best value is his experience and mentoring the 2 young forwards during the camp.

  4. Nick Daverese replied, August 28, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    Does it matter that a keeper is older? Keepers are like wine they getter better with age.

  5. Allan Lindh replied, August 28, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

    He's worked with these guys their entire careers. Truth be told, Arena knows more than you do. Most important quality in defense is reliability, he calls in people he knows he can count on, and are a good presence on the team.

  6. ckg beautiful game, August 28, 2017 at 8:19 a.m.

    I guess Benny Feilhaber is done, did he retire from international play or are these players actually preferred over him. I'd love to see him on the field w Christian Pulisic

  7. Wooden Ships replied, August 28, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.

    ckg, I agree. Benny always provides some amazing sitters for players, every game. He's been our most technical and astute center mid (10) for a decade and our managers haven't figured out how to incorporate him. Yes, you need forwards that need to know how to make the runs (bending), perhaps that's what's hurt. Maybe also, other skilled position players. Too bad Kelwyn Rowe is injured as he is the type that could play with BF. Yes, KR, CP, BF and DN. that would be sweet.

  8. ckg beautiful game replied, August 28, 2017 at 10:53 a.m.

    Dom Dwyer should have scored 30 goals a year for Sporting KC 25 from assist from Benny and another 5 from hustle. You'd have to say Benny must be blackballed by Dempsey or Bradley - somebody with clout that says we are better off without him?

  9. Fire Paul Gardner Now, August 28, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    I think there's at least one error in the stats. It says Wondo has 0 WC games but unfortunately we can all remember at least one WC appearance all too well.

  10. Matt D replied, August 28, 2017 at 10:36 a.m.

    FGPN, looking at the numbers above I'm guessing the editor missed the error and that this is supposed to World Cup "Qualifying" Caps and Goals.

  11. Kevin Leahy, August 28, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    It is time to move on from Guzan & Rimando! All three keepers are one step away from being done. It is time to integrate younger ones even if, they are backups.

  12. Rusty Welch, August 28, 2017 at 10:39 a.m.

    I'm just a bit surprised to see Lichaj over Chandler - Chandler has been playing well, starting for Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, which is a far sight better than starting for Nottingham Forest in the 2nd division of English soccer.

  13. John Lander, August 28, 2017 at 10:43 a.m.

    Come on Bruce. Don't waste time and a spot on Wondo. Give another young player the experience, even if it is being on the bench.
    And don't tell me "locker room presence". There is Beasley, Dempsey, Bradley, Howard there already; Locker room is fine.

  14. Chris Sapien , August 28, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.

    Ugh, Speechless! You would think Arena, given his second term, would have a set of juevos big enough to take chances. I know I would. Wondo, Rimando? Why not bring back Torres and Bornstein while your at it?

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, August 29, 2017 at 11:34 a.m.

    I wouldn't have a problem if he did call in Torres or Bornstein. I second guess people all the time, but not Arena. I have complete confidence in him. I certainly don't think my judgment is better than his, even if I had the inside information, which I don't. But second guessing coaches is a national pastime and good fun.

  16. John Soares, August 28, 2017 at 5:15 p.m.

    There is a time to "experiment" and a time to do everything you can to win the game. USA qualification to 2018 is not yet guaranteed. Bruce will, as he should do everything he can and judges best to other words HIS JOB.

  17. Kerry Solomon, August 28, 2017 at 7:39 p.m.

    Mr. Welch: Lichaj may not be the answer but Timmy Chandler certainally is not. Dom and Benny should be on that squad.

  18. Rusty Welch replied, August 30, 2017 at 11:03 a.m.

    I respectfully, completely disagree. I have watched Chandler play in the Bundesliga, and he has shown a lot more than Lichaj. I also feel that Dom Dwyer showed better hustle and a much greater presence than Wondo has - and deserved to be part of this squad.
    We'll see how Lichaj and Wondo do, just think the other two at this point would be much better options.

  19. Americans '75, August 28, 2017 at 8:36 p.m.

    What John Soares said! Jim

  20. beautiful game, August 29, 2017 at 7:58 p.m.

    Making excuses for Wondo is delusional...using the word "great" in a Wondo sentence is pitiful...what does "locker room presence" have to do with performance on the pitch; get real...time to move on, bring in a young player with potential. This game of who should be in and who should be out has no meaning when these players are mediocre in soccer IQ.

  21. don Lamb replied, August 30, 2017 at 3:52 p.m.

    Actually, IQ is exactly where Wondo excels. He's not all that technical or overly athletic. His positioning and movement are incredible though.

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