DAVID SMITH - Sunday, March 20, 2016
US Men's national team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has named a 26-man roster to face CONCACAF rivals Guatemala in a pair of crucial World Cup qualifying matches.
The team will gather in Miami for a short preparation camp, before facing los Chapines in Guatemala City on March 25. This will be followed by a second matchup between the two teams four days later in the national team fortress of Columbus, Ohio.
Currently embroiled in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying, the Stars and Stripes sit atop Group C with four points from their first two games, one more than their opponents for these two games.
A pair of wins and six points would all but assure their passage through to the final hexagonal round ahead of their final two games in September, although four points is a reasonable expectation based on recent precedent.
During the last five World Cup qualification campaigns, each of which has included a home-and-away set of games between these two teams, the US has managed to win in Guatemala on only one occasion, with the other four visits resulting in draws.
In this same period of time, los Chapines have lost all five of their qualifying games on US soil, pointing towards at least a four-point haul in the two games.
The roster itself includes no major surprises, perhaps apart from the inclusion of Club Leon's William Yarbrough as a fourth keeper.
American fans will also be relieved to see Fabian Johnson included in the list of players, just days after his team Borussia Mönchengladbach had announced a minor injury for the player.
Senior team regulars Deandre Yedlin and John Brooks maintained their place on the senior team well, quelling any thoughts that they would be brought into Andi Herzog's Olympic Qualifying squad to bolster their chances in the upcoming playoff against Colombia.
Bingham, David: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Guzan, Brad: Aston Villa (England)
Howard, Tim: Everton (England)
Yarbrough, William: Club Leon (Mexico)
Alvarado, Ventura: Club America (Mexico)
Besler, Matt: Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Birnbaum, Steve: D.C. United (MLS)
Brooks, John: Hertha Berlin (Germany)
Cameron, Geoff: Stoke City (England)
Castillo, Edgar: Monterrey (Mexico)
Gonzalez, Omar: Pachuca (Mexico)
Orozco, Michael: Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Yedlin, DeAndre: Sunderland (England)
Beckerman, Kyle: Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Bedoya, Alejandro: Nantes (France)
Bradley, Michael: Toronto FC (MLS)
Diskerud, Mikkel: New York City FC (MLS)
Finlay, Ethan: Columbus Crew (MLS)
Johnson, Fabian: Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)
Nagbe, Darlington: Portland Timbers (MLS)
Nguyen, Lee: New England Revolution (MLS)
Altidore, Jozy: Toronto FC (MLS)
Dempsey, Clint: Seattle Sounders (MLS)
Wondolowski, Chris: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Wood, Bobby: Union Berlin (Germany)
Zardes, Gyasi: LA Galaxy (MLS)