Friday, July 20, 2018

Arena confident as USA name squad for crucial qualifiers

SoccerNews in World Cup 2 Oct 2017


Bruce Arena believes the United States will “get it done” and qualify for next year’s World Cup after naming a 26-man squad for qualifiers against Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

There were no surprises in Arena’s selections on Sunday, with the likes of captain Michael Bradley, Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore headlining the American team ahead of their final two qualifiers.

Arena did recall Sorting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber to the US squad for the first time since February, while LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes was included before he withdrew due to a groin strain.

USA face a pair of crucial qualifying fixtures, starting at home to third-placed Panama on Friday before travelling to lowly Trinidad and Tobago four days later – the Americans fourth in the CONCACAF standings and only a point adrift of Panama with two matches remaining.

If USA stay fourth in the fifth round of qualifying, it would see Arena’s men feature in a two-legged play-off against either Australia or Syria.

“When I took the job last November, if you said to me you’d be in position in game nine to play a game at home that you had to win, I would say yes,” he said. 

“So I think in 2017 we’ve had one blip in the Costa Rica game. All of the other results went along as we expected and maybe even an extra point in Mexico. If it comes down to where we need four or six points in our last two games I think that’s fine and we’ll get it done.”


USA squad in full:

Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake); DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City); Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Paul Arriola (DC United), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund); Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)


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