Goalkeeper Tim Howard will be looking to make his 13th appearance in World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014, when the United States hosts Jamaica on October 11, 2013, in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO – The United States will look to complete its World Cup Qualifying schedule on a upbeat note, calling in 20 players for its last two CONCACAF Hexagonal matches, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Sunday.
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad will begin preparations on Monday ahead of games at home against Jamaica on October 11 and at Panama four days later.
The U.S. has secured a berth at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil and currently tops the final-round table with 16 points, one ahead of Costa Rica. A first-place finish would be the Americans’ third in the last three cycles.
“We don’t view these games as the end of World Cup Qualifying,” said Klinsmann. “For us, it’s the start of preparations for the World Cup, and therefore we have to continue to raise the bar. We have had such amazing support from our fans throughout the last two years, and we owe it to them to put our best foot forward.”
An already sold-out Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, will be the venue for the encounter versus the visiting Jamaicans, who need three points in order to avoid elimination.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has played in 12 of 14 qualifiers and earned another selection. The 34-year-old is currently tied for second in the U.S. record books with Tony Meola in career shutouts (32), and is just two wins behind Kasey Keller’s mark of 53.
Clint Dempsey -- the only American to appear in all qualifying encounters -- will miss out due to a right hamstring injury suffered in a training session with his club, the Seattle Sounders, last month.
UNITED STATES ROSTER
(World Cup Qualifying – October 11, 2013, home v Jamaica; October 15, 2013, away v Panama)
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/Norway), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland/England), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar/Holland), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)