Matt Miazga (white jersey) earned his first senior USA call-up after his fine play this year with the under-20 and under-23 national teams, as well as with the New York Red Bulls. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHICAGO – United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann may hand a pair of newcomers their international debuts in World Cup Qualifying on November 13, when St. Vincent & Grenadines visits for a Group C clash.
It was announced Friday that New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga and Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe were among 23 players named to the squad as it opens CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the fourth round.
"We're all excited about starting World Cup qualifying toward Russia 2018,” said Klinsmann. “Every time you say the words 'World Cup' it means so much to everyone involved that it gets you pumped up and energetic.”
Miazga, 20, competed for the U.S. in last month’s CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship and also played in four games at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The 25-year-old Nagbe was born in Liberia, but received his U.S. citizenship in September, making him eligible to play for the Americans.
Eleven players from the USA's 2014 FIFA World Cup roster are a part of this group: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron Mix Diskerud, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones and DeAndre Yedlin.
Also receiving a call-up was LA Galaxy standout Alan Gordon. The 34-year-old forward trails only Queretaro’s Emanuel Villa (6 goals) for the scoring lead in the 2015-16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
The U.S. will meet the Vincentians at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, before traveling to Trinidad & Tobago for its second qualifier on November 17.
"The players realize it's going to be a long marathon toward Russia 2018, but we have to start it on the right foot,” Klinsmann remarked. “With St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago, they're two nations that are not taken lightly. They are good teams. T&T proved it in the previous Gold Cup. With St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we have a team that is an unknown, but we watch their previous games and make ourselves familiar with their players.”
UNITED STATES ROSTER
(World Cup Qualifying: November 13, 2015, home v St. Vincent & the Grenadines; November 17, 2015, away v Trinidad & Tobago)
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton/England)
DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America/Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach/Germany), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Tim Ream (Fulham FC/England), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/Canada), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Leon/Mexico), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland/England)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/Canada), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/Germany), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)