READY FOR QUALIFYING
Donovan among 23 on U.S. roster
CHICAGO - Not surprisingly, Landon Donovan is among the players named to the United States National Team roster for the pair of upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.
|Landon Donovan will be back with the U.S. National Team for World Cup Qualifying.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Donovan, who missed the last round of World Cup Qualifying after taking a three month sabbatical from soccer had a stellar performance in leading the U.S. to the Gold Cup championship in July was among the 23 players named to the team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Donovan, who signed a new multi-year deal to remain with the LA Galaxy this week, is one of 11 players from the Gold Cup roster named for the qualifiers, he is joined by DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Edgar Castillo, Mix Diskerud, OmarGonzalez, Eddie Johnson, Michael Orozco and Nick Rimando.
The roster has a total of nine players from Major League Soccer, with the rest foreign based.
Two players on the roster made their senior team debut in the win against Bosnia. John Brooks, a dual citizen of the United States and Germany, started at center back. AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannsson, born in Mobile, Ala., completed his change of association from Iceland in time to enter as a substitute in the 63rd minute. The 22-year-old has four goals for AZ thus far.
The U.S. team will begin gathering Sept. 1 in Miami and will depart Sept. 3 for San Jose, three days ahead of the match against Costa Rica where it will seek its first ever away win in qualifying against the Ticos (10 p.m. ET, beIN SPORT and ESPN Deportes Radio). In the USA's last road qualifier, Brad Evans scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to deliver a 2-1 win against Jamaica on June 7 in Kingston, the first ever road victory in qualifying against The Reggae Boyz.
"The Costa Rica game in San Jose is the biggest game in 2013 for all of us because we want to win there," said Klinsmann. "We want to qualify as soon as possible for the World Cup in Brazil. We want to get the first ever three points in World Cup qualifying in Costa Rica. Everyone needs to understand there will be a lot of tension. We need to be very well prepared mentally and physically and give them a real game. And if you look at the quality of our roster and our players, we have the quality to get the three points."
On Sept. 10, a sold-out crowd that includes more than 9,000 fans in the supporters clubs sections will watch USA-Mexico. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.
U.S. team captain Clint Dempsey is set to earn his 100th cap for the United States. Dempsey has 12 career goals in World Cup Qualifying, which ties him for first place on the USA's all-time list. He is the only U.S. player to appear in all 12 matches in this qualifying cycle.
The United States currently sits in first place in the Final Round of qualifying, collecting 13 points from six matches. There are two scenarios in which the U.S. could qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup following the Costa Rica match. In order for that to occur, the U.S. must beat Costa Rica, Mexico must tie Honduras, and Panama must lose or draw against Jamaica.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3):Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Roma), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)